Unequally yoked: Yes! It is a big deal!

Simply said, yes, it is a VERY big deal to be in partnership with a person who does not hold the same beliefs as you. Scripture is clear that this should not be.

As I pointed to in my last post, 2 Corinthians 6:14 clearly states we are not to mix light with darkness. This reminds me of the accusations Jesus took from some Pharisees who claimed Jesus was a manifestation of Satan himself. The Christ responds with,

Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul. — Luke 11:17, 18

For this relationship argument, Jesus’ words are what weigh heaviest for me. A kingdom divided against itself will be ruined. If this is true, how can the kingdom you will develop with your partner be built up strong and not fall if you are divided against yourselves from the beginning? You’re setting yourself up for failure.

I see this most often from young women. They meet a nice boy, who they know isn’t a Christian, but they are hoping that fact can either be overlooked or that one day the boy will see things the same why she does. Ladies, I speak to you when I say, the boy isn’t worth it if they are not willing to make the sacrifice in their life before Christ before they make any sacrifice for you in life. What are their priorities? Sure. Invite them to church. Encourage them in their relationship with Christ. But don’t consider a close relationship until after the boy has had some time to develop their relationship in Christ, and has a chance to show the fruit of his faith through the ministries he is involved in.

Evangelistic dating is nonesense. Move on!

Perhaps the greater issue, at least in the circles I am in, is that there is a great lacking in mature Christian guys who are actually growing in their faith and in life, setting goals, achieving them, and setting themselves up well for the future, a future with a wife and family. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot.

Come on, men! Step up! Set your paths straight, acknowledge Christ alone, and give these wonderful women something to choose from!

Question: Have you ever been in a relationship with a person of different beliefs? If you were to marry the person, what choices do you think you would have to compromise on relating to your beliefs to make the marriage work?

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  1. Great post, Trevor! In my humble experience, and feel free to disagree, but I have found that people are more open to view the power of equal yoking if you don’t approach it from the faith issue. I’ve found the yoking is about so much more. It’s about all core values and culture, and the one that causes divorce more often is, surprisingly, not faith. It’s money. When I talk to young couples who want to get married I have them list all the core values that they share, visualizing them as rungs in their ladder. If you consider how a Muslim would answer these questions and how an Christian would answer them, you see clearly how few rungs there are to solidify the relationship. How do you value relationships with your parents? Will your parents live with you? Can our parents intervene freely in your decisions about anything? Will you spank the kids? Can your parents spank your kids? Do we ever hit each other? Do we save or spend? Stay-at-home mom or stay-at-home dad? Open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Celebrate Christmas at all? Deep fry or oven-baked? The more rungs, the more solid their ladder will be. Ultimately, those who share the same faith often have similar core values, but NOT ALWAYS. I don’t think God’s presence lifts off a believer if they marry someone outside their faith, nor do I believe God is displeased with them, but I do believe they will struggle with the natural chain of consequences, the ‘non blessing’ and arguing that comes with all the differences. That is what displeases God; the unnecessary suffering.

    1. Hey Pat! Thanks for your comments. This gives us plenty more to think about.

      I agree with you that there is more to making a relationship work than simply faith. However, I would push, and you touch on this, that if you have the same faith, you should profess the same values. If this isn’t the case, this becomes a matter of interpretation which can still lead to a happy compromise. Whereas a couple not working from the same textbook, in the Bible, does not have the same fighting chance of finding common ground.

      Ultimately, the common ground for Christians, is Jesus. So that even if their values are slightly different, their faith and trust in Him leads them in the right direction, even when they don’t agree on a particular matter.

      Yes, deeper issues such as money and the like can be pinpointed as causes of divorce. But I would say that money IS a faith issue, as your view of stewardship, whether from Scripture or not, will definitely dictate the way a couple uses their money. And if they’re poor stewards, yes, divorce perhaps is more likely. If they put faith first in every issue, including money, and they know this from before marriage, the issue should answer itself, and each person can decide for themselves whether the other member is marriage material.

      I would agree that God’s presence doesn’t “life off” a believer when they marry a person outside the faith. But at the same time, I can’t say God’s favour rests on the relationship either. Show me Scripture speaking as such. It goes beyond a “non-blessing” or “unnecessary suffering” to being that God has called His people to SO much more than, dare I say, settling for someone outside the faith.

      Thoughts? Thanks Pat.

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