4 Destructive Thoughts Satan Uses to Hurt Marriages
By Lynette Kittle
“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand’” - Matthew 12:25
Do you know the enemy of God, the devil, is at work to destroy every single marriage? He’s out to divide couples because he knows like Jesus said, that a household divided against itself will not stand. So how we recognize some of his subtle tactics?
One way he works is by infiltrating couples’ minds with destructive thoughts towards each other and their marriage. Below are four types of thoughts he works through thoughts to rip apart marriages.
1. Divisive Thoughts
From where we spend the holidays, to which coffee we buy, the evil one is looking for areas where he can cause divisions in our relationships. Situations where our spouse seems more like an enemy than a partner.
Like Proverbs 17:14 explains, “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”
But we can learn to be aware and discern how the enemy might be setting us up for division. Instead, we can follow Proverbs 15:18’s advice to avoid arguments. “A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.”
2. Selfish Thoughts
Instead of thinking what is best for our marriage, the enemy likes us to entertain thoughts of what’s best for me? He doesn’t want us to understand that what we do individually affects our spouse, but rather to feel like it’s every man or woman for his or herself. He wants us to believe if we don’t take care of ourselves, nobody else will.
When selfish thoughts try to invade our minds, we can remember “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others about yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
3. Suspicious Thoughts
Often, we might question if our spouse really loves and cares for us, or if they ever really loved us at all? In wondering, the evil one wants us to doubt and suspect our spouse’s love, intentions, and commitment to us.
When dark thoughts come accusing our spouse of all sorts of wrongs against us, Philippians 4:8 encourages, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
4. Regretful Thoughts
When difficulties arise in a marriage, a spouse may start to have thoughts that they made a mistake and married the wrong person. Or, maybe they didn’t know their spouse well enough before marrying, or perhaps got married too quickly. So many “what ifs” can start to pop up in their thought life, including thinking they should have married someone else like a past girlfriend or boyfriend. Challenges in marriage can trigger doubts and second-guessing concerning their spouse.
When these types of thoughts try to bombard a spouse’s mind, it’s good to consider what Proverbs 16:9 explains, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Instead of listening to troubling thoughts of regret, doubt, and disillusionment concerning our marriage partner, we can choose to believe God directed our steps in marrying our spouse.
By choosing to believe God’s word over the destructive thoughts from the enemy about our marriage, 2 Corinthians 10:5 explains, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
If left unchecked, troubling thoughts can become a tool for the enemy to lead husbands and wives away from each other and their marriage.
However, by being alert to divisive, selfish, suspicious, and regretful thoughts, we can take every destructive thought captive to obey God’s Word, and defeat the enemy’s plan to infiltrate our marriages with his destructive thoughts.
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, iBelieve.com, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, Startmarriageright.com, growthtrac.com, and more. She has an M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as an associate producer for Soul Check TV.
Originally published Friday, 02 June 2023.