To the opening strands of the wedding march the church doors opened and the bride, my daughter, entered the church, on the arm of her father. They made a splendid pair – the bride radiantly happy and lovely in white and her father dignified and proud in his dark brown suit and bow tie. Tall and handsome the groom waited for his bride at the altar. The fragrance of the roses and the lilies that decked the pews and altar, and the sweet, inspiring music added charm to the place. My heart was full of joy as I bowed my head and preyed for God’s special blessings on my child.
The ceremony was simple and short. The Pastor gave a message that was relevant and promising. It made such an impression on me that I remember it to this day. He spoke about the sacredness of the marriage bond and the seriousness of its implications. He emphasized the three principles of a happy and prevailing marriage. The first was love – between the groom and the bride and between the couple and their God. A love that is unconditional and faithful.
The second principle was honesty between the groom and the bride and between the couple and their God. This involved confession and forgiveness. The last but not the least was communication – being free enough to talk and discuss problems, doubts and fears- being able to kneel down together and bring every little thing that bothers them into the presence of God in prayer.
The Pastor ended his sermon by quoting the second part of Ecclesiastes 4:12, “---a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” He explained that the threefold cord was represented by God’s love for man, the groom’s love for his bride and the bride’s love for her groom. When these three cords are firmly entwined together no earthly power could easily break it apart. “A marriage built on this foundation,” the Pastor concluded, “will prevail against all earthly trials and temptations.”
Many years have lapsed since that happy occasion. My husband has passed home to glory. My life has passed through difficult, tough and rugged times. There have been periods of frustrations, bewilderment, and desperation. I have wondered about the promise of the threefold cord. Could it endure beyond death?
One day depressed and lonely I knelt before God and asked for comfort, consolation and peace. In the silence of that moment, alone in the presence of God, I realized that the power of that threefold cord had not diminished. One cord was broken. Yes. But the other two were able to hold fast because they continue to be irrevocably entwined with each other, the weaker one gaining strength from the stronger one, who is God Himself. The broken one was not entirely lost either. It still prevails as an invisible and inspiring part of the threefold cord.
Some times a poem or writing, long forgotten, suddenly springs upon memory’s screen and it s meaning becomes vividly relevant. Thus it was that while glancing through the pages of Mrs.L.G.Cowman’s “Streams in the Desert,” I came upon a stanza of a poem written by Henry Ward Beecher. It goes like this:-
‘Death does hide, but not divide;
You are but on Christ’s other side!
You are with Christ and Christ with me;
In Christ united still are we.’
If only couples who enter into the holy estate of matrimony would consider the principles of the threefold cords of prevailing love there may not be so many divorces.
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