“I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” – 1 Corinthians 1:10.
Adam and Eve is a great story. God knew that His creation would not function well on its own. God established marriage for the purpose of companionship. “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18) God fashions a woman from and for the many. Adam & Eve had it all. They had a stunningly good, beautiful, pure, and right marriage in the Garden of Eden. And they all lived happily ever after. The End.
“Now the serpent…” The beautiful story of Adam and Eve takes an unexpected turn. The enemy of marriage was on the scene. A sinister figure appears over this spectacular Garden of Eden; “more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.” (Genesis 3:1) Without invitation or warning, but with destructive intentions, the serpent slithers into the scene and history. The serpent singles out the woman and says, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1). The serpent has sown a seed that takes root and will affect the yet-to-be-born, the entire human race. The serpent is still pursuing couples seeking to love and serve God today. After all, that’s all he does.
Ever since God created marriage, the serpent (Satan) has been trying to undermine it and cause divorce, separation, marital infidelity and turmoil. An enemy who hates the story marriage is meant to tell. We must never allow the enemy to destroy and take away what God has joined together. We should never allow Satan to remove the wonder of what it is to be “one flesh.” He will employ various tactics to do just that. Knowing this, we should all be vigilant to protect our marriages.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor during the time of the Nazi’s and World War II. While imprisoned he wrote a sermon on marriage for a couple from his prison cell. And had it smuggled out. He wrote that it is not love that sustains the marriage, but the marriage that sustains your love for one another and in order to defeat the enemy, God must be part of the marriage. He wrote:
“As much as we love ‘they lived happily ever after’ as endings to stories, life teaches us this isn’t always the case. Married life for the two of you will get hectic and crazy because of work, disagreements, expectations you bring into your marriage, and money, just to name a few obstacles. However, remember that third strand in your marriage, Christ. Remember the love He has for the two of you. He knows when we fall, when we are cold, when we are attacked. Because He loves us, He lifts us, warms us, and protects us so that we can do the same for each other. It is my hope and prayer that the two of you will remember these principles from God’s Word, and apply them in your lives for a lifetime of joy in your marriage!”
- What problem(s) in your marriage do you see as your responsibility? Which do you see as God’s problem? Which do you see as Satan’s doing?