The first thing in the Bible even remotely resembling today's dating scene might be the marriage between Isaac and Rebekah. Lots of people were married before Isaac and Rebekah, but we don’t read about anyone getting married. Well, except in the garden, and I think we can all agree the situation (and surgery) there were extraordinary. You may remember the story: Abraham, Isaac's father, sends a servant back to his hometown to find a wife for his son. Rebekah gives the servant’s camels a drink, he gives her a couple heavy bracelets, her family approves, she meets Isaac at a tent — and they're married.
If you've wanted to be married and aren't, you might read Genesis 24 (as strange as it may seem today) with at least a little bit of curiosity and even longing — it just seems so simple and clean. After dating off and on for fourteen years, I know I did.
Think about it any longer, though, and you'll probably dismiss their story as ancient and out-dated, as irrelevant for twenty-first-century Christians.
Five Old Principles for Pursuing Marriage
The cross, modern philosophy, and the advent of the Internet have certainly changed things for Christians wanting to be married. But what if there's more to see in Isaac and Rebekah than meets the eye? Before you skim their story too quickly, remember that it is the same God, it is a man seeking a wife (or at least a man and a woman on a path to marriage), and marriage is the same institution, only now with its deeper, fuller meaning revealed in the coming of Christ.
On top of that, the Old Testament is for our encouragement and help today, even in our pursuit of marriage. "Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Romans 15:4, see also 1 Corinthians 10:11).