Our enemy is real and bold. Our enemy has the utmost intention to cause you harm and to do evil in your marriage. This enemy is waiting, calculating the next move in which to sabotage a beautiful and holy thing.
The enemy emits a clear and present danger. The enemy is a scary being who wants nothing more than your marriage to dissolve before The One who brought you together. The enemy is all of these things, and many more.
But friend, your enemy is not the person with whom you share your marriage bed with. The one you come together with at the end of a busy and sometimes treacherous day is your partner, your team mate. Your spouse is the one you are to share a connection down to your very soul with. (Mark 10:8) How hard of a concept this can be! When I first heard this it hit me like a ton of bricks. I treated my husband like the enemy. I do still slip up and forget.
I all too often let my arrogance get in the way. I tell myself I am better than he is. I all too often conform to a culture that tells us women are the superior authority. I tell myself, “If he really loved me he would….without having to be asked” or “If he loved me he would know…….” How preposterous that I would assume my husband would know something in my brain I likely have never told him! I’ve often treated my marriage like a competition. Dr. Kevin Leman says, “If someone is winning your marriage, you both are losing.” He is right. These times, friends, are nothing more than the enemy using me to place a hard-driven wedge in the middle of God’s sacred work, our marriage.
I often forget that this man, this perfect provision God has sent for me, is on my team! He wants the same thing I want, for our marriage to be great! So many things cause me to forget this: fatigue, stress, children, so many of life’s obstacles, but at the end of the day I have to make a choice to receive my spouse as God’s perfect provision for me. When I easily anger I have to take a step back, take a deep breath, and remember this man is on my team.
The real enemy is trying to compromise the foundation of our marriage from the inside so the he can crumble it with outside attacks. That’s what he wants. He wants every “good Christian marriage” broken into tiny pieces on the floor at his feet, on display for all the word to behold, to gawk at, to point fingers, and to seemingly confirm a growing belief there is no sanctity in marriage, especially that of a “Christian” marriage. This is his life’s work, and he’s very good at it.
Here’s how I got started in my process of considering my spouse on my team (this is a repetitive process, and I mess it up daily, so please do not think I have it down):
Repent! Our Sweet Savior is just waiting on us to ask forgiveness. He’s ready, willing, and able to forgive and separate us from our sin. I ask for my spouse’s forgiveness as well. In the progression I make sure to forgive myself, which is often not easy.
Ask God for clarity– I ask for a clear thought process so I may realize the times when I isolate my spouse, by treating him like the enemy, so forgiveness can be sought or the thought process can be stopped before the event happens.
Put on the whole armor of God– (Ephesians 6:10-18). As a Christian we are given a specific set of armor that prepares us for the war we wage against principalities of darkness. Read Ephesians 6, starting at verse 10, soak it in, and apply it. I ask God to not lead me into temptation and, when temptation strikes, I try my best to use the blessed armor to help stand strong against the devil.
Treat him like we both are on the same team– even though he may not act that way. The best way to change behavior is for you to change yours first.
Respond in love– in all things we are called to love, everyone, under every circumstance. This is not withheld just because we happen to reside with someone. Is this hard? You bet. It seems we hurt most deeply the ones we love the most.
We love you, sweet brother/sister, and are happy to pray with and for you. firstname.lastname@example.org
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