01 2 - Why Satan Hates Marriage
We have to come to understand that marital issues are not just relational issues. Unless we come to the understanding of the two realms in which we live and the deeper story, we will continue to try to “fix our marriages” with human reasoning and more promises to “do better” or to “change.”
While many of us need to make some real changes, that’s not enough. Just desiring to change behavior doesn’t even go an inch below the surface as to why many marriages are challenged.
I don’t think any of us would disagree that marriage is under attack. However, as I stated a couple of weeks ago, the deeper attacks are not from different “groups” desiring redefinitions or acceptance or alternative definitions of marriage as normal.
Marriage has and always will be under attack . . . until the end of time.
Eugene O’Neill said “Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost Kingdom of peace.”
O’Neill speaks truth here, though I doubt he ever understood the depth of which he spoke.
Some look to the images of marriage as played out in fairy tales as the model for their lives. They want their Prince to ride up on a white steed or maybe their Princess to be waiting with little blue birds flying about her head. All this so they can “live happily ever after.” Happily ever after is possible – not in fairy tales, but in reality. However, we have to understand what reality truly is.
The creation story speaks of God’s desire and design for all of creation. All that exists, exists for one primary reason – to glorify God.
Somewhere along the way we have forgotten this as a people. We live our lives as if it’s designed for our glory and pleasure. People spend their lives seeking satisfaction, happiness, fullness. They seek and seek and yet come up empty apart from God. What does this have to do with marriage? Everything.
The “happily ever after” desire is deep in the hearts of many. It’s hard-wired, but with a self-centric lifestyle, it remains the unfound treasure for many.
To discover why this is, we have to go back. . .all the way back to the beginning of the human story. God designed marriage before he ordained the church, before he gave the Ten Commandments, before he gave the ordinances we observe regularly. Therefore, apparently, marriage is a big deal to God. . .for many reasons, and though he desires us to experience joy in life, our personal happiness is not the ultimate goal of marriage.
We have already looked at Genesis 2 where it explains that God created Adam and saw that he needed a mate and then put Adam into a deep sleep, performed the first surgery ever and from Adam’s rib, created a wife for Adam. God, then performs the first wedding when he, as Father, gives away the bride in the very first wedding ever. Adam and Eve, both created in the image of God. Both valuable to the Father. Both image-bearers – the same, but very different. God placed a masculine heart in one and a feminine one in the other. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Adam lived in perfect harmony in a paradise called Eden.
The fairy tale was real. The Prince and Princess in their Father’s Kingdom, experiencing a fullness of life we dream of.
It’s in the next chapter, we discover that marriage is not just a physical relationship between two people. It becomes evident that marriage is more than a joint venture for convenience sake.
Genesis 3 shows us clearly that there is a level much deeper than many acknowledge regarding their relationships. It is in this chapter that you discover that we are in a constant battle for life and love. It becomes evident why so many “good marriages” suffer and why so many give up.
Genesis 3 (ESV)
1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
You’ve heard this story most likely. Unfortunately, we tend to hold images of this story as displayed in children’s Bibles and in the pictures we put on the wall to teach our preschoolers and children about the Creation. Oh, there’s nothing wrong with those pictures, except that most often Adam and Eve look like models for Hollister, just chilling and talking to a snake while strategically placed tree limbs cover their embarrassing parts. (Or like the ridiculous image to the right.)
We get so caught up in this image that we don’t even see what’s really happening.
The serpent is Satan. He is the Enemy. He is God’s Enemy. Therefore, he is the Enemy of the image-bearers of God. He is a created being. His story, however, doesn’t begin in Genesis. His begins long before Day 1 of the Creation Story.
Two Old Testament passages depict the creation and ultimate fall of the Enemy, Satan (which means Adversary.) While the prophets were obviously speaking of earthly kings in their day, their writings speak of an adversary on a much deeper level. God explains to us in these passages that we have an Enemy who was created for glory until self-centered pride set in and transformed him. These passages unveil the reality of the spiritual realm and the larger story.
Ezekiel 18:12b-15 (ESV)
“You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. 13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings. On the day that you were created they were prepared. 14 You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. 15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.
