Armed for the Attack – Benjamin Watson
By: Benjamin Watson
March 28, 2017
Eleven years into our marriage, Kirsten and I have experienced many attacks. The enemy loves to attack marriage. In the beginning with Adam and Eve, this was the first thing that Satan attacked because he understood that if you weaken the order in the family, you can undermine God’s authority and His blessing. Recently I heard Dr. Tony Evans talk about the authority that God put in place: Christ under God, man under Christ, woman under man, and children under their parents.
Just as Jesus is fully God but submits to the will of the Father, God created equality between men and women but within that equality we also have different functions. What we are told by culture today is that men are more important than women but that is far from the truth. In fact it’s a lie literally from the pit of hell. This distortion of understanding our differing functions is something that Satan will use to drive a wedge between a man and a woman to appeal to the pride of man. He wants to convince man that he is to be lord over women but that is not how we are designed to be.
In turn, Satan will try to convince a woman that her function determines her worth, feeding her the lie that she is less important than a man. When she pushes back against that and against her man, Satan does his job. Satan has then accomplished his goal of dividing the family and creating discord.
As Dr. Evans said, “The purpose of marriage is for dominion as well as creating more image bearers of God.” When we stray from that truth, we are disrupting the design God created between man and woman.
When my wife and I were first married we really struggled with conflict. Conflict is something that every marriage—and every relationship—faces. It’s needed, but it must be handled appropriately. Many times, God allows conflict to develop and strengthen our character for His glory.
Kirsten and I are both oldest children; both of us have always had strong convictions and a fiercely competitive spirit. If we are together on something, there aren’t many things that can stand in the way of us, but if we are against each other, we will destroy each other’s spirit as well as any plans that God has to use us.
Early in our marriage we each were constantly trying to win at all cost, no matter what it was we were doing (we would even argue about the color of the sky…). But what I was failing to realize is that when she wins, I win. We are one flesh, she is part of me and I of her—her best interests are also mine. We needed to learn how to argue well, not for the sake of dominating the other, but for understanding one another. It’s important to determine what is a make-or-break issue and what we should just let go of. Some things are just not worth disrupting your relationship over.
I remember one day early on when Kirsten and I were in the middle of a conflict, we sat down with a pastor who told me to turn to Ephesians 5:25:
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
He then asked me, “Are you being loving?” No. No I wasn’t. What I loved about that challenging moment is that this pastor immediately took us to the Word of God. He didn’t turn us to a self-help book, a podcast, Google, Twitter, or Facebook, he encouraged us to move all opinions out of the way and do what Scripture tells us to do. There are times when you need a third party to help you out, but that party should always be directing you back to the ultimate playbook: Scripture.
Some of the greatest times in our marriage have been when we are serving others together. But often as we head into ministry, Satan rears his ugly head, ready to attack. There are times when we still don’t argue well, and we will continue to fail because we’re both sinful people—we don’t have it all together. When we are being disobedient to God and fighting with each other, it can get pretty cold in here pretty fast. But if we identify the struggles when they surface and arm ourselves for the attack, we can keep our eyes focused on God’s design for our marriage. When that happens, we see God at work, not only in our marriage and family, but for His greater purpose.
Benjamin Watson is a regular contributor to The Increase and will be providing monthly articles and opinions.
Check out Benjamin’s Increase profile here: http://theincrease.com/author/benjaminwatson/
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