Walking from room to room I prayed. Lord, let peace and love reign in our home. May we always be a family. Please bind attacks of the enemy and help us see him coming. Our new home’s construction was almost complete and I couldn’t think of anything I wanted more than the Holy Spirit to be welcomed there.
I wanted God to bless our home and our life. And, He did and He does. Isn’t that the desire of every woman – a love and peace filled nest? So maybe you are thinking, “How nice. My home is anything but peaceful. Matter of fact, we live in a battle zone.” Well then, we are battle buddies.
Somewhere between the “I dos” and the “happily ever after’s”, every family must suit up and fight the enemy (Eph. 6:11). If you think the enemy is sleeping next to you every night or maybe wearing ear buds and listening to music a few rooms over, you would be wrong.
Satan has a battle plan and our families are the spoils of war he desires. Peter writes about the devil’s main objective in 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV), “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Six families that I love (and I suspect more) are currently on the devil’s menu.
In our 37 years of marriage, we have been to war more than once. Our healed scars are our medals.
What would I say to those families who are battle weary? What do I say to you?
Your family is worth every ounce of strength you have to give. Gosh, I wish I could say this will be easy. That you can quote a few scriptures and say a few prayers and the enemy will get scared and run. I wish…
Nope his heels are dug in and he has our own fleshly desires to work with. Our hurts, our emotions, those rights the world tells us we have, our anger, indignation, lust, greed… The devil is a sly ole fox. He will use everything and anything to trip us up and then gleefully watch as our eyes are opened to the devastation – afterwards.
So where do we start? Realize who the enemy really is. I can remember walking down the stairs at work one day and saying out loud, Satan, my family belongs to God. Get your hands off! He doesn’t let go easily.
We do need to pray – like we never have before. Our faces may need to grow accustomed to the feel of carpet.
We do need to read our Bible.
Or maybe you will need to find a great Christian counselor – learn how to set up some boundaries – and stop moving the lines.
I don’t want to over simplify a very personal process. And, I want you to know that if you are in an abusive relationship, get out and seek help immediately. What I do want to do is offer a little encouragement, hope and few more practical things you can do right now.
Recognize your family’s true enemy.
Don’t rush. Proverb 19:2 (NLT) says, “Zeal without knowledge is not good; a person who moves too quickly may go the wrong way.” When we make decisions based on emotions only, we often live to regret them. “The human heart is most deceitful…” Jeremiah 17:9 (NLT)
Communicate your heart. Keep the dialogue open in your family. May we not pout, give the cold shoulder or the quiet treatment. Be kind but speak the truth in love. Ask yourself, do I need to say this or am I just wanting to be mean?
Learn to listen. That’s simply said but oh so hard to do. We all want to make our point. But, the point is that we are a team and we have to fight the enemy together or we will lose.
Let’s take a close look at ourselves. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT) This is a prayer God will answer yes to every time.
Do you know one of the things I have learned over the years? I can’t change anyone but me.
Forgive. This is probably one of the most important gifts you can ever give.
Can I tell you friends it’s not time to give up just yet? Relationships are hard and marriage ain’t for sissies. It’s not too late to fight. If you’re not feelin the love, you can learn to love again. You two can laugh together – again. Your marriage can be saved. Ours was.
Dear Lord, we need help. We are battle weary and we don’t even like our battle partner right now. Most of the time they look like the enemy. Help us remember who the real enemy is and what his plans are. Don’t let us be tricked. Give us the strength to try again. Renew our hearts and our love for each other. Help us to see each other with new eyes. Empower us to be kind and love like You love. In the empowering name of Jesus, amen.