Wedding Message for Michael & May Kim Hartley
Preached On: 11/12/1999
By: Pr. Moy How
Title: Two Are Better Than One
Scripture: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him 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."
Once there was a little boy that sat through a Sunday School class and learned about Jesus attending a wedding and miraculously turned the water into wine. "And what did you learn from the story?" asked his father afterward. The boy thought for a moment and answered, "If you�re having a wedding, make sure Jesus is there!" What insightful advice from a little boy�if you are having a wedding, make sure Jesus is there!
From the passage that was read to us, Michael and May Kim, marriage was never meant to be a "duet". Marriage was meant to be a threesome and our Lord Jesus Christ is the third strand in the cord. That is, between a man and a woman who love each other and the God Whom in Him all things hold together for those who loves Him.
Why "two are better than one"?
These examples taken from the passage; help him up, keeping warm and defending, were taken from the risks of traveling by foot in Middle Eastern time during the days of the author. I believe this is a very apt passage, for a marriage is likened to journey. For, when Michael and May Kim are joined in marriage they covenanted before God and man to travel life now together.
- Help him up.
The first illustration is that of a traveler who falls into a pit.
From Ecclesiastes 4:10; "If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"
For a single traveler on his own a fall might prove disastrous. If a leg is cracked, if a hand is broken, if ribs are damaged, the traveler may need immediate attention. However, the traveler with a companion is a different scenario all together. He will have someone to help him out of the pit, to mend his broken leg, to bring him to safety. Ultimately, someone to "help him up".
- Keep warm.
The second illustration is that of the traveler facing the cold of the night.
From Ecclesiastes 4:11; "Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?"
Back in those days, do not forget there were no Radisson Hotel. The traveler most probably slept under the open sky beneath the stars. Under the Middle Eastern night, it can be very cold, even during summer. In order to keep warm, most travelers of that time find it necessary to sleep close together.
Michael and May Kim one of joys of marriage is waking up in the morning and having your companion right beside you. These are the delights of togetherness and warmth experienced only in a married life.
The third illustration is taken in defense of a robber.
From Ecclesiastes 4:11; "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken."
Robbers may overcome the individual traveler. The rope makers of the old certainly knew safety is found in numbers because a rope made of a single or double strand of cord could be broken easily. However, a cord of three strands is not easily broken.
In marriage, Michael and May Kim, you can uphold and defend each other. From now on you travel the same road, where God is to be the glue that holds your marriage together. The Psalmist said, "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." For your marriage to be successful, Michael and May Kim, both of you must make a deliberate and shared mutual decision to place God to be in charge of your marriage.
The are three secrets that I have gathered from several sources that makes a successful marriage.
- Firstly, keep persisting "for better for worse".
Married life is full of change. From good times to bad times and the cycle repeats itself. Most of us have seen the show Cinderella or Snow White, I wished the producers would have shown the sequel to these movies. So, that they could portray the inevitable changes in a true love story. As time takes its toll, beautiful princess one day will become wrinkled and gray. Handsome princes may one day lose their teeth or hair. Agatha Christie, the renowned suspense novelist once said, "An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have, the older she gets, the more interested he is in her."
Keeping a good marriage requires hard work. One writer has said, "A good marriage is not a gift which the bride and groom discover among the wedding presents. It�s an achievement, a homemade, lifelong, DIY or do it yourself project. It is built by two hearts and two pairs of hands, constantly working together at the task over a long period of time." I would like to add with Jesus Christ in the midst of all these.
- Secondly, keep the communication open.
Communication is not just talking. It is listening. Proverbs 18:13 says, "Listen before you answer. If you don�t, you are being stupid and insulting."
A frustrated wife once told her husband, "I know you believe you understand what you think I�ve said, but I�m not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant." True communication is hard work and need tremendous effort. Communications here incorporate more of quality than quantity where it involves depth, honest telling, truth revealing, vulnerability and secrets baring.
Numerous communications conflict would be solved if husbands and wives were to heed James 1:19 advice of, "Be quick to listen and slow to speak."
- Thirdly, keep the love aglow.
Ephesians 5:33 says, "�husband must love his wife." The keyword here is �must�. It is not an option. It is not only when �suka-suka� or when you feel like it then you love. Even when your mood is not good or when there is conflict in words you must love your wife like yourself.
Once there was a wife with tears forming, said to her husband, "Dear, you haven�t told me you love me in a long time." "Listen," the husband responded, "I told you once and if I change my mind, I�ll let you know." This man is making a huge mistake because husbands and wives must regularly and frequently show their love to each other both physically as well as verbally.
A study by Dr. Arthur Szabo found that husband who kiss their wives every morning live an average of five years longer than husbands who do not. Furthermore, these husbands are involved in fewer car accidents, are sick 50 percent less, and earn 20 � 30 percent more money. The study did not indicate what kissing did for their wives but my hunch is that it equally does wonders to our wives!
Michael, you are one strand of the cord, May Kim you are the second strand, and our Lord Jesus Christ is the third strand of the cord Who can give an even greater meaning to married life. To keep your marriage strong, then, you need faith in Jesus. To keep your marriage strong, then, you need to make Jesus the Lord of your home. To keep your marriage strong, then, you need to make Jesus the Head of your marriage. Then, and only then, do you have a marriage cord of three strands that cannot be quickly broken.
Michael and May Kim, as you travel down life�s pathway together, remember this: "Two are better than one." Remember also, "A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." When the three of you, Michael, May Kim and God travel together, you will stand on firm foundation that nothing can pull you apart.