The Marriage Triangle

Stop me if you’ve heard this one :: Wanna know how to get closer to your loved one?  A relationship is like a triangle:: You and your special someone are in two of the corners and God is in the other corner.  If you both focus on getting closer to God, then, by default, you will get closer to each other.  Sound familiar?  Anyone?  Bueller? Bueller?

I know I’ve heard it before, and honestly, I like..a lot.  It makes a lot of sense and is a pretty good analogy for relationships.  Unfortunately, as I learned recently, I don’t think it’s a great analogy for marriages.  But I’ll get back to this in a minute.  Let me take a slight detour into the spiritual side of things.

This past weekend at Quest Community Church was a special weekend, Vision Weekend!  Every year, in the month of July, we send our pastor off to visit other churches, meet with other pastors, find out what others are doing, and just listen to God on our behalf.  Vision weekend is the weekend he comes back and let’s us know what he’s been up to, what he’s heard, and casts vision for where we are going as a church.  Sort of a yearly course correction for the whole church.  (On a side note, I encourage you to watch it online here.  You won’t be bored, I promise.)

This year’s Vision Weekend was unlike any other we’ve ever had at Quest.  Usually Pastor Pete comes back with new directions, new initiatives, coming staff hires, etc…  But this year, what he heard was more broad for the whole church.  This year would be a year that we as a church, collectively and individually come to KNOW and TRUST our God in a new way, that our relationship with him will certainly progress.

Pete had talked about what happens when people have an experience with God or even give their lives to Him, but they never progess in getting to actually know God.  To know him personally, to know his character, to experience his love.  They just sort of stagnate.  Perhaps you know someone who fits that description, or maybe it describes you.  Either way, this was going to be a year where we get to take incredible steps forward.

Then there was me (there were a whole lot of “me”s around the room I thought) where actually, I know my God.  It hasn’t grown stagnant for me.  When I say know, I mean KNOW.  I know the rhythms of his heartbeat.  I know his voice when he speaks.  I know his discipline when it falls.  I know his character.  His generous love.  My roots are really grounded in him.  So much so, that when the storms of life come, they don’t really rock me.  I say that not out of pride, it’s just that’s really where I get to live.  Truly in a spot of…if it was just God and me, I’d be ok.  It’d kinda suck, cause we’re both people persons (is that right?), but it’d be ok.

So I began to ask God, how is it that we get to know each other better?  I don’t want to be a person that spends a couple of years getting to know him and then get satisfied with it and begin to cruise.  And no matter where you are on the spectrum, you could always get to know God better, right?  And there next to me was my wife.  In 3 days we will have been married an incredible 6 months!  Still very much newly weds, and still very much trying to figure this whole thing out.  It was then that God’s voice spoke to my heart.  “If it was just me and you, Brent, that’d be ok?  But it’s not just me and you anymore.  It me and you and her.”

In that moment I got it.  I have known God as a single guy.  And I have known him pretty well.  I could anticipate him about as well as anyone could anticipate God.  We were tight.  But then I understood- God wants grow with me.  Its not as if I reached some sort of benchmark for knowing God and then it was ok for me to get married because I’ll always have God as my basis.  He wants my change in status to become his change in status.  In truth, my basis has changed. Apparently, there is something different about knowing God as a married guy.  (side note: I’ll bet there’s something different about knowing him as a father too!)

But how is it different?  Well… I don’t know yet. But my thoughts do turn back to the Relationship Triangle.  And it strikes me, the Marriage Triangle is quite different.  In the Relationship Triangle model, it depends on my me getting closer to God and her getting closer to God.  That’s all well and good.  But how about the fact that God actually wants to get closer to us as well.  He’s also moving, not just us.

So what if the Marriage Triangle was quite different from the Relationship Triangle?  What if it was an equilateral triangle?  What if somehow, because of this special bond of marriage, the rule works in each way.  The more Penny and I get to know God individually, the closer we grow together.  And what if the same holds true- the closer we grow together the closer we grow to God?  As Penny and God grow closer to me, she and God grow closer to each other.  As God and I each grow closer to Penny, God and I grow closer to each other.

What if in this year, God actually wanted to move closer to me.  And move closer to Penny.  And of course Penny and I move closer to each other.  And we each get closer to God.  In the end- all three are getting closer and closer.  (how many more times can I say the word closer?)

What do you think?  Leave your comments.  I’d love to hear them.


Special thanks to  for today’s graphic.  It’s a great blog, be sure to check it out.

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