Do you feel unloved, even in the setting of your marriage? Have you ever wondered whether anyone really likes you? Do you think that you are not worthy, that you are not capable, and that you are not smart? These questions and feelings show that you suffer from an inferior mind, even within your marriage. Your negative mindset causes you to feel that way. And worse, it subsequently causes you to behave in the way that makes you negatively perceive yourself, which, causes others to treat you that way. Consequently, this confirms your feelings. That is what happens when you have an inferior mind: you find yourself in a never-ending cycle of negativity and you keep re-affirming your inferior mindset.
This cycle of negativity triggered by your inferior mind causes you to have a negative self-image and always feel inferior, inadequate, and unloved. This, in result, limits you in everything you do. Your low self-esteem propels you into a life of negativity, whether it is seen outwardly or not. A life of negativity in which you have no confidence in yourself and your performances. Consequently, you end up underachieving and by so doing affirming your feelings. However, you would have acted based on your God given talents and abilities if you did not dwell on the feelings you had. That is what an inferior mind does.
Godly gifts do not manifest due to an inferior mind
God has gifted you with talents, abilities, and possibilities. However, with an inferior mindset you see the exact opposite: incompetence, disabilities, and impossibilities. That is one’s daily point of view when one is suffering from an inferior mind. For God’s gifts to manifest in your life -and I am sure you want that- you must first deal with your mind. You must take control of your negative mind and lead it into positivity. When your mindset is positive, your actions will be positive, your surroundings will (mostly) react positively, and your performance will have positive results in every area of your life.
The gifts of God flourish in a positive mindset, a mind which is positive because of relying on God, and not on self.
So, how do you do that?
Trace the cause of your inferior mind
The first thing to do is to trace the actual source of your inferior mind. The source of your inferior mind could lay in your childhood. Repetitious negative experience during childhood often leads to the formation of an inferior mind, and in many cases even to the development of an inferiority complex. Childhood is the primary period in which people could develop an inferior mind, with its main cause being the parenting style of couples.
However, there is another perfect hatching place for an inferior mind: in marriage. If your childhood experiences did not cause the development of an inferior mind, then the cause could lay in the secondary period of life, in adulthood, most likely within your marriage. Why? Marriage is an area prone for the development of an inferior mind because in the context of marriage two people have become one, and so the behavior of one spouse has a tremendous impact on the other. As a result, negative speech, belittling behavior, body-language, abuse, neglect, all have huge effect on the other spouse. It has deep impact because as marriage partners you are one. Moreover, your spouse is the one you share your whole life with. Therefore, when negative things are continually being said or done (or rather not done), it plunges deep into your inner-being and could subsequently create an inferior mind.
Your spouse’s behavior has a big impact on you, and the opposite is true as well. Both you and your spouse play a huge role each other’s life.
Who is to blame for the formation of an inferior mind?
Marriage is the formally recognized union of two people in a personal relationship. This matrimonial union is intended to be positive and benefitting to both partners. Hence when one spouse continuously treats the other with humiliation, belittling words, and negative comments, it causes deep feelings of inferiority and unworthiness. The negative treatment received causes that spouse to feel like ‘nothing’ and unable to do anything good. It gives birth to an inferior mind.
Marriage is the union formed by two people. Therefore, who of the two is to be blamed for the development of an inferior mind in the other?
Well, either spouse could be at the offending side; it is not restricted to one gender. Often people believe that only the husband may cause feelings of inferiority in his wife, but the opposite is equally true. Women have the potential to cause severe feelings of inferiority in their husbands too, by the way they treat their husbands and the way they talk to them. An inferior mind can be caused by either of the two spouses.
What is the cause of the development of an inferior mind within marriage?
Within the context of marriage there are various triggers for the development of an inferior mind in either of the two spouses. To mention a few: manipulation and control, abuse (physical and/or verbal), neglect, comparison etc.
Being manipulated and controlled means that others determine what you do, think, feel, and even control all your actions. When others manipulate and/or control you, you feel very insignificant and insecure. Within the setting of marriage, most people might immediately think of a husband manipulating his wife, but there are many cases of women manipulating and controlling their husbands as well. When this occurs, the husband feels extremely useless, and builds up an inferior mind.
