If you want to know the most important way to overcome Satan’s attacks on your marriage, it is this: Love with God’s love.
“Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” – Ephesians 5:25
This week we conclude our study about some of the strategies that Satan uses to try to destroy our marriages. We’ve discussed the means God provides to overcome those attacks. And we have seen the need to listen carefully to God’s warning in 1 Peter 5:8: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
We’ve also learned that Satan is subtle and uses accusations as well as our own worldly desires to harm us. He will try to convince us that the consequences of committing a sin against our spouse will not do that much damage to our marriage, especially compared to the reward it brings. Last week we saw that Satan takes things God means to be good, and tries to get us to twist them so they become harmful. He is indeed “a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
Love with God’s Love
One more lie Satan tries to make us believe is that God is distant, impersonal, and somehow doesn’t really care about our everyday lives–that God doesn’t love us. But nothing could be further from the truth.
Recently I had a man come to me for counsel because his wife had asked him to move out of their house and told him she was filing for divorce. She said she had had enough and was finished. And she refused to join him for counseling.
As we talked, he admitted that much of what she said about him was true. He had not loved his wife “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).
I took him to God’s Word to learn what he should do to show his wife that he was willing to hear her complaints and to demonstrate that he was willing to change. He needed to love her with God’s love.
We read Jesus’ teaching on this in Luke 6:27-29: “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.”
And a few verses later in Luke 6:35: “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
His immediate response was an understandable one: “I can’t do that.” He was right, of course. In his own power, he could not love like this. But as Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all this through him (Christ) who gives me strength.”
This young man has been working to show Godly love to his wife for several weeks now. We still do not know how things will turn out. But his wife has responded well to his offers to help her with the yard and pool and with some trouble with her car. She has even accepted an invitation to attend a marriage enrichment weekend at a local church with him. Could God’s way be working?
God says to us in 1 John 3:8: “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” The word in the Greek that is translated “destroy” in this passage is “luvsh.” It means “to make inoperable,” “to completely break something apart,” or “to do away with, to bring to an end, to abolish.”
When we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, He destroys the devil’s work. We no longer have to go through life under Satan’s control or fall for his schemes. But we must begin by giving Jesus control of our lives. (If you have never done so, please read Meet Jesus.)
And once we are controlled by the Holy Spirit, we will be able to love with God’s love.
A couple of weeks ago during Memorial Day weekend, I watched a special on D-Day. This was the day in World War II that the Allied forces began the final attack against Hitler. It was the beginning of the end of the European Theatre.
The attack on Hitler’s army began with the Allied soldiers landing on a beach in Europe. Hitler’s generals had put up defenses to guard against such an attack. And one of the most devastating were the mines the Germans had hidden in the water and just under the sand along the entire length of the beach. They were invisible to the Allied soldiers, and when bumped or stepped upon, the mines exploded, killing or seriously wounding thousands.
Satan does his best to place hidden mines in your marriage to destroy it. But the Lord knows what and where they are. And He will reveal them to you as you study God’s Word and stay faithful to follow it. Just be sure to deal with these dangers immediately before they explode and do devastating damage to your marriage relationship.
Satan will attack and tempt us, but we have this promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
That “way out” God gives us includes praying together, studying God’s Word together, and encouraging each other to live out what He teaches. That’s one of the main reasons He brings us together in marriage. As He tells us through Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”
Hebrews 3:12-13 also says: “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
And Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” These Scriptures apply to the church, but they certainly also apply to us in marriage.
So when Satan attacks, let’s encourage each other with the love of God. And follow what God tells us in Colossians 3:1-2: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
The strategies we have discussed over the last several weeks are not the only ones Satan uses to try to destroy our marriages. But they are some of his most effective. Yet as we put into practice God’s strategies for overcoming the devil’s attacks, our marriages will not only survive but become stronger. We’ll grow closer to each other as we grow closer to the Lord…together.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
♦ Read this week’s post together. What has God taught you through it?
♦ Have you felt as if God is distant? Have you felt like your prayers are not reaching Him or that He is not listening or responding to them? What might be the reason? How can you overcome that concern or keep from experiencing it in the future?
♦ Take time to pray together. (Husbands should take the lead in this.) We’ve put together a list of things you can pray from Scripture to ask God to protect your marriage from the attacks of the evil one. You can download or print out this one-page pdf–“PRAYING TOGETHER FOR GODS PROTECTION OVER YOUR MARRIAGE“–and use it as a guide in your prayer time.
Until next week, may God bless you and your marriages in all His wonderful ways,