Among the villages of India, arranged marriages are still the norm. When the parents think a young man/woman is of age, they reach out to friends/family looking for a spouse in the appropriate age range. This is a very formal and revered custom. The believers look for someone who loves Jesus. And when the parents agree that a union would be good, then a dowry is given. Unlike the Middle East, in India the dowry is paid from the bride’s family to the groom’s. The dowry is based on the livelihood of the groom. If the groom is wealthy, and will give the bride a rich lifestyle, and family pays a lot. If poor, then not a lot.
It is a strange thing, being near arranged marriages. It goes against the American notion of love so strongly. We believe in the power of feelings. We hate being told to do anything by anyone. I once asked a young Christian man about the upcoming search for a bride. I asked “Aren’t you afraid of who your parents will pick? What if you don’t like her?”
His response has never left me. He thought about this for a moment, and then answered, “I trust my father in all things. So I trust him with this.” If that is not trusting faith, I don’t know what is.