Friends! It’s February—the month of love. I’ll be sharing a variety of engaging love stories with you over the next four weeks. After all, who doesn’t love a good love story?
Plus, at the end of each post, I’ll be recommending some fun Kentucky cookbooks, pointing you to chocolate recipes as well as my new favorite chocolate treat I discovered. (I’m saving that for Part 4, just to keep you in suspense.)
This week, we’ll be highlighting a book by none other than Ravi Zacharias. In addition to being a powerful speaker, Ravi is a prolific writer. The book? I, Isaac, take Thee, Rebekah—Moving from Romance to Lasting Love.
Ravi makes no bones about marriage being challenging. He amuses us readers by telling several stories on himself. Who knew he was a wedding crasher in his younger days? You’ll laugh out loud in every chapter.
Currently, my friend, Becky Pippert, speaks with Ravi on occasion and is one of many authors and speakers who are directly involved with his ministry, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. (RZIM – www.rzim.org)
Ravi’s own story of coming to know the Lord after growing up in India is astonishing.
Ravi blesses us with relational ideas for your marriage while also issuing warnings. I’ll call them relevant wake-up calls. My favorite aspect of the book is how Ravi points us to Scripture, showing us what God wants us to learn about marriage.
Here’s an early example of his warnings: “I am convinced that marriage is at once the most powerful union and the most misunderstood relationship we can experience. Like everything of intrinsic value, its use or abuse determines delight or devastation. To understand marriage God’s way is to carry a cherished dream into reality. To violate its’ built-in pattern is to mangle beauty and plunder one’s own riches.” Whoa.
Because Ravi travels the world frequently, he says he’s been privileged to visit many different cultures in many different homes. He shares, “One impression of any relationship that stands out and is remembered is the level of kindness or unkindness demonstrated between a husband and wife. The first is refreshing and the latter is discomforting. I’d go so far as to say there is NEVER a reason to be unkind…EVERY relationship should be marked ‘Fragile: Handle with care.’”
Ravi helps us dive into Genesis 24, the story of Isaac and Rebekah. I’d forgotten how remarkable it is and the lengths to which God goes. Abraham sends his servant, Eliezer, to find a wife for his son, Isaac. How would you like that job?
He doesn’t just send Eliezer next door, he instructs him specifically to go to his home land, to his relatives to find this wife. He did not want Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman.
Eliezer prays to God asking for him to send a girl from this family who will approach him and ask a specific question. You must read the whole account as it’s fascinating.
Fast forward after Eliezer meets Rebekah and takes her to Canaan to meet Isaac. Can you imagine going to meet your husband for the first time whom you’ve never laid eyes on?
Somehow, even tho’ I’ve read these verses before, I’d never noticed Isaac’s posture upon Rebekah’s first glance. Ravi shows us, “Gradually, in the distance Rebekah deciphered the figure of a man walking, meditating, and praying.” He continues, “Hebrew scholars are not exactly sure how to translate the word used in this text, but the consensus was he was in a POSTURE of prayer.”
Before I could read the next sentence, I thought, “I seriously doubt I’d be found praying if I knew my spouse I was about to meet for the first time was due to arrive at any minute! I’d be nervously pacing…” Ravi proceeds to admit the exact same thing. Do not miss this part!
Two of many excellent take home points for your relationship are pointed out to the reader from Isaac and Rebekah’s story: “the first one is hesed, or loving-kindness. The second is the constancy of prayers. This entire story is bathed in prayer.
Eliezer prayed as he began his mission,
As he drew near to his destination,
And as he returned home again.”
Then he reminds us readers of Isaac praying. He again calls our attention to Isaac’s POSTURE of prayer. What is your posture of prayer? This must’ve been a point the Lord was calling my attention to as I had that exact same question in my Bible study class this very week. Coincidence? I think not…
Ravi’s writing style is inspirational, causing you to want to embrace his key points he makes. Considering some of them, especially straight out of Scripture, you’ll see firsthand, with God, ANYTHING is possible!
Obviously, I strongly suggest grabbing this book ASAP to learn loads of ways to make your own love story just that: beautiful and grace-filled.
Here’s one more sneak peek into Ravi’s suggestions:
As promised, I’d like to share a couple of good ole’, reliable cookbooks from my home state. This week I’d like to recommend one from my hometown of Lexington, KY. I’ve used it countless times. Published by the Fayette County Medical Auxiliary for the benefit of Kentucky’s children, give this cake a whirl: “Decadent Fudge Cake with Double Chocolate Drizzle” on p. 272 of Creating a Stir in the Bluegrass and Beyond.
‘Til next time!