Being a single mom is hard. Sometimes it feels like it’s “me against the world.” And it especially feels like that when that “irregular” person in your life comes against you and even seems to have evil intent. Our mind can’t comprehend what’s happening. We’re only trying to do our best—for ourselves, our children, and even them. What’s going on? How do we respond like Jesus would?
When Larry and I had been married seven years, I felt like that. I couldn’t seem to communicate correctly the lack of love I felt from him. Nor could I convince him of the unity and joy I craved in our marriage. He no longer went to church because of his work schedule and even when he could, he had an excuse. The walls were growing thicker every day. We had married with such hope of a great marriage and now it felt like we were on the brink of divorce. Why couldn’t we overcome these obstacles?
I know every hurting marriage doesn’t end like mine, but in time Larry and I were able to receive God’s help for healing. But it took both of us and one thing that helped was realizing we weren’t the other’s enemy; there was an Enemy who was fighting both of us and successfully wielding a wedge between us.
That is true for you. There is a spiritual battle being waged for your soul and those you love and those you loved in the past. Remember the story of Peter rebuking Jesus in Matthew 16:21-23?
From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Jesus knew the spiritual battle going on for Peter’s mind and affections. Satan most likely hoped that Jesus would become discouraged. Jesus could have thought, “Peter just doesn’t understand me or the Father’s plan even after all the time I’ve spent with him. I’d hoped my training would have made more of an impact. What will other people think of my teaching?”
We can’t even imagine Jesus having such thoughts. Why didn’t he? Because he saw the heavenly battle. Like Jesus, we will be able to respond in a godly manner toward our “irregular person” if we see the spiritual battle going on. Then we’ll resist making it about us and thinking we need to defend ourselves. We will be able to surrender, saying, “Even if I’m misunderstood or blamed, I’ll trust that God can bring truth into this situation which is being influenced by Satan. And regardless, my Father knows the truth.”
Satan also knows the “truth”—like your weaknesses. He is going to try to “inspire” you to respond in ungodly ways which reveal your lack of trust in God. We must believe that God is sovereign and allows only that which is for our good. Then we can care about the needs of someone else and what is best for them. We won’t take it personally.
Who is your Enemy? Can you see you are battling against that Enemy, not a human one? Recognizing that fact may strengthen you to see God’s empowerment for responding with God’s kind of love.
About Kathy Collard Miller
Kathy Collard Miller is amazed that God began her writing ministry with her first article in 1979, which shared how God delivered her from her abusive anger. She had no idea that God would open opportunities that would result in her 50th published book and speaking in 32 states and 8 foreign countries. Her latest book, written with her husband, Larry, is Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today (Leafwood). The delight of her life is her 8 year old grandson. Kathy lives in Southern California. www.KathyCollardMiller.com