(This post was written by Matt Grimes, Middle School Ministry Pastor)
If you are, or have been married, then you will definitely agree with the following statement: “Marriage can be very difficult”. I can remember meeting Carmen, my wife, for the first time and thinking of how great being married to her would be. I had this idea that marriage was going to be easy and problem free. The hard reality is that real marriage is not that way. Marriage is phenomenal, and I love being married to my wife; however, we have to realize that there is a REAL enemy out there who is opposed to the idea of marriage, especially Christian marriage. His goal is to do everything in his power to destroy it, and if you are paying any attention to the world around us, you can plainly see that he is having great success, even in the midst of the Church. Furthermore, the effect this is having on our children is terrifying.
1 Peter 5:7-9 says: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
In this passage, God reminds us that there is a real enemy out there…an enemy who is seeking out those who he can destroy, and if we allow him, HE WILL DESTROY US. God’s advice is to cast your anxiety on HIM, and to stand alert and ready to battle the enemy. This verse is so powerful. Think about it. How often in our own marriages do the conflicts we experience arise out of anxiety and fear? Most of our challenges in marriage begin with our thoughts, and the enemy recognizes this truth that we so often overlook, and he begins to add fuel to this thought. What makes this so devastating for marriages is that thoughts ALWAYS LEAD TO ACTION. A thought enters our mind, we give it attention, the enemy fuels the thought, and before we know it, we are acting on it. For example, your spouse makes a comment to you that is taken the wrong way. This simple statement gets fueled over time by the enemy and you begin to think that they don’t love you the same way that they loved you before. Before you know it, you begin to harbor anger towards your spouse, and soon you end up justifying actions that are leading you away from a godly committed marriage relationship. It all begins with a thought that is then fueled by the enemy that leads to action.
What we have to remember is that we have great power over our thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 says: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.” Paul reminds us that we have power over our thoughts. His encouragement is to take every thought captive and bring it under the obedience of Christ. That’s not easy to do, but it is what we have to do to take action against the enemy.
The greatest gift we have to give our kids is a great marriage. We have to model for them a healthy marriage and teach them how to fight for that against an enemy who wants to use our thoughts to destroy it. Marriage isn’t easy, but it is definitely worth it. So my question to you is in what areas in your marriage, or in your life do you need to take some thoughts captive? Let’s not allow the enemy to fuel unhealthy thoughts that can lead us to dangerous action. When it comes to our marriage, let’s take every thought captive, bring it under the light of Christ, and force it to submission to Him. In return, let’s give our kids the greatest gift we can…a picture of a godly, committed marriage.