I have received the following question:
How do you think, how much time you shall be engaged? Why? And if we are far away from one another, I mean, I go to school in Chisinau and the girl in Balti, do you think we can be engaged for a year? And if my mother works abroad and comes home only once a year?
A time of waiting
The Bible doesn’t set a certain time, but it is good to be a short one for some reasons. This is a time of waiting and waiting is never pleasant, especially for those who are in love, that can’t wait to enjoy the intimacy God will offer them in their marriage.
A long engagement is a curse
When He presents to the people of Israel the curses that will reach them if they don’t keep His Law, God says to them the following:
You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; you shall build a house, but you will not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but you will not use its fruit. (Deuteronomy 28:30)(NASB)
One of those curses is a long engagement, that will not end with so long waited marriage.
In the book of the prophet Jeremiah, God compares His relationship with the people of Israel with that of a man with his wife and He calls engagement the time of their wandering in the wilderness.
Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, ”Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, ”I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, the love of your betrothals, your following after Me in the wilderness, through a land not sown”. (Jeremiah 2:1–2)(NASB)
God prepared a short time for this “engagement” because He wanted to draw them out of Egypt quickly and to bring them into the promised land. But, through their faithlessness and rebellion they had shown, they condemned themselves to a long period of waiting and this engagement lasted 40 years, and those who were unfaithfulness never reached the country to see and enjoy it.
God wants us fulfilled in marriage
When He gave to His people laws about the way they have to wage wars they were to make, God gave them the following command:
When you go out to battle against your enemies… and who is the man that is engaged to a woman and has not married her, let him depart and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would marry her. (Deuteronomy 20:1,7)(NASB)
God wants us to be happy, fulfilled in our families and to let a beautiful example on the earth. He sets the relation of the spouses in marriage, this heavenly image, on the most important level than public issues. Here is another commandment in this regard:
When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken. (Deuteronomy 24:5)(NASB)
Now judge for yourself, dear reader, if it is good to make longer the time since engagement until marriage. And then, bring together your reasons with those that God has saved those who are engaged or just married, that is war. See how serious your reasons are to let such a long period to pass since engagement until marriage.
Translated by Felicia Djugostran