In Part 1, I explained how our marriage experienced trouble when we tried to fit into the template called, ‘the marriage triangle’. That instead of simplifying marriage concepts, it had made it more confusing.
Within every one of our relationships with other Christians, there are three separate interchanges going on: 1-Darrell has his own relationship with God. 2-I have my own relationship with God. 3-And then there’s Darrell and I, as brother and sister in Christ.
It’s relationship #3 that defines this as a Family Triangle instead of a Marriage Triangle, it could be with Darrell or any other brother or sister in Christ whether they are friends, neighbours, co-workers, cousins, etc.
When the triangle supports all other relationships, it can’t also express the one-flesh in marriage. The one relationship that’s not interchangeable with any other: The Covenant
The marriage covenant anchors
The Bible leaves no doubt that the Trinity is three in one, Father, Son, and Spirit. Within the Trinity, there’s a rich symbolism for marriage – a supernatural blending of multiples into a single: God is three in One – marriage is two becoming one.
In marriage, people are not separated into 3 different relationships like in a Family Triangle – they’re joined. God invites us to covenant with Him because He knows we’ll need His help to make it work. We cannot become a thriving one-flesh relationship without His help because it’s a supernatural relationship.
The covenant holds us together as God begins the process of infusing two earthly people into a single unit: One-Flesh, for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. (Ephesians 5:31)
If you’ve anchored your marriage to God by His covenant, it begins and ends with Him. He created it in the beginning, it’s His idea, it belongs to Him. He doesn’t join your marriage … you join His marriage.
I think we forget how real that covenant is because we can’t see it. Unlike the visible rituals of buying the government license at city hall and signing the certificate of marriage at the church, the covenant we make with God – even though unseen – is the real deal. As such, it has far more gravity.
I agreed to covenant with God in marriage through my role as a wife. I made an agreement with Darrell too, but it’s a contract with another human, a natural being. God’s covenant is super-natural and supersedes an earthly marriage contract.
At a glance, The One-Flesh Triangle makes the invisible visible and, if we’ve let God anchor us, we’re reminded of that gravity. At that instant, when we need it the most – in the heat of conflict, frustration, hurt, anger (and sometimes even hate) … it can reset our hearts and minds back to what matters most: not me, not Darrell – But God. His covenant matters most.
There are ups and downs in every marriage; some have more ups than downs and some go down further than others, but we all need a strategy to remind us of the purposes of marriage. In the good times in marriage, no one needs a prompt. But in the hard times, when our wedding day feels like a lifetime in the past … when marriage gets painful and it reaches that breaking point – when we start to think, “This is too hard,” the questions we needed to ask are, will I lean on my own strength or wait for God’s? Am I going to put the human contract above my covenant with Him? What’s more important?
- Understand that your marriage is a completely different breed of relationship than all others found on earth; it can’t be treated the same.
- Accept that your marriage is under tremendous strain from Satan. His main goal, since the day you got married, is to unravel your marriage by coming between the two of you so you’re separated. He’s the ultimate predator and wants you alone – out of your one-flesh strength.
- Believe in the realness of your covenant with God. Trust Him with His own idea of marriage; trust Him with the role He assigned you as a wife. Let this visual be a trigger to jolt you out of any emotions of hurt, back to the facts.