Home > Complementarianism, Marriage, The Family, Voegtlin > Sons Go (drive-by post)

Sons Go (drive-by post)

June 26, 2008

Jacob went to find his wife.

Joseph found his wife.

Moses found his wife.

Eleazar took a wife.

The priests were instructed to “take a wife.” — Leviticus 21:13

The pattern is continued in Jeremiah 16:2

Hosea went and took his wife.

Jesus went to find his bride.

Proverbs 18:22 says,

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the LORD.

it doesn’t say,

Whoso’s father findeth him a wife obtaineth favor of the LORD.

My point in this drive-by post is just to say a few things related to finding a mate, marriage, and complementarianism.

  1. Godly families rear their boys to be men and their girls to be ladies; therefore, the boys and girls should also find their mates in different (complementary) ways.
  2. Parental involvement is present with both boys and girls, but vastly different.  If your son has not been trained by you how to seek and find a wife on his own (but with your guidance), how is he going to lead the family YOU put together for him?
  3. Fathers, please recognize the huge responsibility you have to prepare your son to be able to find his wife. You are definitely involved, but the involvement shrinks as your son gets closer to marriage.
  1. June 27, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Were you driving by on a bike, in a car, or in a semi-truck? What I am reading is one major point here and it seems, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, to be contradicting a point that I have made from Scripture. If anyone is following along, they read that I said that God chose Eve, God chose the bride for Christ, and Abraham (through the servant, yes) chose the bride for Isaac. I look at those as the pattern. To really do a decent job of contradicting that, it would seem, would require a little more information than what is here, what is a drive-by. For instance, you might want to show how that your examples interact with what I have shown. From your perspective, it sounds as though Samson may have had the right idea about the whole wife situation, taking things into his own hands. Perhaps you could make the point that since you’ve got the language “take a wife,” that means that the son is relatively in charge in this situation. That would be a grammatical point that you would do through a word study, looking at its usages in the context. We would want to discover why “take-a-wife” means “sons are being trained by their Dads to be the ones that actually are doing the choosing of the wife” rather than “this is the woman that the son married.” And, that in Proverbs, “Whoso findeth,” is giving a pattern for the son doing the search and being the one who chose. You would also need to deal with why that clashes with my three examples and then the corollary examples. You didn’t get that done in a drive-by, so we’re only left with, Brandenburg says Dad chooses (with child’s approval), but Voegtlin says that the son chooses, so there. “So Dads, show your sons how to do it,” and that is where?

    Do Dads just make this up? What is involved? Do they go directly to the girls, spend time with them, get to know them, show them that they like them, get attached to them, and then at some point when there is a “function,” give Dad a phone call and ask if you can “date” to the function? So what is this training of sons in this subject that needs to be done? This is not a way that this has been done for most of history. Why not? There is a lot to cover here, you see.

    To a certain degree, I agree with the post. Yes, Dads should be training their sons on what they are looking for and what this is about and how this is done. That would be GREAT! What I have found is that Dads are oblivious to this. It isn’t even taught. If it is, this is the extent of the training of a Dad on this in a dating environment—“Dad’s you’ve got to help your sons.” There we go, training is over.

    There is no pattern with dating or whatever the hybrid form is that you are asserting here. It is basically, don’t do this, don’t do that, make sure you’re not in this situation. And then for the most part, all of those rules are broken, except for maybe “don’t fornicate.” They make it through defrauding one another of everything except for physical virginity.

    Now to deal with what you have written here, let’s be clear with the first line. Jacob found wiveSSSS not wife. And look at Genesis 30:9, because there Leah took Zilpah and gave her to Jacob to wife. How’s that in the pattern? My belief is that “take a wife” means nothing more than “got married.” For instance, in Genesis 11:29, Abraham and Nahor took wives. You can extrapolate from that a pattern of obtaining a life’s partner. Did you know that in Genesis 24:67 (also see Gen. 25:20) that it says that Isaac took Rebekah his wife? How does that fit into the “take a wife” pattern that you are teaching. There’s not some reflection on a pattern there except that it shows that the man takes the initiative in the situation, not the woman. By the way, Hagar took a wife for Ishmael from the women f Egypt. So we have a “pattern” there of a woman taking a wife for her son. Esau took two wives, both Hittites. What should I gather from that?

