Building on the wrong Foundation

“I have been asked the question: ‘Why did you decide to go ahead with the marriage with all that you knew?’ I can truthfully put up my hand and say it was sheer foolishness.”


In her book, ‘Lifting the Lid on Deception in Marriage’, Ruth Dickson writes about the perils of getting married on shaky foundations. Here, she shares her experience of getting married for the wrong reasons as a warning to others.

The foundation of a building is what determines how high that building will be. The architect would have determined the depth of its foundation from the master plan, even before any work had begun. The foundation is the first thing to be built when constructing a building and its depth will have been determined by the chief architect, and directed by the master builder.

As Christians, we have a Chief Architect who understands the capacity each person will need to adequately build his or her life. We have a Master Builder, Jesus Christ, who helps us build our lives according to the plan of the Chief Architect.

Christ has laid the foundation upon which every Christian must build, and we are admonished to build upon this foundation correctly (1 Corinthians 3:10).

With this in mind, how many of us consult with the Master Builder in major decisions, especially when it comes to marriage? It is only in Christ that we can see clearly to build properly.

I’d like to use myself as a living example of one who built one’s marriage on a defective foundation.


There were so many unanswered questions – and too many unknowns – about the man I wanted to marry. I eventually found out that he was still legally married to another woman, and this was a terrible blow.

I decided to call the wedding off, but he was not prepared to cancel his plans. I conceded in going along with it, without revealing the fact to my family and friends that my husband-to-be was still legally married.

He filed for divorce from the woman he was still married to, and as soon as the divorce was granted, we got married.

I have been asked the question: “Why did you decide to go ahead with the marriage with all that you knew?” I can truthfully put up my hand and say it was sheer foolishness. I never knew the full implications of what it meant to be in a covenant relationship.

Foundational issues

After seven years of marriage, my husband got up one sweet day and said he was going on a business trip – and never returned. The intricate details and the consequences surrounding this are laid bare in my book, ‘Lifting the Lid on Deception in Marriage’. Unbeknown to me at the time, a similar pattern of events had occurred in his previous marriage. The number seven was very significant in this case, as it turned out that he had been married to his previous wife for exactly seven years. He left her when her son turned three, and it wasn’t a coincidence that our son had turned three when he also mysteriously left…

I had gotten into something that was far bigger than me, and which had deeper implications than I initially understood.

Generational implications

“If the foundations be removed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3)

Many, who have built on faulty foundations and apparently ‘in Christ’, will either have to surrender to Christ, or turn away in disobedience. You can either fall upon the Rock, in need of mercy, or have this same Rock grind you to pieces. Building on lies and deception is like creating a rod for your own back, and opening the door for the enemy to tamper with your generation.

Repentance and forgiveness

The moral behind this story is that we should be extremely careful how we build our lives (1 Corinthians 3:10). We cannot attempt to build on any foundation except that which has been laid already (1 Corinthians 3:11).

The very Word of God will be used to judge us in righteousness. There will be no exceptions to the rule, however great or small. God wants us to build our lives on His throne of righteousness.

Love and mercy

We must never underestimate the depth of love, mercy and grace in the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. We live in a time where grace, forgiveness and mercy are available to us. Knowing that God forgives gave me a brand new lease of life, and changed me completely. I started to walk in the liberty of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. I began to walk in my destiny. The minute I let go and let God, His plans and visions for my life and destiny became clearer and fuller. God was calling me to a higher level, and to a higher life in Him. I have shared testimony upon testimony about His goodness towards me.

Anyone who builds with Christ builds upon a Rock that can never be moved. Anyone who has built their marriage on a faulty foundation should not seek divorce, but rather seek forgiveness. Each case is individual, and seeking godly counsel from ‘tried and tested’ men and women of God is of utmost importance. I say, ‘tried and tested’ here, because not everyone with a title is a godly man or woman of God. You may do yourself more harm and injury if you pass on sensitive information or seek counsel from the wrong person.

By Ruth Dickson

‘Lifting the Lid on Deception in Marriage – Building on a Firm Foundation’ is available on Amazon.

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