Ephesians 5:33b: And the wife should respect her husband.
Respect is his primary need, his deepest desire.

I Put My Followers First

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Respecting His Heritage

This past weekend I captured photographs in our backyard of a ripening pomegranate.  Its beauty is magnificent, in my eyes.  I have memories of pomegranates from my childhood, but I'll save those stories for another day.  Today I wish to take the opportunity to honor my husband's heritage.

My husband is a Cohen.  He was raised in the Jewish faith, bar mitzvahed at the age of 14 and then quickly fell away from his faith due to life tragedies and consequent poor choices.

His addictive behavior led to a massive stroke before the age of 40.  He says that it was as if God had "smacked him upside the head" to get his attention. He began to get his life together.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

He met Christ and got to know him during his coma.  He speaks of the "man with the holes in his hands who would understand him when no one else did."  Of course, Bruce did not know that this "man" was Jesus Christ until years later.

Shortly after we were married he recorded this testimony for a friend of mine, also named Sharon.

But, I digress.  This post is about his heritage and my photos of the week.  The photographs are of pomegranates that hang over our back fence from a tree growing in the neighbor's back yard.

"And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about: A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the hem of the robe round about.   And it shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and when he cometh out, that he die not."
Exodus 28:33-35

A Kohen (or Cohen, Hebrew "priest", pl. Kohanim or Cohanim) is assumed to be a direct male descendant of the Biblical Aaron, brother of Moses, and has a distinct personal status within Judaism.   

The Torah appoints Aaron, brother of Moses, and Aaron's descendants as Kohanim or high priests (Numbers 3:1-4).  Most of the service in the Temple could be conducted only by Kohanim.  
The high priest's vestments of office, which he wore, during his ministrations, above those prescribed for the common priests, included the "me'il," a sleeveless, purple robe, the lower hem of which was fringed with small golden bells alternating with pomegranate tassels in violet, red, purple, and scarlet.

The main role of the Kohanim was to act on behalf of the Jewish people in terms of performing the Temple service.  However, beyond that, their job was to unify the Jewish people and to keep them unified.

There is much to be learned of my husband's heritage and I enjoy the research.  I am always touched to discover how very chosen of God his lineage is.  The more I study, the more this is validated. 

But, honestly, I also know that Bruce, the individual, is chosen of God.   I knew that God was asking me to marry this broken man.  And that, though disabled in many ways, I was not being called to be his nursemaid.

Bruce had recovered sufficiently to live on his own for seven years before I showed up.  No, God wanted to bless this man with a helpmeet.  God had heard my husband's cries of loneliness and his pleading for a companion.  God impressed upon my heart and in my mind that I was to be his helpmeet.  I also knew that my duty would be to give this man the respect and honor God ordained for him.  It was and is an impression I am unable to shake.  

In essence, God told me that he had saved this man for a purpose and it was His desire that I should walk beside him on his journey.  If I were to coddle, circumvent, or otherwise diminish my husband's accomplishing his purpose and calling, to ignore his chosen status in God's eyes, would be a great dishonor to them both.

When you look at your husband, do you see the child of God that God himself sees?  Do you recognize that God orchestrated every world event that led to your husband's birth and his place on this earth and He did it intentionally?  Have you learned of the events that preceded your husband's arrival, that prepared for his existence and established his direction?  If you knew of them, of God's preparations for your husband's mission on earth, would it change the way you treat him?

These are questions and answers that fill my mind when Bruce doesn't know that I'm watching him.  These are the considerations that flavor my prayers on his behalf.  My constant prayer is that he fulfill the purpose to which God sent him, broke him and saved him to accomplish.  I also pray that I never get in his way or become a stumbling block on his path.

Outdoor Wednesday: Click on the picture below to learn more...



Karen Tapahe said...

Wonderful post! I'm married to a Navajo man and absolutely love his culture. Even my own family says I get more Native American all the time. The reverence that his culture has for life, people, and all creations inspires me constantly. If I didn't respect his culture and traditions, our marriage would never have lasted. We will be celebrating 22 years on August 20.

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

I am so blessed to be married these past 35 years to a Godly man. I respect him for faithfully following Jesus Christ as a husband, a father, a buisness man and as a friend. His generosity and wisdom guide all of those he is involved with, across the spectrum.

God is faithful and keeps His own under His watchful care. My husband is a prime example. Rescued from a broken home, from addiction and from great loss, he continues to reach more and more of the potential God has given him. His life is a testimony to the unfailing love of God. Rosemary

HL said...

