The family unit is soimportant to God & marriage is a sacred institution, so it is no wonder Satan attacks marriages to break families apart.
Marriage was designed by God to reflect His glory. In the garden, Satan purposefully approached a married woman and lied to her about God and His Word and sin and its consequences. Because Eve beleived that lie and drew Adam into sin with her, it had profound effects on their marriage. Instead of providing loving leadership for his wife, the man was now prone to extremes ranging from domineering control to passive detachment. The protection the woman had been granted under her spiritual head was removed, leaving her vulnerable to greater deception, sin, and attack.
As with every area of our lives, deception is Satan’s greatest instrument in achieving his destructive purposes for marriage. If he can get husbands and wives to act on his lies, he will succeed in putting them in bondage, stealing their joy, and destroying their relationships.
**THE LIE: 1) I have to have a husband to be happy.
Like many other lies, this is a subtle distortion of the truth. Marriage is good and right, and in God’s plan for many people. There can (and ought to be) great joy and blessing from a God-centered marriage. However, Satan twists this truth to make us believe we cannot be happy without a spouse and the purpose of marriage is to bring personal happiness and fulfillment. The ultimate purpose of marriage is not to make us happy, but to glorify God.
· Happiness is not found in (or out of) marriage. (James 1:16-17)
· There is no person who can meet my deepest needs. No one and nothing can make me truly happy, apart from God. (Psalm 62:5; 118:8-9; Jeremiah 17:5-7)
· God has promised to provide everything I need. If He will receive more glory from my being married, then He will provide a husband for me.
· (And I LOVE this one!) Those who wait on the Lord always get His best. Those who insist on getting what they want often end up in heartache. (Psalm 37:4; 106:15; Jeremiah 17:5-8)
**THE LIE: 2) It is my responsibility to change my mate.
Women are born “fixers.” It is an almost irresistible instinct to fix someone, which often results in frustration and conflict. In marriage, this lie takes the focus off the wife’s walk with the Lord and she becomes preoccupied with changing her husband’s faults and flaws (a responsibility the Lord never intended for her to have), leaving her resentful of her husband and God. Imagine what God could do through our husband if we could get out of the way and allow Him to change our husband- no nagging or whining. We often forget God has equipped us with powerful tools that are far more effective.
I also love the 80/20 principle. We typically marry our spouse because they have 80% of the qualities we are looking for in a mate. No one can have the whole 100%!! However, instead of choosing to focus on the 80% our husbands do right- their strengths- we focus on the 20% and are constantly complaining, nagging, and trying to change our spouse. Imagine the types of marriages we would have if we would focus solely on the 80% of our husband’s strengths rather than the 20%. They would be happier. We would be more content. And there would be WAY less affairs (from men & women going out to find someone else who CAN meet those “needs” that fall into the 20% category).
· A godly life and prayer are a wife’s two greatest means of influencing her husband’s life. (James 5:16; 1 Peter 3:1-4)
· It is far more effective for a woman to appeal to the Lord to change her husband than to try to exert pressure on Him directly. (Proverbs 17:1; 19:13; 21:1, 9)
**THE LIE: 3) If I submit to my husband, I’ll be miserable!
This lie began in the garden when the serpent made Eve believe she would miss out on something if she submitted God’s direction. Since then, Satan has done a masterful job convincing women that submission is narrow, negative, and confining. At the heart of this deception is a problem with authority- we don’t want anyone telling us what we can and cannot do.
I can remember being a little girl (maybe 13) and talking with some family members about the passages in Ephesians regarding submission. We were at Ryan’s Steakhouse when we were having this discussion….that’s how vivid it is to me. I remember being a sassy little pre-teen and saying with so much attitude that “I will NEVER submit to my husband! I am NOT going to be some man’s slave and stay home and cook him dinner & clean his house- we will be equal or if anything he will treat ME like a queen!” I know there are so many women in today’s society (thank you, feminist movement) who have this same picture of submission. And that’s EXACTLY where Satan wants us and why so many marriages are in trouble. This couldn’t be further from the truth about what submission truly is….but it’s what society has taught us.
