Text inspired by the booklet: The Dream Wedding… of God! From the Tree of Life Publications (Editora Árvore da Vida)
It is very controversial to talk about marriage nowadays, but if we come back to its real meaning and source, there’s no doubt. So let’s take a look at what the Bible says about this subject.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MARRIAGE
Right at the beginning of the Word of God, we see the development of the relationship between man and woman, the marriage.
“And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him'” (Gn 2:18)
This verse shows the feeling of God towards marital life. God loves the family, He then created it and made it with a purpose to be accomplished, as said in Genesis 1:28:
“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves on the earth’ “
In contrast, Satan, not satisfied, corrupted the couple that God had created. We see that in Chapter three of Genesis. This attitude from the enemy only comes to confirm the importance of a couple that pleases our Father’s heart. Why would he care to destroy what wouldn’t do harm to him? Therefore, if Satan knows the value of a couple united by God, we, as His children who love Him, need to value a lot more the union that the Lord created.
Today we still see Satan’s effort to destroy marriages and families. Divorce became something ordinary, but not normal, as God states that the marital union is forever (Mt 19:3-10). We, Christians, need to defend the family’s conservation, which is too unstable and each day more fragile nowadays. An attitude to be taken by the young ones is to follow the principles left in the Word of God about how to prepare herself/himself and how to be a wife or husband according to God’s heart.
ISAAC AND REBEKAH
I would like to tell you about a beautiful story which can be of great help and encouragement to those who wish to marry. In Issac and Rebekah’s story, we see how God acts. He doesn’t limit Himself on what we see, nor to rules and human concepts, our God goes beyond that, way beyond.
You must have already asked yourself: with whom will I get married? With this one? That one? The parents also tend to worry about the future spouses of their children. We should not be taken over by anxiety, for it, often, makes us seek with natural eyes what only the spiritual eyes can see.
Let us, now, get to know more about Isaac and Rebekah and how God acted in their lives.
You’ve already heard the story of Abraham and Sarah. The part I’m going to show now begins in Genesis 15. Let us, firstly, recall some things: God promised them to give them a son, even with their old age and even though Sarah was barren. God also promised that He would make a great nation from Abraham. So, the son promised by God came and was called Isaac. However, in order to fulfill His promise, Isaac needed to grow, get married and to have children, that is, to form a family.
There was a difference in Isaac’s life: the environment in which he grew up was healthy, because his father was a man that learned each day to trust in God. Isaac had a good example at home. Another good example was his mother, that respected her husband so much that she called him lord (1Pe 3:6). Isaac learned to trust in God and to be submissive to Him.
TIP: Even though we may not have good examples at home, we have the word of God which is full of them.
When Isaac grew up, he became a mature young man and needed to get married. And you know what he did? Nothing. His father did everything.
“Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, ‘Please, put your hand under my thigh, and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.'” (Gn 24:1-4)
In these verses, we see a servant of God, that was Abraham, dealing really seriously with the matter of marriage. Abraham asked his servant that he trusted the most, to accomplish a mission: to find Isaac’s wife. Do we treat this matter with the same seriousness? Do we have a life of submission and faith to the point of, when the right time comes, knowing exactly what is the will of God concerning our marriage? We need to be careful. Marriage is not a joke. On the contrary, it was established to fulfil the will of God on earth, that’s why we can not have a sloppy living and treat the relationship as something disposable.
Another essential point to notice in these verses is that the spouse needs to be a “relative”, that is, from the same family. In this case, from the family of God, born by the same God, that speaks the same language and that knows the purpose of marriage, that is not only to satisfy one another, but mainly, to satisfy God Himself. To marry someone that does not have the same vision is to seek fights and issues, because different views cause serious conflicts. It is a different mindset. It is not what God wants. He wants us to have harmony in our homes, to do what is right, what is suitable.
As the biblical text follows, Abraham’s servant asks him about the possibility of the bride not wanting to come with him to meet Isaac and marry him. However, Abraham wisely answered saying that God would send an Angel ahead and would prepare a wife to Isaac and that, if it were not meant to be, the servant would be free of the oath (Gn 24:5-8). So much faith!
The servant also asked if he should take Isaac to the woman, however Abraham did not want his son going to those lands that were full of idolatry. Are you going to the world to look after someone to marry? Don’t do this. Who prepares the right person and brings him or her to you is the Lord. Care about BEING prepared by the Lord, so that in the future, in His time, you will have a healthy marriage and avoid traumas and several problems.
AH… THE SO-CALLED PASSION
Remember what I said about anxiety? So, there is something called passion, that causes a lot of anxiety and ends up leading to hasty decisions. Don’t let it happen, don’t seek advice from immature people, nor do what you feel like doing, moved by your emotions. Have always fellowship with mature brothers and seek guidance. Many are the young ones that fail for not seeking the right help in the moment of choices.
WHO IS MATURE, PRAY
Following the story, Abraham’s servant obeyed the guidance of his lord and followed the journey. Outside the city, you know what he did? He prayed (Gn 24:11-13).
He didn’t want to fail, he was wise and prayed to not make the choice by himself. The prayer shows us the way, shows us God’s will.
In the verse 14 he asked for a sign: the woman that offers him water as well as to his camels would be the chosen one.
He was still praying when Rebekkah appeared, who was someone special. The servant noticed that and went to meet her. He asked for water and she acted according to what he had prayed to the Lord (verses 15-21).
