Today's archival post is from August 18, 2009 and was a guest post on Patty Wysong's blog, Adding Zest. Since we've been covering spiritual warfare, this post is another aspect of the importance our armor can play in staying connected to our pre-believer. Love you, my friends! ~Dineen
One of the most difficult parts of a spiritually unequal marriage (S.U.M.) is the aspect of spiritual warfare. You might say, as the believing spouse, we are like a missionary on the front lines. Some of us have an easier time living and sharing our faith with our spouse and family. Others must literally keep their Christianity in the shadows—books in drawers, Bibles hidden, etc.
Part of this struggle comes in the great challenge of staying connected to our spouse. God designed our emotional, physical, and intellectual characteristics to be based in our spirituality. In other words, He is to be the center of our world. And He’s the one who helps us keep these three areas balanced.
When we as the believer come from such a place, connecting to our unbelieving spouse can be very difficult and discouraging. As women we tend to look for this connection in the emotional aspect where men connect better on the emotional level through the physical aspect. Thus, I’ve noticed that sex can wind up holding a more critical place in a S.U.M.
Amazingly, in God's great plan, sex is meant to be deeply spiritual, too. I believe this is also why the Bible describes sexual immorality as a sin against ourselves, because it strikes against our spirit. This is also what makes us so vulnerable to spiritual attack in the form of sexual temptation.
So how do we fight this battle?
- Start with your armor. Wear it daily. (Eph 6:10-17) At times I literally pray these verses and visualize putting these physical pieces of armor on. As an artist, I’m visual by nature. This helps me to remember whose protecting me.
- Pray over your marriage bed. This starts before you even hit the bedroom. Pray for God to provide special times for you and your spouse to be alone and for that time to be protected. The marriage bed is sacred. Do not let anything else interfere with that.
- Make the effort. Did you know that mystery and anticipation are forms of foreplay? Do the set-up. If you’ve made plans for an interlude that night, spend the day thinking about your husband. Send him private messages that you’re thinking about him. Give him hints about your plans. Be creative. Build it up. Make sure you’re the only one on his mind.
- Let him know he’s the only man in your world. In a S.U.M. it’s not unusual for the unbelieving spouse to see God as a third party who’s taking his wife’s attention away. Without faith, they can’t see it any other way than interference. Intimacy is a great way to reassure your husband his place is secure in your life.
Most of these principles apply to marriage in general. Staying connected to our spouse is a challenge in any kind of marriage, especially in a world ruled by an enemy whose greatest target is relationships.
In a S.U.M. connecting is even more critical, because it’s not just a relationship at stake but a soul as well. God’s called us to the front lines of battle where, most often, our actions speak louder than anything we have to say.
Praying and believing,