As I’ve grown in my walk, my desire now IS to serve my husband. Not in a domineering, slave kinda way….but he is the protector and provider of our home….and I WANT to do things to take some responsibility off his plate. It makes me HAPPY to make him meals, pack his lunch, take care of the house, etc. In return, he loves me like crazy!!!! And he WANTS to help me. Marriage is not meant to be 50/50. It’s meant to be 100/100. We both give 100% to our roles, and neither of us are trying to fulfill a role we weren’t equipped for. (I cannot STAND to hear about a woman who “wears the pants”…)
· God made the woman to be helper to the man. (Genesis 2:18)
· We are never more like Jesus than when we are serving others. (John 13:5)
· Submission places me under the covering and protection of God. (Proverbs 21:1)
· When I step out from under authority, I become vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. (Romans 13:1-5)
· My willingness to place myself under God-ordained authority is the greatest evidence of how BIG I believe God really is. (Ephesians 5:21-22)
**We are made to believe that submission = oppression. Does this description of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 (who was completely selfless!!) sound oppressed to you?
Ø She is well dressed. (v.22)
Ø She and her family have food to eat and enough to share with others. (v. 15, 20)
Ø She lives a well-ordered life; she is emotionally stable and free from fear about the future. (v. 21, 25)
Ø Her husband is crazy about her- he is faithful to her, he feels she is “one in a million” and tells her so, and he brags about her to his friends. (My FAVE!!)
Ø Her children honor and praise her. (v. 28)
Submission is intended to give us freedom. And it does. The problem is not “submission.” The problem is our view of submission, and we do not understand it’s Biblical purpose & meaning. As a result, it has a negative connotation….and that’s why so many families in today’s society are out of whack and in total chaos.
**THE LIE: 4) If my husband is passive, I’ve got to take initiative or nothing will ever get done.
Ever since that day in the garden, the natural drive of the woman has been to control her husband, to rule over him, to act independently of him, and to “wear the pants” in the relationship. However, although our natural tendency is to take the reins, our desire is to let our husband rule and be responders (because that’s how we were created). **Role reversal** Our instinct is to blame men for being passive. We can’t insist on running the show and then expect men to be proactive, take initiative, and be the “spiritual leaders.” We can take matters into our own hands and may even be able to achieve immediate results, but we usually end up with a bitter taste in our mouths, even resenting and blaming those we feel pushed us into action. What can free us from the drive to control the men in our lives? We must learn to WAIT ON THE LORD; in His time, and in His way, He will act on behalf of those who wait for Him.
“Wait on the Lord and be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the Lord.” - Psalm 27:14
· God created the man to be the initiator and the woman to be the responder. (Genesis 3:6)
· If a woman takes the reigns rather than waiting on God to move her husband, her husband is likely to be less motivated to fulfill his God-given responsibility. (Genesis 16:1-2; Psalm 27:14)
**THE LIE: 5) Sometimes divorce is a better option than staying in a bad marriage.
The fact is, marriage is hard, and good marriages are harder. Men and women are vastly different and naturally selfish, which has resulted in half of all marriages ending in divorce. The Bible tells us God HATES divorce.
· Marriage is a lifelong covenant that is intended to reflect the covenant keeping heart of God. As He is faithful to His covenant, so we must be faithful to keep our marriage covenant. (Genesis 2:18-24; Ecclesiastes 5:4-6; Malachi 2:13-16; Mark 10:2-12)
· There is no marriage God cannot heal. There is no person God cannot change. (Mark 11:25; Matthew 5:44; 18:21-22)
· God uses the rough edges of each partner to in a marriage to conform the other to the image of Christ. (Ephesians 5:24-27)
· God’s grace is sufficient to enable you to be faithful to your mate and to love and forgive without limit. (2 Corinthians 12:9)