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Arranged Marriage
Week of May 27, 2012

“When Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac, she quickly dismounted from her camel.”  -Genesis 24:64

A lifetime friend of mine shared a wonderful story with me recently: Her adult son’s love of his life had returned to him after several years. The young couple had originally met in high school, where they fell in love. But the young woman’s parents were not supportive of the relationship. So they broke up. She later married a pastor’s son. And my friend’s son remained unmarried. Years passed. Three kids later, and after enduring a philandering, abusive husband, the young bride got divorced.

One day, my friend and her daughter were out shopping, and the former bride ran up to them out of the blue, after not having seen each other in years. Her eyes were full of tears as she explained her circumstances. They exchanged contact information, and, a little later, my friend called the former bride to have lunch. It was during this luncheon that the young lady asked for my friend’s son’s phone number. And there began their second open door opportunity.

God is a God of open door opportunities and divine appointments. His timeline is circular (cyclical), not linear. God will often bring opportunities around again in an effort to get us on the right track.

My friend hints that the young couple may have an autumn wedding. The young woman is and was the only woman her son ever loved. He is overjoyed. And her parents now realize they should’ve stayed out of God’s way from the beginning.

God can bring people together in any season of life—early or late—to fulfill His purpose and plan. And His grace is sufficient enough to make things right again.

If you’re well beyond your high school years, you’ll love this next story:

My mother-in-law met her current husband in her mid-sixties. Prior to their marriage, she and he lived in the same neighborhood for years and never met each other. The two of them eventually lost their spouses and attended the same church one day, where they found themselves serving as greeters together. God confirmed His plan to each of them (and to me as well), and they married a year later.

Getting encouraged? Here’s another:

People who know me well, know my marriage testimony: After marrying and divorcing at a young age due to my young husband’s adultery, I had a divine visitation one day, in which the Lord said He would bring my chosen husband in 20 years. Sure enough, God’s word proved true, as Glynn appeared right on time. We discerned, and God confirmed. And we were married six month later.

Here are a few lessons I learned in the journey:

I believe that if we seek the Lord on the issue of marriage, consult Him for the mate He has for us and wait upon Him, He will bring our mate in His time. I believe that it’s not enough to meet someone, fall in love and expect God’s hand of blessing to be upon that marriage. We must hear from God first and know that we are to marry His choice for us, because scripture tells us that God has a prosperous (not harmful) plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and that He formed us in our mother’s womb to be His servant (Isaiah 49:5). I believe that if we are in marriages that He did not choose for us, He is under no obligation to hold the marriage together. He will be with you in that marriage, but He is not responsible for it, because He did not call you to it. Unfortunately, too many of us learn this lesson the hard way.

I also believe that one does not have to date or court in a relationship leading to marriage. One only needs to hear from the Lord. This may sound void of romance, but often the best romance comes after the “I do.”

Consider the story of Rebekah and Isaac. It's a Holy Spirit led journey of open door opportunity, spiritual discernment, confirmation, thanksgiving and completion. Genesis 24:40 tells us that God sent an angel along with Abraham’s servant to successfully find Isaac's wife. When the servant met Rebekah, he knew she was the chosen one due to her specific demonstrations of kindheartedness. The Bible does not suggest that Rebekah had met Isaac prior, even though they were cousins. And the closest Rebekah came to having a bridal shower in her hometown was the gifts of jewelry, gold and clothing that Abraham’s servant gave to her after her brother and father agreed that she should depart with him to become Isaac’s wife. For her, it happened suddenly, and she was soon on the next camel out of Nahor. God is either in it or He’s not. And Rebekah was clearly God’s choice for Isaac.

Be sure to discern and confirm God’s choice of a mate for you prior to marrying anyone. And beware of Ishmael. Ishmael was Abraham’s un-promised son, the one he had with Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant. He was a counterfeit. The enemy may try to divert God’s plan for you by deceiving you into falling for Ishmael. Don’t take the bait. Discern and confirm. Wait upon the Lord for His best, and praise Him and thank Him while you wait. Also pray for your mate and your future circumstances. Then you will avoid the enemy’s consequences. And God’s promise will prove itself true in His time.

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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