Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Arranged Marriage

*originally composed January 30th, 2009*

Earlier tonight, I was watching a news special on the biology behind "love" and how we decide on one person over another. It followed some couples who met through a dating website; one of the four couples hit it off [but there was no mention of a proposal.]  Marriage didn't enter the conversation until they highlighted one Indian couple living in Americashe was 29, he was 30. Both said that they stayed single for so long because they couldn't find "the one".  Part of their traditional culture is to have their parents play 'matchmaker' and choose a potential spouse for them. Each person had their own ideals and priorities for a mate and their families [back in India] basically used classified ads in newspapers to narrow down the candidates. When someone was found to look promising, one family contacted the other and if they met each others' expectations, the hopeful couple is then introduced. This is probably the simplest way to describe what happened but within 10 days of meeting, they decided to get married. And all the while, they had not even kissed yet!

The news reporter commented that this whole 'arrangement' business is such a foreign concept in America. But the practice was defended by the logic that your parents/family know you better than anyone else and have your best interest at heart. Since marriage binds families as well as individuals, it would make sense for both sides to invest in the couple's happiness  [and ultimately their own]. Lord knows how nasty in out-laws can be!

This situation immediately reminded me of the role that God plays as the ultimate 'matchmaker' for us as single Christians. Instead of prowling around with our checklists for the perfect man/woman, we should leave that completely up to Him. Now, I'm not saying that we can't have personal preferences because different traits are attractive to different people, but the point is to not get hung up on "absolutes/deal-breakers". #preachintomyself #helpmejesus The ONLY thing I will NOT compromise is that my husband must be a born-again Christian who is committed to serving the Lord... but I digress. *sorry; back to what I was saying*

Not only does He have our best interests at heart, He actually knows the future. God knows the full potential of the purpose that He created us to fulfill, and we can easily jeopardize our kingdom business by getting mixed up with the wrong spouse.  In a random conversation with a sister who recently got married and had a baby, she enlightened me to the fact that a marriage is an oatha contractpresented before God. And that that union belongs to Him, first... then to the husband and wife. I had never really thought of it that way before, but it lines up with the Word kinda like this: 
wives submit to husbands + husbands submit to Christ = 
marriage submitted completely to Christ  #winning
Of course, that only works if EVERYONE is doing their necessary submitting...

I must say that I was impressed with the concept of Indian arranged marriagesespecially the reported statistic of only 5-7% of them ending in divorce. [However, I take those numbers with a grain shaker of salt because I know that women are subject to harsh laws and repressive socioeconomic conditions in certain countries.] The American rate, even in the church, is about 10 times that. But the thing that left the greatest impression on me is when the woman being interviewed said that she had not yet kissed the man to whom she was about to pledge eternal commitment. To me, that signifies complete faith in her parents' choice, even in the realm of marital intimacy. For me, I would have to at least 'test the waters'... What?! I meant kissing.... #realtalk. But on the other hand, I aspire to reach that level of confidence where I surrender allromantic desires includedto my heavenly Father. After all, He knew me from within before my mother's womb, then proceeded to make me fearfully and wonderfully. Something tells me not to worry because the Lord has an eye for [even the most minute] details...

Be blessed

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