Marriage is tough, but not the kind of tough that it doesn't need to be protected from enemies foreign and domestic. In the book of Nehemiah, we see upon returning to Jerusalem to inspect the walls that once fortified the city, Nehemiah finds that, as he was told, the walls around the city have been destroyed and the gates had been burned.
This got me thinking about the wall of protection around our marriage once destroyed it can be a major challenge to rebuild. As I began to study I found that the wall around Jerusalem had many gate all of which were named by the function they served for the population of the city.
Where are the weak points in your marriage?
It was surprising to see so many gates to the city, as they can create problems in warfare, being the weakest point of any protective wall. Even though they are weak points, entrance-ways were necessary for the survival of the city and must be able to be open enough to serve their purpose, yet be able to provide a solid wall to an enemy.
During a time of peace gates to many ancient cities were open and travelers were able to come and go freely. But during a time of war people entering the gates are checked before the can proceed. Often we may find ourselves in what we think of as a time of peace in our marriage, but what you may not realize is that when you got married, you stepped on to the battlefield.
Satan wants to wreak havoc in your marriage because a marriage done right brings glory to God. We have a protective wall around our marriage and recognizing the areas in your marriage where the enemy can sneak in and cause problems is one of the smartest things you can do to help fortify it.
Identify Your Gates
For example one gate I go through each week day is the work gate. I am very blessed to have a job especially one that I love and is very rewarding. It is necessary that I go through this gate to provide for my family and hopefully be a light to others. While I am out of "the city" or protective walls of my marriage I need to be careful to keep watch for weapons of deception that can sneak back in and destroy what I hold dear.
Affairs don't usually happen between strangers... they grow over time at the office or the ball field. They start off innocent, you admire attributes of a coworker or friend and the next thing you know, you bring that relationship through the gate and start comparing your spouse to that person. Don't be naive: this has and can happen, even in ministry. This isn't the only weapon, just a common one along with time bandits.
Get Help Fortifying Your Gates
If your wall has been destroyed, read Nehemiah 3 and noticed how men from other cities came to help complete the wall. These men were responsible for sections of the wall from one gate to another. Before they came to help, they made sure their own homes and cities were livable. Find people (of the same gender) at work, on the ball field, etc., who can help you and keep you accountable outside the city. Make sure their homes are in order, too, if not you just might find yourself in a place you never intended. Remember even things that seem good can be deceiving.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ~Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
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