“The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
Matthew 7:25 (NIV)

Architects and builders agree that the most important part of construction is the foundation. You can’t cheat on the foundation and expect the building to stand for long. The Psalmist would agree. He wrote:

“Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1 (NIV)

God knows how vital the foundation of your house must be if you are to make it a home. When we make Him the architect and builder, we can build a home that will weather the storms of life and keep true love alive.

Jesus forewarned us of the elements that would come against our marriages and families. There’s the drought of culture. When was the last time you saw a movie, sitcom or TV show that raised the value of marriage? Culture is selfish and stifles true love with an attitude of convenience instead of commitment. As long as you give me what I want, when I want it, then we remain in the relationship. Real love is selfless, Christ-like and focuses on meeting the other’s needs. Then, there’s the winds of change that come against our relationships. Physical appearances change, circumstances change – we change! Just look at your driver’s license picture. Go to your High School reunion! Like it or not, the winds of change are blowing, and we need a foundation of true love to weather it. If that’s not enough, you’ll face the flood of crisis in your marriage and family. This isn’t heaven. Jesus gave us clear instructions to prepare for the crises of life in a fallen and sinful world. Here are four proven and practical ways you can prepare for the flood of crisis when it comes:

1. Pray together. Nehemiah is one of my favorite models for this kind of prayer. When he was threatened by enemies or overwhelmed by the problems facing him, he didn’t get off track. He said short, targeted prayers seeking God’s help and strength as he continued to work. One of Satan’s deceptions is to convince us we have to pray long prayers on our knees if God is going to hear us. While there are times for extended prayer, the kind of prayer that will help us weather the flood of crisis is short, conversational prayer together. Just take your spouse or children by the hand and offer a simple prayer for God’s help and strength. Ask them how you can pray for them today, and then do it.

2. Read the Bible together. As with prayer, this doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the Bible. It could be as simple as a chapter a day. You may share a verse from your own quiet time with God with one another and how God spoke to you from it. Make Bible reading a fun and interactive time with one another as you encounter God together in your relationship.

3. Laugh together. Have you ever said, “Someday we’re going to laugh about this”? Don’t wait. Laugh now! We often take ourselves too seriously and we don’t take God serious enough. I think God has a great sense of humor. He must! He created you and me! Even the Lord laughs. Lighten up your attitude and laugh together.

4. Cry together. The Bible teaches us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15) The truth is life is painful at times. Unexpected hurts devastate us and we cry out to God. Cry together. As you do, you’ll find strength in your sorrows.

Building a strong foundation prepares us in advance for the elements that will come against us in our relationships. In Colossians 2:7, the Bible says, “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”