Monday, November 26, 2012

How Marriages Fall Apart

I found this great article on the Biblical Counseling Coalition blog titled 10 Ways that Satan Loves to Watch Marriages Fall Apart by Deepak Reju.  In it, Deepak encourages those of us who are married to be on guard for the devil.  Satan's intention is clear - to steal, kill and destroy.  Not just our life, but in every facet of our lives. Especially in our marriages.

Deepak explains that often times, the devil can sit back (in a sense) and not do anything with our marriages, because we are destroying them enough on our own.  He suggests 10 areas where marriages have difficulty.  See if any of these resonate with you:

Spouses live in the flesh and not in the Spirit.
    But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
    If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
(Galatians 5:16-26) 

No sex in marriage.
Couples who don’t have regular sex are allowing a barrier to come between them. No sex in marriage means the couples is less unified.
A husband is consumed by pornography.
    Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
(1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)
Lofty, sky-high expectations.
I’ve seen men crushed under the weight of their wives’ perfectionistic expectations. The husband says things like, “She expects me to be a holy man.” He constantly feels like a failure, and therefore has little to no incentive to actually work at the marriage. She beats him up (verbally, not physically) because (in the words of one spouse I counseled) “nothing else seems to work to get him to do anything.”  
Nuclear war.
No explanation needed.
Avoidance and withdrawal.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
(Ephesians 4:26-27)
Hate speech.
How many times have we said something that we later regretted?  Oh be careful "little" tongue what you speak...
Weak boundaries.
Guys, know where the boundaries are and stick to them.  No flirting with friends or strangers.  No pictures of other ladies in your home gym or garage.  
Work - idolatry.
Where is your passion?  We all know that we could work more and harder, but not at the expense of our marriage.
All lying destroys.  Our marriages are not exempt from that truth.      Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
(Colossians 3:9-10)

So men, women, guard your heart and you'll guard your marriage.  It's worth it. "But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43-45)

For the full article, click here.

Would you add any other "marriage-destroyers" to this list?
What do you and your spouse do to protect the covenant?