The Cords of Marriage

Think of a rope. A large rope. One made out of three smaller ropes twisted together. Then look closer at those smaller, twisted ropes. They are made of strands of string. Such a rope is strong... unbreakable, even.

And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:12

This verse is often used in Christian marriage ceremonies. It's incredibly fitting, isn't it?

I think of it this way. Of the three cords of a rope, one is Christ, one is the husband, and one is the wife. Christ is ever present, unchanging. That's a cord that will never break. The husband and wife? Well, their cords might start to fray. All those strings that make up their individual selves and the pieces of their marriage might get cut. Yet with Christ as the stronghold, there is hope and life. The strands may fray, but that threefold cord will remain strong and united.

I also like to look at those strings that make up one cord as the small things. It's remembering to pursue your marriage, even after a bunch of years. It's making coffee every day for your spouse, doing the dishes, not whining or rolling your eyes when they forget to do something for the millionth time. It's folding the laundry, saying thank you, kissing goodnight and good morning, planning a date night, remembering to make that appointment for them, picking up their shoes, cleaning the house, telling them they're amazing/handsome/beautiful, choosing to give them your time and attention, surprising them with a little gift, and all those little minuscule moments in between. Wound up in each cord are a bazillion tiny things. 

Sometimes we're better at these things than other times - no one is perfect. Some seasons will be able to offer more attention to our marriage than others. Sometimes, one spouse will be less frayed than the other, and sometimes, they might BOTH be pretty frayed. But by working on those strands, binding them back together, trusting in Christ as the cord that binds, and doing our best to keep our rope wound tight, marriage is utterly rewarding, beautiful, and strong.

I feel my cord start to fray when I've got to much on my plate and my stress levels become unmanageable. I feel those tiny strands start to snap. It shows when I forget to give my husband a kiss when he arrives home. When the laundry doesn't get done. When we're left without groceries because I didn't have time to make a list. But when I start to fray, Tom swoops in... his strands stronger than mine for the time being. He wraps me in a hug when he walks in the door. He gets a load of laundry going. He picks up some food on his way home. And when he is frayed, I do the same for him. I make him a favorite meal and tell him to play video games for a while. I get us out of the house to grab a drink. I'll take the trash out for him.

And when we're both frayed, God's Word holds us up. He holds up regardless of who is frayed and who isn't, but it's in those times especially, that His unchanging strength and promises bind our frayed beings and make us whole... make us a united rope of three cords.

Marriage is hard. We all say it, but no one really expands because it's not hard all the time (maybe in some seasons). It's not even hard in big ways a lot of the time. It's hard in little moments, little moods, little quips, and passive aggressive tones. It's work, but it's the most beautiful work I've ever committed to. I've said it so many times, but marriage is a privilege. It is worth cherishing, worth being psyched about, worth speaking highly of, and worth all the effort to keep from fraying beyond repair. How will you keep the cords of your marriage strong and unbreakable?

Be sure and visit my marriage category for more like this!