Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Cord of Three Strands

There is a passage in Ecclesiastes that I love and though it is probably talking about comrades in war, it is equally applicable to married couples. After all, we are in a war of sorts. The prince of the power of the air certainly wants to defeat us and is a formidable foe.

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NAS).

What exactly does this last statement have to do with marriage? The Teacher is illustrating a point with a word picture. Lets say that you and your spouse each represent a cord in a rope. In Stephen Arterburn’s book, The 7 Minute Marriage Solution, he explains the spiritual implications he sees in this passage regarding Adam and Eve:

By placing himself in the lives of the man and woman, God completed the rope by becoming the third cord of the marriage. From the beginning marriage was to be a bond of three- man, woman, and God- which made marriage a reflection of the Trinitarian nature of God. God, as the third cord gave marriage the strength of three- the strength it needed to withstand the storms that would assail it and to accomplish what God intended man and woman to accomplish…Having God as the third cord of the marriage rope completed the joy of the man and woman. They were intimate with God, close to him, in love with him. Thy loved him as they loved each other, and they found great joy in him. They took daily walks with God (p. 186).

They drew near to God. They spent time with him. Daily. How do we go about achieving this kind of intimacy in our busy lives? Arterburn suggests that the 

third cord will never be strong enough to keep your marriage on track unless you bind yourselves to God daily. This means spending time together with him every day. Reading to discover the wisdom and insight in God’s Word and praying to connect with him must become a habit in your life- something you do as regularly as eating your daily meals. Just as regular meals are essential to the nourishment of your body, regular time with God is essential to the nourishment of your spirit (p. 195).

Arterburn recommends committing to only seven minutes a day so that you have no excuse to not spend a little time in the Scriptures and little time in prayer. Consistency is the key to forming a habit. It’s not the length of time but the commitment. My husband and I actually get cranky with each other when we have let work, busyness, and all kinds of distractions keep us from spending time with each other. We need to be together in all the ways married couples should be together. Why would we not give the Lord at least seven minutes of our day?

I also really admire Becky Tirabassi (http://www.beckytirabassi.com) who decided nearly three decades ago to spend an hour a day with God. You can read all about her journey in her book, Let Prayer Change Your Life.

So what have we learned couples? We need to STOP doing things that will harm our marriage and keep us from connecting, START doing things that will help our marriage, and spend time in the Word and in prayer. Whether you spend seven minutes or an hour a day, find time to connect with the Lord and pray for each other. That is your assignment.

Let me know how it goes for you.

And don’t forget to check out my website: www.buildinglastinglove.com

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