Last weekend, we kicked off a new series called “The Knot,” in which we’re discussing how two can become one and love it. The bottom line from the first week is this: Your foundation determines how your relationship grows.
24 Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
Sometimes we build our lives and our relationships on unstable foundations. But when we build our lives on Jesus—his example, his teachings, and his role as our Savior—we are building on the firmest foundation and can weather any storm.
(Some of you, like me, would be tempted to stop reading now. You’re thinking, “I’m not married. I’m not in a relationship. How is this useful to me?” But as Lead Pastor Ben Snyder said, the health of your single life determines the health of your married life. It’s never too soon to start building that strong foundation in Jesus—you’ll be happy to have it ready when it’s time to build a home.)
This week, we’ll discuss some of the different “foundations of sand” on which we build our marriages (or avoid marriage because of). Today we’re starting with the foundation of upbringing: For better or worse, your story is different from your parents’.
For some of us, that message brings hope. Maybe one of your parents wasn’t in the picture, your parents are divorced or don’t have a good relationship, or there’s a lot of conflict in your parents’ marriage—whatever the problem, it doesn’t mean all relationships are that way. And it certainly doesn’t mean yours has to be. Your parents’ relationship does not define yours, so don’t let it be your foundation. Jesus offers hope and redemption for your story.
On the other hand, maybe your parents set a great example of what marriage should look like. Mine did—I’ve learned a lot about what a healthy relationship looks like from them. But there are also things in their marriage that I don’t want to repeat in mine.
My parents are “unevenly yoked” as some would say (see Corinthians 6:14). My mom is a Christian and my dad is not. They make it work—they love each other so much—and I’m so glad my mom married my dad. I’m honestly convinced he’s the best dad in the world. He’s taught me so much about selflessness, integrity, and my value.
That being said, my faith is the most important thing to me. If I ever get married, it will be to a husband who shares my faith, so that we can build our lives on Jesus and grow closer to God together. My parents’ marriage is great, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and it doesn’t mean I should follow their example exactly. Even if their marriage was perfect, that doesn’t mean following the same path as them would work for me, because I’m a different person.
God doesn’t write the same exact story twice. Therefore, I will build my life and relationships on God, trusting him above all else with my story.
Whether you’re married, in a relationship, or single, on what foundation are you building your life? How would you describe your parents’ relationship? What things can you learn from it? What do you want to repeat, and what do you want to avoid?
Spend some time reflecting on what a life and a marriage built on Jesus looks like. Consider the traits a godly spouse would have, whether you are pursuing those traits in a helpmate (if you’re single), and whether you’re fostering those traits.
Heavenly Father, thank you for making each of us unique. Thank you for the way you’ve designed me, and thank you for the story you’ve planned for me. I know my story doesn’t always feel beautiful—sometimes because of things outside of my control, and sometimes because of my own mistakes—but I trust you to redeem it. Teach me how to make you the center of my life, building everything on your foundation. Help me to learn from my parents’ relationship and to seek a helpmate who’s also pursuing you. May your will be done in me and through me. Amen.
This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton is currently the apprentice copywriter at CedarCreek. In her spare time, she freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.
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