Lifelong marriage is still the ideal. What gets in the way of thi...

Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.
Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God
and receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit that he gave us.
The word of the Lord.

The practice of arranged marriage varied greatly from one family and one community to another.

The servant found a potential wife for Isaac, Rebekah, but it is plain that Rebekah was given some choice regarding whether she accepted the offer (verses 57-58).

Rebekah’s son Jacob later found a woman he loved and made a deal with her father, Laban, to work seven years in exchange for Rachel in marriage (Genesis 29).


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Ecumenical and Interfaith Marriages

Further making this a worthy option for the marriage celebration is that this passage clearly states the basics for Christian living. It makes no reference to marriage, yet it is the first major discourse in all the Gospels where Jesus describes what life will be like for his followers. There is a parallel between Jesus beginning his teaching ministry and couples beginning their married lives. Similar to this passage, the nuptial blessing in the marriage rite concludes with the hope of eternal fulfillment by praying, “May you…come at last to the kingdom of heaven.” Both stress that marriage has a cosmic dimension, for its fulfillment is in heaven.


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This bold Christian view of love demonstrates clearly that it cannot be reduced to a romantic emotion. Love looks like something. Here, St. Paul describes it with poetic detail. He tells what love is – patient, kind, enduring– as well as what it is not – jealous, pompous, inflated, rude, quick-tempered. The reading also foretells what happens when love is absent. Without it, lives and relationships are like a noisy gong. We can accumulate things, be showered with gifts, and even give things away, yet without love, all is worthless. Really, what Paul is describing, is a love that looks like Christ, the one who is Love incarnate.

Did women in the Bible have a choice about whom they married?

Commentary
Couples looking for a clear, strong image of sacramental marriage will gravitate toward this passage. It is the most expressive passage in the New Testament regarding marriage. It is also complex. Some couples will dismiss it as objectionable to a contemporary perspective of spousal love. The language within the reading can pose pastoral challenges. Yet couples who pray with this passage might trade in their initial objections for a spirited embrace of the vision of marriage offered here.

Muslim women and choice in marriage - IRFI

The author gives an extended meditation on the second creation story and quotes it directly (Genesis 2:18-24, 2nd Old Testament option). The author is very familiar with the Gospel of Christ Jesus, crucified and raised from the dead. Christ’s actions of suffering, dying, and rising make all the difference in the world, even to husbands and wives. The initial verse (2) indicates how to interpret this passage: “Live in love, as Christ loved us, and handed himself over for us.” Christ did this for the Church, the living body of believers. Married couples constitute the domestic church. Their mutual love should mirror the love Christ demonstrated. They are not expected to give their lives for the whole world, but they are to offer their lives for their spouse, the one they love. It is a love that is offered and given for another, or as the author states, “be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ” (vs. 21).