by Bob & Yvonne Turnbull
Yes, there are evil attacks against Christian marriages and families, and the biblical proof text is found in Ephesians 6:12 – “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.”
We Christians are all in a spiritual battle with Satan and his demonic hordes. He sees all of God’s children as his enemy. He wants to destroy us, and one of his most vicious attacks is against Christian marriages and families. His method of operation is stated in how the two of us personally paraphrase the first part of John 10:10: “The thief (Satan) comes to steal and kill and destroy every Christian marriage.” The strategy of the enemy is to destroy all marriages, just as he wants to destroy ours. And if you’re married, that’s right, yours too. We all need to be on the alert. You may be asking, “Why would Satan bother us? We are no Billy or Ruth Graham. We are not well-known in ministry like they are. We don’t speak at marriage seminars like you two do. We’re just an average couple living our lives.”
By attacking marriages, Satan does two things. First, he hurts your relationship with God, and second, he hurts your testimony to those who don’t believe in God. Allow us to explain further.
Satan is a master of deception. If he can get you disappointed, or worse, discouraged about your mate – you know saying things like, “How come my mate never…..?” or, “I know a lot of people who would appreciate me more than my mate does,” thoughts like that – then the evil one has just stolen your joy.
His next crafty step is to get you looking around for a better deal, and he makes you think that just possibly he has a better answer for your marriage than God does. Simply put, it’s deception; yet look at the thousands who fall for it every year. Every day. At times the deception can be very subtle, such as through encouraging you to put all your time and energy into your children or your work and spending less and less time with your mate. Or he entices you with someone else who seems to be so caring. Often when these deceptions occur in our lives, instead of drawing closer to God and seeking His help, we pull an Adam and Eve and run and hide from Him, as they did when they suddenly realized they were naked.
We know what we’re doing is wrong. It seems that when we’re ashamed of not following God’s plan, the bond between God and us is disrupted. Then hiding can become more frequent if these matters aren’t dealt with through forgiveness.
Another reason the evil one goes after your marriage is because marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with His bride, the Church (Eph 5:25-32). If Satan can destroy Christian marriages, he can destroy Christ’s testimony to unbelievers. Unbelievers will say in so many words, “Hey—if Christians live by God’s principles and yet their marriages are failing, why should I bother to try any of God’s principles, because they obviously won’t work for me either.” Good point.
We knew that God had a wonderful working plan for our marriage, just as He does for yours, if you’re married. That plan is found in the latter part of our paraphrased John 10:10: “I (Jesus) have come that Christian marriages may have life, and have it to the full.” That’s what happens to a marriage that is truly yielded to the Lord. It is a completely full life. It takes three to have a championship marriage – the Lord as the coach and the husband and wife as the team players.
We found that when we placed God at the center of our marriage it made a major difference. We especially found this out when we both lost our jobs earlier in our marriage.
At first it was no big deal because we had a little extra money that would get us by until we were employed again. What actually happened, though, was that we could not get work anywhere – and our money was depleting fast. It was a very stressful time for both of us, especially since we had previously built up some consumer debt. These additional sums added more stress. Have you experienced that too? Probably have.
As the expression goes, this was now make-it-or-break-it time. During this no-work-and-no-income transition we had the choice of being at each other’s throats or drawing closer to each other. We both knew to allow God to be our coach, so instead of being a dreadful time, those days turned into a tremendous growth period for us as individuals and as a marriage team. God was so faithful. He provided for us in ways we couldn’t have arranged ourselves.
We were also learning the benefit of not being in debt. In fact it was during this time of unemployment that we started our process of getting out of debt. In His unique way God always provided the necessary funds. He is faithful!
We were learning what Eccles. 4:12 means when it says, “A chord of three strands is not quickly broken.” We felt we were starting to unravel, but God kept us together. And He can you, too, if you’ll let Him – according to His standards – His timing – not yours! Think that over. Pray on it too.
Note: Bob & Yvonne Turnbull have been popular marriage speakers for decades. Visit their website at:
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