Don't Leave Each Other Behind
August 21, 2023
Ephesians 5:31, English Standard Version
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become on flesh.”
The verse for this article is likely one of the most quoted and used verses when discussing the topic of marriage. It tells a lot about how a husband and wife should see each other, treat each other, and support each other. One of the parts of this verse says that the husband is to “hold fast to” his wife. This is an interesting phrase and when we begin to look at other translations, we will start to see different ways in which it is described. The original word that was used is the Greek word “Proskollao” and is defined in this way: to join oneself to another closely, to cleave to, to stick to, and to glue oneself upon another. As a person who enjoys woodworking, that final definition really hit me. I know that when two pieces of lumber are properly glued together, the joint where they are glued to will be extremely strong. In fact, when a joint has truly been glued correctly, the wood itself will break before the glued joint. It is a nearly unbreakable bond. Do we view our marriages in the same way?
I recently experienced an incident which started me thinking about the way that a husband and wife intend to stick together. My wife and I have been blessed to be able to start exercising at a local community center. One of the features of the center is a very large swimming pool which is set up for lap swimming. One to two times each week we have been swimming laps together and the other day I completed one of my laps and looked back and saw that my wife had stopped about thirty feet from the end. She was holding onto the side, and I could tell that she was tired. I had a feeling in my heart and mind that I needed to go and get her. I immediately swam back to her and when I got there, I told her to hold onto me. I swam back to the end of the lane with her holding onto my shoulders. I then told her that I wouldn’t leave her behind. Later that day, I thought back to that moment and realized that there have been many times when I was falling behind. Times when I wasn’t praying the way I should, or leading the family in the way I should, or pursuing Christ the way I should, and my wife would come back and carry me forward.
I believe that the kind of marriage that we must seek is one in which both husband and wife refuse to leave the other behind. They are committed to helping each other grow and mature in the things of the Lord. When we see our wife or husband struggling or beginning to fall behind, we need to go back and help them to move forward. When we think about what Jesus has done for each of us, we can start to see this in greater detail. Jesus literally came from heaven to earth to get us. He came to ensure that we could have a relationship with Him and be with Him for all eternity. My question for you to think about today is this, what is your reaction when you see your husband or wife struggling? Do you accuse them and point out their faults? Or do you come back, and encourage them to move forward? Let us be an example of Christ in our marriage.