Isaiah 14:12-14 (ESV)
12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’
So we live in two realms.
We stand here – in the midst of a spiritual realm where battles rage that normal man cannot comprehend. The unsaved world doesn’t get this. They laugh at us and call us superstitious and religious charlatans working just to take money and hope from unsuspecting people.
Then there are those of us who are believers – true followers of Christ – who realize that true Christianity is the only reality out there.
Why do so many people “not get it?” Because there is a battle going on my friends and it has been going on since before the beginning of time.
Satan, the Adversary, the Evil One, the Enemy of God was at work in the Garden of Eden.
He still is.
Now, don’t get your theology all messed up and leave here with a “Devil made me do it” way of life or even an unhealthy fear that the Devil and his demons are hiding behind every shrub just to jump out at you and attack.
The attacks are real. They are constant and they are systematic. Yet, we need not fear.
There are many reasons why Satan hates marriage, but ultimately he hates when a man and wife wed with intentions of leaving mother and father and cleaving to one another because it reminds him of what he doesn’t have and never will.
Humans are relational beings – we were made this way intentionally by God. He is a relational God. He desires to know you personally. He desires a relationship with you and me. Therefore, being relational, from the very beginning (Garden of Eden) God designed us to desire to be with others.
His perfect plan and desire for the marriage relationship is for one man, one woman, for life.
Yhat’s where the attacks come.
The Enemy appears in the Garden of Eden and while the temptation of Eve is so blatant and obvious, the attack was on the relationship. You see, Adam, the man, had a role to play. He had responsibilities as the husband. He was to first of all, show God to his bride. He is also to protect and love her.
In this story, he stands there while the tempter tempts. He does not step in. He does not remind Eve of the words of God. He does not protect and therefore, the relationship is attacked at the core.
The very same attacks take place today, even among good, church-going Christian couples. Especially among good, church-going Christian couples.
You see, the husband wife relationship is not just a cultural phenomena. It’s a God-designed picture of a very key part of the Gospel.
Ultimately, Satan hates marriage. He attacks. He is not creative, therefore, he continues to use the exact same tactics.
So, we end up with wives choosing something offered to them that isn’t what it appears to be.
We have husbands choosing to disengage and not fight for what matters.
We have men and women choosing anything but the Truth.
And the enemy wins a battle.
You may find yourself here.
Maybe you are in a marriage that seems to be constantly under attack. Some of you have thrown in the towel. For some, it’s not too late to go back. For others, you may be divorced, remarried (or your spouse is) and you wonder what you do now.
Some of you are in marriages now that are under such a barrage you just don’t see how it will survive. You have a hard time believing God wants this relationship to last. You just aren’t too sure He meant for this marriage to even have ever happened.
Some of you are believers married to non-believers. In some cases, you just bought the lies of the world an ignored the teachings of the Word of God and married out of an emotional connection, and now realize what that whole “unequally yoked” thing meant and you feel trapped. (BTW – you don’t get an excuse to leave your lost spouse.)
Some of you became believers after you married and now you unsaved spouse feels like he or she is married to a different person. Maybe your spouse feels like a terrible bait and switch occurred because you’re not the person he/she married. You too do not get an excuse to leave.
In many cases, it’s just a battle. You fight all the time. Over stupid things. You don’t get it.
There are wives being Eve in this story. There are disengaged Adams out there.
It’s time for a change and it starts with an understanding of what’s really going on.
We must understand that we have an Enemy. He hates marriage and attacks it constantly. It’s played out in Genesis 3 and has been repeated over and over for centuries.
That’s truth and that alone is pretty depressing and may keep some from ever wanting to get married.
However, there is a deeper, more powerful truth. This Truth is that God is all powerful and in total control. It is He who designed marriage and when we understand this and live in an understanding way, He is honored and glorified and we get to taste and experience the fullness of life.
Husbands and wives who have surrendered their lives and their marriage to the Lordship of Jesus Christ are the real winners, not because of who they are, but because of whose they are.
We have to get this.
Our marriages are “worth it.”
Your marriage is “worth it.”
Don’t let an already defeated adversary cause you to give up.
You are worth it.