How the Wives of the Bible Met their Husbands: What You Can Learn

Women in the Bible

We live in a day and age where women chase men just as hard if not harder than the men chase the women. I have often been questioned for why I do not set up an online dating profile, put myself “on the market,” or “go out” and make myself available to meet a man. But to be honest, I always felt it was because the man was supposed to find me. From the lessons I learned and observed through the word, I wanted my husband to find me in purpose. In willing obedience to the Lord, and it is through these actions that the Lord will bless me.

After some time, the Lord laid it on my heart to research this topic biblically. I felt the need to observe the married women of the bible, and see how they met their husbands and what they were doing at the time that they met them.

It is my hope through this article, you will gain some learning points for how God honors women to have divine marriages.

Biblical Marriage Stories

Ruth & Boaz – Boaz found Ruth working in the field (his field) gleaning and gathering sheaves. He inquired about her and was told “she came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter” (Ruth 2:7 NIV). Boaz found her working hard. After he spoke to her, he told her to stay in his field. And that he would offer her protection and water. She wanted to know why she had won such favor with him and he responded “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband” (Ruth 2:11 NIV). Her selflessness, obedience, and servitude to her mother-in-law won her favor with Boaz, his attraction, and eventual hand in marriage.

Esther & King Ahasuerus – Was sent by her cousin (and father-figure) Mordecai to the King’s palace. The bible says “she pleased him and won his favor” (Esther 2:9 NIV). Her obedience to her cousin and father-figure, won immediate favor with the King, similar to Ruth’s obedience to her mother-in-law won her favor with Boaz. The bible continues in the book of Esther to say “Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food” (Esther 2:9 NIV). Esther’s favor immediately blessed her with met needs, and special treatment. This is very similar to Boaz’s reaction who immediately served Ruth food and water, rest, and protection (Ruth 2:8-14 NIV).

Mary & Joseph – Not as much is said in the bible on the circumstances of how Joseph and Mary met. But some presume they had an arranged marriage in their small town of Nazareth. What is said of Mary and Joseph’s prenuptial is “before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18 ESV). Joseph being a just man and “unwilling to put her to shame,” resolved to divorce her quietly (Matthew 1:19 ESV). Here we see Mary have favor with Joseph, enough that even in a situation that could have looked unfavorably upon her, he reacted with dignity, consideration, and grace of her. Ultimately, she was being led and obedient to the Holy Spirit, and it is her willing obedience to God and fulfillment of her purpose – to have Jesus, that keeps her blessed by God in marriage. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph “in a dream” and instructed Joseph to “take Mary as your wife,” confirming what Joseph ought to do (Matthew 1: 20 ESV). The Lord intervened to have His purpose fulfilled, and He always does in a God-filled marriage, if we humbly submit to His will and plan. No matter how the situation may look, we must trust God as Mary did, and that obedience showed her Godly favor and eventual protected marriage to Joseph. Like the other women, Mary was caught in purpose and then married.

Rebekah & Isaac – Rebekah’s story in the bible begins when Abraham (Isaac’s father) on his deathbed, requests his servant to find a wife for his son. He asks his servant to “get a wife for my son, Isaac,” and specifically stated “if the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine” (Genesis 24: 4, 8 NIV). Notice something interesting in this request. Rebekah’s future as a wife to Isaac is dependent on her willingness! If Rebekah had been unwilling, she would have missed this blessing God had for her. When Abraham’s servant first saw her, she was described as “very beautiful, a virgin; no man had slept with her,” her body honored the Lord, and she was in purpose for keeping herself (Genesis 24:16 NIV). Abraham’s servant, prior to Rebekah’s arrival also asked the Lord for a sign of kindness from the woman, that she would not only offer him a drink, but his camels too. And sure enough, Rebekah offered water to Abraham’s servant and camels. And even a place to stay. Her kindness in this case, blessed her, as well as her willingness to serve a stranger (Genesis 24: 19-21, 25 NIV). Abraham’s servant was so moved that God sent this kindness that he “bowed down and worshiped the Lord” (Genesis 24:27 NIV). Rebekah’s kindness brought glory and praise to God! And Rebekah of course after being petitioned to go (despite her family’s desire to delay a bit,) said “I will go,” (Genesis 24:58 NIV). She was willing! And not hesitant. As soon as she arrived, Isaac learned of what happened through the servant (Rebekah’s reputation proceeded her), and then he immediately “married Rebekah…she became his wife, and he loved her” (Genesis 24: 66-67 NIV).

