"This is WAR!"
"He trains my hands for the battle, so that a bow of bronze shall be broken by my arms."
Psalm 18:34 (Jubilee Bible 2000)
I had a dream recently. Understand that dreaming, for me, is nothing unusual. I dream often, vividly, and in full color. Sometimes when I awake from dreaming, I have to sit in place for a few minutes to actually weigh the dream while my heart is pounding and the sheets are soaked with my own sweat: "Okay, Tracy. Breathe. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Calm down. Did this really happen, or was it simply a dream?" Unfortunately for me and others like me, these "night visions" are not always so simple.
Dreams are funny . . .
Last night, I had one of the craziest dreams ever! My husband and I were sitting in a restaurant dining with a woman and her son. There were red linens on the small, round table and her son was having a good time, chuckling and just laughing out loud. The young, little tyke couldn't have been more than seven or eight years old. We were all seated at the table just chatting and chuckling away and then the dream suddenly took an abrupt turn. Yeah, my dreams are that way. They sometimes jump awkwardly from one scene to another. Before I could wake myself from the dream, two people of Indian descent, a woman whose face I couldn't see and a man with a yellow turban fastened about his head, appeared in front of my husband. They began praying for him, or at least that's what they appeared to be doing.
As I'm writing this post, I can still see this persistent, diabolical duo. Although I couldn't hear what they were saying, I knew their prayers were ungodly. They two of them were praying and attempting to touch my husband while making their wicked and unholy declarations over him . . . My man! My husband! The father of both of my children and the prophet of our home! "Are y'all crazy?" When I tell you I went to town on these spiritual vagabonds . . . Every time they went to touch him as they prayed . . . I countered their movements by reaching out myself and slapping their hands away. I mean I cussed them out in the Spirit! I remember being both shocked at and applauding myself in the dream: "Get it girl! Who knew you could war like that?" I mean the archangel, Michael, "ain't had nothin' on me!" Well wait . . . That might be too much. Michael is pretty valiant. Okay, let's try this: "Mike Tyson ain't had nothin' on me!" Yes. That sounds much better!
The longer you are married, the more disagreements and flat-out arguments you and your spouse will encounter. You will have those times when you will feel like opponents standing at opposite corners in the boxing ring, pacing anxiously back and forth to find the right moment and the right jab to knock your spouse all the way out. I mean, you envision hitting them so hard that you knock them into that fictional place called "Timbuktu" that your momma always told you about. But there will also come times when you will need to realize that neither of you is the real enemy and that more often than not, the real enemy is a spiritual one, not the man or woman you married.
Are you prepared to fight the enemy you can't see as passionately as you fight the spouse you see every day?
We are often counseled to enter into marriage with our eyes wide open. We must also have our spiritual eyes wide open! Some battles - I will venture to say probably most battles - will need to be waged and won in the spirit. Are we still talking about marriage? Absolutely!
What happens when things become uncovered within the marital covenant (and they will) that were previously hidden before you said your "I do's" to one another? What happens when you learn that your husband isn't really unaffectionate because he's uncaring or because he just doesn't like closeness. But the real reason he seems to be so unaffectionate, you came to understand, is because his mother never really loved him. In fact, she told him so on a daily basis. And just when he thought he could get past it and forgive his mother for withholding her love from him, he tried one last time to earn her affection. He stood before her, vulnerable and all, and bravely poured out his love for her in hopes of gaining her love in return and maybe, just maybe, even a brief hug; and she rejected him. At that very moment, he vowed he would never give her another chance to love him again. In your revelation, you've learned it's not that he doesn't want to be affectionate. In fact, he longs for it. He aches for it. He's had sleepless nights over it. He wants to love and be loved so badly that it is literally killing him on the inside. You've made the startling discovery that this ugly fear of rejection has closed him off from the very thing he loves – affection and you.
What do you do?
You better draw your spiritual sword from that leather sheath that sits securely on top of the bone on your left hip and get to swinging!! Your husband is your domain! His spiritual health and well-being have now become a shared kingdom . . . his, God's, and now yours! You have every right and responsibility to defend your kingdom and to do whatever is necessary to protect what's yours! And furthermore, you've been equipped to do it and to do it victoriously!
Now listen, before you get all hyped up about going into battle, I've got some more news for you. You may make some discoveries that may not be so pleasant. I'm not talking about criminal discoveries; but you may unearth some things that might assault your personal ego or your feminine sensibilities, or both. The truth is, it's the same enemy. While you may be waging war on your husband's behalf, before grasping that ornately crafted handle at the end of your sword, you may have to address your own personal pride. Yep. Your pride.
In this day and age, we have digital nemeses like pornography, illicit dating sites, and explicit chat lines. What makes them exciting is that they're almost always done in the dark and under a veil of secrecy. Listen: The same enemy that creates rejection and fosters self-loathing in individuals dwells among immorally, clandestine algorithms as well. In fact, he likes dark, secret places. He is the same enemy; he's just mobile and likes to move around wherever he can gain access. This same, dark enemy will fall to the sword as quickly as he would in other venues, but you've got to put aside any pride you may have before you wield the sword and wage war with this slew-footed punk. Pride is never found in victory. And while this dark, sinister enemy may appear a little larger and a bit more ominous, his death and demise only makes the victory that much sweeter!
Remember that like David, God has already trained your hands for the battle and enabled you to beak the bow. All you need is a cause and an opportunity to wage and win the war. Both of them will eventually present themselves. But the victory, it's already been granted to you. So fight fearlessly; but fight!
You know, I've been told that one of the traits men value most in a woman or a spouse is loyalty. They want a woman "who's down for them," a "ride or die chick" who will cook them breakfast in the morning and beat down a somebody who puts their mouth on them in the evening. But what would a man do with a woman who can defend her loyalty to her man with an ornate sword and a Spirit-filled, anointed, targeted prayer . . . ? Girrrrrrl . . . You got that man for life! Honey, hand me a sword RIGHT NOW!