Weird Human Behavior

You can marry a Christian and still be unequally yoked

Most Christians would agree that being in relationships with non-Christians can have some serious challenges   But what about the cases where two people are Christians but are at totally different levels of spiritual maturity?

(EDIT: This article was too good to keep hidden, I bring it up every two years or so, happy reading!)

Since I never write about relationships, I thought I would touch on a new subject today: relationships!

Most Christians would agree, and in some cases attest, that being in relationships with non-Christians can have some serious challenges

Introduction

Given the sensitive nature of this topic for some, I want to be clear this article is about the challenges Christians can experience when they enter into relationships with believers who do not have the same hunger, respect or passion for God, and is not meant to condemn anyone who is currently in a mixed faith marriage

However, it is important to understand that while some are willing to defend the choices made to enter mixed faith marriages/relationships, including their own, by pointing to examples where the relationships worked out in the end, we need to examine our hearts before being quick to justify why we feel it is okay to date/marry people who do not believe in God, or why we justify our decision to evangelize through relationships, as we were never told to do either of those things as Christians

If God is our priority in life, why would an earthly relationship be so important to us we would take the risk of having a marriage where our partner never comes to God despite our best efforts?

I wanted to make sure these points were said upfront, as some are missing the point of this article altogether, happy reading!

Don’t Hitch Your Wagon To That, Seriously

The most quoted scripture regarding marrying non-Christians is this:

2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers

This illustration reflects what happens if two animals wearing the same yoke have different ideas about where to go, as, despite their individual efforts, they will pull each other in all sorts of haphazard directions, and neither of them will go in the direction they want

So this is easy right, Christians dating non-Christians = trouble

But what about the cases where two people are Christians but at totally different levels of spiritual maturity?

We Go To Church Every Sunday Together, Everything Is Fine

Anyone with two neurons firing (my second one started up just this morning!) can understand if people in a relationship do not share perspectives on important issues there can be problems

But what are these catastrophic problems?

Do they overshadow the age old wars like the fight for the TV remote or what restaurant to eat at?

Typically, these separations become evident when couples talk about:

  • Vacation plans
  • What movie to watch
  • Whether their first born child should be sacrificed to God
  • Etc…

…wait, what?

Since when do couples fight about sacrificing their children?

Uneven Faith Is Uneven

In the story of Abraham and Isaac, it is important to note that when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham did not share God’s instructions with Sarah at all

Genesis 22:2-3
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”  Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac

Don’t you think after spending a lifetime with someone you would want to talk about something that important?

I think it is safe to say Sarah probably would have flipped out at hearing God’s request as Isaac was her only child, given to her by God at the age of ninety no less!

“Oh hey, where are you off to so early”

“Uh, I need to pick up some supplies back in town, stop by the tunic outlet store, and then if I have time, *cough* fulfill God’s request to *cough* sacrifice Isaac”

“Great, if you have some extra time can you pick up a few… wait, what?”

As the head of the household, Abraham did what he knew was right without fighting about it with Sarah, as it would have been God’s will she would have been contending with, not his

Without pointing at Abraham and Sarah too much, my favorite example of an uneven relationship is seen in Job:

Job 2:7-10
So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

Hmm, if someone we love was struck with some horrible disease I would hope that we would pray for them non-stop, but instead Job’s wife gives him the amazing advice to “curse God and die”

Now wouldn’t that would be the best “Get Well” card to send someone, I wonder why Hallmark hasn’t swooped in on that

“We heard you were sick, so from all of us at the office: “Curse God and Die!”

Choosing A Relationship Over *The* Relationship

As Christians, it is important that we choose to be with someone that strengthens our relationship with God

Not someone that would influence us to disobey, hesitate, be spiritually lazy, or feel inhibited from honoring or praising God in any way

Who we choose as a spouse is the most accurate statement we can make about who we are, and we should, hopefully, base this choice on sincere gratitude for what God has given us, you know, those things we call his love and salvation

Simply put, God doesn’t want us to be with someone if the relationship keeps us from being close to him, even if the person says they are a Christian, goes to church, and does “all the stuff”, but is really not hungry for God–he wants us to be in a relationship where both people draw nearer to him as a result

Also, this:

