Arranged marriage, those two words can provoke differing emotions, along with raised eyebrows.
Depending on where you are in the world and your cultural background, arranged marriage can be looked at with a sense of excitement and expectancy or dread and disgust.
If you haven’t already done so, please make some time to read the ‘It takes a village (Parts 1 & 2) and Enemies of the village’ posts for background and context to this post.
They are posts, which ‘extensively’ draw on real-life personal experiences, shared in a very honest and raw way.
The information in the posts for ‘Just for men’ and ‘Women only’ are also relevant.
I recently had a short conversation with someone in my Twitter network and she asked me if I knew about arranged marriages.
My answer was yes, due to the multi-cultural background I’ve had, being born in, growing up, studying and working in London; knowing people with parents from certain practising countries as well as people who were born abroad, who came to London when they were very young.
We both agreed that there was a right and a wrong way to do the arranged marriage thing,
I want to concentrate on a ‘right way’ to do it.
A slight aside
I will cover this in another section/chapter more thoroughly, however, I’ve never understood the parents who, coming from certain cultures and countries.
Parents who expect to move from their set way of doing things, to multi-cultural cities (like London) within countries like, Britain, USA, Canada, Australia etc. and not expect their children to have an attraction to people of other countries and colours.
As I said, another topic for another post and chapter.
Always referencing history
Going back to our Genesis point, for all tribes and nations (of human beings) on the planet.
In original ‘Bible land’, East Africa and North-East Africa (aka The Middle East), forms of arranged marriages were a norm, especially post world wide flood.
They were the framework for both the perfect will marriage setup and also Polygamy.
Historically, when the family units were ‘generally’ stronger and the village was in full operation, there was a certain way of doing things, which ‘usually’ created long-lasting marital unions.
While having a love and desire for someone is a big part of the process, the romantic ‘modern’ Western originated version of ‘being in love’ didn’t exist; people learned to ‘grow in true love and care for each other’ as their marriage developed and progressed.
Also, there are some keywords which I think we should bear in mind, ‘consult’, ‘mutual consent’ and ‘agreement’.
Unless a male or female is a natural celibate or has been altered in some way.
Generally, the majority of men and women have been born with a desire to ‘partner’ with the opposite sex(gender), primarily for companionship but also to marry, start and bring up a family.
It’s a desire which is switched on at some point within our puberty stage of development and grows stronger as we mature in age.
Arrangements would ideally start with parents who ‘should’ know their young adult children well enough and also have a solid network of friends of the family within the community, work associates & people they fellowship with, who also have young adult children, who share the same firm beliefs and values, making for a more compatible union.
As men have been created to seek out the woman, one or two women (within the community) will begin to come to mind and the ideal is, that a young man, should be able to sit down and hear the parents out, as they consult him, concerning who they think would be a good fit for him.
This shouldn’t stop the man from having an opinion, especially if he has been working on developing himself he will have a reasonable idea about who he is and what he is looking for in a woman and future wife.
In addition to assisting his parents in around the family home and business (if there is one), he is at home to develop spiritually and emotionally, while working and saving towards the hopeful eventuality of marrying and moving out.
Where the man lives, among family friends, where he studies, where he works, where he socialises, where he shops regularly, where he does his leisure activities or places of fellowship are all the places a prospective future wife could come from.
If the village is as tight as it should be, with the networks and connections which should be in place, it will be much easier.
The woman also gets to view and monitor the males in the above mentioned environments and would be at home doing the exact same things the man is, which includes saving, in order to marry and eventually leave home.
Discussion should be open and honest and there should be an agreement between both the son and the parents before the approach is made to the parents of the daughter of interest.
If both sets of parents agree the daughter should be spoken to by her parents and if she is in agreement and gives consent, a meeting of all parties should be had.
If the singles are already very social, there would already be a possibility of them discussing the possibility of dating with intention to marry.
However, either way, the meeting with both sets of parents and the singles adult children, is to set an ‘official arrangement’ with a view to dating with intentions to marry.
