Battle on the Homefront

Over Labor Day Weekend our nerves were worn ragged by the constant conflict between our next door neighbor and her boyfriend. We hid out in our bedroom with the AC on high just to drown out the sounds, but eventually the screaming, cursing, and breaking glass had us calling 911. If they didn’t need relief, we sure did. Honestly, we’d had a couple of our own conflicts over the weekend, and although ours were much quieter and more civilized, the tension from next door just wasn’t helping.

This morning I got an email from an old friend and spiritual mentor describing how she and her husband are going through a very messy divorce. I was shocked by the hurt these strong Christian leaders were capable of dealing out to each other. Even their friends had gotten in on the action–and this was all within the Church.

While I was replying to my friend’s email, I was interrupted by a piercing stream of mile-a-minute Spanish, coming from two women in a nearby alley who were talking over each other at maximum volume. I returned to my email while the women argued senselessly for another 15 minutes.

On my drive to work I contemplated how our enemy loves to sow the seeds of conflict all around us. One of his favorite strategies is to fan into flame little grievances until husband hates wife and mother hates son and neighbor hates neighbor. No wonder Juan and I struggle with conflict; we’re swimming in a sea of it!

Not to completely blame the devil, by any means–we contribute our fair share to the problem–but I just realized that our small but sometimes-too-frequent conflicts, our friends’ marital strife, and our neighbors’ shouting matches are part of a bigger scheme on the part of the Accuser himself; and I just want to say that I’M NOT BUYING IT ANYMORE. I’m not going to give in to the self pity and anger that come with my little grievances, because I see now that they’re part of a bigger war. I don’t want to give Satan the satisfaction of seeing the tide turn in his favor in yet another household, in yet another relationship.

Of course, I’ll probably fail at this resolution in a matter of days or hours, but my eyes have been opened, and I am calling on the Lord of Armies (Hosts) to help me win this battle.

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