Q. My family's ethnic background is India-Indian. When the time comes I'll be expected to marry someone arranged through my parents. Since I was raised in America I obviously don't want that. Are arranged marriages WRONG and against what the Bible teaches? What should I do?
(Submitted by: Anish)
A. Depending on the process involved, arranged marriages aren't necessarily wrong from a biblical standpoint. Arranged marriages are the custom of some cultures and peoples such as in India as you described. If the process involves marriage to someone who is completely a stranger, the chances of a happy marriage are diminished.
To consider marrying someone, it is important to get to know what they are like. Is their personality compatible with yours? Do you enjoy their company and just being around them? Do you have common interests? To get to know a person involves spending a good deal of time with that person, a process known in the United States and elsewhere as dating. However, dating should not involve having sexual relations as is common in many countries and the U.S.A. The Bible condemns such sexual relations as fornication or sexual immorality:
"Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. " (1Corinthians 6:18, NKJV throughout)
A Godly marriage is a love relationship as shown in the New Testament book of Ephesians:
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, . . .