Our church hosted a women’s book study on Freeing Tangled Hearts by Dolores Kimball. As I was reading my assigned chapters, a verse she mentioned in the book really jumped out at me:
1 Peter 5:8 says, ‘Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.’ We have to ‘be alert’ – recognize and understand that. He knows where we are weak and will use it against us.”
I thought about how Satan knows how to attack us where we are weakest in our marriages. He knows that problems in our marriage will spill over into every other area of our lives. Negative attitudes, yelling at our kids, depression, gossip, unkind reactions, and unwise life choices are just a few effects that overflow from issues in our most important family relationship of marriage.
He would love nothing better than to break down yours. As a bonus for him, it brings about a whole series of resulting sins in its wake.
As I’ve been learning throughout this book study, one of the ways to defend the fiery attacks from the inside is to be aware and alert. Recognize where your own weaknesses lie. That’s where you’ll find the most difficult temptations to deal with.
For me, I know that some of my weakest moments are when I’m really stressed or hungry. Those are almost always the times when I lash out at Joel, mope around, or say things I really don’t mean. On occasions when I’m super stressed, I (unfortunately) have a track record that makes Joel walk carefully around me.
When I’m stressed or hangry, I try to remember that I need to be on my guard. I can’t let myself be guided by my emotions. It’s hard to have a positive attitude and say nice things when I’m feeling really yucky inside.
But you know what feels even yuckier? Giving in to my negative feelings and doing something I have to apologize to Joel for later. Unkind words, unfair accusations, a bad attitude are not what I want to heap upon my best friend and life partner.
It goes beyond just being irritable when I’m stressed. Satan also knows how to tempt me through pride, selfishness, and many other ways. These all affect my marriage in more subtle ways.
Do you recognize where some of your biggest weaknesses are? The ones that Satan just can’t wait to use for his advantage? It’s hard to sort through the emotions and learn to deal with each other in our weaknesses.
We must be alert.
Acknowledge that the hardest moments are when we’ll struggle the most. But by recognizing that, we have the advantage of being a little more prepared. You might even put a plan in place of how God wants to deal with those weak moments when they catch you off guard. We will be better equipped to fight for our marriage!
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