The Cord of Three Strands: What God Does in Marriage

LauraAll Posts, Marriage


At weddings we hear these words from Scripture, “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”  We remind one another that a husband and a wife must partner with God and all three of them must work together as the threefold cord.

Intertwined together in marriage, these three beings will create a strong bond that can endure life’s ups and downs.

Well now, I’ve been wrapped up in that holy cord for almost-fifteen years.

I’ve pulled away from it in selfish seasons, fraying, untangling, tugging away.

I’ve clung dearly to it in blessed seasons, intertwining, connecting, and burrowing in.

I’ve discovered that, in all seasons, I’m happiest when I assent to it in the light of Scripture.

I’ve come to rely on this Love that will not let me go, as desperately as I rely on oxygen.

After these fifteen years of marriage, I’m sharing something quite dear about this threefold cord… something so true and constant, so humbling and so good.

This truth comes to mind in the quiet of daily life, while I’m brushing my teeth or switching the laundry or driving into town.  It comes to mind when the man sleeping next to me is warm and breathing and strong.  It comes to mind when, day after day, we somehow work side-by-side to keep five children fed and clothed.

It comes to mind whenever I wonder (and I often wonder), How in the world have we stayed together all this time?

How in the world have we endured through these hardships, differences, stresses, flaws, and unimpressive humanity? 

How in the world are we waking up and living each day, then falling asleep again side by side? 

How in the world are we still intertwined? 

This truth comes to mind and quietly grounds me.

It’s this: that the Third Strand has done – and is doing – all of the work.

The Third Strand is God Himself and He has been wrapping us up, for fifteen years.

He Himself has moved in and around, before and behind, holding two frail, inconstant, and deeply grateful humans together.

That glorious, constant Third Strand.

That Source of all strength and endurance, wrapping around and around and around us, gathering us, tucking us, hiding us, and treasuring us inside of Himself.

Maybe someday, as the Third Strand keeps wrapping Himself around, Jesus will be all you see of us two.

Maybe someday.


“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” – Colossians 1:17