Whoever has no rule over his own spirit
Is like a city broken down, without walls.
There are many ways to lose your self control, but I think it is interesting that one of the most frequent is to lose your self control in anger at others. We lose self control and lash out. But God tells us that that destroys our own walls. When we go out on the warpath in an ungodly way against others, what we are breaking down is our own home. When we lose self control and go wildly, inappropriately critical of ourselves, we are breaking down our own home. When we indulge our desire to snark at or criticize others, we are tearing down our own walls.
The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish pulls it down with her hands. Proverbs 14:1
I am struck by the fact that as mothers, we are to be sheltering (of course within reason) our children – and to do that, we need to have strong walls. One of the greatest ways that we can protect our children is by maintaining control of ourselves. If you want your children to be secure, control yourself.
We want to be teaching them to control themselves – building up the walls of their own cities. The best way that we can do this for them is by doing it ourselves. Set an example. Maintain your own borders.
This is not a call to be heartless and stoic. Do not be a city broken into. When your city has strong walls there is time for other things. Think of this quite literally – a city without walls. A city where anyone can walk all over it. A city where enemies have all of the access that friends have. Then think of a walled city. Inside there can be gardens, there can be culture. Inside, there is peace. Enemies are not able to trample on things that are being done within the walls.