How Satan Attacks Marriage Using This Tempting Direction (Linkup)

I thought it appropriate to start a new series on the attacks of Satan on marriage during a month that is traditionally associated with spooks, spirits and scary things.

I know of many—Christ-followers included—who never consider the relevance or real threat that Satan and his demons pose against our marriages.

Attacks of Satan

Spiritual warfare is more real than we might ever imagine! Ephesians 6:12 Click To Tweet

I want to state for the record that I am NOT talking about a evil-looking, red figure with a pitchfork and pointed tail! That is not the image given in Scripture.

“. . . Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14

I think the Enemy (another appropriate name for Satan and demons) does this so that we will be drawn to him—mistaking his activity for something good, godly and lovely, when nothing could be further from the truth!

I feel like there are two—among many—ways that Satan tries to attack us in marriage.

  1. Satan unites us in a pursuit that is foundationally evil.
  2. Satan divides us in pursuits that are good and from God.

This week I’m going to focus on the first one of these two, considering it in the context of marriage, as well as sharing how my marriage has been impacted by this.

Attack of SatanHow does the Enemy unite us in evil pursuits in marriage?

1. We join forces with our spouse in speaking, even living, lies. 

There’s a perfect example in Acts 5:1-11 of how Satan attacked two married Christ-followers—uniting them in an evil and greedy plan to deceive other believers into thinking they were being more generous to the church than they really were.

“Then Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?'” ~Acts 5:3

If you’re not familiar with this account, suffice it to say, they didn’t get to enjoy that extra money or acclaim for very long, since they both dropped dead immediately after being confronted by the Apostle Peter.

How have my husband and I been tempted by Satan to unite in deception?  

  • Whenever we each shift blame to the other. (Been tempted and taken the bait!)
  • Whenever we pretend to be better or more generous than we are to our friends or any onlookers. (Been tempted and probably taken the bait!)
  • Whenever we hide parts of who we are with each other or with others. (Definitely tempted and certainly bitten!)
  • Whenever we both swallow a lie about God’s truth—and worse, when we teach these lies to others! (Tempted, but Lord help us if we’ve bitten the bait here!)

2. We join forces in bitterness and anger toward God and others. 

I’d say this is one temptation the Enemy uses to attack my marriage more than number one above—meaning a LOT!

There’s more that meets the eye here too, because my husband and I have not only been tempted to be angry with and hold grudges against those who’ve hurt us or others we love in our lives, but he’s tempted us to be angry with and unforgiving of each other. #uniteanddivide

I dare say this is a scheme that Satan uses a LOT with every Christ-follower, since we are to be known for our love (John 15:35). If he can bring dishonor to our ability to love each other as Christ-followers, then he can bring dishonor to Christ.

I dare say this is a scheme that Satan uses a LOT with every Christian! #spiritualwarfare Click To Tweet

3. We join forces in pursuing what this world has to offer above Christ. 

This temptation is so subtle and begins by turning a good pursuit into a bad one. Many pursuits in this world are not bad until we want them more than we want God. I think this is an especially magnetic scheme of Satan, because when one spouse begins to focus on the pleasures of this life above God, the other spouse invariably gets drawn into that same pull over time.

This can include everything from a bigger and more beautiful house, to giving our kids everything they want, to revolving our lives around our kids and their activities, just to name a few!

Yep, my husband and I have been tempted here too, though we try to avoid its continuation when we see it emerging.

Next week I’ll be talking about how Satan divides us as couples in the pursuit of good, godly things. And don’t forget, next week is the 7 year blog-aversary for Messy Marriage with a HUGE giveaway as well! You won’t want to miss it!

Christian bloggers, join me at From Messes to Messages linkup! #GodRedeems Click To Tweet

 

What is another way Satan can unite married couples in the pursuit of what is evil?

 

What are some other ways you’ve seen the ‘pursuit of this world over God’ manifest in Christian marriages?

