Shabbat Shalom, my precious sisters!
I pray this week was a blessed one and finds you thoroughly enjoying your Groom this Shabbat!!
This past week seemed to fly by in some respects, yet was pack full to brimming, in others. But the week has had me pondering on one main subject…Marriage. Not really so much in the physical sense, but mainly in regards to our marriage with Yahshua, our Groom. (Or maybe I should say I’ve done a lot of comparing of the two lately! :o)
I’m not even really sure where to begin, but it is weighing so heavily upon my heart, that I couldn’t possibly go to sleep without trying to write and share with you some of the thoughts that has run through my head.
Lately I’ve been studying Song of Solomon, not only looking at it in the sense of the beautiful picture it shows us of a physical marriage, but even more so, what it shows us concerning the beauty of our heavenly marriage. And as I’ve pondered the two and what I have seen, my heart broke.
Marriage has always been so cherished by me. Something that I so look forward to experiencing one day. I knew what it was supposed to look like, and I so looked forward to sharing in that blessed picture!
I smile as I think of my precious parents. They have set such an incredible example for us children to follow! Yes, after almost 37 years of marriage, their eyes still glow with a love and passion for each other! If they are ever together, they are together. Holding hands. Sitting next to each other. Dad’s arm wrapped around mom’s shoulders. And when they are apart, they can hardly wait to be together again!! I can remember times when Mom needed to leave for a couple of days. This was EXCEEDINGLY rare times, but when it did happen, she would cry all the way down the driveway and road. She was already dreading each minute she would be away.
Sometimes, when Dad would leave his place by mom on the couch to go get something, we children would run and quickly sit next to mom, all the time grinning, knowing the scene which was about to take place! Dad would come back into the room and see that we had taken the seat next to mom! He would playfully tell us “no way!”. Then the fight was on…could we keep the couch just for a few minutes, as he teasingly fought to dislodged us from our place next to his Bride? We knew it was helpless, there was NO WAY he would ever give up being next to my mom!! If they were blessed to be in the same room, they WERE going to be sitting next to each other! But, being playful children that we are, even though we knew what the answer would be, we couldn’t help but give them a hard time!
The same would be true as we gather for prayer. Our family holds hands, as we pray for the meal. The scene is always the same…who will get Dad’s hand and mom’s other one? But sometimes…just sometimes (we are good SOMETIMES!!!)…we try our hardest to sneak in between them and see how long it takes for them to notice! Usually, only a couple of seconds! ;o)
If we’re playing a game, you can hardly ever get them not to be on a team! Sometimes, on VERY RARE occasions, if we are teaching a new group of people, or trying to train the younger ones in how to play, they will be on separate teams. But almost always, as much as we try to be on their team (I mean, who doesn’t want to be on Dad’s or Mom’s team????!), the answer is always the same…ummmm…NO! :o)
We keep the Niddah laws (Lev15) and as the week draws to a close, we watch them both studying the clock! When will sunset be here so they can once again, be in each other’s arms? They may not know when sunset is any other day of the week, but they will know on that day!!! And throughout the week of being apart, we get to watch them come up with as many ways as they can, to let the other one know just how much they love the other one! But oh, how we love those last few minutes on the clock! Dad will smile over at mom…5 more minutes…just 5 more minutes! Mom too, counts the minutes! Finally, the time is here! They run into each other’s arms!! Yes, it’s a sight to behold!
We smile as they still, after 36+ years of marriage, go out on dates just about every single week. Yes…just the two of them! “Children”, they will ask, “do you mind if we go out on a date tonight?” And off they go! They absolutely love spending time together. They are each others best friends, and it shows. Anyone who is around them for any length of time, sees it. You can’t help but see it. Their love is so pure, so genuine, so sincere! And such a testimony!
People ask me “do your parents ever fight?” No, they don’t. They may disagree once in a great while, but even that is never usually in front of us. To this day, I can not tell you where my parents disagree with one another. I know they don’t agree on everything, no couple does, but to the world, they are totally, 100%, united. They are pulling together, in one direction, and it is absolutely beautiful to behold! They have learned what it means to be one.
Yes, such a testimony, isn’t it? But this is the picture of marriage that I have been raised with! I have watched my parents show us children, by their actions, what a marriage is supposed to be like…and it only makes us long for our own, all the more! I mean, who wouldn’t want such a marriage?!
Now you will understand a bit more, what I am about to try to explain and what has gone through my mind. I have spent my life, learning how I too, could be that kind of wife. My whole life, I have watched how my parents relationship has only grown deeper and more beautiful by the day, and it has made me want to learn how I too, could have such an amazing marriage! I knew it would take work, they are always learning how they can have an even better marriage, and will be the first to say that it takes a lot of work! But that it is so worth the effort!
