As you begin this journey with us, remember that your story (or future story) is just that: it is yours. Every life and marriage is a collection of joys, victories, and challenges. For too long, much of the Church has been content to offer generic prescriptions for the problems ailing our marriages. We’ve heard, “Wives, submit. Husbands, love.” Although there is truth and value in this, frankly, there is no one-size-fits-all guide to building a marriage, because each marriage comes with its own unique fingerprint.

Let’s look at it this way. The blueprints for every home include a foundation, supporting walls, and a roof, but the architect has the creative freedom to vary the design according to the specific needs and desires of its inhabitants. So it is with our marriages. We are granted the creative license to design them so they will be best suited to us. Each domain should look different and have the freedom to vary with the seasons of life. In our marriage, for example, we are moving into a time in which parenting will no longer be our dominant household role. This means it won’t be long before our house will not need as many bedrooms as it has in the past. Such change in our marriages is as natural as the changing of seasons. All of this is normal.

There are universal, eternal truths and values that will propel your marriage into everything God has called it to be. God wants each marriage to be built with love, respect, joy, submission, provision, faithfulness, nurture, intimacy, and legacy—to name a few. But the way these building blocks are expressed in your life will reflect the uniqueness of your personality and the season of your marriage. God outlines the major principles but leaves room for your expression in the particulars.

Have you felt the permission to build a custom union? What influences hurt or help you in this?

Source: The Story of Marriage by John and Lisa Bevere
Excerpt permission granted by Messenger International.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.