Song of Songs 6:3 (NIV) – I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies.
This contains excerpts from the new book “Real Romance: Sex in the Song of Songs”. To purchase the book, click here, and to access the sermon series that accompanies these devos and this book, click here.
Married couples – you have an enemy, but it’s not your spouse. Spoiler alert, it’s Satan, the ultimate Enemy. As we like to say, first comes the wedding, then comes the war. In other words, the Serpent didn’t even show up in the garden until Adam and Eve were married.
After getting married in our early 20’s, we drove down to the Oregon coast and spent our first few married days together at a bed and breakfast. The woman who owned the inn felt like God told her to say something to us. We did not know her, not did we know she was a Christian until that moment, but what she said to us was from the Lord.
She asked us to hold hands and told us Satan was going to attack our marriage, trying to convince us that one or the other was the enemy, but that we needed to never believe this lie. It seemed like an odd thing to say since at the time we were newlyweds, but it is absolutely true, and we would learn this lesson in many hard ways over the next few years before it ultimately came to a head years later.
After being in ministry for over a decade with five children, we were having an argument one night in the bathroom, out of earshot from the kids who were in bed. It felt like we were stuck in a cul-de-sac of misunderstanding and frustration. We didn’t know how to stop!
Grace, who was praying for help and wisdom, felt prompted by the Lord to tell me, “Tell him you aren’t his enemy!” Once she did, in a moment that could be added to a lengthy list of moments that aren’t my best or finest, I replied “Yes, YOU are!!”
I (Grace) was stunned. I had no idea, nor did he, that he actually had been deceived by the real enemy into thinking I was against him. All I knew was how hard (though still imperfectly) I had worked to love and respect Mark as my husband, so this could only be explained as the deceptive work of Satan.
I quickly replied, “Well, that’s the problem.” When Satan can convince one or both spouses that they are the enemy, then he can sit back and watch the fights rage on. When together we can expose him as the enemy and pray for the Lord to help us walk in unity, then we have the opportunity to experience healing, peace, and joy in our marriage.
I had no desire to be the divider of our marriage, but with unhealed hurts and the enemy’s deception, that was how it played out. We talked it through and dug up any roots of bitterness so we could walk in forgiveness and mutual understanding. I was so thankful the Holy Spirit exposed the unholy spirit that was trying to steal, kill, and destroy our marriage.
What lies from the enemy have you believed about your spouse? If you haven’t yet done so, pray together first and be honest with them so that you can forgive anything that needs to be forgiven and heal your relationship.