Excerpt from An online Course: Where God puts two hearts in a home

Have you ever been in the middle of a big argument with someone whom you love and suddenly wonder how in the world you got there? Little misunderstandings or small annoyances trigger blow-ups of atomic proportions. You start out by making the mistake of leaving a jacket lying carelessly in the wrong place and end up arguing over whether or not you love your mother more than your spouse. We get to learn about the land mines in marriages and the importance of one to understand who one’s enemy is within a marriage.

You won‘t encounter Satan as a jewel-studded serpent that is lurking in your garden waiting to carry on a conversation, but the Bible says that he constantly schemes against you. Marriage is a special target. If he can destroy a marriage, he can devastate spouses, derail their ministries, wound their children, and harm their children‘s marriages for generations. If he destroys many families, he destroys whole communities. If he destroys enough communities for enough generations, he ruins cultures.

The primary method of destruction that your enemy employs is to spread lies—whispered in your ears, broadcasted on your television, written in books and magazines, and even spoken or portrayed by people whom you trusted to tell you the truth, such as your parents. Satan works hard to get married people today to believe lies, just as he did to Adam and Eve. In fact, he never stops working to get people and groups to believe what is false in order to subvert and destroy those who are created as God‘s image-bearers.

Your enemy‘s first attack is rarely to tempt you toward blatant sin, such as saying, ―Hit your wife! His attack on your marriage begins more subtly, often in the form of appealing to your flesh and pride, just as he did to Eve.  An example in today’s scene is ….I am so sick of my wife‘s nagging. Nag, nag, nag—just like Mom nagged Dad. My dad was too weak. I don‘t want to be weak. I must make her stop.  His lies are often disguised as if they were your own thoughts, not his. He appeals to your selfishness, pride, fears, and past hurts. Step by step he crumbles and removes your resistance to doing his will. When he gets you to that place, it will make you feel like you are doing your own will rather than his.

It is helpful to imagine that lies are like weeds with underground runners. If you have ever worked in a garden, you know what happens when you try to cover up or break off runner weeds. They still spread and will pop up elsewhere. If what you say you believe or know you should believe is different from what you really believe in your secret heart, you have not pulled up the root, only broken off the visible shoot. You fight a losing battle to control your actions and especially your reactions when you are under stress.

Since marriage provides plenty of stressful situations, the evidence of those lies—sin—will keep cropping up like new weeds popping up from the same root over and over. You may recite many Bible verses, try to avoid tempting situations, and go to church more, but as long as your heart has the same point of view, it will keep sprouting sins. Please read Genesis 2:16-17 and 3:1-7.

Lies are like heavy chains. Once your enemy can convince you to accept enough of them, he has only to throw you into a sea of temptation and you will not be able to swim. You will sink and drown, often drowning your marriage, too. But he need not be successful!

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