In part 1, I discussed the ramifications of choosing to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever but did you know that you could be in a relationship with a believer and still be unequally yoked?
Discerning this one is a little trickier because most of the time we are so focused on the “is this person a christian” part that the warning signs fall by the waist. When the Christian box has been checked off the rest doesn’t really seem to matter but the fact remains that it does. Greatly.
Once you are married, in the spiritual realm you are yoked to this person. Meaning you are bound together thus creating a soul tie. (hence the word soulmate) In a farm when two animals are yoked together they have no choice but to walk in the same direction and in sync. If they try to go in different directions they will end up going nowhere and will eventually have to stop. That is why God is so particular about who we go into a relationship, business or covenant with because He knew the troubles that would come from being unequally yoked. (2 Corinthians 6:14)
But he’s a Christian?
Anybody can call themselves a Christian. The label itself does not serve as an assurance that a person is truly a Christ follower. I’ll never forget the testimony of an older lady that I hold dear to my heart. I’ll call her Betty for all intents and purposes. Betty was a beautiful young lady and had many suitors. Her dad was a pastor so she grew up in church. She was actively serving the Lord when she met a handsome “christian” man (John). He professed to be christian and said all the right things. John proceeded to court her and woo her. His parents were long standing members of the church so it seemed a match made in heaven. They sat together at all the meetings, he knew where all the bible passages were and never missed a service. The two eventually married after approximately a year of courtship. Everything seemed perfect but it wasn’t. Once the honeymoon was over Betty realized she had married a farce. He never again stepped foot in a church and became an atheist. Being of an older generation Betty chose to remain by his side and endured for over 30 years until his death. In retrospect Betty could see all the warning signs but back then she was wooed by the words and never stopped to pray for discernment nor direction because he said he was a christian.
I realize this case is reminiscent of part 1 but this was a man who grew up christian and went to church way before ever meeting Betty. When you make a decision to date, court or marry someone it is imperative that you ask the Lord for discernment. Your earthly eyes see what they want to see but God sees a person’s thought process, the intentions of their heart and their actions which will ultimately affect your life.
All you see is them singing in choir, feeding the homeless and attending all the church services but God sees what they do when no one is looking.
Now I know I’m treading in murky waters and I’m bound to get emails referencing the good ol’ (Matthew 7:1-2) “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
And you’d be right. But take note, I’m not writing about self righteous judgement or condemning judgement which is wrong. I’m writing about righteous judgement, a Christ driven judgement to protect yourself and your future. “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)
As humans we judge so many trivial things. What does he drive? How much does he make? Does he have straight teeth? Why lessen the importance of eternal things? Things that will not only impact your spiritual life but that of your children as well. “Is he going to be a spiritual leader in my home or is he going to be able to lead me in prayer when our marriage faces spiritual warfare?” These are significant questions that need to be considered when entering a lifelong covenant. Righteous judgement considers the things brought up by the Holy Spirit. That is why it’s important to pray for your future spouse and abide by the Spirit to heed His warnings.
Now I do realize there are other cases not as severe but none the less still fall under the unequally yoked category.
You believe the bible in it’s entirety/ he picks and chooses what he believes
You’re passionate about Jesus/ he’s lukewarm
You serve faithfully in church/ he doesn’t like going to church
You want to honor God till marriage/ he wants to have sex before marriage
These are important things to prayerfully consider before dating, courting or marrying because deep issues tend to intensify once married or as the relationship deepens. Are these deal breakers? Well if you’re passionate about Jesus do you really want to be yoked to someone who doesn’t want to go to church? Sure, the Lord can change him but are you willing to wait patiently for that change to take place without fighting about it? I’m still waiting for my husband to voluntarily want to go to church. I’ve been praying for 17 years for that change to happen. Do you have it in you to wait as long as it takes? You cannot marry someone who is lukewarm and later expect them to be on fire for God. Unrealistic expectations lead to disappointment and many times divorce.
We are all a work in progress so you can’t expect someone else to be perfect and fit all your expectations but it’s important to discern if someone truly shares your spiritual goals. Jesus said it best, “you will know them by their fruits”.(Matthew 7:15) Pray and ask the Lord to open your spiritual eyes so you can see those fruits, so you can discern if this person is of God or if you should simply move on. The wonderful thing about praying for your future spouse is that the Lord will not hook you up with a perfect person but a person perfect for you. This person will have flaws and at times drive you insane but spiritually you’ll be of one mind. (Philippians 2:5) Will there be problems? Of course no marriage is perfect but yours will be highly favored and blessed.