We had been married for a few years, yet Tom still didn’t know something significant about me.
I had managed to keep this part of my life hidden from him because I was embarrassed about it. I kept thinking to myself, “Debi, you’re a grown woman. You have children of your own. You need to stop feeling this way.” But none of my lectures worked. It wasn’t that I purposed not to tell him, but I certainly didn’t look for opportunities to share this part of my life with him. What was my secret?
I was afraid of the dark.
At the time we lived in a split-level home, which meant the bedrooms were on one level–the kitchen and living rooms were on another–and our garage was on the bottom level under our bedrooms, which also held our washer and dryer. This meant I had to go down two flights of stairs to do the laundry. Being that I was secretly afraid of the dark, I managed to get all the laundry finished and put away before the sun went down. I faced a constant battle with this fear. Nothing I said helped me reason with it. Even praying for God to help me seemed to produce no release from its grip.
There were horrifying times at night when Tom would end up going to our bedroom before me and he’d holler downstairs, “Turn off the lights when you come up!” Nothing horrible about that request really, except that meant I had to ascend the stairs with the darkness nipping at my heels. I honestly felt as if something was going to bite me.
It was after one of those experiences that I asked myself, “What are you really afraid of?” I wasn’t afraid that someone would break into our home and harm me. No, I was afraid of those things that weren’t limited to locked doors and windows. When I realized this was the case, I knew my struggle was a spiritual one, and I had to tell Tom.
I grew up being teased about things like this, so I was nervous telling Tom. What if he teased me too? What if he discounted what I was feeling and told me it would be ok. Then what? I had to take this step in faith and ask for his help.
When I told him, he immediately led me to the stairs. We sat down together on the steps, he took my hand and prayed for me. He went to battle with the enemy that had been robbing me of the peace that God has promised those who love Him. His prayer was the kindest and most caring gesture I had ever experienced from him in our short time of being married. He truly loved me enough to help me overcome my fear, and it worked! After his prayer, I never experienced that fear chasing me again. Thank you, God!
As a teenager I had played around with the occult in a recreational kind of way, and I believe this is when I began experiencing my fear of the dark. This is why to this day Tom guards what I watch on TV, even having me close my eyes for some of the commercials that come on. He helps keep me from being exposed again to any form of this fear, and I can honestly say it has worked.
God has proven to me the truths of these two scriptures:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7 ESV
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16
This is one way we can serve our spouse by joining with them to fight our common enemy–the devil.
He would like nothing more than to keep us isolated in our battles against sin because he knows it limits our power. Like a sheep that has gone astray is easy prey for a hungry wolf, so too, are we when we choose to fight our battles alone.
I encourage you to keep nothing hidden from your spouse. If you’re struggling with an on-going sin or temptation to sin, they need to know. Allow them to come alongside you and help you approach the Throne of Grace in your time of need. This is one of the benefits of being one flesh–my struggle has become his struggle and together God has helped me overcome the enemy of my soul.
How has your spouse helped you face similar battles?