The Real Enemy of Marriage, Believing Truth
As a young girl, I remember the proper thing to do was to wear a belt and tuck one’s shirt in. Things changed when I went to high school and was told this “fashion style” was no longer considered “cool.” I have yet to tuck my shirt in again, and only on rare occasion do I wear a belt.
We live in a generation where belts don’t seem to be as important in our wardrobe choices. However, in Roman times, belts were crucial to holding a soldier’s armor in place and protecting a soldier’s vital organs.
The apostle Paul mentions the belt of truth first in his series of placing on the full armor pieces of God. Why would Paul start with a belt? Why not the Sword of the Spirit or the helmet of salvation? A Roman soldier’s belt would act as a girdle to keep his armor together and hold his scabbard, consequently, holding his sword. Without the belt, he would have no place to carry his weapon on his person. The belt also acted to protect his kidney and liver, critical to human survival.
Now I imagine you aren’t planning to charge into battle with a sword in your hands and a full suit of armor anytime soon. However, the Bible does tell us that there’s a battle raging on around us.
“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. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:11-13
Deception is the oldest trick in the book for Satan. The Bible calls the devil “the deceiver of the whole world.” Satan deceived Eve, convincing her to take the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As a human, you will fall prey to deception and trickery. This is why you must protect yourself (and your marriage) from the lies of Satan with the belt of truth. Over the next five weeks, we’ll explore 5 different lies of Satan and how to combat them with the belt of truth.
Lie #1: Your spouse is the enemy.
I don’t think any couple goes into marriage as friends and expects to one day wake up next to the enemy. Your spouse is NOT your enemy no matter how frustrated, angry, or hurt he/she makes you feel. Marriage has an enemy – Satan.
In the Garden of Eden, the devil weasels his way into marriage by presenting an “appealing alternative” to God’s plan. Eve, in her naivete and her curiosity and with the gift of free will, chooses to sin, and her husband, Adam willingly follows her.
Isn’t this how it always happens? Anything or anyone could potentially become a “satisfactory substitute” to your spouse if you aren’t aware of the enemy’s schemes and lies.
This is what leads to putting other priorities above your marriage, even good ones like family, friends, or work. None of those things are bad in that of themselves, but when couples start putting their kids and jobs before their spouse, and family’s/friends’ advice before their spouse’s, they set themselves up for disaster.
This is what leads to affairs and pornography addictions. When you believe your spouse is your enemy, you are more susceptible to seeking comfort, satisfaction, and pleasure elsewhere.
Some signs you may believing this lie
- You expect the worst.
- You jump to conclusions, without asking for your spouse’s input.
- You don’t try to talk to your spouse because you believe you already know his/her response.
- You feel your spouse won’t care about, won’t understand, or won’t listen to what you have to say so you stay silent.
- You expect to argue frequently.
- You accuse your spouse before having all the facts and before evaluating the situation through God’s eyes.
- You don’t look forward to seeing your spouse, and make up excuses to stay away.
- You’re afraid to make your spouse mad by bringing up a concern so you stay silent to avoid an argument.
Buckle the truth around your waist
- Take a proactive approach to the enemy’s attacks. Acknowledge your marriage is under real assault from the devil. Incorporate regular times to communicate and connect throughout your week. Fortify your marriage by reaffirming your love for one another on the marriage bed.
- Respect your spouse. Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Allow him/her to explain before jumping to conclusions or throwing around accusations. Speak up when you’re hurt, angry, or frustrated in a timely manner.
- Understand Satan will twist the truth to his advantage. In the Garden of Eden, he tells Eve, “You will not surely die.” In truth, Eve didn’t die a physical immediate death, but the consequence of sin is spiritual and physical death. Satan may not outright tell you to cheat on your spouse, but he may twist it to his advantage with a variation like, “If it feels good, do it.”
- Think of your love for one another. Review your wedding vows regularly. Practice gratitude daily. Reaffirm your love for one another frequently.
- Help your spouse see your perspective in a gentle, loving manner. Be specific about your timetable for getting things done. Give concrete examples of ways your spouse can improve or help you fix a problem. Give your spouse grace in the learning curve.
For more on affair-proofing your marriage, click here.