Spiritual Warfare Is Part Of Every Relationship We Have
Here we are in the Month of Love, with Valentine’s Day almost upon us. But do most of us realize the deeper spiritual implications of love? Especially when love in human relationships is priceless and the thing the Enemy hates the most?
Though we do not realize it, spiritual warfare is present and part of every relationship, whether it is between a husband and wife, a parent and child, friends, or us and God. When we marry, we do not realize that our spiritual ‘baggage’ is now added to the other person’s to create a new, more complex and intense set of spiritual patterns and problems. Simply put, when we are in covenant with someone else, we enter into an agreement with and come under the influence and control of the other person’s ‘demons’ as well.
Though we may be totally unaware of these ‘third-person impersonators’ who have come to trouble us and ‘set us up in opposition,’ not only to our own self but also to the one we married, they are real and they are there. These ‘third person impersonators’ are familiar spirits. They are aware of both sets of inheritances and the negative relationship patterns that have already been set up in the past generations. They set up barriers between the two to create division and discord by creating filters through which we see one another. We are trained to see each other thought these corrupt lenses of expectations and disappointments. What initially starts out with the Cinderella ‘happily ever after princess life married to prince charming’ is now seen through the lens of hurt, harsh words and broken promises. The same basic scenario is repeated in the parent, child relationship.
The Third-Person Impersonators
The third-person impersonators influence us by projecting negative perceptions of the other person into our mind and heart. These negative impressions slowly replace the hope and ‘feelings of love’ we first had for them. The Enemy subtly promote and reinforces their negative behavior and our experiences together until they feel like the truth. We begin to see the person through this new filtering system and put up our defenses. We form our idea of who they are based on our interpretation of what we hear and see them saying and doing. We no longer filter our perceptions of and reactions to the other person through the lens of love and forgiveness, but through the eyes of our own bitterroot judgments, soul wounds and failed expectations.
We do not realize that the tempter is the one behind our perceptions and the one responsible for the conflict. We fall prey to trying to ‘fix’ the other person or defending ourselves, rather than uniting together against the common enemy. We become afraid and try to control the situations never suspecting that the there is a spiritual plot operating against us, our family and all that pertains to our love for each other. Whether it is infidelity, pornography, witchcraft, envy, poverty, infertility, or an infinite number of other plots, the Enemy is here to promote the ruin of our lives and our love.
When we do not see the other person with compassion or hold them in unforgiveness, we judge them and bind them to our self-righteous and skewed perceptions. We then resist being held in this unlawful place of being judged, not by love, but by fear and become offended. We react to the perceptions and give place to the Devil who then uses our being offended at not being loved and treated with respect to retaliate or give up. Fear opens the door to hardness of heart and witchcraft, manipulation to protect ourselves and ‘get even’. Fear can also open the door to abuse and victimization.
Some of our most difficult and serious trials come from the pursuit of love. Our own needs for love and affirmation make us vulnerable to other people’s sins. Both being rejected and refusing to be loved have devastated the foundations of family and society. Like two unmovable boulders, injustice and offense, fear of love and withholding forgiving have set us up as enemies of each other. The Bible expressly tells us that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood” but against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places, (Eph. 6:11-12)
We are caught up between being defensive and judgmental, between trying to get justice and justifying our actions, all in an effort to prove we are ‘right’. To see ourselves as ‘right’ we have to see the other person as ‘wrong’. Fear pushes us into isolation as pride and religion work to jockey us into a position of power or give us a clever argument to prove we are right. Carrying a self-righteous opinion sets up tension between us and closes love’s eyes to seeing their heart.
We distrust them and try to get even. We hold grudges and feel both justified and guilty. We build walls and fight back. We blame ourselves and become anxious. We fail to be perfect and feel ashamed. We try to take control in order to manage the chaos of other people’s lives only to be swallowed up by it. We become bitter when we are treated unjustly and swallow the offenses. We are tempted to ‘stay mad’ until the issue is resolved.
We are offended and we offend. We hurt one another trying to get the other person to admit they are wrong for not loving us. However, even the very act of pointing out their injustice and the offense can make us appear demanding and contentious because true love is not petty. True love is not conditional and cannot be demanded. It is freely given and cannot be earned.
The Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new commandment, that we love one another, even as He has loved us. Love is not easy, but with Him, love never fails.
For more on understanding how spiritual warfare is affecting your relationships check out “Doing Relationships God’s Way”.