Do What is Practical

They called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” And she said, “I will go.”
–Genesis 24:58

In the story of Eliezer in Genesis 24, we see five principles for finding a mate–or making any important decision in life. Today, we’ve come to the third principle: exercise practicality.

That’s what Eliezer did as he tried to find the right wife for Isaac. In verse 14, Eliezer prayed, “Now may it be that the girl to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar so that I may drink,’ and who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’–may she be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac.” I don’t believe he was asking for a supernatural sign so much as he was being practical. After all, the woman who offered to water his camels would display the graciousness of a good wife as well as have the physical stamina to travel back to Canaan.

In the same way, when we’re looking for a mate, we need to exercise practicality. For example, if you want a career, then perhaps you shouldn’t be with somebody who wants you to stay home with the children. In Amos 3:3, God asked, “Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” (NLT). God was talking about spiritual issues, but I think that principle applies to anything we care about deeply. How can we walk with somebody, whether it be a friend or a mate, unless we agree about the basic issues in life? Be practical.

Principle number four: consider your preferences. Remember, one way God speaks to us is through the desires He puts in our hearts. We see the emphasis on personal preference in the story of Eliezer. He found Rebekah at the watering hole in Nahor. She offered to water his camels, just as he had prayed. Then Eliezer went to Rebekah’s parents and explained how God had worked everything out. Look at verses 57–58: “They said, ‘We will call the girl and consult her wishes.’ Then they called Rebekah and said to her, ‘Will you go with this man?’”

In finding a wife for Isaac, Eliezer relied on God’s principles. He prayed. He tried to be practical. But how did Rebekah know this was God’s will? By consulting her preference. She had never met Isaac. But when she heard what God had done, something stirred inside her. In verse 58, she said, “I will go.” And sight unseen, she got on the back of a donkey and traveled five hundred miles to meet this man. While the absence of strong physical or emotional desire is no reason to end a marriage, it’s a great reason not to begin a marriage–or a new job, a move to another city, or any other option you’re facing. God works through our preferences.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “How to Choose a Mate” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org; Scripture quotation marked (NLT) taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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