2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers

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  • Just as you have pointed our in Abraham…… sometimes we must just do GODS will and deal with the results afterwords . Why create a willfulness in others that could harm their faith ? It has been my experience that sometimes…….within our 44 years of marriage , I would just do what it is I am prompted to do, and deal with the fallout afterwords…… less stress, less tensions and usually a whole lot less drama. GOD isn’t testing our relationship, he is testing us, and GOD will not ask you to do anything that isn’t for a good reason. Abraham trusted GOD and GOD repaid his trust many times, and this time was far from the first. To have asked your other half their opinion is not trusting GOD, GOD wants a relationship with you personally.
    As for Job, how much did his wife love him ? They had a wonderful life and family, but when things were falling apart, she was angry and pulled away from her own husband. Selfish , self involved. Where was any compassion ? It always sounded to me like she blamed all the troubles on Job. She was angry at him. She needed someone to strike out at. Where was any sort of love or compassion ? Sadly today far too many couples have this sort of relationship. Everything is great when all is going well, but hit a bump in the road, or lose your future as it is and too many times this will be the end result.
    We need to build a relationship and trust in GOD. Personally, on our own. We come into this world alone hopefully happily greeted with love , but that isn’t always how it is , and for sure we are alone and on our own when we leave this life…..except for GOD.
    Just remember GOD won’t ask us to do anything bad , unless GOD has a plan. The fear is we might be lead by a false god, angel or prophet….who isn’t working for GOD . So get busy and know your one true GOD and recognize HIS voice and Spirit. Stay close to him in all things and you will be in Great hands.

    • Hi Jean!
       
      Very insightful, your point about knowing God’s voice is incredibly important as that is what we should learn to live our lives by. Also, your perspective on Job’s wife lashing out made me nod, as this was just like what the Israelites did to Moses when they complained to him
       
      Exodus 16:6-8
      So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the LORD who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?” Moses also said, “You will know that it was the LORD when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the LORD.”
       
      My biggest moments of faith building have come when God asked me to do something, whether it was big or small like raise a topic of conversation with someone, pray about something, move and quit jobs, etc…
       
      One time God asked me to quit my job which I resisted at first, but did it in faith. The most amazing thing happened in that my boss went completely psycho, even though I had told her a year in advance that I was leaving, and it got so bad I got let go with two months salary as a severance package–totally awesome!
       
      God’s will and plan is higher than ours, and we need to learn to trust his guidance, even if it is hard for us to trust
       
      Isaiah 55:9
      As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts

  • It is amazing how simple Gods plan truly is. What is bewildering is how we as fleshly men and women, try to complicate or alter it. I have been around a Christian enviroment all my life. The very first memories that I seem to recall were the teachings of my mother. They were simple, If the bible says that it is wrong it is wrong. Not in how I may have reasoned it to be, but by Gods laws handed down to us, his children sin is sin. I met my wife in church…… we dated for 4 years and were married for 18 so we were in a yoked relationship for 22 years. We had the american dream, you know the story… Cliche as it may seem, but oh so very true. God blessed us with 2 beautiful daughters. He gave us a beautiful home. Yes we even had the dogs in the back yard. We bred English Bulldogs ;o) I would finish an evening of yardwork or some other project and sometimes I would just stop and take a few minutes and survey all that the lord had blessed me with. I would look into the heavens and say: THANK YOU LORD. One evening, on some similiar occasion I was getting ready to leave the dog kennels when I looked up into the sky and before I could utter the words: THANK YOU LORD, the lord spoke to my heart and ask me the question: SON HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME? He directed my attention to all the things that I had attained down thru the years. DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN ALL THIS? he asked. I, in my heart answered YES LORD ( just like ol Peter huh ) He showed me my children playing in the field and I looked up at the kitchen window at my wife washing the dishes. She looked down at me and smiled. The lord then ask me: DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR WIFE? This time I spoke aloud: YES LORD I LOVE YOU MORE THAN ALL THIS. The lord replied to me: WE WILL SEE… Well in conclusion; My wife started to drift away spiritually she started seeing a man 20 years her elder and traded her children, 22 years of a life that we had built together and all that she had known for something new. Now I didnt post this to whine. I know that I as head of our spiritual household was to blame also. I lost everythiing…. But I had to be stripped of this world in order for the lord to get me to the place where I Could truthfully say: MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THIS LIFE- I LOVE YOU LORD !! I would like to testify to you, my brothers and sisters that God has, like ol brother Job, doubled back my blessings…. But he hasn’t. I say this to glorify him: I know that I am nothing without him, I can’t even walk without he holds my hand. If I never get back the things in this life that were lost… It has been worth every tear, every heartache, every dark night of lonliness just to feel the authentic spirit of our lord in my heart and life. Don’t let it come down to your yokes as husband and wives being broken. Because trust me it is the tiniest of cracks thaat ruptures the vessel. Talk together, My God Pray together, stay on the same spiritual plain with one another because your spiritual lives does truly depend on it. PRAISE BE TO OUR GOD IN THE HIGHEST !! thks….. Don

    • Hi Don
       
      Thank you for sharing, that is quite a story of personal revelation!
       
