Whom Shall I Marry? (2)

Abraham and Sarah had one son, Isaac, whom they loved greatly. Abraham desired his son to walk the path of faith with a partner suited for him. Calling his trusted servant, Abraham sent him on the solemn errand of finding a wife for Isaac, making him promise that he would not choose from among the heathen young women of the land, but from Abraham’s country and kindred. We see Isaac being willing to wait for God’s time and God’s way to obtain a wife. Mesopotamia was no easy journey to undertake to find a family of faith and a suitable bride, but the journey was taken in dependence upon God. Finding the right partner is not always easy, but faith will always wait upon the Lord.

Where to Find a Mate

The servant had one concern. Perhaps the young woman who was thought suitable would not be willing to follow him. If that were the case, should he take Isaac back to Mesopotamia? Abraham instructed, “Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again” (Gen 24:6, KJV).  Abraham did not want Isaac returning to what God had called him out from. It is a privilege to be separate from the religious confusion in the world, and you should not desire to seek a mate from a place where Biblical doctrines are not held, much less marry someone who is not a Christian.

It’s interesting to see where the servant found the young woman. He came with his camels to a well near the city of Nahor. He did not go looking for a wife for Isaac on the busy city streets, the places of worldly entertainment, nor in the place of business, but by the side of a well where refreshing water, which sustains natural life, is found. This suggests that the place to look for the right partner is not in worldly entertainment centers designed to attract the young people of the world, but where the Word of God is ministered and hearts are spiritually refreshed. This is where Christians are likely to meet other Christians with similar desires. Local church fellowship brings young people together in a closeness that may be hard to find elsewhere.

What to Look For in a Mate

It was evening, the time when the women came to draw water. The first thing the servant did upon arriving at the well was to pray. He had on his mind certain things he would look for in the young woman, and he asked the Lord to direct him to the right one. The providence of God going before, arranging the circumstances, soon became apparent.

While the servant was still praying, Rebekah came out to the well. He courteously asked her for a drink of water from her pitcher, and she respectfully gave him a drink. Her actions spoke of a caring and kind young woman. Courtesy, kindness, and purity should be high on the list, as well as a girl who works diligently and behaves uprightly. He had not asked for good looks – beauty is only skin deep – but he found Rebekah “very fair to look upon” (v16) and a virgin whom no man had known (pure, with no moral stain on her character). These important virtues were found in the Proverbs 31 woman, who is described as a woman whose “price is far above rubies” (Prov 31:10, KJV).

The servant asked the Lord that the right girl would not only refresh him but also his camels. He was looking for someone who would help Isaac on his life’s journey. You will want to marry a true helpmeet, one whose spiritual interests match your own.

“Whose daughter art thou?” (v23). The enquiry was very important. It needed to be established whether she belonged to the household before going any further. Her answer was clear and definite: she belonged to Abraham’s kindred. He then asked about the hospitality of her home, because two homes were going to be linked together. If a person who loves hospitality marries one who does not care to have the home open to the Lord’s people, it could cause friction. Compatibility and having common interests in life should be seriously considered before getting too involved in a relationship.

The Engagement

The servant continually acknowledged the Lord’s goodness, kindness, and guidance in the matter, and he did not forget to give thanks to God as the way began to open up before him. It is an important principle to acknowledge God’s leading at all times and especially in this area of your life. The servant then gave Rebecca gifts of jewelry, which she accepted as tokens of all that had taken place between them.

As your relationship progresses, beware of giving wrong impressions about the future and don’t make hurried promises without prayerful exercise before the Lord. Be certain in your heart that the relationship is of the Lord before giving an engagement ring. A broken promise means a broken heart, and that is a serious thing before God as well as before men. Marriage is intended to be permanent, so be sure your choice is right.

Leaving the well, Rebekah ran home and told her mother all about the man she had met at the well. There is nothing that will inspire confidence in your parents’ hearts as much as keeping them informed of your relationship and seeking their counsel, as well as the godly counsel of others.

There are responsibilities in marriage which should be seriously considered by every young man. He must be able to provide for his bride. The servant told his story, and assured them that Isaac had enough money to provide for the responsibility he would be assuming. At the conclusion of the story, the family acknowledged that “the thing proceedeth from the Lord” (v50).

Not long after, Rebekah set out with Abraham’s servant to make a new life with Isaac, her soon-to-be husband. As they drew near, Isaac was walking in the field. Rebecca veiled herself as a token of her subjection to the man who would now be her head. Once the marriage ceremony was over, Isaac took Rebecca and she became his wife, and he loved her. In Ephesians 5 we have the clear commandment for the husband to love his wife as himself, and for the wife to recognize her husband’s role as head of the home, submitting to his leadership, and respecting him.

The decision as to whom you marry is momentous. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord” (Prov 18:22, KJV). The same could be said of one who finds a godly husband. Those who follow not their own wisdom but God’s will reap blessing in their marriage.