Biblical Models for Dating and Marriage

These days, it seems that every other church is trying to re-invent “dating” so as to align themselves with Biblical models for relationships. But the advice you get from these different churches varies far and wide. Will the real Biblical Model please stand up??

Rachel and Jacob by William Dyce

Rachel and Jacob by William Dyce

I’m happy to announce that we were doing this before it was cool. In fact, we’ve tried several different models. For your benefit, I relay our experiences here.

The Mary Model

With our oldest daughter, we tried to get her betrothed when she was 14-16, but couldn’t find any gentlemen (or parents) that even knew what to do in a betrothal situation. And none of the families we liked wanted to offer their ~30 something year old sons to marry our daughter. They claimed the age disparity was too great. Personally, I think they were just being selfish, but in any case, we had to abandon that idea for want of a suitable candidate.

The Rebecca Model

With our son, we’re planning ahead! We’re saving up for the 10 camels we’ll need to give to my son’s prospective bride when the time comes, but this is turning out to be quite cost-prohibitive. Also, it’s proving difficult to find these camels locally. I have a source in Chad (just south of the Sahara desert) who can get 10 camels for me (about $1,000 each), but we’re not quite sure how to get them shipped to the US. But we remain faithful that it will be Provided for at the appropriate time. The greater problem, however, seems to be that for each of the families we’ve deemed worthy, none of the daughters would come at the bidding of our servant. And all of them were repulsed when he offered a nose ring as a gift. Our conclusion here is that we may need to look elsewhere for a bride for our son. Perhaps northeast Africa where camels are in abundant supply, and women’s sensibilities are more in line with the Scriptures. If we end up south of the Sahara, goats are acceptable dowries. That appeals to me because they’re much cheaper than camels. [I have a friend in the Congo who only had to give 4 goats for his wife. She had a handicap, so I wonder if that affected the cost.]

The David Model

No.. not the David/Bathsheba one! In this scenario, we’re hoping our son – who wants to be a Marine and plays “Modern Warfare” on the XBox all day long – will be out on a military campaign one day when he comes across a mean-spirited man who won’t support his godly vigilance. This arrogant man’s kind wife will provide for our son, and when the arrogant fool dies suddenly, it’ll be a shoe-in for our son to marry this wise widow. As much as we like this approach, we can’t quite see how to pull it off, as many of the factors lie outside of our hands. But with prayer, all things are possible, right?

The Abraham Model

We’ve decided to forego this one. Right off the bat we’re disqualified because we have no step-sisters for our son. Furthermore, we make sure all our female servants don’t come from Egypt. Playing it safe, y’know. However, there is one marriage of Abraham’s which I don’t mind modeling: After our son is old and gray and his first couple of wives are deceased or otherwise no longer in the picture, we don’t mind him marrying a young gal and springing out another 6 sons or so. We anticipate we’ll be dead and gone by then, however, so we won’t be around to appreciate it if it happens.

The Moses Model

My wife and I are constantly on the lookout for sister shepherds, preferably seven sisters, reeling under the oppression of neighboring bully shepherds. Ideally, their father will be a priest or pastor. As soon as we can find them, we’re going to send in our son to save the day, water their sheep, and win the heart of one of the shepherdesses. One of the more vexing issues about this model is that it requires our son to be a fugitive from justice, wanted for murder. We’re not hardliners in this debate (what self-respecting woman would condescend to marry a fugitive?), so we disagree with the popular opinion that this item is a requirement.

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