Is your marriage strong enough to withstand any struggle that comes along? Strength comes when there is unity in marriage…in being one.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them 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
Last week we learned that the secret to a great marriage is in unity. Unity is so important that when God created marriage, He made this fact clear. He states in Genesis 2:24: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Jesus restated this in His teaching on marriage. He said in Mark 10:7-8: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
Recently the FBI director announced that he would not recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for her handling of classified information when she was secretary of state. Simply One is not a political blog, so my purpose here is not to comment on that. But the response to this announcement does illustrate the importance of unity.
Clinton’s supporters saw the announcement as vindicating her. Yet her critics saw the announcement as validating their opposition. After all, the FBI director did strongly criticize Clinton for being “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”
The two sides were both reacting to the same report, yet their interpretations defended two completely different positions. Such is the state of our political culture today.
This kind of disunity is sad in our nation. But it is even more devastating in our churches and in our marriages.
This is why when Jesus was accused of being demon possessed, He responded by saying that He could not both serve God and be demon possessed. He said in Mark 3:25: “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.”
Jesus later made it clear that a divided commitment to God is not possible. As a couple, we have to choose to serve either God or someone (or something) else. We cannot do both. Jesus said in Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
God tells us over and over in His Word about the importance of unity and working together. In my personal Bible study time, I have just finished going through Ecclesiastes. There was much in there about the importance of unity. And God showed me how this applied to marriage.
In Ecclesiastes 4 alone, I saw several applications to marriage. First, in verse 8: “There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. ‘For whom am I toiling,’ he asked, ‘and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’ This too is meaningless—a miserable business!” This verse teaches us that only living for ourselves is a miserable existence.
One of the joys of marriage is working for and serving each other. When we work together to serve God this leads to even greater joy and satisfaction. It gives real meaning to our lives.
This verse leads right into another one that applies well to our marriages. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them 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.”
Though this is not a direct passage about marriage, I think it is one of the best passages in the Bible that we can apply to our marriages. I cannot tell you how much better life has been ministering and working together with Sabra over the years. I cannot imagine getting through some of the things in my life without her there to help me.
Walking through difficult times, praying together, and seeking God together in His Word will see us through the many things Satan will throw at us. The enemy cannot have victory over us when we help each other keep that third strand of the cord strong in our lives and marriage. That third strand is God. He is the key to it all.
Unity between us as husband and wife, and between us and God is essential to a strong marriage. It is what God desires for all of us. And He will give us this unity if we will be faithful to Him, to His Word, and to each other.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
♦ Read this week’s teaching together and discuss what God is teaching you.
♦ Talk to each other about how being married to your spouse has made your life more meaningful. Use this time to encourage each other about how important your unity is to your lives and walk with God.
♦ Discuss ways you are doing a good job at keeping your oneness strong. Also discuss what things may be leading you to be pulled apart. Don’t do this latter part as a way to be angry at or condemn your spouse. Rather use it as a way to discuss possible solutions, and to seek God’s guidance in doing so. Remember those “three cords.”
♦ Close your time together in prayer. Ask God to help you to always be unified, and to grow in your oneness.
Until next week, may God bless you in all His wonderful ways,
Another post on UNITY IN MARRIAGE: Part 1: The Secret to a Great Marriage
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Photo by adamkontor via pixabay (CC0), cropped/text added.