Defending Your Marriage

The Reality of Spiritual Battle

by Tim Muehlhoff

Defending Your Marriage
paperback
  • Length: 176 pages
  • Published: November 2018
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4550-7
  • Item Code: 4550

Is your marriage under attack?

Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you're facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it?

Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

In our marital challenges, we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities that try to separate us from God and each other. But fear not. Learn to stand firm in Christ and trust in the Lord to deliver us from evil.

"The vast majority of couples starting their marriages think that their marriage will take place on a romantic balcony, not on a spiritual battlefield. Tim masterfully unmasks the ploys of our true enemy and thoughtfully equips us to protect our marriages, stay on the offensive, and leave a godly legacy for future generations. Every married couple needs to read, discuss, and apply Defending Your Marriage."

Dennis Rainey, cofounder of FamilyLife Ministries

"Tragically, we westerners still do not take the demonic seriously, especially when it comes to addressing problems in our marriage. That is until now. As far as I know, my friend and colleague Tim Muehlhoff has written the only book that tackles this crucial yet neglected aspect of cultivating healthy marriages. I really can't say enough about Defending Your Marriage. It is thoroughly biblically based and experientially sound; it is so well written that it reads like a novel, and it is chock-full of insights and practical applications. To be honest, I don't see how anyone can afford not to read this book who is involved in marriage counseling or simply wants his or her marriage to grow. It deftly adds a new dimension to marriage protection and enrichment that you will find nowhere else."

J. P. Moreland, distinguished professor of philosophy, author of Finding Happiness Again

"Tim Muehlhoff approaches the idea of spiritual warfare in Christian marriage by beginning with Scriptural teaching about Satan. He then moves on to discuss ways to recognize spiritual battles in marriage and offers wise counsel regarding simple and practical things couples can do to face it. Written with accessible language and illustrated with engaging stories and occasional sidebars, this book is as readable as anyone could ever want a book to be on any subject. As intimidating as the topic of spiritual warfare in marriage may seem to be, Muehlhoff's approach is an unthreatening treatment of this long neglected but significant issue. No matter the current condition of their marriages—whether thriving, tedious, or troubled—Christians will benefit from reading this book."

Douglas S. Huffman, professor and associate dean of biblical and theological studies at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University

"This is a desperately needed book on an overlooked topic. Defending Your Marriage is a sobering reminder of an invisible but very real danger to every Christian marriage—spiritual attack. When we fail to protect ourselves from this threat, we leave the backdoor open to forces that can erode our love, weaken our commitment, and even destroy our marriage. Thanks to Dr. Muehlhoff for identifying our hidden enemy and giving us plans for a strong defense, and for doing it in such a readable and engaging style."

Tim Downs and Joy Downs, authors of Fight Fair!

"I have known Tim for thirty-six years and I'm privileged to call him my friend. As a pastor, there's no one I would trust more on the issues addressed in this book. Defending Your Marriage is an excellent book, written by an even better man."

William Radford, senior pastor at Bedford Presbyterian Church, Bedford, Nova Scotia

"As go marriages so go families and as go families so go communities, states, and nations. For many years the Adversary has stepped up his attack on marriages and families. He doesn't mind the okay, so-so, mediocre marriages where Christ is, at best, on the periphery and making no real difference in the couples' lives. But once a couple refuses to settle for a fifth-rate relationship and decides to pursue a Christ-centered marriage, to learn how to look and live and love like our Lord, the attacks of the Adversary can feel overwhelming. Tim has given us a unique, biblically based, relevant handbook for not just protecting our marriage but in the process actually deepening and strengthening our love relationship with God and with each other. This practical and long-overdue resource will help you become 'more than conquerors' and experience the quality of marriage that God has designed for those who love him. It's a book you'll read more than once."

Gary J. Oliver, executive director of the Center for Healthy Relationships, professor of psychology and practical theology at John Brown University

"I am so grateful that Dr. Muehlhoff has taken on this critically important topic. Defending Your Marriage provides deep truths, engaging personal examples, and helpful insights into an area that too few authors have the authority to tackle. This book will set a standard for others that follow on this topic, providing couples with amazing resources to help them defend their marriage."

Chris Grace and Alisa Grace, founders of the Center for Marriage and Relationships at Biola University

"The wisdom imparted in this volume will help you discern what is going on in your marriage and will give you important tools for handling a wide array of issues that have spiritual roots."

From the foreword by Clinton E. Arnold, dean and professor of New Testament, Talbot School of Theology, author of Powers of Darkness

"This is a must-read for Christian marital therapists! It fills an important gap in our training by providing practical tools for the therapist to acknowledge, identify, and respond to spiritual warfare in marriages. As a marital therapist I am often searching for ways to help couples that seem to not respond to traditional marital interventions. This book offers a new intervention: addressing spiritual warfare to help with the healing process for couples. I am excited that I now have a detailed map on how to address spiritual warfare in marriage beyond just naming it."

Jana Anderson, certified Gottman method couples therapist
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CONTENTS

Introduction: When Your Marriage Is a Target
1. The First Step: Making Sense of Our Adversary
2. Why Would Satan Care About My Marriage?
3. How Can I Tell If This Is Spiritual Warfare?
4. The Serpent Was Crafty: Understanding the Tactics of Satan
5. Fighting Back: Utilizing Our Spiritual Protection
6. Prayer: Energizing Our Spiritual Protection
7. Taking the Devil’s Perspective: Insights from C. S. Lewis
Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Notes

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Tim Muehlhoff (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California, where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, persuasion, and gender. He is the author of I Beg to Differ and Marriage Forecasting, and the coauthor of The God Conversation, Authentic Communication, and Winsome Persuasion, which received a 2018 Christianity Today book award in apologetics/evangelism.

Muehlhoff and his wife, Noreen, are frequent speakers at FamilyLife Marriage Conferences, and Tim also serves as a speaker/author with Biola's Center for Marriage and Relationships.

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