Show of hands! How many of you love the Old Testament?!? I love the Old Testament, however, my point of view is not the general consensus. Most people find the Old Testament as boring and not practical for modern-day life. To be totally transparent with you I use to be one of those people. I felt like the New Testament was the only thing in the Bible that was relevant to me and that there was nothing in the Old Testament that could help me. It wasn’t until I discovered a translation that I loved that I actually took the time to read the Old Testament. It was then that I realized that for one thing, it was not boring at all and also it was packed with life lessons and wisdom that I could use in my daily life to help me become the person I wanted to be. Now I read the Bible as a whole and there are so many things that I have learned from it.
In case you are not super familiar with the OT. Nehemiah is one of the books that you will find there. It is a short 13 chapter book. Nehemiah is our main character. He is an ordinary man that was actually born a slave. He hears about his homeland and how it is in ruin. Jerusalem had been taken overtaken and basically destroyed and no one had been able to successfully rebuild it. The idea of his homeland being in shambles breaks Nehemiah’s heart so he asks his king if he can go back and start rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. The king grants his request and the rest of the book tells how he goes about rebuilding the wall and the opposition he faces.
In the book of Nehemiah marriage is not mentioned AT ALL! So you may be wondering why we are talking about Nehemiah on a marriage blog. Well as it would turn out there are some things about Nehemiah’s life that if we apply them to our marriages can actually help us to grow. Alex and I literally made this discovery last week. Our church is doing a sermon series on the book of Nehemiah and Alex was asked to preach one of the sermons. As he was prepping for the sermon, he was sharing his notes with me. As I was reading over the main points I saw how if we would apply them to our lives it would help us do the work that God had in store for us. Then I thought, “If we apply these to our marriages it would help us as well.” So we are going to do a twist on Alex’s sermon by looking at these main points through the lens of how they can help our marriages.
Marriage Tips from Nehemiah
Seek God Faithfully
We have said this so many times and we will continue to say this! Marriage is God’s idea and it is a good idea. However, we have to invite God into our relationships if they are going to reach their full potential. We need to let the One that created marriage, to begin with, be apart of ours. We need His guidance and wisdom. We need His peace and His grace. We need His help in every way imaginable, amen? The only way we can include God in our marriages is by seeking Him every day!
When Nehemiah heard about the condition of his homeland He instantly went to God. We see in the book of Nehemiah that he prayed and fasted for 4 months before he said anything to the king. He had a desire to fix the problem but he went to the Lord before he did anything or said anything else. We need to do the same thing in our marriages. We need to seek the Lord about everything but especially if we have a problem.
God should not be our last resort. He should not be our “fall back” plan. He should be our first point of contact.
When we get our relationship with the Lord in the correct order we will learn some pretty amazing things about our Daddy God.
Nothing is too big for God’s power or too small for God’s heart!
Nothing is too big for our God but you will learn as you spend time with Him that nothing is too small for Him either. He cares about the tiniest of details in your life. If it matters to you it matters to Him.
When we seek God consistently, He will hear you more actively!
Who are you more willing to help? Your spouse or a stranger? Your spouse, right! Why, because you have an intimate relationship with them! You love them because you spent time with them and truly know them. The same is true for God.
More time spent with God=Deeper relationship=More time spent praying=
More Prayers getting answered.
Define the Vision Clearly
After Nehemiah had prayed about this for four months the Lord opened a door for him. The king asked him why he was so sad. When Nehemiah told the king what was wrong the king asked him what he could do to help. Nehemiah did not beat around the bush. He had his answer ready. “Send me to Jerusalem so I can rebuild the city.” Nehemiah had a vision that he could define to the king and because of that, the king granted his request.
I personally believe this is where a lot of marriage fail. It’s not a lack of caring it is a lack of clarity. When it comes to our relationship we need to know what we want and be able to define it clearly. There are a lot of things in life that we can be passive about but our marriages are not one of them.
- What is your vision for your marriage?
- Are there any goals that you want to accomplish?
- Where do you see your self in 5, 10, or 20 years?
- What is something you want to improve on?
- What problems do you have that need to be addressed and dealt with?
If you can not define what you want then you CAN NOT DO IT!
If there is something you want out of your marriage you have to be able to define it or it will not happen. Good marriages do not just happen on their own. Problems do not get solved with no participation on our part. Goals do not get accomplished without deadlines.
You can have the marriage you want to have, but you have to start by defining what it is that you want.
Make Plans Carefully
Nehemiah went back to Jerusalem with a plan to accomplish his goal of rebuilding the wall. He did not go into this project without any structure. He knew what he wanted to do and he knew how he wanted to do it.
Once you have sought after God and defined what you want in your marriage then it is time to go into action. If we want the marriage of our dreams we are going to have to make some plans to achieve it. We need to have goals and then put deadlines on them.
Why do we need deadlines for our goals? Because a goal without a deadline is just a wish and chances are it will never happen. It is a lot easier to be passive if there is not a time frame.
I believe John L Beckley said it best with, “Most people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan.” It’s not a lack of care or love that is the problem in most relationships. It’s just a lack of vision and planning!
Nehemiah’s desire was to rebuild Jerusalem and because he followed this protocol he was able to achieve his goal. You can have the marriage you want by doing the same thing!
Seek God Faithfully
Define the Vision Clearly
Make Plans Carefully
You can do this! We are praying for you!