Some months ago I visited a family struggling to resolve marital issues. What I sensed there prompted me to explore a new approach to spiritual warfare for marriages and families.
In this case both husband and wife had claims and counter-claims against each other. The wife had various demands and her husband had various defences. He had evidence of her unreasonable behaviour, but she had justification for her actions. She had a case against him for his actions, while he had his own explanations for the situations.
I observed for a long time as this couple did verbal battle, both exasperated by the other. I silently prayed for wisdom and insight into how to best move their situation forward.
What came to my attention was that the couple had become pawns in a bigger game – and the key player was not the husband or the wife. The whole game was being controlled by a “Hurt Spirit”. Both husband and wife were drowning in their feelings of being hurt by the other. They then took aim at their spouse, as the source and cause of the hurt. The accusations and counter-claims only became bullets which created more hurt. The anger, frustration, accusations, justifications and so on, just kept adding fuel to the fire.
When I finally had opportunity to speak into the situation both husband and wife expected me to bring some clarity as to whose claims should be acceded to. Instead I had them join me in praying against the work of a hurt spirit. By that time the night was late and I did little more than take authority over the work of a hurt spirit in the marriage.
Within days I heard from the wife that the atmosphere in the home had been transformed from that very night. Both husband and wife have been growing in wisdom and grace since then and the relationship, while still challenged by many years of upset and hurt feelings, is stronger each week.
That has prompted me to wonder just how many marriages are being torn apart by a third party – not a person, but a hurt spirit. A hurt spirit, which is not anything defined as such in the Bible, but which I describe by that title because of its focus, aims to stir up feelings of offence in husband or wife. By arousing hurt feelings that spirit can goad a person to begin attacking their spouse, or acting toward them from a position of hurt.
Once that cycle has been started it can gain its own momentum, with the hurt spirit adding extra spin to the wheel from time to time. Eventually the couple can be completely at war with each other.
Now, consider Paul’s insight in such situations. He says that we are not wrestling and contending with each other, but with spirit forces at work around us. He says “we do not wrestle with flesh and blood (people) but against principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness (spirit beings)” Ephesians 6:12. So what I am describing to you about a hurt spirit is not as absurd as it might at first sound.
Join me in taking authority over the hurt spirits which have been messing with marriages and spoiling godly relationships. We have authority to bind them (Matthew 18:18). And if you have been messed with, make up your mind not to serve the hurt spirit any longer. Your marriage belongs to God and then to you and your spouse. It will never belong to a hurt spirit or any other kind of evil spirit. Resist the presence and influence of anything that is not fit to be in God’s presence.
“Hurt Spirits which are working in marriages, we bind you in Jesus’ powerful name and we command you to get your hands off husband and wives, hearts, minds and relationships. We resist you and your work in the lives of Christian marriages and we release healing and love to flow into each place where you have been doing your evil work. And we do this in the authority of the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”