We talked last week in class how Abraham, when finding a wife for his son Isaac, sent his servant back to his homeland and to his relatives. Abraham prayed the Lord would send His angel ahead of the chief servant who was commissioned to bring home the new wife of the heir. The servant prayed the Lord would identify the girl as the one offering to water their camels. Providentially, the first young lady met by the servant was the beautiful Rebekah, the great niece of Abraham. As soon as the servant was certain, he gave Rebekah gifts of jewelry and was taken home to meet the rest of the clan. After the servant made his case to the family to allow Rebekah to return to marry Isaac, he once more bestowed lavish gifts on Rebekah, her brother, Laban, and her mother. The following day, Rebekah accompanied the servant back to Isaac and the next step in the formation of the nation of Israel and the genealogy of Jesus was put in place. How did they ever do it without E-Harmony.com?
As our discussion wound down, I asked the class why the gifts so lavishly flowed in the marriage arrangement. The answers commonly given were to sway the bride's family and to cement the deal, both of which I agreed with. Then I asked if we buy brides in our culture today. Everyone said no. So, playing devil's advocate, I asked a number of the girls if they would marry a guy who proposed marriage if he did not include an engagement ring in the proposal. The universal response was, as you might guess, a resounding NO! Of course, I parried with the line that men do buy their wives in 21st century America. The predictable response was 'That's different!' Why? I asked. Because, I was told repeatedly, a guy who will not buy you a ring is not committed to you. If he isn't willing to go out at least partially on a financial limb, my female students believe he is less likely to stick around. That makes sense to me. Girls look at life more long term even as 8th-9th-10th graders than boys. And as they map out out lives, they overwhelmingly see their future children and the inevitable need to be have a mate who will able to support the family financially.
Still, I got the best reaction of the year today from my girls about love and romance and marriage but it had nothing to do with rings. We quizzed over Genesis 29, the story of Jacob meeting Rachel and agreeing to work seven years for her dad in return for her hand in marriage, terms Jacob in fact authored. As we graded the quizzes, I told them the answer to #11 was the sweetest verse we will read all year about human relationships:
So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.
There were smiles galore and I thought I detected a few sighs. I asked the girls if there was any chance Jacob would leave ever Rachel and the response again was a resounding NO! Why? Well, you don't even have to answer that one. I've heard the same radio commercial a number of times advertising a jewelry story, usually around Valentine's Day if memory serves me correct. The spot goes like this:
You can say it flowers or prove it with diamonds......
I'd add a small addendum:
Or really prove it with seven years of your life.
Now, that's a commitment.
Applicable quote of the day:
My mother says I didn't open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an . I was hooked.
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