I’D HAVE SOLD MY DAUGHTER to a man in the good ol’ days of Bible times.
That’s pretty much what was going on back then. A gal’s dad met with a guy’s dad and cut a deal.
Heck with love. You can learn that stuff.
That was the philosophy, which seemed to work fairly doggone well.
That’s how Abraham got a wife for his 40-year-old son Isaac. He mail-ordered one from Turkey.
He sent a servant up there to:
- cut one out of the herd
- offer her and her dad 10 camel loads of “valuable gifts” (Genesis 24:10 CEV)
- bring her home to Isaac, mainly as an estrogen fix for the grief he felt over the death of his ma
The guy needed woman. If not a mommy, a wife would do.
It probably didn’t hurt that the lady, Rebekah, was a looker.
“Isaac took Rebekah into the tent…and Rebekah became his wife. He loved her and was comforted over the loss of his mother,” (Genesis 24:67 CEV).
Having married off my only daughter, Rebecca, a few weeks ago, I’m left wondering about an unsung character in that Bible story—someone no one seems to think about.
Rebekah’s dad, Nahor.
How did he feel about sending his daughter away to get married?
Was he sad and happy at the same time, like I was?
Happy for his daughter, but sad to see her go?
I knew what I was feeling at the wedding.
But I didn’t realize how obvious it was until I saw the wedding pictures a few days ago.
Especially the photos of the father/daughter dance.
We danced to “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman. In the background, we played for the guests a video that my wife took of me dancing with Rebecca when she was two years old.
Once I got the wedding pictures, I patched some of them into that video…a way of trying to capture my pensive feelings of that day. Here’s the Youtube link, if you’re interested. Or you can see the video below.
There are plenty of wedding pictures of me smiling, laughing, and having a fun time.
But the most powerful feelings…and photos…were those that could be mistaken for sadness, and sadness only.
It’s not that simple.
I don’t have it figured out yet. But I’m thinking that if you’re the dad, you’re feeling sad because you’re happy.
Grateful for where you’ve been and who you’ve been with.
Sad to see it in the rear-view mirror as you turn a corner and move on down the road. Or in Nahor’s case, as you watch dust rise while the daughter rides her camel into the sunrise of a new day.
That’s when the happy comes back.
It’s a new day for the daughter. A new day for the dad.
If the days ahead are anything like the days gone by, it’s gonna be good to be alive.
Head’s up, fathers of the bride.
Go ahead and dance with the daughter. Cry if you can’t help it. But remember this. You’ve got at least two reasons to smile.
The years you’ve had with her.
The years to come.
Three if you count the fact that she’s not going off with some stranger, riding a camel.