Are Green Card or Arranged Marriages OK?
- Wednesday, September 18, 2013
What this says to me is that people twenty-four years and younger ought to consider that marrying for love is a dangerous way to go about marriage. Apparently, love alone is not enough to bind two hearts together. In practical terms, young lovers, in the absence of arrangers would do well to get advice and recommendations from several significant others before entering into marriage.
Considering marriage is the time to get the right perspective. For example, the old saying that “two people can live as cheaply as one,” is just not true.
There are significantly fewer divorces or separations between people of arranged marriages. The average divorce rate globally for arranged marriages is 6%.
We Americans could learn a lot here.
From a Biblical perspective marriages which start out with love are few and far between.
The marriage of Isaac and Rebecca was arranged by his father, Abraham. He sent out his trusted servant, Eleazar, to find the right woman and make the proper arrangements. “So, she became his wife, and he loved her …” (Genesis 24).
The love between Isaac and Rebecca was quite unusual. Most biblical marriages were like the arrangement between Abigail and David. Abigail was married to a fool named Nabal who treated David shamefully. Abigail saved her foolish husband from the wrath of David (1 Samuel 25) and when Nabal died suddenly, David took Abigail to be his wife. She agreed and immediately promised to serve David as a wife but neither she nor David said anything about love. After all, David already was collecting multiple others to be his wives. He ended up with thirty seven by the time he was finished. Abigail was just another in a long line.
We would do well to get our marriage expectations in line with reality. Marriage is about partnering up in a relationship which is stable and foundationally strong. Remember in the 1 Corinthians 13 chapter on love, love is never described as an emotion or feeling. Love is there described with verbal adjectives. Love is something we do. Feelings may not even be involved. But, there is nothing wrong when they are.
I remember David Ferguson summing up today’s American marriage philosophy: “As long as you love me, care for me, meet my needs and give me what I want, we can be married. But, if you don’t love me, care for me, meet my needs and give me what I want then I’ll divorce you and find someone else who will love me, care for me, meet my needs and give me what I want and make me happy.”
Arranged marriages both in the Bible and in secular cultures focus more on long-term viability. This does not mean that love will not come. It may come as love at first sight. It may mature over time.
Most arranged marriages are pragmatic marriages. They successfully navigate social and economic issues.
In most cases parents know their children best and have the wisdom and wherewithal to select the best candidate. The marriage will benefit from the support and encouragement of their extended family units and will often result in permanent durability.
There are significantly fewer divorces or separations between people of arranged marriages in contrast to those who can pick their own partners unimpeded.
A young Arab Muslim and I were in Antalya, Turkey discussing the high divorce rate in America. He was gloating that the American divorce rate was over fifty per cent while divorce in his country was virtually unknown. I replied, “Of course, there is a great stigma in your culture against divorce. So, most stay married. But, how many would get out of their marriages if they could?”
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