Beautiful sharing... a great blessing to be able to watch Him grow. Thanks so much for sharing WFW with us.
Hugs, HL

cfoxes33 said...

Very interesting.

Amy Sullivan said...

Thank you for the great post, and thank you for sharing the story of your stroke as a comment on my blog. Wow. What a different perspective you must have now...a truly defining moment for you.

I was excited to catch up on my reading here, and see you were asked to write a testimonial for the Respect Dare..how fun!

Denise said...

Such a special post.

Penny said...

Sharon - this is just wonderful!!! tomorrow when the house is quiet - I'm going to come back and read it again!

I love when women write about their husbands. I know that my Pastor Husband is truly my hero!!!

I love coming to your blog - even if it's not iFellowship day!

Have a great evening!

acte gratuit said...

Great blog Sharon! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

JO said...

Thank you for sharing... and thanks for visiting my blog.

Kathryn said...

Hi Sharon, what a beautiful post. I had no idea what a pomegranate even looked like :) It's a great picture. Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting on my pictures. My kids were sure enjoying the giant sprinkler!

Blessings, Kathryn

I'm a full-time mummy said...

Hi Sharon!

Thank you so much for your feedback on my post about Ben praying! You are by far one of the longest commenter I get (NOT complaining at all, totally appreciate and enjoys it!)

I like iFellowship too though I'm guilty for not checking it often enough!

Thank you again for your follow (I've returned the favor and am your latest follower now!) and hope to see you around here more! Have a blessed day!

~ Jenny ( I'm a full-time mummy )

It's Just Dottie said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment. I feel blessed. The pomegranate is lovely. I wish it was in my back yard ! Your post is so true in ever way! God is good.

nannykim said...

What a wonderful story. I have never seen pomegranates actually growing and now I see why God used that design for the bottom of the robes. Thanks for sharing this! & Also the interesting things about your husbands lineage.

My FIL had a stroke 2 years ago. He really felt like taking his life when he was in the hospital. But Christ's love poured over him one night and he said if it had lasted much longer he couldn't have taken it. Since that time he can't stop talking to others about Christ and he has prayed with so many others. He is still crippled, but what an example to us of someone that lives for God.

Rachel said...

What a great post!! I don't know if I've ever seen pictures of pomegranates in anything other than a book!! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! I'm looking forward to exploring yours! Have a great Thursday! =)

ozjane said...

I love those pomegranates and was only saying this afternoon that I thought I bought one around this time last year and ended up in hospital before they could be planted.....my handyman planted some...and the drought dealt with others but now the rains have come...I wonder if it will appear somewhere after all.
My ex husband chose to leave me as he was heading to a breakdown and so my time in fulfilling that role was short.....and now it is I who could do with the helpmate......But God knows God cares and He plans for me in love and what is best for me is what He will give me.

Pam said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. Your blog is beautiful. My mother had 2 strokes and I found it very interesting to read your account of having a stroke.

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

I think it's a breath of fresh air when women write lovingly and respectfully about their husbands. After all, if we don't build them up, who will?

k80 @ onegirlsjourney said...

I am glad I found you through another blog. I will def. be following. I heard a message on Sunday about letting God give you a strategy for whatever situation you are in, and it has been on my heart to really understand what respect and submission to my husband means (I'm newly married - just 4 months and I want to start off right!) I am excited to follow you and read back on some of your other posts! Thank you!

Mama Zen said...

You've given me so much to think about!

Coby said...

Visiting from Mrs. 4444 - this was so inspiring! I'm married to a wonderful man of God whose great=grandparents came from Germany with literally nothing and established a family ranch. There are many wonderful men and women of God in his heritage, and I'm so thankful to have married into his family.

This makes me want to call my mother in-law and find out about the circumstances of his birth.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I try to look at all people as children of God. So yes, I see my husband that way. :)

As for his heritage and where he came from... well, we have his dad to rely on but there isn't a deep cultural heritage. We cut ourselves off from his mother for the sake of safety and sanity years ago. But what we do have is his dad's side of the family and the annual family reunion down South. Southern roots are something we have in common and being Southern is certainly a heritage in and of itself.

Mrs4444 said...

What a thought-provoking question--I'm going to spend some time thinking of my husband as a child of God; I've never done that before! Thanks.

Mrs4444 said...

P.S. Enjoyed hearing Bruce's story; his faith shines through every word.

Can I get an Amen?