Peter uses this very analogy when he warns Elders and young men of his day. It also clearly applies to us today:
Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour (1 Peter 5:8 NLT).
When it comes to marriage, I am afraid the "lion" IS in the kitchen. The divorce rate seems to hover around the 50% rate in the U.S. The number of couples living together seems to be on the rise, as well. I saw a recent news piece that said that more and more women are choosing to live their lives single for a longer period of time. Married couples, as a percentage of the adult population, are definitely trending down.
Of course, there are a lot of factors involved in all of this marriage carnage, but you may be surprised who lets the "lion" in the back door. The answer is that we do — you and me.
The "lion" has many faces. It may be the flirting at the office. He may attack through our being too busy for our spouse and children. His pouncing opportunity may come through anger we release like a wild beast on our family. The lion turned loose on our family may be some kind of addiction. For many here lately, the lion devours through the impact of pornography. Or, you probably can discover the way the lion is turned loose in your kitchen if you ask the Lord to open your eyes. The end results are the same no matter how the lion gets into our kitchen — devastated lives often involving small children. Just ask my wife, the school teacher; she sees it daily.
My wife and I recently went to a dinner supporting NewDay Services that is a wonderful outreach ministry to those that have been "devoured" by divorce. In the county where we live, each month there are more than 5000 divorces pending, 500 children freshly impacted by the divorce of their parents, over 600 new orders for non-payment of child support, and 650 children referred to the Juvenile Justice Center. Ouch! The lion does more than roar; he devours.
It is now time to recognize how the devil really works and what he really wants to do in our lives! Let us all begin to visualize his temptations as a real hungry, snarling, determined, life-size lion in our kitchen — instead of us cuddling up to those temptations as if they are purring kittens!
Our Lord wants us to see temptation clearly and have relationships that bring "full" lives, not "devoured" lives. Again, a warning about the devil and the promise of God's desire for us is contrasted when Jesus says:
The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness (John 10:10 NLT).
(This article was inspired from a men’s retreat given by Neal Jeffrey. Thank you, Neal, on a fantastic job! — Byron)