One of the most obvious ways that the enemy tries to divide husbands and wives who are both in Christ is by getting them to react to one another on the ground of their natural self (soul) instead of on the ground of Christ.
In Christ, a husband and wife are both fellow-heirs of the grace of life. In Christ, there is no more jew, greek, male, female—- all are one in Him. There is no room for prejudice or any such thing when in Christ, because He is the common denominator. When both spouses are born again, they are both partakers of the Divine nature and life, and therefore, we have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light, and we are to walk in newness of life.
The Old Life & Its Reactions
Before Christ, we reacted to life and people in a very different way. Before Christ, we had no other way of reacting to life and people except by the soul or flesh nature. That was our only way of life, and that life was under the power of satan. Even the most religous Pharisee, however “good” he might have been, was incapable of reacting in any other way except the flesh nature because apart from Christ, no one can live out from any thing other than their soul life of human nature.
As the Apostle writes, it is obvious the works of the flesh:
19 Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, 21 envy,[a] drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
- fornication- sex before marriage
- uncleanness- watching, reading, being involved with things that stir up lusts and draw us into sin
- lasciviousness- indulgence in sensual pleasures involving sex, alcohol, and drugs
- Idolatry- placing anything as more important than Christ in your heart—-whatever you trust to satisfy and seek to satisfy you
- witchcraft- sorcery, magical arts
- hatred- grudges, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, enmity
- variance- quarelling, strife, discord
- emulations- jealousy
- wrath-fits of rage
- selfish ambition
- heresies- clinging to a personal choice that divides you from others
- Envyings- wanting what you don’t have, or thinking what you don’t have isn’t enough or good enough
Before Christ, this is what we were. This is what we are in our human nature. But thanks be to God, that in Christ, we are a NEW creation! He brought our spirit back to life by imparting unto us His Life—eternal Life—–and joined His Spirit to ours, and we are now living out from the spirit, if the Spirit of Christ dwells in us! We are dead to sin (as a master), and alive unto God in spirit!
NEW LIFE & NEW REACTIONS
Now, I know personally for me that I can’t say I don’t still react out of my own flesh sometimes. I do. However, I know that it is possible to NOT react out of my own soul and instead react out of my Spirit union with Christ in a way that glorifies God. It is a war—– the Spirit wars against the flesh in us—-and vice versa—- but in the end, if we belong to Christ, the Spirit will have the mastery of us—-and our soul will come to serve the Spirit!!!!
But in the mean time, we are most likely given the opportunity daily to practically live out our spirit union with Christ in our marriages by how we react in the hurtful, difficult times.
Times we can practically live out our union by reacting from the Spirit instead of the flesh:
- when our husband says “no” to us about something we feel is very important
- when our husband rejects us sexually
- when our husband sins against us
- when our husband gets offended because of a miscommunication
- when our husband gets upset because we have been disrespectful
- when our husband doesn’t “understand” us
- when we feel unloved by our husband
- when we feel abandoned by our husband
- when we feel alone in marriage
- when our husband won’t “talk” to us
- when we feel emotionally abandoned
- when we feel underappreciated
- when our husband doesn’t meet our expectations
- when our husbands pay more attention to the computer/phone/tv than us
- when our husbands are stressed from work issues
- when our husband makes an unwise decision
- when our husband is appearing to be selfish
- when our husband is prideful
- when our husband says he’s “done” with the marriage
- when our husband feels neglected in any way
- when our husbands are not leading the family the way we want them to
- when our husband forgets for the millionth time to take his shoes off at the front door because we JUST mopped
- when our husband makes a joke that hurts our feelings
- when our husband forgets to say “thank you”
- when our husband forgets birthday/anniversary
- when our husband seems to have time for everyone/thing else besides you
In these difficult times—– we have a golden opportunity to react from the Spirit. Any one of these situations would give us a reason to react in anger, bitterness, strife, rage, selfishness, jealousy, etc. And it is most likely easier to react in these ways at any given situation—- but this is where we have to STOP—– and see what is true and what is really going on.
