One of the things my Dad told me when Mark and I were recently married (and in the middle of an argument) was that we needed to acknowledge the powers of darkness in our fights.
Satan doesn’t like marriage and he will do all he can to get you to be divided.
My Dad told me that he had learned to leave an argument he was having with my Mum, go to the bathroom and pray, and command the hand of the enemy to leave the place. On returning he would find the emotions in the discussion diffused.
We have found the same.
It is no surprise that ‘couples who pray together, stay together’ (1% divorce rate, vs. 50% in non-praying couples), as those who pray together recognize that they are on the same team, but there are forces who is trying to split them up. And they actively pray against it.
And it is not just with arguments.
The enemy hates sex too. He will try everything to try and stop it. Petty arguments, sudden tiredness, and interruptions from children. And if you have children, you will know what I mean!
Just settling down to an evening together (wink, wink), and one of the children will wake up screaming blue murder, or wanting a glass of water.
But, I have found, that if I pray a prayer of protection over our time together, the children rarely bother us.
(We have also found that it is important to prioritize time together each week – we have a date night set aside each week, where we know we will get time to talk and be together. No one else can book that time in with us, and we have babysitters lined up we can call on if we want to go out.)
Few arguments in our house begin because Mark or I have set out to hurt the other one. We never wake up and think ‘Hmmm….how can I make life difficult for Mark today?’ or ‘Hmmm…how can I make sure Anna feels unloved today?’ – but yet, often, the enemy brings lies into our minds – misinterpretations, and petty dissatisfactions. And then our spouse doesn’t read the cues, and we feel more unloved or dissatisfied and before you know it, bang, an argument is in full flow.
But those times we have stopped, and acknowledged that the enemy is trying to divide us, we have prayed, and then managed to peacefully have a conversation about what is bothering us. We have been able to hear what the other person is saying rather than reading into the feelings. Just stopping to pray is like saying:
‘Hey, I don’t agree with you right now, but I still love and respect you. I need help to be able to respond to what you’re saying without getting offended. Let’s ask God for help.’
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. - Ephesians 6:12
How often do you pray when arguments begin?
Do you have time set aside for your spouse each week?
Do you pray protection over those times?