Every person on earth is affected by relationships. We have old friends, good friends estranged friends and some enemies too. Some of us are married and have children. We all have or had parents. We meet people, share a few words and move on, sometimes these few words lead to a meaningful relationship. Our lives are shaped and made full by relationships and most of the hurt we will ever experience will also be due to relationships. Our most meaningful relationship is or should be with our Maker, but often it is not so. The purpose of this study is to look at what we can learn from scripture about relationships.
We will break it down in two articles, this article is about our relationship with YHVH and between a man and woman. In the next article, we will look at other relationships.
Our relationship with YHVH
YHVH wants to have a relationship with us. He is our Heavenly Father, but we are also His bride. We want to focus on the latter to show you the similarities between this aspect of our relationship with YHVH compared to marriage.
5 “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is YHVH of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the Elohim of all the earth.
In the book of Hosea, Israel is depicted as the bride of YHVH, who was unfaithful numerous times, but was forgiven.
19 “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, In lovingkindness and in compassion, 20 And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know YHVH.
We are a part of Israel, we didn’t replace YHVH’s people, but became part of them when we chose to follow YHVH. YHVH wants our devotion, the devotion a bride has for her groom.
7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ ” And he said to me, “These are true words of Elohim.”
We are the bride clothed in fine linen, the righteous acts of the saints. Keep this in mind as we continue.
Let us take a step back and look at the words used to describe our relationship with YHVH.
20 “You shall fear YHVH your Elohim; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name.
22 “For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love YHVH your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him,
4 “You shall follow YHVH your Elohim and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.
20 by loving YHVH your Elohim, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which YHVH swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
5 “Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of YHVH commanded you, to love YHVH your Elohim and walk in all His ways and keep His commandments and hold fast to Him and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
8 “But you are to cling to YHVH your Elohim, as you have done to this day.
Of Hezekiah is said
2 Kings 18:6
6 For he clung to YHVH; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which YHVH had commanded Moses.
8 My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.
The word “dabaq” is translated as” joined” or “cling to” or “hold fast to”
1815 דָּבַק (dā·ḇǎq): v.; ≡ Str 1692; TWOT 398—1. LN 18.12–18.23 (qal) cling to, i.e., fasten oneself to an object (Ru 1:14; 2Sa 23:10; Job 29:10); (hif) stick to (Eze 3:26; 29:4b+); (pual) joined fast, be stuck together (Job 38:38; 41:9[EB 17]+); (hof) be made to cleave, stick to (Ps 22:16[EB 15]+); 2. LN 83.23–83.32 (qal) stay close, formally, cling, i.e., be in close proximity to another object (Ru 2:8); 3. LN 15.75–15.80 (hif) catch up, overtake, engage, i.e., make linear motion to come to the same place as another person or party, for either favorable or hostile intent (Ge 31:23; Jdg 18:22; 20:42, 45; 1Sa 14:22; 31:2; 2Sa 1:6; 1Ch 10:2+); 4. LN 34.1–34.21 (qal) be united, joined, i.e., be in a close association, implying a normal continuing relationship (Ge 2:24); (hif) be associated, formally, bind, i.e., be in a close association as a figurative extension of a belt fastening objects together (Jer 13:11+); 5. LN 13.104–13.163 (qal) happen, formally, overtake, i.e., have an event happen as a figurative extension of meeting or approaching near another in linear movement (Ge 19:19); 6. LN 23.142–23.184 (hif) plague, i.e., cause a pandemic sickness (Dt 28:21+)2
We are joined to YHVH by covenant. He made a covenant with us and YHVH never breaks a covenant.
This word “dabaq” denotes a deep intimacy and vulnerability, a dependence unlike any other relationship. Also trust and of course love. I also noticed that with this relationship between us and YHVH obedience to His commandments is required. Remember we mentioned the robes of fine linen, the righteous acts of the saints. That is referring to obedience to YHVH’s commandments. We are to obey YHVH like children obey their father and cling to Him, or be in a close association with Him.
This is possible through Y’shua, who put our transgressions upon Himself and took our punishment. As a result of this we were given the Holy Spirit as our helper and spiritual authority through Y’shua. We will see later how this same authority with the help of the Holy Spirit can repair and restore us to YHVH and to ourselves. It is all part of YHVH’s plan.
It is interesting that the same word “dabaq” is used of the relationship between a man and woman. There are other similarities as well.
Man and woman
Marriage is the best example of a godly relationship between a man and woman. In marriage, a covenant is made between the two parties. This covenant relationship is described as follows in Scripture:
24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
7 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, 8 and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 “What therefore Elohim has joined together, let no man separate.”
