Updated: Nov 12
King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two are better than one.” This week, the wisdom of those words became more real to me as I was working through some very personal and emotional issues. Having Renita by my side to help unpack my experience was a life-giving process. It made me thankful for the decision that we made early in our relationship to make it emotionally safe to communicate openly and honestly about how we’re feeling.
The rest of Solomon’s thought is captured in verses 9 – 12 which reads: Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Relationships are a great investment. Notice, Solomon uses economic language to express the benefits of investing in a relationship. The reason that two are better than one is because they have a good return for their labor. The idea is that you get more out of life when you invest yourself with another person. Investment tip, follow God’s advice for choosing the right person to invest your life with.
Proverbs 18:22 says, "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord."
I learned three things about investing in my marriage from Solomon’s wisdom.
1. Ask for Help
The first principle that I drew from the passage was to ask for help. Verse ten says, “If either of them falls down, the other can help the other up.” Referring to my experience, leading up to this week, I had been feeling overwhelmed by multiple work and ministry deliverables. I had demands from multiple people, each with their own urgent deadline. In addition, each assignment had relatively high exposure which could impact both my professional and personal reputation. Honestly, the experience was physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. I came to the realization that trying to deal with this situation alone was not healthy. I needed to open up and talk. Fortunately, I knew that I could talk to Renita and that she would listen and offer godly perspective and wise advice. It’s not wise to expect your spouse to be a mind reader, if you need something, ask. If you need understanding, ask. If you need time, ask. If you need help, ask. Admittedly, asking for help can be scary because it involves taking risks to be vulnerable. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re weak, it means that you’re human. Give your spouse the opportunity to support you. You’ll learn to have a greater appreciation for one another.
2. Stay Connected
Consider Solomon’s statement in verse eleven, “If two lie down together, they will keep warm.” The realities of our physical environment are harsh: hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, and disease. The conflicts in our cultural environment are similarly inhospitable: war, political strife, and economic and social turmoil. In a very real sense, if you’re alone, it’s difficult to keep warm. But when two loved ones lie together, they experience warmth both physically and emotionally. It’s hard for me to get out of bed on a cold winter morning after a good night's sleep. I enjoy the warmth of snuggling up to my honey. That type of physical and emotional connection provides a sense of security which has helped me to develop inner strength and resilience. Had I made the choice to go it alone, remain detached, and try to figure it out on my own, I honestly believe that I would have had a breakdown at some point, either physically or mentally. However, after talking things through, I gained a larger perspective and greater appreciation for what Renita adds to my life.
3. Defend One Another
Verse twelve illustrates, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.” When husband and wife stand back-to-back, they can defend themselves on multiple fronts. Sometimes having a second set of eyes provides a new perspective on possibilities. As I surveyed my circumstances, my options for moving forward seemed limited. I was unclear about what to do next. However, Renita was able to help me to see things from a different point of view. Interestingly, she didn’t provide the answers, she just kept asking good questions. She asked, “Have you thought about this? Or have considered that?” Her questions helped me to think through and evaluate my options.
Finally, Solomon wrote, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” With Jesus at the center of our marriage, our union is strong and enduring. As Renita and I talked through the events of the week, she helped me to maintain my focus on God’s word. The life verse that we often quote together is Proverbs 3:5, 6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
In closing, practice making it safe to open up and connect with one another. Think of it as making deposits in your emotional bank account. The benefit of that investment in your marriage will produce great returns.
Join Us for our 2023 Oneness Experience! This two-and-a-half-day romantic weekend will entice you to invest in and strengthen your marriage by incorporating the 3 guiding principles from The Power of Agreement.
Feb 17, 2023, 7:00 PM EST – Feb 19, 2023, 1:00 PM EST
Ridgecrest Conference Center, near Asheville, NC, USA
(Save $50 with full registration by December 1, 2022)