Have you ever walked into a room where a few people are present and the room just feels…chilly? You feel awkward because you know you are walking into a situation where both parties are, how shall I say, cold towards one another? But a separate time you walk into another’s house and you know that this home is warm and welcoming. Why is the feel so different in these places? What is it that creates this atmosphere of warmth versus a cold chill that makes you feel, well, uncomfortable? As we continue in the marriage blog series about Building a Godly Marriage, we see the Godly marriage being built just a little at a time. The foundation has been laid, the plumbing and electrical have been installed, and now it is time for the heating and cooling. The house is not a home until you bring in it that which makes it comfortable…a place where you would like to stay. If it’s too hot or too cold, you’ll want to leave the home and go somewhere else where you can be more comfortable. I’m not saying that the goal of marriage is to be comfortable, but you will certainly want to be comfortable in your relationship towards one another and find comfort in one another. Finding comfort in one another requires humility, genuineness, openness, concern, understanding, love, respect, thoughtfulness, grace, trust, patience, kindness, loyalty, among many other things. To write about each one would take many pages, but for the sake of space and focus, only one need be discussed at present: the attitude of humility. I recall my father-in-law explaining once that humility is “not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less often.” Since the greatest threat to marriage is self-centeredness and leads to broken marriage, then humility must lead the way to oneness in marriage (as it is thinking of yourself less often). In marriage, I choose whether pride or humility will guide my actions. In communication, humility requests that I listen and understand first, while pride demands my being understood a priority. In service, humility requests that I serve my wife and children, while pride demands that I be served and that they (wife & kids) serve me. In getting needs met, humility requests that I consider the needs of others as well as my own, but pride demands that I get my needs met alone. In how I spend my time, humility requests that I think of God and family first, butu pride demands that I do what I want, when I want. There is a distinct difference in where humilty and pride lead. Pride leads to a chilly atmosphere and then destruction. Humility leads to warmth and the desire to remain or return. Think about the situations you may have entered and the atmosphere surrounding them. What are the characteristics of the people creating the atmosphere (at least at that present time)? What type of atmosphere are you creating in your marriage? The next few blogs will be a continuation of The Heating & Cooling of a Godly Marriage as we look at love & respect in a godly marriage (Eph 5). This portion was taken from the Marriage Seminar: Building a Godly Marriage. For more information about this seminar from Foundations Christian Counseling Services, please call Fred Jacoby at 570-402-5088.