    Dave says that the woman actually can take the husband, as long as she utilizes her father to do it, and this is backed by the woman who wrote the good book on singles. That would seem even to contradict the son initiative view that you are positing. I struggle with Scriptural examples of a woman initiating, except for maybe the strange woman and Tamar with Judah, but I’m open to hear and see those Scriptural examples. Maybe Ruth could be construed as initiating, but I don’t think so.

    I see the Jacob example as not utilizing parental authority to fit the pattern that was set in Gen. 24. We have a concern from Isaac about not marrying a Canaanite. This was good, but on his own, Jacob did not obey God.

    OK, with all that being said, which is not much, but goes a little further than the drive-by, the way that we are supposed to know must be a way that will obey God in every principle. That is going to force parents to think through this Scripturally more than the pablum that accompanies the dating that goes on that disobeys half a dozen Scriptural teachings.

    I do know this. If some young man/boy “finds” my daughter, he’s going to find me first and he isn’t going to have any kind of relationship with her unilateral of me until I give her to him. My first question if he is doing the finding will be, “Why am I not talking to your Dad?” And then I’ll listen. I don’t think he’s going to be able to “take her,” however, unless I choose to “give her” to him.

    More could be said, but there’s a start.

  2. June 27, 2008 at 11:51 am

    I do know this. If some young man/boy “finds” my daughter, he’s going to find me first and he isn’t going to have any kind of relationship with her unilateral of me until I give her to him.

    Are you going to have the “this is my shotgun” talk with him?

  3. June 27, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Shotgun and as of yesterday, handgun.

  4. June 27, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    It may be hard for you to believe, but I have not had the opportunitiy to read any of your posts on this topic. (You would know that you actually did the publishing of them.) Then when I wanted to post and actually did my “drive-by,” I determined not to look at what you had written until after posting. I still have not read them. I’ll try to tonight. My next “drive-by” will be that daughters are given, and my belief (and major point) is that we as parents should not find mates for our children in the same way. I may be teaching against a “straw man,” but I don’t think so. I don’t think most Christians, whether greatly involved or not involved, think of training their children differently in relation to their gender.

    I do not know whether I am teaching against what you practice or not.

    I do know that I would be considered the most controlling “dad” in our church environment. But I’m also playing the “father of the daughter” role, not the “father of the son” role.

    While not having read your posts, I think I would heartily agree with most of them in relation to fathers and daughters. But I would like to see you in some future post show how complementarianism applies to this topic. In other words, (not how does your practice differ from the world or contemporary Christians), how does your practice differ between your son and your daughters (or how will it)?

    Later tonight, I’ll interact more fully with your response and with your first three posts.

  5. June 27, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    This might be the heat that draws people into thinking about this. The light was on, but was anybody home? Jeff, I don’t have any problem with you disagreeing, as you would know, but I would want to be convinced that your way, if it is a way, some developed way, and not something partially thought through Scripturally, is what God wants us to do.

    I have given some arguments for why my way is a pattern, despite the “take the wife” language. Even though it is the pattern, for those reading, it doesn’t mean that every family situation looks just like Abraham—the pattern is a pattern of principles. You can know exactly what God wants you to do.

    Regarding you doing it in your church, Jeff, I would believe that you would be thinking through it Scripturally as much as anyone, and, therefore, be very conservative on this front. I don’t doubt that. You’re probably in the top 5% of Christians in the US in how conservatively you would get this done. However, your way was in contradiction to what I wrote. Did it read that way, readers? Or was I reading into it something that wasn’t there?

  6. Soldier of War
    June 27, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Where’s my M-16? Never mind that, my weapon is the Word of God.

    Good comment about the phrase “take a wife”, Dr. Brandenburg. I took upon myself a search of the word before reading your comment and came to the same conclusion. It refers to “taking away” something or “receiving” something from someone. By the way, I was not trying to contradict Dr. Voegtlin; I was just doing the study objectively. So the phrase “take a wife” apparently refers to the marriage ceremony or event, not the process of obtaining a spouse.

    Dr. Voegtlin, I know you believe in parental involvement, but there must be more than just guidance, according to how Scripture presents the issue.