The same Hebrew word “dabaq” was translated as “joined.” In a healthy marriage relationship we find intimacy, vulnerability, openness, trust, unconditional love and dependence. When two people become one, this is required in order for them to function as one.
This bond between husband and wife can be so strong that both are deeply hurt if this bond is damaged or broken.
We read in Genesis 3:16 is written “ Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” This desire is what a woman experiences due to this bond and this also is the reason why it is possible for a man to “rule” over his wife. When a deep emotional bond exists between two people, they can have control over one another. This can either be positive or negative. In a positive way it means he cares for and protects her, having authority over her, like a covering. While it can be negative in the case of an abusive husband. Have you wondered why an abused wife always returns to her husband? It is due to this bond they share.
This kind of bond can also form as a result of fornication and sexual immorality of any kind.
1 Corinthians 6:16–18
16 Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” 17 But the one who joins himself to YHVH is one spirit with Him. 18 Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.
When a man joins himself to a prostitute, their souls are joined in the same way a husband and wife’s souls are joined. This sin of sexual immorality is described as a sin against his own soul.
According to Y’shua, if a man has looked at a woman in a lustful way, he has already committed adultery with her.
28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Ungodly soul ties are created due to lust, and I believe, due to what Y’shua said, that these ties can also develop due to pornography or any other immoral sexual practices. In the book of Proverbs, we read about what happens to the soul of a person who commits adultery.
32 The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it.
The word translated as “himself” is “nepes” and can be translated as “soul.” The word destroy has the following meaning
8845 שָׁחַת (šā·ḥǎṯ): v.; ≡ Str 516, 7843; TWOT 2370—1. LN 20.31–20.60 (nif) be corrupt, be marred, be ruined, i.e., pertaining to an object being in a ruined state, implying the object is now useless (Ex 8:20; Jer 13:7; 18:4+); (piel) destroy, ruin, ravage, devastate (Ge 6:17), note: destruction of animate life, see also domain LN 20.61–20.88; (hif) destroy, bring to ruin (Ge 6:13); (hof pt.) blemished, corrupted (Pr 25:26; Mal 1:14+), note: this may refer to male castration or water pollution; 2. LN 88.256–88.261 (nif) be corrupt, marred, i.e., be ruined morally and so be in an impure state, as a figurative extension of an object being in a ruined or decayed condition (Ge 6:11, 12; Eze 20:44+); (piel) become corrupt (Ex 32:7); (hif) corrupt, bring to ruin (Dt 4:25)2
There is another passage in Proverbs that speaks of how a person’s soul is destroyed by sexual immorality.
22 Suddenly he follows her As an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, 23 Until an arrow pierces through his liver; As a bird hastens to the snare, So he does not know that it will cost him his life.
The word translated as “life” is “nepes” or “soul.” From these passages, we learn that sexual immorality destroys a person’s soul.
A strong tie is also formed in rape.
2 When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force. 3 He was deeply attracted to Dinah the daughter of Jacob, and he loved the girl and spoke tenderly to her.
The words “deeply attracted” was translated from the same word “dabaq” meaning to cling to as a husband and wife cling to each other.
A wandering soul
I realized when I considered all this that this may be a contributing factor to the high incidence of divorce. YHVH created us to share this deep bond with one person. We can compare it with our relationship with Him. If we follow after other gods, we will not be fully devoted to Him. YHVH said of Himself that He is a jealous Elohim, He forbids spiritual harlotry. He wants us to worship Him only. I do not find it strange that we as believers in YHVH is referred to as His bride.
So, being in a relationship as in marriage, is or should be a mirror image of our relationship with YHVH in the sense that we are not to share our devotion for our partner with another. When we do or have “baggage” from previous relationships or any form of sexual immorality we practiced, this can and will affect our relationship with our partner deeply. Our soul becomes fragmented by all the ties and we cannot fully devote our affection to one person.
It can be compared to a metal object being drawn to a magnet while being tied by many ropes or ties pulling in different directions. The metal cannot stick to the magnet, it is always pulled away. This is what a fragmented soul looks like. It cannot form that deep, intimate connection and remain connected. It has this deep longing or desire for something else. A wandering soul that can’t find rest.
This is, however, not a hopeless situation. YHVH has made a way for us through Y’shua to be fully restored.
Restoring our souls
He can restore our souls.
3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.
YHVH guides us in the paths of righteousness through His Spirit and His Word.
