This is the Sermon for Sunday morning, March 1st, 2009. It is the last sermon in the Fireproof your marriage series.

Marriage is companionship.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NASB – 9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. 10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. 11 Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

Marriage is the oldest institution in the world. It is the one institution created and established by God. Man is not the author of it. Not only is God the creator and establisher of marriage, he is also the one that they has set up the rules and the parameters behind it.

What are some of the parameters that God established for marriage?

• It is between a man and a woman.
• It is for companionship between the two.
• It is a commitment that people shouldn’t take lightly.
• It should be a commitment for life.
• It was established for producing children.

This morning in the final sermon in our series on marriage, we are going to be dealing with the companionship aspect of marriage. And like the song, “I’ll be there,” we should be there for our spouses. Our theme for this sermon is God established marriage to be for companionship between three people, not two: The husband, wife, and God Himself.

Before we go into our text concerning this truth this morning, there is one thing else I want to cover. We often think that everything that God made at the dawn of creation was good, but God himself states that this isn’t true. Let’s look at something that wasn’t good at the beginning.

Genesis 2:18&21-24 CJB – 18 the LORD God, said, “It isn’t good that the person should be alone. I will make for him a companion suitable for helping him.” 21 Then God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the person; and while he was sleeping, he took one of his ribs and closed up the place from which he took it with flesh. 22 The rib which the LORD God, had taken from the person, he made a woman-person; and he brought her to the man-person. 23 The man-person said, “At last! This is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She is to be called Woman [Hebrew: ishah], because she was taken out of Man [Hebrew: ish].” 24 This is why a man is to leave his father and mother and stick with his wife, and they are to be one flesh.

God clearly states that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone, so from Adam he created a companion, Eve, someone who was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. Those who are married, in the same way, God has given us our companions, our spouses. They are bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, and we are too stay with them and be one.

Having said this, let’s now go into our text, which deals with companionship and let’s see what the Holy Spirit would speak to us about it this morning.

When spouses are working together for a common goal, the rewards are great.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 NASB – Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.

We live in a time that people value and love their independence. Even in the marriage unit, people want their independence. And while it may be true that we all need our private independent times, God did not create the marriage unit for the purpose of having two people doing whatever they want to do in an independent fashion. He created the marriage unit so that both independent people can come together and learn to depend on one another to reach a common goal. This is true companionship.

It is similar to a community of believers. We all may be independent, but we come together to depend on the Lord and on each other to reach a common goal: Discipleship and taking the gospel to the lost.

I actually looked up the definition of companionship and could not find one that I liked. So if you don’t mind, I created my own definition.

Companionship – When two or more people come together under an established purpose to work with each other in a unified fashion to fulfill the established purpose.

There are many goals that husbands and wives must work together on:

Finances. They both must agree on how to spend their finances, if they don’t then there will be a lot of in fighting in the marriage over the finances. By the way, finances are the number one argument that married couples have.
Raising the children. I have seen families break up or have stress fractures over this subject. Both spouses have to agree on not only how to raise their children, but also on the discipline of their children. Here is an important point: both spouses should agree not too allow their children to play each spouse against the other.
Church. I have seen this cause division in families. This is not talking about one spouse going too church and another not; this is one spouse going to one church, and the other going to another. While they may both be getting something biblical, there is still division. It is best that both believing spouses agree to attend the same church.

There are many more goals, but we won’t cover them this morning. Understand this though, if the husband and wife work together toward a common goal, in this companionship they will have a good return toward their labor.

Let’s now go on to the next subject concerning companionship within marriage.

When the spouses in the marriage unit are in biblical companionship, one spouse will always help the other spouse in their failures and weaknesses.

Ecclesiastes 4:10 NASB – For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.

We are all human, which means we will make mistakes and we will fail at things. No matter how much we may try to reach perfection, we will fall short every time.

In the marriage unit, we each bring a set of strengths and weakenesses too the table. What is amazing is when God establishes believers in a marriage covenant, many times the one person’s strengths will cover over the other persons weaknesses. This is a God thing.

When the one spouse feels like a failure because of some exposed weakness, the other spouse who is in companionship with them should be there to lift them up and encourage them.

It is very difficult for someone whose spouse abandons them or ignores them during these times of weakness. But the good news for believers is if our spouse isn’t there for us, or does not understand us, we have Christ and His Holy Spirit as an ever present help in time of need.

The next point is similar, but there is a small difference.

Spouses in biblical companionship comfort one another.

Ecclesiastes 4:11 NASB – Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone?

We all go through trying difficult times; times that will try to shake our faith. In biblical companionship, though the other spouse may not understand the trial and burden, nevertheless, they are there for their loved one as they go through the pain.

When my father died, it happen quickly and it was a shocked not only to our entire family, but to the congregation my Dad pastured, the city he pastured in, and the entire West Texas district of the Assemblies of God. I have been to many funerals and tried to bring comfort to families and friends, but up to that time, I never experienced their pain until my Dad died so suddenly. The ache in my heart was just so great, I couldn’t describe it. Laura hasn’t had to experience this type of pain yet, but she was there for me, comforting me through the pain. At times she didn’t have the words of comfort to say, so she would just hold me, and in the coldness of loss, in Laura, my life-long companion I found the warmth of comfort in her arms.

Church, this is what biblical companionship does in marriage; it brings comfort when comfort cannot be found in life. It heals life’s pains and sorrows.

Let’s look at our final point this morning.

Spouses in biblical companionship find their security not in the other’s strength, but in Christ.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 NASB – And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.

It really all comes down too this: true biblical companionship cannot be found in just the hearts of the two spouses in marriage; the creator of marriage must become part of the marriage unit as well. This only happens when one or more of the spouses serves the Lord.

My security in my marriage is not in how much Laura loves me and cares for me. It is not in how many times she picks me up when I fall, or comforts me. Neither is it in all the common goals we have agreed on in life. My security in my marriage is found in Christ and Christ alone.

I might yield to temptation alone. Laura and I together might be able to resist, but in Christ, is the total victory over the temptations and tests our marriage and life face.

It has been my prayer that this series on marriage has been a blessing to each of you whether you are single, married, divorced, or whatever state that you are in.

Seek the Lord and guard your heart and lead your heart. That has been the hearts cry of this series.

And this morning, if you are married, ask the Lord to help you be a biblical companion to your spouse for Him.