Sometimes back I was thinking about foundations, specifically what it takes to build a strong solid base for a house (marriage) so it lasts a life time.
Not implying that a marriage with weak foundations is automatically headed for failure, God is powerful (when we let Him) and He will build things in as we go along.
But as far as the early years are concerned, a few thoughts came up;
1. Foundations are not pretty to look at..and they are not easy to build.
Takes a lot of hard work, intentional effort and sweat.
Need I say more? #youngmarriagetakeswork!
Look at these posts
2. They are (almost?) invisible to others once the building is up.
It’s easy for others to look at your lovely marriage and think you popped up overnight. That you never had any heart stopping, sweat-breaking, hair-raising, bone-shaking, soul-drying, spirit-crushing days.
People commend our marriage
“I love how you two just looooove each other!”
“You have the best husband!” I want to quip “because I am the best wife!” 😉
Tommy and I were not always where we are now. Year one and year two were pretty tricky and at some point in year one, I believed I was signed up for a lifetime of misery and heartbreak (because divorce was never an option).
To learn more of our story, you can pick up my book.
Great marriages are often forged in great hardships. Show me someone who’s accomplished anything significant and I’ll show you someone who knows trouble or two!
As you read this, you might have a few areas where you are neck deep in foundations-work. I want you to know that God knows what He is doing. He doesn’t send us where His grace won’t sustain us. Please remember that.
God has not left you, you are not alone. Don’t give up because it feels soooo hard. Your worst pain will become your greatest testimony if you allow God to take you through it. (click to tweet that)
Another thing about foundations, they are not meant to be seen by everyone.
People tell me “I had no idea you guys had challenges!”
Thank God He doesn’t paste your problems on your forehead for everyone to see! Thank God, He enables you to go through fire and when you are out of it, there isn’t even a smell of smoke on your clothes!
God is that good (though you have sign along the dotted line..”I shalt not disclose our private stuff to everybody!) – He will teach you things in private and if you hang in there, your victory will be in public! (Click to tweet that)
3. Foundations are not to be forgotten.
People will see your marriage standing and not understand what is holding it up.
My husband and I spent many hours with our marriage mentors (many times just hanging out, no issues to resolve) and our relationship lay a deep foundation for us. As an early-wed, you have to make time to hang out with people that add to your marriage, especially mentors. Buildings don’t just build themselves, someone has to do some work.
You want to focus on the right things early. Don’t breeze past the foundational years, hoping things will improve by themselves without your intentional involvement. Don’t ignore your sassy mouth, rebellious heart, his unhealthy habits and sin in the hope it will clear after a few months. Don’t ignore the early years and the work that needs to be put in.
And as you grow, don’t forget the former days, where you’ve come from. The best way to remember what you know is to teach it to others. As a young couple, you want to find people to encourage, to teach, to mentor.
Don’t be a reservoir, be a channel. Find ways to keep growing, stretching. You never really arrive and you need relationship with others to keep you growing, stretching, edified.
Sometimes YOU will forget your foundations. Life can throw you huge curve balls and you start thinking “this is it, we cannot survive this”. But I want you to remember your real foundation;
Everything else may fail (or be absent), but God will never fail you. He is your real foundation. As a wife you want to dig deep into your relationship. It’s easy to begin to look to your husband to supply all your love ” fixes”. But fight the temptation and begin to look to God alone.
(And one nifty way God uses to drum this lesson home is to allow our husbands to fail us!)
You can’t have an extraordinary marriage without an extraordinary relationship with God – Justin and Trisha Davis
Nothing is too hard for the Lord. In fact the rumblings and cracks on the walls of your marriage, these things that make us so afraid, can work for our good. They throw us back to God, on our knees as we seek answers from God. So allow those spidery fissures climbing up the walls of your house to cause you to lean deep into relationship with God instead of leaning into fear.
What to do during foundation-laying seasons.
-Accept that it’s foundation time.
Don’t compare your life with others, don’t be in a rush to be done. Be patient. Don’t run away from the work or the building site! Sit, learn, work, put in the necessary hours. Seek help when you must but don’t quit.
– Do a proper job.
Don’t be in a mad rush to be all “grown up!” Take time to know each other, to grow your friendship, to know how the other thinks, to know what God says about you. One of the ways you’ll learn all these is through challenges and difficulties, Don’t be in a rush to cover things and hurry along. Just pause and learn.
Take time to build a proper foundation so your house will stand. Someone said “don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside” Often we grow up too fast because we are trying to catch up with everyone else. What we don’t know is that everyone else has to do their own growing too.
Love this Irish proverb
“You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather is.” (click to tweet that)
So learn your own stuff.
Ps. application for the single person – don’t hurry up courtship because you want to be married so bad.
– Always remember it’s a three corded strand.
Ecclesiastes 4: 12 (MSG)
“By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.”
Question – At what stage are you in marriage? Can you identify specific areas you need to deploy patience and love and understanding?