[God] will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son… Gen 24:7
In older days and even in some cultures today, marriages were/are arranged by the parents. Most people have a bad opinion about this, because we have this picture in our mind of two sets of parents forcing their kids to marry each other against their will. But this probably wasn’t the case in most instances. I am certainly not an advocate for arranged marriages, but I can see some wisdom in the idea. If the parents are good parents and are truly looking out for the best interest of the kids, then helping them to find a mate could be a good thing. And if the parents had infinite knowledge about both kids and how compatible they would be together and had exact knowledge of how happy they would make each other, would it not be better for the parents to arrange the marriage then for the kids to arrange it themselves?
But there are no parents like that. So I’m not for parent arranged marriages. I am, however, for God arranged marriages. And that’s the kind of marriage that Isaac and Rebekah had. And that’s the kind of marriage that you should have.
I would encourage you to read Genesis chapter 24 [this blog will make more sense if you do]. It’s the story of how Abraham’s son, Isaac, met his wife Rebekah. Through a series of divine events, God set them up. In the end, Isaac got a virtuous and beautiful woman as a wife, and Rebekah got a spiritual, caring, and rich man as a husband. They ended up being a perfect match. Even after Rebekah had twins they were still madly in love. So much so that they would become the first example of PDA (public displays of affection), when Isaac was rubbing on his wife in the town square! (Gen 26:8)
How did they get to that point? God set up their love story. So many people think they have a handle on their own love story and on their own love life. But do they? Statistics tell us otherwise.
We know that more than 50% of marriages end in divorce (google it). Now, let me ask you this question: Where these couples that divorced planning this? Were they planning to be married for a few years and then get a divorce? I hope not. This isn’t with out exception, but I believe that most of these people were in love and thought that this person was the love of their life. So what happened?
I remember a story of a guy that worked with me as a life guard. He was a good looking fellow with a good heart. We also had another life guard that worked with us that he took a liking to. She took a liking to him as well. So much so that they became ‘that couple’ that was always cuddly and giddy. It was apparent that they really liked each other and it seemed like they were a good match. Before I left that town they got married. I was gone for several years, but when I came to visit I ran into my lifeguard friend. So I asked him, “How are you and so and so doing?” He paused, dropped his head, and then he answered, “She left me. I don’t even know why, but one day she packed up her stuff and went home. We are divorced.” He was heartbroken.
What happened to the happy, giddy relationship? I don’t know, but what seemed so good ended as another statistic. Why?
There are a couple of reasons why:
Number 1- We don’t really know what we want. Its true, we covet after something and then when we get it, we don’t want it anymore. It happens all the time. It happens in relationships.
In the bible there was a guy named Amnon who fell in love with his half-sister (first mistake!). The bible says that he was ‘vexed’ with love for her and ‘sick’ with love (2 Sam 13:1) [Ever felt that way?]. To fulfill is so-called ‘love’ he lured her into a room alone and raped her. And then, interestingly enough, his love turns to hate. In fact, the bible says that the hate that he hated her with was greater than the love that he previously loved her with! What gives??? (2 Sam 13:15)
Is this an uncommon story, or does stuff similar to this happen all the time? How many people do you know who loved each other passionately at one time, now hate each other? People like this are all over the place. It proves that people don’t know what they really want. The truth is that God knows much better what will make us happy than we do. It would be wise for us to listen to him.
Number 2 – We don’t trust that God is looking out for our best interests. We think God is old fashioned and a spoilsport in that he commands us to be pure and abstain from sexual relations outside of marriage. Instead He is actually trying to set us up for better things.
Imagine if Isaac had been sleeping around with Canaanite women. He wouldn’t have been in the field when Rebekah had come. Imagine if Rebekah had chasing boys instead of focusing on developing her character. She might have never been at the well when the servant came; she definitely wouldn’t have watered all those camels (Gen 24). They would have missed the good things that God had in store for their lives.
Let God be your MatchMaker.
The story of Isaac and Rebekah should easily demonstrate to us God’s desire for us to have happy and meaningful relationships. God is the almighty MatchMaker. If we trust in Him, He will lead us into an awesome relationship that will bring us many years of happiness and much glory to His name!