Rebekkah had peculiar characteristics. She was beautiful, helpful, proactive, virgin. She had the gift of serving and was not lazy, because she gave water to the camels without being requested, which, surely, wasn’t that common.
Another important aspect: her beauty. Proverbs 15:13 says that the merry heart makes a cheerful countenance. Do you, woman, think that makeup and clothing make you beautiful? That is a mistake. Not insinuating yourself for the boys make you more attractive. Now, also you, guys, it is not your muscles nor your clothing that make you special and handsome.
Those that have in their hearts the will of forming a family according to what God tells us must not give such importance to appearance. This is just a detail. What is decisive on choosing someone is the consecration, enjoyment of the Lord, spiritual growth and love toward Christ. Someone with these characteristics is beautiful and attracts the best kind of person, attracts the one who was separated by God to you.
YOU ARE BEING WATCHED
How have you been before God? Before the saints of the Church? Before your relatives?
Your posture defines the kind of person you attract. Have the right posture, according to the Word, and you will be watched by someone special. Do not think that you are not been watched. Perhaps someone is evaluating if you are the right person separated by God to marry him or her. This person wants to know if you are the answer to his or her prayer.
In each attitude you can give good or bad impressions and thus you can either attract or repel someone. But don’t change your attitudes only because you wish to please someone, but behave correctly before God to please Him. If you please the Father, surely you will please your future spouse or companion.
SHE PASSED THE TEST
Continuing the story… the servant approved Rebekkah’s attitudes and gave her gifts. He also asked her to accommodate him in her house asking if there was room and who was her father. (vs. 22-25).
Something important to notice is that Rebekah soon offered shelter to the servant, showing that her father put confidence on her to the point of allowing her to take such decisions. Probably this trust was conquered due to her character. That is another aspect we must acknowledge in her!
CHARACTERISTIC OF A SERVANT: GRATITUDE TO THE LORD
The servant was astonished at Rebekah. She had so many qualities that he blessed the Lord (vs. 26-27). We need to be thankful for having our prayers answered. Even if the answer is NO, that is still a reason for happiness, because this means that the Lord is taking care of us. So, be thankful, because this pleases our God and shows us that we reached some spiritual maturity.
EVERYONE’S APPROVAL: IMPORTANT CLUE
Rebekah ran to the ones of her household to tell them what had occurred. The servant explained to Laban, her brother, and to Bethuel, their father, what he was doing there. And you know what both said? “The thing comes from the Lord, we cannot speak to you either bad or good” (vs. 28-50).
Important principle: the parent’s approval. Do not make the mistake of independence, which is common among the young ones. Be cautious in everything, protecting yourself on every side. The parents and responsible brothers care for us in prayer, that’s why we must honour them and ask for advices and blessing.
GIRL, PUT ON THE VEIL!
Well, everyone agreed, even Rebekah. She gathered her belongings, said goodbye to her family and went with the servant. Arriving at the final destination, Rebekah saw Isaac and when she noticed that he was coming closer, she covered herself with the veil (vs. 65). Notice her attitude. Rebekah did not discover herself when he showed up, but she was demure to the point of covering herself.
She put into practice what is said at verses 3 to 7 of First Thessalonians 4:
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honour, not in passion or lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness.”
Can you feel the weight of those words? Yeah, so let’s take them as instruction and principle.
Another thing that the veil represents is submission. Rebekkah recognized that Isaac would be the head of the marriage, therefore her head needed to stay out of the way. Do you understand? Cool, isn’t it? Let us follow this wise young woman’s example.
Following up, now I want to talk about time. We do not know how long did Rebekkah waited, I believe that “if this information were so important, so, definitively, would be written in the Word. However, it isn’t.
Therefore I want to tell you: do not worry about the waiting. Worry about your attitudes, your posture and your relationship with God, because those items will testify if you are or are not ready to receive the person prepared by God, and, thus, have a marriage that pleases the Lord. Be patient and let God work in you and everything will naturally happen.
GOD KNOWS HOW TO CHOOSE, LEAVE IT WITH HIM!
One detail more, trust in God’s choice. By the way, do not trust in your own, because we do not even know ourselves, neither we know those around us. Be as simple as Rebekkah, that had the assurance that God had taken care of everything. He knows what you need, what you can handle and what you like. Our Father is a father that rejoices in pleasing the son that pleases Him.
Let me talk about Isaac’s attitude. We can see in the biblical stories that he was someone quiet and concerning his future marriage, he showed that he trusted his father. Applying this to our experience, Abraham represents God, that is who chooses the best for us. Let us obey and be submissive, like Isaac, to our God, recognizing His work in us and for us. While waiting for Rebekah, Isaac meditated by the field. What a beautiful attitude! Do not let yourselves be led by anxiety. Wait in prayer.
To conclude, Isaac and Rebekah met up, the wedding occurred and Isaac loved her (vs.66-67). That is, everything went perfectly. Desire the same experience to you. Seek to be enlightened people by God; pure and full of these great couple’s characteristics.
The word of God is full of orientations, a complete behaviour guide. Be wise! This pleases God and form couples that express Christ in this age. Couples on whom God can count; trusty coworkers.
That is what I had to tell you, guys, I hope I could express the feeling that the Lord gave me in warning you and helping you toward having a dream marriage… of God!
Author: Sara Meneses.