Our culture sells us way short when it comes to marriage.
It emphasizes romance and emotions with regard to marriage — but marriage isn’t about romance and emotions.
It looks down upon those who aren’t married, as if they’re second-class citizens — but God values us all the same whether we’re married or not.
It also cheapens marriage by holding up divorce as an option when a couple “just isn’t into it anymore” as well as sex before marriage — but we know that isn’t the way the Lord operates.
As Pastor Scott pointed out Sunday as we studied Genesis 24, it is not easy to be married. But as Christians — whether we’re married or not — we all must value marriage and lift it high as an expression of love and commitment that God himself ordained.
And whether we’re married or not, we can apply the five principles Pastor Scott drew from the account of Abraham’s servant finding a wife for his son Isaac.
First off, Abraham instructed his servant to find a wife for Isaac not from the Canaanites where he lives but “to my country and to my kindred.” That’s the first principle: Narrow the pool. As Christians, we should only marry other Christians. But it’s more than that. We should be marrying like-minded Christians, those who place Jesus at the very front of their lives.
Then Abraham’s servant when he reached his destination, prayed that God would bring to him the maiden who would become Isaac’s wife. That’s the second principle: If we’re looking to get married — or have any other life decisions to make — we must pray that the Lord will lead us and provide.
Abraham’s servant also went to a well where women were gathering water — which bring us to the third principle: We must go to the figurative wells in our lives if we’re looking to get married — in other words, be a part of the day-to-day lives of other Christians. Be a part of a church, for example. If we’re in college, be a part of a campus ministry group. Or be involved in Christian activities such as missions and service. Thing is, this applies to all of us, whether we’re looking to get married or not. We all must be part of a church that will help us grow in our spiritual lives — and not merely because we hope we’ll meet a spouse there! We don’t know what today holds for us, or tomorrow, either. The Lord may have someone in mind, or he may not. Either way, our primary mission is to serve God and grow closer to him, whether that’s in singleness or in marriage. But drawing from the well of fellowship is a principle all of us should follow.
The fourth principle is to consider character when choosing a spouse. The person may be a Christian and may even love the Lord like you do, but is this person’s character full of good qualities? Does he or she persevere when times are tough? How does he or she treat others? In the passage, Abraham’s servant watched the actions and behavior of Rebekah, the maiden the Lord brought to him, to ensure she possessed quality characteristics. We should do the same — and that often comes only after spending a lot of time observing how another person lives his or her life amid a wide variety of circumstances.
Finally, the fifth principle is that decision making of all kinds is a spiritual experience for the Christian. Abraham’s servant placed the Lord in the center of all of his steps before he found Rebekah and after he found her. God must be our destination, the well from which we draw love and life, the one with whom we communicate and lean on day by day for help and guidance, and our example when it comes to character.
Let the Lord be the center or our lives at all times whether or not we’re looking to get married — and may we always support, uphold, and value the gift of marriage.