Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Are you attacking your own marriage?

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Matthew 19:1-15

TO CHEW ON: "So then they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." Matthew 19:6

A few weeks ago I watched a documentary about the life of Canadian singer Shania Twain. In it she told the heartbreaking story of the breakup of her marriage. She felt doubly betrayed when the "other woman' turned out to be her best friend and confidante.

However, the sanctity and unity of the marriage relationship can have another enemy that's even closer. We ourselves, one of the partners, can be culprits in separating "what God has joined together." A sidebar article in my Bible explains how"

"Every marriage involves two imperfect people. It not only is personally challenging to work out our difficulties within marriage, but it is a spiritual contest since the Adversary is always seeking points of vulnerability to work his destruction in our lives (1 Peter 5:8). Our temptation to self-interest and self-defense in our marriage relationship is a prime target. The Enemy (our accuser) will point out and exaggerate our spouse's shortcomings and will foster anger and unforgiveness growing in our hearts towards one another.

Jesus warned that disintegration attacks the marriage where hardness of heart is allowed to grow (Mark 19:4-5; Proverbs 28:14). Let us be warned against giving this place toward our spouse, seeing how Scripture links hardness of heart to unbelief (Mark 16:14), lack of understanding (Mark 5:32), pride (Daniel 5:20), and stubbornness (2 Chronicles 36:13)" - Rebecca Bauer, "Husbands and Wives Need to Keep Their Hearts Soft Toward One Another," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1325.

Have you experienced the temptation to be hard-hearted toward your spouse? I have. Let's be alert to the devil's schemes in this area so we can guard our hearts against being caught up in such self-inflicted attacks on this most sacred of relationships.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to be alert and on guard against the devil's schemes that would draw me in to attack my own marriage. Amen.

MORE: Mental Critics

As with most attitudes and actions, hard-heartedness toward one's spouse begins in the mind. Joyce Meyer in her book Battlefield of the Mind (Chapter: "A Judgmental, Critical, Suspicious Mind") refers to Matthew 7:6:

"Do not give that which is holy (the sacred thing) to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before hogs, lest they trample upon them with their feet and turn and tear you in pieces."
She makes this observation:
"I believe this Scripture is referring to our God-given ability to love each other.

If you and I have an ability and a command from God to love others but instead of doing that we judge and criticize them, we have taken the holy thing (love) and cast it before dogs and hogs (demon spirits). We have opened a door for them to trample on holy things and turn and tear us to pieces" - Battlefield of the Mind, p. 130.

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