Have you ever had a fight with your spouse? I prefer to call them “loud discussions” at our house, but call it what you will, the reality is that we do disagree on a fairly consistent basis. Actually, I must be honest, Blake rarely argues. I am the loud one! (And by the way, it’s hard to argue when one person won’t!)
Most of our disagreements are related to parenting and the amazing three children God has given us. Blake and I were raised by wonderful loving parents who had vastly different parenting styles. We have yet, after 15 years of parenting , to figure out how to perfectly mesh our laid back (Blake) and over protective, over involved, perfectionistic (Gayla) theories. Our poor children! Other times I start the “discussion” because I feel like I’m not getting my fair share. I think Blake’s getting more attention, more time to chase his dreams, more recognition, more respect, etc. I build this elaborate scheme in my mind that I’m sure Blake and everyone else has come up with just to keep me from being happy and fulfilled. Crazy, I know! Poor Blake!
I’ve recently been working on some scripture memory in Ephesians that speaks directly to what I believe often happens in our marriage and the marriages of most of us. Ephesians 6:12 says:
“For our struggle is not flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
The Word of God specifically says that my husband is not the enemy. Last I checked, Blake is flesh and blood, and this verse says I’m struggling with someone totally different. Satan is such a trickster, and he makes us believe that our spouse is often the problem when it’s actually pure spiritual warfare. It’s a ploy he’s perfected over the years, and it wreaks havoc on marriages and families! We think our spouse is the one who needs to be defeated so we spend too much time fighting against a person when in reality, the real enemy is winning the battle we don’t even realize is being waged! In the worst cases, marriages end in divorce, thinking we’ve gotten rid of the enemy. Other times we stay together but continue to wage war against each other and see every detail of our lives from the perspective of competition. Either way, we’ve missed the opportunity to see God fight for us and with us.
I recently heard Dr. Caroline Leaf say, “Spouses were made for completion, not competition.” Praise God, this is scriptural! We are to “become one” according to Ephesians 5:31. Remember it says,
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
This means we are on the same team, fighting together against Satan with help of the Holy Spirit Who cannot be defeated! Satan is the enemy, not our spouse. How different would our “loud discussions” be if we would remember that! When we come to a point of disagreement, oh that we would see how Satan is attacking both our marriage and our family and determine to fight him, not each other. Blake and Gayla are on the same team: Team McKinney.
Actually, we are on Team Christ I suppose because as it also says in the very next verse, Ephesians 5:32:
“This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the Church. “
In that one verse I believe I can see why Satan does attack our marriages and make us see the wrong enemy! It’s because our marriages are supposed to be a reflection of how Christ loves the church. So not only is Blake not the enemy, but our happiness and ease is not the main point. Oh sure, God is so gracious to make marriage a delight (most of the time), but He created marriage in part to further illuminate His love for us and our dependence on Him.
I’m on to Satan, and I’m determined to fight the real enemy! Blake has permission at all times to remind me, “We are on the same team!”