Physical abuse -afflictions to the body or neglecting the needs of the body- does not just affect your physical body but has severe impact on your emotional and intellectual well-being as well. It makes you feel very insecure, unworthy, and inferior. It causes the birth of an inferior mind.
When your spouse gives continuous negative remarks and only emphasizes your mistakes and failures, it impacts your self-view. When all you hear is, “you can’t do it”, “are you stupid?”, “you are not smart”, “you are not pretty”, “you will never achieve anything”, “your head doesn’t work”, “you are good for nothing”, etcetera, this will impart an extremely negative self-image into you. When throughout your marriage you are never able to please your spouse, it is quite easy to develop an inferior mind. The same applies when your spouse continuously insults you.
Neglect and not-talking have the same effect as rough behavior and harsh words. When your spouse does not affirm you and treats you as ‘not-being-there’, you feel unnoticed and develop an extremely low self-esteem. Out of this low self-esteem and repetitive neglect, subsequently an inferior mind is formed.
When your spouse constantly compares you to the merits of others, it negatively impacts your self-view. If your spouse tells you day-by-day that your sibling, your neighbor, your colleague, a family member, a TV-presenter, a celebrity, or anyone else, is more intelligent, smarter, better, more creative, or a better performer than you, this hugely impacts your self-esteem. When all you hear is that others are better, you will eventually believe this. Sadly, this subsequently could indeed affect your general performance in life. Your spouse’s negative messages serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy, giving birth to an inferior mind.
All the above-mentioned causes trigger the birth of an inferior mind.
The questions now become:
Do you want to live with an inferior mind?
- Do you want to live with an inferior mind, limiting yourself in everything?
- Would you want your spouse to live with the downhearted feeling of inferiority caused by an inferior mind? I do not think so.
- How would you prevent the development of an inferior mind within the context of your marriage?
- Is it possible to avoid any of the above-mentioned causes from occurring?
- And is it within your power to change when it has already occurred?
- Yes, it is possible to prevent the development of an inferior mind in your marriage.
- Yes, it is possible to avoid any of the causes from occurring in your marriage.
- And yes, you can change when you already have an inferior mind or already have caused the development of an inferior mind in your spouse.
How, you may ask?
Well, it is simple. Read your manual! God has given you the perfect marriage-manual: His word. Read your bible. And do not merely read it, but follow, obey, and apply what you read.
“be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”James 1:22.
Each spouse has their own responsibilities within the marriage, God’s word is truly clear about that. Which of the two spouses should we start with? Genesis makes it clear that God created woman out of man, meaning the man was created first. Solely for this reason, I will first discuss the responsibilities of a husband before moving to those of a wife.
Prevention of an inferior mind: Husbands, love your wives
The bible has one main directive for husbands:
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.”Ephesians 5:25.
Husbands are to love their wives. ‘Love’: has manipulation, abuse, harshness, neglect, or constantly negatively comparing got anything to do with it? Certainly not. Let us have a look at the meaning of love: love is an intense feeling of deep affection or a great interest and pleasure in something. When you have deep affection for and take pleasure in someone, you would not harm that person. And that is exactly what the bible tells husbands to do: not to harm them but to love their wives.
Like Christ loved
The verse goes one step further though. It does not just say “love your wife”, it actually says “love your wife like Christ loved the church”. Wow! That is an eternal-love, an all-forgiving love, a caring-love, a nourishing -love, a sacrificial-love, a protecting-love, a comforting-love, and so on. Husband, when you love your wife like this, there will not be any sign of the development of an inferior mind. Rather, you will boost her self-confidence and propel her into a life of happiness and with a sound mind. You will prevent the birth of an inferior mind in your wife.
Husband, your wife needs to be loved. Not just because of her intrinsic desire to be loved (women want to be loved), but simply because God’s word says so.
Now, let us move to the responsibilities of wives.
Prevention of an inferior mind: wives, respect your husbands
God’s word says much about how a wife should treat her husband, but the most important one is: Respect.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church.”Ephesians 5:22-23.
“Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands.”I Peter 3:1a.
Wives are to respect their husbands. Wife, God asks you to submit to your husband. By submitting to your husband, you show him respect. Your husband has a deep need to be respected, that is how God wired him. So, when you show him respect you do not do that to ‘do him a favor’, you do it because God asks you to do so. Showing respect means honoring your husband both inside and outside your home; when others see it and when no one is around to take notice.
The main factor that causes husbands to develop an inferior mind is disrespect and humiliation by their wives, at home, or worse, in public. Women are ‘incredibly good’ in that. They mainly disrespect their husbands with their tongue: by the selection of words and the tone with which it is applied. Another manifestation of verbally humiliating behavior is continuous nagging and complaints by a wife, this could make a man feel ultimately hopeless and inferior. Eventually, it births an inferior mind in the husband.
As to the Lord
Take note that the verse in Ephesians does not just say “submit to your husband”, it says “submit to your husband as to the Lord”. This means that you must treat and honor your husband as how you would treat and honor Christ. Yes, that is what God’s word says! Would you disrespect Christ? Certainly not! Hence, do not disrespect your husband.
So, wife, if you want to obey God and, in the process, prevent your husband from getting an inferior mind: submit to him and respect him. Honor him as your ‘head’. Because that is where God has placed him.
Is that all?
Is this all you should do? Love and respect? No. You have the obligation to treat your spouse based on everything else in God’s word, not just based on the parts about marriage. Your spouse is a human being created in the image of God, and the bible talks much about how to treat your fellow human beings. Apply that to your spouse! Treat your spouse how God wants you to treat your fellow men. Treat your spouse how you would want your spouse to treat you.
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” Ephesians 4:32.
“With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3).
And off course, you must understand the true meaning of love. That is what marriage is all about: Love.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in inequity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”I Corinthians 13:4-7.
When you follow and obey these things, you will prevent the formation of an inferior mind in your spouse. And in case it has occurred already, you will bring both your marriage and the mind of your spouse back to sanity by applying God’s word to your marriage.
It is not too late! You can still change.
Reconciliation strategy to prevent or heal an inferior mind
Which reconciliation strategy should you follow to prevent or heal your spouse’s inferior mind? Well, invest in your marriage. Sow the fruit of the Spirit into your spouse, not just in yourself. Treat your spouse with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). When you sow these fruits into your spouse’s life, he or she will blossom as God meant him or her to blossom. The only thing we should do is to plant and provide water, God will do the rest; He will give the increase (I Corinthians 3: 6) and let your marriage flourish. You can rely on this, because no word which comes from Him will return void; it will bear fruit and accomplish what pleases Him and it shall prosper in the thing for which He has sent it (Isaiah 55: 11).
You can therefore rely on God’s Word and continue planting the fruit of the Spirit into your marriage. Then watch God honor His Word by letting your spouse become a well-balanced person with a beautiful mind. In the process, your marriage will be healed.
Thus, what do you do? It is simple: take care of the marriage partner God has given you. Take good care of your spouse. Nurture your spouse in the same way as God cherishes you. Do not let the way you treat your spouse give birth to an inferior mind. Follow the instructions in God’s manual: the bible. As for your marriage:
Let us pray:
Lord, I thank you for my spouse. I acknowledge that You are the one who gave him/her to me. Therefore, I am grateful. I am also grateful for the opportunity to nurture, love, and respect my spouse. And Lord, forgive me in places where I have mistreated my spouse. For every time I missed the chance to show love and respect to my spouse, I am truly sorry. I acknowledge that I am wrong, and not my spouse. I take full responsibility for my behavior. Please forgive me. And help me Holy Spirit, to sow your fruit into my spouse’s life and my marriage. I will follow Your leading and will invest in my marriage. I will do Your will, Thank You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
©2021; Christel Owoo
Photo by Andrew Itaga on Unsplash.
Read more about the prevention of an inferior mind within the context of your marriage: in your children, caused by the Parenting Style.
Find out what the consequences are when your mind misinforms you, and how to solve it. Read: “misinformed by your own mind“.