As I share my past experiences, I pray my words be seasoned with grace and love. My hope and prayer is that my story touch the lives of women who are in dangerous relationships and on the brink of making a life altering decision like that of marriage.
I counsel young women online and the one thing that breaks my heart is seeing women trying to reconcile their unequally yoked relationships. “He’s a Muslim but don’t worry, he’s okay with me being a Christian.” “He’s an atheist but we love each other and we overlook our differences.” These are just a few of the excuses I read from young women attempting to justify their unequally yoked relationship. It’s difficult to be impartial to an issue when your heart is involved. Once in love you view a spiritually mismatched union with what I like to call “love goggles”. I know this because I read things like, “Our love can overcome this. God says to love one another and I can’t leave him just because of his religion.” It’s hard for me to counsel someone when their mind is made up and somehow feel their love story is more powerful and will overcome. Regrettably when in love you become so desensitized, that at times the word of God ends up being an after thought in your life but the word of God is clear.
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Many question my ability to give advice to singles when the fact is that I’m married. “How can you understand the struggle of my singleness when you’re married”, they say. Valid point! But the truth of the matter is that my perspective is unique because my point of view isn’t that of a married person but that of one who didn’t wait on God and did my own will, and thus suffering consequences I was never meant to suffer.
You see, I prayed for my future husband since I was 13 years old. I had a list with all the qualities and characteristics I wanted in a man. Every night I made sure to pray over that list and make my desires known to Christ. As I got older I began dating but continued praying. I figured I can still have fun while God sends me “the one”. I dated non-christian guys as well as christian heathen guys (yeah those are the worst), searching for what God hadn’t delivered. During my process of elimination I met my husband. He was everything I prayed for and more, I thought, “this is it”. While we were dating he accepted the Lord as his Savior and got baptized. The two empty boxes on my checklist were finally checked off. I was so proud of myself. I found him and I changed him! Soon after we got married and we lived happily ever after. Well not exactly.
I was so fixated on finding the guy on my list that I forgot to sit still and wait on the Lord. While I was busy converting him, I forgot to consult the Lord and make Him a part of my relationship. My life was so out of sync with God that I couldn’t test the spirit of my affection much less hear His warnings. (1 John 4:1) I sensed them but I chalked it off as cold feet. What someone failed to tell me was that as I read my list to the Lord the enemy was also listening. As soon as we got married the reality of his non-existent relationship with God was confirmed. By our second anniversary it became clear that he was just not into Jesus and so my “spiritually single” journey began.
I truly believe that if your shoes feel uncomfortable then most likely they’re not a perfect fit. I apply this to relationships as well; if something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. God communicates in many ways and sometimes it’s in a still small voice. So subtle that you might miss it if you’re not in tune/connected with the Lord. (1Kings 19:11)
Many young ladies write to me with concerns of their unequally yoked relationship because deep down inside they sense the Holy Spirits whisper but are so vested in their relationship that the whisper is ignored. I know because I did the same.
If you’re currently in or considering to enter into an unequally yoked relationship then you’re entitled to know what kind of struggles you might face. Being spiritually single is difficult and it takes being deeply rooted in the Lord to survive spiritually. It tests your faith, love and relationship to God. It also tries your patience and peace. Everything you claim to have in the Lord is tested over and over again. Here’s a narrative to give you insight into the life of a spiritually single woman.
“In a not so distant future you get married to an unbeliever. Almost immediately a desire to seek the Lord is birthed but you’re husband can’t relate. You attend church alone and come home full of the Spirit wanting to share the blessing only to be met with resistance. Your nightly prayer is done over the sound of his sleep. As time passes your knowledge in Christ deepens only to be used in endless debates of God’s existence. Soon a child is born and your hunger for Christ increases as you realize the absence of a spiritual leader in your home. You’re ill and so wish your husband would pray over you and comfort you with God’s word but he doesn’t speak your language. Prayer becomes the air you breathe and God’s word the water you need to survive only to be called a fanatic, when in reality his need for salvation has driven your intensity. You speak of the Lord to your children and pray your words carry more weight than his. Somehow, you make it work yet still there’s a disconnect. You share everything except your love for Christ.”
As you read the passage you may have considered, “well marriages face challenges, it’s normal.” True. But in an unequally yoked marriage your spouse is controlled by his sinful nature while you’re controlled by the Spirit, resulting in spiritual battles.”But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)” (Romans 8:9 NLT)
For instance, you’re trying to honor God with what you watch on tv, while your husband switches the channel to watch Lucifer the show before bed. You’re trying to glorify God with your words, while your husband uses swearwords around the kids. These seemingly little things while dating become exponentially bigger after the wedding.
What I’m trying to impart is that in an evenly yoked marriage, there are two people working towards the same goal, which is to honor God. When the yoke is uneven/unequal it’s lopsided, making it very difficult to walk towards the same goal. God knew the ramifications of being unequally yoked since the beginning of time. He warned Samson, a man set apart for God’s purpose but the warning fell on deaf ears to what end? His demise. (Judges 16)
Today God is warning you too, His set apart child. (1 Peter 2:9) Why? For your spiritual well-being. His whisper has become a plea. Your loving Father wants your future marriage to prosper spiritually and give forth fruit. However, if you think you know better than God and decide to take matters into your own hands by choosing “the one” from outside the Shepherds sheepfold, then understand that you’re thwarting God’s purpose and His best for your life.