“And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.”Genesis 26:34-35
I married my junior high school sweetheart, and I’ve wanted to marry her since I was 14 years old. I thought when we “dated” as young teens that we would have the 11 kids and ride off into the sunset much like Hollywood portrays. Instead of that smooth ride to marital bliss, I was dumped twice, the first time after a mere two months of being together. I still remember where I was standing when she dumped me, and I can still hear the echo of Rebekah’s friends as they chanted, “She said no, she said no!” My heart broke into a million pieces there on the volleyball court, but I recovered.
I went to school with Rebekah all through high school, and although we went to the same small school for two and half years, we did not say enough words to each other to publish a short article. I admired her from afar and always wanted to talk to her but either did not know the words to say or the words simply would not come out of my mouth. I am thankful that God blocked me in those years as I may have ruined what He knew was to be in the future.
Although I dated other people, I always felt Rebekah was the one for me until I gave up all hope when my letters went unreturned. I tried not to think about her, but I used her name in a story I wrote for one of my college classes. God brought us back together at my best friend’s wedding, and we talked like no time had passed between us. I felt like we were back in junior high, and I was carrying her books and walking her to her class. In all those years we were apart, God kept me from those who I thought were the ones and from others who were not followers of Christ.
I look at this passage and see the grief Esau brought his parents by whom he married – and two women at the same time. He married women from the Canaanites and these were not people aligned with the blessing of Abraham. The verses do not share if he asked for consent or advice from his parents, but it seemed he acted on his own in marrying these women and it brought his parents much grief. Marriage is a beautiful thing when done God’s way, but it can be a curse when done without God’s direction or will. I am grateful for the hours spent in prayer by my parents as they prayed for the one God would have for me. I am grateful for my wife, and I am encouraged to pray for my own children as marriage is one of the top five decisions in life.
Will you pray for your children’s future spouse? Will you commit to God the ones you hold precious? Will you lead them to marry those who follow God? If you aren’t yet married, is it important to you whom you marry or is your only qualification someone who is alive and breathing? God wants us to glorify Him in all things, and this includes the life decisions we make. May our marriages honor our parents but more importantly, may they honor God.