Theology 101

The Calling & Hard Work of Marriage (Part 2)

LinkedIn Email Print

What do you think of when you hear the word marriage? Some of you might consider it a sweet and holy union created by God. Others might view it as a means of human companionship and love. Still, others might see it as a human representation of God’s love for his bride, the church.

All of these answers would be right, of course. There is one more, however. Have you ever considered marriage as a divine calling or part of your life’s work?

In my last article, I explored this idea of marriage as a divine calling and shared about God’s role in the process. In various ways, he lovingly prepares people for marriage and also provides for and protects them during marriage. He also helps them overcome unique challenges. My own marriage has been an example of this.

Now, let’s move forward to examine how God is actively present in marriage and how he can use it for the benefit of others.

How Is God Present in It?

Here is a passage I read in the wedding vows I wrote for my bride that connects marriage to work:

Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart (Eccl. 4:9-12).

If you read this too fast, you might have missed the key phrase: “a cord of three strands.” My wife is one strand, I am another, and God is the third. God makes himself known to us when we seek him as a couple. He is clearly present in a Christian marriage that is founded upon and committed to the divinely designed purposes and principles found in the New Testament (see Eph. 5:22-33 and Col. 3:18-19).

How Does God Use Our Marriage?

As we have seen above, marriage, like other kinds of vocational callings, is characterized by God calling us to it, preparing us for it, providing for us in it, and protecting us from danger, as well as being very present with us.

Like these other callings, God has a purpose for putting us where we are. We are placed as a couple where God needs us to be, scattered among the unbelieving world, shining light into dark places, and bringing hope where there is none. He wants us to be his coworkers to love our neighbors through our marriages.

In addition to the three children that God brought forth through this holy union and the five grandchildren that have come from their families, my wife and I have seen God use us to be a blessing to countless others as we have traveled all over the world as a military family. As we have worked together as a cord of three strands, we have given hope to many that a joyful marriage for a lifetime is a real possibility.

Looking Forward

I have to say that our marriage is way more than a divine calling. It is something we had to work hard at in order to succeed. But as I look back, it hardly seems like work. What motivated me to be the husband God called me to be is that I recognized from day one that my wife was a gift from heaven above, one that I cherish because she is so precious to me. As I have pursued this relationship, God has clearly blessed me.

I want to encourage those who have been blessed with a good marriage to keep going. Keep Christ in the center of your relationship as that “third strand” to make the rope able to withstand the demands placed on it. If you are in a season of struggling, do not hesitate to reach out to a Christian couple who seems to have a solid, but not perfect marriage and see if they can help. If your relationship is needing more professional assistance, please find it with a Christian counselor.

For those who are in the middle of trusting God to provide that special someone in your life, I encourage you to keep on seeking God’s face. Ask him for wisdom to make the right choices, for patience as needed, and to not settle for anything less than God’s best for your life. He will lead, he will provide, and he will use you.

Editor’s note: This article was republished from the author’s blog with permission. 

Want to receive our latest content? It's easy...become a subscriber and never miss an article!

Further readings on Theology 101

  • Theology 101

Editor’s note: Hugh Whelchel was previously featured in an interview with Praxis Circle. Below are a few highlights of that…

  • Theology 101
The Calling to Pursue Your Educational Goals

By: Russell Gehrlein

6 minute read

Last year, in a moment when I was able to get away from my desk and take a break from…

Want to receive our latest content? It's easy...become a subscriber and never miss an article!