The Enemy is Not Your Plumbing
By Leigh Powers
My son flushed a wad of paper towels down the toilet thirty minutes before I was supposed to go lead our women’s Bible study. The toilet overflowed, the plunger didn’t work, the snake wouldn’t budge the clog, and the possibility of having to call the plumber did not put me in a spiritual frame of mind.
Here’s the irony: The Bible study I was supposed to teach was on…
It was an episode that could have ruined the afternoon for our whole family. You know how it goes. The toilet overflows. You yell at the child that did it and get madder with every additional rag you use to clean up the mess. Your husband and you get frustrated with each other because “give me that thing over there” is not a specific enough instruction to find the tool you actually need, and the child you just yelled at relieves his frustration by punching his sister, resulting in tears, more yelling, and drowning your sorrows in a pan of brownies.
I turned to my husband. “Is it an accident this happened right before I go teach the spiritual warfare study?”
He laughed. “It would be just like the devil, wouldn’t it?”
So instead of our afternoon devolving into a family screaming match, I headed out the door and had a good laugh with our Bible study group about Satan’s attack on our plumbing. My husband gave our son a crash course in clog removal. I think it’s safe to say he will never flush paper towels again.
Mommas, we have an enemy. It isn’t our plumbing. It isn’t our children, or our husbands, or the irritating coworker, or the lady at the movie who keeps yakking on her cell phone. Our enemy is the devil, and he likes nothing better than to twist us up into attacking those around us and to blind us to his deceitful schemes. As mothers, we set the emotional and spiritual temperature of our homes. Satan knows if he can get us tangled up in our emotions, he can drag the rest of our family down with us.
Here’s how not to fall for it:
- Remember who your enemy is. Your enemy is not your husband or your eye-rolling, back-talking, cell-phone-losing child. Your enemy is the devil, the one who wants to destroy you and your family. Don’t give him an inch of ground. When frustrations rise—and they will—pause, pray, and then respond.
- Guard your flank. The Bible compares Satan to a roaring lion seeking who he will devour (1 Peter 5:8). Lions like to go after the weakest members of the herd, and Satan is no different. He wants to attack us where we’re weak. Where are the spots where your fatigue is highest and your patience is shortest? The before school rush? The pre-bedtime crazy hour? The after-work commute? Take control of those moments. Pray through your routine. Put on your praise-and-worship playlist. Make a habit of praying blessings over your children before they walk out the door and before they sleep at night. Be aware of those moments of vulnerability, and find ways to shore them up with prayer.
- Saturate yourself in the truth. Satan is a liar and deceiver. If we’re going to recognize his schemes, we need to be able to look through the light of God’s word. Find ways to build Bible reading and meditating on Scripture into your day. Read your Bible in the morning. Check out the verse of the day on your Bible app as you wait in the carpool line. Listen to an audio Bible on the way home from work. If you know God’s truth and have made it a part of your life, you can recognize Satan’s lies when you see them.
You have an enemy. It’s not your husband. It’s not your children—and it sure isn’t your plumbing. Satan wants to destroy us and leave us powerless, ineffective, and defeated. But we serve a Savior who has already overcome. If we are in Christ, we share in his victory. Know your enemy. Guard your weak spots. Deal with your anger, and soak yourself daily in God’s word. Stand on truth, and next time the enemy strikes you won’t be defeated. You’ll be a woman who wins because our God already has.
Leigh Powers is a Bible study and devotional writer, freelance editor, pastor’s wife, and speaker from small-town West Texas who is passionate about helping women find hope and healing as they encounter God through his Word. She is a graduate of Baylor University (BS.Ed.) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv.Bl) and has written over one hundred Bible study lessons for publishers such as BaptistWay Press and Smyth & Helwys. You can usually find her with either a book or knitting needles in her hand—and sometimes both.