About a month ago, I remember my husband asking me if I knew much about Nehemiah in the Bible. I told him I was familiar more with his name than with his story. Isn’t God so good in that He led me straight to the book of Nehemiah today? He is faithful to show us other people’s experiences so that we can know Him better and be encouraged in our own situations in life. Today, I believe the Lord led me to Nehemiah as I reflected on the process of marriage restorations and the rebuilding efforts that are needed after adultery has been committed. From my own experience, my husband’s reconciliation to me occurred suddenly but that was not the end of our restoration. We have had to commit to putting in hard work, sweat, and tears in rebuilding what we and the enemy destroyed. We both played a part in factors that led to the breakdown of our marriage. We thought our marriage was decimated, BUT GOD!
It is unfortunate when adultery becomes part of the picture in a couple’s marriage. Instead of there being a protective wall to surround their marriage and hedge them away from intruders, the enemy finds a crack, breaks down that wall, and interposes a spiritual wall between a husband and wife. That wall can be removed with repentance and forgiveness. Rebuilding love, intimacy, and trust in a marriage after adultery, can be even more difficult than forgiving your spouse because it is an ongoing task you must be committed to doing together. My husband and I have not been able to do it without God’s help and great mercy.
When you look at Nehemiah’s account, you can see that he first had a desire and willingness to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem that were leveled by the Babylonians. After adultery, you have to ask yourselves, respectively, if you are willing to repent, forgive, and do what is necessary to rebuild your marriage. If you are in the process of rebuilding with your spouse, your marriage may be in shambles, torn down, appear desolate and destroyed “by fire.”
Nehemiah 1:3 ” They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
It can all seem so overwhelming when you and your spouse assess the damage to your marriage! Do as Nehemiah did, pray, pour out your grief to the Lord, beseech Him, remind Him of His “covenant of unfailing love” to those who submit to His will, fast if you are led to. Your marriage is a cup and you and your spouse are cup-bearers of the King of kings in that you are purposed to represent His love for His bride. Seek the Lord in all things!
Nehemiah 1:5-7 ” In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven. 5 Then I said,“O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, 6 listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! 7 We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses.”
Nehemiah 1:10 ” In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.”
God is faithful to answer our prayers. He will provide His grace, favor, provisions m and protection to those who are willing to seek His will. Pray to the Lord and ask Him to make a way for you and your spouse to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles that stand in your way to rebuilding together. Don’t expect those who are against your marriage such as the naysayers or the enemy to be pleased when God blesses your efforts to repair your marriage. Trust that He will protect you!
Nehemiah 2:7-10 ” If it please the king, let me have letters addressed to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, instructing them to let me travel safely through their territories on my way to Judah. 8 And please give me a letter addressed to Asaph, the manager of the king’s forest, instructing him to give me timber. I will need it to make beams for the gates of the Temple fortress, for the city walls, and for a house for myself.” And the king granted these requests, because the gracious hand of God was on me.
9 When I came to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, I delivered the king’s letters to them. The king, I should add, had sent along army officers and horsemen to protect me. 10 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard of my arrival, they were very displeased that someone had come to help the people of Israel.”
Just as Nehemiah performed a thorough inspection of the damaged walls, you must be willing to “go there”–to the Dung Gates in your marriage. Yes, you must be willing to ask the awkward questions and examine all the ugliness that you more than likely would like to not have to address. Examine and reveal. Confess and repent. Forgive and pray so that you can be healed. Adultery destroys so many beautiful connections and spiritual gates in marriage. Yes, go to your Dung Gates and honestly assess what has been damaged between you.
Nehemiah 2: 13 ” After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well, and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates.”
Have faith and trust that God will help you succeed in rebuilding your marriage! Work together. One day at a time. One effort at a time, and rebuke the enemy! Speak God’s Word over your marriage and each other! Declare and decree that neither man, woman, or the enemy has any “share, legal right, historic claim”or authority over your marriage except Jesus!!! Amen!!!
