|"He who finds a wife finds what is good and
receives favour from the Lord." (Prov 18:22).
Marriage is a gift from God for the blessing of husband,
wife, children and the well being of society. It is no wonder then that it is
so much under attack. That lawless, rebellious spirit works against God's order
to bring chaos, confusion and heartache.
In what follows I want to target one powerful weapon of
Satan, that he uses to destroy or bankrupt marriages.
I want to see men come to that place where they see their
wives restored to the fullness of "their strength and dignity" (Prov 31:25),
where each man can say of his wife "you are the delight of my eyes" (Ezekiel
24:16) and mean it from the heart.
I want to see wives come to that place where they see their
husband reflecting the image of God and can say "that you my husband are strong
(to protect) and that you my husband are loving (so faithful)." (Psalm
That powerful weapon of Satan is shame.
The Psalmist says "remember not the sins of my youth and my
rebellious ways" (25:7). For many people today, they have not been courted
properly to marriage, ie:- the bottom line being, no hands inside clothing.
"Men behaving badly" may be a comedy programme, but in reality it brings
shame which wraps itself around men and women like a cloak (Ps 109:29,
89:45) and prevents intimacy. We can have children but no intimacy.
Shame is demonic, so that when arguments surface through resentment or
bitterness or anger, the intensity of the conflict is beyond human strength and
drives a wedge between husband and wife. Have you ever felt this driving
demonic force? It leads to you believing the grass over the other side of the
fence is greener. That's a lie. Your grass is the greenest. You just need to
deal with the mantle of shame.
How do you do that?
"An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips" (Prov 24:26),
ie:- it brings intimacy. Jesus said "you shall know the truth and the truth
shall set you free"(John 8:32). We have to be ruthlessly honest about the past
- the abuse done to us and the sins of our youth. Our bodies are designed to be
temples of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament the temple in Jerusalem was
"ram raided". "They behaved like men wielding axes
they defiled the
dwelling place of Your name" (Psalm 74:5). We call it "men behaving badly" and
laugh. The truth is there is much abuse about and we need to deal with it. Many
women have been defiled by men and are clothed in shame. Many men too,
by their selfish actions, have covered themselves in shame.
(Shame can also come with much less than the loss of virginity.)
Husband and wife get honest with each other about the past,
bring it to the cross, ask forgiveness, see the power of the
shame broken, and see intimacy restored. Intimacy is really about
knowing one another at the deepest level, the good and the bad, the best
and the worst, forgiving one another and loving one another as Christ loved us.
God made your wife for you, not for someone else. God made your husband for
you, not for someone else. If only we all had the patience to wait for that
The sins of our youth can boomerang back to us in middle
age if they are not dealt with (mid life crisis). They can remain in the pit of
our stomach making us sick, making our marriages sick. We need to bring them
out of the pit (darkness) into the light through ruthless honesty and
confession. "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the
truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will
forgive us our sins and purify (cleanse) us from all unrighteousness" (1 John
That we as men, can unashamedly and honestly say of our
wives, like Ezekiel said -
"You are the delight of my eyes".
and that our wives can stand before us, unashamedly, as
Proverbs says -
"clothed with strength and dignity".