A Triangle of Grace


The privilege of selfless giving offers a private place of fulfillment, refuge and protection for you and for your spouse.

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10

Marriage is one of God's gifts—an extension of His divine grace. In marriage, God has designed a three-dimensional relationship where two people share friendship, fellowship, and passion. We often encourage couples to draw a triangle, representing these three dimensions, as a tool for reflection and communication.

Friendship helps guard us from the barren­ness of a busy life. Psalm 127:2 speaks of the vanity of rising early, retiring late—and missing out on what is most important in life.

Fellowship in marriage gives life a sense of divine mystery. The aging apostle John speaks of sharing what he had seen and heard so that others might have fellowship (1 John 1:3).

Passion in marriage provides opportunity for one spouse to "know" and "be known" in ways that are not possible in any other human relation­ship. The privilege of selfless giving offers a private place of fulfillment, refuge, and protection.

Leslie and Jimmy drew their perceived triangles as they answered ques­tions in three important dimensions of their relationship. First, they drew the base of the triangle, which represented their perception of friendship. It dealt with mutual enjoyment, common interests, and emotional support.

Next, they drew a side of the triangle to represent their fellowship. This side dealt with security, spiritual closeness, and common eternal goals.

Finally, they drew a side of the triangle that represented their passion. It dealt with comfort in areas such as touching and kissing, and dealt with the importance of this area of marriage to each spouse.

As Leslie and Jimmy shared their drawings with one another, they were prompted to be open and honest. Jimmy even apologized as he com­mented on how short the base of his triangle was, as that represented his realization of how Leslie was hurting over their lack of friendship.

In what ways can you strengthen the three areas of your marriage as listed above?

Father, enlarge our capacity to enjoy intimacy.

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