  7. June 27, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    My major point here, and I think that this should be able to be seen in my three bullets, is that parents and fathers in particular should be training their boys to be men that can find a godly wife. And I acknowledged that that would be done with the father’s guidance. I assume that guidance = authority because it is followed and involvement because it’s guidance.

    This “drive-by” shows a historical pattern 🙂 One incidentally, found in the Bible. The pattern I see is: Sons go, daughers are given. And its one I think is very compatible with the biblical principle of complementarianism.

    I wouldn’t say that the son is “relatively in charge.” I say that the father of the daughter is almost absolutely in charge. And I come to that position from what I would consider to be clear biblical statements, not “clear” biblical example.

    QUOTE–Brandenburg says Dad chooses (with child’s approval)

    How does the child have any criteria–spiritual, intellectual, social, or physical–to give or withold approval?

    QUOTE–Voegtlin says that the son chooses

    Actually, that’s not what I’m saying. You’ll have to wait for the next drive-by 🙂

    QUOTE–What I have found is that Dads are oblivious to this.

    Can’t resist… So you look at results also 🙂

    QUOTE–If it is, this is the extent of the training of a Dad on this in a dating environment—”Dad’s you’ve got to help your sons.” There we go, training is over.

    I encourage any readers to listen to this training that I will link to and let me know if there’s more there that what Kent asserts here.
    [audio src="http://playmp3.sa-media.com/media/320081044370/320081044370.mp3" /]

    QUOTE–This was good, but on his own, Jacob did not obey God.

    How can you say this? Jacob did exactly what Abraham’s servant did. He went to the land of his fathers. He found a girl. He asked her father for her. How is any of that different from Abraham’s servant?

    QUOTE–I do know this. If some young man/boy “finds” my daughter, he’s going to find me first and he isn’t going to have any kind of relationship with her unilateral of me until I give her to him.

    I am in absolute agreement with this statement.

    QUOTE–My first question if he is doing the finding will be, “Why am I not talking to your Dad?” And then I’ll listen.

    And if he answers like a godly man, whose ready to be a husband because he’s been trained by godly parents and not like a hormone driven boy…

  8. June 27, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Soldier of War said, Dr. Voegtlin, I know you believe in parental involvement, but there must be more than just guidance, according to how Scripture presents the issue.

    Please understand that I’m trying to see you and your pastor’s point. It’s just not as clear to me as it is to you.

    I clearly see the father/daughter relationship. I don’t clearly see the father/son relationship.

  9. Don Heinz
    June 28, 2008 at 2:03 pm


    I have to say that I initially viewed Jeff’s post as a contradiction to what you were writing, though at this point, I do get his point, I think.

  10. Soldier of War
    June 28, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Dr. Voegtlin,

    We will do our best to help you understand. So please keep reading and listening.

    You can see that we are fighters against the whole dating philosophy that has so much affected Christians. And yet we are fighters for a philosophy that will honor God.

    Let me draw you back to driving principle for using Genesis 24 as a model. I Thess. 4:1-8 says that one must know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor, not in the lust of concupiscence, as the Gentiles which know not God. So whatever the model used must be one that enables the person to be set apart to God (different from the world system) and to be honoring to God. That’s what we are shooting for (no pun intended).

    What do you think?

  11. June 28, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I think there’s not enough dots between those two dots for me to see how they’re connected.

    And I don’t think I’m the only one not seeing the “clear” connection.

  12. June 29, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    I’ll comment on this tomorrow, Lord-willing. One thing I will say is that I don’t have a particular battle with dating. If dating is how to possess one’s vessel in sanctification and honor, not something invented by the Gentiles which know not God, then I want to support it. I want the Scriptural way and I’d like to believe so does everyone else in this discussion.

  13. June 30, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    In my lifetime, I was not taught that Scripture had a way to obtain the life’s partner. I was taught that there were things that you didn’t do, but not that there was any kind of way. As I studied Scripture over the years, I saw the way and I also saw that this was also a historical pattern. This is the way that Christians did it for centuries. I saw from 1 Thessalonians 4 that there was a way that God had for us to do it. The way is clear in Scripture if we believe there is a way and we want to know it. I believe the alternatives, in my experience, are just reactions to people who studied out a way. They had to go searching for an alternative that would allow dating to live, a way that popped up in history around 1880, modern, and invented by the world.

