The father of the faithful told a half truth (Gen. 20:1-12). His son, Isaac, told less truth than that when he, too, told the Philistine king Abimelech that his wife Rebekah was his sister (Gen. 26:7). Both men were found out, but the record tells that the king saw Isaac “sporting” [caressing] with Rebekah deducing she was his wife. This account from long ago teaches some actions, touching, caressing are unique to marriage. These are characteristically familiar, natural, obviously different in behavior from other forms of relationship, and are understood to belong in a marriage.

Rebekah was an attractive woman (Gen. 26:7b). There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman being attractive, in fact, it is the natural design (Gen. 2:22; Prov. 30:19). Attraction, desire, and companionship usually are the basis for that which leads to the home as God designed it (Gen. 2:24). My daddy always said find the best looking woman that will have you and marry her—I did! No apology needed for being an attractive woman, and no apology should be made for a man seeking to marry an attractive woman. The satisfaction of attraction is found in marriage in the home (Prov. 5:19; 18:22). It is “better to marry than to burn” (I Cor. 7:9). Fornication occurs when the activities of marriage are committed outside of the marriage bond. Sexual attraction can and should be fully satisfied in the marriage relationship which is the home.

It is also seen in this ancient account that the woman is the attractor. The power of attraction is seen in both accounts where the fear of possible loss of life was the result of being with a good-looking woman. Ever asked why so many biblical warnings are given to women (Matt. 5:27-28)? Instruction on modest apparel is primarily directed to the woman (I Tim. 2:9). Remember Bathsheba (II Sam. 11). Do not misunderstand the point, men do attract (Gen. 39:6-7), but much more instruction is directed to the woman. Big burly men can be tamed quickly—made speechless by an attractive woman. Interesting isn’t it, to think about the home beginning in physical attraction?

Rebekah was designed [created] by God (Gen. 1:27). She, as all women before and after, made different physically than a man (I Pet. 3:7). She’s emotionally different (Eph. 5:22). The husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (5:25), and both are to honor one another. The wife is to bring honor to her husband (Prov. 31:23) with love demanding they build up each other (I Cor. 13:4-6). Attraction as designed by God is pure and beautiful when controlled, properly directed and maintained in the proper place. Affection speaks a language all her own, remember others see and will deduce that which is true, good, and right.

-David Hill