- our husbands are NOT perfect, even if they are in Christ—– Even if our husband is born again, he is on his own journey with the Lord and in being conformed to the image of Christ. He will not be perfect. He is capable of sinning. He is capable of making unwise decisions. Nonetheless, he is still a fellow-heir of the grace of life, and He is in Christ, and therefore you are both on the same common ground of the Lord—no matter what his actions may say or seem to be against that fact.
- if we allow every little thing they do wrong in our eyes to determine our reactions, we will never be found reacting from the Spirit
- do we expect to be unconditionally loved and forgiven by our husbands and then turn around and hold every little wrong above their head to point out that they are no where near where they ought to be in Christ?
- are you basing whether your husband deserves your grace or not depending on how he treats you?
- do you deserve grace from the Lord? No one deserves grace—that is why it is a FREE gift!!!! THANK GOD!
- who would want nothing more than for you to point out every single wrong to your husband? Christ or satan?????
- how do you feel when your shortcomings are exposed by your husband and you are made to feel as if you don’t deserve anything from them because of it?
This is something I am just beginning to learn as the Lord has led me to see this—that I have to react to my husband on the ground of what is of the Lord in him instead of what he is by nature. A main reason there has been so much difficulty and strife in my marriage since day one is because we have both been reacting to each other on the ground of who we both are by nature instead of the fact that we are both fellow-heirs of the grace of life!
That is the ground of unity—-in the Spirit. My husband and I are one flesh in God’s eyes—- and we are also one in the Spirit of God dwelling in us. There is One Spirit— and it is the ground of unity in the bond of peace! No matter what we are by nature—– the Cross has forever placed a “NO” on it—-and it is dead in the sight of God. We are both new creations in Christ, and we are both growing in Christ.
What a hindrance I have been to him in growing in Christ by reacting towards him after the flesh instead of the spirit. His reactions have hindered me at times, too. How much better it could be if we react to each other out of the fact that we are both in the Lord—children of God—-and we have the same Life dwelling in us!
REACTING ON THE GROUND OF THE LORD
What might it look like if we react on the fact that we are one in Christ?
The Bible gives us a practical guide in these difficult times———
“SUBMIT TO GOD, RESIST THE DEVIL, AND HE WILL FLEE.” James 4:7
I know that the Lord means something in my marriage and that the devil is raging against it and has been since day one. It has been a battle since that day, and I am only just starting to see why. 2 years and 7 months ago, I took a stand of Faith in the Lord and I trusted Him to provide me a husband after I felt the Lord had put it on my heart to become married. He provided a husband, and I wholeheartedly believe that my husband is who the Lord had for me to marry. There was no coincidence in our meeting and marrying. We were both/are in the Lord and on that ground we got married. And like any other ground of faith that we take with the Lord—- the ground has been tested ever since then. I took a stand on faith, and I have been tested on it ever since.
About 4 months after we got married and moved to where my husband is from, we were at our friends’ church one Sunday evening, and at the end of the time there, when people were praying for others, etc. the pastor was praying, and during his praying he said: there is a couple in the back who are newly married, and I see an angel standing behind them holding them together with one hand on each of their shoulders. He said that the enemy robbed us of our honeymoon and he sent people to try to devour our marriage and bring division, but God said “NO!” “Let no man separate what God has brought together!”
We never met this person before, and we had never been to this place before. There was absolutely no way he could have known us or that we had just gotten married and that in fact there had been people sent to devour and divide our marriage.
When we went to marriage counseling a few times during this year, the guy was weirdly intrigued by our marriage—he kept saying that he knew there was something special about us and our marriage and that the Lord wants to use us for something. He kept saying there was something special between us.
The devil is against any marriage that has the ability to represent CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD! And he will stop at nothing to get us divided. I am no longer a willing participant. If I unkowingly participate in satan’s work against my marriage—I pray the Lord will show me immediately. The Glory of God is at stake here!
I’ve been asked by someone who is not a fan of my husand: “I don’t know how you can even be married to him”——and I now see that I can be married to my husband because he is my fellow-heir in the grace of life—no matter what he does or doesn’t do—– he is my husband in the Lord and we are joined in the sight of God as a representation of Christ and the Church and the Glory of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ is at stake if I don’t cooperate with the Spirit of God dwelling in me when I react in my marriage!