Sunday, January 26, 2014

Jewish/Hebrew Perspective on Relationships(Courting/Dating/Marriage)

Here is something of interest when I was pursuing my Masters degree in Theology, I took a class on Early Church History(Focus was Hebrew Roots), had some interesting notes from the class on relationships in regards to courting, dating, and marriage. I will share my notes on this post, most of my notes come from Marvin Wilson book "Our Father Abraham," and article written by Sol Gordon of Israel. I believe this article would give Christians in western culture a better understanding of courting that leads to marriage, so many individuals put emphasis on the wedding day versus focusing on the longevity of the marriage, and what it takes to stay married.

Quotes from Marvin Wilson book called Our Father Abraham. Here is quotes from the section of the book called Jewish Insights into Marriage and Family: "Contemporary Christians must take to heart this time tested Jewish family value(respect for family background)." They must seek to build friendship which eventually lead to solid marriages because they are based on objective criteria. A piece of paper in the form of a marriage certificate can hardly be expected to hold a marriage together. Prayer alone is also not enough. Flaws, weaknesses, or inefficiencies even when prayed over may still remain problem.

Here some notes from an article written by Sol Gordon from Israel. The article is called "Love and Sex: Poor Motives for Marriage." Notes from the article goes as the following: says the distorted images of sex, love, and marriage not only contribute to the rising divorce rate, but also the increase in pre-martial sex,. Gordon says sex is neither a test nor proof of love. In fact, he relegates it to #9 of the 10 most important characteristics of a mature relationship. #1 is intimacy, he says which includes touch, trust, closeness and caring through good times and bad. A sense humor and honest communication are #2 and #3 followed by commitment to mutual growth. Gordon states mature premartial discussions should concern careers, family, finances, living arrangements, personal values(religion), sharing, aging parents, dealing with differences and even the possibility of infertility. Also need to discuss quirks; poor hygiene; or bad breath; clothes selection; general appearance; compulsive behavior; and behavior towards friends and relatives. Gordon also advises against expecting to change behavior after marriage or putting too much faith in promises. Friendship can be a turn-on according to Gordon, who says he strongly believes that you can turn or make two lovers from friends.

Last piece of notes comes from Marvin Wilson book Our Father Abraham in regards of man and woman marriage day. Wilson states that Jewish weddings they fasted on their wedding day to get the mind of the Lord. At the wedding ceremony the bride and groom partake of communion drinking two cups of wine. The concept was to show common destiny. 1st cup is called the "cup of joy". It reminds the couple that when joys in life are shared, they are doubled. 2nd cup that of sacrifice. In the midst of their celebration, the bride and groom are sobered by recognizing that burdens and problems will someday come into their marriage. But if these troubles are shared, they are halved. This reflects what Jesus says in Matthew 20:22-23.

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