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When the Enemy Goes Hard After Your Family

What do you do when the enemy goes hard after your family? Expose his lies. Use God’s Word to defeat him. And put on the full armor of God to defend yourself and your family. 

If there is division in your home or family, you can be sure the enemy is behind it. He often uses those closest to us—our own flesh and blood, spouses, in-laws, and friends—to hurt our hearts, causing us deep pain. 

The pain from those closest to us can leave wounds and scars. We must know how he uses our past hurts and current situations to divide, distract, and introduce discontentment into our lives. Ephesians 6:12 says we do not war against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities of darkness. Paul writes to the Ephesians of his day and us, exposing the enemy’s schemes and explaining how to overcome them. 

The enemy uses things in the physical realm to tear down our families. So, when the enemy goes hard after your family, know that he will use people, places, and circumstances in hopes that our homes will become divided. 

Satan’s plan in families is to make them frail so they do not become fruitful. His goal is that families reflect more of the world than the Kingdom. He doesn’t want godly families to create godly children. And division is his first attempt to cut off the fruit from the vine.    

Exposing Satan’s Strategies Against the Family 

Division

Satan’s strategy of bringing about a family’s destruction is always by way of family division. This is his main strategy. Division brings destruction and desolation. If he can sow seeds of dissension, destruction will follow. 

When the enemy goes hard after your family using division, you will notice…

  • Bitterness
  • Unforgiveness
  • A block against clear communication (misunderstandings, silent treatments, yelling, etc.)
  • A lack of joy and peace in the home
  • Words said that are intended to hurt rather than build up

Ephesians 5:11 tells us to take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness but to expose them. When you see how the enemy goes hard after your family, expose his schemes!

Get quiet before God and talk with Him about it. Pray and repent. Pray for those in your family. Get into God’s Word and use it in the battle. 

Always remember who the real enemy is. It isn’t your spouse, children, siblings, or parents. The enemy of your family wants to go undetected because when you discover his work, he knows you are one step closer to exposing them and coming together in reconciliation. He hates it when healing and redemption take place in families. 

Jesus said in Matthew 12:25 that every kingdom—every house—divided against itself is brought to desolation. It cannot stand. 

When the enemy goes hard after your family using division, the answer is reconciliation. 

  • “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation…”—2 Corinthians 5:18 (emphasis added)

Paul’s words about reconciliation come after a changed perspective (vs. 16 and 17). He once viewed others “according to the flesh.” But he learned that this limited his vision. After coming to know Jesus, his perspective changed to view others as God views them, though difficult at times. 

Ask God to give you eyes to see others as He does. 

  • Seeing others as God does and asking God to give you His heart toward them in difficult circumstances opens doors for the ministry of reconciliation. When the enemy goes hard after your family, ask Jesus to change your perspective.

Ask God to remind you that forgiveness is yours in Jesus. 

  • Remembering how you’ve been forgiven and transformed through faith in Jesus helps you see the need for others to be reconciled to Him. You can’t give away something you don’t remember you have. So, ask God to remind you of the gracious forgiveness He has given you so it can flow through you to those in your family. 

Distraction

Satan’s strategy of distraction is evident in our culture. Our attention spans have dwindled, and we can’t focus for more than a few minutes at a time when we sit down in prayer or to read God’s Word. His strategy of distraction flows into family interactions, too. 

As parents, we grab our phones to scroll social media or answer that one last work email while also trying to listen to our kids tell us about their bad day at school. Satan looks for ways to tempt us into believing that we can multitask. Yet God says, “Pause and listen to your family. You don’t need to rush these moments. I’ve orchestrated them so you can tell your children how I work in their lives.” 

Many times, multitasking results in distraction. The door of distraction is opened, and Satan creeps into the family to cause division and discontent. 

When the enemy goes hard after your family using distraction, you will notice…

  • Feeling “stuck”
  • Focusing more on yourself than God or others
  • Focusing more on what is happening in your day-to-day rather than seeing daily circumstances as God-moments that He wants to use for your family’s good
  • Finding it difficult to sit still, have quiet time, or read the Word
  • Having an ever-growing to-do list you can never complete
  • Feeling tension in relationships and being unable to identify why or when it started 

Philippians 4:8 tells us to meditate and focus on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy. We do this by fixing our eyes on Jesus and asking Him to reveal what is distracting us from Him. Then, ask Him to remind us of His promises. When He exposes the distraction, you can use verses such as Philippians 8:6-8 to bring your heart and mind back to God.  

