Encouragement for Today - Apr. 18, 2007



April 18, 2007


Satan’s Bag of Tricks, Part 2

By Tracie Miles


“The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’” Genesis 3:8-10 (NIV)



Adam and Eve had a beautiful relationship living in paradise. Then Satan stepped in and pulled some tricks out of his bag. He disguised himself as a creature and tempted them with something that appeared to be good. Yesterday’s devotion discussed how Satan can use our own busyness to divide our marriages, but he has an even stronger trick up his sleeve – selfishness.


The second that Adam and Eve sinned, they immediately realized they were naked. They also became immediately consumed with themselves. The moment they sinned, a division was created in their marriage. Genesis 3:11-12 says, “And he said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’ The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ (NIV) Adam instantly blamed Eve, and then told God he didn’t even ask for this woman.


Then in verse 13, we are told, “Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’ Eve instantly blamed the serpent. I imagine she wanted to point the finger at Adam as well, saying “he did it too!” As soon as they sinned, they both turned inward – they both began protecting themselves. The tragic result was an instant division in their relationship. They were transformed from a beautiful couple, completely surrendered to each other, to two selfish people out to protect their own personal interests.


Selfishness tears many marriages apart and is a powerful act of trickery from Satan. No matter how willing we are to happily meet our husbands’ every need in the beginning of a marriage, it doesn’t take long before we begin thinking, “But what about my needs?”


Most of us would not admit to being self-centered, but due to Satan’s Garden of Eden trick which brought sin into the world, we are, by nature, selfish people. Society further conditions this thought-process by brainwashing us into thinking, “we are number one” and all that matters is “what’s in it for me.” This type of attitude in marriage is a death sentence. Satan uses our selfish desire to be served to destroy our desire to serve. He slowly tricks us into thinking things like: “my husband is not romantic enough;” “he never helps out at home;” “he works too much;” “he doesn’t spend enough time with the children;” “someone else could meet my needs better.” When Satan hears these words, he is jumping for joy once again.


A primary key to locking up Satan’s bag of tricks is to put aside selfishness by praying for God to remove selfish thoughts from your mind. Ask God to help you see your husband through His eyes, and to remind you of the reasons you fell in love with your man to begin with. Keep in mind that the definition of submissiveness is not “doormat.” The biblical definition is “a willing and positive response; a conscious and friendly yielding of his or her own will.” Before sin was introduced into the relationship, Eve was perfectly happy being a loving and submissive wife. It was only after Satan tricked her that her motives turned selfish. God desires for us to love our husbands unconditionally and to give them the privilege of being the men of our lives.


Dear Lord, Give me the strength to put aside my own selfish desires and make my husband a priority in my life. Open my eyes to new ways that I can show love to him. Give me the desire to lovingly submit to him as my one true love, just as You instructed in Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Related Resources:

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood


Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst


Do You Know Him?


Application Steps: 

Jot down ways you can show your husband special attention over the next week.



Do I put my own busyness and selfish needs before the needs of my husband?


Do I need to give my husband the gift of being the man of the household?


Power Verses:

Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.” (The Message)


Colossians 3:18, “Wives, understand and support your husbands by submitting to them in ways that honor the Master.” (The Message)



Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G, Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Wednesday, 18 April 2007.