So, ummm, yep, nothing like an eight hour car ride to challenge a marriage.
Yep, we traveled last week. In the car. With two teenagers, in heavy, holiday traffic in a car that barely seats four. First to visit four colleges in three days then on to northern California with my husband’s family. Finally, a long drive home in demanding and stressful conditions. Are we nuts?
It’s interesting how a change of venue compounded by stress of travel and family expectations will reveal the good, bad, and ugly in a relationship.
Overall our week went well but…… there was this one day. It was day three after a long college tour and we had another six hours on the road before we reached our next destination. And now as I’m home and can think back over the day, I’m able to view it through the eyes of the Holy Spirit.
After the tour we piled in the car and began the drive. Conversation was light but the tension was rising. We didn’t get on the road as early as my husband had wanted. He was a bit testy most of the day and now an hour into the drive I think the word that comes back to me is, mean. Now let me say here, my husband is not a mean tempered man. In fact, he is genuinely a kind and gentle spirit most of the time. But, now as I reflect back I can see something I didn’t see at the time.
A mean spirit.
It was rising and after some words back and forth, I’m not totally innocent in this exchange, my husband’s temper rose up and hurtful words were spoken. It crushed me and I fell silent. I couldn’t speak and for the remainder of the long drive, I was silent. What was even stranger to me was his driving. It was so unusually cautious. SO not the norm. My husband is a safe and cautious driver to begin with but his driving was uncharacteristic, so much so that my teen daughter even asked me if dad was okay.
Now at the time, I didn’t see what was really going on but boy howdy, do I see it today.
This mean spirit was in reality an evil spiritual influence. The spiritual warfare going on in that car must have been intense. I can look back at the interactions now and even see how my husband’s normal demeanor changed in that period of time. I will also share that even his face, somehow, looked different. The best way I can describe it is a glint in his eyes and an air of confrontation (not normal), and a steel faced determination/dominance? Okay, I’m not finding the exact words. But, I’ve seen that look before and it's not good.
But why am I sharing this with you? Because when we get out of our normal protective boundaries of our home we are entering into a realm of spiritual battlefield where we are unprepared and unprotected. THIS is exactly what I believe happened on day three of this long drive. The spiritual battle opened up and I was unprepared for it. And zing, I’m hit full force with mean words which incapacitated me for hours.
What is hard about writing this is that I KNEW that this kind of thing happens to me when I travel and I even prayed asking for protection, a few weeks leading up to our trip. But, as I sat with God the next morning early with my Bible and journal praying about it, taking my hurt to God and asking Him about this odd and painful exchange, He revealed to me that I hadn’t prayed with a fervor and with the time I needed to put into it.
We live in the spiritual realm and our prayers are crucial to so much that God desires for us but we don’t pray it through. And I’m convinced as the Holy Spirit has impressed me that I needed to spend an hour every morning for two weeks leading up to the trip in prayer for protection, wisdom, to bind the enemy in the power of Jesus.
I wonder if you might be in the same place? Are you recognizing spiritual warfare in your unbelieving spouse? And are you at a loss as to why God doesn’t seem to do anything about it? I wonder if it’s time to ignite your prayer life? I wonder how much we leave on the table just because we are too lazy, to rushed, to self-important to pray. An hour a day, every day can change everything.
Perhaps this post will not resonate with anyone. Perhaps it’s only for me.
But just writing it has made me determined that I’m not going to let the enemy slip past my protective boundaries again because I’m lazy or rushed. My spiritual life is too important and if you think about it, I allowed an open door for an evil spirit to come in and speak lies and influence my husband, which ended up hurting all of us.
I know better. As a wife of an unbeliever, God has called me to be the spiritual leader of our home. It’s my charge to pray for protection, Godly wisdom and discernment and to lead with the love of Christ. God wouldn’t have called me to lead our home on my own if He didn’t think I was up for the task.
I can and will defeat the enemy. The devil and his minions have nothing on me. I will pray for angels to surround us, to protect us, to lead us. I will ask God to help me recognize spiritual warfare more quickly and to pray with fervor against it. I will use the Word of God as my sword and the enemy will flee in screaming terror from a mere, five foot, four inch blonde girl.
Just imagine what else I can do just because I believe, I pray and I live for Jesus.
Have a great week. Live in victory. Hugs, Lynn