It’s no secret that Satan attacks marriages. Just look around at your church, and you’ll likely see the fallout of battles lost. I’ve previously written about “12 Ways Satan Attacks Christian Marriages,” but I want to get more basic with this post. Here are some reasons that our marriages are vulnerable to these attacks:
- Churches have not taught the reality of spiritual warfare and relationships. Satan has aimed at marriages since the Garden of Eden, but we tend to neglect this teaching. A failure to teach this truth is a failure in spiritual leadership, in my opinion.
- We have few healthy role models that we know well. We may see marriages that look strong, but we seldom set up good ministries that allow us to walk closely with healthy couples. If it happens, it happens by accident more than by design.
- We spend more time cleaning up bad marriages than helping to grow strong ones. Ministry requires us to do this work, but we might have fewer messes if we spent more time helping young people and new couples better understand what Christian marriage is.
- We men are often unwilling to talk about our battles. When we never talk about our struggles, we battle alone – and the enemy almost always wins when no one is walking with us.
- We don’t pray for marriages until they’re in trouble. Let’s be honest: many of us have friends whose marriages fell apart, and we didn’t pray for them until we learned they were in trouble. That’s part of the problem.
- Our sex drives are strong. God created us with this desire, and the enemy does everything he can do to distort it in the wrong directions. Few of us are immune from this kind of attack.
- We often enter marriage with an “out.” If divorce is an option from the beginning – which is what the world teaches – we start marriage with one foot already on the devil’s turf.
- We don’t understand Satan’s hatred of our children. He hates our kids more than we love them, and He delights when our adult decisions wound the next generations.
- We fail to realize the power of our words. The tongue really is powerful (James 3:1-11). When we forget that truth, we scar the people we love.
- Men don’t take the lead in praying with our spouse and children. If we leave this responsibility to others, men, we shouldn’t be surprised when the enemy comes after our home.
What other reasons would you add to this list? For more insights about marriage, ministry, and warfare, see “9 Ways Pastors Let Ministry Harm Their Marriages,” and “Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage in Ministry.”
Chuck Lawless is Dean and Vice-President of Graduate Studies and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, where he also serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions. In addition, he is Global Theological Education Consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. This post originally appeared at his blog.