What’s all the fuss about? It seems to me that this year of 2015 has had so many conversations about marriage ~ what it means, what it’s for, who needs it, who doesn’t, when to give up, when to stick it out, and so much more. I’ve personally had several friends dealing with truly difficult circumstances in their marriages…and what can I do? What can I say to someone dealing with things I never have (and pray that I never will!) All these questions swirling around in my mind have made me draw upon the one place I know I can get all the answers I need. God’s Word.
So why does it seem that marriage is under attack? Notice I didn’t say “Christian marriages”, because it’s not just those relationships within a home of Believer’s ~ it’s EVERYWHERE!! I have heard some great sermons and talk radio lessons on what marriage is and how we can gird up our mind, heart, and soul to combat the true enemy of marriage. So, I have been thinking a lot about this lately, and wanted to share my thoughts with you. ** And it’s a long post today…but I want to share my heart on this subject of marriage and have a lot to say today. **
First, marriage is the epitome of who God is. He created man and woman in His own image, to complement one another, (Genesis 1:27). He wants us to need each other ~ not in an unhealthy way, but in a way that balances one another so that as husband and wife, we can be true partners (Genesis 2:18, 22-24). God is the one who created marriage ~ not a church, not a religion, not a people group of days gone by…GOD created marriage from the beginning of time.
God intended for man to have a wife and that the two would be an inseparable team (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Mark 10:7; and Ephesians 5:31). God intended marriage to be a good thing; a beautiful symbol of how He loves us is how He intended for us to love our spouse. So the answer to the questions above? Why is marriage under attack?
It is actually really simple….every good and perfect gift from the Lord God is the exact thing that will be targeted by Satan and his demons. The goal of the enemy is to undermine, destroy, annihilate, and defame any and ALL of the things of this world that God has determined is good and honoring to Him. And Satan HATES marriage. He hates anything and everything that reflects the image of God.
If you are a Christian, then you know that we already have the victory in Christ and that He is still on the throne! BUT….we have to live here on this earth, which is run by the principalities of the devil, and deal with the mayhem he causes.
Of course the enemy wants to ruin marriage ~ because He stupidly thinks that if he can attack marriages enough, then he will tarnish the beauty of who God is. If marriage is a picture of who God is, and how He has established the heavenly realms, then when difficulties arise and marriages go awry, the enemy wants marriage to reflect everything that is opposite of who God is. If people believe that they cannot find trust, unconditional love, faith, support, guidance, truth, kindness, gentleness, or absolute commitment in marriage ~ the danger is that they may begin to believe that they cannot find those in a relationship with God.
How do we know for sure that Satan has been attacking marriage since the very first one? Shortly after God created Eve to be a helpmate to Adam (Genesis 2), Satan comes along in Genesis 3 telling Eve lies and making her doubt what guidance God had given her and Adam.
Doubt brought about deceit. Deceit brought about shame. Shame brought about fear. Fear brought about blame. Blame brought about accusations. Accusations brought about punishment. Punishment brought about separation. Separation brought about the need for restoration.
Everything good that God created about the marriage relationship has been under attack from the enemy since the beginning.
In studying these verses in Genesis 2, I just realized something exciting! Adam was referred to as “man” from the time he was created by God UNTIL God decided to create a woman to be “a suitable helper” for him. Adam was given his name when he was made complete by Eve. That is so cool! Now don’t go thinking I’m about to have a Jerry Maguire “you complete me” moment ~ far from it! I am made completely a woman. My husband has been made completely a man. But when man and woman join together as husband and wife, there is a new sense of completion that we cannot have alone. We are complete individuals because we are created in God’s image, but the marriage relationship brings about a whole new sense of purpose in relationship like no other relationship. On the flip side, I’m not saying that if you aren’t married now, or never plan on being married, that you aren’t a whole and complete person ~ you ARE! As a child of the living God who created the universe, you are complete in HIM! In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul talks very pointedly (and candidly) about the benefits and wisdom of being married or staying single. Paul is very clear to make sure to remind the reader that these are not his own whims and recommendations, but instructions from the Lord via Paul’s hand on paper with pen.
What God created in marriage:
Adam (man) ~ the head of the household
Eve (woman) ~ the helpmate to complete Adam
their bodies ~ naked and unashamed
marriage benefit ~ to be fruitful and multiply ~ sex inside marriage is a gift
What Satan has imposed on the world about marriage:
Man ~ fight for superiority using threats, violence, and other means of domination.
