I remember one day, probably over 10 years ago, I was driving home from work. All of a sudden, a stream of thoughts of what my wife wasn't came into my mind. The list seemed intense, long and really let me feel hopeless that I would ever be truly happy. Then I realized that these were not my thoughts or feelings toward my precious bride. Then more importantly I realized that they were not even true.
As a Christian counselor, I have heard men repeat similar experiences. The devil talks to them about their wife's weight, clothes, sex life, cooking, cleaning, lack of appreciation for who he is or all the work he does for her, he can never make her happy, and the list goes on and on. This is the devil and company talking about your wife. Remember Revelation 12:10, the devil is the accuser of the brethren? I think we know "brethren" includes all Christians, especially our godly, beautiful wives.
The next step of this conversation that the devil wants you to have is all that you are missing. You know, you were young when you picked her, you didn't really know what you wanted, you thought you were going to be adored every day of your life, sex was going to be overflowing to your imagination, you're really missing out on life married to this woman, how stupid could you have been? The devil is cruel, the truth is most of us don't deserve the wife we have. We are fallen creatures who constantly sin and really, it's a miracle that our wives love us.
The devil doesn't stop. If you keep listening, you'll start hearing the voice of entitlement start creeping in. You know you're entitled to happiness, you're entitled to a happy woman in your life, a cleaner house, more adoration, more sex, smarter and one who makes more money. You know the drill: This part of the conversation is really tricky. The devil is trying to discourage you from rejoicing in the inheritance you have been graciously given by God the Father, His daughter, your wife.
Now here's where you come into the picture. If you give your ears to this garbage too long, it can seep into your heart. You begin to look at your wife through the devil's eyes. You are beginning to be more frustrated with her, irritable, spending less time with her, ignoring her needs or requests, speaking harshly to her, being more demanding about the housecleaning, weight or sex.
Then her response to your lack of kindness, praise, helping her around the house and acceptance of her changes who she thought she was to you: precious. This is the results of listening to the devil talk about your wife. The devil gets you to withhold from her spiritually and emotionally and have disdain for her, which he knows creates pain for her and a drifting away of all forms of intimacy, and then neither of you are happy. This is fertile ground for a man to feel entitled to lust after women, expose himself to pornography or have emotionally or physically inappropriate relationships with other women.
Stop. You're thinking, I don't want this in my future, I love my wife and kids. I don't want to send cursing down my generational lines. I want to be a blessing to my future generations. So what do we do?
Anytime—and I mean anytime—an accusation comes to you about your wife, aggressively attack it. You can memorize a few Scriptures like Philippians 4:8 (thinking good things) or 2 Corinthians 10:5 (bring all thought captive to Christ Jesus) or 1 Corinthians 13 is a good one about true love.
These thoughts and accusations are your enemy. Don't coddle them; they are toxic. Even if they are only 1 percent false, they are still a lie.
There are some practical things I do to win this battle. I have a memorized list of five great characteristics about my wife: 1. She is absolutely gorgeous, 2. She will never be unfaithful, 3. The best sex of my life has only been with her, 4. She is the greatest mom, 5. She is the total of God's inheritance for me as a lifetime partner.
I know these cold. If the devil attacks my wife, I can quote these characteristics back to him.
This leads me to the next thing I do. I start praising God for my wife. I break out is spontaneous gratitude toward God for my wife. "Thank you that you made Lisa, just for me, thank you for her eyes, her character, her beauty, her intelligence, endurance of me, great sex and so on.
This really upsets the devil! Thwarts his plans and actually makes you feel closer to your wife when you get home. Also, if you are regularly praying with your wife, sharing your heart (feelings), praising her and keeping your word, she is probably going to look better to you every day.
Go win today!
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Intimacy . You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org