The strength of a structure is determined by it’s foundation. The higher the structure, the deeper the foundation. The foundation is hidden and unseen, but it is crucial to the strength and longevity of whatever is built on top of it.
A strong marriage must have a strong foundation if it is to be strong and last.
Most of the time a broken marriage is related to a faulty foundation. When the inevitable stresses come, the quality of the foundation is tested. A weak and insufficient foundation will be exposed for all to see.
What is the foundation of your marriage? Every marriage has a foundation. Jesus gives a story that speaks to the importance of the foundation. It speaks to the value and importance of the footing of our lives and our marriages.
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Matt. 7:24-27)
Three observations from this passage:
- Knowing the truth will not help your marriage. Of course, it is necessary to know what we must do, but information alone will not change your life. Both men heard the same message, but each had a different result. One was successful and the other failed.
- The difference is what you do with the truth. The successful builder not only heard the truth, but did something about it.
- The result is worth paying the price. One experienced a great loss and was embarrassed by his neglecting the foundation. Everyone knew he had taken shortcuts by neglecting the foundation.
Both men worked to build a house. The distinction between the two was the quality of the foundation. Whatever is built on a weak foundation will not survive when tough times come. And they will come.
What determines a strong foundation? According to the passage above it is in being obedient to God’s teaching.
The secret of a strong marriage is obeying God’s instruction manual, the Bible, about what it says about marriage.
Success is related to design and purpose. God designed marriage; it was His idea. If we reject God’s design we will not enjoy the success He intended. If we find and follow God’s design it will bring God’s favor and blessing.
A common thread in all marriages that fail is that the majority of them spend more time, money and energy planning their wedding than they do their marriage. They never read a book on how to have a strong relationship. They never talk about their expectations with each other and assume things will just work out for good. They never seek premarital counsel. They never seek God’s plan in the Bible for marriage.
The secret to success in any institution (the home, the government, and the church) is obedience to God according to His design. Having a strong marriage is not complicated; it is rather simple – obeying God’s Word where He speaks about marriage.
Jesus said, “…blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:28)
I believe what I have written above from the core of my being. Paula and I have striven to build our marriage on the foundation of obedience to God’s Word. We certainly haven’t been perfect, but we have been sincere in trying to do so.
For over 37 years our marriage has survived misunderstanding, conflict, health challenges, miscarriages, financial need, self-centeredness, hurt feelings, and many other things that could have derailed us.
God has been faithful to His Word as we have followed Him. When we mess up and get it wrong, we go to Him and repent and He gives us a fresh start. We’ve made a lot of mistake, but we did one thing right. We got the foundation right.
There are four core areas that will determine success or failure in marriage. In upcoming posts I’ll share them. When you obey them you are sowing for future blessing into your family.