Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Monday, September 30, 2019

Arranged Marriage 

Isaac's servant tying the bracelet on Rebecca's arm. Click for article.

I recorded this podcast last summer. It takes off from a previous blog post about kidnapped brides. I created that blog post to illustrate the extreme. By that I mean that bride kidnapping represents the dark side of arranged marriage. But there are also arranged marriages that are good. I believe that families are more stable in China because the family is more involved in helping bring young people together. Of course there can be problems with this also, but I think it is an attempt to find a balance between forced marriage on the one hand, and the seemingly aimless and casual approach to marriage practiced by modern Americans. Most Americans would be horrified by bride kidnapping. I am too. But I am just has horrified by the opposite extreme that Western Culture has gone to.

So what is the proper balance? I don't know. There is a wide range of right answers within the context of a belief in the sanctity of marriage and a belief that marriage is a commitment to be true to that one person for life. The the Bible certainly does not prescribe arranged marriage, except in the sense that sometimes say, "Marriage is made in Heaven." But where marriage is arranged, the Biblical standard is set out in the famous story in Genesis:

The key question (found in Verse 58): "Will you go with this man?" This is the main point. Marriage can be arranged, but must never be forced. But here's the rub: The kind of forced marriage (bride kidnapping) detailed in the previous post I mentioned would certainly be illegal in China. But the pressure to get married often has the same effect. Single people are sometimes strongly criticized for being single. And often their parents will put great pressure on them. On the positive side, marriage and family is taken more seriously in China than in many western cultures, particularly America.


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