A house is built by wisdom, and it is established by understanding; by knowledge the rooms are filled with every precious and beautiful treasure. Proverbs 24:3
Rick and I are celebrating our thirtieth anniversary on June 3, 2019. Our journey thus far has taken us across two states and seven towns where we’ve lived in eight houses. We have physically constructed one home during our marriage. The building process was stressful yet gratifying; however, the components for a physical structure are easier to come by than the materials that go into building a solid spiritual house. Bricks, steel, and wood are relatively cheap. Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are obtained at a much higher price, but are worth every ounce of effort put into seeking them out. And so, by the grace of God, we started the process, swinging our hammers to bind together all that was worth hanging onto, and wielding our saws to carefully cut away anything that was not beneficial. We were not sure where it would lead, but we did know Who was leading us.
We started out knowing that we were going to have to strap our tool belts on tightly in preparation for our ongoing construction project. We came from two very different families of origin. He grew up as the baby in a family with older sisters. I was the oldest sibling in a home with younger brothers. He was a city boy from Dallas. I grew up in small town Mexia. Our personalities are almost polar opposites. He’s at ease in the public eye, while I’m intensely private. Despite our differences, God sovereignly crossed our paths knowing we would be each other’s perfect complement. We set out with the goal of relying on Him daily to provide all the necessary building materials for constructing our household of faith. It hasn’t always been easy and we’ve messed up plenty of times, but He has always been faithful to provide all we needed.
Along the way we discovered that sometimes building was fun and exhilarating. In the beginning as we were starting new careers, preparing for a life in ministry, and starting a family, things were very fast-paced and exciting. Other times construction became monotonous and tedious. The parenting years often seemed like an endless stream of changing diapers, driving to ball practices, and helping with homework. We found out that at times our project experienced unexpected delays, or proceeded at a pace that left us feeling unprepared. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that our voyage would bring us to Alabama, raising children 700 miles away from our closest family members, but we have been blessed by those who came alongside us in our journey. Our construction site got wonderfully messy when our boys came along, and then it got unexpectedly neat again when they left.
A house is built by wisdom…
Any well-built structure requires a firm foundation. Healthy reverence for our Lord demonstrates godly wisdom, and a home solidly constructed on wisdom is not easily brought down. When we build on this immovable foundation, we are able to sustain even the most dangerous threats to our families. Storms of life may come, but they are not able to shake our faith.
…it is established by understanding…
We develop understanding when we obey God’s commands and discover His truth about how we are to relate to Him and to each other. Our desire to obey points us to the greatest commandment, which is to love our heavenly Father and to love others. It is only when we first love Him that we can truly love each other.
…by knowledge the rooms are filled…
As we gain knowledge of the things of God, grace and peace naturally flow out to those around us. A growing relationship with God demonstrates for us that we have been given much more than we deserve. We are then more willing to extend our hands and give to others from the abundance of what we have received.
…with every precious and beautiful treasure.
Our households are filled with treasures when we first do the hard work of learning wisdom through revering God, obtaining understanding through following His commands, and gaining knowledge by getting to know God through studying His Word. This last year has unquestionably been among the most difficult of our lives together, but I am still humbled when I think of the precious gifts bestowed on me by my heavenly Father. As Rick and I have faced the sting of loss in the death of loved ones, and the pain of personal disappointment, I have been reminded time and time again of the beautiful treasures God provides through a marriage in which we’ve sought, in our admittedly imperfect humanity, to honor Him. And when we haven’t done it exactly right, His grace has been there to catch us as we stumbled to get back on the right path again.
God gave me a husband who seeks to love the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. He is my very best friend and the one to whom I can entrust my whole heart. He is a tender father and a courageous example for our sons. He is an unwavering defender and a gentle shepherd of both our family and the church flock entrusted to him. He is the one God knew I needed before I was even formed in my mother’s womb. A precious senior adult saint told us as we were leaving the church for our honeymoon, “Marriage is a wonderful institution.” Both God’s Word and experience have proven that statement to be true. I’m eager to see what the future holds as we continue to walk through this life together.