Imagine you’re a robber trying to break into a house. Do you need every window and door in the house to be wide open in order to gain entrance? Or do you just need one unprotected entry point?
The answer, of course, is that you just need one way inside. A single open window or unlocked door is enough to get into your house and burglarize it.
The same is true of sin. The devil doesn’t need multiple entry points in order to destroy a life or marriage. He doesn’t need extravagant sinners. He only needs one good access point. From that, he can create a devastating stronghold.
No sin is small or harmless. I have seen marriages fall apart because a husband or wife allowed sin into just one aspect of his or her life—sex, finances, addictions, even in the way they spoke to one another. Evidence of destruction may not be visible immediately, but it is inevitable.
One of the best ways to visualize the devastating power of sin is to think of buying a new car. When you drive off the lot, you’ll be given an owner’s manual. This is provided by the manufacturer, because they understand the vehicle best.
The manual gives us advice and instructions. These dos and don’ts aren’t personal—the manufacturer isn’t trying to take all the fun out of driving—but they help us get the most out of our car and operate it safely.
God is the designer and manufacturer of marriage. His instruction manual is the Bible. It tells us to do and avoid certain things, but it’s not because He’s an ogre trying to keep us from having fun. He gives us these instructions so we’ll enjoy life to the fullest without damaging ourselves and others.
Sin is against God’s design. It might produce temporary pleasure and seem harmless…for a moment. But participation in sin begins a process of destruction:
- A little social drinking today becomes alcoholism tomorrow.
- Dabbling in light pornography can progress to perversion, adultery, and social diseases later.
- Overspending today becomes financial bondage or even bankruptcy if left unchecked.
- Sarcastic remarks aimed at your spouse early in marriage become cutting and vicious words as the relationship develops.
What’s the best way to keep disobedience from gaining a foothold in your marriage? It’s to stop it at the beginning. Nip the seemingly “harmless” activities in the bud before they grow into something destructive.
In Peter’s first epistle, he advises us to “be self-controlled and alert” (1 Peter 5:8).
In other words, be cautious. Watch for those potential entry points where Satan can wreck your marriage.
The thief wants “to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10) the good things God has created, like marriage. It’s up to you to shut every window and lock every door.