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God makes marriage strong

Intertwining strands together to make rope is just smart. Really, it is ingenious.

In ancient times, a single vine or matted plant fiber proved to be unreliable. Only after a few attempts of climbing up high impediments and hearing a snap and then falling upon jagged rocks did a better idea of using two vines twisted together make sense.

Rope making is as old as humankind. Fragments of two-ply rope have been found with shards of pottery and other remnants of civilization.

The scope of ancient Egyptian architectural endeavors demanded advances in rope making and more strands were added. Thousands of workers, using ropes, pulled massive stones constructing pyramids and temples.

The humble multi-braid rope was invented and, with the addition of pulleys, man was able to conquer the tallest heights and plumb cavernous depths.

The words of Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes read: Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

When Kathy is in the classroom, I only call if there is an emergency. I’ve called only three times in the last 12 years. My call on June 3 was to tell her that my mom had passed.

“I’m so sorry,” Kathy said. “I’ll be there as soon as someone can come and watch my class.”

I waited in our driveway. She parked and came to the passenger side and sat beside me. She looked at me, I leaned into her arms and began to weep. In the 35 years we have been married, we have shared the losses of our grandparents, our niece, Kathy’s mom, my dad and brother, and now Mom. At my grandfather’s, dad’s and brother’s passings, I grieved, but I did not cry. Now, I could not hold back my emotions.

The next few days went by quickly. Four days, 33 hours driving nearly 1,800 miles, visitation with friends and family members, and speaking words of comfort and celebration at Mom’s funeral and graveside services were possible because of Kathy’s constant presence. Her hand brushing mine in a crowd, feeling her standing at my side – often her arm at my waist, a comforting hug at just the right time, eyes of affirmation penetrating to my heart, all made a difficult time bearable.

Solomon continues in chapter 4: Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?

It is good to have a partner who intertwines her life with mine. For when the hard times come and I am weary, she stands with me making me stronger.

Solomon concludes: And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Kathy and I look back over that week and testify how God was ever-present – making the two of us stronger.

Some couples are adding a “Cord of Three Strands” Ceremony to their wedding service. Three cords, one representing the bride, another the groom and the third God, are braided together to make a single strand or rope. It is symbolic of the three becoming one.

Marriage is a sacred covenant between man and woman establishing a life-long partnership. It is God’s design and He desires to be at its center. He likens Christ and the church to a groom and bride further magnifying its divine stature.

God is a couple’s biggest fan. Two are stronger than one. But with God, life’s challenges meet the strength of the tie that binds. And holds.

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