Home Improvement

Posted by on Sep 29, 2008 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

Rob and I have not seen Fireproof yet but are looking forward to taking it in this week. In the meantime, I’m going to get in your business today and ask you a question right off the bat that you may not like.

Who is your builder? Who is the builder of your house, your home, your family? Lowe’s, according to the above picture, is the “home improvement warehouse”. I beg to differ. They have the supplies that will improve your house of brick, mortar, dry-vit, siding, and stone; and maybe a bigger den can make your home happy but it will be a temporary fix to your home life. It’s only for a time and then you may realize that a bigger den, granite countertops, and two sinks in the master bath is not all that there is to your happiness or that of your family.

God says in Psalm 127:1, “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.”

I want to chat with you specifically about marriage. If you’re not married, I ask you to indulge me and read the rest anyway, if you don’t mind.

Along with Bible study and reading a biography or novel, it is 90% likely I have a book on marriage or parenting hovering in my reading pile. If you look at my iPod, I have podcasts on the subject as well.

One thing I have found to be common although not always clearly nor adequately expressed in the plethora of material I have is this: if you don’t love God more than your spouse, then you are an idolator. Putting anything before God is idolatry whether it’s you, your spouse, your children, your needs, your wants, your whatever, etc.

Marriage is more than the physical and yet so many enter into marriage with that part of the relationship as the focus. Marriage is more than the communication. It is more than the goal of social status, big houses, nice cars, and children playing (you pick the sport). If you are building your house on the world’s foundation, LISTEN TO ME, IT WILL CRUMBLE. If your foundation is not on Christ, the solid Rock, what will happen when the storms come?

Marriage between Christians is to be a picture of God’s holiness to a world that doesn’t grasp that. Marriage is about each half of the relationship knowing that time with God is important individually and together. If it’s awkward to pray together or talk about the Bible or ask for specific prayer from your spouse, then I ask you this: what is going on in your relationship? Is it based on superficiality? Is it all surface junk? Has so much in the world distracted you that you have lost sight of your focus?

If we are trying to build our marriage by our own strength, we are not inviting God into the mix. We are laboring in vain as the above Scripture points out. The marriage can be built but the foundation is not sure because we are not sinking the pilons into Christ’s sure footings.

I want to write more. My heart is heavy and I feel like I am so inadequate to preach this. This subject of marriage as a picture of holiness is so not communicated enough.

The bottom line is this:

Are you a professessing AND possessing believer of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross for your sins?

No? If any of this has hit a nerve with you, then stop and ask what and why it’s hitting the nerve. If it’s because you do not have a real relationship with Jesus, then it’s time to change that. He’s been trying to get your attention. Do you not believe because that seems so passe’, so unnecessary, so embarrassing? Is it because you thought you were but now you realize you were never and to admit this would be earth-shattering to your spouse?

Well, go ahead. I promise it won’t shatter the earth, but it will bring on the applause of heaven for you to take this leap of faith.

Are you ashamed of your past (recent and long ago) and think there is absolutely no way God could forgive you? You are wrong, wrong, wrong.

God is in the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 15:15-21).

If you are reading this then it’s not too late to be reconciled to God. If you are His but suffering in your marriage, it’s not too late to invite Him in as the head of your family. He’s the head whether you acknowledge Him or not, but it would be awesome to let Him know you now realize it and desire it.

Then, I think the next step is to get your spouse and come clean with him or her about who you’ve been in the marriage, what your hopes are for it, how you desire to invite God into the mix to be your builder; admit your lack of knowing what all this means, but that you desire a change – to honor God in your marriage and paint the picture to others of what words such as reconciliation, unconditional love, and dying to self mean.

Then, do something you may find weird and awkward if you’ve not done it before. Pray together. Begin to make that a habit and eventually the awkwardness will wear off. Grab your Bible and begin reading it for the first time or perhaps after a time of wandering in the desert. Find a godly couple who can mentor you two.

Finally, for the ones who have done this and the marriage is just not going to make it, here’s what I want to say to you: I am sorry. Please forgive yourself if you have done everything you have heard God tell you to do and you have hung in there to no avail. Also, with God’s ability, forgive the one who has left or is leaving. I pray that in God’s time, you will find healing.

Let us all be about encouraging one another in Christ; our spouses count in the mix of those who need encouraging as part of Christ’s body. How can you minister to him or her today? Ask God.

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