Unwelcome Visitors

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Last week I sat down to lunch with my brother, Scott, at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. It is my personal philosophy that one can not pile too much salsa on any given chip so as soon as the basket of chips and bowls of salsa hit our table, I mounded up the salsa on my chip and enjoyed the flavor Mexican flavor fiesta began. Several chips into my feast, I bit down on something too hard to be a chip. Instinctively I spit the contents of my mouth back out into my hand.

Disbelief washed over me as I stared into my hand that now contained a 1 inch triangular shard of glass. How had such a large intruder smuggled its way into my mouth? Had I dismissed its presence among the tomatoes as a harmless onion? Was I too distracted with other things to notice its ominous occupation in my bowl?

This morning's passage is the final chapter of Hebrews - 13. As I read these final verses, one echoes more loudly in my heart than the rest. "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure." (Verse 4) I adore my husband and truly desire him to be my most important earthly priority. However, my marriage sometimes gets swallowed up by the busyness of life. When that happens potentially fatal objects can find themselves in the mix of my marriage. As I continue reading, I find several weapons Satan hides in my marriage and God's truth that can overcome each of these potentially fatal threats.
  1. Loneliness - Have you ever felt misunderstood, unimportant or neglected in your marriage? I know I have. When communication falters, loneliness results. The longer one goes without heartfelt conversation in a marriage, the larger this shard of glass grows. It pierces at your heart, allowing Satan's lie of isolation to trickle into the marriage. God's truth is that we are never alone. "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." (Verse 5) We can always draw on God's strength to be the first to recommit to the communion of conversation in marriage.
  2. Wounds - It seems as if our spouse is best suited to create or antagonize our emotional wounds. Hurts not covered by the healing balm of forgiveness fester into the sharpest of swords. I fail to forgive most often because I am afraid if I do I will suffer further harm. God's truth is that I should never fear doing the right thing. "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Verse 6)
  3. Discontentment - The grass always seems greener in someone else's yard. Her husband helps more with the kids. Or his wife does a better job of managing the home and the finances. In actuality the grass is greener where it has been fertilized. God's truth is that the greatest enemy of discontentment is gratitude. "Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise". (Verse 15) There is always something I can be thankful for about my spouse. When I choose to focus my energies on that instead, I begin to notice shoots of lush, green grass on my own side of the fence.

Jesus, thank you for Your protection. You protected me physically from the harm in my salsa but You also protect my marriage. When I choose Your truth, my marriage is surrounded by the strongest of fortresses through which no shards of glass will penetrate. Today I choose communication, forgiveness and gratitude not only in my marriage but in every aspect of this savory concoction called my life.

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