What I’ve Learned in Marriage-18—1 Corinthians 13: 5 (love) does not act unbecomingly NASB. Amplified Bible includes “conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);… rude (unmannerly).” Unfortunately, I have seen many spouses act that way. According to Webster, unbecomingly means: unattractively, not suitably, improperly. The
So what exactly does that look like?Essentially, love is not arrogant, prideful (in any way), conceited, rude, or in any other way behaving improperly. Love has good manners. Love is polite. Love is humble and puts others first. Arrogance, pride, conceit, rudeness are all unattractive and unsuitable and improper behavior for any Christian (because they are not Christ-like) but especially for a spouse. Any time that you act with arrogance, pride conceit or rudeness toward your spouse you are not acting in love, you are putting yourself first which is sin.
Philippians 2:3-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
We are to imitate Christ in everything that we do, and our marriage relationship is an example to the world of God’s relationship with believers. It is imperative that we display God’s love through our marriage to the rest of the world. Anything less is showing God to be less than He is. It is misrepresenting God to unbelievers which is taking His name in vain.
Acting unbecomingly in marriage also gives our children an incorrect view of love and marriage relationships. It shows them that they are to react based on their emotions rather than being self controlled, that their own feelings and desires are more important than others, and that they are to view themselves as better and more important than anyone else. Regardless of how we compare to others, we are commanded to be humble which is the opposite of proud. That does not mean that we are to think poorly of ourselves, but that we should consider others as more important. We are all sinners saved by the grace of God. Any good thing in us is a gift of God, we have nothing worthy in and of ourselves. As such, we have no reason to boast or to consider ourselves any better than any other person. If you do, then you are living a works based religion and denying the power and influence God has in your life.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Remember that the same grace, love and forgiveness you have received from God, your spouse has also received. God expects us to extend that to others just as He does. If you find that you have entered the cycle of unbecoming treatment to your spouse, first ask God to forgive you, ask your spouse to forgive you, and then make every effort to turn away from that behavior to act with love. It will likely not happen over night. It will take time, determination and perseverance, but it will be worth it. Continue to seek God and ask for His help to give His love.