A friend gave me a houseplant she’d owned for more than forty years. The plant was equal to my height, and it produced large leaves from three separate spindly trunks. Over time, the weight of the leaves had caused all three of the stalks to curve down toward the floor. To straighten them, I put a wedge under the plant’s pot and placed it near a window so the sunlight could draw the leaves upward and help cure its bad posture.
Shortly after receiving the plant, I saw one just like it in a waiting room at a local business. It also grew from three long skinny stalks, but they’d been braided together to form a larger, more solid core. This plant stood upright without any help.
Any two people may stay in the same “pot” for years, yet grow apart and experience fewer of the benefits God wants them to enjoy. When their lives are woven together with God, however, there is a greater sense of stability and closeness. Their relationship will grow stronger. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Like houseplants, marriages and friendships require some nurturing. Tending to these relationships involves merging spiritually so that God is present at the center of each important bond. He’s an endless supply of love and grace—the things we need most to stay happily united with each other.
What can you do to strengthen the spiritual bonds you share with the important people in your life? How might your relationships change if serving and worshiping God together became a priority?
The book of Ecclesiastes is often classified as Poetry or Wisdom Literature. Traditionally, the author has been considered to be Solomon due to the reference “son of David, king in Jerusalem” (1:1). But this kind of terminology was commonly used at the time to refer to a descendant who wasn’t necessarily a son. This person could be multiple generations down the line. Many scholars simply refer to the author as Qoheleth, the Hebrew word for teacher in Ecclesiastes 1:2, which refers to someone who instructs a group of people as in an assembly. And some scholars suggest the book was written by two authors because the language switches from first person to third person and back again.