Chris and I have been married for five and a half years.
Recently (the past few weeks) I’ve had this feeling that we are under attack. There is a FrankPeretti-style spiritual battle raging for our marriage and my eyes are being opened to it. And as they are, I’m getting pissed. The dumbass devil thinks I’m going to sit back and let him have my marriage. He’s WRONG.
The older I get, the more I realize how timing is never a coincidence. Take yesterday, for example. Yesterday the battle got real. See, we were scheduled to meet with our Marriage Coaches that night. (Yes … that’s a thing.) We were scheduled to do something proactive to invest in our marriage. Apparently someone didn’t want this to happen. And so this is how yesterday went down.
Chris and I had a rough day. (Sadly not uncommon.) Started out the day with a fight. Neither of us felt well, physically, mentally or emotionally. Couldn’t get on the same page about, well, anything really. All day I felt frustrated that we hadn’t connected. Chris had a particularly bad day at work. He sent me a text on his way home to warn me that he was not in a good place. So when he came through the door, I knew what I should do. But instead, I was quick to go to self-focus and self-pity. Definitely not what he needed.
After a few tense exchanges, I left for the gym in tears. When I finished my class, I didn’t want to go home, so I stopped by the grocery store.
There I was standing in the checkout line at Sprouts. Staring me in the face, right at eye level, was the latest issue of Men’s Fitness. On the cover was a black and white photo of a well-known celebrity (one I’m kind of partial to), doing what I can only describe as “the sexy pose.” Thumbs hooked in worn jeans. Black tank top, accentuating tattooed-covered arms. A few days worth of stubble. Smoldering eyes. A “come hither” look.
And for the first time in my married life, I was tempted to let my thoughts linger on a man other than my husband. (Okay let’s just call it like it is … lust.) The realization simultaneously shocked me and intrigued me.
But here’s the part that woke me up.
As I was looking at the magazine, I (so clearly it could have been audible) heard this voice whispering to me “You should buy that magazine. Chris doesn’t have to know – you have your own fun money. He doesn’t check that debit card. You deserve this, especially after the day you’ve had. Just splurge this once.”
You guys, that voice did NOT come from me.
And I almost did. But then the checker asked if I was all set and I said yes and completed my purchase. No magazine.
But the enemy wasn’t done with me.
As I walked out of the store, I saw another man about my age standing at the deli counter. Tall. Very good looking. We made eye contact. We smiled. And I heard the voice again. “What do you think he’s like to be married to? I bet he wouldn’t treat you the way your husband does. Maybe you need some deli meat.”
I am not making this up.
If only I heard God’s voice as clearly as I heard the devil’s voice.
Married people, we have an enemy who wants desperately to destroy our marriages.
Look around. Marriages are falling apart all over the place.
The arsenal of the enemy is incredibly diverse: fear, rage, depression, anxiety, lust, selfishness, control, insecurity, jealousy, comparison, apathy, laziness.
We have to fight.
We cannot sit back and just hope our marriages survive. We have to actually engage in battle. In fact, I am convinced that one of his most effective tactics is to make people forget about the battle.
BUT IT’S REAL. Here’s how I know it’s real.
Because the more “stuff” that Chris and I do to fight for our marriage – counseling, small groups, mentors, prayer, conferences, books – the more blatantly the enemy attacks us. (I mean, seriously? Deli meat?)
It’s like we step up our game, and so does the destroyer of all good things. He is feeling threatened and so he fights harder and more desperately.
I will keep fighting for my marriage. No matter how bloody the battle gets.
Who’s with me?
I wrote this post not to share our junk. No one wants to read our junk. I wrote it because I thought someone could relate and that maybe my experience – my pain and struggles – can help someone else in the midst of their junk.
Wow so raw and powerful. Thank you for sharing your heart. You know what the enemy hates? Vulnerability. The illusion of perfection is his game.
You’re right, Leli. No wonder I find so much freedom in sharing the crap. But that’s like a whole other post. 🙂
Wonderful post Becky. Marriage is worth fighting for and sometimes, even when we are unable to fight – it can happen – we have to trust God to do it for us. Thankfully he finishes what he starts and can fight and win battles that have nearly done us in. Thanks for your transparency and candor.
I forget that were not the only ones fighting for us. Thanks for that, Nydia.
Dang Becky what a good post in a stick it to the enemy way. This hard truth is so important. We all are subject to temptation and fall prey when we think we are “above all that” . How powerful it is when we put stuff into the light to show satin as he is…. Because the temptation /invitation came from satin so warning others of the invitation you received though feels humbling is sooooo much more powerful because it’s first hand. Thanks for sharing so openly & encouraging us all to be on guard!!!
I hate him. But you’re right that he loves the dark so I’m gonna bring It all to the light. Thanks for your words, Ashley.
Insightful and true words Becky! Thanks for sharing! Keep battling….God wins so we win too!!!
Thanks, Becca. ❤
We are only as sick as our secrets. You lanced the festering infection of your mind by sharing what was trying to take hold. You definitely will be attacked again, but you are arming yourself with the truth and shining the light so brightly on Satan’s tactics that all he can do is slither away!