Dr. Conway Edwards, Lead Pastor
Bible References: Matthew 7:24-27; Matthew 18-21; Ephesians 5; Romans 12:1-2; Isaiah 43:1-3; Philippians 4:11 & 13
Preparing for a crisis in relationships is the key to long-term success. Matthew 7:24-27 tells the story of the wise and foolish builders. The wise person built his “house on the rock” – the “rock” of God’s word. The foolish person will experience the same issues, but their lack of preparation will lead to their house falling “with a great crash” negatively impacting all who are connected to them. Matthew 7:24 reminds us that there are three critical things to prepare for to ensure success in our relationships: the falling rain, the floods that come, and the wind that blow.
“Falling Rains” speak to our culture. Popular culture would have us believe that celibacy or monogamy is boring. It promotes the ideas of:
1. Humanism: the “me” mentality; what I want is more important than God.
2. Materialism: I deserve to have everything I want – “keeping up appearances”.
3. Hedonism: the want to fulfill physical desires
To counteract this mindset we cannot “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2). Set a standard that consistently says, “I will not succumb to the world’s thinking and living.”
Floods coming represent crises. Every marriage will experience a challenge, whether that’s the death of a child, unwanted pregnancy, major illness, unemployment, incurable disease, financial hardship, etc. Are you prepared to handle it together? The foundation of your relationship will be challenged by the “floods” that hit your relationship. We look to Isaiah 43:1-3 for God’s guidance in securing the foundation of our relationship.
1. Do not fear, God has a plan designed to make you stronger.
2. Relax, God is with you.
3. God is in control, so you can celebrate in your adversity recognizing He has the reins.
Winds blowing represent the change that will occur in you and your spouse. You cannot allow the outward appearance of a person to drive your decision when choosing a mate. During the duration of your relationship you will both change emotionally, physically, and possibly mentally. Philippians 4:11-13 holds the key for us as we build our plan for a strong foundation in our relationships.
1. Contentment – learn to be satisfied and content with God’s provisions; nothing will control you but Christ.
2. Flexibility – be open to where God may direct you
3. Faith – Trust God and recognize that you “can do all things through Christ who strengthens [you].”
Are you prepared for successfully weathering life’s storms? What is your relationship built on – solid rock or sinking sand?