We are in a marriage crisis in America.
- The American divorce rate is nearly twice what it was in 1960, though it has declined somewhat since hitting an all-time high in 1980. This decline suggests a higher rate of marital stability, due to both a higher age of first marriage as well as the reservation of marriage for the economically stable. (The State of Our Unions2011, 67,69)
- According to recent studies, the percentage of children that experience parental divorce by the age of 12 is estimated to be about 24%. (Why Marriage Matters, 44)
- Couples who cohabit have a 46% greater risk of divorce than couples who do not live together before marriage (Marriage and the Family in the United States: Resources for Society, 10).
- Between 1960-2010, the number of cohabiting couples increased 17-fold. (The State of Our Unions2011, 75)
Make no mistake about it. Satan is behind the crumbling of families. He wants to ruin your marriage. Some of you reading this are oblivious to the truth that your marriage is struggling, and Satan already has a significant foothold on it.
Here are seven things Satan wants to do in your marriage . . .
- Satan wants you to have a wandering eye.
He wants you to look at porn. He wants you to have a corrupt, immoral, and unrealistic view of sex so that you develop guilt, disgust, and shame.
He wants you to look at another person in your office, or church, or walking past you in a restaurant, and think about what it would be like to be with that person instead of your spouse. He wants you to ponder how much better your life would supposedly be if you were married to a different person.
- Satan wants you to put your kids ahead of your spouse.
This is a hard one. I have a three and six-year-old. These are high maintenance ages. I get it. The key is to look at how you are raising your children and see if your prioritization is off-course.
- Satan wants you to not try.
He doesn’t want you to try emotionally. He’d prefer you just not care if there is a disagreement. Once you stop trying to give back emotionally, that’s when things are getting really unhealthy.
He doesn’t want you to try sexually. He wants your sex life to be sporadic or non-existent. Satan wants you to view your spouse as a glorified roommate instead of as a vow-sealed helpmate.
He doesn’t want you to try time-wise. He wants you to work too much, get too busy, and give into the American mindset that busy is better. Remember that it is healthy and good to come home from work and relax with your spouse. You don’t always have to be doing something.
- Satan wants you to not prioritize God and His Church.
Saturday nights and Sunday mornings are Satan’s favorite times to cause fights in a marriage. He wants you to not get along at those key times so you won’t go to church together.
American Christians have de-prioritized church attendance, increased our affection for sports and travel, seen an increase in divorce rates, experienced a decrease in average church attendance and giving, then complained about how the Church is losing ground to the culture as degradation rises. Do you not see it? Satan wants you to not prioritize God and His Church.
- Satan wants you to not be present with your spouse—especially by sucking you into staring at your phone way too much.
If this is a legitimate issue for you, then delete social media from your phone. Seriously. Delete it.
During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I deleted social media from my phone. I was more present during that week than any time in year’s prior. I decided to leave them off my phone for an extended period of time. It’s been awesome.
- Satan wants you to say/scream things in fights you can never take back.
We’ve all said things we wish we could take back. Unfortunately, once the words fly out of your mouth, there’s no bringing them back. This is a tactic that Satan loves. Get worked up, say dumb stuff, then experience deep-rooted hurt that takes a long time, if ever, to heal.
The key is to just take a deep breath, gather yourself, and not say anything you wish you could take back.
- Satan wants you to get divorced.
God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). Satan loves it.
Satan wants you to throw out the word “divorce” when you and your spouse get into an argument. He wants you to think through splitting up. He wants you to daydream about it after silly little tiffs.
What should you do about this?
See where you have some problems, address them, and seek to work through them together. Satan wants you to see these problem areas in marriages, in general, and then immediately think they just apply to other people.
Lastly, ponder the need to implement a 3D approach to your marriage. Dialogue daily. Date weekly. Depart quarterly, all while there is an undergirding of a firm biblical and prayerful foundation.