I remember listening to a sermon over and over and over again, as I grew up! It was on marriage, and the pastor was speaking to women on how to be that hidden woman. He shared an amazing testimony. This young lady knew how to serve, how to encourage them, and how to pray. Although she wasn’t married, she poured her encouragement, prayers, and service, to those around her, mainly those over her in ministry. She was like Anna serving in the Temple. Her job was to encourage and lift these workers up, day in and day out.
One day she went to the pastors and told them that someone was interested in her, and asked them what they thought? The pastor said at first he thought, “Jane, you could do better than that!”, but when he thought further about it, he realized that there was nothing preventing the marriage from taking place…it was just that they thought of this young man as, how does one say it? As a so-so type of man. It wasn’t that he wasn’t a believer, it was just that he wasn’t the type of man that they had envisioned her marrying. But they told her if she felt he was the one, they would give her their blessing. They couldn’t see any reason for withholding it. They were both believers.
He said he watched their relationship unfold and as all those encouraging words, prayers, and service that they had received from her through the years, got switched over to him, to her then pouring them all out onto this young man! He said before they realized it, this man was on fire for Yhwh and became an amazing man of God and pastor!! He said they all sat back and said “whoa!”. Who they saw, was not at all who she saw. She saw a man of Yhwh. A mighty man of Yhwh. And that is just who this young man became!
He shared about other Godly women through the ages and the impact that they had on their husbands, also great men of Yhwh. He explained, “behind every great man, is a great woman!” Or what I like to think of it as “Behind every great man of Yhwh, is a praying, loving, and encouraging woman!”.
I remembered being in awe of this young lady! She had prepared year after year, on how to become that woman of Yhwh that would bless her man (not in thoughts, but in carrying out who she knew Yhwh wanted her to be, right where she was)! And the years of labor, paid off! She had an incredible marriage because of it!
I can’t even tell you how many times I have listened to this message! I would play it over and over and over again. How did she encourage those around her? How did she serve Yhwh through her prayer life? How did she support those believers around her? I knew, like Mama has told me so many times, “it doesn’t happen over night. You’ve got to be living that life, now, to be able to live it then. Learn on your father and brothers! Learn to encourage them, pray for them, and serve them. And one day, you’ll find the transition to your husband, will go pretty smoothly, because you would have already learned what it takes.” And so I would put my efforts into learning to do, just that. I wanted as much of a head start in all this, as I possibly could get! My dream has always been to be the most amazing, supportive, and loving wife in the world. I wanted to so richly bless my man, that it would overwhelm him! Sure, I knew I would fail. I knew I was sadly, extremely human. But this was my goal. It has been my goal since I was a girl. And it always will be my goal.
Yes, marriage. It’s a beautiful thing. Atleast…it’s supposed to be!
I told you at the beginning of this tale, that I have thought more in terms of our marriage to Yahshua and how what I have seen, has broken my heart. I first wanted to share with you the story about the testimony I have had, concerning what an earthly marriage is supposed to look like, and how that has been my dream. I think I can safely say, it is the dream of almost every young lady! Our dreams are to make our bridegrooms proud to be called ours!
We all agree…marriage is a picture of totally, utterly, and completely, becoming one.
Yahweh tells us that we, His Bride, are one body, but MANY members. This is the picture of unity that we are supposed to have with Him. Yet, as I look around, the body is so torn, fractured, and broken. People are pulling in so many different directions. It’s like a story I heard…there was this carriage being pulled by numerous steeds (horses)…but they weren’t trained horses, so when the driver gave his signal to “go!”, they all went running in different directions! Some to the left, some to the right, some forward, and other’s backwards! And this is what the body has represented thus far. :o(
Instead of longing for marriage, we long for singleness…our independence, we say. It’s almost like, instead of unity being the goal, we instead cherish our independence! If we can’t do it on our own, we won’t do it!! You say “that’s not true!!!” Isn’t it, tho? How are you working with the body? What are you doing? Instead, we think or say (whether by words or deeds), “Work with an imperfect being? No way!! They’re imperfect!!! THEY’RE SINNERS!”
Sisters, do you know how this has got to tear at the very heart of our Saviour? What has happened to us? Instead of being the blushing bride, pouring ourselves out to our Groom, it’s all about what we can get from this marriage…not what we can put into it! Instead of us focusing on how to please our Beloved, we focus on how He can please us! Instead of focusing on what will bring Him exceeding joy and pleasure, we focus on what He can do to bring US joy and pleasure! Instead of relishing who He has created our body to be, we can’t stand the sight of the arm, or the foot, or even our own toe! Instead of being a Bride who builds her house, we have become a Bride who tears her house down with her own two hands (by our words/actions/thoughts/etc).
