Saturday, December 15, 2007

Top 14 Biblical Ways to Get Married (Mostly for Men)

Is the "dating scene" not working out as well as you had hoped? Take heart: the Bible is not silent on how to find a spouse! Here are fourteen Biblical alternatives to "dating":

  1. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes, then she's yours. (Deut. 21:11-13)

  2. Find a prostitute and marry her. (Hosea 1:1-3)

  3. Find a man with seven daughters and impress him by watering his flocks. (Moses, Exodus 2:16-20)

  4. (For the ladies) Find a man who is sleeping, lay down at his feet, then when he wakes up, ask him to marry you. (Ruth 3:3-9)

  5. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. (Bejaminites, Judges 21:19-25)

  6. Have God create you a wife while you sleep.1 (Adam, Genesis 2:19-24)

  7. Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage from her father. Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman, then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That's right, fourteen years to get your wife. (Jacob, Genesis 29:15-30)

  8. Cut off two hundred foreskins of your future father-in-law's enemies, and you get his daughter for a wife. (David, 1 Samuel 18:27)

  9. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit, and you'll definitely find someone. (Cain, Genesis 4:16-17)

  10. Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. (King Ahasuerus, Esther 2:3-4)

  11. When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a woman. Now get her for me." If your parents question you, simply say, "Get her for me. She's the one for me." (Samson, Judges 14:1-3)

  12. Kill any husband and take his wife.2 (David, 2 Samuel 11)

  13. Wait for a close relative to die, then take his widow. (Boaz, Ruth 3:3-9, see also 4)

  14. Don't be so picky, just make up for quality with quantity. (Solomon, 1 Kings 11:1-3)

(From Rick Holland's message to the Crossroads College Ministry, 11/7/1999) [download]

1 This may cost you a rib.
2 You must be prepared to lose four sons as a result.


Chris Tenny said...

Very funny...

Pastor Jim has a good one too, except he is serious. I think he says there are 4 options.

1) An "angel" finds one for you (i.e. friends or family, literally I suppose too but that is covered by #2).
2) Eureka! You just wake up one day and there she is. Adam would be the example.
3) I think you go to the "well" as Moses did and pick one.
4) I don't remember. Ask Bob, he might remember because he has gotten the speech too.

paul said...

That's interesting, Chris. I had no idea. I'll see if Bob can fill in that fourth "Biblical method of finding a spouse" for us. I personally prefer the full list of fourteen. It leaves the door open to more options.

(In case it just looks like a joke, there actually is a point to the post.)

clb said...

The best way I've found is to lurk around and drop hints for a year until someone finally clues in that you want to date them! Ha ha.
No really, though. Good men are hard to find in church. We've got a ton in Regen, but the ladies just haven't clued in quite yet. Right, men?

paul said...

Is the issue that the ladies aren't clued in, or is it the guys who just aren't taking initiative? Maybe we should organize a party and give Biblical Method to Get Married #5 a try.

clb said...

Paul, I laughed hysterically at the thought of you hiding behind some folding chairs until just the right lady came onto the dance floor. We'll put Arun behind a pillar and Lucas under a table.
Let's do it. I'm curious to know who you'd all choose, and besides that she'll never know what hit her!

Crystal said...

Oh, my goodness, the imagery. HaHa! Conversations I've had with various women say that the ladies are clued in... Since there aren't any threshing floors around for the men to sleep on, the women are consciously avoiding #4 and waiting for the men to take the initiative.

paul said...

I checked with Pastor Jim to find out what his list really was, and here is his response:

Well, interesting stuff.

As I recall, my list of options seen in the Bible included, but was not limited to,
a) angel - comes from Abraham sending out his servant (perhaps Eleazar of Damascus) to find a wife for Isaac.
b) family - Jacob fleeing Esau, goes to Uncle Laban, finds Rachel and Leah, not so directly family arranged, but his parents did say not to take a wife from another tribe
c) parents - many parent arranged marriage in Ancient Near East. (a concept that makes more sense to me all the time)
d) divine circumstance - in case of Ruth, she becomes widowed, then runs into Boaz, not knowing who he was...
e) rebellion (I'm not recommending this route) Samson- deliberately did what his parents proscribed - he took a wife from Philistines (the first one, not Delilah)
f) wise decisions - Proverbs, he who finds a wife, finds a good thing... and some indirect references in NT, by Paul, affirming a man's decision to marry.
g) God's direct intervention: Adam, God knocks him in the head, clones up Eve, wakes him up, he takes one look and says "Eureka."

now this is just off the top of my head --
eHarmony doesn't appear in the Bible but seems to be popular these days.

I do think that a believer can certainly "trust God like it all depended on God" and at the same time "work like it all depended on himself" (to borrow that quote from a famous missionary).

Clearly it's the perfect will of God that 'man should not be alone' but, we live in a broken, fallen world, so nothing works right, even marriage, and sometimes people do go the distance alone. Paul seems to recognize this and even give it a sideways recommendation...

Spending time with the singles of the opposite gender is certainly a worthwhile endeavor.
Experience in pre-marriage counseling has convinced me that most people do not fall in love 'at first sight' but rather, became, so to speak, contaminated with love, as a result of frequent exposure...

Marriage is a holy estate, and a good one. I recommend it highly, with this caveat.
Don't marry the first person you think you can live with; rather, marry the first one you think you cannot live without!

Good hunting,


Chris Tenny said...

That would explain why Bob and I felt like we got two different lists, because apparently Jim has a lot more than four and he still left out Moses going to the well!

Only thing is, I would be careful about reading into scripture examples of dating or methods for finding a spouse. In our haste to find a spouse, we may be guilty of eisegesis and not proper exegesis. The Bible talks a lot about how to have healthy relationships, but not about "dating", a modern concept anyway with a sketchy moral history.

paul said...

I agree about the dangers of looking for Biblical methods. What Rick Holland emphasizes in the series I took the original list from and the way you and Crystal approached the subject last fall is that it is not about the process, it's about the person. If you have weak character or are looking for the wrong kind of person, no matter what process you use, you are going to run into trouble. But if you develop godly character and look for a person with godly character, you will be in good shape.