Monday, July 23, 2012

Lessons from the Front Lines

Soldiers in the Same Army

Our nephew married his high school sweetheart a few weeks ago, just days after our 25th wedding anniversary.  The ceremony was beautiful and the reception carried a great feeling of celebration for the bride and groom.   There was a message on our hearts for the couple, but sometimes, heartfelt words that are encouraging - yet paint a darker picture - aren’t appropriate to share during such a day of joy.  What we wanted to say, but decided to wait for better timing, was this:

Marriage is not merely difficult.
 It’s a battlefield. 
You are in the middle of a spiritual war zone.

You can see why we didn’t think their wedding day was the best day to share our hearts.   Since we can safely assume that no one is reading this blog post on his or her wedding day, we’ll get the message off our chests, as it were. 

We know that marriage is God’s design. He created it in the beginning along with the earth, the heavens, the waters, and every living thing.  God knew it was not good for man to be alone, so He created a helpmate – a woman – who would live her life alongside the man and journey through life with him.    

We also know that we have an enemy – Satan – who despises everything good that God provides for His children.  Marriage is a gift from the Lord, and Satan wants nothing more than its complete annihilation.  Truly, marriage is one of the things that Satan rails against most vehemently.  There is no need to take it personally.  He despises the institution of marriage as a whole and spends much of his effort trying to rip apart our God-ordained relationships.

That’s not very cheery news and, we realize, not much of an encouraging word.  But here’s an important reminder:  In the battle, the enemy tries to convince us that we – husband and wives – are in opposing armies.  When he successfully deceives us into thinking that our enemy is the one who shares our bedroom, his work is finished.  We do the rest of his dirty work for him and he can sit back and laugh at our expense.

God joined us together and no one can separate us if we lean on Him and stand firm in His truth.  Husbands and wives are on the same team – soldiers in the same army.  We fight a common enemy, and must not be fooled into thinking that our fight is against our closest human ally.  We’ll share some practical help in the coming weeks on how to lay down our swords against each other and turn to watch one another’s backs. 

If you are feeling today as if your husband or wife is against you, please pray – immediately – and ask the Lord to soften your hearts toward one another and begin to see each other as vital allies in His army.  Your spouse is not your enemy.  You’ve shared your hearts, your dreams, and your very lives together.  Stand firm for one another and trust that your husband or wife is your ally, not your foe.

Our practical help for today:  Treat your spouse as you did when you were newlyweds (yes, even if your spouse doesn’t do the same).  Speak kindly.  Touch gently.  Make a commitment to battle as one against the enemy instead of battling each other.  This will require huge amounts of prayer, but rest assured that each battle is won by partnering with the Lord.  He’ll provide all you need.

Questions?  Comments?  Please post them here. We’re here to minister tand pray for you and your marriages.  Please let us know how we can.  We know that we’ve touched just the tip of the iceberg, and we’d love to continue the dialogue.  Let us know your thoughts (anonymous comments are welcome). 

Michael & Cathy

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  
Colossians 3:12-15 (NIV)

This post is part of a series that details what we've learned over the last 25 years about honoring God with our marriage.  Click here to see last week's post.


  1. Thank you, Cathy for inviting me to your ministry page. Yes, marriage is indeed a battlefield for the enemy of our souls - unfortunately, my battle was lost. Yet, I hold marriage sacred and am blessed that you are sounding the trumpet for it! Blessings, and I will pray for you and Michael as you follow the lead of the lover of your soul.

    1. I'm so sorry, Madolynn, to hear that your marriage did not survive. Sadly, we will have to enter heaven before we can experience all of life the way God intended. How I wish every marriage could be saved but understand that there are many factors that are simply not within our control.

      Many blessings and God's best to you as well. It's wonderful to hear from you!