Wise builders of marriage
"The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." –Matthew 7:25 NIV
Chad and I have been married for seven years. We do NOT consider ourselves marriage experts, but we have learned a few things along the way that have made our relationship stronger. We've been through metaphorical rain storms, rising streams, and beating winds. Challenges have tested our marriage more than we expected and we've passed some of those with better grades than others. While there are certainly small things here and there we still disagree on, one thing we do agree on is this: we must be in agreement on what's most important to us.
If Chad hated the thing that I considered most important in my life, or vice versa, it would certainly be difficult for us to find common ground in our relationship. The time while we were dating was extremely important for that reason—we took our time and intentionally got to know each other well, discovering what was most important to one another. As we explored even our own beliefs, the focus was not on changing the other. There was a bit of healthy compromise and growth that happened in the process though, and eventually, we came to a place where we agreed on the foundation of our relationship—the very thing we'd build our marriage off of one day.
Personally, we cling to this Scripture from Matthew 7 and have mutually decided to be what Jesus called "wise builders" of our relationship—and every part of our lives—off of the foundation that our faith in the person of Jesus Christ and his teachings are most important. With that common ground, all of our decisions build from there, all of our activities build from there, the way we treat one another builds from there, the way we view and treat the world around us builds from there. As we build from that solid, agreed-upon foundation, our marriage bond remains strong. As we grow in our faith in Jesus individually, we share what we learn with each other and grow even closer to one another in the process.
Now, I'm not saying that since this is our foundation that we never face struggles. In fact, even this week we've faced some "rain and wind" in our lives. If we had built our relationship on sand or uneven ground, those storms & struggles could have caused our marriage to fall with a great crash. I'm so thankful we agree on our foundation and find strength in that as we grow old together.
Like my Pastor preached on Sunday at church, "What's tested can be trusted. And this stuff works!" If you're in a relationship, I sure hope you share a common foundation that you are building everything off of. In our personal experience, it makes all the difference.