If the daughter and son give consent and are in mutual agreement, things can progress from that meeting.
Most well rounded mature adults will know within a maximum of 2 years of dating, whether or not the person has the initial qualities to become a future husband or wife, especially if there is no sex involved, to cloud the couples judgement, preventing them from seeing any warning signs which may be evident.
It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.
As God has given the institution of marriage, it is He who should be consulted first and foremost, with all parties involved having a discussion with Him and listening out for His response, aka prayer/praying.
With that spiritual foundation in place, a young couple has a better chance for success as their moral guides, faiths and beliefs will assist in keeping them in line with Yeshua’s word.
There will obviously be highs and lows in the dating period, especially if the couple has deep and intense feelings for each other, however, with the village playing it’s important part and the couple allowing the help and assistance.
The process from dating to the wedding and marriage will be a whole lot smoother.
Enemies of the arrangement process
If you read the ‘Enemies of the village’ post and you’ve had life experiences, you obviously know that there are major enemies which work against viable life-issue solutions.
The biggest enemy to the lack of good arranged marriage, is the religion of selfism.
That religion creates individualism which is detrimental to a strong family and community (village) setup.
Certain societies and countries, impose that, starting within their so-called
education indoctrination system.
The value of family and community is immediately under attack, with the me, myself and I philosophies which are taught.
Both subliminally suggested and directly stated, taking root in the developing minds of the youth and demonstrated by their proceeding, anti-family actions.
Parental authority is questioned, children are encouraged to move out early, from the parental home to study and the connections which should be there between child, parents and siblings are put under severe strain and even broken.
The, think of self, selfish philosophy is very detrimental to young adults, especially if they would like to be a spouse and eventually have their own family.
Another enemy is the lack of faith and belief.
How can a community and village come together if many of the young adults come from broken homes and homes (even with both parents) who follow the do-what-you like way of living.
The chain is only as strong as the weakest link and (for example) if only 20 couples (parents) believe in the benefits of the village and community and have the shared beliefs of God and dating correctly.
How are they able to swim against the tide of 2000 other parents within that same school, who couldn’t care less about community, building a village, safe dating for their children with the aim and hope of seeing them marry and move out, especially if they didn’t live life that way.
It’s an uphill struggle and battle.
Xenophobia, tribal and cultural prejudices are also a problem.
A subjective argument, I know, however, people tend to draw dividing lines over things which should not be a big issue, meanwhile letting important things slide.
Having dislikes and even hatred over regions people come from, languages or dialects spoken, countries of birth and the colour of skin is problematic.
No unity, no community, leading to a small or non-existent ‘village’ which also leads to the struggle of many young adults, not being equipped or helped to move onto the next stage of their lives.
Village mentality helps young adults
Living in certain societies is detrimental to the family and community development of young adults, moulding them to be individualist and slaves to economies and societies which doesn’t have their best interest at heart and is only interested in the money which can be made from them and the taxes which can be extracted.
Let’s face the facts, the percentage of those who are single adults is a lot higher under the selfish mentality societies, than it is, under those societies who keep the village strong and have arranged marriages.
Obviously if agreement and consent is not in place then those marriages are imposed, usually under a system of religious force.
There is no point in having lots of marriages which were/are forced, leading to mental and emotional strain and even abuse.
The ideal is to have good arrangements with consent and agreement.
It’s still possible but it will mean that young adults have to sit with parents and have honest to God talks.
Then parents will have to step out of their comfort zones and pre-programmed, selfism society mindsets, to network with other parents and make things happen.
Is it too late? Can we get the horse back after it’s bolted from the stable?
Maybe we can’t but maybe we can and if we have a love for our adult children, want them to experience what we have with our spouses, or better.
If we love them want them to leave home the right way, on a one way trip with no returns; then we should seriously consider assisting those, who want the help, with a good arrangement which could/should lead to marriage.
Watiwa Mtoto wa Yeshua
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