Answer Lesson 129 – Getting Along with Others

Key Verse

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
— Mark 10:9

When Two Are One

Ephesians 5:22-32; Matthew 19:3-6
Grandpa Olson told the children a story with a special meaning.

The big house was bustling with excitement. Every window glowed with light, and the people who were entering laughed and talked happily. Tonight Grandpa and Grandma Olson were celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary!

The whole neighborhood was taking part. It seemed as though everyone had done something to help, and now they were all coming to celebrate.

Grandpa and Grandma Olson had lived in that house for most of their married life, and everyone nearby knew and loved them. Grandpa had won the hearts of the children because he always had an interesting story to tell. Two generations of neighborhood children, besides his own children and grandchildren, had grown up listening to his stories and riddles.

It was only natural then, after the celebration ceremony was over, that the children should begin to say, “Grandpa Olson, tell us a story.” “No, give us a riddle.” “A story.” “A riddle.” Finally, the grown-ups, too, began looking interested. So Grandpa spoke from his seat of honor and said, “If you will all be very quiet so I don’t have to talk too loudly, I will tell you a special story in honor of our special day.”

Even the smallest child grew quiet as Grandpa continued. “When our Lord Jesus was here on earth, He used to tell the people stories quite often. The stories He told are called parables, and they each had a special meaning. This is a story like that. Listen very closely now, and see if you can tell me what it means.

“One day, a wise gardener took two seeds and planted them close together in the ground. The corn he planted first, so that it might have a head start and gain strength. The bean he planted second because it was designed to twine around a support.

“As the new corn sprang into the sunlight it reached for the sky and began to develop a strong stalk. Soon the bean sprouted from the soil and grew beautiful green leaves. The two had been planted far enough apart that they did not crowd each other, yet they were close enough that the bean could reach out and gently wrap her tendrils around the cornstalk. The bean rejoiced in the strength of the straight, tall stalk, and found ample shelter for her delicate vine among its leaves.

“Neither of them realized how much the one depended upon the other, yet in growing together their roots had become so completely entwined that if one had been uprooted the other would have been seriously damaged also. That was how the wise gardener had planned it. He knew that the corn would provide support, and the bean would put strength into the soil which the corn would absorb. Neither of them chose carrots or parsley to confide in, for they whispered their secrets to each other when the breeze was passing by. The bean did not give the grapes a second glance, and the corn had no interest in the apple tree by the fence.

“While both of them were pleasant to all of the other plants in the garden, they realized that the companion chosen for them by the wise gardener was the best that they could have.

“Contentedly they grew side by side, both giving what they could and both taking what they needed until, with the coming of harvest, they grew old together. So their fruit was gathered and the frost came. Their dry leaves rustled out the plea, ‘Let us both be lifted from the earth and laid to rest,’ and it was so.”

There was silence in the room as Grandpa Olson finished speaking. The grown-ups smiled at each other and nodded knowingly. Then Avery, one of the granddaughters, offered the first comment.

“I think I know what your story was about, Grandpa. It was about you and Grandma!”

Grandpa Olson pretended to look puzzled. “Why Avery, what do you mean? I’m sure I told a story about a cornstalk and a beanstalk. Didn’t I, children?” With a twinkle in his eye, he looked at the other children gathered around him.

“Oh, Grandpa!” Avery giggled.

“It was about a cornstalk, and that was you, Grandpa Olson!” said Derek, one of the neighborhood children. “And the beanstalk was Grandma Olson.”

“Well, is he right?” the old storyteller asked.

“Yes!” chorused all the children.

“And what does the story mean?” he continued. “It means that God knew what He was doing when he put you and Grandma together,” said Bella. “God is like the wise gardener.”

“Yeah. He knew you would help each other, just like the cornstalk and beanstalk did,” added Kevin.

Grandpa Olson smiled gently at the little group. “You listened very well, my children. I pray that this lesson will be learned well, and when it is your turn to enter into marriage you will let God choose the best person for you. Then someday you will be able to tell your children ‘The Parable for a Golden Wedding Anniversary.’”