United In Arms
Have you ever watched a movie with a battle scene that involved weapons and/or armor? I’m talking about movies like 300, or Troy, or The Lord of the Rings? Most of those movies have one scene that I always find fascinating. In a full-scale battle, we see the good guys, beset on all sides by enemies, fighting valiantly. Despite the effort and skill they are exhibiting, they are being driven back, slowly, inexorably. They continue to fight, defending, while dealing what damage they can, being forced to be aware of everything around them. The smarter enemies spread out, inching around to flank them. The heroes become more resolute, more valiant, twisting and turning to deflect and avoid the new strategy of attack. They can never establish a comfortable position to fight from, as they always have to re-position themselves to fend off a new attack from a new area. As they continue to slowly be driven back, something halts their progress. They whip wildly around, ready to confront this new intruder. A sudden realization dawns on them. It is their ally.
Realizing they are not alone revitalizes them. The knowledge that they have someone to protect their flank alters their strategy. A defensive rearguard gives way to a measured but determined attack. Fallen foes pile at their feet, and the enemy is summarily routed. The two warriors exchange a look that conveys their gratitude and admiration at the skill and ability the other has employed to keep them alive.
These scenes usually make me think of marriage. No, marriage is not about trying to attack your spouse with an axe. Many times in marriage we are beset by spiritual attacks. We find ourselves fending off the enemy at every turn. We use the full armor of God, but the volume of attack is so great that we may feel ourselves being driven back slowly under the constant and relentless barrage of the enemy. The moment we realize our spouse is also on the same battlefield changes everything. As in the movies, there is a tacit understanding that each warrior covers the rear of their companion in arms. This allows them to focus all of their efforts on the enemies directly in front of them, trusting that their fellow warrior will protect their backs. With this refocusing of effort and strategy, the enemies that were once pressing them are now easier to deal with. There still is fighting to be done, but now it can be done on even terms. Soon we are standing together, victorious, preparing for the next onslaught together.
There are several points to consider in this scenario. First off, each of the two warriors must be competent in their field of combat. Their styles and approaches to battle may not always be the same, but in order for them to be victorious, their styles must be effective. Should one fall, the partnership is jeopardized and death is inevitable. So even before marriage we must be certain that the people we surround ourselves with are able to come to our aid effectively. When we chose a spouse it must be one that we can trust to not just slay the enemies that are attacking us, but to know how to position themselves to benefit both of us in this war. For example, what you do not see is both warriors turning to face one direction leaving a host of enemies behind them. Should this happen, the enemies at their backs swiftly slaughter them. Should they be fortunate enough to avoid that onslaught, they would find themselves in each other’s way as they attempted to position themselves for a successful attack or defense. So even if one warrior turns to face another enemy, his counterpart also has to re-position, to make sure they are working to a mutual benefit.
How is this practical? Brothers, if your wife is catching it on the job, your focus of attack is not to show up at her job and browbeat her co-workers into submission (I know, it is really tempting some days, bro, I know). Your battlefield may be to make sure that the kids are taken care of when she gets home and that dinner is already ready (even if it is pizza, again). She is already facing her enemy, your input may cause her strategy to fail and thus she could lose the fight (and the job), and open a whole new set of enemies. However, when she arrives home and finds the children obediently lined up doing their homework, and the meal you slaved over ready for her, you have just killed two enemies that were threatening her. While dealing with the job, she was faced with the dual attack of “what am I going to do for dinner?” and “I’m too tired to check Johnny’s homework”. You killed those enemies and allowed her the freedom to refocus her mind on an effective strategy for dealing with the office mess.
Likewise ladies, if you know that your husband is dealing with some family difficulties (you know how his side of the family is), calling up Big Mama and giving her a piece of your mind is not the answer. Making sure that home is secure, and that it is a safe place for him to return to will achieve far more than any direct action you may take in that battle. Getting his name removed from the front page of the family Bible is not really going to be the win you think it is. Meanwhile, if you change that light bulb that has been out and take out the trash that he forgot, it will relieve his mind and allow him to focus his attacks on the enemy trying to tear his side of the family apart. It sounds simple, but sometimes the things that are easy fixes to us are lifesavers to the person that is otherwise occupied.
Secondly, we must always be aware of our spouse’s position on the battlefield. Sometimes in our righteous zeal, we become so enamored with swinging our weapon at everything that moves that we may accidentally injure our own partner. In my example, the warriors were so used to defending from attacks, that when they turned, they were prepared to fight. It was only thanks to their discipline that they realized that the person they made contact with was not an enemy. Had they not done so, the results would have been disastrous. Remember the same mouth that can call down fire from heaven and cause demons to flee can also break your wife’s spirit. The same pointed critique that gets them off your back at work can reopen an old wound in your husband. We have to be responsible in our use of the weapons that the General has given us. It is pointless to accept the job of defending your spouse’s back, only to zealously plunge a spear into them as soon as they engage the enemy.
Also, remember that neither party stops fighting until there are no more enemies in this wave. Just because you have dispatched a set of enemies doesn’t mean you get to stop and admire their fighting style. You still have to defend them from any new enemies or even old enemies that will attempt new attacks.
Be certain to acknowledge the role your spouse plays in this battle. So often we are so focused on our enemies and our victories that we forget that there was another warrior involved in the struggle. Be certain to show your appreciation to them as often as possible for the role they played in your victories. Never think that just because they may not be facing the enemies you are struggling with, their fight is in anyway easier. All of our battles are just as difficult to the one facing the enemy.
Never forget that you are a team, and have vowed to cover and protect each other. Identify the enemies that you each face and work to defeat them while defending your spouse. You will soon find yourselves standing victorious, with piles of enemies at your feet, while you await the next poor devils that would dare attack you.
Heading back to the deep waters,
B & F Ministry
6/6/2018 08:49:36 pm
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.