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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Two shall be One ~ BUILD

Hello girls,
I am really looking forward to Two shall be One ~ Tuesdays.

Mark and I have spent so much time ministering to couples who are struggling in their marriage. I would have to say it is what we have spent MOST of our time doing over the past several years.

We spent many years sitting under great marriage teaching in our church, we went to conferences on marriage, we watched several video series by Gary Smalley and have attended accredited classes on marriage relationships.

We are not professional counselors by any stretch of the imagination, but the Lord has seen fit to use us in marriage ministry time and time again. Sometimes learning right along with that couple!

We are also not the perfect couple. Those of you who know us just let out a hearty- “that’s for sure!” We are a normal couple, have normal arguments and trials, but we have an amazing, loving and forgiving God.

When Mark was Pastoring we did several series together on marriage and I want to share some of that with you and mix it with new things the Lord has been showing me in my own life.

So, let’s start at the beginning, and we will probably swing through this station again and again as it is the foundation for any good marriage.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells a story about 2 houses.
One is built on the rock and one is built on the sand.
When the “storms” come, the one built on the rock stood
wile the one built on the sand fell with a great crash.
Let’s look at this verse and instead of the word house,
let’s use the word marriage.

Matthew 7:24-27
24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house (marriage) on the rock.
25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house (marriage); yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house (marriage) on sand.
27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house (marriage), and it fell with a great crash."

Puts a little different spin on it doesn’t it?

What I find to be so interesting about this story is the storm and the lack of definition of it.

So many times when we would ask people what their marriage was built on, they would want to focus on how awful things were and if the circumstances weren’t so awful they would be fine. They just needed to “get through” this.

That’s just not true.

The truth is, the storm is not your problem.
I believe that’s why the storm is not the focus…the foundation of the houses is the focus.

Now, I realize that I am only speaking to one half of the marriage here (unless you sweet ladies are copy and pasting this in an email to your hubbys!). And I know that some of you feel that it is out of your hands. Yes, parts of it may be.

However, in verse 24 it says, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house/marriage on the rock.”

I am an everyone, I think you are an everyone.

We are not responsible for our husband putting God’s words into practice, but we
are accountable to the Lord for the Word that WE put into practice.
Prov 14:1
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

One of the most profound things I ever learned about my marriage was to stop pointing my finger at my spouse and start pointing it in the mirror.

What can I do differently?
I would literally ask myself that, and still do!

I could tear my marriage down so quick (and have done it), but the Lord specifically tells us women…BUILD YOUR HOUSE!
If you tear down your husband,
you tear down your house
and the word of God calls you/me foolish.

I want to be wise.

I want to obey God’s Word and put it into practice and that will build my house on the solid foundation. So that WHEN the storms come…my home will stand.

There is so much to say…but I really feel like these messages are to be nuggets for you to chew on. I don’t want to overwhelm you with so much that you just go away spinning.

So here’s the nugget…BUILD.

You know in your heart how to build.
Start with yourself and then bring it into your marriage.

Build yourself up on God’s word and pray.
Don’t just pray that your husband would change!
I challenge you to pray that God would change you.

Lord, I lift up every person reading this. I pray that you would strengthen their marriage by showing them how to make You their foundation. Lord heal marriages. Heal brokenhearts and give hope to those who have none. You are able Lord to do exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or think, Father please do that in marriages. Forgive us our sins and help us to forgive those who’ve sinned against us.
In the mightly name of Jesus, Amen.

Much love and prayers!


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Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

Oh, how easy it is to tear down! It's so much easier to point my finger instead of looking inside and praying for God to show me how I can change.

Thank you so much for your insight. I'm looking forward to the next "nugget"!


Zaankali said...

This is wonderful! I am so looking forward to Tuesday's. I know every marriage could use this. If we aren't working on growing together we are probably growing apart.
Thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge.
Be blessed.

Amrita said...

i like what you say "the sorm is not the problem but the foundation is the focus. That is true of all aspectsof our lives.

Fran said...

Thank you so much Sue for taking the time to give us nuggets to chew on during the week. Marriage is hard but beautiful and needs God more than ever. You've encouraged me today and thank you!