Nehemiah 2:20 ” I replied, “The God of heaven will help us succeed. We, his servants, will start rebuilding this wall. But you have no share, legal right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”
When you forgive your spouse of infidelity, more than likely people on the outside–family, friends, and enemies–may scoff at you and mock you for wanting to stand for your marriage and rebuild it. What looks impossible to them is none of their business and there is nothing too hard for God! They may be waiting for the first signs of trouble from your marriage so they can gossip about how your marriage will not last. The enemy may send people and situations your way to confuse you to try and plant doubts in your mind as to whether it is possible or worth the trouble to rebuild your marriage. Pray! Ask God to protect you and becon the alet continually for those people and situations that try to come against you.
Nehemiah 4:2-3 “Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap—and charred ones at that?”
3 Tobiah the Ammonite, who was standing beside him, remarked, “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked along the top of it!”
They all made plans to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw us into confusion. 9 But we prayed to our God and guarded the city day and night to protect ourselves.”
Each day after adultery has happened, is a long road in recovering from it, but don’t lose hope! Don’t grow weary and count your blessings when you feel like throwing your hands up or complaining about how much work the rebuilding requires. Understand that the enemy is looking for a way in. He is always plotting ways to kill your love for each other and your desire to rebuild. He wants you to stop! He wants to end your work on your marriage!
Nehemiah 4:10-11 “10 Then the people of Judah began to complain, “The workers are getting tired, and there is so much rubble to be moved. We will never be able to build the wall by ourselves.”
11 Meanwhile, our enemies were saying, “Before they know what’s happening, we will swoop down on them and kill them and end their work.”
Look at your situation together and encourage each other! Do not fear the enemy because God has defeated him! Remember and remind one another how MIGHTY the Lord is and FIGHT for your marriage and your family!!!!
Nehemiah 4:14 ” Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” “
Be prepared to be diligent. Rebuilding is a process that you must commit to “from sunrise to sunset”. Always be on guard for the enemy and never tske off your armor of God. Eph. 6:11 ” Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Carry your weapons with you at all times–God’s Word. Walk in your authority in Christ at all times. Even when it seems you can relax and let your guards down, stay alert!
Nehemiah 4:21-23 ” We worked early and late, from sunrise to sunset. And half the men were always on guard. 22 I also told everyone living outside the walls to stay in Jerusalem. That way they and their servants could help with guard duty at night and work during the day. 23 During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water.”
Undoubtedly, the enemy will attack your marriage again. And he is very likely to attack in the same areas, the same way. He will keep testing to see if he can tempt you or your spouse to commit adultery again. Different people may be sent to test you over and over again. You must be ready to rebuke the temptation faithfully and consistently. You must not make the mistake of coming down off the wall to play around with fire. It is only a snare from the enemy because he wants to stop you from rebuilding your marriage. Your answer to temptation each time it comes, needs to be the Word of God!
Nehemiah 6:1-4 ” Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained—though we had not yet set up the doors in the gates. 2 So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono.
But I realized they were plotting to harm me, 3 so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?”
4 Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply.”
I understand it is not easy as you work to rebuild your marriage and put the adultery behind you. But what you are doing is bigger than the two of you. You provide a testimony to the world that God will be glorified! Marriage can work and prosper! As you both work together others will know that you only could have done it because of God! Others will see that “the work had been done with the help of our God”! And although Nehemiah was able to finish rebuilding the wall in just 52 days–glory to God!–you will be blessed to have His help in rebuilding your marriage until the day our Lord Jesus returns for His bride! Don’t give up. Be faithful! God will bless your commitment to finish what you began when you said “I do.”
Nehemiah 6:15 “…. the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.”
Dear God, thank You that Your Word is true and that we have Your blessing as we “rebuild the ruins”, “restore the places long devastated and “renew the ruined cities that have been devastated…” (Is.61:4)
Thank You that You will restore the years the locusts have eaten.’ (Joel 2:25). Tear down any walls between me and my spouse that prevent us from working together to rebuild our marriage. I rebuke the spirit of adultery in Jesus’ name. Lord, reveal to us any gaps that we need to repair and seal in with fresh commitments to one another. Protect us from the evil in this world. Thank You for giving us another chance to glorify You, and remove any shadow of bitterness or resentment that may have resulted from the adultery. Lord, heal our marriage and show us how to glorify You in all we do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Cassandra~ All rights reserved. ♡