Some years ago, I wrote a post that has become by far the most popular post I’ve ever written: 12 Ways Satan Attacks Christian Marriages. That post was so popular that I later wrote a follow-up describing why I believe the readership for that post was so wide. Here are some additional ways I’m seeing the enemy work his way into marriages these days:
- Encouraging text and email relationships. I’ve ministered more than once to couples dealing with unfaithfulness, but I’ve never encountered unfaithfulness that did not begin with some kind of emotional attachment—in most cases, never with the thought of unfaithfulness in mind. Even text and email attention, though, can lead quickly in the wrong direction.
- Emphasizing immediate pleasure over long-term consequences. That was his trick in the Garden of Eden, too – to turn the attention of Adam and Eve from obeying God’s command to eating from the tree. We usually learn the hard way—including in our marriages—that chasing what we want in the immediate is not worth the results in the end.
- Promoting a false prosperity gospel. It’s happening all over the world. And, it affects relationships. A gospel that promotes health and wealth also promotes self-centeredness and worldly living. Many believe not only that God wants to give them blessings, but also that they deserve them—even if getting them means walking away from marriage relationships that seem to get in the way.
- Welcoming biblical illiteracy in churches. Christians who really don’t know the Bible often assume what the Bible teaches and seldom recognize false teachings. They listen to the world more than to the Word—and the world almost promotes marriage without commitment and divorce without consequences. By the way, churches who don’t systematically disciple their members don’t help here, either.
- Delighting when churches teach little (or wrongly) about sexuality. I realize this conversation can be awkward, but I also recognize an open door for the enemy when we (a) fail to teach the biblical view of sexuality; (b) speak only judgmentally about illicit sexuality without celebrating God’s gift properly shared in marriage; (c) refuse to offer love, grace, and forgiveness to those caught in sexual sin; or (d) use texts like 1 Corinthians 7:5 to push physical activity within marriage while ignoring our responsibility to love our spouses spiritually and emotionally first.
Based on all these posts about Satan and marriage, is the enemy winning in your marriage in any way?