If you were preparing to build a house, the first step in the process would be designing the floor plan. If this isn’t your area of expertise, then it might be wise for you to hire an architect. You also might enlist the help of someone who has the knowledge and skill to help design the home you're dreaming of. Pat and I skipped this step when we decided to finish the basement in our home, which was one big empty open room when we purchased the house. However, it had been designed with a beautiful fireplace, so we decided, after living in the home a few years, that we would finish the basement and make it extra living space. It never occurred to us that we might want to consider having someone with a little knowledge come and take a look. Nope—not us. We simply purchased a supply of two by fours, went into the basement, and proceeded to lay them out on the floor. We took each board, placing them on the cement and created rooms with statements like, “This looks good” and “Let’s make this a guest room.” Throughout the years we would regret that decision, as the rooms we thought “looked good” each held problems. Some aren’t square, one is extremely narrow, and one needed a wall removed to install a pocket door when no other door would work. If we had asked someone with knowledge first, we probably would have saved ourselves some of the frustration we’ve experienced through the years. The same is true for some of our parenting missteps; if we had asked for a little help and guidance, some of our frustrations might have been avoided.
It was during one of my frustrating misstep moments that the Lord brought this verse from Psalm 127 to light: “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted” (vs. 1 NLT). What an “ah-ha” moment for me! We were trying to build a home and family without seeking the True Architect, the One Who had written and designed the plans for us. If we were going to create a home and build our family correctly, we were going to need to allow God to be the One to place the two by fours down and design the rooms. Otherwise, our work would be wasted. So, how do you build up a child? How will you build your family? Merriam-Webster defines build in this way: to develop according to a systematic plan, by a definite process, or on a particular base. Pat and I began to build our home, our children…our family upon a particular base; the base of our home would be the Word of God.
In Luke, chapter six, Jesus asked this question: “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins” (vs. 46-49 NLT). If you want your house to stand, then together, as a team, agree to build it on the strongest foundation you will find—God’s Word. But don’t be fooled into believing that church attendance alone will keep your house standing; a good many churchgoers have shattered dreams lying beneath the rubble of their fallen homes.
What will your first step be? Maybe you need to decide if the layout of your home has been drafted to the proper specifications. Have you been using the right material? What about your foundation; what was it laid on? Will the foundation crack under pressure, or has it been built strong enough to withstand the storms that will come? With your spouse, work together to design your home; don’t just throw a few boards down and call it “good enough”— seek the advice of the Master Architect. He has the best design plans around. Dig deep to build your home… your marriage….your children… on the foundation of the solid Rock. Don't allow your work to be wasted.