Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“And Isaac brought her (Rebekah) into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.”
Genesis 24: 67
“A Marriage Made in Heaven, But Lived on Earth”
God’s Partnership – Rebekah and Isaac
“There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage.”
What do I believe are the qualities I can bring to a marriage to help make it all God wants it to be?
“The marital love is a thing pure as light, sacred as a temple, lasting as the world.”
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Ephesians 4: 32
King James Version
It is truly one of the most beautiful love stories recorded in the Bible. Even though the marriage of Isaac to Rebekah was what we in modern society would call an “arranged marriage,” the “arranger” of this marriage was really God. The reason I say this is that the prayers and longing of Abraham for the “right” woman to become the mate of his beloved son, Isaac, along with the prayers offered by Abraham’s chief steward, are evidence that God’s guiding hand was involved in the formation of this heaven-blessed union.
While we could call the relationship between Rebekah and Isaac a “marriage made in heaven,” like all marriages, it had to be lived, day by day, on planet earth. And therein, folks, comes the challenge. As we are all well aware, nobody is perfect and that means when two imperfects unite, problems can develop.
Now I’m not a marriage counselor and in fact, I find it ill-advised to tell others what to do, however, when it comes to relationships between the sexes, the Bible provides us with more than enough tremendous advice, beginning in Genesis, where we find God created Eve as a gift to alleviate Adam’s loneliness. In the story of Rebekah and Isaac in Genesis 24: 67, we are told that Rebekah “comforted” Isaac. I find it very instructive that the qualities which women possess – the special emotions that some demeaningly call “female” emotions – tenderness, gentleness, comfort, and warmth, are the special qualities God implanted in His daughters because He knows we are the only ones uniquely qualified with these traits. These are our gifts from our Heavenly Father, to be used to encourage and uplift the hearts and lives of every person we come in contact with.
This is how Rebekah used her God-given talents, first to be hospitable and generous to Abram’s steward; then to be kind and unselfish when she invited the steward home for dinner and lodging. And then she used her talents of gentle comfort to help heal her broken-hearted mate.
The gifts women have to share are these tender emotional attributes. However, women aren’t the only individuals who carry God’s gifts within themselves. Men do as well.
Isaac brought three distinct gifts to the relationship. First, we find him in the fields praying as was his custom in the evening. Isaac brought God to his relationship with Rebekah. And to all the women in the garden, if you want to build your personal relationship on a solid foundation, make certain the man in your life has his feet firmly planted in God’s way.
The second thing we find out about Isaac is that he respected his mother. Men who don’t treat their mothers with respect, often don’t treat their wives respectfully.
Finally in Genesis 24: 67 it states that Isaac, “loved Rebekah.” In a letter to her husband, John Winthrop, Margaret Winthrop wrote: “I have many reasons to make me love thee, whereof I will name, two. First because Thou hast lovest God, and second because thou hast loved me.”
Sometimes, sadly, instead of asking for God’s guidance as we look for God-like qualities in our future partner, we, as women, want Mr. Romancer, the man who showers us with candy, kisses and flowers, but when we finally open the box, it’s empty. Or perhaps you go for the fixer-upper. The individual you think, “If I can just change one thing, I’m hoping I can turn the poor unsuspecting guy into my Mr. Perfect, all it will take is just a little “fixing up” and I’ll have this guy polished and ready to show off like a shiny car.”
Last but not least, Isaac, the Bible tells us “loved” Rebekah. Isaac was a one woman man. Rebekah was his girl from life to death.
John Chrysostom wrote this passage that illustrates very well the kind of love we see in the life of Isaac and given to Rebekah:
Husbands should say to their wives: "I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself; I place your love above all things.”
May the relationships in your life reflect lovely gifts God has placed within you.
“O God, make the door of this house wide enough to receive all who need human love and friendship, but narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride, and malice. Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling-block to children, nor to straying feet, but strong enough to turn away the power of evil. God, make the door of this house a gateway to your eternal kingdom. Grant this through Christ our Lord.”
Dorothy Valcárcel. Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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