«He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord» (Proverbs 18:22).
Isaac and Rebekah’s marriage is one of the most moving stories in the Bible regarding how God can join a man and a woman. It’s very exciting to read Genesis chapter 24 and reflect on how trust in God is what joins all the characters in the story: Abraham, Eliezer, Isaac and Rebekah. They all acted by faith. And the Lord didn’t disappoint anyone. In the end, Isaac leads his bride to his mother’s tent to make her his wife. What a fascinating story! The thing is the story doesn’t end there. The dreamed of couple will face complicated situations that will shake their foundation, including deceit regarding their marital status (it almost cost Isaac the loss of his wife), favoritism toward their children, the bad relationship between siblings, as well as one of the daughters-in-law who will embitter the grandparents at the end of their life (Genesis 26:34, 35).
It’s true. A marriage that starts with God’s blessing is not exempt from going through hard times in life. What actually happens is that we never know who we are marrying, we only think we do. Even if we marry the right person, as in Isaac and Rebekah’s case, it will soon change. Once we’re married, we are no longer the same. Age changes us. Children change us. Hard times in life change us. We’re no longer the same idealistic young people. That’s why it’s important to learn to love and care for the strange «person» you are married to.
Neither Isaac nor Rebekah were perfect. They both had serious character flaws that seemed imperceptible. They both came from families who feared God, but that didn’t free them from their deep need of being transformed by the Lord. «The character flaws that can eventually enslave you are those that you’re not aware of and, if you refuse to acknowledge them, they’ll control your life»—Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage, Kindle edition. The marriage of those two young Hebrews exposed terrible bad habits that had to be overcome.
Marriage is a sanctifying agent that reveals your character flaws so that, together with your spouse, you turn to your heavenly Father asking for his transforming power. It will never be easy to acknowledge your flaws, but if you do so, the storms life blows your way will be much easier to navigate.
Ask the Lord today to help you have a good attitude when your character flaws emerge.