7 The law of YHVH is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of YHVH is sure, making wise the simple.
What does this mean to us?
Our souls can be restored through repentance, forgiveness and the breaking of ungodly ties.
The first step is always repentance. To repent means to turn away from our unrighteous ways and not to go back there. YHVH commanded us not to conduct sexual immorality, so if we commit this sin, we sin against YHVH. We have also learned that we also sin against our own body or soul when we commit this sin. We are to forgive ourselves and those involved, because we will, when we consider our sin, transfer the blame to the other party. In many cases this is justified, but whether it is or isn’t, we are to forgive those who lead us into or tempted us to sin.
The next and final step is to cut or loose the ties that bind us to that person or persons or sin. This will involve breaking the ungodly relationship if it still exists. Also getting rid of any gifts, photo’s or anything that reminds us of this person or relationship.
Lastly, we are to cut or break the spiritual tie that developed through the relationship in the name of Y’shua and make sure it is done in faith. It may be necessary to do this more than once if we still feel troubled about it. This could be due to our lack of faith, not YHVH’s lack of forgiveness and restoration.
In Luke, we read about a woman who was freed from a sickness caused by a spirit. She was restored by Y’shua and it was possible for her to walk upright again. She was held captive by this spirit.
11 And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Y’shua saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” 13 And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying Elohim.
The word “freed” means the following:
37.127 λύωb; ἀπολύωc; ἀπαλλάσσω: to release from control, to set free (highly generic meaning applicable to a wide variety of circumstances, including confinement, political domination, sin, sickness)—‘to release, to set free.’3
When we have a fragmented soul due to sexual immorality, we are being held captive by it. Our soul wants to wander due to all the ties that pull it in many directions. It can be compared to this sickness caused by a spirit that held this lady captive. There is hope, just as she was freed, we can be freed!
It was prophesied of Y’shua that He will set the captives free.
1 The Spirit of YHVH Elohim is upon me, Because YHVH has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners;
Many of us are held captive by our past. Y’shua gave us authority to be freed from this.
In Isaiah 61:1 it is prophesied about Y’shua and in Luk 4:18 He confirms that it was said about Him. He came to bring us freedom and liberty. The Hebrew word translated as freedom means to be freed from another’s control.
7223 פְּקַח־קוֹחַ (peqǎḥ-·qôaḥ): n.[masc.]; ≡ Str 6495; TWOT 1803b—LN 37.127–37.138 release, formally, opening, i.e., the freeing of a prisoner from another’s control, implying a coming into a lighted area (Isa 61:1+), note: some sources more specifically give meaning as “recovery of sight” for blind, see also domain LN 24.422
And liberty means release of being a captive or slave.
2002 III. דְּרוֹר (derôr): n.[masc.]; ≡ Str 1865; TWOT 454b—LN 37.127–37.138 release, freedom, i.e., liberty due to no longer being a captive, indentured servant, or slave (Lev 25:10; Isa 61:1; Jer 34:8, 15, 17; Eze 46:17+), note: every reference here apparently refers to a time of release, once every 50 years, as a social contract for economic stability and fairness2
Through Y’shua, we can become free from being held captive by our past and we can have a meaningful devoted relationship with one partner as per YHVH’s design.
Let’s summarize what we have learned. We have learned that YHVH wants to have a relationship with us. An intimate, devoted love relationship. We are the spiritual bride of Messiah. He is a jealous Elohim and does not condone any spiritual adultery.
Our relationship with our marriage partner can, in many regards, be compared to this deep devotion we are to have for YHVH. Our relationship with our husband or wife is to be pure and undefiled, free from other ties that bind. We have learned from Scripture how these ties form, and its effect on our relationship. The ties that formed from past relationships and sin, fragment our soul and make it impossible to have a deep devoted relationship with our partner.
These ties can be broken and our souls can be restored through the authority we have in Y’shua.
We hope this encourages you to become free of any ties that bind you and so be able to devote yourself fully to your partner as YHVH has planned it to be. Above this, we are to have a pure, undefiled relationship with YHVH, fully devoting ourselves to Him in love and obedience. If this is in place we will experience true freedom.
In the article “Entangled by Unrighteous Ties, we investigate other relationships.
- All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD, and Y’shua for Jesus
- Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
- Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, pp. 486–487). New York: United Bible Societies.
Tags: adultery, authority, captive, covenant, destroy, devoted, fractured soul, freedom, immorality, liberty, marriage, past sin, prisoner, restore, sexual immorality, slave, soul, soul ties, ties, Y'Shua, Yhvh
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