So we built the wall, and all of it was joined together to half its height… Nehemiah 4:6
I’ve decided to pause on this one segment of a verse because I think we can read a significance into it that is vital for us as we stand: The meaning of the half-wall. If the wall, all this time has been representing the whole marriage, then a half-wall represents only one side- yours.
All of this time, you have been working on the wall, but you cannot do the work of another person for them. You can only build half of the wall, because you only have power over yourself. So how do you build the wall? The wall is built by working on a few things:
- Discovering and accepting breaches that came in on your own side of the wall
Your half-wall is your personal masterpiece, and it is where you should be focusing all of your attention. The reality is that not every marriage wall will be fully reconstructed. Some will continue to stay in rubble and disrepair; but you have no reason at all to stop working on your half-wall. Even if your marriage isn’t restored, you have to be a whole person again in order to function out in the ‘real world’. You cannot move forward if your own wall is still broken down.
At this point, you have probably taken stock of your marriage and determined where things went awry. This is the first step because it is the foundational piece. When you become aware of the broken places inside yourself, you can focus in on those things through prayer and counseling and begin to heal what has been broken for so long. While this is foundational, it may also be an ongoing project, as you will probably be much more aware of inconsistencies in your emotions and thought patterns as you go through this season. It is never too late to establish a new mind and a clean heart. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Forgiveness is the beginning of freedom. When you take the time to truly, deeply forgive those who have hurt you in the past, you break the chains that have held you back. Forgiveness changes your heart towards others. Just the resolve that it takes to choose to forgive changes your heart. Forgiveness changes your mind. You cannot look at someone the same way once you forgive them. True forgiveness allows us to see others as God sees them, beloved. Forgiveness changes your response. When you truly forgive, you will not react to pain in the same way any longer. You won’t react with spite, or bitterness, or anger, but in grace. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13
When the future is uncertain, it’s essential to prepare for whatever might come. Working on your P.I.E.S. helps you to become the strongest possible you there can be. It’s not just about self-improvement, it’s about creating a healthier future. P.I.E.S. is all about the half-wall. Focus in on identifying your triggers, correcting your reactions, and healing from these wounds, and wounds from the past. It’s also about allowing yourself the dignity and luxury of self-care that you probably overlooked in your marriage. When we become absorbed into a marriage coupledom, we often put our spouse over ourselves. This is the time to nurse yourself back into a healthy sense of peace with yourself, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
Remember that you can only put your positive energy into yourself. You cannot focus all of your time and effort into fixing, correcting, cajoling, or begging your spouse to be something they aren’t being right now; this will only exhaust you. Instead, take care of your needs, learn to be happy with yourself, regardless of your surroundings. This is how you are to build your half of the wall.
Which areas of your wall do you feel need work still?