When the evil one has his way:
Forgiveness is never given.
Deceit is preferred to the truth.
The other is treated with contempt.
Fear keeps the other quiet.
Brokenness is preferred.
Pride blinds one from seeing reality.
Words become weapons.
Power and dominance are maintained at the expense of others.
Repentance is something necessary for the other.
One refuses to admit the need for help.
One is quick to see the other’s faults.
One keeps score of the other’s perceived transgressions.
The other is shamed and dehumanized by calling him/her names.
Friends are forced to choose sides.
Gossip determines how people relate to the one portrayed as in the wrong.
Friends are quick to believe one side of the story of a broken relationship without seeking to discover if it is true.
Anger and contempt hide behind public propriety and religious piety.
Accommodation is preferred to the feared pain of stopping the cycle of dysfunction.
Arguments are won at the other’s expense.
One insists on being right.
Unresolved conflict between husband and wife leads to many being hurt—children, grandchildren, relatives and friends all suffer.
We become a trophy, not of God’s grace, but of the enemy’s strategy.
Brokenness defines our lives, despite whatever happy talk one uses to cover it.
One’s posture of victimhood ensures the evil one will continue to have his way.
One becomes obsessed with justifying one’s actions.
Humility becomes impossible.
Love becomes calculated.
Peace is distraction.
Hypocrisy is preferred to self-examination.
The other is always at fault.
Self-preservation (financial, professional, social, medical) becomes the goal.
Pretense gives the impression of wholeness.
Hell is preferred to heaven.
There are two ways out of this desert, both hard.
The first is death.
The second is repentance and reconciliation.
God have mercy on me. I am only just beginning to repent.