Have a blessed day~

Masked Rabbit said...

Another amazing post and this speaks to me so much. Thanks for the encouragement to build and mostly to take the chance and pray "Lord change me", probably the most dangerous prayer a person can ever pray because God will always answer it!

Susan said...

Great post Sue and SOOOO true. Been there, done this and will soon have 50 years of proof!!!

Praise and Coffee said...

50 years!! That is awesome, when is your anniversary?

concerned parent said...

Sue, oh how I miss your wisdom on marriage. I still will always be grateful to you and mark for the” dark days ” when you helped to save our marriage and brought us into your church to learn, thank you. Girls we have a strong women who loves the lord and we can learn so much from her. I look forward to the nuggets on Tuesday’s

Praise and Coffee said...

Awwww, thanks Sis (in-law)!

Mocha with Linda said...

Excellent, excellent words. Focusing on the foundation rather than the storm is key.

And what a great "point" (!) about pointing our fingers in the mirror instead of at our husbands. I have too many logs in my own eye to worry about the speck in his.

Thanks for your wonderful encouragement. I look forward to more.

Melissa in Mel's World said...

I absolutely am standing up on top of my chair shouting AMEN SISTER!!!

2 months ago I started reading a new book on marriage (not new in print, but new to me) and it has radically changed the way I look at my marriage.

Like you said, I need to stop pointing the finger at him and start pointing it at the book it mentions that "whether or not your husband is doing his part has absolutely nothing to do with YOUR (that's me and you) obedience to God!"


Thanks for starting the TWO SHALL BE ONE TUESDAY'S Sue...I am so excited!


Sheri said...

What a great topic to share with other women. I'm looking forward to what you have to say each Tuesday. I am so thankful to God to have been blessed with 21 years of marriage, and I'm looking forward to your nuggets each week to help make it even better. God bless you as you share about this topic. May He give you just the right words to share that will minister to many.

Anonymous said...

Your post is well written and yet, gentle but powerful in its approach. Before dh and I married, we set down an anchor for our marriage. Divorce would never be an option. It is that way today and it's something I am able to comfort my dd with when her friends from divorce get with her. "Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' love and righteousness." Beautiful post from a beautiful heart. Thanks again!

Sheila said...

Sue, I've been visiting your blog and have been so blessed. My husband and i have been married for 14 years. We've also had divorce papers on the judges desk. Truly as you shared, it' not the storm, it's the foundation we need to be aware of and build up on. That foundation- Christ- is what carried me through the storm and ultimately drew my husband back to our marriage. God is a mighty fortress!

Thank you. I'll keep looking forward to tuesdays!


Nadine said...

A good foundation can stand the storms of time. Very good post.

Denise C said...

Those are some wonderful, wise words this morning, my friend!

Thank you for following God
as He places these "nuggets" on your heart to share with all of us!

You are such a precious person and God blesses me, through you, each time I visit!

Hugs to you!

Just Mom said...

Oh, wow. I'm going to like this series.

My hubby and I, thank God, have a marriage built on a strong foundation. I can tell this series is going to help us try to keep it that way.

Shari said...

I will be holding you up in prayer as you tackle this topic... one so close to my heart!!

Unknown said...

Hi Sue,

Great post and filled with Godly wisdom. What you have written here is especially poignant to all of us in unequally yoked marriages.

We must lean on the rock and let the Lord work in our husband. The foundation of our marriages must rest on God.

Awesome! Love and hugs, Lynn

Sheila said...

I am very guilty of pointing my finger at my husband. Our marriage has taken some serious blows and I have let that interfere with my spiritual well-being. I know that I need to start worrying about myself, my walk, my daily life. Even though I may feel "alone" in my endeavours, I will be judged for the things I have or have not done. I need to at least do my part in this marriage.

Anonymous said...

I came over from Dori at Your Word is Life...
and enjoyed my visit. I'll be back at a later time to read more thoroughly, but I really appreciated your application of how tearing down our husbands results in a tearing down of our own homes. So true, and very encouraging and motivating. I want to be wise, too.


Linda said...

