Encouragement · Marriage

The Birthday Girl’s Lessons on Humility in Marriage

How I Learned Not to Be Selfish in My Marriage

I have made many many mistakes in my life. Some I can now laugh at and then there are those that still make me cringe from embarrassment.

Birthday Celebration Selfishness

It happened many many years ago on my birthday. Like any normal wife, I had expected my husband to acknowledge my birthday with a greeting, which he did.

But I expected more. I kept waiting for a card or a gift. Selfishly, I felt entitled to something more because after all it was my birthday.

But when he did not do that, I felt that he was not ‘doing enough’ and started to tell him so.

I hinted.

I nagged.

I tried making him feel guilty for working outside and not making me feel special because it was my birthday.

Yeah, yeah, I know. How ungrateful, right?

Four Tips for a Holy Marriage

Bad Attitude Birthday Girl

As the day progressed my attitude increasingly got more bitter and angrier. My tone worsened and I was certainly not respectful towards my husband, who continued still was treating me with respect.

I was being unreasonable and extremely selfish.

Fast forward to the end of that day when we ended up at some close friend’s home for a get-together.

It was at one point during our visit that my ears perked up to the sound of a “Happy Birthday” chorus being sung.

It was then that I noticed a beautifully decorated ice cream cake had been produced in my honor.

I suddenly came to the realization that my dear sweet husband had organized this birthday treat for me in honor of my birthday.

The events of the day came flashing through my mind. My attitude was rotten and selfish, immediately I was regretting my earlier behavior and attitude.

Instantly, I was humbled.

First of all, our budget was extremely tight with not a lot of wiggle room in it and any purchase that was not budgeted was extravagant.

However, in my prideful state, I still expected something for MY BIRTHDAY and treated my husband terribly when it appeared that he did recognize the fact that it was MY BIRTHDAY!

If you have ever heard of the term, ‘eat crow’ then you know exactly how I felt that night.




You may be interested in this post on respect in marriage.

Bitter Taste in My Mouth

Eating the cake did not feel right.

Celebrating my birthday did not feel right.

Because I wanted to be back in the good graces of my husband again, I could not wait until the night was over so I could seek his forgiveness and restore the damage I had caused.

Lessons You Can Learn From

Upon arriving home, I began asking for forgiveness from my husband.

That experience has taught me several lessons over the years.

  1. Don’t assume you know what your husband is thinking based on his actions.
  2. Treat your husband with respect. All.of.the.time.
  3. Forgiveness is good. Always choose forgiveness.
  4. The focus should never be on oneself, but the other. Be selfless, not selfish.

Humbled Still After All of These Years

So here I stand many years later and the very thought of this memory still makes me cringe and recoil in horror that I acted in such a way

Thankfully, my husband is a forgiving man and we were able to move on.

Every birthday my husband and I mention that one birthday that serves as an ugly reminder of my selfishness that day.

And here I am now to tell you that in marriage there should be no selfishness or self-serving attitude. The needs of our husband shall be put before own needs. We become more Christlike when we become selfless, but the attitude must begin in our hearts.

“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11-12 KJV

Ladies, I am speaking from experience here when I say that you must keep control of those emotions and stay diligent about not becoming bitter or resentful in your marriage.

Until next time….


Stephanie, Training Keepers of the Home

“However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33, KJV

4 thoughts on “The Birthday Girl’s Lessons on Humility in Marriage

  1. The first thing I thought, after reading this, was “Ouch!” It reminded me of my own selfishness and God’s use of marriage to purge it, which is something I certainly needed {and still need!}.

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