Wedding bands ehowcomYesterday, I featured excerpts from a post by the Revd Timothy V Shockley Sr of the Midwestern Bible Institute.

Today, I would like to share another of Pastor Shockley’s posts with you. The topic is marriage seen through a lens of preparation and planning. It is entitled ‘A Happy Marriage Is No Accident’.

Excerpts follow (emphases mine):

If we are so careful about planning for career success, why aren’t we just as careful about planning for success in marriage? After all, we spend years preparing for a career that may change at any time, yet devote very little time preparing for a relationship that is supposed to last a lifetime. If we are not careful we can end up spending too much time preparing for the wrong things. There is nothing wrong with going to school and getting an education or deliberately planning for success in meeting career “goals”. The problem is that there are many people who have successful careers but failed marriages because they spent much time learning how to get along with their boss and no time learning how to get along with their spouse. We invest more in preparation to make a living than to live life effectively.

As with any other endeavor in life, success in marriage depends on information and planning. Marriage is an investment, and success is directly proportional to the amount of knowledge and time invested in it. Success is not a gift, but the result of careful and deliberate preparation. Success is directly related to investment: when you invest in time and passion, you will more-likely succeed. “No one who hopes to build a new house approaches the project haphazardly. Success in such a venture means buying the right piece of property, securing the services of a qualified architect, and making certain that sufficient financing is available “to bring the whole project to completion. It is important to plan for the end before beginning, to count the cost up front, and try to anticipate the pitfalls and difficulties that will occur along the way.

Jesus emphasized the importance of this kind of advance planning when He said, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish’” (Lk. 14:28-30). Although Jesus was speaking here specifically of counting the cost of following Him as a disciple, His words provide wise counsel for us with regard to any endeavor we undertake. We must plan for success. We must give the same attention to building a home as we do to building the house. Many beautiful houses are not homes.

Wise counsel to keep in mind. Yes, many careerists neglect their home life for glory and success in the business world.

I read some years ago of an actress who, after a period of box office success, decided to marry and start a family. One day she recalled the words of her father who had told her during her childhood, ‘A job won’t keep its arms around you at night’.

Yes, it is possible to work and maintain a proper home life with a spouse and family. However, as Pastor Shockley reminds us, it requires the same careful attention and planning that we put into our careers.

As he concludes:

Many beautiful houses are not homes.