Column: "One Layman's Outlook": Falling in and choosing to love; draw strength from one's partner

Friday, January 23, 2004

by Larry Elkins

Ever had to choose between two friends? If they are both true friends it is impossible. You can't say, "I love you more than him or her." Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend loveth at all times..."

Divorce is a horrible thing. It affects everyone. As I write this, my friends have just separated. I pray they allow God to heal their marriage. Of course, they have their problems that probably look insurmountable to them.

Everyone brings old baggage into a relationship. Couples have to deal with differences in how they were raised, abuses and humiliations that have scarred them emotionally, and the devil.

That's right, the devil hates marriage. That's because marriage is a God-ordained joining of a man and woman into one flesh and one spirit. Marriage is such an important and special union that Jesus even called Himself the Bridegroom and the church His Bride.

Mark 10:6-9 reads, "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."

The physical joining (sex) allows humans to become part of the creative power of God (babies). My friends are past the age of babies, but that spiritually joining should allow them to draw strength from each other during attacks of satan. They talk about their prayer time and Bible studies together in such intimate and tender terms. I can't help but wonder where the devil found an entrance. It was probably finances, or baggage.

The devil has nothing new. His bag of tricks is full of the same things humanity has been taken in by for centuries: lust, pride, and greed. I'm not saying that my friends are proud, promiscuous misers. These are just weapons the devil uses against all of us.

If you get hit with an arrow, it doesn't mean you're an Indian. If you get hit with greed it doesn't mean you're a miser. An assault of lust doesn't make you a porn addict.

The devil will give you a sinful thought, and then tell you what you're thinking. He tries to convince you that he can read your mind, and that the thought was originally yours. Actually, that thought was a weapon ---- did it penetrate or did it bounce off of your "Helmet of Salvation?" That devil is your enemy ---- are you letting him hang around or will you strike him down with the "Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God?" (Ephesians chapter 6)

Remember, satan cannot read your mind. You will have to speak God's Word to the devil's face, be loud, strong and confident. You can tap something with a sword and not harm it at all, or you can slash quick and hard, cutting clean through. Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

God is the one who knows our heart.

I got off the subject of my friends; the point is, to them and to all of us, "Stop believing what the devil is telling you. John 8:44, "...the devil ... He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

If he says you are bankrupt, he's a liar; buy someone's lunch. If he says you're sad, just laugh out loud. If he tells you that your marriage is over, just love your spouse even more.

That's a choice. We fall in love, but we choose to love. Ephesians 6:13, "... and having done all, to stand." May I add, stand together.

So my friends, I love you both, no mater what. That's my choice, and I'll keep praying for you as a couple. God bless you.

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Editor's note: Since the writing of this column, the couple has reconciled.

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