Proud of the House God Built

by Audrey on August 26th, 2012

I was in a waiting room this week and on the coffee table was an issue of Brides magazine.  Seemed fitting for me since my anniversary was quickly approaching.  I picked it up and began to flip through it ~ admiring the beautiful dresses, the beautiful veils, the beautiful hairstyles, and of course the beautiful brides.

The ads were beautiful too.  But I was drawn in by one in particular that stated:

Marrying the Wedding of Your Dreams . . .


Um, did I read that correctly?  I looked again.  Yes, that's what it said.

Not the man . . . but the wedding.

And it hit me.  For so many young women, it's all about the wedding.  All about the bride.

Now, that's not bad - it is such a special day.  And it's natural and right for a young woman's heart to want to be beautiful on her wedding day.  And so she should.

But goodness - a great marriage is not about a great wedding.  It's not about a great event.  A woman may have a fantastic event planner who can guarantee a great event - but he/she can't guarantee a great marriage.  Great marriages are built.  The wedding is just a doorway.

And of course, we all know that a bride doesn't marry her wedding.  Even the the one who created and designed the ad knows that.

A bride marries her man.  And her man is not supposed to be just a prop - or an accessory to HER big day.

It's not just her day.  It's his day too.  It's their parents' day as they give away their daughter, as they've prepared their son.  Most importantly, it's God's day.  At least it's supposed to be.  For believers, it is supposed to be a sacred worship service.  Somehow we've lost that in the planning of an event.

Weddings were "thought up," if you will, in the heart of God.   He is the One who performed the first wedding ceremony and at that time, no one was registering for gifts or shopping for wedding dresses.

Nope.  It was just Adam and Eve and God.  And they were making a serious covenant to each other - and to God.

And their wedding?  It was gorgeous. She was a beautiful bride. We know what Adam thought of his bride when he saw her for the first time. Just read Genesis 2.  That first groom was expressive!  And we know how God decorated the venue - with onyx stone and gold and four rivers and beautiful trees and flowers.

And we also know what Jesus said about marriage:

"Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?'  Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

Marriage is a holy covenant.  We don't just say "I do,"  we say "I will."

Love is not some floaty emotion.  It is built on a covenant.  And it grows with time.  It is a commitment to love, not a feeling.

When Carl and I got married back in June of 1980, we chose a song to be sung at our wedding with these lyrics:

I could never promise you on just my strength alone
That all my life I'd care for you, and love you as my own
I've never known the future, I only see today
Words that last a lifetime would be more than I could say


But the love inside my heart today is more than mine alone
It never changes, never fails, never seeks its own
And by the God who gives it, and who lives in me and you
I know the words I speak today are words I'm going to do


And so I stand before you now for all to hear and see
And promise you in Jesus' name the love He's given me
And through the years on earth and as eternity goes by
The life and love He's given us are never going to die.

We loved that the words acknowledged the fact that on our own, we could never love each other the way God intended.  We loved how the song acknowledged a complete dependence upon God to hold a marriage together.

We've been married 32 years today.

Our marriage is not perfect but it is great.  It's not perfect because neither one of us is perfect.  That pesky sin in our lives keeps us from having a perfect marriage.  We've had struggles, very difficult times . . . we are sinners and we live in a sinful world.

Over the years I have pouted way too much.  I have been moody and argumentative at times.  I have not always respected my husband the way I should have.  I have not always loved him the way God requires.

But I want to.  I am growing.  I am maturing.  And I know that as long as both Carl and I grow in our relationships with God - our marriage will be strong.  I always tell young women to care more about a guy's heart for God than his looks (or whatever else she thinks is so important).

All these years later, if Carl and I were having a "renewing our vows" ceremony, there's a song by Brooks and Dunn that I love.  I'd ask Carl to sing it but I don't know - don't think he'd do it.  Don't think he knows it.    I used to have it as a ringtone on my phone for my husband's calls to me but changed phones and well, you know how that goes.  The lyrics go like this:

I dropped to my knees in that field on your daddy's farm.
Asked you to marry me, all I had to give was my heart.
While other kids went diving into swimming holes,
You and me dove off into the great unknown.
We were barely gettin' by, takin' care of each other.
Then I became a daddy; you became a mother.
Was an uphill battle nearly every day,
Lookin' back I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm proud of the house we built.
It's stronger than sticks, stones, and steel.
It's not a big place sittin' up high on some hill.
A lot of things will come and go but love never will.
Oh, I'm proud.
I'm proud of the house we built.

Still workin' our way through the land of milk and honey.
At the end of the day there's always more bills than money.
I close my eyes at night and I still feel
The same fire in my heart I felt out in that field.

I'm proud of the house we built.
It's stronger than sticks, stones, and steel.
It's not a big place sittin' up high on some hill.
A lot of things will come and go but love never will.
Oh, I'm proud.
I'm proud of the house we built.

Oh, look at us today.
Oh, we've come such a long long way.

I'm proud of the house we built.
It's stronger than sticks, stones, and steel.
It's not a big place sittin' up high on some hill.
A lot of things will come and go but love never will.
Oh, I'm proud.
I'm proud of the house we built.

I'd change a few of the lyrics though.  Carl dropped to his knees in the parlor of my dorm. 

And I know I'd say "I'm proud of the house God built." 

See, God has been the One Who has kept us together.  I married a man whose love for God was bigger than his love for me. My husband married me ~ a woman whose love for God was bigger than my love for him.  A wedding doesn't build a marriage - God does.

And because of that - Oh, look at us today.  Oh, we've come such a long long way..


Posted in Marriage    Tagged with Marriage


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