    I believe that the Scriptural ideal is that the Father chooses. I recognize the Father could die before that, the Father be too old to involve himself with that, or that the Father is dininterested in following a Biblical pattern because he isn’t saved. For that reason, I call it an ideal. The best replacement of this does stay within the pattern, because we have the servant going on behalf of Abraham. Jeff says that he doesn’t see that. I based this on the pattern of God the Father choosing the Son’s bride. Was Jesus not taught well enough by the Father to choose His own bride? Why would the Son trust the Father for such a choice? The Son did not assert any self-will. He submitted completely to the Father. This does not mean that the Son is not well-trained or immature. It means He is a very mature, Person who is subservient to authority. That is what maturity is. Are we not to follow the example of GOD? And He shows this pattern all over Scripture. Jeff, you will need to say that this means nothing.

    The first example in Scripture of man obtaining a wife, God, Who is Adam’s Father, gives Eve to Adam for a wife. This is shown to be a universal pattern for marriage (Gen. 2:18, 24). Jesus refers back to this text when He talks about marriage in the Gospels. You can go with the non-scriptural—“he didn’t have multiple choice”—and I will count that as an argument, but people will have to judge as to its veracity. It is reading something into the text, something that didn’t happen, in essence an argument from silence. Making doctrine from silence is weak at best.

    The third example is the only lengthy, detailed narrative of this occurring in Scripture, Genesis 24. We have tremendous numbers of details. This is where you and I contradict, Jeff, despite Don’s statement that we don’t. I’m not saying we contradict in everything. I’m saying we contradict in that Isaac did not make the choice. He was removed from that. Yes, the servant was used, and that opens the door to a surrogate, but a principle in the text is that the Son was removed. Before anyone mocks that, which I’ve heard that is done, then one should consider that this is the way that the Father chose His bride for His Son, so one would in essence be mocking the way God Himself did it. I think one would be walking on dangerous ground with mockery of this method.

    With all that being said, I believe we have some exceptions. I don’t believe the exceptions destroy the ideal or the way that God wants. I believe they simply say that there are some exceptions and they relate to unique situations. Unique situations, what are sometimes hypothetical, do not stand as the rule. They are conditional. We have lots of those kinds of laws in the OT laws, that deal with conditions. The condition must exist for them to be used. They don’t open the door to do it like someone wants. If there is a Dad, he needs to spearhead the effort, do what he is supposed to do. One exception I see in the OT is Boaz with Ruth. In this exception, however, we have a law already guiding this exception, the law of the kinsman redeemer. Boaz was following the law on this. Practically today, I think there are exceptions, and they are clear exceptions, and the people involved we should assume, if they were godly individuals, would still follow the principles to the greatest extent. That there are exceptions, again, does not open the door to do it however we want. We recognize there is a way and we honor the principles to honor God.

    I don’t see yours as a pattern for several reason, Jeff. 1) “Take a wife” isn’t language to say that the son did the choosing. Isaac also took his wife. Did he choose? No. That alone debunks any pattern. Most of your argument rested on that. 2) With that being gone, the times when the narrative shows the son to initiate, it almost unanimously turns out bad. I think we’re supposed to notice this. And I say this from Scripture, not from examples that I’ve seen in real life. The few times it doesn’t turn out bad, there is so little detail about the obtaining of the wife, that is is fairly ambiguous whether the patterns were followed. I think we should assume in silence, like on many other issues, that they were. I’m thinking mainly of Moses on this one. You say that your drive-by shows a historical pattern. I’m talking about historic theology. Did Christians practice the way of the “pattern” that you say exists? No. You say that it is compatible with complementarianism. The man still is in leadership; that’s great.

    One of your grounds, it seems, for not accepting what I am showing from Scripture is that I am not showing any clear statements on the male side. You are right that this is guided by a biblical statement for the Father-daughter (1 Cor 7:36-38). This is degrading the authority of Biblical example, especially the one of God the Father to the God the Son, which is used as a pattern for human marriage repeatedly in Scripture. However, if I were to say there were a reason for no clean statement, it is because there are exceptions, but again, those exceptions don’t become the pattern. They are exceptions. We shouldn’t teach the exception as the ideal pattern.

    Now to the comments and questions to the quotes that you gave.

