How 2 Love Our Cops

The Three Cord Strand

Recently Chief and I went to a co-worker’s wedding. During the ceremony, the couple braided three cords together as a symbol of their new marriage. One cord for the bride, one for the groom, and the third was symbolic of God. It was a Scottish/Irish tradition, and the pastor talked about how they were individuals coming together to make a new life, and God would be the third strand that would keep their marriage strong.

I’d never seen this before, even though I am Scottish/Irish and Chief has Irish roots. But as a couple who just celebrated our 25th year together, I can say that our third strand, Christ, has definitely made our marriage stronger, and in many ways.

First of all, the third strand strengthens us as individuals. My relationship with God is somewhat like a knight in shining armor story, as he rescued me from a destructive life at the age of nineteen. I was in a downward spiral, and in a really low moment, I called out to God for help. He reminded me of the love He has had for me since I was a small child, and welcomed me back into a relationship with Him that has grown in fervor ever since. My husband has had a relationship with God since he was a kid, and He has watched over him, given him wisdom, and guided his life and career to this day.

Second, the Third Strand meets needs that we can’t meet in each other. When I married Chief, I thought that he would meet all my relational needs. But that was completely unrealistic. No one can do that! And then he became a highway patrolman, and that made things even more difficult. In my lonely nights alone while Chief was working, the Third Strand was with me. In the times I feared my husband wouldn’t come home, the Third Strand comforted me with His promises (Psalm 91). In my clumsy miscommunication, the Third Strand gave me clarity of mind and new perspectives that would help me articulate my feelings and thoughts. In my fatigue of the days, months and years of constant battling for our marriage, the Third Strand gave me strength. And in my inadequacies, He somehow made up the difference. It’s kind of a mystery, but one I rely on to sustain me through the difficult days.

Lastly, the Third Strand holds us together even when we are frayed and strained in our relationship and life as a couple. We have a common faith, a commitment, and common values and goals. Even on the days that we get tired of each other, or situations, or the job – the Third Strand keeps us joined by being intimately involved in the smallest details of our lives.

As Chief and I celebrated our 25 years together a couple of weeks ago, we talked about the things that we change and not change, and then recommitted 25 more years together. I have confidence in this, knowing that with all that will happen, good and bad, the Third Strand, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, will be with us, help us, and continue to hold us together.

“A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12

About Victoria Newman - "A CHiP on My Shoulder"


  1. Aimee on July 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    I needed to hear this badly. I just found this blog today – I am also a believer in Christ and wife to a LEO. We have only been married for three years and that is also how long he’s been on the force. We had a honeymoon baby and a second less than a year and a half later, so I’m home full time with two very little children and feeling very alone while my cop works graveyard and a great deal of overtime to make the bills. We’ve just recently seemed to hit a really rough spot where we can’t seem to agree much. I’ve been reading down your posts and it’s just good to know I’m not alone – I feel the same as many of your examples. Thank you for the reminders and the tips, and I’ll keep reading 🙂

  2. Victoria Newman - "A CHiP on My Shoulder" on July 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm


    Wow, you have packed on A LOT in three years, Girl! It sounds as if life has you living in the stress zone – a place where little things like crumbs and toothpaste flavors and toilet paper brands become issues. First of all, you are not alone, and you are normal, and God cares. I’m guessing that you and your husband aren’t getting much positive time together with little ones under tow, either. May I suggest something? Make date nights a priority, even if it’s at home after the kids go to bed. Play a board game. Sit outside with some iced tea. Dream… You need some positive deposits into your emotional and relational bank account.

    The other thing is when there are lots of disagreements, some think that this is a bad thing. I used to, but I don’t anymore. You and your husband have lots of things in common, probably, but there are many things that are so different. And as you become one in marriage, it takes a while. Disagreements are the things that are different, and it’s a chance to talk those differences out and come to some new normals – tailored to your new family. Three years is classic for these things to come out, and are probably heightened by the tyranny of the urgent – diaper changes, cries, and whatever else is demanding you (and him) every day.

    When my kids were young, I spent nursing times with my Bible, reading Psalms. Very good place to start. Another encouraging book to refer to is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Very short encouragements in Jesus’ words to you. Thought-provoking, truthful, and again, very positive. You’re in a time of giving when you don’t have much to give, Aimee-Dear, and so cling to the Source of energy, water, wisdom, and love.

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