Great Post!!! I love that I KNOW that I am to start with me first but somehow my selfishness gets in the way. I also loved how you said when we tear down our husbands we are tearing down our house. This is so true. I tend to be the type to tear down little by little never all at once after all a big blow up would be horrible but I think little comments, sighs or a roll of the eyes can do just as much damage if not more. Thanks so much for this word from the Lord today I am looking forward to Tuesdays and seeing what God has in store for each of us.
Blessings to you and thank you for taking the time to do this.

holy chaos said...

so true!

the other night, I was SO MAD at my husband. I wrote in my journal and really let him have it. I have been reading in "The Power of a Praying Woman" and reading(praying) prayers out of it. Well, this night, the Lord brought me to this prayer that was about ME-praying for ME to be a better be forgiving... loving...
I prayed the prayer and then asked God to help me mean it! : )

and you know what???? He did...the next day Bill and I had a awesome day.

kdwhorses said...

Thanks for the great post and reminder! IT is so easy to blame the other person, instead of looking at ourselves. Marriage takes work everyday. In the beginning of our marriage we did not do that and whew not good! But we have really been focused on God and each other and that makes a huge difference! We still have our share of things we need to work on. I do love my husband and want our marriage to work. Thank you for standing up and doing this for all of us. We can all benefit from it in our own lives.
You are such a shining light. God Bless,

Tracy Berta-daughter to the King, wife, mother, speaker, writer said...

AWESOME post (and blog)!!! Thank you for sharing this. I love the verse about a wise woman building her house. How easy it can be to "tear down" our own marriages and children with critical spirits, bitterness, and anger. I want to be the wise woman of Proverbs 31 who is an encourager and a builder. Thanks for praying for us.


Annie said...

Great post! We'll be married 19 years this Summer and I think it just keeps getting better and better. We pulled closer during trying times, resisting the temptation to place blame and point fingers. Difficult, but necessary!

Sandy said...

Hi Sue - thank you for writing this. I hope that many readers take it to heart. I have always surrounded myself with friends who do not bash their husbands - I'm such a firm believer of not tearing down! The nuggets you shared are essential - Bless you!

Anonymous said...

As always, wonderful Godly knowledge..You have such a understanding of what is needed to have a marriage that will withstand the many obstacles that the devil will put in our way. Satan will do anything to destroy our marriages and families..

This is wonderful, looking forward to next Tuesday.

Middle-Aged Moi said...

Oh, I'm already loving your Tuesdays!!!!

A Stone Gatherer said...

Thanks for the post Sue! It is such a good reminder of our roll in our Marriage! Looking forward to next Tuesday!

Susannah said...

I like your imagery: Build. We're currently doing some major renos on our house, so this really clicks with me! Thanks for sharing.

"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain."

Maybe you would consider linking up to Marriage Monday next month. I'd love to have you contribute. (Feb. 7, 2008. Topic: TBA)


e-Mom @ Chrysalis

Susan said...

Hi Sue,

Wow, this was really good. I think I'll try and participate next Tuesday.

I love what you shared about being a "builder" in your marriage.

Great counsel. I just wrote some advice on marriage for Marriage Monday and said some of the same things...

Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

Sue, this is AWESOME!!!!! Thanks so much!! I would love to use this for my ladies Bible study, Your Great cant wait till next Tuesday:)

Tami said...

Thanks for leaving us with a word we can easily remember and use--BUILD.

Monkey Giggles said...

What a blessing. Thank you Sue.

Alicia @ said...

Hi Sue! I just found your blog tonight and I already love it!! I am going to visit often because this year of marriage has really been a struggle for me, but thanks to the grace of God we are doing so much better! These verses put such great light on marriage. Thank you for sharing these!

Anonymous said...

That is a great post!

Praise and Coffee said...

I'm feelig a marriage revival!

Jen said...

Awesome word....the enemy is working over time to destroy the family and one of his favorite ways is to split and divide marriages....even Godly ones.

So many right with in the body of Christ, fall prey to these traps of tearing down and missing the fact that we get to make spite of the storms.

My husband and I have quite a testimony of how our marriage was devastated....AND we were involved in the church at the time...and how God got through to both of us and helped us rebuild and strengthen our marriage...He is so faithful when we are willing to give it all to Him....but it does take 2 people to build one healthy marriage.