    How does the child have any criteria–spiritual, intellectual, social, or physical–to give or withold approval? That was your question, and my answer is: I think that the Dad and the Son are working together. The Son is definitely involved with His parents. Prov. 31 is written to King Lemuel from His mother to know what is the right thing to look for in a wife. Dad, Mom, Son, are looking together.

    QUOTE–What I have found is that Dads are oblivious to this.

    Can’t resist… So you look at results also

    I included the quote and your comment to give context here. I don’t have a problem looking at results, but results shouldn’t be the basis of what we do. I’d like to see the Scripturally laid out job of the Dad in a dating model. I know you want a definition of dating, and then whether a bunch of hypotheticals are correct. Anything Scriptural is correct, but I think we also know when the pattern isn’t being kept. You can look at the results of our church. You haven’t seen that we’ve had several do it just like I’ve taught. The only ones who haven’t have been away from our church at another church. I honestly think they were trying to fulfill our beliefs in a place where our beliefs on this are derided by most—they failed at keeping the principles, but the principles helped and help them still in the hostile environment.

    I’ll listen to your mp3 and comment.

    You can tell me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be saying that the example of Jacob with the four women that he had is parallel with the Abraham example—that both are positive examples of what to do in obtaining a life’s partner. You say that Jacob’s pattern was the same as Abraham’s. Laban gave Jacob Leah. Laban, the authority for the daughters, wanted Jacob to have Leah. I believe that the troubles for Jacob show the problem with the son taking the intiative. And so he takes another wife. And another. And another. I can’t take anything as a pattern of what to do from Jacob. He didn’t even follow Laban. Laban gave Leah, but he had to have Rachel.

    That’s it for your comment #7.

  14. June 30, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    I want to make a hermeneutic point here. When I was in seminary, I took a class called The History of Christian Doctrine. There are many Historical Theologies out there to read. One of the categories of theology in addition to Systematic and Biblical is Historical. What is the reason for this? There is the belief that there is no private interpretation. We don’t believe in a total apostasy. Our belief and practice should reflect something that Christians have believed and practiced. If the belief and practice is new, not something historic, there should have been some great Scriptural exegesis to overturn it. If it was not exegesis, but convenience or worldly desire that were the basis, we should reject the new belief and practice. I have said that Christians historically practiced the way that Scripture teaches it, and the way that I am presenting. The new way, dating, and the various Christian hybrids of it, is new. It isn’t historic theology. That is a very important argument on my side that should not be taken lightly.

  15. June 30, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I’d like to interject a few points here, if I may.

    1) Pastor Brandenburg claims historic doctrine/practice on this point. I’m not sure on the practice part (I’d bet its closer to what Pastor Voegtlin is saying), but on the doctrine, I’m really wondering. Has anyone else taken 1 Thess 4 as directly stating that there is a singular way for Christians to go about finding a mate? And even more important, has anyone ever taken Gen. 24 as the be-all/end-all passage on how to find a mate?

    2) Scripture does clearly draw parallels between Christ and his bride, and the institution of marriage. But like with any parallel or parable, shouldn’t we be careful in building doctrine based on other points about the story. We can’t allegorically apply every point in the giving of the Church to Christ to human marriage. There are a few specific parallels mentioned in Scripture. So is it justifiable to say God’s giving the church to Christ, is meant to teach us that a father must give his son a bride?

    3) Regarding examples, I believe we need to be careful in picking a story and setting it up as the cardinal example. The story of Abraham sure fits with the method of betrothal. However, I can think of no other example elsewhere in Scripture (excepting the Father’s giving the Church to his Son) period which matches it. All the other examples must be exceptions then. Scripture has a primary goal of telling the redemption story of God’s work in history. Biblical stories can serve as examples, but they are first part of the The Story. While not every other example should be taken as a Biblical way of getting married (obviously), the many mentions of marriages in Scripture without a stipulated betrothal-type situation (on the part of the male, at least) should say something.

    4) Gen. 24 is also very unique. Abraham and Isaac’s lives are interpreted as types in many respects in the NT. Given God as the single Author of Scripture, we should not be surprised when he foreshadows future events by means of true historical stories in the Old testament. Isaac was previously sacrificed on Mt. Moriah very much foreshadowing Christ’s future death. Likewise, Christ was given a bride by his Father. At this point, it almost seems like the parallel between Gen. 24 and the ultimate marriage of Christ stops right here. They point to one another, Isaac’s example is typical of Christ and not an example for how we are to do it (as Jacob’s story could show).

