Besides 1 Corinthians 13, it’s the verse I’ve most often heard read at every Christian wedding ceremony I’ve attended. Ecclesiastes 4:12 “ A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken”. (NLT)
I love this version of it. It truly paints the team mentality that God intended marriage to be.
Coming from a Marine Corp background, my husband always has the “conquer” mentality about life. Growing up the youngest of 4 kids, I get what it means to fight for what’s mine. J
So, as we prepared for marriage, we knew that we were walking into a situation of fighting for (not with) each other for the rest of our lives. Yet, often, marriage isn’t viewed from this perspective.
When we get married it’s all about love, sweet sentiments, roses and candle lit dinners but the word of God tells us, that “ greaterlove has no one than this, that he lay his life down for another”. Isn’t that the all of marriage? The constant laying down of my own life, my own desires, my own dreams for the betterment of my spouse. Me putting their life before mine? Seems the complete opposite message the world sells us of taking care of ourselves before caring for anyone else. I see this in the simplest of ways, when a flight attendant tells me, that should cabin pressure change and the airbags deploy, I’m supposed to put my mask on before I put the mask for oxygen on my babies…not a chance…
As moms it’s easy for us to see that the needs of our children come before ours. They need us. They need our affection, they need our time, they need our cheering on of them and our affirmation. They need us to change their diaper, pour their milk, wipe up their spills and do a happy dance when they finally use the big girl potty. It’s an easy decision to make to put them before our own selves. We do it, without thinking, daily.
Yet, we view our spouse differently – they’re grown men who can do all of that on their own, and while they may not need us to cheer for them as they retreat from the bathroom in victory, they do need us to stand WITH them and fight. Fight against a world that is bound and determined to destroy marriage, to decrease the view of it’s validity as a sacred and holy union. To fight against schedules that fill calendars and leave no time to pour into your spouse. To fight against disproportioned priorities – putting our kids and even ministry in place of the one God gave us.
Ecclesiastes looks at the union of marriage “standing back-to-back to CONQUER”. You were paired with your spouse to conquer! You were paired with your husband, not just due to his handsome good looks, but because he is holy. You were paired with your spouse because your purpose is destined with his – to win, to take ground, to gain territory – to conquer.
I challenge, you today, to look at your marriage from this perspective. When communication becomes a struggle, when schedules are full, when ministry takes much of your time – remember, He is the one you stand with, back-to-back, to conquer. Cheer him on, thank him, and conquer, together!