We’ve always given tacit approval to the idea of arranged marriages where these are culturally acceptable today. We weren’t so much saying that they are a good thing nor a bad thing. It was more a hands-off approach. After all, there were arranged marriages in the Bible among Jehovah’s faithful servants.
Is today’s Watchtower signing a departure from that position?
In paragraph 3 of the study, we refer to the arranged marriage of Isaac. (w12 5/15 p. 3) However, we immediately follow this up with a proviso:
“We should not conclude from this that a person—well-meaning though he or she may be—should become an unsolicited matchmaker.”
We then refer to Song of Solomon in paragraph 5 which refers to the love between a man and a woman being so strong that even rivers cannot wash it away. This passage of scripture compares love to the “blazings of a fire, the flame of Jah”. We then conclude the paragraph with these words: “When weighing wedlock, why should a servant of Jehovah settle for anything less?”
Wouldn’t an arranged marriage be settling for something less?
True, Jehovah allowed for arranged marriages in Israelite and pre-Israelite times. He also allowed for slavery and polygamy, even making provision for them in the law. Christians don’t practice the latter two. In fact, you’d be disfellowshipped if you did. So what about arranged marriages?
Without coming right out and saying it, the governing body seems to be inching away from our position of quiet acceptance of this practice.
Of course, the very first marriage was arranged. However, that was God and if Jehovah wants to arrange a marriage, who’s to argue.