Rachel & Jacob – Similar to Rebekah, Rachel met Jacob at a well. Before she arrived, Jacob was told that Rachel was coming with sheep (Genesis 29: 6 ESV). The bible says “Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess” (Genesis 29: 9 ESV). Note two things in this verse: 1) these sheep were her father’s. Therefore she was serving and in obedience to her father at the time. And 2) She was a shepherdess. This was her job. And she was in purpose, fulfilling her duty at the well, as well, when Jacob saw her. The bible says, “as soon as” Jacob saw Rachel, he came near, then kissed her and wept. Jacob later met Laban, his Uncle and Rachel’s father and agreed to work seven years for Rachel. The bible says “Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her” (Genesis 29: 20 ESV). He was so interested in her he was willing to work years for her and it seemed like nothing at all to him. We of course know, Laban tricked him and gave him Leah (Rachel’s older sister), on his wedding night, and cruelly had him work another seven years for Rachel. But he did, and his passion for her had him work fourteen years for her hand in marriage! And the bible says he loved Rachel (Genesis 29: 30 ESV).

Abigail & David – According to the bible, Abigail first met David when she rushed to stop him from killing her current husband, Nabal, due to a dispute between the two. The bible says she “acted quickly” and gathered much food as a peace offering for David and his men (1 Samuel 25: 18-19 NIV). The bible says when Abigail saw David “she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground” (1 Samuel 25: 23 NIV). Notice how she acted quickly in all the situations. Notice also her demonstrated reverence and respect for David’s authority. She immediately petitions David – apologizing for her husband’s foolish behavior, demonstrating admiration for David’s reputation, acknowledging his relationship with God, and prospects of becoming a king of Israel (acknowledging his purpose) and dissuading him from an action that can ruin his reputation (1 Samuel 25: 24-31 NIV). David receives Abigail’s petition well. “Praise be to the Lord” he says praising God that He sent Abigail to meet him (1 Samuel 25: 32 NIV). He praises God that Abigail had come so quickly and spared lives that day (1 Samuel 25: 34 NIV). He accepted her peace offering and told her to “go home in peace,” and that he would grant her request (1 Samuel 25: 35 NIV). Abigail and David shared a moment of mutual respect, and Abigail’s reverence and haste won her the favor of David. Within 10 days of this incident, the Lord struck Abigail’s husband, Nabal dead for his stony heart, and when David heard the news he praised God for the justice and “sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife” (1 Samuel 25: 39 NIV). When Abigail was requested, again she bowed to her face – demonstrating humbleness, and replied to the marriage request “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants” (1 Samuel 25: 41 NIV). What humility! For her to be so quick and willing to serve David and his men. Take note that her humility and respect won Abigail favor and later led to her notoriety as one of David’s wisest wives.

Zipporah & Moses – Zipporah, similarly to Rebekah and Rachel, met Moses at a well with her six younger sisters. The bible says they “came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father’s flock (Exodus 2: 16 NIV). They too were in an act of service, and in obedience to their father. During this time, some shepherds drove the girls away, but Moses intervened. And later, he was invited to stay with Zipporah’s father, Jethro, and who gave Zipporah to Moses in marriage (Exodus 2: 21 NIV).

What Can You Learn?

