Thursday, February 5, 2009

Satan's Attacks on Men and Women

Being aware of the enemy's devices is paramount here, but we must also reckon with the fact that God has created men and women differently. Satan often attacks men and woman in notably different ways. In general, he attacks men in their thinking and women in their hearts. More specifically, he tends to attack a man by telling him, "If you will do this (adultery, lust, anger, etc.), you will get this (nice feeling, happiness, fulfillment, etc.)," For instance, a man may get involved with pornography, drugs, and other sinful activities because he believes they will lead to short-lived "good" feelings (the pleasure of sin for a season). In contrast, Satan often attacks as woman in her feelings initially, arousing love or compassion or hope and then leading her into a sinful deed. This means she feels happiness or hope or desire, and that leads her into sin. This is precisely what happened with Eve in the Garden of Eden. She did not see eating the fruit as rebellion, but that is was "good for wisdom," She saw a positive result of the sin that would bless her and her husband. Trevor and Priscilla illustrated the difference during their counseling sessions. They wanted to speak with me individually concerning their marriage problems, so I simply said, "Ladies first." Priscilla came in and, after getting acquainted, she said, "Let me tell you what my husband is like. This is my second marriage. My first husband was abusive to such a degree I was forced to leave him. There were no children, and we got divorced. I began looking for a man who would love me and cherish me. When I met Trevor, I thought I had found him. However, shortly after we were married I realized there was a side to him that I had never seen before. I am really wounded; I feel beat down. I feel he is constantly critical of me, and I am little more than a slave to him. He barks orders at me and the children. He is very difficult to live with." "What do you do to deal with this pain in your life?" I asked. After starting at the floor for while, she said, "Well, I spend a lot of time with soap operas and romance novels, and I talk a great deal about this with my female friends." I said, walking on what might be really thin ice, "then occasionally you have a pity party." She said, "My life is one big pity party." I dismissed Priscilla and invited Trevor to come in. Again we got acquainted and I said, "Trevor, what's happening?" He said, "My marriage is on the rocks. This is my third wife. I can't understand it. It seems to happen every time I am married. I guess Just have bad luck when it comes to picking wives. She is cold to me and indifferent. When we were first married she did some housekeeping and cooked some decent meals, but now I have to yell at her to get her to do anything. We haven't been intimate in months. She sleeps in a different bedroom" "What do you do to deal with your pain in the midst of this?" "Well, I have been down at the bar some, spent a lot of time at the shop," he answered, "Far more time than I should has been spent with pornography." "Un-huh," I said. None of this was too amazing to me when it comes to warfare. It shows how a man and a woman respond differently to the same struggles. Priscilla turned inward when he was attacking her heart and her emotions. Trevor turned outward to her rejection and used drinking and pornography as his "aspirin." Their rebellion against God showed up in fantasizing, indulging in sin, and ignoring God's Word. The answer in this situation was repentance: Priscilla needed to repent for not fulfilling her biblical duty in respecting her husband; Trevor needed to repent for not fulfilling his biblical duty to love his wife. We went into much detail about these things and what the Scriptures had to say about them. Gradually, God took back the ground they had given to Satan, and the Holy Spirit brought grace into their life. Trevor recently told me they had taken a four-week vacation away from work, neighbors, and the children. He said, "My wife and I have never been so close in our lives. God is healing our marriage." Although men and women respond differently to the same problems, the answers remain the same: seeking God, repenting, obeying His principles, that apply to your situation, and beginning a renewed walk with Him. I'm always amazed that often it seems just that simple. What is not simple is finding the specific principles that deal with your circumstance. But that's my job. If counselees will follow God's way, I can almost always guarantee new freedom and health will come into their lives for good. Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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