I look forward to reading your marriage 'nuggets'....such an important message.

Blessings from Canada

Mocha with Linda said...

The book I just read and recommended on my blog fits perfectly with this topic. Stop by for a cup of coffee and a visit! :-)

mommy24treasures said...

thank posts that make me think about how I can improve not help others improve, getting the plank out of my eye :)

Cheryl said...

I know I'm a little late but I have looked for your blog for two days. I had read somewhere that you were going to start this and I wanted to remember it. Well, I forgot to write it down and I am just now finding you again. Anyway, this was a very good post. I will be married 32 years next month. I am looking forward to visiting you every Tuesday! You really have a good way with words. I have got you marked on my page now so maybe I will not get lost. Thanks and God Bless!

Renna said...

I just stumbled onto your blog from a comment you left at Big Mama's.

What a great teaching!

Beth Cotell said...

What a great post. I know I will be back next Tuesday for more!

Thanks for the reminder that we need to look at ourselves to change and not just look at our husbands.

Paula said...

Thanks so much for this post. We tried to make our marriage work a while back with NO foundation and like it says in the Bible, it fell down in the first storm that came along. After we accepted Christ and built a strong foundation things are much, much better. I like the way you say we have to build our husbands up. That is so important to me because sometimes I think I belittle him. I need to work on that.

~~Deby said...

Great post....and encouragement for any of us any point in our marriages..

Denise said...

Awesome post, thanks for doing this. I really look forward to Tuesdays, bless you.

sharon brobst said...

"If you tear down your husband,
you tear down your house
and the word of God calls you/me foolish."

I remember the day that God spoke very clearly to me in this area. It was years ago as I sat in the lunch room at work and listen to women tear down their husband. I didn't participate but I listened and laughed with them. I felt ashamed and made a choice that day that I would purposefully build up my husband in front of others. I would allow my voice to be heard that "all" men are not "like that".

I soon become know as the woman with the perfect marriage, even though I told them it wasn't perfect. I honestly don't know what difference it made in their lives, but in my life I saw my attitude change toward my husband. I began to speak encouraging words to him and about him consistently.

I found that my love and respect for him grew...just by me building up my husband.

Sorry I'm so long winded....thanks for speaking truth Sue!

Holly said...

Amen! We have a similar testimony as yours. We love Family Life Marriage confs. and like to give them away as often as we can. Also, we taught a young married's class for about 5 years. We grew together, our group did, and it helps so much to read or hear others' testimonies!
Love this!
Love you much in Him!

Nikki said...

What a wonderful idea, Sue.
I will definitely be tuning in for this.

Susan Skitt said...

I've been waiting for a few moments to sit down and REALLY read this. Looking forward to future marriage posts. Yes, building up and not tearing down, oh, that's a lesson that's easy for me to forget. Thanks.

Standing on the Rock,

Heather C said...

Sue... I love this! I can't wait for more, but am glad that you didn't give more... this is enough of a challenge! Hubby and I have a great marriage, but the reminders are powerful and needful regardless... and as we continue to grow closer to the Lord and to one another... I will remember to BUILD. Each time I'm tempted to mention something, even in an off-handed way, that is not building, I will remember that verse and I will think twice... three times... four times. Thank you!

I've given you the Daily Dose Award... swing by to pick it up, ok? :) God bless!


Tiffany said...

I am really excited about Two shall be One Tuedays! I had never thought about the wise man/foolish man story in that light before, but how true it is! Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to read more.

Toni said...

Amen and Amen again. You're such a blessing to all of us, Sue. This is such a GREAT lesson.

Marilyn@A Mixed Bouquet said...

I loved this post! I am looking forward to more of these posts.

God bless!

Lesa said...

These words are hitting so close to home right now that it is scary. I really needed it right now and I really am glad that I found your blog through Happy Homes blog. I will be looking forward to your Tuesday posts..

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

Excellent message! It is so easy to tear down the ones we love the most...What a reminder to build, build, build and love our spouse like Jesus loves the church...


a woman who is said...

Great blog, I'll be checking in on Tuesdays!

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