In parts 1 and 2 of this series, we have been examining how to know who and when to date and marry to ensure a happy and healthy marriage.

We have noted that American dating practices have been corrupted by our culture and society. It is also clear that most local organized churches must accept part of the blame since they have failed to be places of refuge, safety, and security. Instead, they have been used many times as venues of sinful relationships and behaviors.

Often, the pastor, rather than teaching and guarding the flock, turns a blind eye to promiscuous actions. Many pastors even encourage promiscuity by promoting functions that gravitate toward sexual thoughts and indulgences. Thus, the building where the Church gathers becomes a brothel where the dating game is played out. For example: youth groups sometimes led by a young lustful pastor, schedule youth meetings and events which entice the flesh. Carnal rock music with entertainers instead of true worshippers are booked and used. Many groups go to movies and arrange proms where dancing occurs. Co-ed swimming events are planned with no standards on swimsuits or behavior. Can you imagine churches or Christian schools organizing dances where temptation is put in front of our youth, rather that teaching them to flee from it. This reflects the spiritual insanity of the contemporary Church.

Most parents have truly failed in word and in deed to raise up their children according to the Scriptures. Instead, they have released their parental responsibilities and duties to the church and/or Christian school, allowing them and society, which many times are the same, to guide, instruct, and ultimately fail to properly accomplish the task. Is it any wonder why 52% of marriages in the church end in divorce? Are you surprised there is so much fornication, adultery and even abortions among Christians who attend our churches? Most parents are throwing their children to the wolves at their local church due to the fact that most churches are not separate in thought, word, or deed, but have become part of the society they say they condemn.

The Bible tells us that parents have the responsibility in raising their children. (Proverbs 22:6) This includes not only having daily devotions (which is actually a church service at home), but helping them to choose a lifelong mate.

If parents have done their job diligently discipling their offspring, the young adults will not dress seductively, appearing like a hooker or acting as a dog in heat. The young adult will dress moderately, not wanting to tempt the other sex or cause one to sin. They will not dress as a pimp or a “Jezebel”. For example, if a daughter does not care what her righteous parents think, then this should be a signal to the young man to dismiss any thoughts of her as a possible future mate. It indicates that she has a problem with God’s authority and, consequently, she will have problems with people, and their future marriage will have strife and heartache.

A gang member, hooker, or street person who truly gets saved usually begins to dress and act different immediately. Whether man or woman, they take off the jewelry that was worn for idolatrous purposes. (Genesis 35:4; Isaiah 3:20- 21) They remove it from their nose, tongue, forehead, belly button, etc. The born again woman now wears an earring on each ear modestly, and the man wears none. They quit putting tattoos on their bodies, etc. (Leviticus 19:28) It is not necessary to teach them; it is intuitive to the person who has been in rebellion that, as a Christian, this is not appropriate. It is only in the apostate church that they teach you to accept the customs of the heathen nations and the rebellious society.

Parents should teach their children to look at the development of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (character) in a person as a test of true Christianity. This will enable the young adult to select a possible future spouse by examining his/her attitudes, behaviors, and actions. They will know how one is to believe and behave when one has a true relationship with Jesus Christ, and have the ability to identify a pseudo-Christian.

Matthew 1:18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother, Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word ‘espoused’ as “to adopt, take up, support” (a cause, doctrine, line of action, etc) {O.F. espouser, to betroth}.

The word ‘betroth’ in the Webster’s Dictionary means “to affiance, promise in marriage betrothal n. an engagement to marry.”

To be ‘espoused’ or ‘betrothed’ is like an engagement. According to the Scriptures, the parents are to take a very active role in choosing the lifelong marriage partner of their children.

Genesis 24:1-67 gives one of many examples of how to choose a marriage spouse. It points out the responsibilities of both sets of parents as well as their children who need a spouse.

Abraham in verse 3-4, tells his servant what type of woman his son has to marry. “…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.

Again, God is very clear that we are not to marry someone who is not a believer. There are no negotiations on this issue. If one chooses to contradict what God has already ordered, then it shows a person who does not respect the wisdom and authority of God, but relies on their own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5-6 reads, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Countless men and women have suffered untold heartache and turmoil because they refused to accept God’s law, and married a rebel. They rebelled against God by not following God’s instructions for choosing a mate. They were not faithful in obedience to God’s commandments in choosing a spouse, and now the spouse is not faithful in keeping their covenant vows with them. Instead of honoring their mate, they insult, fight, commit adultery etc. The law of sowing and reaping now becomes evident.

Galatians 6:7 tells us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

In Genesis 24:3-4, we find the parent telling his servant what type of woman he is to bring back to his son to marry. Verse 8 reads, “And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath…In this verse we see that the chosen future bride will have a choice in whether to accept the marriage proposal. But as we continue to read, we see that the proposal is made to her only after her parents have given their blessing.

Verses 12-14 tell us that in choosing the correct bride for Isaac, God’s choice and blessing was sought through prayer. “And he said, ‘O Lord God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham. Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.

Verse 16 describes the righteousness of the bride, “And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.

God wants both parties to literally be virgins prior to marriage. If we have already failed, we must ask God to forgive us and never sin again in this sexual area. God judges the heart and will forgive if we are truly repentant.

Verses 17-19 testifies how the prayer was answered and the damsel did as was prayed. In this way the servant knew the bride would make a good wife for Isaac and be kind to him, as that was a matter of prayer in verse 14… “and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.

