Updated: Jun 29, 2019
A Biblical marriage is one of the most beautiful commitments someone can be apart of or witness. Sadly however, even within the body, marriages are being defiled and divorce rates continue to rise. Before my wife and I got married we had to attend marriage counseling, maybe because we were 18, but it was well worth it. And while I don’t remember everything, one concept has stayed with me. Elohim is in the middle and the husband and wife are on opposite sides of Him, as the two grow closer to Elohim, the closer they grow to each other. I know my wife and I can both attest to that principle, and its one I believe every couple should know about. It is just as important to know what the Bible says on marriage and how both members should act. The first reference of marriage in the Bible takes place in Genesis.
“And the rib which יהוה Elohim had taken from the man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. This one is called ‘woman,’ because she was taken out of man.” For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:22-24)
From here we can gather two very important aspects of marriage, first it is a union between a man and a woman, and the two become one flesh. Becoming one flesh is not just a physical act but is also very spiritual. The two become one in spirit, if you have seen my wife then you have seen me and vice versa. This is supported by the Messiah himself in the book of Mark.
“However, from the beginning of the creation, Elohim ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh,’ so that they are no longer two, but one flesh. “Therefore what Elohim has joined together, let man not separate.” (Mark 10:6-9)
Further along in Proverbs, us men, learn how truly special it is to find a wife who is dedicated to serving YHWH.
“A capable wife is the crown of her husband, But one causing shame is like rottenness in his bones.” (Proverbs 12:4)
“Who does find a capable wife? For she is worth far more than rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10)
Having such a wife is a gift from the Father.
“He who has found a wife has found good, And receives favor from יהוה.” (Proverbs 18:22)
“Houses and riches are the inheritance from fathers, But an understanding wife is from יהוה.” (Proverbs 19:14)
It might seem obvious how husbands should treat their wives, especially after learning that they are a gift from the Father. But the Bible actually gives us detailed instructions for how husbands should be towards their wives.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Messiah also did love the assembly and gave Himself for it, in order to set it apart and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, in order to present it to Himself a splendid assembly, not having spot or wrinkle or any of this sort, but that it might be set-apart and blameless. In this way husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but feeds and cherishes it, as also the Master does the assembly. Because we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This secret is great, but I speak concerning Messiah and the assembly. However, you too, everyone, let each one love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she fears her husband.” (Ephesians 5:25-33)
Husbands and those soon to be, in marriage we are the representation of the Messiah and our wives are representing the church. We are to love our spouse just as Yeshua loves us (the church, the body), we must take care of her like we take care of our own bodies. Men, stop talking ill of your wives or treating them like a second rate citizen, your job is to nourish, instruct, and protect. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard other husbands speak of their wives in unpleasant ways, enough is enough, man up and do your job. For the wives, as you just read you are to respect your husbands, and there are more instructions for you all as well.
“Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Master. Because the husband is head of the wife, as also the Messiah is head of the assembly, and He is Savior of the body. But as the assembly is subject to Messiah, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in every respect.” (Ephesians 5:22-24)
Wives and those soon to be, you are to be submissive to your husbands, realizing that he is the head just like Yeshua is the head of the body. I know that may sound old fashion or even offensive to say now days, but that’s how Elohim wants it done. The world says that wives should be strong and independent, equal to their husbands. I don’t disagree that wives should be strong, but the Bible is very clear that you should be submissive. Some may argue that there are abusive husbands out there, you are correct, and the wives need to be protected, in the same token however, sisters of the body should not be marrying gentiles (those outside the body of Israel). The same applies to the brothers as well.
“Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness? ” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Let’s break that down, what is righteousness?
“For not the hearers of the Torah are righteous in the sight of Elohim, but the doers of the Torah shall be declared right.” (Romans 2:13)
“So that the Torah truly is set-apart, and the command set-apart, and righteous, and good.” (Romans 7:12)
Simple enough, righteousness has to do with obeying the Torah, which is righteous. Then what do you think lawlessness is?
“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4) NIV
“Everyone doing sin also does lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3:4) The Scriptures 2009
My unmarried brothers and sisters do not marry someone who does not obey the Torah, I beseech you. Marrying an unbeliever will only bring about heart ache, save yourselves from such pain. But, should some of the brothers or sisters already be in such a marriage, Paul gave us some advice. Notice he makes it a point to let us know that he, not Elohim, has given this instruction.
“And to the rest I say, not the Master: If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she thinks well to live with him, let him not send her away. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he thinks well to live with her, let her not send him away. For the unbelieving husband has been set-apart in the wife, and the unbelieving wife has been set-apart in the husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are set-apart. And, if the unbelieving one separates, let him separate himself. A brother or a sister has not been enslaved in such matters. But Elohim has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you shall save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you shall save your wife?” (1 Corinthians 7:12-16)
This is my interpretation of what Paul said but I could be wrong, this is where testing all things comes into play. I believe Paul is saying that if your unbelieving spouse still wants to be married then through you, your spouse may hear the truth and repent. Likewise, your children may learn the truth, but should the unbelieving spouse decide to leave, then let it be. For there was no guaranty that they would convert anyhow. Early in that chapter, Paul wrote something very interesting involving sexual relations within the marriage.
“But because of whoring, let each one have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife what is her due, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with agreement for a time, to give yourselves to fasting and prayer. And come together again so that Satan does not try you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:2-5)
According to this, husbands do not deny your wives and wives do not deny your husbands, when either one of you want to have relations, then let it be. The exception to this rule is if you both agree to abstain for a time to dedicate yourselves to prayer. I wonder how many marriages practice this? If I had to guess, not many but it is one I believe every couple should exercise. Before concluding, I ask that all my brothers and sisters remember this:
“Let marriage be respected by all, and the bed be undefiled. But Elohim shall judge those who whore, and adulterers.” (Hebrews 13:4)
“Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as is proper in the Master. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.” (Colossians 3:18-19)
Continue to test all things, including this, and may the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit) guide you into all truth.
*Bible verses pulled from the Scriptures 2009 translation unless otherwise stated.