So when I hear the phrase love is house, the analytical part of my brain says “who builds this house? What’s the foundation made of”? The engineer in me says what are all the structural components, materials needed, where are my blue prints and how long will this take?
One of the many troubles with love is that our lovely media shows us one finished room, it has been staged to catch our eye and entice our appetite. The lighting is perfect. It is everything you could ever want. We think love is great, it’s exciting, it’s perfect.
The trouble comes when we try to build our own house of love. It isn’t perfect, it isn’t always glamorous and someone has to clean up. Maintaining this house takes work and sometimes hard work. Yes it can be exciting, fun, and delightful. But if the house isn’t built on the right foundation, if a storm hits, the house comes crumbling down. If the house is built too quickly and the foundation hasn’t settled it will cave in as well.
If we compare the house we are trying to build with anyone else’s, we suffer disappointment. No house is identical. Yes they may have similarities, but ultimately each one is unique.
So how do we build this house of love? Glad you asked. Since I’m a Christian you will get the Christ centered response. Let God pour the foundation and use His Word as a blueprint. He is crucial to a great build. He has years of experience and knows what it takes to make a relationship work. Ask Him how to love and for His love.
Next pour in friendship. Work on being a good friend to the one you love. The more time you spend learning to be a great friend to the other person and to God, the better off you’ll be. The friendship will support the relationship when storms come or when the relationship isn’t so exciting. The foundation is the most important part. Friendship includes listening, caring, supporting, selflessness, and common ground.
Next put up the support beams of trust, mutual respect, honesty, loyalty and commitment. It is difficult to have the house of love supported without these key items. Take them out and you have a pile of shrapnel instead of a relationship. These are going to hold up the walls and with the foundation, support the entire house. If the support beams fail, the structure fails and it takes a long time to rebuild.
Now up go the walls of common desires, compatibility and all the fun stuff. Each house will look different. The walls are necessary, but they can be changed, modified or taken down. The walls are held together by the supports and also connect to the floors. I think of the floors as blankets of forgiveness. If we can’t forgive we watch our relationships crumble. If there are no floors, there is no house. Unforgiveness, which is pride can’t co-exist with love. Love forgives.
So who puts the roof on, the covering for this house of love? God. He holds the house together by His love and grace. He starts it and He lays the foundation (He created love-it’s who He is). He supplies the tools needed to build and maintain the house. He provides His word as the blue print for this house. It reads: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
So praying you and I let God show us how to love. I pray our expectations would be rooted in reality and bathed in grace. I hope everyone we meet sees the love of God in us and we see every relationship as a gift. Take care of the ones you love, don’t neglect love, it’s a precious gift.