Encouragement for Today - Apr. 17, 2007
Satan’s Bag of Tricks, Part 1
By Tracie Miles
“… God, not you, made marriage. His spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage. And what does he want from marriage?
Children of God, that’s what. So guard the spirit of marriage within you” (Malachi 2:13b (The Message)
Is your marriage thriving, or just surviving? Do you feel that you and your husband are passing ships in the night, hardly speaking, living as two instead of one? Unfortunately many marriages can be described in that way. After the vows are spoken, Satan starts pulling tricks out of his bag. Jobs, mortgages, cars, children, daycare, in-laws, and a myriad of other life challenges and temptations can quickly take their toll on a loving relationship. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, their actions not only brought the fall of man, but also introduced sin into the marriage relationship.
Satan can be disguised in many ways, and it is sometimes difficult to recognize his intervention in our marriages. Consider verse 6 in Genesis 3: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” Eve was deceived into thinking that the fruit was good, healthy food for her body, pleasing, desirable, and giving wisdom. These descriptions of the fruit all sounded great, so the enemy was able to trick her into thinking sin was good. In actuality, Adam and Eve purposely sinned by consuming the fruit, thinking it was good, but did not purposely bring sin into the world. The devil used something good to deceive them and ultimately bring their demise.
Many times our marriages fall prey to this same trickery of Satan. Dishonesty, infidelity, and pornography are usually the first things that come to mind when we think of sin in a marriage. Satan, however, has many less obvious tricks up his sleeve. Satan can deceitfully and gradually introduce into our lives new things that seem innocent and good at first, just like a little piece of fruit, but they end up bringing us harm and despair instead.
One of Satan’s most powerful tricks is busyness. Often women get caught up in the captivity of activity, and feel they need to be busy in order to be productive. Sometimes this busyness may cause us to lose focus on our marriages. Satan rejoices when we push our husbands’ needs aside to put our children’s or our own needs first. He jumps for joy when we are too tired at night to be intimate with our husbands, causing friction in the relationship. Children, careers, families, and even ministry work are all great things. However, if we aren’t careful, Satan can use what is meant for good to damage our marriage relationships by making our husbands feel like they have taken the back seat in our lives. God desires that we balance the good things with the right things.
Inadvertent neglect of a spouse is the key that opens the door for Satan to pounce into our lives. Our husbands need our respect, and yes, even submission, but they also need our time and devotion. Are you willing to put aside your own agenda and give your husband some special time today? Give him a massage, fix him breakfast in bed, or send him a love note to work. Random acts of kindness and love can have a magnificent impact on your relationship with your husband. And if your man feels like number one in your life, your relationship will surely thrive!
Dear Lord, Help me recognize when Satan is using his tricks to affect my relationship with my husband. Forgive me for not making my husband a priority in my marriage and treasuring our sacred covenant together. Please bless my marriage and wrap Your arms around my husband and I, and create in us a desire for a godly marriage. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Women Who Do Too Much by Patricia Sprinkle
“You Can Strengthen Your Marriage,” an ETC article
Be honest with yourself about whether or not you have been making your husband a priority.
Write down some simple things you could do for your husband to show him how much you love him.
Do I inadvertently put the needs of my children over the needs of my husband?
Have I done anything recently to make my husband feel like he’s a top priority in my life?
1 Corinthians , “In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.” (NIV)
Ephesians , “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105