Watch out for this scheme from hell!

I’m outing him.  I’m exposing one of Satan’s main strategies for tripping up wives and potentially destroying their marriages.  I can speak from experience because I got caught in this scheme.  Ugh.  Here it is.  The enemy will subtly lure you into a “friendship” with a man other than your husband.  It will start very innocently.  It may evolve very slowly.  But here’s what I know.  Once you start sharing your feelings, your troubles, and your hopes with a man, you start emotionally bonding with that man.   Once a man starts sharing his burdens and his feelings with you, you start to bond with that man.  Now you’re in treacherous water, and it’s only a matter of time before you get sucked into an actual affair.

I know some of you don’t believe me, but trust me, this has happened to countless women, including wonderful Christian ladies.  It happened to me at the end of my first marriage.  I never would have believed it could happen to me!  For me, it took over 10 years for Satan to build a strong enough emotional bond with the man for me to be ensnared, but apparently the devil is pretty patient.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Refuse to spend time alone with another man, even at a public location.  Refuse to discuss your marriage or your husband with another man, unless it’s a pastor or counselor.   God instructs us in 1 Peter 5:8 to “be self-controlled and alert because the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour“.  Be smart.  Be alert to this scheme from the pit of hell!

Avoiding landmines in blended families

Pretty much anyone who has entered the arena of blended families and step-parenting knows that it is like trying to walk across a field of landmines.  Typically, the biggest problem is that the step-parent thinks the step-child should love and respect them just like they would their biological parent.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way.

Here’s the best piece of advice I ever heard on this subject.  As the step-parent, take the time (perhaps years!) to sow nothing but love into the relationship with your new stepchild.  Resist the desire to step in as disciplinarian and let the biological parent handle that.  As a couple, talk with your spouse behind closed doors about how “situations” and discipline should be handled, but then let the biological parent actually carry it out.

The idea of sowing love into a person before expecting that person to love you in return is actually similar to our relationship with Jesus.  The Bible says “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  We need to model this as step-parents.  Your step-child needs to see you demonstrate love for a sustained period of time before believing you actually have their best interests at heart.  This may truly take years, especially if the child is over the age of about 5 when you first enter the new marriage.  Be patient.

Satan’s scheme to destroy marriages

Let’s not be ignorant.  Satan is dead-set on destroying your marriage and killing your joy.  Jesus explains in John 10:10 that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy.  Furthermore, Jesus reveals in John 8:44 that one of Satan’s favorite schemes to destroy you entails lying to you. 

He will try to plant lies in your mind such as this:  Your husband doesn’t love you. You deserve a different husband.  You are not loveable.  You will never be happy with your husband.  You better not challenge any sinful behavior by your husband because if you do, he will leave you and you won’t be able to take care of yourself.  Do any of these lies sound familiar?

Thankfully, Jesus also tells us the way to stand against the enemy’s plans to destroy us and our marriages.  It’s a four-part recipe.  First, ask God to reveal lies of the enemy that you’ve been buying!  When negative, critical, or fearful thoughts enter my head, I try to remember to pause and ask myself, “Does this sound like something God would say, or is this a lie of the enemy?”

The next 2 steps are found in Revelation 12:11 which says “They triumphed over him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.”  So, proclaim Jesus’ shed blood on the cross as sufficient to overcome the enemy’s plans!  Also, tell others about how God has answered your prayers or displayed his power in your life in the past.  This serves to remind both us and our listeners that Jesus’ power over the enemy is enough to defeat him! 

Finally, Jesus tells us in Luke 10:19 that we get to take authority over the enemy in Jesus’ name!  Meditate on this verse which says “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”  Do you need to start taking authority over the devil in your home?  One way to do that is by commanding all evil spirits to leave your home “in the name of Jesus” and then asking God to fill your home with the Holy Spirit and surround your home with His angels.

Are you cooperating with the devil?

Your enemy has plans to blow-up your marriage.  The Bible says in John 10:10 that Satan is out to “steal, kill, and destroy“, so make no mistake.  The devil is working diligently to take down both you and your husband.  He may relentlessly tempt your husband to view pornography, and your husband may cave into the temptation.  Your heart will definitely be bruised if your husband falls into that trap.  But Satan wants more than that.  The enemy will relentlessly tempt you to treat your husband with scorn and disgust so that your marriage implodes.

This is where you have a choice.  You can cooperate with the devil and give in to his temptations.  You can allow him to have the victory.  You can align yourself with his evil plans and watch your marriage get flushed down the toilet.  Or you can refuse to cooperate with the devil.  Even when your husband does something that seriously disappoints you, you can tell your husband that you are still “for him”…that you believe he has a good heart…that you are not giving up on him.

A friend of mine recently found out that her husband had slipped up and viewed porn after over a year of being free from pornography.  Of course, she was devastated, but she chose wisely in that moment.  She chose to speak words of life to her husband.  I’d love to share the text she sent me shortly after his confession:  “So thankful he was honest.  Still hurts.  But the enemy will not win!  My marriage is worth fighting for”.  What a fantastic attitude!  She refused to cooperate with the devil.  How about you?

How teamwork can help your marriage

I was reflecting recently about how many affairs happen between people who work closely together.  The boss has an affair with his long-time female assistant.  The female newscaster has an affair with the male newscaster who works in the same studio every day.  The pastor has an affair with his long-time secretary.  I realized something profound.  These people ended up having an affair because a super strong emotional bond was created as they worked together as a team over many years.

There is great bonding power when a man and woman work side by side as a team toward a common goal.  As they fight together through challenges and adversity, they bond.  As they work side-by-side over many years, they develop a history of shared experiences and memories that only they know about…and that creates a special bond.  The power of team is highlighted in the well-known verse in Ecclesiastes Chapter 4:  “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Thought for you:  How can you take this knowledge of the “power of team” and use it to foster an even deeper bond between you and your husband?  Can you intentionally begin working together on some common projects or goals?  Think about it…because the “power of team” can create a super strong glue for your marriage.