I want to offer a few reflections upon Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
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?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Well, singleness has its advantages, some of which the apostle Paul mentions in his great letter to the Corinthians (7:17-39). But, as Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 point out, singleness has its disadvantages, too. I have been keenly reminded of them these several weeks as I have been working on my B.L. (Bachelor of Loneliness). Yes, by choice to step back into singleness for a designated period of time and not for an indefinite amount of time, for one who is married it is a time of loneliness and a time of being reminded of the great benefits of marriage.
Two are truly better than one. If something needs to be done, I am obligated to do it. No one else will do it for me. Everyday, since I have been at Tyndale House, I have been keenly aware of this. Again, today I have been reminded of this because I have been occupied with washing clothes and cleaning my room. I'm not complaining. It's just that in marriage Lois and I divide various household responsibilities. Marriage lightens the load of each partner. How keenly aware of this I have been today. I miss my wife for these reasons and a whole lot more, including the "lying down together" and "keeping warm" parts mentioned in Ecclesiastes 4. I look forward to getting home to Lois.
Henry, the vacuum cleaner, is hardly a substitute companion. He helped me clean my room, but he lives in a closet.
For you in the upper mid-west region of the USA, remember the Midwest Region of the Evangelical Theological Society Meeting, March 16-17, 2007.