Originally published March 7, 2008
Thou shalt have a Christ-centered marriage.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
There are so many little details to attend to when you’re planning a wedding. Will the guests throw rice or blow bubbles? Will the bouquets be wrapped with pink ribbon or white? Will the groomsmen wear bow ties or regular ties? For someone like me who has to see absolutely every option available to her before making a decision, it can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Such was the day I sat down to pick out napkins for my reception.
Before I undertook the planning of a wedding, I never would have guessed that it would take more than about 30 seconds to choose napkins. You just pick out some napkins that go along with the color scheme of the wedding, right? Au contraire. There are huge ring binders (yes, that’s binders, plural) chock full of hundreds of napkins in every imaginable color, size and texture. Once you nail down those preferences, you have to choose what you want embossed on the napkins. There, too, the choices are nearly endless.
So, I flipped through page after page of embossment designs, finding them either too corny, too plain, or otherwise unacceptable. Finally, I came to a very interesting one that I eventually chose. It quoted the second half of Ecclesiastes 4:12, “A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart,” with a picture above the verse of a cord of three strands wound together. The ends of the outer two strands were tied to wedding rings, and the end of the middle strand was tied to a cross.
I had never noticed this little verse before that day, but I thought about how beautifully the principle behind the passage could apply to a Christ-centered marriage. When a person is alone, she can quickly become overwhelmed. A spouse can help to bear the burdens of life, but the strength of a marriage of only two people pales in comparison to a marriage centered around a third Person- Christ.
The primary reason our marriages must center around Christ is that it brings Him glory. But there are certainly blessings to our homes that go along with honoring and obeying Christ in our marriages. Study after study has shown that children do best in a home where their parents are married to each other. They are physically and emotionally healthier, do better in school, are less likely to commit crimes, etc. But when you add in the component of spouses treating each other in a Godly manner and striving to set a Godly example for their children, the quality of the home environment rises even higher. Just as putting God first in our own personal lives makes us better parents, so, putting Christ first in our marriages glorifies God and benefits us and our children exponentially.