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'Motivation' Categories

The Question

I once preached a series of services at an Indian church ("Indian" as in people from India). Over the course of the weekend I learned that the pastor’s marriage had been arranged, and that this is a common practice among Christians in India. I asked the pastor’s wife, Sucheta, about it.

She told me that when a man comes to ask for a Christian girl’s hand, the girl has a question she asks—a question Sucheta herself asked the pastor. If the man gives the correct answer, the marriage is on. If not, the girl opposes the marriage.

The question the girl asks: "Do you want a dowry?" A dowry, of course, is a gift of goods or money that the bride’s family gives the groom for the trouble of taking this female off their hands. If the man answers, "Yes, I require a dowry"—bzzzzzz, wrong answer! No marriage. If he says, "No, I only want the girl"—ding, ding, ding, right answer! The girl agrees to the marriage.

Why this question? The marriage may be arranged, but the girl wants to know the man’s motivation. Does he want her for herself, or for some gift or money he’s going to receive?

In the same way, God looks at our motivation.

Reference: William Ray, Knowing God through Prayer—the Plan Jesus Gave (Ambassador International, 2008), p. 177