Satan Hates Your Marriage
By: Betsy St. Amant Haddox
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. - John 10:10, ESV
One of the biggest mistakes we can make in marriage is forgetting we are constantly under attack.
When things are going well--when there haven't been any arguments lately, when the kids are behaving and there's a little padding in the checking account, we tend to let our guard down, don't we? We think we don't still have a giant target on our back. But as believers bearing the image of God and as a married couple, that target is permanent. Think of it as a tattoo--it's not going anywhere.
Why then, do we tend to get so surprised when marriage gets hard? Why are we so confused when it feels like we're speaking a different language than our spouse, or when we're hit with one financial slam after another? Why do we wonder that we go to bed angry, get irritated over little things like toothpaste caps and wet towels on the floor, and feel like our spouse is never doing enough? This is often spiritual warfare. The enemy knows our weaknesses and will aim toward our Achilles heel. It might seem like a little thing in the moment, but the consequences build over time and run deep. Soon groves are worn and occasional offenses become trenches of hurt. I believe Satan likes nothing more than to watch us go through the same patterns of hurt and offense with our spouse, over and over.
Don't get me wrong, now. Many of the frustrations and hardships in marriage are caused by our own sin, human depravity, and the fallen world we live in. It can be as simple as that. After all, this is not yet Eden. Other times, God ordains and allows hardships for our growth and sanctification. Not every problem is of the enemy camp. But there are still many, many other times when the enemy is directly and intentionally out to steal, kill and destroy that which brings God glory--namely, your marriage. A covenant marriage represents the relationship that Christ has with the church, so of course the devil and his minions will attempt to tear it down. The world will try to distort marriage as much as possible--just look at how much ground has been gained in the past decades regarding legalized homosexual marriage, the up-rise of adultery, and the onslaught of pornography. Marriage has been under attack for as long as it's been around (just look at Adam and Eve!)
When struggles come, and your relationship- or even just your patience- is tested, remember who the enemy is (Hint - it's not your spouse!). The best way to combat the enemy is to fight with Scripture. That's what Jesus did when Satan came to tempt him after His baptism. (Matthew 4)
Have you ever thought "we haven't even been married that long... why is this so difficult?" Maybe you expected the honeymoon stage to last a lot longer. But consider this: Jesus was only just beginning His ministry when the devil came after him, hard and fast. Matthew 3 ends with His baptism, and the first verse of Matthew 4 opens with "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil." There's nothing in Scripture to indicate Jesus got a break first. None of God's children are off-limits in this way.
As believers in marriage, we have to come together and fight back. There's no stronger counterattack than holding hands with your spouse and speaking Scripture out loud. Present a united front! This solidifies your oneness and reminds you both that you're one flesh and therefore on the same team. Once you remember the enemy is not the other person in your home, it's a lot easier to forgive each other.
This type of mindset and effort against spiritual warfare can often seem exhausting. But the good news comes in that last half of John 10:10 (ESV) "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." There's hope on the other side of spiritual warfare. Attacks come and go, but the Lord is always with us, providing hope, encouragement and comfort. The enemy is real and out to get your marriage, but the Lord is our victory and has already overcome! Press into Him with your spouse in prayer and the Word, and watch Him fight on your behalf.
Betsy St. Amant Haddox is the author of fifteen inspirational romance novels and novellas. She resides in north Louisiana with her drummer of a hubby, two story-telling young daughters, a collection of Austen novels, and an impressive stash of pickle chips. Betsy has a B.A. in Communications and a deep-rooted passion for seeing women restored in Christ. When she's not composing her next book or trying to prove unicorns are real, Betsy can usually be found somewhere in the vicinity of a white-chocolate mocha. Look for her latest novel with HarperCollins, LOVE ARRIVES IN PIECES, and POCKET PRAYERS FOR FRIENDS with Max Lucado. Visit her at http://www.betsystamant.com./
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Originally published Friday, 06 October 2023.