My heart is breaking as I hear of young couples, so dear to me and at one time so close to God, giving up on their marriage. I can understand and even relate to the temptation to bail out of a marriage that is slowly becoming depleted of the happiness and contentment with which it began. But succumbing to this temptation only sets in play Satan’s plan to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a) the very happiness and contentment they are seeking.
We live in a world that defines happiness from a self-centered perspective. But according to God’s definition, genuine happiness is found by delighting ourselves in Him. (Psalm 37:4) When we reject this Truth, Satan stands ready to fire at us a volley of fiery darts designed to convince us that the only solution to unhappiness or discontentment in our marriage is to bail out of it. Then slowly we become blind and deaf to God’s plan that He has come to give us life in abundance (John 10:10b) even in our marriage.
When we become more focused on what we desire than on what God desires,then happiness and contentment in our marriages (and life) will always elude us. Satan’s fiery darts make sure of that. My prayer is that their sight will be restored and their enemy will be exposed. And in every situation they will take up their shield of faith in God’s Word and extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16)
Then the Truth below will become their new reality!
If our marriage is built upon the foundation of God’s design, we will understand that there will be times when we will be unhappy in our marriage and/or with our spouse. This is a reality that will be dealt with in a godly manner so that it does not become an excuse to bail out but an instrument of God’s will in conforming us into His image. This is what centering your marriage on Christ means……“Frustration, hardship, loss is rooted in the gospel. In that context (centering your marriage on Christ) your faith may be shaken but your marriage will remain rooted.” (words in quote from a dear friend who is a mighty teacher of God’s Truth)
You see, the type of suffering or problems that we encounter in our marriages will often reflect something that is lacking therein. It stands to reason then, that if we cooperate with the sanctification process in order to provide what is lacking in the marriage, then we aren’t likely to see breaking up the marriage as the solution.
James 1:2-4 makes this quite clear:“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (NIV)
Excerpt taken from p. 71-72, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice
. . .Because of the Adamic Curse everything in this world serves our flesh. Therefore, relationships will exist to serve our wants and needs. This is why the fiery dart that “marriage exists to make us happy” is so powerful.
. . .Yet, when we become a child of God’s and the growth process begins, we will come to understand that this attitude is the consequence of sin. We will also learn if we avail ourselves to the teaching of it, that marriage is designed for something far more beautiful and loftier than society is equipped to understand.p.67, FD
And maybe this is too!
. . .The purpose for which we exist is to be conformed into the image of Christ. Colossians 3:9-10: “Do not lie to one another, for you have taken off the old self with its habits and have put on the new self. This is the new being which God, its Creator, is constantly renewing in his own image, in order to bring you to a full knowledge of himself.” (Good News Bible)
That means that everything and every relationship in our experience exists to serve the purpose of conforming us into God’s image in order to bring us into a full knowledge of Himself. As we become more like Christ, we are going to grow into a fuller knowledge of God.p.67-68, FD
Hum! What’s the connection to marriage!
So, how does the purpose for which we are to exist relate to the purpose of marriage? In the book entitled, Sacred Marriage, by Gary Thomas, an intriguing question is asked, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” p. 68, FD
In my research, I came across this statement from an excerpt entitled, Help for the Struggling Marriage by Reb Bradley, “To evaluate our personal success in a marriage we must not then look to see if our needs are being met, but we must ask ourselves, ‘Am I demonstrating the image and character of Jesus Christ?’ God knows that as we grow into the image of Jesus our greatest needs are met.”p. 70, FD
How can you redefine something you don’t understand?
Because many don’t have a clue as to the purpose of marriage (even within our churches), our nation’s leadership is floundering around trying to redefine everything they don’t understand in order to fit it to the chosen lifestyle of a growing number of individuals.
In essence, we are attempting to remove (but only in our minds) the absolutes established by our Creator. Yet, those absolutes remain in place,and no fiery dart formed against them will ever prevail! from Is. 54:17
Read more about the attack of fiery darts on marriage in my book: Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice (click on the image in the sidebar to order)