  1. Willing Obedience – Each of these women were willing and obedient. They followed instructions given to them by their mentors without any hesitation or reticence. Even when circumstances were not favorable – take Naomi when her husband died, Mary when she got pregnant out of wedlock, Abigail and Esther when loved ones lives were on the line, and Rachel when she had to wait fourteen years for marriage! Even for Rebekah, the condition for her blessing was on her willingness to go! And Abraham even told his servant if the woman was not willing to go he would be relieved of the oath. Rebekah’s words were “I will go.” If you can imagine she had to be in complete faith and her willingness was strong as she was willing to trust God and go with someone who at the time was like a stranger to her. But that was her willing obedience. And despite the trials and hardships of these women, each were willing and obedient and focused on the assignment at hand to do as the Lord and their mentors instructed them to please God.
  1. In Purpose – Each of these women were found in purpose. They were busy working on their God given assignments – as shepherdesses or obeying the instructions of their mentors, working in the field, bearing the Holy Spirit, and drawing water from the well for their father’s. They weren’t distracted, and weren’t advertising themselves (except when told to i.e. Esther). They were not attention seeking, or trying to seek praise or compliments. They were just busy in their God given assignments!
  1. Proceeding Reputations – Several of these women had reputations that proceeded them. Boaz had heard of Ruth, Isaac was told about Rebekah, and Jacob about Rachel. Despite the ladies lack of advertising themselves to draw attention, they were still known and mentioned favorably to their future husbands.
  1. Immediate Favor – Each woman won instant favor by the man. Each husband was very much attracted to the wife. As the bible says “He who finds a wife finds a good thing” (Proverbs 18:22 NKJV). And each instantly tried to treat and offer provision to the woman. Boaz offering shelter, food, and rest to Ruth. King Ahasuerus giving Esther beauty treatments and special food, and Joseph protecting Mary in marriage and accepting her.
  1. God Confirms and Supports – Also noteworthy is God’s intervention in some cases to assure the marriage. Take Mary and Joseph. He sent an angel to speak to Joseph to assure he married and trusted Mary. Or David and Abigail. Not too long after they met, the Lord struck Abigail’s husband dead for his stony heart, giving the opportunity for Abigail and David to marry. And allowing Abigail to later become one of David’s most noteworthy wives. God will provide confirmation when it is apart of His plan. He will give His support and intervene as necessary to make sure His purpose is fulfilled.
  1. Service – Each of these women also were servers. They prioritized working over expecting to receive. They reaped the fruits of their labor. Ruth served her mother-in-law, Rebekah, Rachel, and Zipporah served their fathers at the well. And when Abigail was offered David’s hand in marriage she replied “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants” (1 Samuel 25: 41 NIV). What service!
  1. Humility – As observed from the previous point, these women were also very humble. What humbleness to want to be a servant and wash the feet of the Lord’s servants from Abigail. And humility from Ruth to continue to serve her Mother-in-law and work hard for her when she could have easily left in her own best interest. And the humility of Mary to be willing to bear a child as a virgin. Knowing well what that could do to her reputation. None of these women regarded their reputation. They made themselves of no reputation and as servants, as our Lord Jesus Christ has. Nevertheless, the Lord made sure when necessary they were known and spoken of favorably to their future husbands. These women were not selfish or prideful. They were patient, especially Rachel who was not cited to have complained even once despite fourteen years of having to wait to marry Jacob.
  1. Counsel – And finally, one of the most important take-aways I think is worth noting, is how these women had a mentor with which she willingly took instructions from! Ruth from her mother-in-law, Esther from her cousin/father-figure; Rachel, Rebekah, and Zipporah from their fathers! Each of them would run back to their mentor and report to them about the men that they met and get counsel before proceeding in marriage. And they took the counsel willingly and obediently! Not fighting, no stubbornness, distrust or recalcitrance.

Overall, and drawing back to how I started this article NONE of these women went looking for a man! They did not spend time advertising themselves, putting themselves out there, or focusing on a man, or finding a boyfriend / husband, but instead they spent their time in purpose and obedience to the Lord and this won all of the instant favor and attraction with these men of God that they needed. And this later led to their eventual Godly marriages.

Take note, future wives. Your husband will find you. Keep faith, stay focused, and let patience have her perfect work (James 1: 4-8) ❤

Signed,

A #P:31Woman

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