Another glossed-over concept from the Bible is just how people got married. There are a few things to consider when looking at courtship in the Bible compared to it in the current culture.
First, parents were very involved– in some cases choosing the mate early in the person’s life. In this scenario, the parents get to use their non-emotional decision capabilities rather than basing everything on a feeling. In today’s culture, the entire emphasis is upon “love”, and not the committed kind, but the feeling kind. We then wonder why “love” doesn’t seem to last, and we have people divorcing because they no longer “love” each other.
Second, there was a long period of time for betrothal, during which the husband was getting a place ready for the wife, and he was also securing himself financially and with a job. During this time, the couple may not have much if any contact. During our courtship and dating process, the person in the relationship can spend a lot of time, feelings, and money on someone who they will not marry. In this case, they expend a lot of things that would be “firsts” for their new spouse on someone who turns out is not.
Third, the marriage ceremony itself could take days. Family was invited, and the couple threw a big party that the whole town could come to. They consummated their marriage during that week. It was a time for celebration. Nowadays we try to limit the number of people that attend a dinner because of cost, and the couple races away at the first chance they get to start their “new life”.
I’m not saying that you should start saving up cattle, or consider a block party for days for your wedding, but I am saying that the thoughts and principles of these early weddings had in mind what God intended– a picture of Him with His bride (the church) and His love was about more than feeling– His love is a commitment.