As we consider the husband/wife relationship of Isaac and Rebekah, we are tempted to ask, “How can a relationship begin so beautifully… and end so badly?” (See Genesis 24-25.) Their marriage began as an answer to earnest prayer and God’s sure leading. And you can almost hear swelling music as Rebekah first spotted her husband-to-be from a distance, leaped off her camel, ran to Isaac “and he loved her” (24:67).
We can only wonder, “What happened?” Looking at their beginning of their relationship, we get the sense that Isaac and Rebekah’s marriage was a match made in heaven. The only problem we see is that for the first 20 years, Rebekah was childless. But Isaac pleaded with God for a child, and God responded by granting not one, but two children—twins!
Soon another problem arose that split this loving couple–and their family–in two: Each parent had a favorite child. And each parent plotted, connived, and schemed for their personal favorite to advance over the other.
Their story ends with Rebekah helping her favored son, Jacob, deceive her husband and Jacob’s father into giving Jacob the blessing of the firstborn, rather than to the rightful heir, Esau. The family was torn apart as their son Jacob was forced to leave home and run for his life, and their son Esau rebelled and left home and married a woman from idolatrous neighbors. Such a tragic ending after a thrilling, hopeful beginning!
What can you do to keep your marriage alive and vibrant? First, be on the lookout for problems that can escalate and ruin a marriage. Second, look daily to God for His love. The fire of your love will not sustain your marriage unless that fire is fed, stoked, stirred, and constantly tended. The more it is fueled by God, the greater its flame. Bless one another in your marriage. Don’t complain that you don’t have time to work on your marriage. Make the time, and you will, by God’s grace, have a marriage made in heaven.