The Blueprint

The Christmas season, especially with the younger children we have, comes with toys that often need to be built. Joshua received this one gift, and it was not working, so we went to return it only to find that we could no longer find it at any of the initially purchased stores. However, I slightly nudged him to show him this Paw Patrol mini-style roller coaster; it’s about 10 feet long and designed for outside. Of course, his eyes grew big as he loves Paw Patrol and immediately started trying to push the big box when Dana swiftly answered, “absolutely not” and looked at me.

 After several minutes of walking around, he went back to it again, and Dana looked at me as she knew, without doubt, I was the one that led him to it and asked where do you plan on putting it. Without hesitation, I said in the living room, of course, it is too cold outside right now. Let’s just say, by the end of the night, our 3-year-old was flying by the T.V. and shooting into the kitchen over and over. Now that was the end product, how we got there well that is a whole different story.

Once we got home and took the box in, I laid it all out and started picking things up. Dana asked me, “Do you want me to get Daniel?” He is our 18-year-old son who is more methodical when he puts things together. I gently replied, “I am a grown man; I do not need our 18-year-old son to put this together.” Well, within five minutes, I put together the wheel hub lock wrong and broke it. I know that look Dana gives me, and I had to walk back my statement and call Daniel down as I was feeling frustrated with building this. 
Daniel came down, separated the parts, pulled out the directions, and followed the steps. As he did that, I thought, well, I could at least handle putting the stickers on as I looked at the box but indeed, to my surprise that too I failed to do correctly, Daniel as nicely as he could, said just stop I will do it, there are directions on where these go. Once he completed putting everything together, he followed the rules for the stickers; the little roller coaster came out the way it was designed for the most part; it had the slight errors I caused but functioned, and Joshua loves it.

 So why this story, you may ask, the Lord uses so many of my life events, especially my children, to speak to me in direct parallels about my walk and relationship with Him. Being so passionate about Biblical marriage, the Lord began to speak to me clearly and show me why so much of my marriage was built wrong for so long. I discovered that I wanted to be in something that God created without God in it; in truth, I had no idea that was even the case. I went into my marriage just putting it together with the way I thought marriage was built based on the model I was taught. I picked up pieces that fit and parts over there that fit; when that didn’t seem to fit, I just grabbed that part and put it on there. The truth is the blueprint has always been there for my marriage, much like the directions to that toy; I just never took the time to read them.  

 As the Lord has taken me on this journey and through the ministry work, He gently reminds me of the significant beginning foundation of the marriage blueprint found in Genesis 2:24. It states, “Therefore a man shall leave his Father and mother and be[a] joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (NKJV). The Kings James versions say it like this “Therefore shall a man leave his Father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 

The Lord breaks down the first set of instructions in the marriage blueprint within this verse. I often refer to this as the leave, cleave, and weave stages, which sounds simple in terms, but the application can be much more difficult, as I have found.

As one leaves the family, Dana and I had to come to discover that we are our own family and that we have to set our own experiences and traditions. Many of the arguments and issues, especially around holidays, were around whose parents we were going to be with, or whose events we had to go to because that’s what we did growing up. We continued to emphasize what our surrounding family practices were and failed to begin to set our own family identity within our marriage. The leaving part also meant that we began to lean on one another through issues rather than running to mom or our siblings, which, to be honest, we had just grown so accustomed to and when counsel is needed, seek it from Godly brothers or sisters. It was not that we had to depart from them; it was just we grew independent from them and more dependent on one another with our focus on the Lord.

As we continue in our marriage, the blueprint of weaving is a process. As Dana and I began our relationship and our marriage, we soon realized that we were not the same as one another in many ways. However, as we continue to grow together in Christ, we grow closer and continue growing towards becoming one flesh beyond a sexual component. Dana has come to this marriage with a different upbringing as I have come with a different upbringing. As we continue to move forward with our marriage and our parenting, we continue to bring our bond together through Christ; we have come to realize it is not about the model we have been raised on but growing in the model Christ has given us to follow.

Maybe you are currently married, on your way to getting married, or one day thinking of getting married, it is essential to realize what can happen if we continue building on something without the original foundation. I have often found out when things are put together out of order or, even worse, like me, put together the way I think they should be, the product ends up with extra parts, is unstable, or only lasts for a short period. I encourage you to take the time to understand that our heavenly Father created marriage despite what the world would want you to believe, and He has designed a plan to help show us how to walk it out. Marriage will not always be easy; I am not claiming that it will be, but I prefer to hit speed bumps rather than potholes along my journey with Dana; and when I reset our marriage and fix the foundation, it has grown stronger than ever, especially in the Lord.

So, I ask you, do you follow blueprints or just put things together on your own?

Frank D