Sunday, February 22, 2015

Unless the Lord Builds

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” – Psalms 127:1

In this passage from Psalms 127, the Psalmist used the Hebrew word “bayith” for house, which means both a dwelling, and those that dwell in it – a household, a family.  While people will question why the divorce rate is so high, the answer is very simple.  Marriages aren’t being built with God’s blessing.  You can try to hold onto what you’ve built for as long as you can stand it.  You can say “I’m going to make this marriage work”, and you can sometimes do that.  You can try to “guard” your marriage from the inevitable destruction, but without God guarding it, Satan will be quick to tear it down.  Without God’s blessing on marriage, it is a curse and not a blessing. 

How can you tell which you have?  Do you live with conflict, fear, anger, bitterness, and disrespect?  Or do you live with love, laughter, peace, and joy?  If you want a blessed marriage, your marriage must be built by God.  How do you let God build your marriage?  Let Him be your guide, and start with what He has said about marriage.

First, He has given marriage to a man and a woman (1 Corinthians 7:1-3).  Not two men, not two women, and not a boy and a girl because marriage is meant for adults.  Marriage is not always easy.  You have to concede your will to that of your spouse sometimes.  You have to be willing to both give, and take.  If you are not at a level of maturity whereby you are okay with not always getting your way – you’re not ready for marriage yet. 

Secondly, believers are to marry believers.  That only happens when believers date believers.  One of the wisest things my Dad ever told me was to be careful who you date because you will marry one of them.  If you are dating and your companion is not a believer, you’re headed down the wrong road.  God has clearly said in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 that those that are His “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”  The reason is a spiritual one.  God through the Holy Spirit lives inside a believer, and He brings His Divine personality with Him.  That’s an incredibly huge difference than a person without the Holy Spirit inside them.  He is the very Spirit of God!  The absence of His Spirit in the unbelieving mate leaves an emptiness that Satan can fill.  Read Matthew 12:22-45, and pay close attention to when Jesus says “a house divided against itself will not stand.”

I’m going to take this a step further and say that an “unequal yoke” can also be found between two believers.  Find a mate that is at your spiritual level!  No farmer would hook a bull to a yoke beside a yearling calf! 

Third, the husband is to be head of the household.  Sorry ladies, but we were created to be the helper, not the leader.  God’s word is very clear on this.  Ephesians 5:22-23 says to submit to your husband as to your Lord. He is your authority, and Christ is His.  And if you don’t break rule two, you won’t have a problem. God is not going to lead your husband in a direction that is not best for you. 

Fourth, a woman is to respect her husband and a husband is to love his wife.  This is how God’s word describes the relationship in Ephesians 5:22-33.  Common logic will tell you that the best marriages are where each loves and respects the other.  But ladies, make no respect that your job is to respect your husband – not talk him down to your girlfriends and defame him.  And husbands, real love is expressed in actions.  If you want a happy marriage, not one that feels like a curse, love and respect each other every hour of every day, on good days and bad days.

Fifth, be certain it is God who has built your marriage.  There’s an old song with the lyric “Where did you come from, Baby?”  We should look each person we date into the eye and ask ourselves that question.  Satan loves to send that attractive and tempting, yet wrong person into your life to block path for the right one that could be sent by God.

Don’t fall into the temptation – it’s a trap! God will not resort to adultery, fornication, or any other sin to bring you a spouse of His choosing.  God has never had to resort to sin to deliver anything and He will not start with your mate.  When His word says “Unless the Lord builds the house” He follows that with “they LABOR in vain who build it”.  How many years of your life do you want to give in that labor? How many years do you want to patch up and rebuild that relationship? 

I don’t know a lot about construction, but I do know a firm foundation is a must, and the foundation must be laid first for the building to stand.  Many marriages have crumbled because the trap was set, and a believer fell in.  Sometimes we think we can make it all better if we just marry, as if a rewind and redo undoes a sin. Well, it doesn’t!  If you have sinned, don’t let that sin cause you to live in a cursed marriage.  Forgiveness undoes a sin, and nothing less.   

Lastly, marriage is meant to be forever (1 Corinthians 7:10-11).  It is a covenant made under God.  If you don’t think you have a forever relationship, don’t “settle”.  If God intended for you to marry, then He intended a specific person for that forever relationship.  

I’m not sure why I landed here this morning.  All I know is that I heard God say “Unless the Lord builds a house”, and here we are!  That’s how He leads me sometimes.   If this has touched you, I hope it’s been in a good way and maybe brought clarity into areas of your life that needed it.  God’s word is meant for instruction and guidance in every aspect of our life.  But I do know this can be hard stuff for a divorced believer, as I understand on a personal level.  Yet, God’s word is God’s WORD, the infallible truth.  We are the fallible ones.  For those who are divorced or have been divorced, I can tell you that God forgives the breaking of this covenant as He forgives all sins.  His mercy is as eternal as life with Him.  And once you do receive that forgiveness, He forgets that sin in the same way as all the others (Hebrews 8:12).    

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I wish you all LOVE.  A love that I am so grateful that God has built in my own life.

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