TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
“And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man . . . Therefore, shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”
(Genesis 2:22, 24).
The original wedding vows state: "I take you . . . TO HAVE AND TO HOLD from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part." The words “to hold” are strong and powerful. What do they mean to you? I’ll share a few thoughts, but I’d love to hear from you too.
1. CONFESS YOUR LOVE AND COMMITMENT CONTINUALLY
The Bible tells us that we hold on to our faith by confessing our faith (Hebrews 10:23). I believe this is also an important way to hold on to our marriage. Confession is a huge part of our everyday lives. We keep what we confess. Therefore, every day remember to say “I love you” to your husband. More than once a day is better. Confess your marriage commitment to your husband and to others.
2. ENCOURAGE YOUR HUSBAND DAILY
You can love your husband in your heart. You can think lovely things in your heart, but unless you speak them out they won’t impact his life. Husbands can’t do without encouragement. Remember, it is not enough to say your vows on your wedding day. You must HOLD on to your husband. To encourage him daily is a great way to do this.
3. REPECT AND HONOR YOUR HUSBAND
It is innately within husbands to desire honor from their wives. God made them this way. Seek to show your husband honor in the little things of life and it becomes easier in the big things. There is no greater way to HOLD on to your husband than by honoring him. He runs from disrespect.
4. DON’T LET ANYTHING GET IN BETWEEN YOU
When Jesus spoke about marriage, He stated the powerful words: “Let not man put asunder” or “Let no man separate” (Matthew 19:6). The word means to let nothing get in between you both. God wants you to be one. Glued together. Stuck together. Therefore, don’t let any relationship (and that includes Facebook relationships), any church activity, any organization, or any attitude get in between you.
5. DELIGHT TO COOK FOR HIM
Make it your responsibility to prepare healthy meals for him. Get his breakfast for him. Have a lovely meal ready for him when he comes home each evening. Prepare a lovely and inviting table for him to sit down to each evening. This shows your love to him.
6. DEMONSTRATE YOUR LOVE TO HIM
Touch, cuddle, kiss, and hug him when you see him throughout the day.
7. CONSISTENT SEXUAL INTIMACY
Encourage and solicit constant sexual intimacy with your husband. This is God’s beautiful intention for you and a big part of your marriage relationship. Never deny your husband; always welcome him.
When God gave the benediction at the first wedding, He stated: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). This is God’s description of marriage.
I have ministered to women at conventions about marriage and encouraged them to be one with their husband –to have one heart, one vision, and one purpose. I believe this is true and I am sure God smiles. But it is not what the Bible says. If I am going to be factually true to the Bible, I must encourage wives to be “one flesh.”
Even if your husband is not on board with you spiritually, even if you don’t agree on everything, and even if you have different visions you can still be, and must be, one flesh! This is what marriage is all about. So, make sure it happens!
Be blessed and encouraged,
“Dear Father, please help me to see my marriage as You designed it. You want our relationship to be a picture of Christ and the church. Help me to show reverence to my husband as I would to Christ. Help me to show love to my husband as I love You. Amen.”
Every day I am thinking of a fresh way to show love to my husband and hold him to my heart.