Get quiet before God and repent of the distractions. Ask Him to refocus your and your family’s minds on Him. Get into the Word and use verses that help renew and transform your thoughts.

Always remember who the real enemy is. It isn’t your schedule, work, activities, relationships, spouse, or children. The enemy uses those things to distract you, but God can use those places and people as grounds for His glory to be displayed. Satan doesn’t want you to notice the distractions because he knows that may be an opportunity to draw nearer to Jesus.    

When the enemy goes hard after your family using distraction, the answer is getting into and praying God’s Word. 

A grandmother and her two granddaughters praying together for when the enemy goes hard after your family.

  • “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”—Psalm 1:2-3 (emphasis added)

David’s words in Psalm 1 remind us of God’s promise to those who meditate on His Word. In Hebrew,  meditate means “to ponder, think about, and murmur.” In other words, read the Word, think about what it says and how to apply it, and speak it out loud. The promise is that you will bear fruit in season. 

Ask God to plant His Word in your mind. 

  • Spending time in God’s Word—the seed (Luke 8:11)—plants it in your heart. Decide to get into God’s Word daily and tell your family what you are learning about Him, yourself, and others. Encourage them to do the same.

Ask God to remind you of the importance of being still. 

  • The distractions we face can cause our heads to spin and our hearts to be unsettled. Sitting still goes against our desire to check things off our to-do lists and keep moving. But it is important to rest and be still. In the stillness of prayer is when God’s voice can be heard. Dedicate 5-10 minutes each morning to simply being still and asking God to speak to your heart. Share what He says to you with your family.  

 

Discontentment

Satan’s strategy of discontentment dates back to the Garden. God gave humanity a purpose. His design for us is to work, but our work is intended to glorify Him. Satan’s darts of discontentment twist the design of purpose and work into dissatisfaction. If he can get us to work for our glory or desires, he robs us of the satisfaction and joy God intended us to have through it, which is much greater than we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20). 

God created Adam and put him in the Garden to tend and keep it. He told him to eat freely from every tree but to stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God warned Adam that the tree would bring death. 

The serpent enters the story and tells Eve (with Adam standing right next to her) that if she eats from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, she “will be like God.” She saw that the tree was good for food and “desirable to make one wise.” 

Satan’s lie sparked a flame of discontentment. She became dissatisfied with who she was and all God had given to her. This caused her to lose focus on all the good things God made available to her in the Garden of Eden. She decided to disregard the warning and eat because she wanted more—more food, more wisdom. 

When the enemy goes hard after your family using discontentment, you will notice…

  • You feel like what you have isn’t enough
  • Your expectations of others and yourself keep rising, causing friction in the relationship
  • You will begin to doubt the goodness of God
  • You focus on what you don’t have rather than praising God for what you do have

James 1:2-8 tells us to let patience have its perfect work in us so that we lack nothing. Discontentment is from the enemy, but God will use it for good to grow your faith and produce patience. The trial of discontentment has the potential to bring us joy. Why? Because through the trials, we are given opportunities to trust God more, mature in our walk with Him, and see how we truly have all we ever need in Jesus.   

Get quiet before God and repent of the discontentment. Ask Him to remind you and your family of all He has given you—from physical to spiritual blessings. 

Always remember who the real enemy is. He wants you to think God is holding out on you, withholding the best from you. But God’s Word says He only has good plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11). 

When the enemy goes hard after your family using discontentment, the answer is to praise God for His goodness. 

  • “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”—Psalm 103:1-5 (emphasis added)

David’s words in Psalm 103 remind us to tell our souls—our hearts and minds—to praise God and remember all He has done for us.

Ask God to remind you of all He has done. 

  • Make a list or keep a prayer journal and watch as God begins to move in you and your family. Ask your family to share something God has done or is doing. Spend an entire meal focusing on the blessings from God rather than complaining about your have-nots. 

Ask God to remind you of where you will spend eternity. 

  • C.S. Lewis said, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” Paul reminds us that this is not our home but that we can look forward to an everlasting home in heaven. We aren’t supposed to be satisfied in this broken world because we were made to be in a relationship with Jesus. Remind yourself and your family where your real home is. 

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