Mark and I have spent so much time ministering to couples who are struggling in their marriage. I would have to say it is what we have spent MOST of our time doing over the past several years.
We spent many years sitting under great marriage teaching in our church, we went to conferences on marriage, we watched several video series by Gary Smalley and have attended accredited classes on marriage relationships.
We are not professional counselors by any stretch of the imagination, but the Lord has seen fit to use us in marriage ministry time and time again. Sometimes learning right along with that couple!
We are also not the perfect couple. Those of you who know us just let out a hearty- “that’s for sure!” We are a normal couple, have normal arguments and trials, but we have an amazing, loving and forgiving God. When Mark was Pastoring we did several series together on marriage and I want to share some of that with you and mix it with new things the Lord has been showing me in my own life.
So, let’s start at the beginning, and we will probably swing through this station again and again as it is the foundation for any good marriage.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells a story about 2 houses.
One is built on the rock and one is built on the sand.
When the “storms” come, the one built on the rock stood
wile the one built on the sand fell with a great crash. Let’s look at this verse and instead of the word house,
let’s use the word marriage.
Matthew 7:24-27 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house (marriage) on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house (marriage); yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house (marriage) on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house (marriage), and it fell with a great crash.” NIV Puts a little different spin on it doesn’t it?
What I find to be so interesting about this story is the storm and the lack of definition of it.
So many times when we would ask people what their marriage was built on, they would want to focus on how awful things were and if the circumstances weren’t so awful they would be fine. They just needed to “get through” this.
That’s just not true.
The truth is, the storm is not your problem. I believe that’s why the storm is not the focus…the foundation of the houses is the focus.
Now, I realize that I am only speaking to one half of the marriage here (unless you sweet ladies are copy and pasting this in an email to your hubbys!). And I know that some of you feel that it is out of your hands. Yes, parts of it may be.
However, in verse 24 it says, “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house/marriage on the rock.” I am an everyone, I think you are an everyone.
We are not responsible for our husband putting God’s words into practice, but we are accountable to the Lord for the Word that WE put into practice.
Prov 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. NIV
One of the most profound things I ever learned about my marriage was to stop pointing my finger at my spouse and start pointing it in the mirror. What can I do differently? I would literally ask myself that, and still do!
I could tear my marriage down so quick (and have done it), but the Lord specifically tells us women…BUILD YOUR HOUSE!
If you tear down your husband,
you tear down your house
and the word of God calls you/me foolish.
I want to be wise.
I want to obey God’s Word and put it into practice and that will build my house on the solid foundation. So that WHEN the storms come…my home will stand.
There is so much to say…but I really feel like these messages are to be nuggets for you to chew on. I don’t want to overwhelm you with so much that you just go away spinning.
So here’s the nugget…BUILD.
You know in your heart how to build. Start with yourself and then bring it into your marriage.
Build yourself up on God’s word and pray. Don’t just pray that your husband would change! I challenge you to pray that God would change you.
Lord, I lift up every person reading this. I pray that you would strengthen their marriage by showing them how to make You their foundation. Lord heal marriages. Heal brokenhearts and give hope to those who have none. You are able Lord to do exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or think, Father please do that in marriages. Forgive us our sins and help us to forgive those who’ve sinned against us. In the mightly name of Jesus, Amen.
Much love and prayers!
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