I look around me (and I am just as guilty!) and listen to the Body talk. It’s all about what they can get out of the body, or out of our Groom, not what we can offer it. Instead of lifting each other up, encouraging each other, blessing each other, it has become all about “I, me, and mine”. Instead of thanking each other for showing us a higher standard to try to achieve, we tear each other down, because we don’t appreciate that reminder that we are imperfect. Any part of the Body who is different, forget it. They are wrong, they don’t belong as part of the Body, so we cut them off!! I am watching arms and legs, and mouths, and eyes, get totally amputated right off…when there was absolutely nothing wrong with them! They were just as Yhwh needed them to be, imperfections and all…just like you and I are (and this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive to be all Yhwh wants us to be!).
My precious sisters, when will we start to see the spiritual marriage, through Yhwh’s eyes? When will we look at our other arm and praise Yhwh for making us in His likeness, in His Image, and instead of trying to get it amputated, build it up, strengthen it, encourage it to be all that it can possibly be…and yes, even letting it know how thankful you are for Yhwh blessing your life with this precious limb? Do you know how blessed we truly are?
I think of so many I have met through Joni and Friends, a ministry for the disabled I have been blessed to minister with. What some of them would give to have their other limbs back! Yet here we are, we have them, but don’t want them!!! We simply don’t see the need for them! Why? Has Ha’Satan blinded us to such a point that we can no longer see what is right before our very eyes? We are all members of the SAME BODY! Why are we acting as tho we love being single limbs, being able to be about our own business, loving our individuality, instead of being about the work that Yhwh has called us, as His Bride, to do? How long will our Groom weep over His Bride? How long will we hold ourselves aloof from Him? He’s knocking, He’s calling out to us…will we answer His call? Will we welcome Him, as a spotless, pure, and whole Bride, a Bride adorned for her Beloved Groom?
Sisters, when will we stop looking for what we can get out of this marriage/church/body, but instead look for ways we can pour ourselves into it? When will we stop trying to have our Groom make us full of joy and give us pleasure, instead of striving for ways that WE can give HIM joy and pleasure? When will we sing forth His praises?
We say we can hardly wait to boast about the man who Yhwh blesses us with, but when will we start boasting about our GROOM? When will we, the Body, be whole again, so we may truly become one with our Groom? Do we truly find our all, in Him? Do we truly pour ourselves out to and for, Him? Do we truly love Him with our whole heart, soul, strength, and mind? Do we wake up with a smile on our face and ask Him how we can bless HIM today? What can we do for HIM today? What would bring HIM joy and pleasure today?
I smile as I think back to when my sister was betrothed to her husband and how she would pour over each and every word in each and every single letter he sent her! Oh, how she treasured each word from him!!! Do we treasure our Husbands words with such fervor? Such joy? Such anticipation? Do we bathe in His every word?
People often tease me that they can hardly wait for the day when I start a relationship. I guess we all know it will be shouted from the rooftops! And just like my parents will tease my siblings that they are the ones who really got the better spouse, so will us children fight and argue over who got the better one! Yes, all in good teasing and jest, of course! But my point is, do we do the same with our King? Do we boast about who He is? Do we sing forth His praises near and far and loudly? Do we let everyone know just Who our Husband is? His goodness to us? What His amazing, forgiving, unending, and unconditional love is like? Does the world look at our relationship with Him, with awe and amazement at how incredible it is? Does it make them want what we have? Or do they look at our marriage and say “I never want that kind of marriage! I’d rather be single the rest of my days, than be in that relationship!”
Sisters, remember, it’s not just about Yahshua and you. You are only a tintsy wintsy little member of the whole unit! The marriage we represent with Yahshua is made up of a complete body.
You can not possibly become one with just a finger or toe. It takes two bodies to become one. Let me ask you again, are you building that marriage, are you pouring into that marriage, are you working to better that marriage, or are you tearing that marriage down with your very own hands? We have the power to do either. It’s up to us. Which will we work at? Which will we strive for?
How I pray we will truly pour our all into this Marriage! For nothing, NOTHING is more important, nor more glorious, than this! Yhwh didn’t marry perfect spouses. So stop looking for perfection. You won’t find it. All of us are marred…that’s why it has to take ALL of us, to make up a complete body! But this is a beautiful picture!!! We desperately need each other. It’s how Yhwh created us. It’s how He wanted it. Relish it. Cherish it!! And be your part in it.