The Cliff’s Notes version is this: God designed marriage. Satan hates anything that God designs. So, in a sense, when you said “I Do,” all Hell did break loose…with a vengeance toward destroying your marriage. There is so much truth to that whole “roaring around looking for someone to devour” thing that it is just plain maddening. (1 Peter 5:8).
Does that sound extreme? Maybe. But I talk to enough women and men (as well as read the comments on my site and other sites) to know that the journey of marriage is wrought with challenges. Some of those we bring on ourselves, so don’t think that I am trying to throw all responsibility on the back of the enemy. Many people sabotage their marriages by being selfish, careless, deceitful or in the most painful examples, outright abusive and/or adulterous. Even in those challenges though — when it looks like it is all through the actions of one or both spouses — the enemy is at work. It’s just we have given him a leg up in getting there.
Satan’s go-to path to victory is division. If he can cause division blatantly or if he can get you or your spouse to partner with him in creating division within your marriage, he does a sick sort of happy dance I’m sure.
Here’s the kicker…the part that really sucks… sometimes his tactics are not blatant. They don’t show up with a sign that says “spiritual warfare is about to occur.” Sometimes he is so subtle that he flys right under our radar. He is attacking our marriage — trying to gain a foothold — and we are indifferent or blind to it. We don’t see it for what it is. So, not only do we not go on the defensive to stop him in his tracks, we don’t even consider what going on the offensive looks like in proactively protecting our marriage.
So what does this have to do with sex? (You knew I was going to tie it all back to that, right? Come on.) Sex is a tremendous way to protect your marriage. No, it is not the only way; just a way…one of many I hope you pursue to strengthen your marriage. When healthy sexual intimacy prevails, it endears a husband and wife to each other powerfully…amazingly really. (And, I might add, in a way that really can’t be duplicated by any other means).
If sex has been an issue in your marriage, I recognize that moving toward health isn’t going to be easy. And especially if there has been betrayal of some sort (infidelity, pornography addiction, sexual abuse), then I wouldn’t even think you could experience healthy sexual intimacy without the very valued guidance of a professional Christian counselor or other ministry devoted to overcoming sexual indiscretions.
Whatever sexual intimacy looks like in your marriage, hear my passionate plea on this: barring the rare situations of illness or injury, sexual intimacy should not be an optional or neglected part of marriage.
If you are reading this and you have done all you can to nurture authentic godly sexual intimacy and it is your spouse who is being indifferent, then take a deep breath and know that God sees your pain. Pray for His comfort and strength, as well as His continued guidance in how you should express your devastation to your spouse.
If you are reading this and you are the one who has been indifferent, take hope in knowing that the Lord is all about making things new. Repent of your carelessness and begin to walk in a new direction. Get vulnerable with your Lord. Get vulnerable with your spouse about your genuine desire that sexual intimacy be better between the two of you, even if you don’t have all the answers in how to move in that direction.
Even though you probably weren’t conscientious of it as you stood at the altar, when you said “I Do,” all Hell broke loose. God is bigger than the enemy though. And sex was His idea… I imagine for the very reason that He knew something was needed to help protect marriages from the schemes of the enemy. God is brilliant isn’t He?
Copyright 2010. Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.
10 thoughts on “You said “I Do.” And All Hell Broke Loose.”
This is a very good post, Julie. I think it is important to remind ourselves that we are in a battle. How easily we can be defeated if we don’t even realize that there is a fight on. I completely agree that Satan has a two pronged attack on marriage: first, on devauling the institution in general, and second, on individual marrages, working to divide and deceive in order to destroy.
Yes, the enemy has co-opted and corrupted sex for his evil intensions, but the truth is that we (the church) need to reclaim it and not run from it, as some might do because of the association with evil. Sex is God’s! He invented it for us, and we need to take it back!
The good news, as you state, is that our God is bigger and the victory has been won for us!
Amen to this post Julie. : )
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Thank you for this post. Connected through my Daily Wife Tips I get in my email box every morning. My husband and I have been married almost 14 years and we are a perfect example of a marriage that was suffering in this area due to past hurt. God mended my heart and steered me on a path of forgivness and healing and love for my husband. God has also given us a new love and desire for each other sexually which has made our marriage so much better and more fun too! 🙂
Thanks Christy for the comment… your marriage is obviously a testament to what can happen when past patterns of hurt and unhealthiness are replaced with healthy approaches going forward. Blessings to you and your husband… glad you are having fun!
This is good stuff, for sure. I wonder though, do we as Christians tend to blame Satan for stuff we’re responsible for? I know that as a husband I tend to feel inadequate. Is this a spiritual attack, or something that’s been hardwired into me? I’d be interested to know what you thought of this article, Christy:
Thanks for the comments Josh! I agree that we have to be wise to not blame Satan for things we have brought on through our actions. However, I don’t think it is hardwired in you to feel inadequate. If anything, since we are created in God’s image, it is hardwired in us to have godly confidence. The article you reference is very good and accurate, but I don’t think it’s referencing inadequacies that God naturally put in men… I think it is accurately reflecting the reality of how we struggle and stumble in a fallen world. We easily lose sight of Who created us. We live in a world wrought with imperfection and sin, so the journey certainly is not easy. (I think this is why Jesus said, “I will send you a Helper.”) I think He knew that without the Holy Spirt and God’s Word, we’d have very little hope. Thanks Josh for the comment! (and for referencing the article!) Julie
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