    Before I stop, let me make clear that I am sympathetic to the betrothal view. I have strong reservations about the dating-around philosophy. I think betrothal or courtship beats that approach hands down. I just don’t see Scripture demanding it as the only way to go about finding a wife. Clearly parental authority should be recognized, and we should guard ourselves from lust. Clearly fornication is forbidden. These things are clear. Betrothal as the one way for Christians to find a wife, is not clear.

  16. July 1, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Regarding Bob’s arguments: AT Robertson states this line for v. 5 of 1 Thess 4: “Plain picture of the wrong way for the husband to come to marriage.” He says v. 5 is the wrong way, implying that v. 4 is the right way. Almost all old commentators say that the man must “know” something, implying again that there is something to know. When we go back to Scripture to see what it is that they are to know, since it is the supreme source of knowledge, this way is the way. In a note in the MacArthur study Bible, and I bring this to say that we are definitely not talking about someone biased to my view, writes on Gen. 24:3,4: “Matrimonial arrangements were made by parents.” His quote is almost verbatim from Robert Jamieson, however. John Calvin, a favorite of yours, Bob, writes this in his commentary on the very first verse of Deut. 24:1: “Irreligious men, partly because they do not hold marriage sufficiently in honor, partly because they do not consider the importance attached especially to the marriage of Isaac, wonder that Moses, or rather the Spirit of God, should be employed in affairs so minute; but if we have that reverence which is due in reading the Sacred Scriptures, we shall easily understand that here is nothing superfluous: for inasmuch as men can scarcely persuade themselves that the Providence of God extends to marriages, so much the more does Moses insist on this point.” And then read what he then writes about v. 2 (and I’m mainly quoting to show the historic basis of this): “Abraham here fulfils the common duty of parents, in laboring for and being solicitous about the choice of a wife for his son.” Wow! They assumed that this was the common duty of parents, to choose the wife for the son. He goes on the write on v. 3 of Gen. 24: “Now this example should be taken by us as a common rule, to show that it is not lawful for the children of a family to contract marriage, except with the consent of parents; and certainly natural equity dictates that, in a matter of such importance, children should depend upon the will of their parents.”

    Calvin talks like this is the norm in his day and that this is how people thought in his day based on this example, this pattern in the Word of God. It would seem that someone who would come and challenge the “historic basis” would have already done the heavy lifting of looking at some easy things to look at first. I shouldn’t be the one doing the lifting for the one making the challenge. One weakness at times of blogs is that someone can just make any challenge he wants, and it does influence people if that’s the position they want to take, without actually having a studied basis for spontaneous accusations. Kids making their own choice certainly is the popular view and it is the more popular view of the flesh and the world, so a challenge to a parent-choice view certainly is going to look attractive, even to parents today, who are less likely to take responsibility and can be more concerned with getting along with their kids.

    The Bible is far more than a story of redemption. It thoroughly furnishes us to every good work. We can see Christ all over Scripture, but Christ also wants us to practice correctly the obtaining of the life’s partner. I have actually already shown that there is more than Gen. 24. I am saying that Gen. 24 simply has the most complete presentation of it. The parental authority thing is all over, which I’ve shown. I believe how Christ chooses His bride is all over Scripture and then it is used in parallel in the NT with details of the marriage ceremony. Gen. 24 buttresses this. We have a historic basis for using Scriptural examples as a basis of our practice. The Puritans did this in great detail. See Gouge’s book on the family. I’ve read through the whole thing and they took details from everywhere as a practice. I’m pointing this out as a matter of historic value. I think it is also true based upon 1 Cor 10, 2 Tim 3:16, 17, Psalm 19, among other places.

    I’ve already dealt with making this a type. I believe it overtypes the chapter to make it about Christ and His bride. To say that it stops as a type alone is difficult to argue except with: The text doesn’t say it is a type. It really is to play fast and loose with a text to make it a type when it doesn’t say that it is.