 

 


Here are some lovely linkups I join – Mondays @ Soul Survival,  Moments of HopeLiterary Musing MondaysTestimony TuesdayJennifer Dukes LeeWriter WednesdayCoffee and ConversationCoffee for Your HeartSitting Among FriendsFaith and FriendsFresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

Let’s Get this ‘From Messes to Messages’ Linkup Started!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to “From Messes to Messages” or Messy Marriage as well. For linkup guidelines/button, click here.

Messy Marriage

  • pioneerpat1

    Very powerful. I have seen the third one a lot with friends. It is amazing to see how people profess one thing but live another.
    Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful week.

    • Thanks so much, Patrick! Yes, I see it a lot too. Our society is so geared toward the accumulation of more and more. And agreed. It’s sadly the human way–to be more hypocrite than transparent about our flaws and inconsistencies. You’re welcome! Glad to have you each week!

  • Hi Beth! I especially like this post. And how timely the theme. I think I am guilty of much of what you’ve posted here. But in particular, I think loosing myself trying to please the kids is one that resonates with me. Im definitely looking forward to part two. Thank you so much for hosting! I’ve tweeted the link up.

    • Thank you, Tiffiney. Yes, it’s one that I talk about–spiritual warfare–from time to time, but I’ve never done a series on it. Which is kind of crazy because today is my 7 year blog-aversary! Don’t know why it took me so long! Yes, more of my girlfriends are in that boat than not. Motherhood can be all-consuming, so I hope this is the alert we all pay attention to. Thanks for linking and tweeting, my friend! You’re always a welcome face in the line up!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Love the raw transparency of this post, Beth. You’ve illustrated the devil’s lies so well.

    I’d add this – embracing despair. Under the circumstances, I suppose it’s not unexpected. Barbara sees me declining from day to day, and struggling to keep my head above the metaphorical water…and her “Why, God?” doesn’t seem to get an answer.

    For me it’s a bit different. I go ‘flat’, treating myself as a wasting asset fit only to be driven into death’s jaws to accomplish the tasks still required of me.

    But both are part of the lesser nature that embraces a kind of despair; both are obverse sides of the same coin.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/10/your-dying-spouse-371-create-caregiver.html

    • Thank you, Andrew. I wasn’t always so transparent, but now it seems that’s the water that I swim in daily–not just here but everywhere! ha!

      Yes, that’s another one that certainly makes sense from your vantage point. And I can see how easy it would be for you two to fall into a hole of despair, given your ongoing struggle. Btw, you are the furthest thing from a wasting asset. You prove that every time you hit publish. But we would love you even if you didn’t produce incredible content. Praying you feel more emotionally and spiritually encouraged, even as your body and situation fails you.

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Beth,
    The enemy is often not blatant….he poses as light and so easily sucks us into what the world deems as good. I’d like to think as I’ve gotten older, I’m wiser to his schemes. The whole “keeping up with the Jones” attitude is so prevalent. It’s easy to look around and when everyone in your neighborhood is driving a new car and you’re still driving your 10 year old car, it’s easy to buy into the myth that we “deserve” what everyone else has. Happiness (fleeting) from the world is not the same as joy from the Lord. If Satan can get my husband and me on the same track of thinking then he knows he has a chance of succeeding. We need to pray for the Holy Spirit to make us wise to his devices. We’re in a battle…thanks for the reminder to be aware.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Yes, Satan is nothing if not subtle and sneaky, Bev. I guess that’s why the Bible refers to his works as “schemes.” Great point about Satan getting the couple on the same track. He’s seen couples fall for this for thousands of generations, so we really, in and of ourselves, have no way of outwitting him. It’s a good thing we’ve got God who can and has!! He is so far superior to Satan that his demons tremble at the thought of Him! Yay, God! #wearealreadywinners Hugs to and prayers for you, sweet friend!

  • Susan

    In response to your questions: TOO many to list in 35 years. Where would I even begin! Love you, Beth.

    • Yes, Susan. I’m sure you’ve seen your share of the devil’s schemes–trying to trip you and others you know in your lifetime. Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend! Always glad to see you in the linkup and comments!

  • Kristi Woods

    Being on the lookout is a must with marriages – even those with many years behind them. And subtle Satan often is! Encouraging words, Beth. Visiting via #coffeeforyourheart.

