By Ass. Pst. Adeola Ibikunle
Jide and Yinka had only been married for eight months, but the honey moon was most certainly over. The sweet conversations that once marked their relationship had been replaced with constant bickering. Their bought had dulled, and their distance had grown. Their sexual intimacy had almost ceased. What went wrong? How has Satan slipped into this young marriage? As I unpacked some of the couple’s history, I discovered he hadn’t sabotaged them in their honeymoon, nor in the early months of figuring out married life. The Devil had begun his work before they even made it to the alter. Though Jide and Yinka are Christians, their dating and engagement were marked with sexual impurity. Though the early days of their relationship had been fine, over time they made consistent compromises that developed into a deeper pattern of sexual sin.
Whenever they had sin, they world confess to each other and make oaths of never let it happen again. But it did. Because of the shame, they never let anyone else know what’ happening.
In hindsight Jide and Yinka admit their courtship was a big cover-up of deceit. Sadly Jide and Yinka’s story is all too familiar. Many unmarried Christian couple struggle with sexual sin. This should be no surprise, since we have an enemy seat against us and our impending marriage (1 Pet. 5:8). Life hates God, he hates everything instituted by God, marriage inclusive because it depicts the gospel (Eph. 5:32). One of Satan’s most effective strategies to corrupt the gospel – portraying union of marriage is to attack couples through sexual before they say “I do”.
Here are four of his most common plays to attack marriages before they begin.
- Satan wants us to make a pattern of obeying our desires instead of God’s direction: God’s ways are good, but Satan wants us to believe they aren’t. This has been his plan from the first call to compromise in the garden (Gen. 3:1-6). His and goal is for us to develop a consistent pattern of resisting the spirit and following our sinful desire once we get into marriage. He wants us to learn to resist service and to pursue selfishness. If we learn to do what we want when we want before marriage we’ll carry that pattern into the days and years that follow but if your relationship before marriage is characterized by giving into urges of immediate desire, you ‘ll most certainly struggle when you encounter the nitty-gritty of marriage life.
- Satan wants us to underestimate how susceptible we are to temptation: Satan wants us to think we won’t take our sin to the next level. He wants us to think we’re stranger than we really are. He wants us to think we will never go that far. This is a powerful trick since it simultaneous plays on both our pride and also our well-intended desire to honour God. You’re weaker than you think. You can go where you think you won’t. Sin is like an undercurrent in the ocean if you play in it, you’ll be overpowered and swept away into certain destruction.
- Satan wants couples to weaken their trust in one another: when we compromise sexually, we are showing the other person we are willing to use and abuse them to get what makes us happy. Every time we push the boundaries without finance it lead her into sin, we are communicating, though we don’t mean to, “You can’t trust me because I’m willing to use and disregard you to get what I want”. This is certainly one of Satan’s deadliest strategies and the one I suspend hurt Jide and Yinka the most. They didn’t trust each other. They never really did. So much of their dating relationship was engulfed in the cycle of sin, shame and start-over that they never developed a mature, battle-test trust for each other. It’s important to paint out, however that when we resist sexual sin, God blesses a relationship with the exact opposite effect. Every time we say, “no” to sexual sin and turn to prayer, telling one another we value them and their walk with the Lord too much to go one step further, he uses the faithfulness to strengthen trust.
- Satan wants to deceive you with the forbidden fruit of lust: There’s a world of difference between premarital sex and sex within marriage. One reason is that the forbidden fruit of lust portage sex before marriage as something it isn’t always in marriage. Normally, premarital sexual activity is like gas on fire. Passion is high, feelings are intense, and the drive to go further is fueled by the knowledge you shouldn’t (Rom. 7:8) sex in marriage is different. There’s still passion, and there’s still intense feelings and emotions – but sex in marriage is based primarily on the hot coals of trust, devotion and sacrifice (1 Cor. 7:1-5). Couples who built their sexual expectations on passion provided by the forbidden fruit are often disappointed and confused when sex is different in marriage. It is to be noted that Satan wants couples to get used to running on the caffeine and sugar of lust rather the mature love of service and sacrifice. Youth in relationship Beware! These are attacks on marriage before it started!