Elayne Grossmith focuses on the two benefits of emphasizing humility within your household.
Humility implies that a person accurately describes themselves and knows their limitations. Parents instill the virtue of humility in children early, shaping their behavior to be polite and proper. As a Catholic mom, you're likely to find this can be an act of self-preservation. After all, no one appreciates a snarky child’s inappropriate social behavior. And although all those rules seem onerous to a child, they help a lot on your way to adulthood.
First and foremost, they help direct you toward the path where God wants you. The Bible helps you find that path. It offers you guidance on the importance of humility.
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)
"Let not the wise boast of his wisdom, nor the strong boast of his strength, nor the rich man boast of his riches." (Jeremiah 9:22)
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves. (1 Peter 2:3)
Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation. (Romans 12:16)
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
Generally speaking, when we observe arrogance or an attitude of self-importance in a person, we view it as an unfavorable trait. We prefer to be with a modest person who accurately perceives themselves and their importance in the world. We prefer a humble person who recognizes their limitations.
It's especially true in a relationship.
It's a well-known fact that a satisfying relationship boosts your happiness and physical and mental health. If you're not in a satisfying relationship, you're more likely to have depression, anxiety, a mood disorder, adjustment problems, and psychological distress. Despite all the benefits of a satisfying relationship, not all relationships are satisfying.
So, what can you do that will make your relationship more satisfying? That was a big question for psychologists who researched relationship satisfaction. They wanted to find out the components of a relationship that affect your level of satisfaction. When you understand how your relationship works, it gives you the ability to maintain and repair your level of satisfaction.
God wants you to be humble, and the Bible stresses how vital it is that you have humility. But how vital is it that you're humble in your relationship? If you sense that your partner is a humble person, does it influence your overall satisfaction with the relationship? Researchers looked at what a partner's humility means to relationship satisfaction and whether commitment plays any role in satisfaction.
The trait of humility is critical to partners in a relationship. When you perceive your partner as humble, you perceive them as other-focused rather than self-focused. You're following the guidance to "humbly regard others as more important than yourselves." Your perception of a partner's humility affects how satisfied you feel in the relationship. You perceive the humble partner as being committed to you, which then promotes relationship satisfaction. That perception of humility in a partner is associated with a more significant commitment and satisfaction.
If you act selfish and arrogant, your partner will view you as less humble. They'll perceive the relationship as a riskier investment for them. That, in turn, will decrease your partner's commitment, and they'll become less satisfied with the relationship.
Instead, assume you act unselfishly, sacrificing for the relationship rather than thinking of your needs. In that case, your partner will view you as humble and the relationship as a more sound investment. Because they sense the time, effort, and money invested in the relationship is worthwhile, they would become more committed. The quality of the relationship would improve and lead to relationship satisfaction.
The best reason to emphasize humility in your household is to bring your family closer to God. The second-best reason is to bring you closer to your partner.
Copyright 2022 Elayne Grossmith
About the Author
Elayne Grossmith is an advocate for creating lasting relationships by "loving with your brain." She holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and completed a two-year fellowship in neuropsychology. She has offered psychological and neuropsychological services through her private practice and has testified as an expert witness for Ford Motor Company. Elayne was certified as a Qualified Medical Evaluator by the State of California.