How We Foolishly Turn On Each Other
by: Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
The other day someone posted a picture on social media of a few celebrities who had happy faces, yet these same celebrities eventually committed suicide. The purpose of the post was to remind us not be fooled. A smiling face doesn’t always mean happiness abounds.
I knew a couple who constantly posted on social media images of their happy marriage. From the outside looking in, they seemed to have a marvelous marriage, however, after a few short years – they were divorced.
You might personally know me and Omar, and from the outside looking in, it probably appears that we have a great marriage.
I think we do.
But don’t be fooled by our smiling faces either. We have many battles. We aren’t perfect. We, too, can allow Satan to get the best of us.
Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife and they become one flesh.”
Back to the Beginning
The foundation of my writing and speaking ministry is to help women understand that maintaining a healthy balance of physical intimacy is a major component to a healthy godly marriage. I will refer to Genesis 2:24 often because this verse signifies the oneness of physical intimacy in marriage.
Physical intimacy is a spiritual act of worship to God for a husband and wife to enjoy. Physical intimacy brings a husband and wife closer to each other and to God.
Joshua 24:15 “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
I have said it before and I will say it in every article, the home is the foundation for salvation. The home expands God’s Kingdom. The home is where the man or father is leading his family. The home is where the father and mother teach their children to grow up to be men and women of God who share the Gospel to expand the Kingdom of God. When the home is under attack, men are not leading the family through God’s wisdom. When the home is under attack, the problems of the world become the primary focus, thus, praying, studying God’s Word, teaching our children the Word of God, serving in church and in our communities will get pushed aside. When the husband and wife are under attack they are not physically intimate, therefore, that closeness with each other and with God drifts away. A barrier is put up toward each other. We then foolishly look at each other as the problem -and not the true source.
Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of the evil in the heavenly realms.”
The True Source
Have you ever seen the opening scene of War Room? The main character Miss Clara is watching a couple argue. The man is getting into his car while the woman is screaming at him. We hear Miss Clara’s thoughts as she’s watching the couple; If only people knew who the real enemy is they’re fighting against (paraphrase).
Miss Clara is right.
We foolishly fight against each other and not against the enemy who is trying to destroy our marriage. It does not mean couples won’t have any arguments. They will. But it’s one thing to come to your senses and recognize your true enemy, and it’s another thing to allow dissension to embitter you.
Omar and I learned how to maintain a healthy balance of physical intimacy in our marriage. It is something we learned years ago and we have not neglected it. Even when we face difficult seasons (which is often) we do not carelessly neglect physical intimacy because we know it is a spiritual act of worship to God. We know it brings us closer as a couple. We know it brings us closer to God. We know it will strengthen our family.
However, it doesn’t stop us from being attacked or falling prey sometimes.
In late October 2016, I found out I’d be speaking at a local women’s group on the topic of maintaining a healthy balance of physical intimacy in marriage. I was so excited for the opportunity! However, the moment I agreed to speak at this women’s group, instantly there was tension between me and Omar. Everything he did annoyed me. Everything I did annoyed him. We bickered on a regular basis. We weren’t very intimate during that time because we were always angry with each other. This went on for several weeks. It lasted all the way through late November.
Every year on Thanksgiving Day, we have this family tradition of cooking, eating, watching Christmas movies on the living room floor, and drinking hot chocolate all day. Well that year was no fun. Me and Omar literally argued the entire Thanksgiving Day! We kept trying to apologize and move on, but we couldn’t. Everything turned into argument.
Finally, late that evening, after several weeks of arguments, and ruining Thanksgiving for our children, it was like a light bulb went off.
We were under attack.
We lost sight of who was behind the attack. Remember, I had been offered the opportunity to speak to a women’s group on the importance of maintaining a healthy balance of physical intimacy. Obviously Satan doesn’t want this message shared! So, what better plan by Satan. Me and Omar bicker so much we ignore our physical intimacy – then I stand in front of the women’s group teaching, yet not holding true to my message – thus, my message does not have God’s blessing and will not evoke change in the women hearing the message!
In Love Dare, by Stephen and Alex Kendrick they say; “Love compels us to be on the alert and guard what is most precious to us, to be willing to step up and fight some battles passionately – those that pertain to protecting our spouse and the strength of our union. Many things could destroy our relationship unless our love puts on armor and picks up a sword to protect its own.”
When you surrender your marriage to Satan – HE WILL TAKE IT!
In Reclaiming Surrendered Ground, author Jim Logan, licensed counselor, encourages his clients to say out loud; “In Jesus name and power take back any ground I have yielded to Satan. I announce here and now to the forces of evil that I renounce Satan’s work and ways in my life and I want nothing to do with them.”
Logan says there is something powerful about saying these words out loud.
I agree with Logan.
You can do the same thing for your marriage.
It feels good when we have an understanding of where the true source of evil is coming from but it’s important to remember, however, that knowing who our true enemy is does not stop attacks.
1 Corinthians 16:13 “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
Not too long ago me and Omar had planned our intimate night. Some people plan their intimacy and some people prefer spontaneity. We prefer to plan because it makes us excited as we are thinking about each other all day.
We had a great day, however, as evening approached, Omar said something to me which caused me to get extremely upset. I mean I went from being in love with my amazing husband, excited about spending our intimate time together, to anger in an instant. The intimacy that evening was a done deal as far as I was concerned. Omar apologized but I was angry!
But then I heard God say; “Saleama, this is an attack. Be wise.”
After a few moments I gathered myself together. God was right (He always is). It was nothing more than an attack right before our intimate time. Satan would have loved it if I had remained angry, went to bed angry, and carried that frustration on to the next day – and following. But that’s not what happened. We did enjoy our intimate time that evening. We were drawn closer together and closer to God.
Now don’t get me wrong, what Omar said annoyed me, but it wasn’t grounds for such a strong reaction.
I recall the next day having this feeling of victory for defeating Satan. I see people post on social media all the time about having victory over Satan. I often wonder what people mean. Do they mean material victory? Self-serving victory? Or victory in a spiritual attack against God’s Kingdom? I know for me I truly felt victory for hearing God’s voice, for being wise, and for not allowing Satan to get the upper hand in my marriage.
Ladies, Satan will never stop attacking your marriage. Loving physical intimacy is a spiritual act of worship to God. It’s not something you do to appease the other simply for the sake of it. God created physical intimacy between a husband and his wife because God knows it brings couples closer together, closer to Him, and it makes for a peaceful home.
Satan will never stop trying to destroy your home – and your marriage.
Be wise. Be on guard. When you have an argument remember who your true enemy is. It’s not your spouse.
Don’t be ashamed of the battles you face. You will always face battles in your marriage…
…but never forget – you have the upper hand!
Saleama A. Ruvalcaba