Marriage as an ice cream sundae?
Yes, an ice cream sundae is an apt metaphor for building a delicious marriage.
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To build a delicious marriage, you begin with a bowl. With this “spiritual” foundation, the other great stuff of marriage piles on top–first the social and intellectual aspects as you build a friendship and then the emotional aspects required for a lifelong commitment. Finally, the physical component, reserved for one husband and one wife.
Spiritual Foundation. Where do you begin when you build an ice cream sundae? To do it properly and with less mess you begin with the bowl. To begin at the top you end up with a real mess. The same principle is true if we emphasize other aspects of a relationship before the spiritual. Is this person growing in his or her faith? Do we build each other up in our Christian walks? This is the foundation of all good relationships. The spiritual, then, governs every other sphere of our relationships!
Rather,speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:15-16
Social Aspect. Can we interact with each other socially? Activities in groups help us learn to do so. Do we have any similar interests? Do we enjoy each other’s company? Are we enough alike to understand each other’s way of relating (active social vs. quiet reserved)? Does the spiritual govern who we are with and what we do with them socially?
The Fruit and Nuts
Intellectual Aspect. Does this person think clearly and logically? Does he or she challenge others to think biblically? Can we hold interesting and stimulating conversations together and with others? Is the Spirit controlling what goes into our minds and what comes out of our mouth? Can we communicate through differences?
The Whipped Cream
Emotional Aspect. Whipped cream must be constantly shaken to come out of the can properly. It is more air than substance! When left alone it melts and leaves a mess. Similar things could be said of emotions! Don’t cheapen the words “I love you” by using them carelessly or prematurely. Save the emotional connection until you are ready to have a lifelong committed relationship. Then keep the can shaken with regular spiritual, social, and intellectual stimulations that keep the emotions alive and well as you move toward marriage and, later, as you grow in your marriage.
And the Cherry
Physical Aspect. God designed the physical relationship to be very special in a covenant relationship reserved for one husband and one wife for life. It is like the beautiful ripe cherry on top of a beautiful and delicious sundae. Putting emphasis on the physical prematurely and ignoring the foundation of friendship in the spiritual, intellectual, and social spheres damages prospects for future marital satisfaction is all spheres, but especially in the sexual. Why give up fifty years of pleasure for immediate gratifications and lusts?
Rank Your Relationship
1=nonexistent 5=mutual satisfying
1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5
As you ranked your relationship, what did you discover? Which are areas of strength and which are areas in need of tender loving care? Ask the Lord to help you see how you can build the best foundation.
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