The last place on earth I expected to get marriage advice was from my family doctor at my pre-marital physical.
But there I was on the exam table (in that lovely blue papered hospital gown)
answering questions about my blood pressure, eating habits, family history, and all other important “medical questions” that good doctors ask.
When he was done, he put down my chart, looked me in the eye, and said, “Now let me share with you some marriage advice.”
Looking back, I remember feeling surprised and thankful that he cared that much about me and my upcoming marriage that he was willing to share some piece of knowledge. But what he shared with me, has been burned deep into my heart. A gold nugget of truth that he shared with me. Something that I will always treasure. It was simply this.
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: …and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
I still remember to this day, he actually drew the simple three lines on a blank sheet of paper to illustrate his point. He showed me that as my husband and I would each be a part of a cord (or simply, a piece of rope), and Christ would be the third cord. While this was a simple biblical truth, it is so true. My husband and I are far apart sometimes. We’re two totally different people. We are going to argue and disagree, but if we keep Christ in our marriage, then His strength is given to us.
He makes our rope STRONG. And I mean super strong. So strong that nothing can break it.
Looking back now, almost 15 years later, I am so thankful for my doctor caring so much for me a whole person versus “just a patient”. You see, as a new bride-to-be, it was hard to imagine hard days of marriage. Everything looked like it was going to be a bed of roses, simply skipping through life, like a child would do. But as we all know, that is not how life goes. There are major ups & downs. There are valleys so deep one wonders if they will ever see the light of day again.
Births are celebrated, and there are deaths to mourn. “First day on the job” excitement is shared, and then sometimes a pink-slip is given. There are fears about not enough income, fears about paying bills, questions like “will we make it financially?”.
Illnesses and sicknesses arise. An asthmatic wheezing child waking me up in the middle of the night, Sore & aching backs, broken bones from riding the birthday present of a new bike. Life problems such as a leaking AC unit in the dead of July’s heat. Broken down vehicles. Emotional pains from children who are disobedient. Hurt feelings after snarky comments. Words said in anger. Sound familiar???
Go back to the rope. When I look at my rope. It’s frayed. Tired. Worn down in many places. The bright colors have faded a bit with time. Frazzled and overworked. Stretched to the limit in many places. (and I’m sure my husband probably looks at his rope exactly the same.) But when I look at Christ’s part of the rope, I don’t see one bit of change. Malachi 3:6 states, “For I am the LORD, I change not.”
God’s rope looks exactly the same as it did when I got married and I asked Christ to be part of our marriage on our wedding day.
It is still as strong as He is. Jesus Christ still carries me through rough times. He draws me closer to my husband, and in turn, he brings me closer to Himself.
And so my dear reader, how many cords do you have in your rope? Just yours and your husband’s cord? Or is there 3? Husband, wife, and Jesus Christ. If you only see 2, then I challenge you to get to know Christ. He wants to be part of your marriage. He is there ever-ready with a listening ear and a strong arm to save you. As Psalms 116:1-2 says, I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.”
I really like this verse, because I need His MERCY in my life.
I’ve failed so much in my life; I really don’t want what I deserve. Yet the Lord has heard my cry and has been merciful to me…and my response back to him is simply this. “Lord, I’m going to call on you, and I’m going to keep asking for help, because you hear me and you will help me” (yes, I’m shouting that! Because I know I need Him every single day in my marriage.) I can’t do this without His merciful hand to me.
Don’t forget what the pastor or judge said at the end of your wedding ceremony, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:6. The Lord wants to keep your marriage strong and not let anyone tear you apart. He wants to help you, but you have to ask. If this strikes a “chord” with you (pun intended!), reach out to me and I’ll be glad to share what Christ has done for me and my marriage.