Verse 26 shows all of us the proper way to behave when receiving answers from God whether favorably or not, “And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the Lord.” If we learn this, it will bring peace not only in our life with God, but also in our marriage.

Verses 27, “And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.” We see how through seeking God, this man was led to the location and very home of the future bride.

Verse 33 reads, “And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.

When I read this verse, the Spirit spoke to me about how seriously we, as parents, are to take finding a spouse for our children. We are to seek God’s face and fast if necessary. We should not take the feelings and emotions of our children lightly by allowing unnecessary fellowship. God is extremely protective of a female’s emotions and he expects the parents, whom He has placed in His stead, to exercise their stewardship and protect their daughter. As Pastor Dan Carr writes, “God knows that once a bridge is built emotionally, no matter how small, a break in that bridge will devastate the female.

Verse 35 shows us that before one even considers marriage, the man must be in a financial situation which would qualify him to have a wife.

Verses 39-40 confirms how Abraham had faith and knew God would send an angel ahead to prepare the way for the journey. All this came after time spent with God through prayer and studying the Word. “And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me. And he said unto me, The Lord, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house.” We need to spend the necessary time with God daily to be able to have the wisdom and faith in seeking the right spouse for our children, and knowing how to look accordingly.

In verses 33-51, we read how Abraham’s representative shared with the damsel’s brother (who took the place of her father) and her mother how God had led him to the girl. The servant explained that the boy’s father Abraham, (Sarah the mother had already died), had sent him and given him instructions on the woman whom his son was to marry. He explained how he had sought God, and was now seeking their permission for the damsel to become Isaac’s wife.

We see here the active parental involvement as God has given them the responsibility to protect the young adults as they do not have the maturity in God or experience to make the wisest choice.

In verse 51, permission was granted for the damsel to marry Isaac.Behold Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the Lord hath spoken.

Here we see both parental authorities taking their role in choosing a lifelong marriage partner for their children. They do it by following God’s pattern for selecting a help meet which includes seeking God for His choice, direction, and involvement in the entire process.

Verse 52 reads, “And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshiped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth.

Here again, we see the respect and honor given to the Lord. With this type of understanding of where answers come from, and how to treat authority and love God, marriage will then be truly successful and blessed.

Verse 53 reconfirms the requirement of financial stability before the marriage takes place, as gifts are given to the future bride, her brother, and her mother. As we noted in Part 1, one of the factors which determines success or strain and failure in marriage, is whether the couple is financially qualified to enter into a marriage covenant. We see that this couple is ready. They have shown the maturity and wisdom of accepting God’s pattern by looking to their parents and allowing them to fulfill their God given responsibilities in this process. They have listened to their advice before making their decision. Also, they have waited until they were ready financially before entertaining the idea of marriage. Without the explanation of Isaac’s estate, Rebekah would not have had the choice whether she wanted to marry Isaac.

At this point we see that Rebekah had to make the final decision on whether or not she wanted to marry Isaac. Parents were not forcing their children into this covenant but they were fulfilling their responsibilities in helping to find and choose the correct person for their children to marry.

Verses 57-59 records, “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. And they sent away Rebekah their sister, and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant, and his men.

Genesis 2:24 reads, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh.

This is what Rebekah was willing to do and did. This does not mean we do not have responsibilities to our parents because we do. We still need to honor and respect by word and deed. Godly parents have much wisdom from their experiences with God and it is only an immature person or married couple that refuses to recognize this. I am in my fifties now but I still call my father occasionally to get his view on something. Listening to their opinions is a sign of maturity whereas an insecure spouse discourages their mate from this relationship with the parents. That does not mean that we always accept their advice, but it does mean we do accept their advice when it is appropriate and we do seek their counsel when the opportunity is available. Also, we still have a responsibility to properly care for and nurture our parents when it becomes necessary. In America, under socialism, we have a welfare mentality that many times takes away our responsibility toward our families, including our parents. I am personally in the process of building an addition onto my home with full agreement of my wife to take care of my aging parents. They served me growing up and now it is my turn to serve them. Yes, our responsibilities do change when we get married. The newlyweds now cleave to each other and the husband becomes the primary source of leadership in the home, but it would be foolish to think that God has not also placed other forms of authority on earth when it is so very clear that he has! In marriage our position of authority changes, yet our parents should always be viewed as honored counselors and cared for when times require.

In verse 63 we find that Isaac was qualified to marry Rebekah spiritually, as he was a man who also sought God. “And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide…” Again, both sets of parents took this into consideration before allowing their children to marry one another.

Verse 64 and 65 illustrates how Rebekah knew to honor and respect her future husband, as well as honoring God. She not only got off her camel as a respectful action to Isaac, but she also put a veil over her face, as she was not yet married to him and was not going to violate God’s customs. Neither should we tempt our future mate nor dishonor God by accepting the American customs of caressing, holding, kissing, etc., as explained in Part 1and 2 of this series.

We see in verses 66 and 67 that all was told to Isaac, and he made the final decision on whether or not to marry Rebekah.

When choosing a mate, we do not choose according to Webster’s definition of the word ‘love’, but by God’s meaning of the word ‘love’ found in 1 Corinthians 13. One is the lust of the flesh and the other is commitment and character; actual true love.

When it comes to choosing a mate for marriage, neither society, nor the person has the primary role in this act. It is a combination of God, parents and children. Leadership of the church is a good source of confirmation.

The parents should never force their children to marry someone, BUT at the same time the children should not ignore the parents’ responsibilities and advice.


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