Monday, October 29, 2012

Is the Relationship Worthy of Marriage: The Three Strand Cord


Is the Relationship Worthy of Marriage: The Three Strand Cord

 

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.  Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Weddings are a beautiful thing with all the flowers, the fancy clothes, the church decorated beyond what anyone could have imagined, and the soft music.  But far too often this is the only time the bride and groom will be in church and accept the assistance of a minister.  God created the marriage relationship, and needs to be a part in it.  For that reason, the believer is told not to be “unequally yoked”, which simply means married to a non-believer. 
In 2 Corinthians 6:11-16 Paul writes to the Corinthian church and tells them that they “are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.”  The restriction he speaks of is one of the soul.  The word “restricted” here is the Greek word stenochōreō (Strongs G4729) which means “to be sorely straitened in spirit”.  He goes on to tell them Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.”
At the time of salvation, the believer receives the Holy Spirit into their body, the temple of God (2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13-15).  Your one temple now holds the Holy Spirit.  But when two become one, and you bind yourself in marriage to an unbeliever, you bind yourself to one that is an empty temple.  Paul says “what fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness” because at the very core you are different and have different values.  Don’t expect the non-believer to feel the same passion you do about Christ and worship.  He goes on to say “what communion has light with darkness” referring to Christ as the light of the world, and darkness as the absence of Christ.  Can darkness and light co-exist? No. 
At the very core of your existence is a difference of spirits.  Your spouse to be may very well be a ‘good person’, but even the best person cannot match up to Christ.  Your lives are lived on different spiritual plateaus.  And once children enter into the equation, your problems will begin.  You’ll be faced with children who want to stay home with the unbelieving parent rather than go to church.  You’ll have different values in which you want to teach and raise them, and value the Christian life differently.  And ladies, it is very hard to be the spiritual head of your household.  It’s a position in which you were never meant to have to assume.

Many people have heard the verses I just gave you and said “yes, but I can lead him/her to Christ”.  Then do it before marriage, before the relationship becomes serious.  My dad always told me to be careful who I dated because I would marry one of the guys I dated.  To the young people who are dating now, I offer this same advice.  If your goal is to marry a Christian and raise a family according to God’s word, you have to accept His word now.  Date Christians.
To those that are already married to an unbeliever, God has a special message to you in 1 Corinthians 7:13-15 where Paul says “And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.”

The word sanctified is the Greek word hagiazō, which means to be set apart, and to be dedicated to God.  Anyone who is connected to God receives His holiness through the righteousness of Christ.  The connection of marriage offers this to the marriage, while not to the spouse.  When two become one, even if unbelieving and believing, God’s spirit is in their union (Malachi 2:15).  He is the binding of the marriage.  Through this binding, the children from the marriage are also holy.  God looks after believers in such a way that anything connected to them is in His care.  Consider a body with a broken limb.  You don’t cut off the limb and say “there, now you don’t have to put up with the broken limb anymore!”.  Instead, you heal the limb so that the rest of the body isn’t affected by it.  Such is God’s way with the unbeliever who has married His child.  He seeks to heal that person’s unbelief. 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 talks of the benefits of marriage and says Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.  Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Marriage is based on needing a helper – you need one, and your spouse needs one.  When two are one, they can overcome the temptations of the world.  But “a threefold cord is not quickly broken”, meaning that with God in your relationship, binding you together as a braided rope, you are stronger!  You need Him in your marriage!  Once all the flowers, fancy clothes and cake are gone, marriage gets tough fast. 

Friends, if you want a successful marriage, seek out a spouse who loves God more than they love you.  And seek to find one that you will love - but not worship.  There is only one throne room in your heart, and God must always be on that throne.  If you find a person that loves God more than they love you, you will be assured they will keep you in line with His Word and His way.  That is where true success in life is found – in following God, and gaining His favor.  Seek to find the three strand cord.

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