Monday, January 08, 2018

Bible Reading Reflection (Gen 23-26)

I find it amazing how far Abraham was willing to go to find a good wife for Isaac.  It wasn't until Isaac was 40 years old that he sent his servant to travel the distance to the country he came from to find Isaac a good wife.  This reminds me of what we used to tell our children when they were young.  They were not allowed to date until they were 40!  Prayer was such an integral part of this process.  And God provided beautifully.  Here was a beautiful woman of character that was of the same faith.  Though they had never met previously, the text says that Isaac loved Rebekah.  I wonder how things might have turned out differently if there were no prayer or thought given to finding a wife.  I wonder how things might have turned out different had Isaac taken a Canaanite wife.  Maybe he would have been like Esau who married Canaanite women and caused his parents all kinds of grief.  Maybe he might have been like Samson, who seemed enamored with Philistine women.  It likely would not have gone well. 

I wonder, is there a lesson in this?  How much does parental feedback play in having a "plan" to find a good spouse?  Is there a plan at all?  What place does diligent prayer and openness to God's will play in finding a good and godly spouse of character?  How much patience is there in the process?  Is there a wait for maturity, or a rush into marriage right now?  How far is a godly person willing to travel?  To what lengths might one go to find a godly spouse?  How much would these considerations help to promoted a strong, loving, lasting, beautiful, and honorable relationship?  Instead of marrying the one he loved, Isaac loved the one he married. 

Of course, this is not intended to be a formula for the "right way" to find a wife.  However, these questions deserve consideration.  The Hollywood version deserves to be rejected, if then length and strength of Hollywood marriages are to be any indication of how things may turn out if one hangs his hopes on finding a spouse the Hollywood way.  To be moved more by chemistry than by thoughtful considerations from a plan born out of prayer invites a greater possibility of heartbreak.  A beautiful marriage does not have to begin with fiery, head-over-heels love.  That can come after marriage begins and be just as beautiful, passionate, and delightful.

Lord, I pray for my marriage and the marriages of those around me.  I also pray for those considering marriage, which is a life-long commitment.  Please grant wisdom, patience, and clear thinking as the solid foundation.  Thank you for the beauty of marriage.  May we learn what love is from you, since you are love. 

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