Three Is Not Quickly Broken

This world is too difficult to tackle solo. Ecclesiastes 4:9 states, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor." However, that same author continues to instruct - 

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

The two for me for a while in my life was me and God. Then the Lord placed my path across my to-be wife's path. 

Proverbs 18:22 says, "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord." 

I certainly can attest to that in my marriage. However, I desire to answer two questions in my marriage to Tanya and my relationship with God.

  1. How can I improve my marriage with my wife?
  2. How can I use our marriage to bring glory to God?
Many Christian marriage counselors would go straight to the Ephesians 6 role descriptions for the husband and wife and begin from there. This is valid and is wonderful to keep in mind, especially for my first question or concern - my improvement within my marriage. 

However, to answer these questions, especially - how our marriage can bring glory to God? - I will be observing and researching the marriages of well-known Biblical couples. Hopefully from this breakdown some good qualities to model and bad qualities to avoid will be revealed.

Adam and Eve. Who knows how long they had it perfect, BUT both were present when they messed up for all humanity - "She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." (Gen. 3:6) However, even though they messed up royally - they stayed together and started humanity. Important to note is that God stayed with them also. He did not abandon them, although by the time Noah's generation came, He felt like it and expressed it, God worked with us throughout history.

Job and his wife. This is not a good example of what to say in the middle of a crisis. At this point in the story of Job, Satan was allowed to inflict sores on Job's body from head to toe. The interaction went as follows -

"Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said." (Job 2:8-10)

In Genesis 17 and 18 Abraham and Sarah both laughed at God about their physical limitations in childbirth and God's provisional help, but God came through on His promise and honored His Covenant. Yes, both laughed at God. In fact I don't hear many sermons preached or lessons taught about Abraham being the first to laugh at God (Gen. 17:17). Many know of the laughter of Sarah toward the notion of having a child with her condition of bareness in Genesis 18: 10-15, but do not know of Abraham's account beforehand. Thank God, that He doesn't take it personally when we doubt Him and laugh in His face. I love the answer a father had to Jesus about his own lack of faith concerning the healing of his son - "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief." (Mark 9:24). Jesus will work through our doubts and fears and honor His promises to us as single believers and married couples.

In the book of Numbers, chapter 12 Moses, his wife Zipporah and sister Miriam had a situation that involved Aaron, brother of Moses. The marriage between Moses and Zipporah was fine. Within these family dynamics Miriam and Aaron were found talking against Moses because of his Cushite wife. This brought out the discipline of God. The Lord called a meeting of Moses, Miriam and Aaron at The Tent of the Meeting and told Miriam her offense, sentenced her to seven days outside camp because He punished her with leprosy until the end of those days - a next level Time Out! Watch what you say. Be a blessing with your words. Trust God in other people's relationships, especially your family's. 

Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 1-4). Ruth's husband died and Ruth was a Moabite who adopted the family, culture and faith of believers in Yahweh. Ruth's mother-n-law, Naomi, was being taken care of by Boaz, a kindred-redeemer. Through a few well placed encounters not only did Boaz do the right thing, but He showed kindness and consideration toward Ruth and Naomi throughout courtship and eventual marriage to Ruth. Boaz reminds me of a chivalry type of guy that loved God, his family and was well respected within his community. Add to that Boaz was a fairly wealthy man but that was not the main focus and you have the making of a Hallmark movie for sure.   

David and Bathsheba. Here is a rough start. King David had Bathsheba's true husband killed by making sure he was placed in harm's way in battle so that he could marry her and have sons by her. Later, David acquired forgiveness for this treachery and would have his successor, King Solomon, born by union with Bathsheba. Not the way to start a relationship or marriage, but don't knock rough starts, they can be fruitful.

Mary and Joseph. I believe a lot can be said about a marriage during courtship or dating or being engaged. Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, there was just one thing - Mary got pregnant. Mary did a great job in hiding this pregnancy for a while, but eventually Joseph found out. 

Whether Mary told Joseph about the encounter with Gabriel, I am not sure. However, Scripture says, "but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit." This alludes to a conversation with Joseph where Mary would have told him the details.

Holy Spirit pregnancy or human pregnancy, all Joseph knew was the baby was not his. So, this is what I like about Joseph - "Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly." (Matt. 1:19) Even in a crisis that he did not understand, even in a supernatural dilemma, Joseph acted with integrity.

I believe God rewarded Joseph and protected all involved by sending another angel, perhaps Gabriel again, in a dream to Joseph verifying the decision to take Mary as his wife within this situation (Matt. 1:20-21).

The rest of that story and the rest of their lives were a matter of trusting each other and trusting God with the plan He had started that holy day.

In Acts 18, the husband and wife team of Priscilla and Aquila was a treasured couple by Paul and a credit to those looking for a Godly pair to emulate. This union was so tight-nit with God and His Word that they were able to help adjust another brother's doctrine who was based in John the Baptist's preachings to properly align with Christ's completed work. This other brother, Apollos, became more powerfully effective for the Lord because of their tutelage. 

So traits to take away and start using or magnify in my marriage and any marriage are cohesiveness, encouragement, trust, positivity, integrity and centeredness on God's Word together. I believe if I can excel with her in these areas then I will have a great start at not only being a great husband and dynamic duo but proving Three Is Not Quickly Broken.