02 Sep How Your Marriage Can Overcome the Storms of Life
In my Intimate Marriage Workshop (IMW), I often begin with Jesus’ parable in Matthew 7:24-27. Jesus tells the story of two houses that experience a severe storm. I tell my audience to imagine their family living in the house.
One house crashes and falls apart during the storm because of a poor foundation. The other house survives the storm because of a solid foundation.
I then ask my audience: “What is the foundation that Jesus is referring to? What makes a good foundation or a bad foundation in his parable?
Many in the audience have told me over the years: “Jesus is the foundation.” To which I respond: “That’s correct. But can you be more specific?”
Someone will then say: “It’s the words or teaching of Jesus.” Again I respond: “That’s correct. But can you be more specific than that?”
Then the audience grows quiet. Many times people have not known how to answer this.
I then flash on the screen Jesus’ own words regarding this parable:
“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. 25 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. Matt. 7:24-27 (NIV)
So what’s the difference between the two foundations? A person who does or does not put into practice the teachings of Jesus.
When I think of the “storms of life”- I think of all the challenging and difficult life situations that we face in our marriage, the raising of our children, our jobs, our health, our finances. I think of the bad things that we all wish that we would never have to experience.
We had no idea what lay ahead for us when we said our wedding vows to out spouse: “for richer or for, poorer, for better, for worse, in sickness, and in health, ’til death do us part”.
We have no guarantees that our future would be without difficulties or challenges that we would have to overcome. Yet, we made these vows to stay together as we faced them. How can we stay together no matter what life brings us? How can our marriage overcome the storms of life?
Read through Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapters 5-7. It only takes 5 minutes. While his sermon contains many topics for his listeners to consider and apply, read and think through how these principles would affect your own marriage and family relationships.
For example, Jesus has a lot to say about prayer (e.g. Matthew 6:5-15; 7:7-11). Yet, I have read studies that indicated that only 4% of Christian couples regularly pray together. If that is correct, then 96% of these couples do NOT pray together. Could this be one significant reason why many couples do not have the kind of home that can withstand the storms of life? If the couple that “prays together, stays together”, what does that say about the couple who does not pray together?
Would you agree that the couple that does not pray together is not really “putting into practice” the teachings of Jesus? Then according to Jesus, their house is not on a solid foundation. There was a time earlier in my marriage when I didn’t pray regularly with my wife. I began to realize that my house was not on a solid foundation to weather the storms we were in and our marriage was in trouble.
How about you? Do you and your spouse (and children) pray together consistently? If not, what steps can you take to begin to do so? Perhaps you can begin simply by asking your spouse if you can pray together about the things that you are concerned about at bedtime, or early in the morning before your day begins.
If you would like help in applying this principle to your marriage, or any of the other Biblical principles that Jesus mentions in the Sermon on the Mount, you can reach out to me at the bottom of this website and request an appointment. Or, if you know of others who are weathering the storms of life and are really struggling, perhaps you can send them a link to this blog and website. I’d be happy to help!
Is your marriage on a solid foundation to withstand the storms of life?