on being a suitable helper 2015 feb 19
This was the first time in my marriage when my husband and I truly disagreed on fundamentals. And our worldview differences were leading us to go in two different directions. He was wanting to keep the status quo, and I was wanting to keep the Lord’s feasts, for example. It didn’t impact him if I wore tzitzit or rested on the Sabbath. He liked our Friday evening family dinners to welcome the Sabbath, and he was wonderful leading our gathered family in communion every week before the dessert. He was powerfully used of the Lord as the spiritual leader of our house during those times. But if I wanted to clean leaven out of the house for the week of unleavened bread, that impacted him. If I didn’t want to set aside December 25th as a holy day, that impacted him. For the first time in my life, I was unequally yoked (2 Cor 6:14) with someone who didn’t believe as I did.
For answers and insight, I went to Corinthians, the source of the command to not be unequally yoked. At least, the source that I was aware of.
“Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife. But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?” 1 Cor 7:10-16
Paul reiterates the permanence of marriage, but that was not my question. I was not going to divorce my husband whom I loved, who was so good to me and to our children, and who was a gift from God to me. I wanted to learn how to live in peace, and how to maintain our unity when our worldviews had become so different from each other, without sacrificing my own obedience to the Lord. I needed the answer to that question. In order to learn it, I now realize in hindsight, looking back on my frustration with the Lord’s “slowness,” I had to understand the law of marriage from Torah, and that was where the Lord turned my attention next: to leaving, cleaving, and unity.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. Gen 2:24
“Leave” is in Hebrew, azab, עָזַב, Strong’s H5800. The lexicons say it means to leave, loose, or forsake. But to understand the foundational definition, we have to learn the story this Hebrew word is painting from its ancient pictographs, the original Hebrew. The thing to remember about the story being painted by the pictographs, is that God designed the Hebrew language in its original form of pictographs, to be read and understood by five-year-olds. We are His children, not His grown-ups. LOL. Grown-ups complicate things, but our relationship with Him is as little children (Mat 18:3), Amen?
The ancient pictographs are the ayin, the eye or to watch, know, + the zayin, the mattock, tool, or to cut, + the bet, the house or family. So the story the ancient pictographs are painting of azab is for the man to realize that he has been cut from his original family. It is not to reject his parents, but he is the head of a new family, and his primary loyalty is to his wife now, and not his mother. (By the way, a form of this word is used of the bride price as was paid to Rebekah’s family when the servant arrived from Abraham (Gen 24). The woman is also to realize that she has been cut from her original family, not to reject her parents, but that her primary loyalty is now to her husband).
“Cleave” is in Hebrew, dabaq, דָּבַק, Strong’s H1692. The lexicons say it means to adhere firmly as if glued. The ancient pictographs are the dalet, the door or to enter, + the bet, the house or the family, + the qoph, the sun on the horizon. So the story the ancient pictographs are painting of dabaq is to enter the house at sunset. In other words, when the husband’s day of working in the fields is done, he goes home to his wife. He doesn’t make himself unavailable by working until midnight every night as a workaholic, or going out with the guys, or finding other things to occupy his time (which equals his heart) in other places. He enters the door of his house, where his wife is, at sunset, at the end of every day, for fifty or more years, day in and day out!
“One” is in Hebrew, echad, אֶחָד, Strong’s H259. The lexicons say it means one, each, or every. The ancient pictographs are the aleph, the ox head or strong, power, + the chet, the fence or half, divide, + the dalet, the door or to enter. So the story the ancient pictographs are painting of echad is to strongly fence the door. When a man and his wife are one, when they are united, the door is strongly fenced so that exiting (either the house or the relationship) is not an option. Look at it this way. If you are in a burning building, and the door is strongly fenced, what do you do to save your life? You don’t go out through the door because you can’t go out through the door; instead you find a way to put out the fire. That is the fundamental and foundational law of marriage from Torah, and its definition from its very first occurrence in Genesis.
Being flawed humans, the first thing we do when faced with this scenario of unity with one person for life, no outs, is look for loopholes. The teaching on the law of marriage continues throughout Torah and the Hebrew Scriptures addressing the loopholes, one by one, and it is to the loopholes that God took me next, in order to answer my question of dwelling together in peace.