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Sixteen or so ways to find a wife, according to Scripture

28 Jan

There is no one Biblical method as to how one should obtain a wife. Why, Scripture discusses some sixteen or so different possible ways:

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) “Lay hold on” a virgin who is not betrothed to another man, and “know” her, but afterwards pay her father a sum of money. Then she’s yours. (Deut. 22:28-29)

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

4) Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock.–Moses (Ex. 2:16-21)

5) Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal.–Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)

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

7) Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you a rib.–Adam (Gen. 2:19-24)

8) Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman’s hand in marriage. 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 of toil for a wife.–Jacob (Gen. 29:15-30)

9) Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law’s enemies and get his daughter for a wife.–David (1 Sam. 18:27)

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

11) Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest.–Xerxes or Ahasuerus (Esther 2:3-4)

12) 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 your decision, simply say, “Get her for me. She’s the one for me.”–Samson (Judges 14:1-3)

13) Kill any husband and take HIS wife. (Prepare to lose four sons though.)–David (2 Sam. 11)

14) Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law!)–Onan and Boaz (Deut. or Lev., example in Ruth)

15) Don’t be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity.–Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3)

16) A wife?–Paul (1st Corinthians, chapter 7)

Humourous, but the point should be clear: Scripture doesn’t mandate any one particular method.

That’s up to you. As you perceive yourself Spirit-directed, while exercising wisdom and discernment, of course.

Therefore don’t let anyone say either, on the one hand, that one particular method, whether dating, courtship, betrothal, arranged marriages, etc., is ‘the Biblically preferred / sanctioned’ method, or, on the other hand, that Scripture resolutely condemns a particular method (if it even mentions said method; Scripture is likely not exhaustive of all possibilities, and doubtless wasn’t intended to be, either) – unless, of course, you can find a specific Biblical passage against it. If you do, please share with everyone; we’re all ears. But you won’t.

AND Paul reminds us that it is legitimate to choose not to marry, either, for that matter.

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18 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2014 in humour, on the lighter side, religion, Theology

 

18 responses to “Sixteen or so ways to find a wife, according to Scripture

  1. Jacob Ian Stalk

    January 28, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Nice job. Marriage is utterly irrelevant to a man’s standing with God. It is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire but it is also just peachy to remain single if you have the gift of celibacy. Neither will improve your standing with God on its own.

     
  2. Will S.

    January 28, 2014 at 12:33 am

    Indeed.

     
  3. Hugh

    January 28, 2014 at 12:40 am

    Well, as I stare at my beautiful wife every night, I’m not exactly sure why you’re stating that the Bible doesn’t state any one particular method.?? My wife became my wife because she matched every criteria set forth in Proverbs 31. That was the list I used…. period. Of course we were ‘attracted’ to each other, but after that, it was MY job to make sure she fit all the criteria, otherwise……no go. It is THE list that every man should use to qualify the woman. I’m not sure why this process is seemingly so hard to understand during this recent revival of Christianity based ‘game’ in the blogosphere that I’m seeing. It really IS simple….

     
  4. J

    January 28, 2014 at 12:52 am

    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)

    Modern western countries for better or worse do not take sex captives.

    2) “Lay hold on” a virgin who is not betrothed to another man, and “know” her, but afterwards pay her father a sum of money. Then she’s yours. (Deut. 22:28-29)

    Read Genesis 34 and other related stories. The Bible makes it clear the law is important, but also impossible to follow. Several times that law was invoked and many times it ended in the death of the man and his entire tribe. Oops.

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

    God specifically ordered Hosea to marry this prostitute. The Book of Hosea is meant to show God’s relationship with his people, and how even though his people are prostitutes, after shaming them and showing their error, he will take them back. It is not meant to say all men should marry prostitutes.

    4) Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock.–Moses (Ex. 2:16-21)

    Marriage didn’t have much of that love bullshit that is here today. It was a necessity for life and a financial transaction. Moses also helped the man work for 40 years.

    5) Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal.–Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)

    Read Jewish laws about kinsman redeemers. Land was divided into parts for each tribe and it was the law to keep the proportions constant. Therefore if one branch of the family was wiped out, it needed to be continued with a brother or relative. This same point holds true for Onan, another one of your numbers.

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

    Did you not read the last verse of what you quoted? “25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Which is setting up for the Books of Kings. Stories are not always in the Bible to say “imitate this”. Sometimes it to say what not to do. Does not the Bible warn about people who do things that are right by their eyes or their ears? Many times.

    7) Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you a rib.–Adam (Gen. 2:19-24)

    One special case, doubt God’s going to do it for anyone today.

    I will address the remaining points tomorrow if I have the time. But the fundamental understanding and reading of the Bible of the person who made that list is quite interesting to say the least. I agree with the point about Paul.

    Also while there is no mandated way to find a spouse, the same page you pulled this list from says:

    “The greater doctrinal point here is that in the pursuit of finding a spouse, we must be mindful two things: (1) that we are mindful of God’s revealed will in the moral law–we should not violate it in word, thought, or deed; and (2) Christian liberty–where God has spoken, we are bound, but where he has not spoken we are free. ”

    You are still bound by the moral law in finding a spouse, because Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill its full purpose. If you violate God’s moral law because the Bible doesn’t have a direct stance on something (and does not Paul say that all things permissible are not good?) then that is something Jesus will look at.

