When a young man proposes to the woman he loves, she has the right to accept or reject his proposal. If she has no choice in the matter, it is not really marriage. It is slavery.
All of us understand that if she rejects his proposal of marriage, she forfeits all rights to his love, provision, care, possessions, legal rights, authority in his name, money, affection, intimacy, etc…
She knows that she will not live with him. She will not share his home. She will not be involved in his wedding. She will cut ties with him and go her own way.
Most likely, there will be no further interaction. If he is a man of honor and decency.
What If She Expects the Benefits of Marriage But Refuses to Marry Him?
Can you imagine a young woman refusing a man’s proposal and then expecting him to financially provide for her and allow her to live in his home for the rest of her life? It would be appallingly inappropriate.
Some people think that God is cruel to only offer salvation through Jesus. The deal is this: He is offering a divine marriage proposal to each of us. He is the only way.Jesus offers us the “cup of joy” that a Jewish man would offer to a prospective bride.
This is the cup of the Lord’s Supper. It is a New Covenant in His blood for a divine marriage. He paid a massive bride price for us – His very life. He loves us enough to die for us. He wants us to say yes to Him and a happily-ever-after with Him in heaven forever where we will enjoy Him and know Him fully.
He rejoices when we accept His love and covenant. He loves us more than we can imagine. But He will never force His love and marriage on us.
We may receive His spiritual marriage proposal and drink from the cup, accepting His written marriage covenant (the gospel and New Testament) and become part of His Bride. Then we have certain obligations and responsibilities. Or we may reject Him, His cup, and His marriage covenant, forfeiting everything He wants to give us. We have free will.
If we reject His divine proposal, we renounce all of His goodness, support, love, affection, provision, and heaven. We choose not to live with Him. We choose not to receive His blessings and fellowship. We will not have a right relationship with Him here or in eternity. We choose separation from Him.
If we receive His divine proposal, our status in this world changes. We become His beloved. We receive His Spirit as a seal. We receive His provision and protection here. We receive an intimate one-Spirit relationship with Him and become part of the Bride of Christ.
We receive all of His promises. We take on His Name. We become joint heirs with Him in heaven. We will go spend eternity with Him, sharing in His love, spiritual treasures, goodness, and paradise.
May we choose wisely and receive the unimaginable love Jesus has for each of us, accepting His gracious covenant and all He has in store for those who love Him above all else.
For all the details of ancient Jewish marriage customs and how they perfectly describe what Jesus offers to us, check out this post.