  17. July 1, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I stand corrected on the historic point. I definitely agree Biblical examples are important and should instruct us as to how to live. However, there are more examples than just Gen. 24, and while there are many clear commands in Deuteronomy about marriage and giving in marriage, there is no express command concerning this. We know that this was customary practice, but was this just a cultural thing or a conscious way of life per regulations from God? I don’t think Scripture answers that question for us.

    There are many principles we can draw from these Scriptural examples. There are clear commands as well to impact how we go about finding a wife. If we agree on these things, that should be significant. There are many who use these principles and commands to go about the process of finding a mate in a clearly other-worldly way. Are we all wrong for not seeing in Gen. 24 a divine pattern for how it must universally be done? In the absence of clear Scriptural mandate, I believe we must allow for differences of opinion as to how best to apply the principles and obey the commands of Scripture.

    Blessings in Christ,


  18. July 5, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    QUOTE–Jeff says that he doesn’t see that.

    What I don’t see is the clear connection between the “way” which I believe is derived from “how” in 1 Thess. 4 and Genesis 24. Why does Genesis 24 have to be “the way?” Do we have to have one example that is “the way?” Or can we say that there are several principles from the whole of Scripture that must be truthfully applied to whichever “way” you go about finding your life’s partner?


    Your two strongest examples for the Father choosing (Jesus and Adam), and they are strong, fall short in that they give NO role to the father of the daughter. There are many clear statements in the Bible as to his role. Therefore, more must be learned about “the way” than from what those examples by themselves teach.

    QUOTE–I’m saying we contradict in that Isaac did not make the choice.

    Yes, this is where we disagree, yet if you’ll read what I posted in comment #30 of part two, I don’t think we’re that far apart considering what you said you practice.

    On the point of not making the choice, would you dismiss the situation addressed in the following passage as an exception? If so, you must admit it was an exception that God expected to happen often enough to address it specifically in the law.

    When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her. (Deuteronomy 21:10-14)

    It seems like a twenty year old son, off to war, COULD choose a wife from among the captives. I know war is an exception, and I know you wouldn’t go into the military SO THAT you could find a wife within the parameters of the law, but it reads to me as if a man would choose his wife, and he might even choose her from among captives who would of course be heathen, so the captivity and heathenism required special “treatment.”

    QUOTE–The times when the narrative shows the son to initiate, it almost unanimously turns out bad. I think we’re supposed to notice this. And I say this from Scripture, not from examples that I’ve seen in real life.

    And in the model, Isaac was betrothed to a woman who railed on him because he wouldn’t give her children and then initiated the deception involving the blessing. How much “bad” do we need to discount the method of bringing a man and woman together in marriage? I’m trying to look at it Scripturally also.

    QUOTE–You are right that this is guided by a biblical statement for the Father-daughter (1 Cor 7:36-38). This is degrading the authority of Biblical example, especially the one of God the Father to the God the Son, which is used as a pattern for human marriage repeatedly in Scripture.

    I would reply that I believe the clear statements of Scripture put the father of the daughter in the position of “the authority.” While two sets of parents could work together and that would be good. Ultimately, one must be “the authority” No man can serve two masters. If you came to me on behalf of you son interested in my daughter, I would appreciate working with another highly involved parent. But in the end I would want to deal with him not with you. He is who I would be giving her to, not you. And those statements are made because of my scriptural responsibility to protect her and keep her until I give her to him.

    QUOTE–You can tell me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be saying that the example of Jacob with the four women that he had is parallel with the Abraham example—that both are positive examples of what to do in obtaining a life’s partner.

    Obviously, I’m not saying that four wives are as good as one. They’d be four times as good as one 🙂

    Now seriously, you said that Jacob is no pattern because on his own he sinned. I saw parallels to a certain point, almost exact parallels. Now at the beginning of your post four you make some distinctions in the motive of the parents, but looking at just the two situations and lining them up they’re the same to a point.

    I would also point out that I’m not trying to make Jacob “the pattern.” I’m saying nowhere is there a clear enough pattern to be able to say this ONE is THE one that MUST be followed. I’m saying we have to look at all of scripture–clear statements and good and bad examples–and let them all govern the process we follow in finding a life’s partner or giving our daughter to a man.

    I also would point out that Laban is as much to fault for Jacob having multiple wives as Jacob is. Laban gave them to him.

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