Who's The Real Enemy?
Is there a fight you and your spouse keep having that you can never seem to resolve?
You try different solutions, but none solve the problem.
Hopelessness sneaks in as every effort made fails.
In this post, you will see that success is possible… even if your spouse does not change one single bit.
Let’s start at the beginning
Remember the start of your marriage? Everything was going well, it even seemed perfect, right? We think, OUR marriage is different from everyone else's. We love each other so much, we get along so well, being married will be easy! Nothing is going to steal our affection for each other, our friendship, our future.
We don’t even realize that what we have is steal-able.
But then it happens.
And the person we committed to love at any cost, doesn’t look as desirable as they once did. Come to think of it, neither does our marriage.
When we believe the lie that our spouse is the one who has robbed us, we get stuck. We see each other as enemies, pointing our finger at our former best friend as the one to blame. The fighting and arguing are proof of our enmity.
A marital stand-off has ensued.
Who’s the real enemy?
Have you ever considered that you’re fighting the wrong person?
But- if not your spouse- WHO?
Remember part one of I’m Sick of Fighting with My Spouse!?
We looked at James 4:1 and discovered the source of our fighting: our own, unfulfilled, selfish desires.
It points out the fact that our spouse is not the enemy.
When we take off the greedy glasses that skew our vision, we see there are two wars occurring.
We fight against the powerful desires that rage within us.
We buy into the lie that those desires will make us happy. When my husband/wife finally does what I want, I will be fulfilled!
Did you do your homework from the last post? If not, take a moment to do that right now.
Identifying your desires and wants, knowing where they come from and what you believe about them, will help you recognize that the battle is WITHIN.
Galatians 5:16-17 says, …let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other…
When we understand “War One,” we can see our spouse as a fellow fighter alongside us, not an enemy. We become advocates together for a Godly mission- NOT a personal one.
Remember, the outward fights we have with our spouse are manifestations of the internal war raging in our heart.
Check out your list again.
If you listed something as a Biblical desire, support it with Scripture. If you can’t, then it’s not Biblical.
If you listed a desire in the “not wrong, but not sinful” category, dig deeper. Sometimes (not always) God will point out that your motivation behind it IS a sin proven by His Word; if so, move it to the sinful category. Search Scriptures on these “nonthreatening” desires until you’re confident they are in their rightful place.
If you listed one of your desires in the sin category, use Biblical truth to help you see it clearly (John 8:32).
This list is not to be used as ammunition in a battle with your spouse, but to disarm YOU. These desires reveal our hearts; they must be addressed Biblically. Don’t fool yourself into thinking they’re okay lying dormant in your heart. What they are doing is not benign, they can grow like a malignant cancer unless we seek a cure.
Unlike the inward battle we face, this one rages outside.
But it’s still NOT against our spouse!
Check out what the following passages tell us about who we are battling in War Two:
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.
1 Peter 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Spiritual warfare is real; burying our heads in the sand about the issue only gives the enemy more advantage. He loves to sneak, deceive, trick, and hide in the dark. Therefore, God tells us to STAY ALERT!
For more information on spiritual warfare, check out THIS great resource.
It’s Satan’s desire to convince you that you deserve to have all your desires fulfilled. You have the right to that satisfaction, and anyone standing in your way is an enemy.
So, we detach ourselves from our spouse and stand alone.
Guess what? That is exactly where Satan wants us: isolated and fighting against our spouse.
If your relationship is slowly dying, now you know what’s killing it. It is not a mystery.
If the enemy has you tied up in a war with your beloved, open your eyes. It is NOT you against him/her. It is BOTH of you against your own flesh and the powers of this world.
How did we get here?
How does this happen?
Why do we believe the lies of the enemy rather than the truth of God and His Word?
The answers are simple. Because:
We think we know best
We are not trusting God
We don’t know God like we should
We are trying to keep God away from certain areas of our hearts
We’re calling Jesus Lord, but not doing what He asks (Luke 6:46)
Vow to change: an encouraging call to action
Your spouse is NOT the enemy.
We battle against our own selfishness and against the external powers of this world.
Your homework this week is simple. Read the following passages and write down all that God has provided to equip us in battle as we fight War One and War Two.
War One (Internal):
War Two (External):
He has made us more than conquerors in Him (Romans 8:37). That’s how much He loves us.
Find more in this VowsToKeep Radio podcast episode: How To Stop Fighting (Part 2):: [Episode 28]
Check it out
Now that we know what and who we are battling, we must deal with our deep desires.
We can’t just wave a magic wand and make them disappear.
In the next post, we’ll look at an action plan for handling those deep, pressing desires.