What does Yahweh’s word have to say about marriage? Does Yahweh have the couples choose for themselves or is He/their father’s to choose for them? How is this “getting married” thing supposed to work, anyhow? Are we supposed to do arranged marriages, or love marriages? When did arranged marriages stop and why?
These questions have been playing through my mind. What exactly does Yahweh’s word say about marriage? Does He have anything to say to us on this regard?
With these questions running through my mind, I began my journey of finding answers to my questions. The quest had begun! I knew that Yahweh had to have something to say on it, so what was it?
I’d like to start by sharing with you what my first answer was to the first question “What does Yahweh’s word have to say about marriage (or getting married)? Who does the choosing?”
Ephesians 1:4-5, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Yahshua the anointed to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”
Yahweh provided his son Yahshua with his wife. Yahweh chose us for His Son.
Romans 8:28-30, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
We can see again that it was Yahweh who chose us for His Son’s wife, not Yahshua choosing us for himself. If Yahshua didn’t choose His own bride, who are we to think that we should? Yahweh, our Father, provides for all our needs, including arranging our marriage. So is the same with our earthly father’s.
1 Timothy 5:8 goes on to explain this, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
Providing doesn’t just put food on the table. He provides for his own, in whatever manner provision is needed. Whether it be clothing, food, a roof over their heads, or a spouse. Our father’s are our providers.
Matthew 6:25-32, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”
Luke 12:30, “For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.”
Yahweh, our heavenly Father, knows our every need. As a Father, he knew what his Son needed and He provided him with the wife that He needed. So it is with our earthly fathers. Think about it. They have known what is best for us for all these years, what makes us think that they no longer know what is best for us? It just doesn’t make any sense. Yes, they are human. But they have a Heavenly Father who has given them a lot of instruction on this and will guide them through the process. We don’t have to get in the way. We just aren’t capable of doing as good of job as our wonderful parents (who know us as well and better than anyone else!).
I would like to share with you some of the instruction that Yahweh gave to our father’s concerning our spouses.
Deuteronomy 7:3 says (Remember, this is Yahweh talking to our father’s), “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”
Ezra 9:12 says, “Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever.”
Nehemiah 10:30 says, “And that we would not give our daughters unto the people of the land, nor take their daughters for our sons:”
Nehemiah 13:25 says, “And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.”
Jeremiah 29:6 says, “Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.”
Did you realize something here? Yahweh spoke to FATHERS about their children’s spouses/marriages. He didn’t speak to us, or our husbands, girls. He spoke to FATHERS and gave FATHERS the instruction as to who to choose and whom to not choose for their children. This was how it was in the heavenly and this was how He intended it to be in the earthly.
Now I would like to share with you an example of a father carrying this responsibility out. His son was around 40 years old and it was time to find him a spouse. Abraham knew that it was his responsibility to do this and here is the story of him doing just that.
Genesis 24:1-4, “And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and Yahweh had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.“
Abraham still looked after Isaac and made sure that he would be provided for in all things, including having a godly wife. Although Abraham was not able to do this himself, he still took charge of this precious task and gave very specific direction as to what his trusted servant should do (where to go and to whom he should take). You can read the entire story (all of Genesis 24) to see just how it worked out, but for space, I dropped it down to the beginning and end so that you can get the gist of what took place. His servant has gone to the place that Abraham has told him to go, he has prayed for guidance to know who Isaac’s wife should be, and now he is talking to Rebekah’s family about it.
Genesis 24:49-58, “And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left. Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from Yahweh: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good. Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as Yahweh hath spoken. And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped Yahweh, bowing himself to the earth. And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things. And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master. And her brother and her mother said, Let the damsel abide with us a few days, at the least ten; after that she shall go. And he said unto them, Hinder me not, seeing Yahweh hath prospered my way; send me away that I may go to my master. And they said, We will call the damsel, and enquire at her mouth. And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.”
Here is a beautiful story of an arranged marriage and of a father faithfully providing his son with what he needs. And I would like to share something else with you. Read all the input that Rebekah had. This girl knew nothing (not really) of this man, except for what Abraham’s servant told her. After talking to her father and brother, they gave their blessing and arranged the marriage. The only part that Rebekah really played in was agreeing to go right away. She knew that this responsibility was her father’s and she completely trusted him in it. It’s such a beautiful example of a beautifully arranged marriage. They didn’t have to spend weeks or months getting to know each other. That time would come later. They knew that they were compatible and they committed to each other. THEN, and only after marriage, did they learn to love each other. More on this later.
I would like to back up to our parents for a minute. This is important and I want you to think about this for a minute. Our father’s (and mothers) have provided faithfully for us all through our growing up years. They have known what is best for us. So why wouldn’t we trust them in this area of our lives as well? If they have known what is best for us since we have been born (which is why Yahweh has blessed us with the parents He did), then why all of a sudden, when we hit a certain age, do we think they no longer would know what we need? On the contrary, they know what we need better than we do! We are nearsighted, they are farsighted. They see what we need in the long run; we only dwell on what we think we need in the here and now. But which is more important? Which will last for a lifetime?
This brought me to continue my research and find out just what the difference between the two types of marriages are. Thus start the research on arranged marriages vs love marriages. What are the advantages and disadvantages? Why are arranged marriages no longer very common, or are they?
I found out that one marriage is where the parents do the seeking and choosing, the other is where the couple does it and bases their marriage on “love” (or feeling), whereas the first is based on facts. I’d like to share with you about some of the research on why arranged marriages aren’t common anymore and a little bit of what the world thinks of the two kinds. I think you will be pretty amazed. And by the way, I found out that over 60% of marriages worldwide are still being arranged and only about 5% of those end in divorce. Over 50% of the love marriages end in a divorce. That, in and of itself, should speak volumes.