My wife and I have an interesting dynamic. We don’t like to play on the same sports team. Ever. Why? Because it’s more fun when we can trash talk each other! Not everyone has that kind of relationship with their spouse, and I’m thankful that God has given me someone who “speaks my language.”

To say it more direct, Steph is my better half and I love how perfect we are for each other. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 is not specifically about marriage. But, it is easy to see how the principles of this verse apply to a husband and wife team such as ours.

9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

Let’s take a moment and look at three marriage thoughts that emerge from these verses: our successes, our failures, and our individuality.

Our Successes

Verse 9 closes with these words: “…for they can help each other succeed.” How do you define success in a marriage? Immediately, my mind goes to our kids.

We’ve raised an amazing son and daughter. They’re not perfect, but that’s okay. When they drive one of us crazy, the other spouse is there to mediate things. Our life together is an adventure; full of joy, sadness, surprises, and togetherness. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours.

Success isn’t defined by the number of zeroes in your bank account. Rather, it’s a reflection of our love for each other, the way we lean on each other, and the way we complement each other’s’ weaknesses.

Together, we help each other succeed in this crazy thing we call life.

Failures

Steph and I met in 2004. With the exception of a six month period in 2008, her hair has been colored various shades of burgundy, purple, pink, and brown. For Easter this year, she decided to make it completely purple.

She purchased just one bottle of hair color and began coloring it on a Saturday afternoon — while trying to balance cooking and preparing to color Easter eggs with the kids.

After using the entire box, she realized she didn’t have enough to cover her whole head. Steph panicked, asked me what I thought, and I confirmed she needed a second bottle. I then volunteered to run out to the mall and get it. My response made a bad situation turn out okay.

When one of us falls, the other is there to reach out and help. She’s called this my “talking her off the ledge” moment and I don’t share it to say “look at me!” Rather, it’s a great illustration of working to overcome adversity. Together.

Individuality

Throughout the Bible, it’s clear we aren’t meant to do life alone. For those who embrace their individuality, this is scary. “What will I have to give up?”

For me, it was a rare stand-up video game arcade cabinet. I found one of my all-time favorites for sale at an amazing price in Cincinnati. There are only 5 thought to exist. However, we didn’t have the space for it, so I chose not to buy it.

Simply put, I value my wife more than that. Together, I’m stronger with her: why should I buy something material that would make her unhappy?

I think it’s important to reiterate: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 applies to everyone. It establishes the principle of having an accountability partner. Remember, verse 10 highlights that without someone to stand with you, you’re in “real trouble.” I encourage anyone who does not have a spouse to find that person you can lean on in times of crisis.

Loving our Spouse

To come full circle, it’s our job to love our spouse in the same way Jesus loves the church. Ephesians 5:25 says this point blank:

For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her.

I’m sure there are days when I’m unloveable. But, it’s my prayer that I demonstrate this verse in my attitude towards Steph — in good times or in bad. Will you join me in laying aside life’s difficulties as we commit, together, to be even more Christ-like in our marriages?

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