    • Yes, great way to put it, Kristi! And yes on the issue of “those with many years behind them” because that describes me and my husband! Satan seems to attack us in the same ways, so we have this built in history with him, which should give us a heads up. But he’s so subtle and attacks where we are weakest, so we often don’t see it until we are already entangled in his scheme. Thanks for joining the conversation and encouraging me, my friend! Nice to meet you too!

  • Well, there’s certainly a reason for Paul’s following Ephesians 5 principles on marriage with Ephesians 6 principles on spiritual warfare. Thanks for encouraging us in the battle.

    • Yep, Michele. Good point. I never really thought about how those two topics are just one chapter apart. And like you’ve said, there’s a good reason for it! Brilliant!! Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend.

  • JosephPote

    Wow! You’ve given us plenty to think about here, Beth!

    You make some very good points. Sometimes, there is a fine line between being sympathetic to spouse’s concerns versus joining them in an unhealthy perspective. That could apply to many of the items you’ve listed here…concerns about image and what others think…bitterness over a situation…desire for more or better things…

    Thanks for discussing these difficult areas.

    • Yes, relationships and marriage are so hard to navigate and gain perspective in when we are in the middle of doing life, Joe. How much is too much support or sympathy and when is it not enough? Yikes! So glad we have a God with a “birds-eye view” (and beyond) of all that’s going on in our lives and can direct our steps in the right paths. Thank you for your constant friendship and support, my friend! Always glad to have you in the linkup and here in the conversation!

  • Amy Jung

    This is a great series, Beth! Good timing for me! Hey–by the way–I tried to tweet one of your tweetable lines above and there wasn’t a link back to your post or site. Just an FYI! 🙂

    • Thanks for your kind words, Amy, and for alerting me to that problem. I have a new plugin that is much more complicated than the other click to tweet plugin I had. But apparently, the other was not compatible. So now I’m dealing with a lot more hoops to jump through than I did before. Technology shmalogy! Ha!

  • Mary

    You and Gary have worked through many things in your marriage and I’m blessed that you can share this with us firsthand. I know that the enemy is real and spiritual warfare is how we combat it.

    Fighting the enemy though takes strength and God graciously gives us what we need. Thank you for sharing what this fight looks like. Looking forward to next week.

    • Yes, we have, Mary! Yes, we have! And I’m glad to be sharing too. It’s something I’ve noticed is so very hard for other wives to do, but I have such a supportive husband in this transparency. In fact, he was the truly transparent one when we got married. I am just following in his brave footsteps! Thanks for stopping in! I’ve missed seeing you, so it’s a treat to see your smiling face here again, my friend!

  • Tracy

    Hi Beth, this is a great series to start up at this time. Great encouragement
    God bless
    Tracy

    • Yes, I’ve been trying to pay attention to what might seem to catch attention at certain times of the year, though this topic is relevant all year ’round! Thanks for encouraging me, Tracy!

  • For sure, the enemy of our souls is looking for whoever he can devour. And what better place to go than marriages which are often so vulnerable and oddly wide open for interference. Thanks for your counsel to keep our eyes open and our hearts actively seeking God in the midst of our most important relationships.

    I so appreciate your steady guidance and deep wisdom, friend.

    • Yes, so true, Linda. I asked my small group recently about that verse that talks about Satan prowling like a roaring lion. I asked them if they would respond differently if they walked out the door, knowing an actual lion was on the loose. Surely we all would, but yet we don’t consider that we are doing that every day in a spiritual sense. Gotta stay alert and examine what we’re doing in our marriages that might have his “paw prints” all over it! Thanks for your constant friendship and encouragement, my friend!

  • You’ve made some excellent points, Beth! One thing my husband and I have to watch out for is joining forces for good–but to the exclusion of each other. In other words, we both work long hours doing good and following our calling, but we struggle to find time to spend time with each other to nurture our marriage.

    • Thanks so much, Anita! Yes, that’s a focus in my post that will go live tonight on how Satan divides us on doing good or godly things. It’s a slippery slope sometimes. I hope you’ll come back, linkup and check it out tonight or tomorrow!