Michael Yaron lives in Israel with his family and serves the Lord as rabbi of Kehila Tehilat Yah in Rishon LeZion. He is our dear friend and frequent participant of our Prayer retreats. His messages from God, life testimonies and sermons are always a great blessings for all. Michael’s congregation has a ministry of raising healthy families in God. So, we asked Michael to share about family values
Q: Pastor Michael, could you please share what family means to you?
I got married at quite a mature age (46!), so I was single for almost half of my life. Prior to that time, I thought of myself as very spiritual man. Even so, I still remember my elder telling me, “Wait until you are married and then you will see how unspiritual you are.” Finally, I met my wife who was beautiful, smart and all that one can wish for. It was significant for me that my wife was not Jewish. We are like Boaz and Ruth. Yeshua broke the wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles and together we are witnesses of that miracle.
Our first year of marriage felt like a long honeymoon. It was a time of feelings and emotions when we saw each other as perfect and everything was very nice. But, I suppose like many others, one day I suddenly realized that I was living with a person who was completely different than me. It’s at a point like this where one can see how unspiritual they really are because they are in a position where they realize they must give up many things, starting with their pride. In this position, as we contemplate how different we are and things often take a downward turn, we understand all too clearly that it could precipitate crisis. As men, we may start by trying to change our wives, but later we understand that we cannot change our other half. Instead, we need to be committed to pray for them, love and accept them the way they are and ask for the same in return.
A family of believers starts with three persons: Yeshua must be in the middle between the husband and wife. As it is written, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). We are three. We are living with Yeshua. Once you can embrace this key principle you will learn how to really love your wife; not with romantic and emotional love, but real love from the Spirit. For us, the longer we walk in this revelation, the deeper our love is.
Q: Did your wife also want to change you?
My wife also wanted to change me. There were some things that were difficult for her and some things that were difficult for me. But we realized that only God could change both of us. So, we had to pray; first, to accept our differences and then for God to make the necessary changes in us. After this, I was very happy and said, “Wow! Now I’m a spiritual man. Everything is awesome! Hallelujah! I love my wife!” But, my elder told me, “Just wait until you have children and then you will see how unspiritual you are.” When children are born, you wake up in the middle night, you need to have patience, you sometimes cannot pray when you want to because of the noise... Then, you realize there is an opportunity to grow. After all, my family is the most precious thing for me after God. I think that family is the shadow of the Church in the relationship between Yeshua and the Church. My family teaches me a lot about spirituality. When I got married, my pastor told me, “Your wife is your first congregation. If you know how to treat your wife, you will know how to pastor other people.” Reading the Epistles of Titus and Timothy we see that family is very important to God. The Word says that in order to become an elder, you have to be a person who knows how to take care of your wife and your family. The wife is a mirror of her husband. If the wife is sad, it means that something is wrong in the house.
Q: Can you talk about roles in the family?
I see it this way – the husband is given the position of authority, but the husband and wife are equal. My wife has many gifts that I don’t have. She gives me advice. Mariam is my helper and I know that I cannot succeed without her. I mentioned earlier that the relationship between a husband and wife is like the relationship between Yeshua and the Church. It is written that the husband is the head of the family, but we have to read the Scripture in context. First, the Bible says that a husband is in the position of authority and second, he has to love his wife. Everything comes from love. The fact that the husband is given the role of authority doesn’t mean that he is more worthy than his wife. A husband and wife are equal in front of God and neither is better than other. I see my role in setting an example of authority, especially for my children. They need to know their father and of course they need to know their mother, too. But their father is a picture of God (an example of authority) for them. I do not control them or order them to do things. We will talk, discussing everything and make decisions together. If our ideas are not aligned, I pray to God to help me make the right decision. So, it comes from love. It does not come from control.
70-80% of the people in our congregation are from Ukraine and Russia. We have seen many broken families. There are many couples who got married when they were still young, only 17-18 years old. Some did not marry for love and eventually they got divorced. Generally speaking, Russian husbands in Israel are quite passive and it is the women who are very strong in their faith. I do not believe that this is the correct order. A woman can have many gifts, but a man should lead and the woman should follow. God wants men to be the head. This continues to be a problem in our congregation.
Q: What advice do you have for single people?
My pastor told me, “When you wait, you will get the best.” This means we should wait until that person comes into our life. God respects it so much more when you are willing wait longer than normal. If you are not patient and you marry the first person you meet, it could turn out to be a mistake and there will be nothing you can do to change it. But, if you say to God, “I want to wait a little longer because I want to be sure that this is Your will and that this person is right for me”, it is better. Waiting is difficult, but God will give you the grace you need until the right person comes into your life.
Q: How did you know that your wife was the right person for you?
How did you understand that Yeshua had come into your life? One day you felt peace in your heart and you just knew it. It is the same thing.
Do not rely on how others came to know this because we all have our own unique experience. When you see him/her, you will know that he/she is the one.
I had a particular type of person in my mind and my wife turned to be exactly that person. And of course there were many other signs.
Sometimes you see the person and one of you is not ready yet. God is preparing both of you for the right time. The first time I saw my wife she was not ready. When I first spoke with her, she was heading in another direction. So, I told God, “If it is not from you, so be it. Whenever it will come, it will come.” Within two years she received her confirmation from the Lord.
If you feel that is from God for you but they do not feel the same, do not push him/her. Do not say, “I know we have to marry, because I heard from God.” Let him/her hear it by himself/herself. It’s only when both people are really sure that it is from God that they can start to develop a relationship. When only one person has these feelings, the other one can feel pressured and nothing will develop.
Before I was married, women used to come to me all the time and say, “I feel you are for me from God.” And sometimes two ladies at the same time “heard” from God that I would be their husband. It was crazy! I said, “God, if this is my future wife, then I want a sign when I fall in love, not when they fall in love.” In the case of my wife, I was the one who fell in love first. She said she did not feel it and I said, “Ok. Take your time. If it is not from God it will not happen.” I did not set any deadlines of one month or two weeks, for example. When she heard me say this, she relaxed and then she could hear from God. My advice is not to press others.
I was an orphan and I knew God would give me a wife. His word to me was, “You were alone. I will give you a big family.” I knew early on that it would happen in the timing when I was ready and she was ready. She is 15 years younger than I am, but I look young for my age so we appear to be almost the same age. God is faithful and keeps His promises.