“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Eph 5:31-33)
In Greek, the word ‘leave’ means to forsake, to let go. Your childhood was happy but it is now over. Something that was previously useful becomes now a thing of the past. Something that was a priority is now ‘demoted’ into the second place. That means for the sake of marriage you must ‘leave’ your parents. The word ‘cleave’ means to glue two parts together so that they become one new object that has a different function. This ‘leaving and cleaving’ is a mystery, a deep spiritual secret. A mystery is something that cannot be totally explained or controlled by human minds. God alone knows who leaves and who cleaves. The marriage between unbelievers is based on lust or other reasons. It is predictable and there is no mystery about it. But for the born again believers, marriage is holy, exciting, adventurous, mysterious but also very practical. No man knows his life partner without fasting, prayer and direct personal revelation from God. Just the way you cannot glue together wood and metal, or plastic and paper, so also the Holy Spirit cannot seal an unequally yoked relationship. Any man or woman who is self-confident and boasting of his choice of a life partner, without asking God for confirmation, that man is a fool. For God made Christian marriage to be a mystery and only Him has the key to open it.
Simply said, in a godly marriage each person has a specific primary duty: The wife submits and the husband loves!
The wife submits to her own husband as a sign that she fears God. This submission cannot be demanded; it cannot be taken by arguments of force. The submission of the wife is her gift to her husband, in the name of the Lord! The husband is to love his wife ‘in particular’. The word means to see her special even if she is ‘lost’ in the crowd; to be attentive to all the details of her needs; to understand how her body and her spirit works; to be careful to avoid mistakes that will hurt her; to desire her best and the fulfillment of her destiny in Christ!
This is our testimony: My husband and I got married in Romania 44 years ago. He came to study medicine in my birth country. We were class mates in the medical school. When we got married we were both unbelievers. I was an atheist and he was just religious. God was not acknowledged or invited in our home. We did not pray. We did not go to church. We were two ‘nice’ people who fell in love with one another. Looking back, I thank God for His mercy, His love and wisdom to us. We later got saved and we are now in full time ministry. I am now free to apply the principles of the Bible in our relationship. I submit to my husband and I honor him for no other human reason except that I fear God. This is the truth: I fear God! I hate grieving His Spirit! I desire to please the Lord Jesus in all things even in my marriage. This element is new in my life. Before I got saved, I submitted to my husband but only because he liked that ‘humble attitude’ and it made him happy. But now it is different. All things must be done respecting God’s presence in our midst. Our relationship with one another is a form of worshipping God and for His glory alone. In the past my husband was telling others: ‘My wife is very good to me’. Each time he complimented me I was very happy. But now, he says much more than that: “My wife is a woman of God indeed!” Now that is what I call a ‘wife testimony’! He appreciates not just my attitude to him, but to the Lord! My husband loves me as Christ loves the church. I feel secure in his love for me. My husband loves me ‘in particular’. He is attentive to my needs and he makes every moment of our marriage special and unforgettable. This is my testimony freely spoken to the glory of God!
In Christ I declare:
I am a born again child of God! I am a happy wife, mother and grandmother!
I left my natural parents to marry my husband, to cleave to him until we see Jesus face to face!
I submit to my husband as unto the Lord! I do not submit to anyone else exactly the same way! My submission is my gift to my husband for the sake and honor of Jesus Christ my Lord!
My testimony as a woman of God is increasing! To the glory of God! In Jesus name, Amen!
(In the picture, my husband and I, on a trip to Israel, in 2009, in front of a Booth during the Feast of Tabernacles)