Pride is often an ‘in your face’ type of thing which is fairly easily to identify if you self reflect. However, false humility is much more insidious.
I noted this in terms of ‘beauty.’ Christians often say that beauty is ‘just’ superficial leading to the incorrect conclusion that putting any importance on beauty is shallowness. In our feminized culture, this is most often used as a weapon against men in terms of placing importance upon beauty in a wife. This should come as no surprise.
In fact, even if it is not explicitly stated when this comes up, if you even hint that beauty is a requirement for a wife because of attraction you can pick up on the uncomfortable vibes from everyone around you. This includes Christians.
Interestingly, peaceful wife has a blog today about pride and humility and illustrates some of the false humility traps that women can fall into:
- I’m not worthy of being loved by you (but I expect myself to be worthy and good in and of myself apart from Christ).
- I’m so awful (and I expect myself to be perfect and good in my own strength, I am focused on self not God).
- No one loves me (I will use guilt and pity to try to make people love me more but I will not look to God for my source of love, acceptance, life, peace, purpose, and help. I will try to handle it on my own. I will not receive love from God or anyone else.).
- I’m ugly and useless (I don’t accept my identity, value, and worth in Christ because I know better than God does).
- I shouldn’t have needs or ask for help. I should be able to handle everything totally on my own.
- I believe that I have to hate myself, put myself down, and be totally self-sufficient to have value.
- I am obsessed with thinking negatively about myself and do not allow God to fill me. I reject and refuse what Christ wants to do for me and offer to me.
- If you hurt me, I will sink down into depression and self-harm. I put the approval of others before approval of God.
Although men can fall into some of those traps, the ones that men tend to fall into are generally based around our specific roles and responsibilities as Christians or as the man/husband in a relationship.
For example, a reader recently wrote in about some of the issues he has been dealing with in his relationships, and I’ve seen this type of mindset not just expressed by him but also some other commenters who have written in as well as men that I talk with in real life.
[In regard to referencing non-negotiables like many children in marriage, homemaking skills, etc.]:
I am no person to demand it all because I have sinned greatly and was raised in secular thought until my own conversion four years ago. Yet, I want to have a godly marriage or no marriage at all, and so for that reason, will only consider a girl who is on board with something similar.
This is a big mindset that I have seen from many men, and it holds them back.
Although the past does have some bearing on the present in terms of decision making (e.g. men prefer virgins), the past does not have a bearing on your character and your values. Who you were does not affect our ability to move forward as Christians since we are saved by grace through faith. In this respect, the past should not have an effect on how you move forward in the future.
I demand certain things from my relationship because it will make it successful. Many children in a relationship IS a Biblical command and it’s something God wants. Even if my past was ‘colorful’ it’s never a bad thing to obey God’s commands now that I am His.
Basically, in the respect of a Biblical relationship, we are placed in certain roles and responsibilities because God commands it that way. God places the man in marriage into the role and responsibility of a husband. You can’t let your ‘past’ affect your behavior and hold you back from becoming who God has called you to be. That’s ‘underperforming’ to your job because you believe that you aren’t ‘worthy’ of it. That’s false humility turned into sin. In everything that we do we should be doing it all for the glory of God.
The hard part about the Christian walk, in general, is that we are a people that live by faith. We often don’t have qualifications for the things that we are called to do, but we are required to do them to the best of our ability. Jesus took mainly fishermen, a tax collector, and a zealot, and called them to become preachers and fishers of men by faith. In fact, Hebrews 11 is all about how faith works, and it’s not because we are qualified to do things.
This is yet another way Christians tend to fall into the performance mindset rather than focus on the desire to serve God wholeheartedly.
Pride is often easier to see, but it is false humility that is more insidious and difficult to root out. Be on your guard.