This past weekend we hosted our first Merge premarital class for couples at Watermark’s Ft Worth campus. We had a great weekend preparing couples for the next stage in their relationship: either getting married, getting engaged, hitting the pause button or even breaking up. Only time will tell where each of these Merge couple grads will land.
We spent a lot of time throughout the weekend talking through this passage from Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus says,
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
This passage, right at the end of Jesus’ longest recorded sermon, is one of my favorite passages in the bible. I love the challenge that comes at the end of a sermon that included brilliant wisdom on money, marriage, anxiety, anger, and much more. At the end of the sermon, Jesus challenges the listener (and now reader) to build their homes on the solid rock foundation of Jesus Christ.
The storms and challenges will come for all homes. They take different forms and shapes, but they will come. For some the storms may be infidelity, financial ruin, infertility or prodigal children, and much more. For us, the biggest storm we faced was in 2004 when Kristen gave birth to our twin sons. The storm hit, big time, and rocked our little home in ways we never expected. Fortunately, our house was built on the foundation of Christ and our home withstood the storms.
I couldn’t help but think of strong vs. faulty foundations when I visited Allen High School’s football stadium a few Friday nights ago. I love Allen High School football. Allen has won the Texas state football championship the last three years. They are the epitome of big time, Friday night lights football. They play in an 18,000 seat stadium that cost around $60,000,000 to build. No, those are not typos in the attendance and finance numbers. The stadium is amazing and the football they play is even more amazing.
This season should be Allen’s fourth playing in their stadium. However, in 2014, they discovered that there were some foundation issues in Allen’s new home. For one fall football season (2014), Allen’s stadium stood vacant on Friday nights as they worked on the structure to repair the foundation issues. For one season, the nicest high school stadium in the world sat silent, lacking cheers from cheerleaders, the sounds of Allen’s band, and the screams of the crowd. All that money spent on a stadium, yet she stood silent for one year because of a faulty foundation.
The parallels between marriage and Allen’s stadium were immediate and strong in my head. Just like a foundation builder, we have the choice of either building our lives on rock or on sand. Likewise, we build our marriages either on the solid foundation of Jesus or on the shifting sands of culture. Sometimes we spend a whole lot of money on a wedding. Lots of money is spent on dresses and flowers, tuxes and wedding food, photographers, cake, DJ’s and much more. The wedding weekend is amazing, but then the marriage collapses and lies vacant.
You see… the foundation is often faulty. The money was spent and the people were dressed-up, but there were cracks in the foundation. And there goes the marriage. As Matthew 7:27 says, great is the fall (of the marriage).
Much of what I have written on this blog is about building (or rebuilding) the solid foundation. So get out the blueprints, open up the toolbox, mix the concrete and let’s get to work!
- Pursue Jesus together.
- Be humble.
- Apologize and seek forgiveness.
- Don’t leave God out of your marriage.
- Husband: Lead Your Wife and Children.
- Date your spouse.
- Build your companionship.
- Pray more.
- Quit looking at Porn and instead have great sex.
- I just gave you 12 articles you can read to take some next steps. Pick a couple to read through and apply.
- If you’re not married yet and you’re dating someone, build your foundation through a premarital class like Merge.
- And if you are married, and the foundation is faulty, it’s not too late. Work on your marriage. Come join us at re|engage. Don’t give up.