Just how important is it for an engaged or a married couple to see “eye to eye” when it comes to your faith in Christ? Let me lay it out in absolutely biblical terms. If you’re not seeing eye to eye — spiritually ? there’s huge missing sections of the foundation necessary for a loving, lasting marriage. You can see that in the Song of Solomon, God’s instruction book for engaged and newly married couples.
“The beams of our houses are cedars, our rafters, cypresses.” (1:17) Solomon’s bride says. What does that mean?
Namely, that when she looks in her fiance’s eyes, and then at the relationship that they were building together, she sees a growing spiritual relationship. In Old Testament times, cedars and cypress were primarily used in building the temple and tabernacle. Each pictured the finest of woods, and here, a strong, lasting structure is envisioned on which years of happiness could be built.
Yet that doesn’t happen in homes where God is left out. If you’re not at the same place spiritually; if you’re dating a person who doesn’t know Christ; then you may have strong feelings for that person — but it isn’t biblical love. When the storms of life that will inevitably come crash down around your house, you won’t have “cedars” and “cypress” supporting it. You’ll have a house of straw that the bad wolf of trials or temptation can blow down — and your relationship with it.
I realize those are strong words. But they come from someone who weekly tries to put back together in counseling, relationships that were never cemented in heaven to begin with. I’d rather hurt you now, and head off major league hurt later.
We need God’s love and spirit in our life if we’re to make a stand in these trying times. So don’t expect God’s blessing or power in a relationship where you are unequally yoked.
Does that mean if we’re already married that we can’t have God’s best? Certainly, we can individually grow deeply dependent on our Lord, and see Him fill us with His strength and power to love our beloved unbeliever. We can find fulfillment individually, and provide incredible love and support for our children. Yet the path to marital closeness won’t be as easy, not the foundation as strong, if both people can’t look eye to eye and see Christ there.
If you’re married to an unbeliever, redouble your prayers for them to come to know Christ. Not only is their eternity at stake, but the stakes are high that your marriage will not be all it could be as well.
If you’re a Christian, but you’re not at the place you’d like to be spiritually, then this would be a great time to recommit your life to Christ. Right now, put down this booklet and ask Him to forgive you, and set your feet back on His paths. Ask him to guide you to the right resources, Scriptures and church that can help you build a structure for your home that is strong and secure.
As any construction worker will tell you, doing remodeling is harder work then building a new structure. But the Lord is able to help you clear away any shoddy materials you might have used in the past, and to replace it with planks of ever-lasting “cedars” and “cypress” from His word.
If you’re unsure how to build that strong spiritual relationship, we’d suggest you read as a couple the very practical picture of a godly life found in Psalm 15 ? and an entire book on Psalm 15 called, Seeking Solid Ground.
Copyright © John Trent, Ph.D., StrongFamilies.com , used with permission.
Dr. John Trent is President of Encouraging Words and StrongFamilies.com, a ministry committed to strengthening marriage and family relationships worldwide. John teaches and is invited to speak at conferences on across the country. Over the past five years alone, John has spoken to over 100,000 people in over 65 major cities at his seminars, as well as speaking to over 500,000 men at Promise Keepers conferences!
In addition to speaking, he has authored and co-authored more than a dozen award winning and best-selling books. There are more than 2,100,000 copies of these adult and children’s books in print, in eleven different languages!
Read more from John at strongfamilies.com.