Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Branden and Stephanie, “two are better than one.” You come here today as individuals and in a few moments, you will leave as husband and wife. After today, your lives will never be the same. You are joining that mystical union called marriage. It means that you are no longer two, but one. You are joining in this blessed union for the mutual companionship, help and support of one another. Branden, Stephanie will become your best friend, one to whom you can share anything and everything. Stephanie, Branden will become your best friend, one to whom you can share anything and everything. This will indeed be a wonderful time for you.
Listen again to these words: “For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” I want you to look very closely at one another. There will be times where one of you will fall in your marriage, times where you will face difficulties and hard times. When you fall, the person you are looking at will be the one to pick you up. You will be each other’s strength and support. You will be the one whom the other can depend upon to be there when everyone else has turned their back.
It has been said that marriage is a 50/50 commitment. Let me tell you now that that is wrong. Yes, while 50 and 50 equal 100, it shows that you need only put in 50% each into your marriage. I never have seen anything succeed when you only put in half the effort. If you build a house, but only build half the foundation, the house will fall. So it is with your marriage. Contributing 50% effort to your marriage will only give you a 50% return. Commit yourselves 100% to your marriage and to one another, for only then will you be able to support one another fully.
There is one other thing to keep in mind this day. As you stand here, before one another, before your friends and family, you also stand before God. In a few moments, you will speak your vows, committing yourselves to one another. When you speak those vows, you are making promises to one another, but there will be a third party involved in your marriage.
We began this service in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We asked God’s blessings upon the beginning of this service, and so we ask for God’s blessings upon your marriage as well.
Listen again to these words: “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” In this marriage, it will not be a union of two people, but a union of three people. It will consist of you Branden, you Stephanie, and it will also consist of God. When God is kept at the center of a marriage, it is just as our text says: “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” God will watch over and keep you in His abiding love throughout your marriage. Does that mean that you will always have good days? No. Does it mean that you won’t have any difficult times in your marriage? No, it doesn’t mean that either. What it does mean is that God will be with you both as you go about your lives as husband and wife. He will give you to His promise that He is committed to you both, and that He will never abandon you and the vows that you made to another and to Him. He will give to you the strength to endure whatever may happen throughout your marriage, because He is 100% committed to you both, for you are His children and He desires nothing but the best for His children.
As you come together this day, you are becoming stronger in your commitment to each other. God is committed to bless your marriage, today and every day. He will be with you – for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. He will be with you in all of your ups and in all of your downs. Your marriage, centered upon God and His love for you in Jesus Christ, will be stronger, for “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
In Jesus’ name, amen.