I thought it appropriate to start a new series on the attacks of Satan on marriage during a month that is traditionally associated with spooks, spirits and scary things.
I know of many—Christ-followers included—who never consider the relevance or real threat that Satan and his demons pose against our marriages.
[bctt tweet=”Spiritual warfare is more real than we might ever imagine! Ephesians 6:12″ username=”BethSteffaniak”]
I want to state for the record that I am NOT talking about an evil-looking, red figure with a pitchfork and pointed tail! That is not the image given in Scripture.
“. . . Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14
I think the Enemy (another appropriate name for Satan and demons) does this so that we will be drawn to him—mistaking his activity for something good, godly and lovely, when nothing could be further from the truth!
I feel like there are two—among many—ways that Satan tries to attack us in marriage.
- Satan unites us in a pursuit that is foundationally evil.
- Satan divides us in the pursuits that are good and from God.
This week I’m going to focus on the first one of these two, considering it in the context of marriage, as well as sharing how my marriage has been impacted by this.
How does the Enemy unite us in evil pursuits in marriage?
1. We join forces with our spouse in speaking, even living, lies.
There’s a perfect example in Acts 5:1-11 of how Satan attacked two married Christ-followers—uniting them in an evil and greedy plan to deceive other believers into thinking they were being more generous to the church than they really were.
“Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?’” Acts 5:3
If you’re not familiar with this account, suffice it to say, they didn’t get to enjoy that extra money or acclaim for very long, since they both dropped dead immediately after being confronted by the Apostle Peter.
How have my husband and I been tempted by Satan to unite in deception?
- Whenever we each shift blame to the other. (Been tempted and taken the bait!)
- Whenever we pretend to be better or more generous than we are to our friends or any onlookers. (Been tempted and probably taken the bait!)
- Whenever we hide parts of who we are with each other or with others. (Definitely tempted and certainly bitten!)
- Whenever we both swallow a lie about God’s truth—and worse, when we teach these lies to others! (Tempted, but Lord help us if we’ve bitten the bait here!)
2. We join forces in bitterness and anger toward God and others.
I’d say this is one temptation the Enemy uses to attack my marriage more than number one above—meaning a LOT!
There’s more than meets the eye here too because my husband and I have not only been tempted to be angry with and hold grudges against those who’ve hurt us or others we love in our lives, but he’s tempted us to be angry with and unforgiving of each other. #uniteanddivide
I dare say this is a scheme that Satan uses a LOT with every Christ-follower since we are to be known for our love (John 13:35). If he can bring dishonor to our ability to love each other as Christ-followers, then he can bring dishonor to Christ.
[bctt tweet=”I dare say this is a scheme that Satan uses a LOT with every Christian! #spiritualwarfare” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
3. We join forces in prioritizing what this world has to offer over Christ.
This temptation is so subtle and begins by turning a good pursuit into a bad one. Many pursuits in this world are not bad until we want them more than we want God. I think this is an especially magnetic scheme of Satan because when one spouse begins to focus on the pleasures of this life above God, the other spouse invariably gets drawn into that same pull over time.
This can include everything from a bigger and more beautiful house to giving our kids everything they want, to revolving our lives around our kids and their activities, just to name a few!
Yep, my husband and I have been tempted here too, though we try to avoid its continuation when we see it emerging.
Let’s never forget this truth and reality from Scripture …
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
But! We have the power of Christ to defeat this enemy—stopping him in his tracks!
Next week I’ll be talking about how Satan divides us as couples in the pursuit of good, godly things. And don’t forget, next week is the 7 year blog-aversary for Messy Marriage with a HUGE giveaway as well! You won’t want to miss it!
[bctt tweet=”Christian bloggers, join me at From Messes to Messages linkup! #GodRedeems” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
What is another way Satan can unite married couples in the pursuit of what is evil?
What are some other ways you’ve seen the ‘pursuit of this world over God’ manifest in Christian marriages?
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