• Kim Q. Ivey

A Threefold Cord

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Recently I've been rethinking my position on marriage. Well, maybe I should say my re-position on marriage.

For most of my 20's and 30's and even into my early 40's, marriage was a formidable desire. Probably from 22 - 40, I would say the desire to be married - that silly, romantic, Hallmark channel idea of marriage - dominated my life. In this ether of unrealistic expectations about marriage, I actually got engaged - twice. And I had four significant relationships during that time, including those two engagements. Strangely, I seemingly kept attracting the same kind of guy: Bookish - almost idiot savant smart; late bloomer - either a virgin or celibate for an extended period of time; all having studied electrical engineering at some point, but none of them really wanting to be electrical engineers. Go figure.

In ensuing years, I had a couple of other "relationships" but not long term. In all of my relationships there was always the desire to remain circumspect sexually - to not defile the marriage bed. However, I found myself over and over again doing the exact opposite. Most of the time, it was not full on sexual activity, where I was sleeping with the gentleman on a regular basis. However, there was "other" sexual activity or "slips", always followed by the requisite regret and shame on my part. In between relationships, I went through years of celibacy (though not sexual purity, because I would satisfy myself - and sometimes I believe that was even more damaging to my spirit). Presently, I am in my 8th year of celibacy and about my 6th month of full-on sexual purity (self satisfying kicked to the curb), but if I could go back and erase all of those past encounters, I would. I give praise to God that by the blood of Jesus, they are erased in the eyes of God and He has made me brand new.

Nonetheless, one of these other "relationships" produced the arrival of my blessed surprise little boy, now 8 - Jonathan, his name given to me by our Father - literally. He spoke it to my spirit when I first found out I was pregnant and I held on to the name and waited until birth to see if it would indeed be a boy - and he was. Jonathan means "Gift of God". He is the greatest gift the Father has given me. Without doubt, our Lord God does work all things for the good...

I provide this background because in my heart and mind, though I've accepted the redemptive power of Christ over my life, sexual compromise throughout the first half of my life took me to a place where I started to believe that marriage, in the covenant, Biblical sense of it, was not meant for me. Added to that, the stress associated with caring for my elderly parents, raising Jonathan alone, and ongoing financial struggles just seemed to further cement what became a conviction in my heart: I will be single for the rest of my life and I'm okay with that - in fact, I think I prefer it.

Marriage also turned into a quasi prison in my mind. It meant being forced to be available to someone else, compromising my time and space, displaying empathy and understanding when I really didn't want to, having to listen to my spouse's daily issues and problems, sharing resources - sharing a bed...and as I got older, that part of it became truly dreadful in my mind. The idea of having to have regular sex with someone just became tiresome and incredibly unattractive.

Long-distance running entered my life in 2016 and I pursued it with abandon, even running a full marathon (Paris Marathon in 2017, a month before my 50th birthday)) and four half marathons. It became a nice distraction and almost like an aphrodisiac. It satiated me physically and made me forget that a sexual being existed on the inside of me. And then I hit a wall in November 2018, under the weight of all the churn and change related to where my family is today. I stopped running. I stopped my weekly, beloved warm yoga. I gained 20+ pounds, seemingly all in my belly. The mounting stress added strands of gray hair (in multiple, unimaginable places!) and wrinkles around my eyes. Within three months, I had completely shut down any fluttering bit of hope that might have remained about me ever being someone's help meet (Genesis 2:18)... being "as one in whom he (my husband) finds peace". (Song of Songs 8:10).

Yet, lately. Lately. As I'm coming more into an understanding of my righteousness in Christ alone, saved by grace and not by works, lest I boast (Ephesians 2:8-10). As I come into more understanding of my authority in Him - who I already am in Christ and what I already have by Him. As I appropriate these powerful revelations into my mind, my will, and my emotions, I'm discovering that something else has awakened: The simplicity of who I am as a woman and what I am called to be and do here on earth in the skin of a woman. Louder and louder every day, words spoken to me by Him in 2012 are ringing in my spirit:

Your purpose, Kim, is marriage and family.

I had silenced that word from Him. Well, the marriage part, that is. The family part has surely dominated my life these past 7 years. But marriage never surfaced. However, I'm seeing now that I've simply not allowed it to.

On the cross, Jesus took out of satan's hands every strategy and scheme to keep us from what He promised for our lives. If He said it, it is available to us (2 Cor 1:20). We have the authority through Christ to command the enemy's hands off our lives (Luke 10:17–19, Colossians 2:15) demand that He leave us alone.

So that's what I'm doing. Do I want to be married? My flesh, under the waning influence of the enemy, says, "NOOOOO!" My spirit however, says, "YES, YES, YES!" And it's my goal to get my flesh more aligned with the spirit of God within me.

This week, I spent time in prayer with a close sister in Christ and lifted this up with her in a prayer of agreement. Earlier that day the Father had brought to mind the scripture from Ecclesiastes regarding a threefold cord. It spoke to me about the need to be in covenant not just with my spirit-filled friends, but with a man chosen by God for me and me for him...a man with whom together we could bring more glory to Christ than either of us alone. The next day, on my text prayer chain, the sister who started the chain, submitted this same scripture. It was further confirmation that my life will soon be changing in more ways than I had imagined before the start of this year, 2019.

Thus, I'm commanding the stronghold of singleness off my life, in Jesus' name. I'm loosing the gift of covenant marriage on my life, in Jesus' name. I'm gonna sit back and watch how the Lord fulfills that marriage part of His word to me those 7-years ago - and participate where He directs. In fact, He spoke something else to me related to family in 2015. That word I'm keeping between the two of us :-). But instead of dismissing it as crazy and impossible and that I'm not fit for it as I've felt I'm not fit for marriage, I'm also now embracing it as done and on its way! He is faithful God. His word does not return to Him void, but accomplishes that for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11).

And it shall!

#singleness #marriage #christcentered

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