Have you ever felt a rift in the unity of your marriage? Maybe it was about the way you are treated, the way you raise your children or the way you spend your time. But I’m betting each of us has at some point felt that unity falter.
This is because Satan knows the danger of unity among a body of believers, especially within a marriage. When we are united in Christ, there is no telling how much we can do for the kingdom of God.
God calls us to be united in love and I think that this command is to be a central part of marriage. So let’s take a look at how to overcome Satan’s attacks on unity in marriage.
When we join together in marriage, we are vowing to love each other more intimately than any other human being. We are joining together with our spouse as one flesh.
Have you ever felt this unity threatened? Have you ever felt like two completely different people when it comes to some part of your life or your marriage?
What Are We Arguing About?
My husband and I can really get into some arguments. Especially in the first few years of our marriage, there were times where it just felt like we were always arguing.
The funny thing was, if we took a moment to stop and consider what we were arguing about, we often found that it was something so trivial or something we couldn’t even pinpoint! But we’d get stuck in these arguments, causing tension and division.
And it was really hard to stop and, in humility, ask forgiveness and forgive.
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
This call is essential to a thriving and unified marriage.
I have found that when we are arguing and it seems to last longer than a few minutes, a moment’s pause to consider what we are arguing about is so beneficial.
Even more so, when we stop to pray - even just a few words like, God, please guide our conversation, this radically changes the direction of what we are talking about.
Satan Wants Us Stuck
Satan wants us stuck in a conversation that is going nowhere. He will take the smallest things and convince us that they are big.
This was really difficult for me. I come from a very argumentative family. It’s practically second nature to argue anything and everything. I get defensive quick and I’m good at turning it around on my husband. There’s always something he is doing wrong or needs to improve on...
It took me several years to realize that I was doing this (sorry, Eric!). But when I did, I knew I needed to stop and get myself unstuck!
I needed to surrender my heart to the Lord.
Lord, Convict Me When Our Conversations Are Not Aligned With You
This simple prayer was one that I began to pray often. I would try to pray it when I sat down to do devotions in the morning and I would pray it silently when we would begin arguing.
I was amazed at the conviction I felt almost every time we argued. I’d feel questions pop into my mind like, “What are we even arguing about?” or “Am I really loving my husband as God calls me to?”
Soon after I began praying like this, our arguments slowed down. I felt God working within us and I began to recognize Satan’s attacks on our marriage.
What Really Matters
We began to consider what really mattered and so many of the things we thought were important shrank in the light of this.
As we stand united with our spouses, what really matters? Obeying God and loving one another. This takes me back to the verse in Ephesians.
Am I being humble, gentle and patient with my husband - every single day? No matter what he does, this is what I am called to do.
And to be honest, this was not my priority, nor was I very good at doing this. It took me years of praying and intentionally fighting lies and old tendencies to finally begin to see gentleness, humility and patience grow within me.
God is making us new every day. His Spirit is at work, not only within our hearts but within the hearts of our spouses. We must remember who we are really fighting against.
Who We Are Really Fighting Against
Satan is the one behind disunity in our marriage.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. -Ephesians 6:12
When I look at it this way, it gives me loads more patience for my husband. Satan is the one who wants to bring tension and arguments, impatience and selfishness.
Satan wants to destroy our intimacy and self-image. He is the one who wants us to ignore the call to submission and servanthood in a biblical marriage.
The next time you find yourself feeling disunity in your marriage, take a moment to pray this prayer. I’d love for you to write it down and have it handy.
Lord, convict me when my words are not of You. Convict me when our conversations are not of Your will for us. Give me a burning desire to stop the argument or conversation we are having. Reveal Satan at work in our marriage. I acknowledge that my struggle is not against my spouse but against Satan. I pray that you cast Satan out, in Jesus Name. You are making me new. You are working within me. Help me to be humble, gentle and patient with my spouse. Show me how to love in unity. Fill me with Your Spirit. Amen.