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ASSAULT ON MARRIAGE by Stanley Dickson (Part 4)

We may want to think that marital trouble is a condition that exists only in the world, and that somehow we, the Church, are exempt. May we never be so naive. The Church is a prime target and Satan has his demonic sights of death set on your marriage. He is just waiting for you to make a slip and not be on guard. Oh, please, believe this. It is true. I have seen Satan’s work too many times and in too many places to believe that it is just an isolated incident now and then. Remember back to the courtship and the engagement. Remember all the hope, love and anticipated joy you looked forward to? Remember all the dreams and plans, and how you could not for a minute imagine anything so beautiful coming under assault and being exposed to a death blow from Satan? Bitter heartaches never entered your thoughts. Sleepless nights and pillows wet with tears were never considered. How could such a beautiful picture turn so ugly? How? Because marriage has an “...adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour.” (I Peter 5:8.) To devour means to swallow up. The pain and terror of being attacked by a lion is unthinkable. But it is nothing compared to the terror of a marriage being ingested by Satan. We have all seen the blows and the attacks couples can make upon one another. Maybe you are there now and are fielding or wielding the debilitating blows of Satan’s influence. There is no way for there to be pleasure and fulfillment in such a relationship; and to think of such pain coming from what started out as visions of love, joy, beauty and happiness. Why, oh why, would one want to harm and disfigure something so beautiful? Satan is “seeking. ” I thought of it this way in trying to explain the seriousness of Satan’s desire for people. Imagine that a hired assassin was stalking you. Everywhere you go, he follows, and has the cross hairs of a scope on a high powered rifle trained on you at gill times. Imagine how serious you would be in your actions and steps if you knew that he was just waiting for you to give him a clear shot so he could take out your life. Would you be careful? Would you notify the authorities? Would you hold life dear? Yes, of course you would. May God help each one to see that the devil has his sights set on their marriage. He is just waiting for them to allow their selfishness to give him an opening for a clear shot. How careful you must be with this priceless blessing of marriage. Please do not expose it to Satan. Hold marriage dear. Here are some of the devices that Satan can use to get a toe hold in a marriage. What I would like for you to do is read this list very slowly. Meditate on each one. Explore the meaning of each word. Then I would ask you to read this together as a couple and be very honest with yourself and each other. Discuss the thoughts. Pray over your thoughts and discussion. A word of caution. It is inherent in people to want to take a list such as this one and put it on the other person. It is easier than being honest with yourself. But that is not what I am asking you to do. Read the list and apply it to yourself. God is not asking you to change the ways of others. Spiritual lukewarmness; Cares of this life; Different directions; Insensitivity; Lack of communication; Jobs/Careers; Jealousy; Stinginess/ Greed; Concupiscence; Worldly entertainment; In-Laws (Remember, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave [firmly attach] unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.”); Indifference; Belittling; Criticism; Lying; A religious spirit (the Bible is never to be used as an instrument for getting your way); Abuse (sexual, physical, emotional); Drugs/ Alcohol; Love of money. Make no excuse for any of the above. They are poison. You must be willing to allow God to purge you from all of the avenues Satan is using to infiltrate your marriage. Because of Satan’s devices, and the looseness of the world, we must be on guard at all times. Resist any intrusion into the sanctity of your marriage. Redeeming the time is a theme of Christ. I encourage you to make full use of the time you have. This is your time for your marriage; a time to shine out as a beacon of the beauty of Christ and His Church. This is your opportunity to build magnificent memories. A time to be rich in love and the joy of sharing life with someone you love; a time for flowers to bloom; a time to guard against regrets; a time to point and direct children to a healthy perception of marriage and to give them an example to pattern their marriage after. May I interject a challenge here? Do you want your children to have the kind of marriage you have? Be honest. If not, then you must realize you are setting the pattern for their ideas of marriage, and be willing to humble yourself and change (Oh, what a terrifying word that is to the flesh). This is the time to reject all influences that would harm your marriage. Soon the twilight will be here. So live in your marriage, and with your spouse, that the latter years will not be spent in remorse of wasted years and bitter regrets of how it could have been. Focus on this thought when you want to excuse yourself and blame the other person, “So then every one of us shall give account of HIMSELF to God.” Romans 14:12. Remember God’s warning. Your marriage is under assault. Heed the warning and take the necessary precautions. Walk circumspectly, (considerate of all circumstances and the consequences) and not as fools. (Ephesians 5:15.)

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