Monday, September 21, 2015

Foundations Matter

Scripture Text: Matthew 7

Recently our children along with some of their friends were building a human pyramid. All of the children were of different heights and builds so the way they arranged themselves in the pyramid mattered. Somewhere along the way a few of the smallest in the group wanted to be part of the base while the biggest of the group wanted to be on the top. You can only guess how this worked out.

The foundation of any structure determines how the rest is build and what can sit at the top. Jesus is clear how this relates to our lives. We must have a foundation built on bedrock otherwise everything else is suspect to being destroyed in the storms. This teaching comes at the close of the Sermon on the Mount, and particularly in a section where Jesus makes clear his role in the life of people.

To build a solid foundation we must invite God to be the center of our lives. The way we do this is by making the decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ. A life without God can look good, and appear to have everything in place. Yet, when the storms come and the torrents crash against the foundation of our life, it will be washed away. Any foundation that leaves God out of the mix will reach a crumbling point.

There are many ingredients that go into a healthy marriage. Love and romance, honor and respect, humility and submission, the list could go on and on. All of these are important and need attention, however all of these things without God as the foundation of your marriage and it will crumble when the storms come.

Before we were married we spend several months writing back and forth, handwritten letters, in which we would complain to each other that we could not find a person to date who met the standards we were using to measure potential spouses. Through this we each generated a list, sending to each other for review. Keep in mind we were not dating at this point, we were two friends who were sharing our hearts.

When we reviewed the separate lists it became clear we were looking for the same things. It did not take too long for us to realize that in each other we had found what we were looking for in a potential spouse. At the top of the list was they must be a follower of Jesus, and God must have the top spot in their life. We began our relationship and our marriage with this value at the very center of our lives together.

Over the years we have faced storms, financial challenges, death of a parent and grandparents, moving several times, and life situations we simply did not want to be in. Through it all we have been able to cling to the foundation of Christ in our lives and marriage. Each time we have held on, it has made it easier the next time.

Before you read this and think how easy that sounds, know that we have had to work hard at keeping Christ at the center of our lives and marriage. It is not something that happens just because it is on a list of priorities. We have needed to and will continue to invest the time and energy in keeping Christ as the foundation. This means keeping in the Scriptures, together and individually. It means time in prayer with each other and for each other. Time in worship and service keep us tuned into God's abundant grace. We have to be intentional about cultivating a Christ-centered life, so that we can cultivate a Christ-centered marriage. It takes investment, and the return is worth every bit of it.

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