Have you ever made an awesome structure with Lincoln Logs and you beg your parents to leave it proudly standing in the living room for the next few days? I sure have, many times in fact. When we build something that we’re proud of and is wonderful in our eyes we never want to see it destroyed. In the case of Lincoln Logs, we either beg for it to remain intact or we continue to add-on to it and your parents allow it to grow since you’re still technically playing with it. However, that is what most will do when they want it to stand, at some point, you grow bored. Pieces are running low, so new buildings aren’t as good or perhaps it’s just been sitting stagnant in the living room and you’re ready to tear it down. Then one day, you’ll start again on a new structure, that you hope to be more wonderful than the last.
The other night I was thinking about relationships and how they should grow and expand with time. What makes a relationship healthy, strong and loving? I was running a few thoughts I’ve heard from Andy Stanley and other pastors through my head; as well as 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen, refreshing myself with the qualities of love. Then I had the thought that relationships are much like Lincoln Logs. (a weird comparison I know) Lincoln Logs are always great fun when you first start building with them. You lay out the floor plan with the foundation, you start building up the walls adding windows and doors as you go. *Pretty soon you have a massive tower as your center piece and as I would do, place your plastic army men on high points to fend off the evil tan armies. After you finish building, you stand back in awe of what you’ve just created.
Now, I have seen some pretty cool structures built with Lincoln logs, but I’ve also seen some pretty basic huts or lopsided houses. Here comes the comparison, (it makes sense I swear) There are those who lack creativity and can’t seem to make a decent Lincoln Log house, so they make multiple houses. Destroying one after another trying to figure it out, many houses rise and fall. Perhaps they didn’t use the flat pieces for the foundation and it fell, or they forgot to add windows and doors and basically have a box. whatever the case may be, the houses aren’t really anything to be in awe about. Using Lincoln Logs as the visual here, imagine these poorly made houses as a relationship. Poor foundations, lacks substance, lacks care in the making, and they don’t stand for long. (definitely would not pass the living room test) the builder or in this case builders, failed to make a lasting structure, so it either fell on its own or they purposefully destroyed it. Truly, because it’s worthless to them. Unless the builders can learn to build a solid foundation, put care in the design and truly puts their hearts and souls into the making of the house, then the house will never really be wonderful.
The living room test – would your parents be proud of what you’ve built as much as you are? Enough to where they would allow you to display it in the most visited place in the house?
A healthy relationship starts with a firm foundation, with proper design and planning, building upon that foundation is the next step. Unlike Lincoln Logs where you can only build so much then must stop, a strong relationship never truly ceases to grow. The Lincoln Log tower is capped with a roof or a tower block, but a relationship cannot be capped, it must continue to expand. Both builders must love what they are building, take a step back, look in awe, then ask how to make it better.
There are many different avenues I could take, such as the structure must be evenly built. (Evenly Yoked) I could go on to say more about building the structure up and how to maintain it. However, the point I want to place the most emphasis on is the foundation. Nothing stands for long on weak foundations, such as the house built upon the shifting sands.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” – Matthew 7:24-27 (NASB)
In all relationships strive to build a strong foundation first and foremost. In your friendships, with your siblings, parents and especially your spouse. (best get a move on if you’re married with a weak foundation) Although I used Lincoln Logs to compare the structure of relationships, never treat a relationship as a game. It’s not something you can simply pick up, play with till you’re bored and throw away as if it’s yesterdays news. Far too often the dating tactics of high school follow people into adulthood and they pick up and drop relationships over and over. To build ONE lasting structure that is wonderful and leaves you awestruck is far better than a trail of destruction.
Below are links to Andy Stanley’s video series “Love, Sex and dating”. I highly recommend this series, especially for students in high school who through society tend to have a morphed view of what a relationship looks like.
I would recommend for the ladies to watch video one then three, go back to two then four. Everyone must watch one and three though, if nothing else watch those two.
*Note – In case you’re wondering, I still do like to bring out the ol’ Lincoln Log set and my armies of plastic army men. Lincoln Logs are the Bee’s Knees man!