Building a Strong Marriage
Updated: May 21, 2020
"Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They built as far as the Tower of the Hundred, and consecrated it, then as far as the Tower of Hananel." Nehemiah 3:1
The third chapter of Nehemiah describes in detail the rebuilding of the wall at Jerusalem. It was a huge undertaking but with God's leading of Nehemiah's organized plans and the Israelites' dedication to working together it was a success. One thing that isn't mentioned is "complaining". The people seem so focused on doing their part that they weren't focused on their neighbor's responsibilities. They stood next to each other, shoulder to shoulder, focusing only on their own section. If we could take a drone's view of the people working together it would have probably made them look like one complete body moving in harmony with one another to complete this immense task.
That makes a great portrait we can learn from for our marriage relationship. Difficult tasks face each marriage. Some spouses have medical difficulties, while others have incredible parenting challenges. Serious financial troubles plague some marriage relationships while other couples face circumstances that has caused trust issues in their marriage. Every marriage has a "wall" that has crumbled and needs to be rebuilt.
When Dana and I were first married and we decided I would be a stay at home mom I wanted to do all I could to equal the burden of Dana being the sole breadwinner of our family. One of the areas I decided to tackle was 'balancing the checkbook' (yes, it was a thing back in the day) and being sure all the bills were paid each month. In the beginning everything was going smoothly...until it wasn't. In my care the checkbook never came out even with what the bank thought we should have and I was struggling to make sense of it (I am not a numbers gal).
As the months carried on and the balancing became a drudgery I felt as if I was treading water. I finally shared with Dana my dilemma and he was able to make things right (whew!). From then on he joined me in this monthly task, apologizing for not working together on this in the first place. His strength is numbers and detailed line items, mine is not, but together we worked it out and were a team in our monthly budget meetings. Even though math is not one of my strengths I still wanted to be involved because it helped us stay on the same page and have the same goals financially.
God reveals His amazing omniscience when we take the time to look at the spouse He has given us. Oftentimes one spouse will have the gifts to overcome the difficulty but not have the patience to endure it. Yet it seems that God has linked that spouse, shoulder to shoulder, with a marriage partner who has that patience. Alone they would never be able to complete the task that lies before them but working together, as one flesh, they find that they can.
"...Let us rise up and build..." (Neh. 3:18)
I love you & He loves you more!
Lord, Thank You for the strength that two people can make working toward the same end goal. Bless our union as we strive together for a long, happy life. May we always seek You in all things but especially where we are weak because I know You make us strong. In Jesus' name. Amen.