Bible Question:

I wonder if God would bless an arranged marriage? Supposed an arranged marriage is blessed by God, what certain conditions would make it unacceptable to God?

Bible Answer:

An arranged marriage even today occurs in some locales. Arranged marriages have been the custom in many countries, including Israel, down through history. The custom is not practiced as much today.

We read in Genesis 24 that Abraham had asked his oldest servant to go to his home country and find a wife for his son Isaac. His servant did as he was asked and found a woman named Rebekah. The servant had asked God to indicate which woman he should take back home to be the wife for Isaac. So the servant asked her father for permission to take her back home to Isaac. The servant and the woman’s parents agreed to the marriage. Then they asked her if she was willing to marry Isaac. The woman indicated that she agreed to the arranged marriage. Note that she did not know what Isaac looked like. He had not seen her either.

And they said, “We will call the girl and consult her wishes.” 58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.” Thus they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse with Abraham’s servant and his men. They blessed Rebekah and said to her, “May you, our sister, Become thousands of ten thousands, And may your descendants possess The gate of those who hate them.” (NASB) Genesis 24:57-60

This was a marriage arranged between the parents. God never condemned it. Scripture never dictates anything about the customs surrounding marriage. God has left that up to us. But it is important to notice that God answered the servant’s prayer and God knew what type of marriage was going to take place. This implies approval. In fact, God blessed this marriage.

An Arranged Marriage

I asked a Hindu woman some years ago how she felt about her future arranged marriage. She believed that an arranged marriage was better than one based on emotions. She believed that her parents could make a better non-emotional decision based on faith, wealth, personalities, and other factors. She said that true love comes only after years of living together. Love does not blossom into a full flower while dating or indulging in pre-marital sex. Marriage is learning to live with and love another person. Marriages based on emotions often result in divorce. She was correct.

Recent Statistics

The latest statistics indicated that forty percent of all marriages end in divorce. That implies couples make very poor decisions about a future mate. Emotions cloud a person’s ability to make good decisions. Most couples find that real love grows and blossoms over the years of the marriage. What occurs early on is lust and infatuation.

God’s Blessing

Any Christian marriage is blessed by God when the couple is really committed to each other. By the way, marriage is a commitment of two hearts to love one another for life (Malachi 2:14). God blesses commitment between two Christians who are serious about following Jesus Christ. God does not bless marriages between Christians and non-Christians or between one who follows God and one who does not follow Him. It is common for one prospective spouse to pretend to be a Christian. Unfortunately, when the non-Christian or the less-than committed Christian later realizes that the other partner is very serious about God, the marriage starts having problems. God has given us warnings in the Old Testament and in the New Testament to marry only believers – those who follow God (Deut. 7:3-4; 1 Corinthians 7:39). I once heard a pastor encourage a non-Christian and a Christian to get married. He believed the non-Christian man would become a Christian eventually because the woman was one. Unfortunately, the pastor ignored the command of God. The marriage did not have God’s blessing.

Conclusion:

In short, God blesses any type of marriage between a male and female who are committed to one another for life, and who are both real Christians. God will bless arranged marriages and those that are not arranged. We would encourage you to read the related links below. They will address some issues that this response does not cover.

Reference Links:

Peace With God
The Bible on Same Sex Relations
What does God say about a person marrying someone who has been divorced?
Should a Christian marry an unbeliever whom he made pregnant?
What is the role of the husband and wife in a marriage?