Genesis 28:1-9: Marrying wisely.

“So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him: ‘Do not marry a Canaanite woman. Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.’ Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau. Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, ‘Do not marry a Canaanite woman,’ and that Jacob had obeyed his father and mother and had gone to Paddan Aram. Esau then realised how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.” NIV UK

For believers who do marry, it should be clear to us, that spiritual compatibility matters most of all. Culture emphasises superficial and transient things such as appearance. I’m not saying that physical attraction is unimportant. It clearly matters a lot. But the best looking ‘Canaanite’ in the world should not be considered an option for any Christian. We ought to find a life-partner from among the people of God, or not at all. Christians who violate this principle usually live to regret it. I’m not saying that marriage to an unbeliever will never lead to his/her conversion. It can happen. But it is the exception. Regardless of this, don’t let your mind even consider the possibility of becoming ‘unequally yoked’ with an unbeliever. Think about it too long, and you might start to justify it. It’s the top of a slippery slope.