The Biblical Basis: Read Genesis 24
Zoey “feels right” about Ziggy, but her parents plead with her to look at “the facts.”
Imagine your parents picking a person for you to marry. As much as that may sound like a nightmare for you, perhaps it would be even more difficult for them. Abraham went one step further. He sent a servant, a man who could look at the facts and not be influenced by emotion. He was a man who only wanted to please Abraham and God.
Sometimes, it is hard to get past the stunning physical appearance and evaluate the real person. Many times, it is difficult to see flaws once you start to date. It is not a question of “feeling” good about your boyfriend, but rather making a decision about his character and your relationship together. After much prayer and careful analysis you must CHOOSE (not fall for) the person God has provided for you.
Because you, like everyone else, can be blinded by emotion, it is wise to seek the counsel of mature, spiritual believers. Parents, elders, and elders’ wives can be great resources to help you in your decision. Seek their prayers and listen to their counsel. Rebekah had used her teen years to develop her relationship with her father Bethuel and her brother Laban, whose advice she could count on as to dating and marriage. So, if you are a teen, work hard to build good relationships with your parents, grandparents, and older believers who will give you solid, Biblical counsel.
Beatrice is a beauty, but Buzz notices that her relationship with her parents is a battlefield.
Often we are the products of our upbringing. Abraham’s servant was very keen on analyzing the home life of Rebekah and her relationship with her brother and her father. From that, he could discern the probable relationships and communication patterns she would develop in her new family life with Isaac.
This does not mean that if your parents are unsaved and full of problems, that you don’t stand a chance of marriage. It is not who they are that counts, but who you are and how you deal with them. Sometimes, communicating and submitting to parents can be a great challenge. But it can also be the perfect opportunity to develop your ability to deal with difficult people and difficult situations.
Lenny is a loser. Lazy, unpredictable, sharp-tongued, manipulative, uncommunicative, and explosive are not multiple-choices to describe him. Instead, it is true or false, and in this case, all true. He says he loves Laura and wants to be spiritual. Laura thinks that if he were married to her, things would be different.
Projects are for parents not for partners. NEVER assume that your boyfriend will be different after he marries you. If he needs help with his habits, personality, maturity, responsibility, or spirituality, wait until the person changes before you marry, or face it that they likely never will. What Rebekah and Isaac were before marriage is what they were after. Dating and marriage are not times to “reform” or “improve” your partner. Projects like that are for parents, not for partners!
Character evaluation is the hardest task, but most essential. Why did the servant go to a well and not a town plaza? He wanted a woman with a good work ethic, compassion for others (even camels), a hospitable nature, and conviction about purity and devotion to God. He did his best to make sure there was no “acting to impress.” He wanted to be sure that Rebekah had these noble qualities.
Many a young person has fallen in love with a fantastic face, and failed to see a flawed character. It is highly unlikely that marriage will change those flaws. It is worth the wait for a person whose character is commendable and reliable. So in this case, Laura, please listen. Lenny is a loser!
Brutus wants a wife. With millions of single women in the world, which one would be best for Brutus?
Singlehood should be celebrated. The apostle Paul took a practical view of it (1 Corinthians 7:32-37) and pointed out that a single person has less emotional, economic, and time commitments than a married person. He saw singlehood as a blessing rather than a burden. As a single man, he had more time to serve God and His people.
Abraham was a godly man and he understood that even though God had promised him grandchildren, it would be far better for Isaac to be single if that were God’s will. He told the servant, “If the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear” (Genesis 24:8). Far better to be single and in God’s will, than married and out of God’s will. Have you come to surrender to God’s will and would you accept it with joy, if God called you to singleness? If He does, know that it will be best for you and for the glory of God.
The servant had strict “general” instructions. He could only consider “anyone” who had the same spiritual convictions as Isaac. The New Testament also gives believers the general instruction of a qualified “anyone.” First, anyone who is a believer. Paul wrote, “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 6:14). It does not matter if she is gorgeous or if he would treat her like a queen, the issue of salvation is the first general filter in determining God’s will.
Believers are also supposed to marry “only in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39). There are many prospects in the “saved” category. There are significantly less in the “spiritual” category. “In the Lord” means anyone in equal submission to God’s will and Word. So, use your cranium and be honest. What are the differences? Suppose you have the conviction that the assembly meetings are essential and you never miss. Brutus goes when he has free time. Ahem? In the Lord?
As Abraham’s servant sought to maintain his search within the general guidelines, he trusted the Lord to lead him to God’s choice. Although on behalf of Isaac (appropriately, the man), he was doing the active searching, he wanted the assurance that she was “the woman whom the Lord hath appointed” (Genesis 24:44). That confidence is worth waiting for!
Perhaps, one of the most important assurances for the servant was that Isaac and Rebekah seemed like a match. Isaac is associated with wells. Rebekah went to the well daily. They shared the same God. They shared the same conviction about purity. They were a match made by heaven. Even Rebekah’s brother said, “The thing proceedeth from the Lord” (Genesis 24:50).
Letting your mind, not your emotions, be your guide can be most difficult, but most essential. Don’t settle for anything less than the best for you. With prayer and great exercise, may you come to be sure and enjoy for life God’s special choice for you as to the Spouse You Marry.