Often in Christian weddings this Psalm has been read. Primarily it is read because of the very first verse, "Except the Lord build a house, they labor in vain that build it." A young couple setting out on the journey of life together are about to be caught up in the unending work of building a home. Using the imagery of building a house, let's look at the important aspects that are needed.
I suppose it would have been good if I had invited everyone to wear your work clothes to the service so that we could join in and build a home together; but, even so, join with me now as we look at building a Christian home.
I. The foundation
Without question, the absolute most important aspect of a building is the foundation and it is true when it comes to building the home. Hear the Apostle Paul as he instructs us about the foundation.
"Another foundation can no man lay than that which is laid which is Christ Jesus." 1 Corinthians 3:11
Jesus is the foundation upon which you can build a life, a career, a business, but especially a home. When Jesus closed out the Sermon on the Mount, He focused our attention on two men, each of whom went out to build his house. One, as you remember the parable, built his house on the sand and the rains came, and the floods descended and beat upon the house and it fell, crumbled, because it was built upon sand.
The other man built his house on the rock. The solid foundation of a rock. This house was also subjected to winds, water, and rains, but it stood because it was built upon the solid foundation.
II. Add some walls
To the foundation of Jesus Christ, now add some walls that will give structure to your home. What kind of walls? Well, it's only a small home so let's just erect four walls.
Depending upon who you listen to, talk to, or read their studies, there are various reasons why people end their marriages with divorce. In the evaluation oftentimes, if not most of the time, communication is referred to. Or, more often than not, it is the lack of communication.
I can not recall the number of times that a couple or one of the partners has said to me, "We just don't communicate." If you will notice, when sin came into the home of the first family in Genesis 3, immediately there was a breakdown in the communication, in the connectedness between man and wife, the couple, and the Lord.
Just listen to them as God speaks to Adam and Adam says, "The woman thou gavest me ..." Immediately he begins to stop communicating and starts blaming. Then the woman says, "The snake came ..." and he beguiled her. Oftentimes our self-centeredness or our sin-affected selfishness begins to warp our communication and we start pointing and blaming.
At times we think we are not communicating when we are communicating effectively. I've often told couples that, at times the loudest things you will ever say will be in silence and you are communicating. You may be communicating negative things, such as "I don't want to have anything to do with you" or "You're not worth me responding to." Negative things that are belittling and hurtful, even in silence. But a wall of communication needs to be erected so that there will be an openness of not only words, verbage, but of care and feelings and touch and concerns.
Think about it. No relationship can last without trust. It doesn't matter if it is a business relationship, or a treaty between countries, or a contract called marriage, or a living, loving relationship with God, it is built on trust. You can have a contract that is a stack of paper a foot thick and the lawyers could hide in the middle of it one little weasel clause that changes it all, and it does not last because of the lack of trust.
It is vital for the long-term existence of a home that a wall of trust stand. Husbands and wives need to find some way, day by day, to let their companion know they are trustworthy - - "You can trust me."
For lack of a better term, I use the word fun simply to express the enjoyment of a relationship that God intended to be filled with delight. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine," the writer of Proverbs tells us. He also tells us that "a man who finds a wife, finds a good thing." He is right! God intended for the relationship of marriage to be filled with His blessings.
I've never seen a couple desire to get married who detested each other and did not enjoy each other. But, I have seen those who, after a few years, at best are just trying to endure rather than trying to enjoy. God has something better in mind than just painful endurance. He wants you to enjoy one another.
This wall is a movable wall. This wall is the wall of grace and mercy. It is the injection into your marriage that you will be sensitive to each others' needs and the changes that take place in your lives. There are times when you need to be extremely close to each other, and other times when you need to give space. The wall of flexibility recognizes that each day you are somewhat a different person. The pressures of life change from day to day. The physical needs and the level of energy changes from day to day. Your understanding, your
patience, your responsiveness, all ebb and flow in a manner in which the husband and wife need to be aware and sensitive and gracious toward one another.
III. Now, let's add a roof
I recognize Peter is not talking about a physical roof, like on a house or a church, but listen to this marvelous verse in I Peter 4:8, "And above all things ..." and just for the imagery, look at the home we are trying to build with a foundation of Christ, the walls, and now the roof - - "And above all things, have fervent love one for another." Paul would tell us in the great love chapter, I Corinthians 13, that "love never faileth." Overarching all of your life's experiences in relationships, challenges, dreams, and difficulties, "have fervent love one for another."
When Paul said, "love never faileth," he knew that everything else would fail. There are times when you don't have enough patience, or enough understanding, or enough strength, or enough wisdom - - you may not have enough resources, enough money, enough time, and on and on we live with the limitations of life, but we can keep on loving!
It may look fairly simple. The plans are not elaborate for this little home, but it will take you a lifetime to construct it. Remember this, that the Lord Himself is the designer. He envisioned the home and He alone can help you build it.