     
  5. Will S.

    January 28, 2014 at 12:57 am

    Good for you, Hugh; I praise God that you used Scripture’s wisdom literature to guide your choice, and that the Lord blessed you accordingly. Indeed, it makes much sense to me to do so; I certainly think it’s a useful guide.

    But how did you meet each other in the first place?

    Did you date, or court, or was it an arranged marriage, a betrothal?

    In my opinion – and, based on what one can tell from Scripture – there’s no one method for how to MEET a prospective wife, NOR one method of how the evaluation process should play itself out; e.g. whether the process should be done by asking questions of her by email about what she thinks of each of the points of Proverbs 31, OR observing how she acts around her family, friends, brethren from church, etc.

    Again, since you didn’t say I don’t know if you dated, and evaluated her against the Proverbs 31 criteria by observing her as you dated; or if your parents arranged your introductions, upon which you evaluated her against the Proverbs 31 criteria by asking her what she thinks makes a good wife, or what. But I don’t think it matters – whatever you did, worked for you. However, someone else might find a ‘Proverbs 31’ woman through writing letters to each other overseas, then one moving to the other’s country when a decision is made to marry – I’ve known couples who’ve gotten together that way. So, whatever works.

    So that’s what this is all about.

     
  6. Will S.

    January 28, 2014 at 1:13 am

    J, you missed the point; the list, which was not compiled by the person who wrote that post, but which one can find, floating around the internet, shared as a bit of humour, was not meant to be anything more than that.

    But, the fact that Scripture presents, and accepts, various different methods at which people have arrived at obtaining a wife – whether morally lawful or not (and thus sinful) – means as the poster said, and as I have said, that while one must certainly adhere to the moral law as our guide, that beyond that, we have not been given, in Scripture, one particular method as to how to go about obtaining a wife. We have, from Proverbs 31, a list of criteria of desirable quality in a wife, and we’d be foolish to ignore such.

    But the Bible doesn’t give us much guidance as to how to meet someone, etc.

     
  7. Will S.

    January 28, 2014 at 1:24 am

    And while I have read all the aforementioned passages of Scripture, again – I didn’t compile the list, nor was the list meant to be anything other than humourous, though with a point.

    Honestly, I have trouble understanding how anyone can be so tone-deaf to humour.

    But feel free to respond seriously to each of the remaining points in turn, analyzing the Scripture passages carefully, and demonstrating why they’re not prescriptive – if you have time, and still care to do so.

    Just don’t expect me to give a rat’s ass, or necessarily respond again.

    Cheers. 🙂

     
  8. infowarrior1

    January 28, 2014 at 3:07 am

    @Will S.

    You mean God endorses rapine? 🙂

     
  9. Will S.

    January 28, 2014 at 8:06 am

    infowarrior1: Sorry; nope! 🙂

     
  10. Will S.

    January 28, 2014 at 8:07 am

    From the article I linked:

    Obviously, this list was written with humor in mind, and some of these “ways,” are not prescriptive but descriptive of the sinful ways that God’s people have conducted themselves in the past–they are in no way exemplary. But this does demonstrate an important point–people often want the Bible to say certain things, such as how to find a spouse and marry, but they ignore portions of Scripture that don’t fit their paradigm. The Bible has more to say about arranged marriages, for example, than it does “courtship” or dating. So then, how do we proceed?

     
  11. oogenhand

    January 28, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Reblogged this on oogenhand.

     
  12. Will S.

    January 28, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Thanks.

     
  13. oogenhand

    January 28, 2014 at 9:24 am

    @J

    1) for worse

    Explain?

    2) Genesis 34

    Should this be done to Muslims who convert Christian girls?

     
  14. deLaune

    January 28, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    Ah, the good old days. So many options…

     
  15. Will S.

    January 28, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    🙂

     
  16. Bob

    January 28, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Do you have any idea how dating would appear to the men of the testament? They’d consider the women a harlot for being alone with a non family member male. Dating and courtship are dumb ideas built on the idea that romantic love should guide you in choosing a mate. Such concepts didn’t exist in New Testament times and they’ve been pretty damn useless in creating lasting marriages in modern times.

    Besides, the issue with the church isn’t the lack of marriageable men, it’s the lack of chaste and submissive christian daughters watched over and protected by their fathers to marry these good christian men.

     
  17. Will S.

    January 28, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    I suspect you’re right about what they would think.

    And I rather like the idea of arranged marriage, myself.

    Nevertheless, not everyone in OT times got hitched through arranged marriages; though dating of the modern sort did not exist, there still was romantic love – what else could you call what possessed Jacob to work 14 years for the hand of his boss’s daughter (the one he wanted, not the one he got tricked into sleeping with and thus marrying)?

    Point being, even back in those times, there wasn’t a one-size-fits-all model for marriages.

    Agreed about the biggest problem with the church today being its unchaste, unsubmissive daughters.

     

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