Walls; Easier to build, than to tear down.

Sad-Kids-Leaning-Against-Wall

We took our family to the Oregon Coast this Summer, for our yearly trip to the beach. There’s just something about the raw power of the ocean, and the crisp salt air, that makes us look forward to coming back every year.

As I do every year, I helped the kiddos build a giant sand castle, complete with walls, and a gate, and a moat – all designed to “beat the ocean” and keep the sand castle from melting into the sand again. When the water would come in, we’d build the walls bigger again – knowing it was futile, but wanting to “save the castle!”.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about walls. Now in the example of the sand castle, keeping the  walls UP is a good thing. In my marriage, the goal is to keep them down.

It’s a strange concept though. Keeping your walls down. We’re trained from childhood that we need to “protect ourselves”, and “if you put yourself out there, you’ll get stomped on”. Then we get into marriage – a relationship that is supposed to be the most intimate relationship you will ever have on earth – and we still try to be “just vulnerable enough”, so that we feel connected, but also protected enough, that if our spouse does something to hurt us, we can pull back into our walls and tell ourselves “see, that’s why I need to keep them up”.

But how do we ever truly “know” our spouse, if we refuse to become vulnerable? For example, say your wife makes a comment that could be taken wrong, like “you want sex again!?” Or “You never spend time with me.” At that point we have two options. We can put a few bricks on the wall that will eventually separate us, or was can look past the cut of the words, to what is probably causing it, and respond in love.

It can even be little things that we pick up during the day. The things that are so trivial, it’s hard to believe we even register them, but are mentally adding bricks to the wall between us. Brick, by brick, by brick. And we wonder why, after about a week of this (or longer), that we feel disconnected. Huh, maybe it’s that 6 foot high wall between you. Yeah, the one that we refuse to look at because “well, it’s mostly her fault anyway”. Yeah. Sure it is.

So I’ve been making it my mission lately to be a “wall watcher” in my marriage. To be on the lookout for little things that if left alone, will hinder the intimacy between my wife and I.

If a remark is made, and I feel my “what did she mean by that?!” reaction come up, instead of clunking another brick on the pile, I say “hey hon, I don’t think I took that like you meant it. Is there something you need, that I’m not doing? If so, I want to hear about it.” Don’t jump right to being on the defensive.

Walls can be a good thing, or a bad thing. You want to build a wall AROUND your marriage, NOT in BETWEEN the two people in it.

  1. To truly “know” our spouse we have to become totally open and vulnerable.
    Marriage is a communication choice. In marriage you can choose to communicate in different ways; you can speak up or be silence, you can use body language such as eyes, attitude, tone of voice or you can pray. Yes praying is also a way to communicate, just remember that there is 3 of you in the marriage; God, husband and wife.
    Open communications in your marriage is the best choice for a lifelong marriage succes.

  2. Marriage and relationships or LOVE should i say, is a choice. You don’t keep taking, you also keep giving. Communication is often a problem between a man and woman but it can be worked out if both are willing to learn and accept each others imperfection. This is a good post! God bless you!

    http://www.ocfilmco.com

    • Jack
    • October 26th, 2013

    My wife and I have went through a very rough patch this summer. We are currently in marriage counseling and one of the things we have started doing is when we are saying something that could potentially start a fight or be taken in the wrong light, we encourage each other to start the comment with, “this could be taken the wrong way but i love you and that’s not the purpose”. Communication has really been improving for us through the work of God.

    • Brandon
    • November 22nd, 2013

    Genesis 2:24 says that when we are married, we become one with our wife, but so many times we try to face problems in our marriage as individuals. I like your wall analogy because there was a time in my marriage when the walls were 10′ high for me and my wife. We were on constant defense towards one another. We finally realized, the a marriage class at our church, that we can work together to build each other up versus tearing each other down. If there are walls that exist today, it’s around us together fighting off the outside world, but we’ve truly become one, and it’s a wonderful way to be.

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