Lessons in Humility

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C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” There is not a more powerful, beautiful portrait of displaying humility than Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. Reading John 13, I was captivated by the humbleness of Jesus. Here He is, the King of Kings, the Messiah, God Himself, and He was humbly serving others. I, on the other hand, find difficulty in displaying humility regularly.

Recently, I have been in a state of reflection, mostly about my marriage and my treatment of Gabe, my husband. To be honest, at times, I have been less than a stellar wife. This realization is a difficult pill to swallow. I have had this belief that Gabe should tend to my every need, want, and desire, yet did not think that I must do the same for him. There was a brief period in which I consistently displayed humility, and looking back, I am completely euphoric because I know that this is how God wanted me to treat him.

This newfound sense of humility I began to display towards Gabe came by way of a book called, Wife School: Where Women Learn the Secrets of Making Husbands Happy by Julie N. Gordon. A girlfriend of mine recommended this book and study to me, and it saved our marriage during one of our most turbulent years. This book taught me what it meant to be a wife in the Biblical sense, including lessons on what Gabe requires from me in our marriage. As with anything, forming a new habit (and breaking old habits) takes work. Unfortunately, I didn’t continue to display the behaviors I learned through Wife School.

In the years following Wife School, I became selfish, demanding, and acted entitled. I wanted Gabe to “wash my feet”, but I didn’t want to reciprocate. He has been graceful and patient with me as I have worked through this phase in my life (again). Though Gabe was willing to look passed this behavior, God had a different plan. Our church recently started a summer small group called, “Marriage School” and guess what book was being used? Yep, Wife School! I knew immediately that God was telling me I needed a refresher course in humility. The best part, is a companion book and study, Husband School: Where Men Learn the Secrets of Making Wives Happy, was now included, so Gabe and I could enroll as a couple. I am grateful for God’s plan, because at the time of this writing, we've just completed Week 3, and I must say, I am proud of the progress I have made. I've been able to display more humility and serve Gabe without feeling like he owes me in return.

In John 13:14-17, Jesus says to the disciples, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (NIV). I am so grateful for the example in humility that Jesus has set, as I have been blessed to serve Gabe, and have been thinking of myself less.

Stephanie Patterson is originally from Denver, Colorado, and has called Las Vegas home since 2013. She has been married to her incredibly supportive and patient husband, Gabriel, since 2008. Her blended family includes 3 children – 2 adult children living productively on their own (hallelujah!), and a spunky, creative pre-teen who keeps her on her toes. Stephanie became a mother at a young age, and in her late 30s, is finally figuring out who she is. What she has discovered about herself, thus far, is she loves to read, write, cook/bake, and nap. What she has always known is that her heart belongs to God, and she feels called to connect with people who need help seeing that God loves and accepts them as they are. Stephanie is looking forward to sharing her life experiences and hopes to connect with others through the grace and glory of God.