The Sweet Christian Bride

The Tradition of the Cord of Three Strands

by admin on July 6, 2011 in Ceremony Traditions with No Comments

One of my favorite Scriptural pictures of marriage is the cord of three strands.  Solomon speaks of it in Ecclesiastes 4 when referring to the benefit of not being alone in life.  

His first assertion, the one that we are probably most familiar with,  is definitely true in marriage too: “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?” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11). 

Solomon goes on to say in verse 12, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

If you think of how easy it is to pull out one hair from your head, but how difficult it is to pull out a braid of hair, you can understand the idea behind the strength of a cord.  When many strands are woven together, their strength grows exponentially.

In a covenant marriage, we wives are woven together with our husbands as one flesh.  What is even more beautiful than that picture, however, is the fact that God is the central strand in our cord.  He is the One who holds us together.

Whether Solomon was referring to marriage specifically or not, he brilliantly captured a picture of covenant marriage by this quick reference to a cord of three strands. 

In a wedding ceremony, this symbol of covenant marriage can be demonstrated by braiding three cords together, using Ecclesiastes 4:12 as explanation for your guests.  There are actual kits you can buy that include the three strands and a way to start and finish the braid so it will not unravel at either end.

If you prefer, you can choose rope, ribbon, cloth, or string to create your own cord of three strands.  You can knot the ends or choose a decorative rubber band to secure the braid.  Finding colors that are meaningful to you and your groom allows you to personalize your cord so it further represents you.

To complete the braid, you can have your groom hold one end while you braid it (or vice-versa) or you could ask your pastor to represent God’s strand and the three of you can take turns moving your strand to the middle of the braid (you might want to practice this in advance).

You then have a keepsake reminder of your marriage covenant that you can tie around your bouquet or arrange into your centerpiece at your wedding.  You can hang it on your wall, tie it in a bow as a welcome sign on your front door, secure the curtains in your bedroom, or whatever else would keep it visible for you and your husband to see each day in your marriage.

By Lindsay

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