Wikipedia definition: Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the bride and groom are selected by a third party rather than by each other. It was common worldwide until the 18th century.
In a society where divorces and affairs are common strains in life —
— where people are left to choose their own spouses for themselves, for “love” and “romance” —
— where people fail to do their due diligence, and investigate the person, their family, their pasts, their childhood, etc —
— sometimes we look at other societies where arranged marriages are common, and we wonder — would it be better if we did it that way?
I think arranged marriages should have their place among us.
Now — allow me to post a disclaimer — I don’t believe in forcing anything upon anyone. So no, I don’t believe in forcing people to marry. But I do believe that parents (and elders, and older family members and friends) should be able to look at an individual and assess who would be a good match for that person.
I remember, years ago, watching a documentary on arranged marriages around the world. One couple, in particular, was from a lower caste system in India. They’d been chosen for one another in childhood — maybe about age 7 or 8, and had mostly been kept from knowing or even seeing one another, until the time came for them to be married.
They were able to see each other on the day of their wedding. In the excitement, the documentary asked the young groom how he was feeling about his bride-to-be. He said, in essence “I don’t know her, but I love her. I love her, because she will be my wife. So I love her already.” He had a big smile on his face and hope in his eyes. And from that moment on, I concluded that for many of us, arranged marriage should be allowed.
Some of us don’t like our parents (and some of us, our parents don’t like us). We don’t like their ways and so we don’t want them choosing our mates. And that’s fine. I fully believe a person should be able to decline a marriage offer if they see fit — and no harm should come of it for anyone.
But for me, I mostly trust my parents, and when I was late teens-early twenties, I fully trusted them because for the most part, I was following their path, and I rarely disagreed with anything they were.
My mother had a man chosen for me — a young, black, mainstream Christian pastor. A rising star in the firmament. My mother was always good at knowing what men were best for me, even when I was dating. If she didn’t like a guy, I would drop him quickly.
She was always right about them, it would turn out.
Had I not met my husband one day, living thousands of miles away from home, I would have given in and married the man she’d chosen. I would not have been unhappy. But it would not be the life I have now.
I’d be a super-Christian, a model first-wife, a corporate powerhouse, with children who were more than likely excelling at some school somewhere. I’d have a PERM, lol, I’d have some luxury vehicle (A Lexus, Benz, BMW), a tailored church-suit/business-suit wardrobe, heeled shoes that were not too high or too low. My nails would be done every two weeks.
I’d probably be a pastor, myself.
But I met my husband.
And I liked him.
And my parents liked him, too.
So that possible, “okay” reality went out the window, because I happened to stumble upon my husband on my own. Which, in my opinion, was pure Yahweh — pure kismet, pure The Universe doing what IT wants with you, whether or not that was your intent.
And when I compare the two realities, I like this one better. Of course.
My mind is freer and personally I feel “larger” and “more grand” than I would be, had I not chosen to respond to that young man that day in the snow.
To me, today — that other, “okay” life — is REALLY a life of pretentiousness…
I plan to do a level of arranged marriage with our children — I want them to meet people that are similar to them — have similar lifestyles and backgrounds, hopefully from happily married households where the children see both husband and wife/wives, father and mother/mothers and how they relate to each other. I want them to meet young people from families that don’t eat pork, or don’t eat meat.
I plan to mold them into good mates, and to guide them on how to choose a good mate (because, as I said, the final choice will be up to them).