Stop Giving the Enemy a Foothold in Your Marriage
Stuck. Freaking out. Desperate.
There I was, sprawled out on the side of a MOUNTAIN, with my crazy husband and our best friends. We had just finished a beautiful hike down a mountain and started heading back up the steep trail. Lo and behold, our ever adventurous male leaders decided that instead of taking the marked trail back to our vehicle, we should take a shortcut by climbing up the side of the mountain. It was fine at first, until we got halfway up this steep sloping mountain only to realize it consisted mainly of loose gravel.
I kind of thought I was going to die. We were kicking dirt in each other’s faces trying to get up the side of this ridiculously steep mountain, hoping we wouldn’t die from a fall or LEG cramps.
All I kept telling myself was, “Keep finding a foothold, and you’ll make it up to the car in tact! Look there’s a branch—USE IT! A hole in the mountain—USE IT! Oh look! There’s my husband’s head—USE IT!” (Just kidding.)
Thankfully, that little pep-talk worked. I used anything I could find to put my feet on and push myself upward. I’m glad to say, we survived that ridiculous adventure with only a couple of bleeding wounds and scrapes. (We can laugh about it now.)
Footholds are amazing when they are used for the right advantage. (Like trying not to die on the side of a mountain.) However, they are absolutely detrimental when we accidentally and unknowingly give them to the wrong enemy.When we give the enemy an inch of a foothold in our lives, he will use it to advance His cause: to kill, steal and… Click To Tweet
Paul writes this warning to us in Ephesians 4:26-27,
“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
When it comes to our marriages, this warning could not be more timely and accurate. A wise friend once told me, “Before you get married, the enemy will do anything he can to push you together. After you get married, he’ll do everything to pull you apart.”
And how exactly does he pull marriages apart?
The small bitter seed of unforgiveness in your heart that you think isn’t big deal.
The harmless confiding sessions you have with that male co-worker or male friend on Facebook.
Those “quick” glances on the Internet.
That meaningless love for erotic romance movies, novels, what have you.
Making yourself overly busy, leaving no alone time for you and your spouse.
Step by small step, foothold by foothold, the enemy inches his way in through whatever avenue we leave available to him. Afterall, destruction rarely happens in one day. It’s a slow fade; a step-by-step, brick-by-brick process that slowly weakens the bond that God intended to last.
Intentionality is the enemy’s weapon. Where He is intentional to destroy and tear down, we must be even more intentional to build up and fortify. We must by hyper aware of those ever-so-small footholds we leave for his entry. One way that we can be vigilant is to daily ask the Lord to fill and eradicate any footholds in our marriages and ask that he would bring them to our attention.
Just as the enemy is strategic in gaining access to our lives, we must be strategic in closing up those areas of access. Maybe that looks like spending extra quality time with your husband, or cutting off communication with that unhealthy male-friendship, finding Internet accountability, or shutting down any emotional addiction. Pray for the Lord to reveal areas where the enemy is gaining access into your relationship with your spouse. God is so faithful (and fast) to show us areas where we are giving the enemy headway.
My prayer for us is that we would not grow so distracted with our jobs, responsiblities, kids, activities, and even ministries that we lose sight of the Gift right beside us. May we be on the alert for any wedges that are trying to drive themselves in between us and our spouse.
“Lord, fill in any footholds we can’t see or aren’t aware of so that the enemy will slip and fall right back down that mountain to square one. Keep us alert. Keep us aware. Help us be intentional—step-by-step and day by day.”