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Purpose: A Strong Marriage Foundation is part three (C) of the study of Life Principle #3 on Oneness Forever which shows the importance of and how through affirming a couple's oneness to build a strong marriage foundation.
Foundations are what we build structures upon. A marriage has certain foundational truths. If the foundation is not solid, then, no matter how well something is built on top of that foundation, it will suffer.
This is the problem with earthquakes. They shake foundations, testing them for their strength. The seams or weaknesses in the land mass are called faults. It is at these faults that the greatest damage occurs. Anything built on those faults crumbles.
Today many couples get married thinking that divorce is a possibility. Some are quite open about it. “If it doesn’t work out, then we will get a divorce.” They obviously do not understand God’s hatred for divorce and the many consequences that follow.
Another dangerous tendency in wealthy societies is for the husband and wife to think they are marrying for life, but when troubling times come, they begin to think of separation and divorce as real possibilities.
In newlywed bliss, the excitement of a new home or a new baby, they might not think this way. When troubles escalate the husband starts to imagine what it would be like with that other woman.
The wife tries to think through her financial situation to see if she can support herself. They are not fully committed to oneness. Every marriage faces challenges. How we respond to the challenges depends on what we really believe. In the end this couple shows that they do not really believe that they are one for life. This is seen by the contemplation of other options in troubles.
Some couples are deeply shocked when these thoughts of divorce are first brought up. Although it may seem impossible for a marriage to turn around, it can. The couple can sort things out by focusing on the truth of their oneness. They need to set their hearts upon living by their marriage vows. This is the way it is for every married couple. When we decide to live by the fact of oneness, then the marriage can hold together.
If however, either spouse is willing to accept the temptation to live apart from God’s binding truth and choose a path separate from the spouse, then the couple will experience great turmoil. We will discuss in a later session what special steps can be taken when the spouse begins to talk about leaving or in fact does leave.
This ‘oneness’ life principle might sound rather vague. It is hard to understand. Let’s try to get a better handle on its meaning.
When a person walks around his thousand-acre ranch, which is enclosed by a fence, he will rarely run into the fence. He can walk and walk and never meet up with the defining edge of his property. Good marriages are similar. The husband might work in the city, fly to visit his father, or take a bus back home all in the confines of oneness. The husband and wife are one even though they are separate.
However, if an attractive young lady walks alluringly by the husband, then that fence will suddenly appear. He knows he needs to delight only in the wife of his youth. He turns his mind and eyes away from her.
What is he doing? He is affirming the oneness of his marriage. He accepts the fence. The fence reminds him of this oneness. He then affirms the pledge to desire only his wife. He stays within the fence.
The wife might be reading a romance novel. She starts identifying herself with the woman in the story and begins to want such a romantic man as in the story. Her husband is completely dull! The fence arises. She is starting to covet someone else’s man (even though in this case he might be imaginary).
The wife will remember her pledge to support and love her unromantic (up to now – always keep hoping) husband. She refuses to entertain that anyone else could be better for her than who she now has. She follows through her commitment by instantly returning the book to the library. She furthermore thanks the Lord for her husband and in her heart affirms her pledge to him alone.
We have only started touching upon this mighty life principle. As with the other life principles, they all have to do with living out our Christian life. Before preceding any further, we would like to explain this life principle in its spiritual context. Perhaps this will enable us to better understand how this oneness principle can apply to our own marriages.