1) Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she’s yours. (Deut. 21:11-13)
2) “Lay hold on” a virgin who is not betrothed to another man, and “know” her, but afterwards pay her father a sum of money. Then she’s yours. (Deut. 22:28-29)
3) Find a prostitute and marry her. (Hosea 1:1-3)
4) Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock.–Moses (Ex. 2:16-21)
5) Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal.–Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)
6) Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife.–Benjaminites (Judges 21:19-25)
7) Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: this will cost you a rib.–Adam (Gen. 2:19-24)
Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman’s hand in marriage.
Get tricked into marrying the wrong woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. That’s right. Fourteen years of toil for a wife.–Jacob (Gen. 29:15-30)
9) Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law’s enemies and get his daughter for a wife.–David (1 Sam. 18:27)
10) Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you’ll definitely find someone.–Cain (Gen. 4:16-17)
11) Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest.–Xerxes or Ahasuerus (Esther 2:3-4)
12) When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, “I have seen a woman; now get her for me.” If your parents question your decision, simply say, “Get her for me. She’s the one for me.”–Samson (Judges 14:1-3)
13) Kill any husband and take HIS wife. (Prepare to lose four sons though.)–David (2 Sam. 11)
14) Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law!)–Onan and Boaz (Deut. or Lev., example in Ruth)
15) A wife?–Paul (1st Corinthians, chapter 7)
Obviously, this list was written with humor in mind, and some of these “ways,” are not prescriptive but descriptive of the sinful ways that God’s people have conducted themselves in the past–they are in no way exemplary. But this does demonstrate an important point–people often want the Bible to say certain things, such as how to find a spouse and marry, but they ignore portions of Scripture that don’t fit their paradigm.
The Bible has more to say about arranged marriages, for example, than it does “courtship” or dating. So then, how do we proceed?
We have to realize that the Bible does not speak to every issue we will face in life. Just ask Solomon, who had to use wisdom when the two prostitutes came to him claiming to both be the mother of one child. We must follow those things that God has given us. In all of our relationships we have the obligation to exercise the fruit of the Spirit and not mistreat anyone, that is especially true for a prospective spouse. We also have the clear biblical command that a Christian is free to marry whomever he or she chooses, so long as the prospective mate is “in the Lord” (1 Cor. 7.39). But in the end, choosing a spouse calls for wisdom