Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Devil Masquerades in Marriage

Marriage is under attack. It used to be that marriages in the secular world had the highest divorce rate. In a Barna Research Group study it was found that divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups—specifically mentioned were atheists and agnostics.

There are a number of factors that play into this. But there is one specific possibility that I would like to throw out there. I think one of the reasons we end up reaching that place of divorce is because a root of discontentment is planted. We start seeing only the negative, the things we don’t like, or the things that we would like to see changed.

2 Corinthians 11:14 gives us an idea on how this works. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. Think about that. What does masquerade mean? It is an action or appearance that is mere disguise or show. In other words, it isn’t real. Sometimes there is a masquerade that happens in our marriages. We put up this disguise that everything is fine. We are trying to sweep away the problems, hoping they will somehow just disappear. We look on the outside like we have it all together but what’s really going on is a lot of strife and contention.

When we ignore problems in the marriage we don’t stand a chance at fixing them. They are NOT going to go away. Sure they might take a step back for a time but they always come back and sometimes they come back uglier than before.

There are other masquerades that happen in marriage. Sometimes it’s what we are seeing in our spouse. We only see what is wrong with the other person. In fact, we begin to get so fixated on those things that pretty soon we are completely incapable of seeing the good. Masquerade also means mask. In this case we are seeing this mask on our spouse and it’s not a pretty one. We can’t see behind it. We only see the ugly mess on the outside. We have become discontent in our marriage.

My husband and I have been watching a marriage in our family completely fall apart. We know that the reasons for it aren’t real. Satan is doing a lot of masquerading. He is a schemer (Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes) and he is definitely looking for someone to devour (I Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour). He has been hard at work and it seems only one person in the marriage is seeing that.

I tried to share with my family member what God has done in my marriage to Dan. We weren’t raised Christian. We don’t know what that’s like to have a godly heritage. We didn’t start off on the best foot. We met at a beer tent at Summerfest! We went through a lot of hard times in our marriage and absolutely no one thought we would ever make it. We both thought we weren’t going to make it. But we did…18 ½ years later. I can look back and recall the times that I felt discontentment taking root. All I saw was what I didn’t like, what I didn’t bargain for, what I didn’t want. The devil was masquerading things. He wanted me to think something that wasn’t true. If I had believed him we would be divorced today.

If you are going through a difficult time in your marriage—and believe me, EVERYONE goes through it—hold on. Don’t let the devil trick you into believing things that aren’t true…that it won’t ever change, that you will never be happy, that you need to bail. I’m tired of hearing about broken marriages in Christian homes. It is very sad to sit by and watch it happen and be helpless to do anything about it. At the same time I do pray about it constantly and am standing on the belief that God will heal and restore it. Stand on the belief that God will heal and restore your marriage as well!

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