What holds your marriage together?
Also, on a cold night, two under the same blanket gain warmth from each other, but how can one be warm alone? And one standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer; three is even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:11-12 Living Bible
You may be shocked, but I am an advocate of having third-party marriages. For years I have conducted many pre-marital sessions where I have openly counseled couples to have a third-party marriage. The reason why is because the Bible identifies the importance of making your marriage like a braid. Just read the above Scripture again. Allow me to explain.
What holds a marriage together? Is it love, intimacy, or physical attraction? Perhaps it is mutual respect? Some people think that if they use enough hair spray or glue, they will hold their marriage together. Granted, there are many elements that will help to make a long, lasting marriage. However, the Bible advocates that HAVING A THIRD-PARTY MARRIAGE will do it the best.
When you think of a third party in a marriage, you immediately assume that one spouse is involved with another person outside the marriage. That marriage is headed for disaster and probably divorce. However, this is not what the Bible says. The Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ should be the third party in all marriages. Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes, strongly advocated the importance of the third-party concept. Three is better than two in holy matrimony.
A dictionary defines that a braid is the intertwining or interweaving of three or more strips of something. Just take several strips of cloth or twine and interweave them to make a rug or a rope. When you braid hair, you cross over three hair lengths in a special pattern.
A braid makes the material being used very strong. Braided ropes are preferred by rock climbers because they are thicker and stronger. The braid technique is used for making cable wire and coverings for fuel pipes on jet airplanes and ships. Of course, hair braiding is the most well-known use. It keeps the person looking well-groomed for a long period of time.
Catherine Paxton wrote, “A braid appears to contain only two strands of hair. But it is impossible to create a braid with only two strands. If the two could be put together at all, they would quickly unravel. Herein lies the mystery: what looks like two strands requires a third. The third strand, though not immediately evident, keeps the strands tightly woven. In a Christian marriage, God’s presence, like the third strand in a braid, holds husband and wife together.” This is what Solomon was saying in Ecclesiastes 4:11,12.
HAVE A BRAIDED MARRIAGE! You need to make Jesus Christ the third party of your marriage. When both husband and wife decide to do this, their focus is just not on each other but also on Jesus. The living God will bring wisdom and strength into your relationship. When there is a disagreement or argument, Jesus will be the mediator and arbitrator. He will define and understand the issues. Jesus will bring the objectivity that is needed to settle all disputes.
Should you choose to leave Jesus out of your marriage, then it would be like withdrawing the third strand from the braid. Quickly the braid unravels because one strand unlinks the other two. The two strands are not intertwined around each other.
Always give Jesus Christ, the living God, His rightful place in your married life. Accept His authority. He is the Creator who makes things magnificently beautiful. He is the Master at keeping things together. Just look at the complexity of this world. It functions so very well. Why? Because God created both the world and you. Ask God for help. Count on Him leading you in your decision making. God is the only third party in a marriage that can make it work. Braid your marriage!
SOMETHING TO DO
Have a “heart to heart” conversation with your spouse about involving Jesus Christ in your marriage. Ask questions like, “Would Jesus want to change anything about our relationship?”
SOUL TIME PRAYER
Lord Jesus Christ, I make You the third party in my marriage. I want You to make my marriage strong. I long for You to give my spouse and myself wisdom in our relationship. AMEN!