There’s an enemy that keeps trying to destroy my marriage and I’m so tired of him I really want him to die. Year after year I’ve seen this guy show up with his bag of tricks trying to drive a wedge between my wife and I. He doesn’t seem to care who gets hurt just as long as he gets his way. And no matter how hard I try to kill him, he keeps coming back.
Now, I’ve always wanted to do my best to protect my wife from any threat of danger. As a husband I consider this one of my greatest responsibilities. But I’ve discovered a terrible irony I constantly have to deal with. There are times where I am the guy I most desperately need to protect my wife from. So, the most dangerous threat to my marriage has always been the enemy I find that lives within me. Or, the enemy in-a-me.
I know I’m not alone in this. I receive emails all the time from husbands who admit they have hurt their wives. They know exactly what they have done wrong and now they are just hoping for another chance to make things right. And in most cases I do believe in their sincerity and I’m praying with them for the complete restoration of their marriages.
The enemy of my marriage
I’ve been down this road and I know too well what it’s like to be in the shoes of the guy who wants to fix his marriage after making a mess of it. Many of you know our testimony of how we went through 19 years of a bad marriage. And many of you may think of me as the guy who fought for his marriage to be saved 4 different times. But the thing I don’t know if I’ve made myself very clear about is how I was the guy who was constantly destroying my marriage.
You see, I know what it’s like to be the guy who betrayed his wife. I know what it’s like to be the guy who verbally and emotionally abused his wife. I neglected her many times when she needed love and affection from me. I abandoned her when she needed my support against the attacks she faced from both my family and her own. I was controlling, demanding, manipulating, and extremely selfish.
When I wrote Why My Wife is My Hero of Faith I meant every word of it. She had to take huge steps of faith to give me not only a second chance, but a third, a fourth, and a fifth chance. She not only said “I do” the day we were married, but she made that same decision 4 more times with the hope each time that she would not regret trusting me again.
It is such a real mystery to think of how I always thought of myself as the guy who wanted to be married for life and yet my own foolishness nearly stole that dream away from me.
But I do have a word of caution for the guys that email me and for anyone else who can identify with this dilemma of being your own worst enemy. It’s not enough to just want your spouse to give you another chance. It’s not enough to just fix the damage in your marriage. You’ve got to want more than that.
If you really want your marriage to be whole you must do more than make a few changes here and there. Take it from me and the lessons I’ve had to learn, you have got to let the Lord reach deeper inside of you and help you deal with much more than your bad behavior. If you want to get this right you are going to have to be willing to completely lay your life down and die to self everyday for the rest of your life.
This is what our Lord Jesus spoke of when He said,
And what the Apostle Paul said,
And what the Apostle John said,
It is because of this everyday battle I know I will face for the rest of my life I never want to come across as someone who has arrived. It’s not like I don’t have any struggles anymore. I have to guard against selfish thinking and selfish desires everyday, just like everyone else.
Will I ever do some of the things I’ve done before? God, I hope not. And I really don’t see how I could ever do some of those things again. But I can promise you this. I know who my enemy is and I know what I have to do to keep him at bay. I know what I have to do to protect my wife and my marriage. Everyday for the rest of my life I will be wanting the enemy of my marriage to die.
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