Death—sometimes it’s quick and unexpected; other times, it comes like a slow descent down a long staircase. The latter is the best way for Christian marriages to die. While we have been able to destroy some with a full-frontal assault of sexual temptation and subsequent unfaithfulness, most of our work has been subversive and masked behind the virtue of righteousness and subsequent disappointment.
Most of our Enemy’s followers know they should have a desire for godly obedience to His Son. However, this zeal is often misplaced, as His followers apply such a high standard to their spouse that they never see the log in their own eye. Unmet “reasonable” expectations seem small, but when planted in the fertile soil of self-righteousness, they produce quite a forest of sin. We must continually tempt spouses to see the disappointment in what their spouse is not delivering (daily devotions, consistent compliments, acts of kindness, etc.). Sprinkle this with an occasional sighting of someone else’s spouse who appears to be kinder, gentler, and better, and their heart can begin to write all kind of discouraging narratives. We want spouses to see daily discouragement in their spouse while they forget the daily graces that are found in the Enemy and given to them.
We want spouses to see daily discouragement in their spouse.
But for this plan to come to fruition, there is one crucial step you must take. You must keep couples from being committed members of a church. Such associations would undo all of our work. Godly Christians will pursue them, love them, counsel them, hold them accountable to the truth, and, even worse, pray for them. This must not happen. Instead, fill their schedules with sports competitions, ballet classes, and musical recitals, all in the name of being good parents. Then, when they are fully exhausted from living on the road, tempt them with the value of staying home to get some rest or getting away on some needed vacation. Our plan for undoing their marriage will start to work as long as the couples don’t commit to a local church.
While in special cases we have chosen other tactics to derail Christian marriages, this one has been our most successful. But it takes time, and you have to be patient. For a time, they might put away the ledger of the other’s wrongdoings and forgive, but hopefully they will pull it back out and keep count again of all the injustices they have had to endure until they can’t take it anymore. They will find the exit door and walk out. Like a time capsule that is finally opened, they will ultimately pull out of that marriage and violate that covenant before the Enemy. But our masterstroke is to tell them to wait until all the children are out of the house and then get a divorce. The couple will convince themselves that living a life of hypocrisy is better, only to then crush their children with the reality that their mom and dad have been strangers to each other and to them for years prior. The last reward will be that such children will come of age to marry but then run from it, thinking that the Enemy was a fool for creating marriage, and wanting nothing to do with it.
Rev. Eric Bancroft is pastor of Grace Church in Miami.