King Artaxerxes commissioned Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah and his men set to work with trowels in one hand and swords in the other (4:17) defending against enemies on all sides.
In many ways, married couples face similar opposition. They’re building their homes with jobs, hard work, and children in one hand and the sword of the Word of God in the other, defending their families against a culture that’s increasingly hostile to them.
It’s a worthy and noble endeavor, but it doesn’t always feel like it.
Most couples start their lives together with fun and excitement. There’s the proposal, planning the wedding, and long talks about children, careers, and wonderful dreams for the future. But the fairy tale doesn’t usually take long to fade behind laundry, dinner, bathing the children, and responsibilities at work. Marital pressures start to increase, and small problems become big ones.
The transition from being individuals to the intimacy and unity of becoming “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) can be tricky.
Nehemiah encouraged people facing adversity to remember that “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (8:10). Couples get so focused on building a life together and the perpetual pursuit of “more” that they overlook God’s blessings along the way.
A dull marriage can turn for the better when you say, “God, help me to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and the finisher of my faith. Help me to find my joy in You.” There may still be days that you’ll want more out of life, but press into God and the joy His Spirit can bring to you.
Here at Focus on the Family, we routinely hear from husbands and wives who want to experience the oneness in their marriage the Bible speaks about. To that end, we’re airing a conversation on our radio broadcast titled “Creating a No-Regrets Marriage.”
Our guests are husband and wife, and authors, Steve and Rhonda Stoppe. They’re fun – I think that’ll be obvious right away – and they’ll help you find the joy of the Lord in your marriage. Listen on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or take us with you on our free phone app.
You can also get Steve and Rhonda’s book, The Marriage Mentor: Becoming the Couple You Long to Be for a gift of any amount. Check our website for details and please consider giving today.