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#276 – Marriage, Singleness, and God’s Providence (Genesis 24:67)

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“Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah, his mother, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her.”
(Genesis  24:67)

Genesis 24 tells this story of how God providentially brought Isaac and Rebekah together. We see this picture of love in marriage as she became his wife. As a husband who is married to a wife that God providentially brought to me by His grace and has given me this love relationship that I can’t even begin to describe in words, I am so thankful. I think about others who are listening to this right now who are in marriages where you are experiencing that kind of love, and a verse like this just causes you to thank God for the spouse He has given you.

Regardless of relationship status, God’s Providence is good and He can be trusted that what He ordains is right.

I know at the same time there are others who are listening to this right now who maybe are in marriages that are struggling to experience this kind of love, and a verse like this causes us to pray for a restoration, revival even, of this kind of love in marriage. Then, I think about those who are listening to this who may be single, and maybe the Lord has clearly called you to singleness for a long time, maybe your entire life, and this verse, I hope, causes you to rejoice in that gift of marriage that He gives to some. At the same time, it in no way beckons you to think that singleness is any less in God’s economy than this picture of marriage. I hope that there remains a delight in singleness. Or, if there is desire for marriage that God would direct that desire in the way that is best according to His will for you, for His glory. I think about my kids when I read a verse like this as I pray for their future spouses.

A verse like this just causes my mind to go all kinds of different directions and so I want us to pray accordingly. Those of us who are married, reading this verse, God, we pray for a sweet love to mark our marriages. God, we praise you for the gift of a spouse. We thank you, God. Thank you for my wife. We thank you for the gifts you give us in our wives, our husbands, and as we’re praying together right now, just thank you, thank you, thank you. Help us to treat these gifts with honor, almost to cherish these gifts. Help us to nourish these gifts. Help us to love our spouse well, in a way that is good for them and brings glory to you. God, we pray for a growth in love, an ever-deepening picture of love in marriage.

God, I pray for those who are desiring marriage, God that you would lead them in your time to this kind of picture of love. That you would help them not to settle for anything less than your design for marriage. God, even as I pray for my own kids, I pray that you would raise up a spouse for them, and for those who are desiring marriage who loves you, who honors you, who knows your Word, who wants to make your glory known in the world, that you would provide strong husbands and wives for those who are single and desiring marriage.

At the same time, God, I know there is a tremendous gift in singleness, even in talking about, praying about, marriage right now, I don’t want to in any way underestimate, so I pray for a thriving in singleness for your glory. We thank you, thank you for this gift of marriage as well as the gift of singleness. We pray that, whether single or married, you would help us to honor you, and particularly in marriage that the kind of love you’ve designed for a husband and wife would be the experience we have in ever deepening ways. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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David Platt is the president of the International Mission Board (IMB), Teaching Pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington D.C., and founder of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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