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Question: "Does the Bible advocate arranged marriages?"

Answer:
An “arranged” marriage is one that is brought about by consent of the parents of the bride and groom, often without regard to the wishes of the couple to be married. The Bible does not say that parents should arrange marriages, nor does it say they should not. However, there are a few arranged marriages in the Bible, most notably Isaac and Rebekah’s marriage.

In that case, a trusted servant was sent by Isaac’s father, Abraham, to find a suitable bride from his own people because he did not want Isaac to take a wife from among the heathen Canaanites (Genesis 24). We see from Rebekah’s responses that she possessed many godly traits, and she was clearly God’s choice for Isaac. No doubt, not all arranged marriages in those days were done in such a godly and submissive manner.

The practice of arranged marriages was continued even in America and many other cultures well into the 1900s. Even today, in orthodox Jewish, Islamic, and Hindu families, arranged marriages are observed. The Bible is silent on this issue. However, the Bible does outline what a godly mate should be. For the Christian, marriage, whether or not it is arranged, is to be only to another person who is in the faith. The most important relationship that any of us have is our personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. The spouse we choose should be one who has his/her focus on walking in obedience to God's Word and who seeks to live so that his life brings glory to God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

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