Enjoy Life, Enjoy God

Dale Patterson


August 19, 2009

Is it a coincidence that I write about marriage on my wedding anniversary? Romance, falling in love is the primary means that people discover the person they will marry these days in the "West."

Moses gave this order to the Israelites: "What the tribe of the descendants of Joseph is saying is right. This is what the Lord commands for Zelophehad's daughters: They may marry anyone they please as long as they marry within their fathers' tribal clan."
-Numbers 36:5,6 TNIV

For important reasons, the Law spoke of who Zelophehad's daughters may marry. We westerners think it odd to hear of arranged marriages in other cultures, and we think romance, attraction and falling in love a superior strategy. Moses understood there were bigger issues than simply one young couple in love. So there were instructions.

I really don't think our 21st century world is heading back to the days of Moses in terms of arranging marriage. But we could learn a thing or two. First, when a person looks for a spouse, there are much more important concerns than mere attraction. People falling in love largely ignore it, but after twenty years of marriage they will learn new wisdom about this truth. And second, pray. Pray. Yes, pray. Pray for your spouse to be. Pray for your loved one's intended. Pray that they look for a person of character, a Christ-centered commitment. Pray that similarities and mutual commitments be the common glue that binds them together. My wife began praying such for our little children when they were infants. Moses encourages the same care and devotion.


Dale Patterson