I’ve heard so many believers say, “Don’t study the subject of marriage unless you’re willing to let God work you over as a husband or wife.” That’s exactly how it’s been for Elizabeth and I so many times during our writing process on the topic of marriage. Ouch!
One couple we’ve fervently studied is Ananias and Sapphira. God shook me when I read Acts 5:3 where Peter made this shocking statement to Ananias and his wife, Sapphira: “Why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit?” That was definitely a wake-up call! I shook my head as I thought about the spiritual warfare that’s going on in Christian marriages. It’s incomprehensible to think that this couple agreed together to deceive the early church fathers by lying about their offering, and Satan was right in the middle of their evil actions.
There’s something else I’ve often heard believers say, “Don’t ever say you would never do that.” It made me wonder, if something like this is possible, how can a couple–including Elizabeth and me–defend themselves and their marriage from the schemes of Satan?” It was then I remembered the apostle Paul’s solution, to “put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10).
God has given my wife and I a set of armor, but He expects us to put it on daily. I am responsible to put on my armor–no one else can do that for me. And, although I can’t make Elizabeth put on her armor, one of my greatest acts of love is to do all I can to insure that she, my fellow soldier and mate, also arms herself each day.
As a former Army Reservist, I see my role as a last minute equipment check for the upcoming battle of today. For example, Elizabeth’s brother was trained as an Army Ranger. One of the areas of his training was parachute jumping. The last precaution made before a Ranger jumps out of the plane is a “buddy check.” Each soldier checks the equipment of the man in front of him to make sure they are ready for the jump.
It’s the same for you. Every morning, you and your mate must get ready for your “jump.” One or both of you are going off to work, or to take the kids to school, or to tackle any other endless number of couple actions one of you takes throughout the day. You jump, like that paratrooper, into a free fall. You don’t have any idea what you are going to experience as you “fall” through your day. You are blown about as you drop toward your objective of making it home safely at the end of the day.
But the level of the safety of that jump goes up when each of you, as partners in marriage, has been cleared for the jump by your buddy. I hope you see the analogy. Your mate is your buddy. Your greatest act of love toward your spouse is to encourage one another to “put on the whole armor of God.” Your responsibility toward the love of your life is to make sure they are ready to do battle against the forces of evil. Can you commit to put on the armor for yourself, and to buddy check your spouse? And can you both commit to do this for each other today, tomorrow, and all the tomorrows of forever?
Lord, I will follow You into spiritual battle dressed for victory. May I never take for granted my faith. Remind me to use it as my shield each day. Guide me with Your strength. Each victory is to Your glory. Amen
In Elizabeth and Jim's book, A Couple After God’s Own Heart, the couple teaches secrets to a great marriage by learning from biblical couples, such as Abraham and Sarah, Boaz and Ruth, Joseph and Mary, etc. Get started by taking their fun free challenge, “5 Ways in 5 Days to be a Closer Couple."
Each day this coming week, choose one piece of the armor of God to put on. Pray for God’s guidance and wisdom as you trust in Him.
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always...” (Ephesians 6:14-18)