I can’t tell you how many girls I’ve talked to about their boyfriend or love interest and how they “don’t seem to be on the same page” when it comes to their faith but she cares about him or they’ve stuck it out for so long together and she thinks he can change. I also couldn’t understand more because I was that girl for six years. Needless to say, it completely fell apart. We have this attribute that genuinely wants to see the best in a person and hold onto that potential as our hope. I’d like to think we’re selfless, for the most part, but also to the point we don’t consider what’s good for us or even what God wants for us. We may even be insecure and blinded to the idea that we’ll ever have something better or true, so we settle for what we can get or the next person who gives us some “feel-good” attention and lose any sort of standard along with it. Maybe it’s not that serious yet, but there’s this guy or girl and, no they might not love Jesus like you or be as committed, but they’re nice and you believe they have the potential to “come around”. I get it. It’s hard to find good Christian men and women in this crazy, dysfunctional, unfaithful and disappointing world. But here’s the thing, you either believe God for your future or you don’t. If you don’t you will settle and fall short of his perfect plan for your future mate. If you do, you’ll trust that God is more than able to set apart the right person for you at the right time and trust His standards as a loving Father who looks out for His child.
First of all, what is an unevenly yoked relationship?
In 2 Corinthians 6:14 the Bible talks about believers not being partnered up with unbelievers because darkness and light have no business being together. Simply, they’re opposite each other. It’s like water and oil. They can’t mix. They’re made up of completely different elements that oppose one another. In other words, they do not see eye to eye, they do not have the same make up or spiritual DNA, they do not relate to each other in the deepest sense, at the core, where it matters most.
What you believe, guides your life. If you both have opposing foundational beliefs at the core you’re living two completely different lifestyles that will eventually take you in two totally different directions. That, or one of you must change your standards to meet the other. That could easily cause us to backslide into our love interest. If he or she is a non believer, or even “claims” to believe in God but lives like a non believer (in which their fruit would actually testify to what really rules their life), while you live your life abiding in the Spirit of Christ according to God’s word, then you are unevenly yoked. Here’s why you could be setting yourself up for the least ideal situation and should seriously think about who you commit yourself to.
It’s Not Your Job to Save Them
And there’s no guarantee that they’ll change. Going into a relationship with the intent of using the relationship to change them is called “Missionary Dating”. One thing you should know about change is that actions will always show you if they really want it. You pursue change when you really want change. Anything else is just words. Remember that even God never forces Himself on anyone. We surrender ourselves to Him from the desires of our hearts. If someone wants Jesus, they will seek Him for themselves. If not, they won’t. You’ll start wanting something for them that they really don’t want for themselves. That just doesn’t work. It has to be their personal decision. It’s really that simple. Yes we may play a role, but deep down if they fully come to Christ or not it will be because of what’s in their heart and that’s something we have no control over. Let God make a man or woman out of them before you start committing your life to them. Let’s get our priorities in order.
If you’re married, that’s a different subject. In the case of marriage, you’ve made a covenant promise to stay together and it becomes the believer's job to continue to love them with the God kind of love and remain an example in hopes that it would win them over to Christ. Now that’s not always a guarantee either and if the non believers chooses out, you’re free of this burden and called to peace (2 Corinthians 7:15). If you’re not married there is nothing calling you to stay, but there’s definitely a warning not to. You should read my post, “Help! I’m In An Unevenly Yoked Marriage”.
Your Relationship Is Meant to Build You
A godly relationship not only brings you closer to each other, but brings you closer to God. That’s the healthiest relationship there is because outside of the God kind of love, our love is selfish. It’s many times dysfunctional and needy and codependent and makes the other person responsible for our happiness and fulfillment. A true relationship is when two people are constantly growing together- mentally, intimately and most important spiritually.
In order to really understand this we need to understand the roles that God intended when he instituted relationships. The man is called to be the covering. As a woman, you are in the best position when you can be side by side with a man who is led by God and looks out for you- spiritually, emotionally, physically (safety-wise), financially, etc. The woman is called to be his helper. This is equally as important. As a man, you are in the best position when you have a woman who can support you with virtuous love, look out for your best interest and make sure you have all you need- spiritually, emotionally, etc. This is the culture of a relationship when both are rooted in Christ. The two work hand in hand, building one another- not one person dragging the other person along carrying the weight for both. Eventually, when one person is actively growing in their faith and the other isn’t the relationship begins to offset each other and usually take a turn for the worst. I can’t help to ask, do you want to keep growing in your faith?
You Have to Think About The Future.
You just do. Can you see yourself marrying this type of person, spending the rest of this one life you have here with them? Honestly? Realistically? If not, why are you wasting your time. Save yourself the heartbreak and hard lessons now and start focusing on you. A lot of times the right things don’t come to us because we’re too busy holding onto the wrong things. If you needed confirmation, here it is. It’s time to let go of the wrongs things.
If you do see yourself building a life with this type of person, let’s just play this out together. If you and your future spouse have two different value systems consider how that will affect your decision making on core issues, like how you decide to raise your kids or the importance of having faith in their lives. You may be thinking, maybe they’ll change by then but again there’s no way you can control that and it’s not a guarantee. It’s more likely you should be prepared for the other. Picture what the culture of your household may look like- not the “having someone to cuddle and wake up to every morning” part, I mean when their ungodly habits start taking over and becoming a regular experience. Not only that, but it’s a common marital experience that the slight turn offs you experience now have a high chance of becoming straight intolerable once you’re sworn in together. So if you have a problem with their smoking, their drinking, their cursing, their explicit music, their partying and being out late, or never feeling like you can fully trust them, be prepared for the chance of that to carry over into your marriage. Again, there’s no guarantee that they will change. It’s the law of “what you see is what you get”. You knew what you were getting into when you married the person, so now it’s your responsibility to honor your choice by dealing with the consequences. That’s why the choices you make are important now, because you’re also choosing your consequence. That or you're wasting your time with the wrong person.
Lastly, because the Bible says not to.
I really could just leave this here and hope that would be enough, but here are 45 verses on what the Bible says about being unevenly yoked. I’m not going to pretend I can read God’s mind or have the understanding of all His reasons but in this case some things are just logical when you fully think it through. Some of us, like me, had to live it through before we could look back and think it through. God is the loving Father who thinks of our best by keeping who we are and our future in mind. And because I’m a big fan of castles, and princesses and happily ever afters, I always say, He’s the King who wants to marry his precious child off to the selective one who has His honor and carries the same royal blood. In this case, that is blood of Christ. He unites those who are within His Kingdom, with the same mission, to bring that Kingdom glory. If I were to be honest, sometimes we’re just that stubborn kid that thinks we know better and that “it won't happen to us. Our situation is different. We love each other. They will change. We will be okay.” No one would ever want or hope for anything differently. But know that the Bible speaks for our protection not our rejection.
If God is calling us not to be unevenly yoked, it’s because He wants us to have the best experience and provision in love. Not one that just captures our emotions but one that grows us in every way, that expands the potential He has for us and is made up of the committed, sacrificial, peaceful and enduring love that He has for us. I know this is a bit of a read and I’m sure not everyone will agree and that’s okay. This is for those who believe in trusting in what the Bible ultimately has to say about God’s plan for their life.
Are you in or have you thought about entering or breaking off an unevenly yoked relationship? Did this clarify any questions you had about this topic? Feel free to comment below!
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