“Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” Genesis 24:3-5
Aren’t you glad that you live in a time and in a culture where you can choose your own spouse? How would you like it if your parents had the right and the obligation to pick your husband or wife for you? We are living in a much better day–or are we? If we are so wise and sophisticated,then why are so many modern marriages breaking up? Even being in the ‘church’ is not helping us, for just as many Christian marriages as ‘worldly’ marriages are in trouble–and then end in divorce.
I am not for arranged marriages; but arranged marriages in other cultures seem to do as well as ours. Don’t you agree that we need to change something? I maintain that our method of ‘dating’ is not working. “If we continue to do things the way we have always done–we will get what we have always gotten.”
My ‘fatherly’ advice:
1. Marriage is for life so pick carefully.
God expects us to live with the same spouse for life–and life can be a very long time with the wrong person. Marriage is the second most important decision you will ever make–after the decision to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. You do not “fall in love,” you “will’ yourself to love.
Love is not the measles, which you catch from someone so infected. You are not helpless!
It happens like this–you look on someone and you like what you see. You talk to them, and get ‘goose bumps’–because they seem to think you are intelligent or pretty. After spending a lot of enjoyable time with them (going steady), you think that you would like to continue to spend time with them — maybe for life. You set your affection on them.
3. Most marriages begin with being in love with the feeling of romance.
A new romance is thrilling but it is not grounds for marriage. What happens when the ‘tingle stops tingling’? Real love only comes when ones spends much time with someone through the good times and the bad. Love is more a matter of the ‘will’ than the emotions.
4. No one is truly compatible.
First of all, one is a male and the other is a female (I hope). You come from different families having different customs and different values. You are used to different standards of economic security. You like different types of food and have different levels of work ethic. You learn to adapt and get along.
5. You need to have common beliefs and values.
The closer you are to each other in your beliefs and in your values the easier if is to bond. It is so important that your mate has the same level of commitment to Jesus Christ as you have. If you both are on different pages spiritually–it is just one great issue that will separate and keep you apart.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” II Corinthians 6:14, 15
6. It takes years for two lives to merge into one.
I remember so well looking down on the brown waters of the Amazon River merging with the black waters of the Negroe River in Brazil. It takes many miles of swirling and mixing before the two waters become one color.
7. God has a plan for each of our lives.
If God knew you while you were still in the womb, don’t you think God knows who he has picked as a special companion for you? Wait for that special one. Let God arrange your marriage.
I’m so glad I picked my own spouse, or did I?
When I was eighteen years of age my father moved to the west coast to take a new church. All the way west, my father ‘lobbied’ for this beautiful girl who was the young peoples leader at the new church–even though I was “going with another girl” and “very much in love.” When I got there, my mother took over and played cupid every time she could. So, I married the girl of our choice. For fifty-six years now, I have been married to the woman of my dreams. God arranged my marriage.
Fifty-six years would be a long time to be married to the wrong woman, so make sure she is the right one!
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