My grandma cried every time we left her mountain home. We watched her stand on the green steps of the white house, holding her hand over her mouth, like she knew she would shout, “Come back!” if she let go. I remember wondering if my mom would cry when I left her. She did, and she does.
Now I’m a mom, and I cry when me children leave me. I spent last week taking care of JoHanna near her college campus, helping her recover and keep up with classes. When it was time to leave, I felt so torn, even though I was leaving her in the loving care of dear friends for just one more week before spring break. I wanted to hold on to her.
But when it comes to holding, we’re only told to hold on to the Lord and to a man we follow as our husband. This holding fast is part of the marriage covenant. To “hold him” means we join to him, stick with and stay close to him, clinging to him, and following him closely. As much as I love my own mom and my own children, I’m not mean to cling to them or them to me. Since God’s plan for my life includes a husband, I am free to stick to him. More than being “free to” cling to him, I’m instructed to hold him fast.
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:24-25)
If you work backwards from this familiar passage, often used in wedding vows, reasons for “holding fast” become more clear.
- A married couple is meant to share a unique freedom.
- For a couple to have freedom, they have to have intimacy
- For a couple to have intimacy, they have to have unity
- For a couple to have unity, they have to hold fast
- For a couple to hold fast, they have to let go of others
Immediately after the pronouncement of what it is to hold him and be held back, the Enemy moved in to divide mankind from God, using the division of the couple to do it. He still tries to spoil the power of holding on to each other. Marriage is under attack in our world today, and couples must purpose to hold fast if they’re to survive the strategies of our marriage-hating Enemy. If he can cause a husband and wife to stop sticking together, he has created an opportunity for destruction. He doesn’t need much. He doesn’t need an affair or abuse or alcohol, though he loves to work with those weapons of pain too. Instead, he just needs to come between a man and woman who are trying to “hold fast” and get them to hold loosely or stop holding, and then it’s easy to get them to push apart.
Is the Enemy using something to spoil the “stick” in your marriage? He may use something good like your ministry, your children, your job, or your health to come between you and deceive you into thinking you’re supposed to stick to something or someone more than your man. Nope. Just God and your man. Other than that, hold your hand over your mouth and refuse to let yourself shout, “Come back!”
Has God’s plan for your life included a husband?
If it has, hold him tightly.
Cling to him.
Stick to him.
Stay close to him.
Follow him closely.