It’s certainly not how we choose a mate today. But what a picture. The forethought, discernment, and commitment in Genesis Twenty Four – in regard to marriage – is beautiful.
The Forethought. First, Abraham desires his son to marry someone from his own country and relatives…not for racial reasons, but for religious ones. Abraham sets a course for his son to find a wife who is committed to God, and not foreign idols.
The Discernment. Abraham’s servant prays fervently during the process that leads him to Rebekah. He prays when he first arrives. He talks to God about his plan for knowing when he finds the right girl to be Isaac’s wife. (vs.12-14) Once the plan comes together, he waits. Without saying a word, he watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful. (vs.21) He gives careful thought and seeks God’s confirmation. When he talks to Rebekah’s family and explains his mission, he makes no demands. He is kind and gives them the opportunity to say no. (vs.49)
The Commitment. When Rebekah’s family wants to her to remain for ten days or so before leaving (and really, who could blame them), the servant is impatient. It’s evident he is excited to get home and share the news. So they ask Rebekah…stay for a few days, or go? She replies simply, “I will go.” (vs.58) When Isaac first meets her, there is no discussion of why her. She became his wife, and he loved her. (vs.67) I love that. She became his wife, and he loved her. It was obviously a choice to fully commit because he knew she was the one God chose for him.
Though the process is quite different in our culture, Genesis Twenty Four is such a beautiful picture of what we want for our own kids. I wanted them to have forethought to seek a mate who loves God and shares their outlook on life. I wanted them to discern as they dated, and to seek God’s confirmation. And I want them to commit.
Marriage is not all bliss. I love it. But it’s really hard and messy work. I want my sons to see their wives as gifts from God…every day…in every way. I want them to love them…and to be loved, especially when it’s most difficult.
God, bless our children and their spouses with your vision for their marriage. Through long nights, tight budgets, mounding dishes, endless temptation…remind them to commit. And to love.