“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12.
A friend had a houseplant that had grown to nearly six feet. It had produced large leaves from three spindly trunks. Over time, the weight of the leaves had caused all three of the stalks to curve down toward the floor. To straighten them, he put a wedge under the plant’s pot and placed it near a window so the sunlight could draw the leaves upward and help cure its bad posture. At a doctor’s office, I noticed the same plant in the waiting room: same height, same broad leaves growing from three long skinny stalks. But there was a difference. The three long skinny stalks had braided together over time to form a more solid core. This plant stood upright without any help.
This reminded me of Ecclesiastes 4:12. Married people can try apart from each other and from God. But woven together with God, however, there is a greater sense of stability and closeness. Their relationship will grow stronger “for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Simple equation: You + Christ + your spouse = 3. When Christ is at the center of your marriage you will find a depth and love that far surpasses that of what the world offers.
There are many things we can do to produce a healthy marriage, but there are some things that only God can do. We count on our spouse to make us happy and to fill our lives with joy. In the final analysis, the only person who can meet your deepest needs is Jesus. If you are looking for a man or woman to do that you are looking in the wrong place. From the beginning of the honeymoon, all along the way, partners struggle with their weaknesses, their differences, and with the crises that life brings their way. Every marriage experiences conflict. Every marriage is a journey of hills and valleys, highs and lows. There are times when we argue over trivial issues or when we think our partner acts like a child. There will be times when we get frustrated because we cannot agree about something that is important to each of us.
God wants a healthy marriage for each of us that get married. But we must work at creating the environments that allow Him to do that. In loving God and loving each other, couples grow together – and become the people God wants us to be. We simply need to operate on faith that God has our marriage in His perfect plan.
- Where do you stand in giving God total control over your life?
- What problem(s) in your marriage do you see as your responsibility? Which do you see as God’s problem?
- What do you think God is doing in your marriage right now?