One of my all-time favorite athletes to watch: Mike Tyson (pre-ear biting). To me, there was nothing so sensational to watch him dismantle opponents in the ring in the matter of seconds. People would spend hundreds of dollars to watch him knock out opposing boxers in 30 seconds.
Just in case you want to see him in action…
Iron Mike Tyson was the quintessential fighter of my generation. Mike is known for a number of things. But there’s one quote of his that makes me smile every time I hear it.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
How true is that? Life can seem so good…then BAM…something comes along and hits us. We stand dazed and confused over what just hit us and where the punch came from. Unfortunately we find so many marriages “down for the count” because of the “knockout punch” that came when they least expected it. This blog is the warning flag to every marriage to help them see that temptation is going to try to wear you down in order to deliver the “knockout punch” in order to destroy what the Lord wants to build up.
How does a marriage get to the place where you become vulnerable to the “knockout punch”? With the help of everythingfight.blogspot.com, I’ll explain how that happens. (bear with me…this will get us to our marriage discussion)
The knockout punch requires three elements:
1 – Power: This element is vital and when you can deliver lots of it, you are a fearsome creature inside and outside of the ring. Fighters with innate power to deliver knockout punches have what they call the “puncher’s chance”. They are capable of winning fights even when dominated because once they catch you with a clean shot at any point, you’ll get knocked out cold.
2 – Accuracy: The “button”, “off-switch”, and “sweet spot” are terms given to the areas of the head that are very vulnerable for the knockout. If you are accurate in your punches and able to cleanly hit these spots, you can make your opponent take a premature nap. These so-called sweet spots are the chin, jaw, and the temple. A punch to the chin and jaw has more leverage therefore the head repositions more forcefully. A hit on the temple, on the other hand, disturbs your equilibrium.
3 – Surprise: The element of surprise is usually the main cause of sensational knockouts. A deceptive fighter capable of throwing punches at angles that cannot be seen is more likely to dish out potential knockout punches mainly because the opponent is not prepared to tense his neck and jaw muscles fast enough to receive the punch. The result is more violent snapping on the head, more brain trauma, and an express trip dreamland.
WHY GO THROUGH THIS BOXING STUFF????
It’s simple. This is how temptation works.
TRUTH: If you are not ruthless with temptation….it will be ruthless with you!
We cannot be soft when it comes to dealing with temptation. In the bible, it is the apostle Paul who used athletic imagery when he taught about the strenuous effort of resisting sin. He wrote in 1 Cor. 9:27, “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified”. Paul was intense about his “training” when it came to dealing with anything that was going to disqualify him from what God had planned for him. That same intensity needs to be present in our marriage as well.
Like a perfect knockout punch, temptation wants to…
1 – Overpower you. Temptation begins by capturing your attention. What gets your attention arouses your emotions. Then your emotions activate your behavior, and you act on what you felt. The more you focus on “I don’t want to do this,” the stronger it draws you into its web. Temptation will seem larger than life. It will offer the world and more. In the end, it will ask you to sacrifice more than you have.
2 – Be accurate in its attack. The devil knows you. He’s a student of humanity. Like a surgeon with precise incisions, temptations know your sweet spots/weak areas and attack. Temptation doesn’t waste moments. Every attack is designed with purpose: to destroy you and your marriage.
3 – Lure you in to surprise you. Fighters become vulnerable when they get weary. Temptation will be relentless and does not sleep. It wants to wear you down. When you get tired, you let your guard down. And when that happens, you get lured and…
…you wake up in a reality you didn’t think was possible.
…you wake up wondering how your marriage got this way.
…you wake up stumbling….trying to find something to grasp onto to help you stand up.
If you’re reading this…THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
This is the moment we turn the corner and the strategy against temptation. The key to dealing with temptation is found in scripture. Two scriptures I want to read to you:
James 4:7 “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.“
1 Corinthians 10:13 “Remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.“
3 Things to note:
1. Be humble before God. Let your mate see your humility. Be teachable and willing to change. Be open to accountability with your spouse and with others.
2. Resist the devil. It may surprise you that nowhere in the Bible are we told to “resist temptation.” We are told to “resist the devil’. How do you punch temptation in the face? By resisting the one who is throwing the punch.
3. God is faithful. The problem: we are not. As you keep Christ as the center of your marriage, he promises to be there through thick and thin. He is there for when temptation shows its ugly face, he will ALWAYS show you a way out.
Are you going through a season of temptation in your marriage? Is your spouse struggling with it? Punch it in the face by not dealing with it by yourself but humbly coming to Jesus. Remember, he will be faithful (our Connection Pastor just preached about the faithfulness of God). Hiding your temptation only intensifies it. Problems grow in the dark and become bigger and bigger, but when exposed to the light of Christ, they shrink. I like what Rick Warren says, “You are only as sick as your secrets.”
So take off your mask, stop pretending you’re perfect, and walk into freedom that Jesus has for you. And through this, you’ll stand and see the power of God work in your marriage like never before.
Thanks for letting me ramble…