Building Strong Marriages

Yael Eckstein  |  August 19, 2021

marriage, wedding couple

If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married. — Deuteronomy 24:5

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Ki Teitzei, which means “when you go out,” from Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19.

As the leader of a large international organization, most of my time and energy is focused outside my home. The mission of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship) keeps my mind on the needs of individuals and communities all over the world, on God’s work, more than on the needs of those closest to me. And when I do focus on my family, my top priority is my children. After all, I am their mother and they need to know that no matter what I am busy with, they are number one.

But what gives me the ability to do everything that I do, both with The Fellowship and with my children, is the strength of my marriage. Without the strong bond that I share with my husband, I would not be able to accomplish the many tasks that I am faced with every day.

A healthy and strong marriage is critical to my being able to step out of the home and do God’s work in the world.

Building Strong Marriages

We see this lesson in this week’s Torah portion. In what I see as the most romantic of all commandments, God tells us that for the first year of marriage, the job of a husband is to make his wife happy. Specifically, the Bible states that the man is forbidden from going to war for the full year.

War forces a soldier to forget about his own wellbeing and to disregard the effect of the danger of war on his own family. War is the greatest example of putting the rest of the world first and family last.

This commandment has a very simple and powerful message for all of us. We may not be called to the battlefield, but God wants us to be active in the battle of good over evil. In order to do that, we first must strengthen the bonds of our marriages. Without building strong marriages, we won’t have strong families. And strong families are the building blocks of God’s kingdom here on earth.

Your Turn:

What can you do to strengthen the bond with your loved ones today? Focus on them and give them strength to go out into the world.