The foundation was poured and the framing on the house began. The lot was an expensive one on a busy thoroughfare and drivers-by began to speculate as they envisioned the kind of structure it would be. Construction proceeded rapidly for a few days. The roof was covered, the electrical preliminary work was done when, all of a sudden, work was halted. Months went by. Speculation was frequent. Why had someone made this much of an investment and then stopped? Why would a beginning that held such promise come to such an inglorious end? Nobody was talking. The questions went unanswered for a long time. The empty shell was a monument to some unfulfilled and unknown dream.
On another front, the young couple approached their wedding day with the usual joy and anticipation. They dreamed of future happiness, a loving family and decades of laughter and fun. Life would be glorious!
The wedding was beautiful. Everybody was smiling and optimistic. Friends congratulated them and wished them well. And all expected them to do well.
The wedding was over, the honeymoon was past, things had settled down and reality set in. He had his ways and she had her ways. He had his desires and she had hers and each was adamant that the other must give in. There was stormy weather in paradise! The foundation was accomplished, the structure had begun, but the prospect of a finished, beautiful house was bleak.
Back to the unfinished house on the busy thoroughfare: the facts finally became known. A couple planning marriage had begun the house and before it was finished they had a quarrel and called the wedding off. After a few years, the sad reminder was bulldozed down and the lot was sold. It is to be hoped that the couple recouped and perhaps with a different partner, married and lived happily ever after. That’s the way a story is supposed to end. And that’s the way a story can end if those involved in it love each other and follow the plans laid down by the Author of the institution of marriage.
The Manual gives clear instructions. Husbands love your wives. Wives love and respect your husbands. Be patient. Be kind. Don’t be envious. Don’t be selfish. Behave appropriately. Don’t seek only your own good, but also that of your mate’s. Do not get mad easily. Be truthful. Put up with a lot. Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Be optimistic. ( I Cor. 13:4-7.) This plan will work. Why not try it?