Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Anti-Cupid


Image Courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/freedigitalphotos.net
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
Ephesians 5:21-28

We know that God has promised that he "works all things for the good of those who love him."  Romans 8:28   But we also know that we have an enemy who is "looking for someone to devour."  1 Peter 5:8
Now I don't know about you, but I'd rather avoid getting devoured...
The fact is, one of the easiest targets for Satan to take aim at when given a family with special needs is the marriage.  From the original fall of man, marriage fell prey to the curse that followed sin. 

To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.Genesis 3:16 NIV

As my husband and I learned in our Fireproof Your Marriage study, women are designed to desire love, and men seek to feel respected.  That is affirmed in Genesis 3:16 AND in Ephesians 5 above.   This means that ALL marriages, not just those facing the pressures of raising a child with special needs, are going to face tremendous resistance in this life. 
Women want to feel loved.  Men want to feel respected.  But if I'm not feeling loved, I lash out with disrespect, and if my husband feels disrespected, it becomes difficult to love me! 
The added stress of parenting creates even more potential for difficulties; and pile on one diagnosis or another for those children; you have got yourself a big bull's-eye for Satan. 

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong/freedigitalphotos.net


Let's face it.  Intimacy becomes quite challenging when you're facing medical bills, stress from too much time away from work, multiple ER visits or hospitalizations, or seeing your child scared and in pain.  Then you're supposed to get time together as a couple? 
Oh, and when people remind you to take time for yourself?  Let's just not even go there.
The longer a couple goes without having some loving, tender, and intimate time together, the weaker the bonds of marriage become; they grow more and more estranged, even when living in the same house, and the marriage becomes an easier target for Satan.  He loves nothing more than an opportunity to capitalize on a "lonely" couple.

Look at how Satan targeted Jesus in Luke 4:2-3. 

He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.  the devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." 
Wait until Jesus is really, really hungry and then tell him that he DESERVES some bread...
Wait until the couple is really, really lonely and TELL them THEY DESERVE something better...more romantic...she deserves to be treated better than this...he deserves to not have a wife who yells when he gets home from a long day at work.
We know we have to be on the lookout for an ANTI-CHRIST...but, what about the ANTI-CUPID? 
The Anti-Cupid is all around us...throwing pornography in our faces, making TV and movie ratings a little more lenient, and "adult situations" become more and more "adult", until we no longer recognize how un-godly these relationships are that we see on TV or in the movies. 

If you're lonely, Satan wants to bring a flatterer into your midst.  With social media today, it's too easy to do.  That crush from high school, that younger man or woman at the office?  What's wrong with a little flirting if it makes you feel better right?
That voice you hear telling you it's okay, that's a liar.
If you feel like there's no romance, Satan will show you more and more romantic situations on TV that convince you that YOUR life is lacking love and affection that you NEED in order to live happily-ever-after.  Those programs warp our view of reality, and the King Liar himself weasels his way into our brain to convince us it's our spouses fault. We start to believe the lie and become more and more dissatisfied with our partner.
So, how do we combat this when society is ALL ABOUT supporting the ANTI-CUPID? 
We need to stay in the word, WITH OUR SPOUSE, and in prayer WITH OUR SPOUSE
Why together? 
If we are doing devotionals, reading scripture, or praying together daily, it gives us an avenue for keeping our communication open and honest and FLOWING.  Also, when we spend this spiritual time together, we invite the Holy Spirit into our marriage to work on it, strengthen it, keep it as the Holy Union that God intended it to be. 

We MUST put on the ARMOR of God and pray for protection over our marriages!  What better way to experience intimacy than in praying for our marriages WITH our spouse?  In praying honestly over our temptations WITH our spouse?  In honoring our oath we took in front of God on our wedding day WITH one another by seeking HIS help in renewing our love for one another?

We will have difficult times in our marriages.  We may even find that we've grown so stale in our relationship that we don't know how to start over again. 

With Valentine's Day just a couple of days away, I urge you to use this weekend as a chance to LOVE your spouse.  Pick up a couples devotional and start reading together and discussing together.  If you can't go out on Valentine's Day, that's okay!  Start Friday and show how excited you are to renew your love together and to shoot down the Anti-Cupid who hovers near-by waiting to devour you.
Image Courtesy of lekkyjustdoit/freedigitalphotos.net

Let nothing here on earth stand in the way of the union that God blessed on your wedding day.

Because,
"What God has joined together, let NO ONE put asunder."
Pray:  Heavenly Father, our world is a hurting mess, and Satan prowls around trying to distract from our relationship with you.  Please, Father God, forgive us for the times we have not loved our spouses and for the times we have disrespected them.  Let this weekend be a time for FRESH starts.  Soften our hearts to the love we had before life took it's toll.  We know that only YOU can make ALL things new.   Amen

-Tammie Hefty


2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your transparency and authenticity regarding a difficult subject to address. I pray for all of the couples that have one person carrying the weight of continuing the marriage while the spouse has given up. I pray for restoration because it definitely helps if both parents deal with special needs.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Denie! Yes, both parents need to believe that God can restore marriages and make all things new!

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