I spent a good portion of my day wrestling with sin yesterday. Yes, yes, I did. It was all in my head, but understand that Jesus said that if you even think about sin, it's as if you've already committed it in your heart [Karina paraphrase]. That's rough. But it's so true.
As humans, our tendency is to hide sin, and when we are found out to blame anyone else we can, even God. That's exactly what Adam and Eve did in the garden. First they hid from God. Then, when God confronted them, Adam blamed Eve and he blamed God for giving him Eve! Eve turned around and blamed the serpent. Later in Genesis, Abraham lies about Sarah being his sister, when confronted by Abimelek he makes all kinds of excuses, including "I was scared because God sent me on this journey."
I made all kinds of excuses in my head yesterday, even talking to God about my sin I wanted to blame Him. But James is very clear, "When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death." (James 1:13-15)
It's hard to read that verse and not be confronted with the Truth of it. Yes, my sin was born of my own evil desires. My evil desires dragged my mind away from the truth about my life and marriage and gave birth to sin in my heart. Does it matter that it was only in my head? No. It was sin. And that kind of sin in my head can SO easily turn into sin in my flesh, putting my wants and desires above all else is dangerous on every level.
The worst thing you can do with sin... hide it. Let me tell you, it's really easy to hide the kind of sin I wrestled with yesterday, after all it was my own private thoughts. It's easy to convince yourself that it can't hurt anyone else. But it can, it does, it did. What's going on in my head makes me treat others differently. It makes me do stupid stuff, like fight with my husband, or covet something that isn't mine.
It seems lately that satan is really hitting hard on every front. Marriages are one of his biggest battle grounds. Marriage is God's allegory of the love between Jesus Christ and the Church. It isn't any wonder that he wants to destroy it. If satan can destroy the institution of marriage by destroying individual marriages, it will destroy not just something beautiful that God created to show His love for us, but he will take many souls in the process. The end of the battle is secure. God wins! But we aren't just fighting to survive. We are fighting to win. To win souls, that is. God would prefer that none perish. And that needs to be our goal too.
So for me, if I allow my sinful thoughts to eat away at, and erode the foundations of my marriage, I would lose something even more precious than my husband. I would lose the chance to live the allegory of Christ's love for His Church, for me. The only way to defeat sin is to confess it, which I did, both to God and to my husband (in a way that would not bring harm or hurt to him) The Truth is there is nothing wrong with my marriage. It's good. It's strong. We love each other, deeply. And by speaking that Truth, I can defeat the lies my own evil desires have created and on which the enemy has tried to capitalize.
Is my marriage perfect? Nope. Have my thoughts all been pure today? No. But, I have not wrestled with sin. I have taken each thought captive (2 Cor 10:5) and given it over to my heavenly Father, and told him that I do not want to go there. And He has been faithful to provide the strength I needed to stand up under the temptation I faced! (1 Cor 10:13)