Marriage is the most basic of human relationships, it is within marriage that individuals have their emotional, physical, familial and financial needs met. Marriage is serious business; the choice of a marriage partner is perhaps the most important decision to be made in life. No other relationship greatly influences every other areas of life. However, marriage has been used by many as a legal sanction for exerting one’s own rights over another, to insure financial security at another’s expense or to provide self identity within society the good news is that God‘s plans for marriage is far different. Marriage is a mystery and God Himself is the solution to that mystery. Marriage as instituted by God is the union of two separate individuals into one flesh. Each partner finds satisfaction and completeness in the presence of one another and of God. This fundamental principle concerning marriage must be understood for the relationship to be successful, rewarding and pleasing to God. Since God Himself established marriage it was His idea and not man’s idea He Himself determined the boundaries of the relationship. We as Christians therefore can expect guidance from His written word, support from fellow believers, positive role models in the Church and especially ever present help from the Divine Marriage Counselor within in the person of the Holy Spirit. A Christian marriage begins with vows to one another and to God. Mutual love, honor and commitment are covenanted for a lifetime. Yet often the marriages of Christians are shattered by divorce just like the people without commitment to Christ. Perhaps your marital boat has capsized and ready to sink. Do not give up help is on the way.

This issue of the Lighthouse blog is designed to get you in contact with the Master Builder who made your marriage craft. What blueprints and tools are needed for marriage under construction? Is there a manual to help with the maintenance?

The Bible specifies a builder Ps127:1 Jesus is the Builder of any successful marriage. It suggests the best construction method Matt7:24. Listening to and obeying the words of Jesus are the mortar and bricks that are used to construct a permanent marriage. The Bible is the most accurate marriage manual available on sale today. 2Tim3:16. Jesus promised that if you will be a wise builder, your marriage will stand against the flood of problems that threatened from without. Matt7:25.

Tools for Building a Solid Marriage.

The Role of Salvation. The most critical question you will ever have to answer is “what are you doing with Jesus? Acts4:12 Salvation can only be found in Christ but being born again is not enough to withstand the temptations that come your way. Many people are born again but they do not experience the joy of knowing Jesus on a personal, day to day basis. Asking Jesus to save you and inviting Him to stay as a permanent resident is an important decision to make, it is comparable to buying a comprehensive insurance protection. Jesus’ call to discipleship is to make Him both Savior and Lord of your life. You cannot expect all your marital problems to disappear simply by deciding for Jesus, but with His guidance because He is a permanent Resident in your life and marriage you will scale through the hurdles Pr4:11.

The Role of the Holy Spirit. Very few Christians realize that the Resident Holy Spirit is the greatest marriage counselor possible. He does the following for you: He counsels Jn 14:16 He encourages Acts 9:31. He prays for you Rom 8:27. He will reveal practical ways to obey God’s commandments and as you mature spiritually His fruits will be evident in your life Gal5:22-23. Each fruit is a manifestation of the character of Jesus. God also in addition to the fruits gives the supernatural gifts of the Spirit. These are available in your marriage to minister to one another. 1Cor12:7-10. The Holy Spirit delights in helping you but there is a condition. You must first ask Lk 11:13.

Growing in Christ. If you were to choose an ideal mate, your deepest longing is to find someone who loves you unconditionally, who thinks you are precious and who if necessary would give up his/her very life for you. When God drew up the guidelines for marriage He kept those needs in mind. Eph5:25 the love between a husband and his wife is compared to God’s infinite love for His people. Imagine a triangle with God at the apex, the husband at one corner and the wife at the other. As they move upward towards God, they draw increasingly closer to each other. The closer they get to the source of love the better they are to love and encourage one another. Christ -like love is the basis for the marriage relationship in which two become one flesh. Christ feels the deepest form of intimacy for His Bride. Eph 5:25-27 and 1Jn 4:10—12. As we follow Christ’s example, our relationship becomes far richer and more satisfying than we ever dreamed. Husband and wife are to love each other unconditionally and sacrificially as Christ our Perfect Example loved His Bride the Church.