Be as candid as possible and take time to truly listen to one another so you work as a team to fight for your marriage.
The other day, I was met with the most shocking, upsetting, and unexpected news that flooded my heart with disbelief and utter sadness. Another couple we had grown to love, do life with, and thought we knew on an intimate level were calling it quits. What? How?
Oh, friend, it isn’t hard to see that the beautiful gift of marriage is under strong attack. Unfortunately, the sacred union that God created to be held between His beloved son and beloved daughter has been the prime target for Satan since the beginning. Shortly after Adam and Eve were created, they became the “apple of the evil one’s eye,” all in an effort to destroy God’s most prized possession and perfect creation. Sadly, he has been on the warpath ever since, wreaking havoc, and placing a wedge between what is meant to be the most sacred of human relationships.
What is happening here and how can we respond, help, and possibly de-escalate this mass corrosion that seems to be currently taking place at warp speed? When we don’t have the answers, we must dig into His Word. Then seek His wisdom on how to respond, especially as a couple. Friend, if you are married, build in some time this week to discuss your heart and open up about some tough topics, because your marriage depends on it.
The Cultural War on Marriage
Let’s start with a question. Turn to your hubby one night this week and ask him how Jesus is moving in his life. While he may give you an awkward side grin or even wonder why you are asking, there is a very valid point to all this. Sis, we need to check in on our husbands and the nature of their hearts, letting them know we deeply care about their faith journey. Asking this question periodically opens up dialogue on how we can share and show our appreciation for all the things they do, while also finding ways to pray for them.
Here's the thing: We are in a full-blown war here. Really! It is that serious. Marriages that are striving to live by God’s design are under attack, big time. Maybe you have personally felt the heat from it. Now, I am not meaning to stoke any fear or cause you to go into panic mode; I am simply inviting you to connect more deeply with your husband than you ever have before and lean in closely to Jesus as you form a tightly woven chord of three (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
The truth is that our current culture is bending into norms that are all too familiar with Sodom and Gomorrah. Sadly, Jesus tells us that the end-time events would parallel their destructive ways, and those who reject Jesus will eventually endure suffering like never before (Matthew 10:15).
Technology is currently developing at a rate faster than we can keep up with, allowing for more and more inappropriate content and images to be laid before our eyes. We must guard our hearts and temper our minds. The issue has become so concerning as it has proven to sway the eyes of many, bringing on hidden and secretive temptations.
Not only that, but the uprise of same-sex marriages and a growing community of distorted views have now bent our society towards even more sinful and lustful ways. Sadly, many Christians are falling into the trap of embracing equity as a means to declare that Jesus loves all, yet they are failing to see that these views are far from God’s design for us, placing us all in very dangerous territory. The image of a biblical marriage is now often seen as a soft spot for ridicule and the ones to blame for not accepting all kinds of love.
This is why we must communicate with our husbands and share how Jesus is moving in our lives to hold each other accountable, clinging to Jesus in these brutal times. We must talk about how God sees marriage and cling to that Truth. While we are called to love all, we must stand firm on our faith and for what is true, noble, right, and just in God’s eyes. Read the verses below with your husband, discuss the meaning, and let them be the truth on which you stand:
"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral." Hebrews 13:4
"As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you." Isaiah 62:5
"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." 1 Peter 3:7
"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." Ephesians 5:22-28
Satan’s Plan to Destroy Marriage
Satan’s attack on marriage is simple. Make sin look normal and make God’s design for marriage seem outdated, too restrictive, or strange. The truth is, Satan’s strategy hasn’t changed much. Just as he tempted Eve in the garden and made that apple look utterly delicious, proving that it would open her world up to a wealth of knowledge, he does the same to us in this very day and age.
That being said, why would he attack or waste his time on marriages that are already fallen away or broken? He doesn’t. Instead, he fully attacks the union (or spouse) that loves God. The ones that are trying to do the right things, the couples that may be hanging on but want to honor God, or the man and woman who are living a devoted life to one another, on a mission to spread God’s love – those are his targets. Basically, anything that God deems as good and brings together will be exactly where Satan strives to divide, separate, and infest with evil. He uses distraction, temptation, and all those “little things” that add up to put us at odds with one another. Which is why we must be aware of his malicious ways, call them out, and lean into God’s Word for safe refuge and protection.
According to Google, lack of commitment is the leading cause for many marriages to fail, followed closely by arguing, infidelity, and getting married too young. The average marriage in America tends to last 8 years, and January is supposedly being dubbed the “divorce month.” Just the sound of all that sounds heartbreaking. So, what do we do?
Find the potential threats to your own marriage and put up a barricade to the walls of your heart from the evil one’s invasion. Talk with your husband about his inner struggles and share your own. Be as candid as possible and take time to truly listen to one another so you work as a team to fight for your marriage.
How Should We Respond?
Here are two questions that you and your spouse may want to answer and decide as a couple how to respond. Then dig into God’s Word and invite God into your discussion as you seek His will and way, together.
1. As believers, how should we respond to the cultural view on marriage?
2. How do we respond when our friends, family, or our own marriage is the current target of the deceiver and under brutal attack?
Read John 15:19, John 17:14-16, and 1 John 2:15. Currently, the world loves and seeks after selfishness and lustful desires rather than honoring and pleasing God. Since we are told not to conform to those ways, when we stand for Jesus and His way, we must realize that we could potentially be hated for it. In other words, we should expect others (especially non-believers) to feel uncomfortable around us, as it flips the script on how they want to live. But, on the same token, it opens up a prime opportunity to listen and show compassion for the lost. As we interact with others and come across those who place value in the current cultural view on marriage, we can respond in love, as Jesus commands us to, but also show by the fruits and actions of our own marriage what a beautiful gift God gives us in the sacred union.
When we see those trails affect our family and friends or our own marriage, we must tread lightly but also react quickly, seeking God’s wisdom and guidance in every step. Reflect on Ephesians 5:22-28. It calls both a husband and wife to fully submit to Christ. Wives submitting to their husband’s role as head of the family in order to lead and protect, while husbands are called to honor their wives as Christ loves the Church, cherishing and adoring her, only having eyes for her. Lean on this verse and refer to it often when attacks arise. Be sure to surround yourself with fellow believers and a community that can form an alliance. That way, when attacks come, you can pray for one another and fight the enemy together.
Communicate and Stay Committed
Here are a few topics/questions to openly discuss with your spouse. Carve out time to address these this week, and pray for God to lead and direct your marriage to do His will:
-Where do you see us in two, five, ten years?
-How can I encourage you to be a better man/woman?
-What do you need most from me in this season of our marriage?
-Talk about one of your favorite memories you shared together.
-Do I speak your love language, and if not, how can I do better?
-What are the challenges we face in our marriage, and what can we do to work through them together?
-How can we serve God together and love others better?
-What are some boundaries we need to put into place to better protect our marriage?
As you open up and share your heart with one another, take time to actively listen, then take it a step further and do your best to work towards the marriage you both want, and more importantly, the beautiful union God wants for you two. May God richly bless your union and protect you both as you fight for your marriage.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Vasil Dimitrov
Alicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy. Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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