Last week, Rick and I attended the Jewish wedding of the daughter of our dear friends, Ira and Gloria Brawer. Ira is the Messianic Rabi of his own congregation in Boca Raton. It was wonderful to watch Ira, now the spiritual leader and solid rock of this community of believers, as he spoke blessings over the marriage of his daughter.
We met Ira and Gloria 25 years ago when we all lived in Colorado Springs. That was the time in my life I experienced the crisis in my marriage. Ira and Gloria were an amazing example, to me, of faith and God’s love. They were an important factor in leading me on the right path to God.
Ira and Gloria had a dream of moving to the southwest coast of Florida because the largest percentage of Jewish people lived there. They wanted to lead them to Jesus. They struggled financially, at that time, working odd jobs to support their family. I remember Gloria would come to my house to do laundry because her machine broke, and they couldn’t afford to fix it. She would say, “God will take care of us.” Sure enough, someone gave them a washing machine. When they began to plan their move to Florida, they needed a larger, more reliable vehicle to take them there. Somebody gave them a van.
I saw the hand of God move mightily in their lives, and I didn’t forget it. It wasn’t until we left Colorado that I turned my life around, though. Ira and Gloria had planted many seeds of faith in me that they didn’t see blossom until a couple of years later.
As we watched their daughter’s wedding in the Jewish tradition, I was deeply touched by the ritual of their customs. It felt “right” to me and very comforting. I’m sure my love of the Bible and the history of Jesus had a lot to do with that. I mentioned it to Rick. I said to him, “That ceremony really touched me. It felt like..."
“Home.” He finished the sentence for me.
That’s how our own marriage should feel – like “home.” God intended the marriage relationship to reach greater depths than we allow it to in our society, as our relationship with Him should.
Your marriage should be your haven, your protection, your home. Your spouse should be the first person you want to go to with exciting news or when the going gets tough. Unfortunately, this comforting state doesn’t usually appear until after a few trials and tribulations. Half of all married couples don’t hang in long enough to discover it.
As the Jewish people are committed to their ancient practices, so should we value the high regard God has for marriage in His word and our commitment to it. He tells us marriage comes with trouble. So why are we so surprised when it happens? God also tells us He hates divorce. That means we need to work through those troubles in order to achieve the healthy marriage God intended for us.
In a Jewish wedding, the bride and groom sign the Ketubah, a marriage contract, before the ceremony. It reflects the love they have for each other, their commitment to each other and their hopes for their future including their home, family and life together.
In these times, many couples don’t share a commitment to their marriage. Commitment is the glue that holds a marriage together, and without it, your marriage will most likely fall apart.
I believe that so many couples now live together to avoid the commitment part. Sure, they may voice it to one another in their words (usually with an unspoken clause that they can leave whenever they want). They aren’t making that public announcement and promise, though, (in the form of a wedding) to love one another ‘til death us do part’.
Because the world around us has lowered the standards of commitment in many areas, don’t allow that attitude to infiltrate your marriage. Determine to never give up on your marriage and forbid those negative thoughts from polluting your mind. Make a contract in your heart to stay committed to your spouse as long as you both shall live.