I have many friends who arrive in Canada from other cultures where arranged marriages are the norm. I pepper them with questions and ask them to help me relate to stories like Isaac and Rebekah.
The servant said, “I’m the servant of Abraham. God has blessed my master—he’s a great man; God has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, servants and maidservants, camels and donkeys. And then to top it off, Sarah, my master’s wife, gave him a son in her old age and he has passed everything on to his son. My master made me promise, ‘Don’t get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites in whose land I live. No, go to my father’s home, back to my family, and get a wife for my son there.’ I said to my master, ‘But what if the woman won’t come with me?’ He said, ‘God before whom I’ve walked faithfully will send his angel with you and he’ll make things work out so that you’ll bring back a wife for my son from my family, from the house of my father. Then you’ll be free from the oath. If you go to my family and they won’t give her to you, you will also be free from the oath.’ – Genesis 24:34-41 MSG
This was my lesson from this passage as I applied this very prayer when I asked God to help me discover the woman He had planned for me to marry. Prayer mattered to me more than anything else – it closed and shut doors and guided the decision making process so that the emotion of love did not usurp the call. There was a sense of fidelity in honouring God and in trusting Him to help me make an important, life-time decision. I depended completely on the honour that God would give me because of my decision to walk with Him.
After the servant told Isaac the whole story of the trip, Isaac took Rebekah into the tent of his mother Sarah. He married Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her. So Isaac found comfort after his mother’s death. – Genesis 24:67 MSG
As this story closes with my thoughts of happiness for the future, I am struck with the honourable reaction of Isaac’s affection. I find that my relationship with God mirrors itself in my relationship with my wife. When God and I are good, so is my intimacy with my wife. There is another lesson here as well. Because I know that God sent a woman into my life to be my wife, I honour her and receive her as such and could not think of her in any other way – a blessing.
Father, thank you for modelling honour through the loving relationship of the Trinity. I know you want me to do the same with my family. Give me wisdom to love so that my wife will see You in me.