Let’s face it, temptation can assault our marriages in a lot of different forms. The Enemy will attack every one of us not only where we are weak, but where we think we are strong. The Apostle Peter wrote:
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” (1 Peter 5:8-9a).
We can face temptation:
- to think the worst
- to lust
- to desire someone else
- to lie
- to nurse anger & bitterness
- to retaliate
- to hold resentment
- to mock
Recently we gained a new (to us) insight into temptation that we hadn’t considered before. Writing about Jesus, the author of Hebrews says, “he himself has suffered when tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).
We had never considered the fact that we suffer when we are tempted! In part, that’s why we often choose to yield to temptation. We think that we will be alleviating our suffering by giving in—that’s the Enemy’s lie. Giving in simply gives birth to sin. It brings even greater pain.
Here are three things to know:
1. Temptation isn’t sin.
Jesus was tempted and yet he didn’t sin. Sin comes when we give in.
Satan wants us to feel guilt and shame because we were tempted. If he can keep us locked in false guilt, he robs us of the joy God desires for us and our marriage.
2. Temptation isn’t easy.
Remember, temptation is a form of suffering. When we fight temptation, we are exerting spiritual strength and emotional energy to make the choice to be God honoring.
One of the ways that you “pick up your cross” and follow Jesus is by making the conscious decision to suffer under temptation and live in victory, rather than give in and live in defeat! Make the choice to honor God and protect your marriage by fighting the fight for what is good IN you and THROUGH you!
3. Temptation IS beatable.
God has given us everything we need for victory. The Apostle Paul reminds us that:
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 4:13).
When temptation overwhelms you and you don’t know how to pray, simply say the name of Jesus. Sometimes you may need to say his name over and over again. You CAN experience victory and it is WORTH the fight.
Stay strong, endure the suffering, and do everything necessary to build your marriage!