Mark 10 Nine

Are you happily married and looking for tips on maintaining a God-honoring marriage? This weekly devotional will give you encouragement for your marriage.

Are You Building Walls in Your Relationship?

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”  Matthew 18:21-22 

We recently visited my son, who is in college in Virginia. I love walking around downtown and seeing all of the old buildings. I’m particularly enamored with the brick that is found everywhere. It is just so beautiful and sturdy. I want to know the stories behind the buildings and especially the stories of each piece of exposed brick.

When I look at the brick, I can envision the mason who spends hours each day taking brick after brick, stacking them higher and higher until he has completed his job. We can do the same thing with the relationships in our lives. There aren’t physical walls built up, but instead, emotional walls. Think back over your marriage. When you and your spouse disagreed, did you express your feelings or bottle them up? Much like a mason, you may suddenly build a wall between you and your spouse.

We all start our day with expectations. When we don’t feel those are met, we can be guilty of adding a brick to the wall of conflict. That can separate us emotionally from the ones we love.

Brick after brick, the wall forms.

An unresolved disagreement – a brick goes up. 

Hurt feelings – another brick. 

Your husband didn’t notice your new haircut – another brick. 

Your wife doesn’t ever tell you she appreciates how hard you work – another brick. 

Your children never tell you how thankful they are for you – another brick. 

What has added to the bricks in your life?

We have a choice to make. Are we going to add bricks to that wall or take them down and let others in?

When we take the bricks down, we are forgiving. We are giving up our right to hurt back.

We admit that we were wounded, but we choose to forgive as Christ forgave us.

Sometimes we build those emotional walls to avoid letting a person in. The problem is that while you are keeping others out, you have isolated yourself. You may not be a prisoner in your home, but you are being held captive by your emotions.

Forgiving someone who hasn’t asked for forgiveness takes bravery. That bravery can come from the Holy Spirit. We can’t do it in our power.

I recall a time when my husband and I had a period of disconnect. We spent a couple of days just existing and not really connecting. I had built a wall, and I’m pretty sure he also had a nice wall in the works. My pride and the enemy kept telling me that I was justified. I had a right to be upset. I should hold onto my wall. I can’t recall who came out from behind their wall first, but we shared what we were really feeling. That doesn’t mean we both agreed with what the other was feeling, but we listened to one another and decided to take down our wall.

That day, I could see how easy it is to build up a wall and then hide behind it, thinking how justified I was in my feelings and interpretation of an event.

I would guess that many marriages fall apart with construction of a wall. So what can we do?

Let’s leave the construction to the professionals! Decide to forgive. Decide to move on. Decide to allow your spouse back in emotionally.

Tear down that wall!  

Apologize for what you did to contribute to the problems in your home.
Each person can own their part.  Remember that there are no perfect people.

Are you keeping your spouse out emotionally? Be open and honest. Share areas of your life where you feel weak or afraid.

Those walls can be evident in our speech, demeanor, and countenance. Does your spouse see the joyful, loving person or the angry, bitter person? 

Tear down that wall!  

God can give you the grace and forgiveness to move forward without the baggage that comes when we put walls up in our relationships. 

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:31-32

God bless,

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