Woman ~ made to feel a doormat; decides to emasculate by intimidation; made to feel “less than.”
Our bodies ~ riddled by comparison, jealously, insecurity, and shame.
Benefits ~ sex used as punishment, or withdrawn as a punishment; partners sought outside of marriage relationship
God did not create men to be overlords ~ He created them to be creative, bold, problem solvers, and kind leaders who walk alongside the wife God created for him.
God did not create women inferior ~ He created them to be strong, determined, brave, help mates to walk alongside their husband on the journey of life.
God did not create our bodies to bring us shame ~ He created them to be able to care for His creation, to be able to create life, and to quite frankly, be able to bring joy and delight to our spouse. God wants us to be excited and thrilled at the sight of our spouse because our bodies are to be a gift unwrapped only by that ONE person! This goes hand in hand with the benefits of marriage. Only I should have such intimate knowledge of my husband, and he for me. It is a gift given to one another unconditionally, with the deepest level of trust ~ a place that is meant just for the two of you.
So if we are created in God’s image & created for marriage relationship, all in efforts to be examples to each other of what relationship with God is and relationship with the Heavenly realms is, why are we surprised when marriages are attacked and how they are attacked?
The devil uses many ways to attack marriage and here’s just a few:
Doubts about my worth = My spouse must not love me either
Shame about my body = My spouse must think I’m ugly too
Pornography addictions = My spouse obviously thinks I’m not enough
Walls of distrust = My spouse is always lying to me about everything
Past abuses = My spouse cannot be trusted
And so many more ~ just take a quick look at your own upbringing and ask the Lord to show you ways that you are repeating negative behavior in your own marriage relationship. You’re going to feel tempted to look at your spouse’s negative behaviors, but don’t fall for it ~ that’s just another attempt by the enemy to place blame and make you feel as if you don’t have any responsibility. One of the hardest things to do in marriage is to look within to see what your own contributions of marital breakdown belongs to you. You can only fix you! You cannot (and by the way, will never be able to) fix your spouse! But you can PRAY!! For yourself and for your spouse.
** Disclaimer here ** ~ I would never advocate for someone to stay in a marriage where they are being abused in any way: verbal or physical. This is a dangerous situation and should be treated as such. Please seek out a trusted friend, pastor, or counselor who can help you find freedom from these abuses and assist you in recovering the life that God has truly planned for you. There is NO kind of abuse that you deserve.
Marriage is hard. Marriage takes work. Marriage takes a unity with the Lord AND each other to make it work.
Marriage is worth it! Marriage can be fun! Marriage can be a great adventure!
Don’t let the lies and deceit of the devil destroy your opinion of marriage. God created man and woman to be married to show the world ~ through Christ-like love ~ who He is! Let us take up the task as followers of Christ and believer’s in God’s Word, to point our own flaming arrows of the truths of God’s Word and fire them into enemy camp. Let’s remind the enemy who the true Victor is! Stand up and fight for your marriage and for what marriage stands for! Pray, pray hard, and then pray again!
Ask God to help you determine what needs to be worked on in your marriage and go from there ~ He won’t disappoint you ~ He will answer you! If you are struggling with any kind of addictions, please go and see a counselor who will help you win those battles. If you are feeling “out of love” for your spouse, ask the Lord to give you His love for them and although it will take time, you will feel love for them again. If you are angry (with yourself or with your spouse) first seek to find out why the anger is there (might be a long process), ask for forgiveness (or give forgiveness) but stick with it so that you can find restoration and move out of anger into contentment.
In the marriage vows, some Pastor’s will say the phrase, “If there be no objections, let no man put asunder what God has ordained.”
There will definitely be hurdles to jump over and issues to deal with in your marriage caused by man; but the one you have to be even more aware of is the enemy of God ~ the devil who seeks to destroy His children by any means possible.
If you have stuck with me this long, I really appreciate it! I know this was long, but I’m so passionate about couples saving and protecting their marriages. I wish I could fix all of them…I can’t but I can pray. Even if I don’t know you, I will pray! I will keep praying for marriages in this world to be strengthened by the love and power of the Almighty God! It’s possible!!
Promises from God’s Word to lift you up & encourage you in your marriage:
Romans 5:11, “Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,”
1 Corinthians 1:9, “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
1 Corinthians 6:19, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God;”
1 Corinthians 7:3-5, “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Ephesians 5:22-24, “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.”
Ephesians 4:31-32, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 5:2-4, “and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”
Titus 2:4-6, “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled.”
James 1:17-20, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”