A Strong Foundation in Marriage

Growing up I remember singing lots of songs at church, all of them had hand motions or some other fun way of helping us remember them.  One of the songs I loved to sing was "The wise man built his house upon the rock" which compared the man who built his house on the rock and the man who built his house on sand.  The song always ended with the house on the sand going "kerplat" as we slapped our hands together. 
In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus says "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell.  And great was its fall."
These verses can be applied to so many areas of our lives but today we are going to talk about them in relationship marriage.  Marriage is the same for all of us, we are all going to have storms, we are all going to experience drought, there will always be obstacles in our way. The only difference from those who survive and those who don't is how firm a foundation they have, and what it was built upon.
Society tells us that we should marry someone we enjoy being around, who shares the same interests, who always makes us feel happy, someone we are attracted to, and who is able to give us the life we always wanted.  While those are all good things, what happens when our spouse is not those things? What happens when they aggravate us, have different interests than us, or can't provide for us? If those things are the foundation upon which our marriage was built, will it stand strong?
The desire I have for my marriage is that it will stand - despite the storms that come our way.  So, how do I do that?  By building on the foundation that is strong and sure, Jesus Christ.  Here are some practical ways of doing this:
  1.   Prayer and Bible Study- asking God to be the head of and to build our marriage.  This time should be used to become more like Christ and not seen as an opportunity to point out the faults of your spouse.
  2.  Be selfless - consider your spouses feelings, needs, and desires above your own.
  3.   Forgive - choose to forgive your spouse and keep no record of the ways you have been wronged. Holding on to grudges and  being bitter for things done in the past are cancerous to your marriage as well as your own body.  Forgiveness allows you to see your spouse through lenses of mercy and grace and give renewing life to your marriage.
  4. Celebrate your differences - This kind of goes back to #2.  If we want them to look like us, act like us, enjoy the same things we do, so on and so forth then we are being selfish.  Allow your spouse to be unique and celebrate their uniqueness!  Our differences are what brings depth and balance to our marriage and provide us with opportunities to grow in relationship with each other.

So here is a list to get me (and you) started, just 4 things!  They are probably the hardest to implement, and make planning two date nites a month sound like a piece of cake, but are easily some of the most important things we can do for our marriage.

 Let's start laying solid foundations on the Rock so that when the storms come we are strong and secure.  Too many marriages are built on sand, easily and quickly pulled into the waters around them.   I'm ready to continue working on my foundation (a process 14 years in the making).  Would you like to join me?