Summary: How are we to handle decision making? Especially about important things like who to marry, or where to live, or what jobs to pursue? What comes first, Marriage or Love? How should we go about making those decisions?
Opening illustration: My conversation with a pastor friend in our local community while meeting him over lunch last winter. [Biblically marriage comes first then love … our culture has switched it around …]
Introduction: God could have just directly communicated to Abraham – “go get Rebekah your brother’s granddaughter as a bride for your son.” God has directly communicated to Abraham about a number of issues already in his life, it would have been no surprise; it wouldn’t have seemed like something unimaginable or unheard of. But God didn’t – He remains totally silent, so how is the servant supposed to find the right woman for Isaac?
At this point in history, they also have nothing to fall back on – there is no Bible for them to read. They don’t have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside them. They don’t have the resources we have today, so the servant comes up with a sign of his own and asks God to validate it.
Some might say it is not a guaranteed method – what if no one meets the criteria he lays out? Does that mean that none of the women at the well were “the one?” Or, does that mean God simply isn’t going to play his game? Having experienced much of God’s hand upon our lives, I can boldly proclaim that God’s way is the only successful way until and unless we mess it up ourselves.
What about us? How are we to handle decision making? Especially about important things like who to marry, or where to live, or what jobs to pursue? How should we go about making those decisions?
The Scriptures may not tell you exactly who to marry by name, just like God didn’t simply tell Abraham to go get Rebekah by name, but God has revealed some principles that can guide us. And, importantly, nothing else will ever contradict what God has already said in His Word. These are the non-negotiables, no matter what else happens.
How to choose a wife/mother of your kids?
1. A BELIEVER who will TRUST and FOLLOW your vision (vs. 1-9)
So, Abraham tells the servant - I need you to help me find a bride for Isaac, but she can’t be one of the local girls. If you remember, Noah had cursed the Canaanites back in Genesis 9:25. Instead, she needs to be from Abraham’s extended family, which will involve a 1,000 – mile round trip journey and a difficult task – “hi, um, I know you don’t know me, but do you want to leave your family behind, come to some place you’ve never been before, and marry someone you’ve never met?” It’s no wonder the servant asks, “What if she won’t come?” I mean, if she says yes, isn’t a part of you going to be suspicious? What are you trying to run away from?
Isaac already had the promise that he would inherit all the blessings God had given to his dad. If you are in Christ, you already have the promise of an inheritance as well. The question for Isaac was simply, how would the inheritance unfold? And the question for us is the same. If you are a child of God today, everything else is just details – details that need to be subjected to God’s commands and desires, but details none–the-less.
So when you get stressed out trying to discern God’s will in a particular circumstance, come back to this fact and rejoice and like Abraham, believe, on the basis of what you have already seen Him do in your life, that He will continue to lead and provide as only He can, if only you will let Him.
God’s promise and vision was already set for Abraham and his descendants, now they only needed women who were voluntarily willing to adhere and submit to God’s call and stand shoulder to shoulder with their spouses … someone who would give up their independence for their husband and God’s corporate call upon their lives. She would have to make a lot of adjustments but be willing to just do it! If she lacks humility, wants her way in everything, doesn’t trust your call and vision, sorry she is not the one. Beware; you will surely get your fingers, toes and possibly your entire self, burnt alive.
Some queries one could possibly dwell on while making this choice –
• Don’t be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14)
• Wives, submit to your husbands as unto the Lord - can I submit to this man? (Eph. 5:21)
• Husbands, love your wives like Christ loves the church – do I want to serve her or use her? (Ephesians 5:25)
• Is this person able to raise our children to walk in the fear and knowledge of God? (Ephesians 6:4)