The marriage of Isaac and Rebecca was by no means perfect. Judging by today’s standards, they were doomed to fail – no dating, no prior knowledge of each other, a fixed marriage with no personal choice and a bride being transported to a land far, far away from her own, without any support from her own family members. Then one may look at the tremendous personality differences: Isaac was his mother’s baby, he was very close to his mother Sarah. When Sarah passed away, Isaac was grieving tremendously. Isaac was introverted, timid, not creative, loved to meditate in the fields. On the other hand, Rebecca was extroverted, a shepherdess by trade, in charge of a flock, knew how to take care of things and people, loved to plan ahead. How could two such different persons live together in harmony?
The answer lies in the spiritual head of the marriage, Isaac himself. In the early days of the marriage, Isaac acted as a model husband for his wife. Here are some of his characteristics. He was a thinking, reflective person, meditating always and was in touch with his own emotions. Although he might have an unhealthy relationship with his mother, his emotional side was quite developed. After his meditation, he did lift his eyes and looked. His world was expanding, not just as a product of his own imagination. By looking, he saw Rebecca and he liked her. Actually, he made a decision to love her. Love is a decision, not just a romantic feeling. One loves despite of, not because of. This is the essence of sacrificial love, to love the unlovable and those who are unworthy of our love.
It is by loving another person that one is comforted of the hardships of life, it is by loving his wife that Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. When his wife failed to bear child, he became her intercessor and prayed for her to conceive. Their loving relationship was revealed in the land of Gerar when Abimelech saw them playing with one another and thus discovered the lie that Rebecca was not his sister but his wife. The word “playing” can be translated as caressing, fondling, laughing or sporting. This reflects an intimate husband-wife relationship.
No wonder God greatly blessed Isaac, in a year of drought, he planted and received a harvest of a hundredfold. He became great, prosperous and exceedingly rich, to the envy of the local Philistines. When a husband takes on the spiritual leadership of the marriage, the blessings will overflow. Husbands, learn a lesson from Isaac: meditate on the Lord, look at what the Lord is bringing to you, make a decision to love, be comforted in the losses of life, pray for your wife and demonstrate your love to her. Wives, you can pray for your husbands to become Isaac-like, blessings will come to you and your family.
Ps 7:10-17 Gen 24:52-26:16 Matt 8:18-34 Prov 3:7-8