It seems that a certain man was travelling through a small southern town and stopped off at a little diner to grab a bite to eat. He sat down at the counter and ordered a burger and fries. As he waited for his food, he began to look around.
It was then that he noticed a lady sitting in a booth across the diner. She appeared to be staring at him. To the best of his memory, he did not know the lady; nor had he ever seen her before.
This all made him a little uncomfortable; but he decided it would be best simply to ignore the matter. A little while later, his food was delivered, and he began to eat. A moment of two later, however, he happened to look around again and noticed that the lady was still staring at him, only much more intently this time. Slightly alarmed, he determined not even to look that way again.
Shortly thereafter, though, he noticed in his peripheral vision that the lady had now gotten up and moved onto the stool right next to him. Not knowing what else to do, he decided to speak. “Hello,’ he said, “is there something I can do for you?”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, “I really do not mean to be a bother to you; but I am just astounded at how much you look like my fourth husband!” “Your fourth husband?” he replied, “Just how many husbands have you had?”
She smiled and winked at him as she said slyly, “Three!”
Sadly, perhaps, the concepts of love and marriage have today become the object of far too many jokes. As we approach Valentine’s Day, when a significant amount of emphasis is put on these things, we would do well to ponder afresh and anew the significance of love and marriage. As we do, hopefully we will realize that, in reality, they are no laughing matter.
It comes as no great surprise to hear that the institution of marriage is under attack today as never before. Divorce rates actually exceed marriage rates in a number of communities, and even some states. Laws are being adopted which attempt to redefine the very definition of marriage. And some are even questioning whether or not the whole concept of marriage is necessary as a component of modern society.
But Biblically, marriage is held in extremely high regard. In Hebrews 13:4, the Bible says (in a very straightforward manner), “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
This is why I love Genesis 24, which records the story of Isaac and Rebekah. A careful study of the text shows us that the selection of a marriage partner was for Isaac a very serious matter. By inference, so should it be for us. My wife and I have been blessed with almost thirty years of marriage together. Before we were married, we dated for seven years. I am confident that the length and strength of our marriage has been directly related to the length and strength of our preparation for marriage.
In fact, I believe that the decision one makes about who to marry and how to go about that is so important that it is second only in significance to the decision made about what one will do with Jesus. Perhaps if more people saw it this way, love and marriage, which serve as the foundation of the home and the bedrock of society, would not be in the shape they are in today. And neither would our culture as we have come to know it. Food for thought the next time you find yourself sitting in a diner eating a hamburger and in effect being proposed to out of nowhere!