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Marriage Foundation Part 3: Guarding Against Fissures

A crumbling foundation and reinforcing rods.

A marriage foundation needs reinforcing rods of trust, honesty, flexibility and God-centeredness.

We wouldn’t knowingly build our home on a faulty foundation, so we should pay close attention to our marriage foundation as well.

No builder in his right mind would knowingly begin to erect a building on a faulty foundation—especially upon basement walls that might crumble and break under the weight of the building materials.

Preserving trust

The builder has to have trust and confidence that the basement contractor and the concrete company did their jobs properly and that it is safe to begin building. A bad experience could end in the loss of a customer’s confidence in the builder and the loss of the contractors’ reputation.

Trust has to be valued and protected, for once it is lost, the damage is almost irreparable.

Trust in marriage 

That is also true of trust in a marriage. “To put it bluntly, a marriage partnership cannot continue if the ingredient called ‘trust’ is no longer there,” writes Alanson Houghton (Partners in Love, 1988). And trust hinges on honesty—a threatened commodity in today’s society.

Trust marriage.

Trust is an important part of the marriage foundation.

When two people pledge themselves in marriage, the union is forged on the belief that each partner will be true to the other. There is no place for lies. If the partners are wise, they will go to every extreme to preserve and nurture a climate of trust. Such a reinforcing rod can get them through the most stressful situations.

Flexibility in the face of change

Every good builder takes into account the reality of movement within a structure and takes care to accommodate it from the very beginning. Movement can be caused by such things as shrinkage or the interaction and compatibility of the building materials themselves.

Movement is a reality in every marriage as well. One of the biggest challenges couples face today is coping with the constant stream of changes that threaten to upend their lives—changes that begin as soon as the vows are repeated.

Suddenly two people have to adjust to living together, acknowledging and accommodating, as much as possible, the preferences of their mates. They now have to get acquainted on a whole different level. For some, the first year can be fraught with frustrations, misunderstandings and hurt feelings. For others, it seems to be a natural transition.

After the initial adjustments, there follows an unending succession of other changes: the arrival of children, job challenges, relocations, money worries, health factors, retirement issues and, yes, even personality changes. It becomes clear early on that flexibility and adaptability are important keys.

Reinforcement protection

It is possible for even reinforced concrete to break down and crumble. This happens when the reinforcing rods begin to corrode, due largely to the quality and thickness of the concrete—the medium that surrounds them.

A marriage is as strong as the environment that surrounds it. If a husband and a wife determine to keep their marriage environment pollution-free—safe from the eroding agents of marital infidelity, constant criticism, anger, pride, stubbornness, peer pressure, unbridled ambition and self-centeredness—and if, instead, they use the reinforcement rods found in the Love Chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, they will enjoy the security and the ever-increasing pleasure of a marriage built to last a lifetime.

How to build a lasting foundation

  • Build on the Rock (Luke 6:47-49)—the surest of all foundations. This means listening to what Jesus Christ teaches us and doing it.
  • Don’t forget your wedding vows or allow your commitment to weaken.
  • Ask for God’s guidance and blessing until “death do you part.”

This is the third article in a three part series on Marriage and the Foundation Factor. For the other articles in this series, see “Marriage and the Foundation Factor” and “Marriage and the Foundation Factor: Commitment.”

Learn more about biblical principles for a happy marriage relationship in our “Marriage” section.

About the Author

Karen Meeker

Karen Meeker

Karen Meeker was born in Oklahoma and grew up in West Texas. She has been married to her husband, George, for over 57 years. Her husband is a retired minister, and serving alongside him gave her the opportunity to live in different places around the United States and visit several continents around the world. They have three children, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. She and her husband call Missouri home in their retirement years and continue to serve in the St. Louis, Missouri, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.

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