Three Can Be Stronger Than One
Have you heard the term used in the Bible, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken?” I was thinking how much this is true in marriage. When applying this to the marital relationship, the husband and wife are each a strand within the cord of matrimony, but as Christ is allowed to encompass and enmesh Himself as the third and strongest strand within the relationship, the marriage is all the stronger and more beautiful than it ever could have been without Him.
By continually relying on the guidance of the Lord, the marriage is then a “visible picture” —a living example to the world, of the covenant God has with His people, of Christ’s love and relationship to His Bride, the Church. A marriage led by Christ can make the “invisible kingdom of God visible” and draw a love-sick world to the love of Christ. It is a marriage of strength and influence.
King Solomon said “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their word: If one falls down, the other can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though, one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
A marriage fully dependent upon the Lord is to be interdependent… not codependent, (in other words, loving out of “neediness”). We’re to consider the welfare of our spouse as “more important than” ourselves… to be “mutually submissive” and loving, as the scriptures tell us. We’re to encourage one another and “consider how to spur one another on towards love and good deeds.” In our marriages, we’re to help to complete each other, not compete with each other as too many couples do in our world today. So many of us miss that point.
Even a cord of three strands is vulnerable if you separate one of the strands on it’s own and continue to work on it, picking it apart. We continually see couples in our world, that degrade and hurt each other more than help each other. They pick away at each other until there isn’t a shred of love and care left within the relationship.
And then, when commitment is discarded, and as divorce is considered an option, there is nothing left to the covenantal vow that they once took to “love, honor and cherish until death do we part.” Divorce becomes the only option that appears reasonable and viable. But is that truly God’s choice for us, who claim to be believers?
What we need to do, as married couples, is take our marital vows more seriously, as God does, so we don’t even consider divorce an option. Jay Kessler once said, “the absence of alternatives, clears the mind marvelously.” When you don’t even allow divorce to be an option, then you’re more motivated to look for healthier alternative.
The healthiest “alternative” would be to “choose this day, whom you will serve,” saying, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”! And then as you choose to serve the Lord, allow Him to be the 3rd strand in one accord in your marital relationship… not allowing the world’s viewpoints on love to guide you, but for the Holy Spirit to guide you into Biblical love. Biblical love isn’t dependent on feelings. Feelings change and can be very fickle… feelings often don’t last. But Biblical love is eternal.
If you find your marriage in trouble, and if you have a spouse who is willing to work with you on changing your relationship for the better, I encourage you to get down on your knees together, as a couple, and become familiar with that posture. Divine power comes from the throne of God as you posture your lives together from the position of being on your knees with and for each other in prayer… eliminating the barrier of pride and self-will.
When you are on your knees together, looking up to God for help, He is able to do His best work in both of you, and within your marriage. The Bible tells us, that, “God is Love.” His very name epitomizes love. So, Who, but God Himself, could better teach you how to truly care for one another… to love with a heart that is patient, kind, not envious, boastful, proud, nor rude, self-seeking, or easily angered… keeping no records of wrongs… not delighting in evil, rejoicing with the truth… loving so you protect, trust, hope, and persevere?
In humbleness, ask Christ to guide you in your marriage, and “create in” each of you “a clean heart”… to “renew a right spirit within” you. Dedicate your lives and your marriage to His care and guidance… renewing your vows to live in Covenantal Commitment to each other. Ask Him to teach you how to love each other from hearts that are pure… giving grace and love to each other… and to help your marriage reflect the message that God wants for the world to read.
If you haven’t already done so, set your mind, “from this day forward” to make daily, hourly, and minute-by minute choices to “think together and work together.” Work on your relationship so that it demonstrates the on-going miracles that can be accomplished when both spouses put their hands into the hand of the Lord. You won’t always think alike as a married couple. But you can vow to work to “think together”… making continual choices that would best benefit your lives together, which are committed to Christ.
If you find it hard to think that you could ever love each other passionately again… remember that God is able to raise the dead. He is able to create beauty out of chaos. He is able to make heaven and earth and man out of nothing. Certainly, God is able to help two people flourish and shine in a marital relationship, that is yielded to Him.
Keep in mind what we’re told in Genesis 18:14 “Is anything too hard for the Lord?”
“If there ever was a scripture perfect for marriage it is this one. God created us and he is expert on all things that concern us including marriage. There is no problem too big for God. Despite how hard things may seem to us by faith we have to confidently know that God can fix any problem we face in our marriage. Next time you feel overwhelmed or like there is no way to fix your troubled marriage, remember that there is nothing too hard for the Lord. He is an expert on his creation.” -Damarquis Johnson (a friend of this ministry)
This blog was written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.