I remember our first building project together as a married couple as if it happened yesterday. We’d purchased a woodstove, a late seventies craze of the Pacific Northwest. My husband built a wall and chimney around it. We’d removed a glass patio door and hauled home the brick. The parting comment of the retailer—“Marriages and remodeling projects usually finish about the same time”—remained the only cloud hanging over our enthusiasm.
Our marriage survived and we enjoyed the fruits of our labors. But that first attempt sharing ideas showed us how differently we both thought. Future endeavors would have to be considered prayerfully. Or our marriage could wind up a statistic.
Now, with my husband retired, time on his hands, and many projects behind us, we felt confident enlarging our patio. He’d already built a beautiful wall and fountain in one corner, but with new neighbors moving in next door my husband thought a higher, longer fence would protect our privacy. Extending the barrier meant borrowing brick from the patio because this particular color was no longer manufactured. Which, of course, led to repaving the courtyard. Which required choosing new pavers. We’d learned the importance of discussing each step and proceeding in agreement, keeping our relationship as firm in its foundation as the wall rising around us.
Building a relationship of faith with Jesus takes the same kind of communication. Jumping ahead without consulting him can result in overzealous ventures that don’t end well.
In Matthew 7: 24-27 Jesus says, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 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. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Our marriage turns forty-years-old next month, and with God’s help has endured the stresses of time. Sound easy? Try it sometime. Each new activity will either strengthen your foundation or become a chink in your armor. That is for you to decide.