I’d like to highlight one of my most favorite bible verses: “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 4:11-12. In a best case scenario, while one is down or dealing with something painful, the other is there for support, to lift them up…but what happens when both are suffering? By what I’ve seen, it creates the beginning of the end. It can create remorse, regret and a debilitating distance between two who were once strong. Sadly, it can lead to divorce. Hence Ecclesiastes 4:11-12 – at some point you need each other but when both are conflicted, God is there to step in. Hallelujah! We are all human. We all face times of trial. We are far from perfect and we cannot be expected to run at full steam 24/7. Life is not always sunshine and rainbows. Therefore, God can be, and should be, the strength for both parties.
We marry in a church to proclaim our vows in front of God and family: better or worse, richer or poorer. Why a church? Because God is the glue that can keep marriages together and pliable, able to resist any storm. We want His blessing on our union and should strive to draw from His strength for the duration. God should be included every day beyond just the wedding day, in how we treat each other, respect each other and love each other. He gave us clear instructions on how to love: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
When I hung my tree swing, I had to pick just the right rope, and trust me, there is a lot of rope out there to pick from. A simple two ply cord was not enough: it had to be strong enough to support the weight of three people and sturdy enough to endure the Midwest weather. It would really bite to spend all this time and money hanging my beautiful swing just to witness it crashing to the ground with my friends aboard. It’s the same with marriages: each anchor set in the tree represents the husband and wife, the rope represents God. A two ply cord might be okay, but it won’t handle the long term demands from life that find their way into our swing from time to time. But the responsibility doesn’t end after buying the rope – it has to be maintained, just like our commitment to God.
Never forget how God fits into your relationship. “…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.“ Joshua 24:15. Give Him His rightful place and you won’t be sorry. Don’t just call out to God when you need help or see something really cool on Facebook (OMG!). I hate that. Show some respect. ‘OMG’ should be the start of a prayer not a stand-alone exclamation. That’s my position anyway. This is life – it’s never going to be all sunshine and rainbows. Why waste your time and money on a relationship without ensuring the most important elements are included as well?