Dictionary.com defines interdependence as, “The quality or condition of being interdependent, or mutually reliant on each other.” What a great word for marriage! The truth is, so called wedded bliss is never blissful without it! We believe every couple can enjoy the spiritual blessings of interdependence by clinging to Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
Blessing One: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor” (Ecclesiastes 4:9 New International Version).
Laura and I say we have one brain between the two of us. It may not be true for everyone, but after 32 years of marriage, we find that we do our best work when we work together. We see things from different perspectives, and that allows us to see the entire picture when facing a challenge.
Blessing Two: When One Falls Down
See if you recognize this blessing of interdependence, “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” (Ecclesiastes 4:10 NIV). One winter, I (Jay) contracted pneumonia. I slept all week so I could travel the next weekend for our Ultimate Date Night shows. Gratefully, Laura took care of everything around the house. She handled both her weekly duties and mine. There is no doubt in my mind that without her help, I would not have been able to keep my commitments each weekend.
Blessing Three: Keeping Warm
Here’s another blessing of interdependence, “Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” (Ecclesiastes 4:11 NIV). While this passage certainly applies to cold winter nights (and maybe not so much summer ones), we also think it suggests the importance of having someone alongside you through the “cold days” life can throw at us. A spouse can speak encouraging words during tough times. A spouse can remind another spouse of God’s faithfulness in the past. And sometimes just being there,“alongside,” is enough and no words are necessary.
Blessing Four: Three Strands
A final blessing of interdependence, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV). When we stand together, whether the issue relates to the kids or a life decision, we can stand strong. And when Christ is at the center of our relationship, it makes us even stronger. He is the third strand. Keeping Christ as the focal point of any marriage does not mean hardship will not come, but it does mean you and your spouse will have the strength to fight the battle together.
So in this month of our country’s Independence let’s declare Interdependence in our marriages.