By Willie and Elaine Oliver
‘Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.’ Psalm 127:1
Several years ago, we built our first home. Well, to avoid any misunderstandings, we’ll be clear that we didn’t actually build the house with our own hands. Rather, we contracted professional builders to do so on our behalf.
The truth is, beyond knowing that we need to secure a plot of land, architectural plans, money or good credit to fund the project, and someone with expertise to execute the plans, we don’t really know how to build a house. We may have a good idea about what we would like the final product to look like, but that is as far as we can go on our own.
The wise man, Solomon, in his second wisdom poem, deliberates about the question of launching into building a house, or constructing anything else for that matter, without God. He makes his point abundantly clear by proffering that any enterprise we pursue where God is not the protagonist is futile, meaningless and a waste of time, energy and resources.
Solomon further takes up this line of reasoning as the main premise of the book of Ecclesiastes, proposing the meaninglessness of earthly pursuits. In Ecclesiastes 1 :2 he declares: ‘AII is vanity.’ This, of course, is a way of philosophic discourse about the ultimate conundrum of life on earth.
Marriage, ladies and gentlemen, is no different. Since we were all born in sin and shaped in iniquity –referenced in Psalm 51:5– ours is a very low probability of success left to our own devices. Our default settings from our families of origin in the best of circumstances fall very short of the mark to make of marriage an accomplishment worth sharing. We need Jesus.
Paul, the apostle, discovered the winning formula for all things in the human ambit when he declared in Philippians 2:5: ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.’ Having the mind of Christ is what you need to have a marriage filled with contentment and peace. Unless God is the Architect of your marriage the One who understands the blueprint well, so every feature of the construction is in the right place -your building will soon crumble.
So, let Him be the architect of your marriage. Ask Him to build your marriage today.
What did Paul mean when he said, ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus’?
Pray for a marriage relationship that is built on Christ; His selflessness, His mercy, His forgiveness, His kindness, and His gentleness.
Take one element of the character of Christ and practice modeling it with each other as many times as possible over the coming week.
About the Authors
Willie Oliver, PhD, CFLE, and Elaine Oliver, MA, LCPC, CFLE are Directors of the Department of Family Ministries at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists World Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.
Source: Oliver, W., & Oliver, E. (2020). Week 11: Stay Together. Connected: Devotional Readings for An Intimate Marriage. Alma Park, Grantham, UK: Stanborough.
Connected: Devotionals for an intimate marriage
With 52 devotional reflections, there’s a thought for each week of the year, specially designed to help couples to pause (reflect on the ideas shared), pray (about the ideas shared and ow they related to their experience), and then choose (determine to experience change together). <br>