Your marriage is under attack. Even when things are going well, when romance is high and communication is flowing, there is an assault being planned. Your enemy is not your spouse—your enemy is the enemy of Christ, Satan and his forces. They will do all they can to neutralize the effectiveness of your marriage partnership for Christ. Even if they cannot ultimately destroy your marriage, they will have accomplished their purpose if they can distract you from each other and from your impact for Jesus.
Don’t misunderstand us—Satan will do his best to use your spouse, extended family, “friends,” and others for his purposes. But they are not your real enemy. The Bible is clear that, “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12) Again, your spouse is not your enemy.
The tactics the enemy uses aren’t new or creative. They are the same ones he uses in almost any situation—only they are applied to your marriage.
Here are the three main tactics followed by how you can stand up to him.
Anything that can inject fear into you or your spouse will work. The Apostle Peter describes our attacker as one who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 3:8). His roar is meant to paralyze with fear. He wants to separate the two of you so he can have your to himself. Then he can pepper your mind with doubts and fears.
Some of the key marital fears we have observed or experienced are fears of:
- Losing security (financial, domestic, relational)
- Abuse (control, verbal, physical, mental)
Jesus prayed for the unity of all Christians, including you and your spouse. However, Satan is doing all he can to create division in your marriage. If he can create irritations between you and pride within you, then he has a foothold for division.
Some key areas where he seeks to bring disunity are around:
- Conflict with no resolution
- Disagreements with disrespect
- Communication that fails to connect
- Values that conflict
- Family meddling
- Offense taken and not forgiven or resolved
This is betrayal in its various forms in a marriage. If the enemy can entice one spouse into finding pleasure, relationship, and intimacy anywhere else then he has done his work. Here are primary avenues he uses:
- Adultery—both physical and emotional
- Family—over committed to the children at the exclusion of your spouse
So what can we DO to combat these tactics?
1) Claim your authority
You are positionally seated with Christ as his follower (Ephesians 2:6). Pray with confidence a prayer like, “In the Name of Jesus Christ and his shed blood I command every evil spirit to leave my home and my marriage. You will not have your way with me or us.”
2) Flee temptation
When temptation presents itself to you—RUN! There is always a way out. God has already given you the strength and courage to escape, you just have to choose his escape route. (1 Corinthians 10:12ff)
3) Resist the devil
As you take your authority in Christ and flee temptation your are promised that the enemy will then flee from you. If you don’t know what to say or pray, repeat the name of Jesus. There is power in his name!
What have you done to resist the enemy’s attacks? Share them below and stand strong together in Christ as you build your marriage!