“The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:22-24 NAS
Throughout the month of February our prayer focus is on Marriage and Family; the first institution that God set into place after establishing the relationship between Himself and Adam; Creator and created. God did not create the world and then abandon it; He established us in His love, and we remain in His love. God formed man from the dust and breathed His own breath into man to make him a living soul. God formed a dwelling place for him and surrounded Adam with beauty and provision, as well as purpose and instructions for life. After all of these, God saw that it is not good for man to be alone and God fashioned woman from one of the bones that protects the heart of man.
The King James Version of Genesis 22:24 is often quoted at weddings, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” The Hebrew word for cleave is Dabaq, and some of its definitions include: to cling, keep close, join, hold fast, remain steadfast, stay, and deeply attracted. Marriage is a sacred covenant that is made between a man, woman, and God in the presence of witnesses. They not only get to see them joined together in holy matrimony but should commit to pray for them as they stick together throughout their holy marriage.
While the love that brought you together should keep you together, we all know that if that love is not deeply rooted in the love of God; patient, kind, trustworthy, humble, sacrificial, encouraging, forgiving, and enduring love, then the enemy will creep into the weak spot of your home, just like he did with Adam and Eve. He will come in and speak words of doubt and destruction. He will speak words that chip away at our covenant with ideas of leaving instead of cleaving. It is the will of God that He Himself is the source of love that established you and guides you to the person He fashioned for you to share the rest of your life with; sticking with them through the tests, triumphs, twists and turns of life.
I want to pause here to say that we cannot change the past. This message is not meant to make anyone feel guilty or “lesser than” if you have been through a divorce or if you are not married. God’s love and acceptance of you is not based upon your marital status but on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Our lives are filled with trials and circumstances that we often cannot control or change, but His mercies and opportunities for us are new every morning. If you are married, I hope this message encourages you to love more deeply, and to ask friends and family to pray for your marriage as you commit to pray for them. If you are hoping to be married someday, I hope this message prompts you to pray and think not only about the qualities and character of the person you are looking for, but the qualities and character you bring to the commitment and covenant that you will be making. If you are divorced, I pray that you know that you are never abandoned by God and that His love and faithfulness are everlasting. If you are single, I pray that you know that Jesus is your Creator and Completer. Your value and purpose is based on the fact that you are a child of God and not somebody’s spouse.
We were not created to be alone. Our relationship with God is our first priority, and our family, friendships, partnerships, and marriage are a gift from God that should always bring honor and glory to Jesus. Will you join us in praying for marriages throughout this month and year. Would you please join me now?
Lord Jesus, we pray that marriages would be deeply rooted in Your love and equally yoked in faith in You. We ask that You guide and guard the marriages and families across America as You draw them to pray together daily, study Your word, and worship You as a priority and foundation of their home. Help couples to cleave; to not just stick and stay together but to grow more deeply in love with You and their souse every day. Disciple couples to dream together, make decisions together, disciple and discipline their children together, and to serve You together. Knit their hearts together as one in a 1Corinthians 13 love; the love that You are always showing us and help us to remember that You are our first and forever love. Fill Your people with Your everlasting love.
Serving Him with gladness,
President, National Day of Prayer Task Force