Why I Believe In Arranged Marriages
Posted: Monday, August 15
1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13
Verse of the day:
We promise not to let our daughters marry the pagan people of the land, and not to let our sons marry their daughters. (Nehemiah 10:30)
That’s right. I believe in arranged marriages . . . well . . . kind of. It’s certainly not a popular opinion, but in the name of open-mindedness, allow me to rent your attention.
The history of the Old Testament follows suit with the world history of that era; nations rise to power and conquer territories until inevitably someone with a bigger stick comes along. Israel had conquered and been conquered. In the cultural fray, the Hebrews lost the uniqueness of their religious doctrine: the singularity of God. They intermarried with other cultures and began worshipping numerous gods in numerous ways. “Universalism” is the modern term to describe the belief of one end result (i.e. heaven) with endless pathways to achieve it. The concept is wonderfully inclusive; the hangup is that the God of Israel spoke vehemently against it.
“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)
“Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14)
In the book of Nehemiah, Israel repents and plans for the future. They desire to honor God and protect their families. What do they come up with? You guessed it. Arranged marriage. The community leaders literally sign a covenant promising to govern the marriages of their children.
Now if you grew up in the land of liberty, this is usually the point where romantic hearts begin cardiac arrest. What about love? What about freedom? What about unwise or unholy parents? What about relational chemistry? Every concern is legitimate, and I’m certainly not expecting teenagers to sign a waiver by the end of this article (despite how many parents would welcome it.) I do think, when it comes to choosing one spouse for one lifetime, the value of a submissive attitude is paramount.
Wise voices should frame our perspective. People don’t fall in love; they fall in lust. Love isn’t a trip and fall; it’s character and commitment. Parents, friends, and godly counsel provide the safety net for the most important decisions in life. If you’re looking to marry, invite those voices into your story. If you’re a parent, live to the standard of your calling. Honoring God doesn’t begin at church; it begins at home.