      What are the lessons that you feel God taught you during the process?
       
      Were there things that God brought out of you as dross during this time, and what do you mean when you say that you were partially to blame as the spiritual head of the household?
       
      Even though this sounds like it was a very difficult time, it must have had its purpose, praise God that he put you to the test
       
      Your advice to stay on the same spiritual path is so important as a couple since nothing in this world creates intimacy like spiritual intimacy with God at the center

  • Hello,
    I am in a relationship where it is clear that I am much further in my spiritual walk than my boyfriend. What would you say about continuing a relationship with someone that is a Christian but has not arrived at the same point that you are? I have seen examples of people where the man may have started out weaker but then after they were married he eventually came around and now the man is stronger than the woman. Is it best to immediately end any relationship where the woman is further along than the man? Is it foolish to pray and wait for someone to come around? thanks!

    • Hi Sarah
       
      It is very important to be with people who are on the same trajectory of spiritual and emotional growth, unless you really, *really* feel that God has called you to be with someone
       
      There are a lot of cases where people stay with their partners in the hope that they grow, but the truth is, people don’t grow unless they want to, it is not generally an organic process that gives dramatic results without effort
       
      A key personality trait people show when they are eager, and capable of growth, can be seen not only in their ability to acknowledge their faults, but when they can identify them on their own and show consistent effort to improve themselves
       
      Consistency is always really important!
       
      With a partner, if you communicate things you feel are issues and they get resolved or they improve within a reasonable timeline, and you feel God wants you to stay with someone, then stay with them
       
      Be careful though, relationship choices are the number one thing people “think” they hear God’s direction on, but it is usually their own fear of being alone or unvalidated
       
      There isn’t a hard and fast Biblical rule about women breaking up with men due to imbalanced levels of spiritual maturity that I am aware of, just that we shouldn’t be with unbelievers in general, though I would definitely caution marrying someone you felt there was no spiritual chemistry with. Aside from personal chemistry, it is important to marry someone that exemplifies the type of person you would want kids, if you plan to have them, raised by
       
      Ask yourself “would this person make a good father/mother?”
       
      Also, it is okay to let someone mature on their own without being in a relationship with them; a flower that flourishes tomorrow may not always be beautiful today

  • Wow!!! thank you for your response. The things you pointed out are so true! I have been feeling very conflicted about whether this is the man God would have me to spend the rest of my life with. It’s really hard to know what things you should compromise in a relationship since no one (myself included) is perfect.
    My relationship with God is more important than anything. My boyfriend has told me that his relationship with God while important it is not his number one priority and he does not know when or if it will be, although he does say that he is trying. I keep praying that he will grow closer to God but at the same time I cannot make it a priority for him. God finally spoke to me this morning through a scripture (Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?)

    It is difficult because part of me wants to be patient and see if he truly does grow but I know that if we were to get married today the way that things are that I would end up being unhappy and would probably make him unhappy due to our spiritual differences. I fully trust that God knows best and if it is truly in His will for us to be together that it will happen, I’m just not sure when.

    • Hi Sarah
       
      Yikes, given that this person is openly saying that God is not the central part of his life, nor do they have a game plan for making it more important, that sounds like a relationship worth seriously evaluating
       
      Out of curiosity, what is your dating history and how long have you been with this person?
       
      The funny thing about dating, is that there are always people you can wait on that are “almost there”; there are no end to “wait and hope” relationships
       
      Depending on one’s family values, and individual personality, it can be easy or difficult to let these types of relationships go
       
      The main thing though, is that no matter how good our intentions are, there is no getting the time back we invest if things don’t work out
       
      It may sound odd at first, but the best approach to dating is to be with people that there are no “maybe” moments with, mainly because you have to assume that someone is generally going to stay the same person as the one you met originally–people do not often change their core personalities, even when they try, or say they are trying
       
      And, most importantly, it pleases God for us to be with someone who loves him just as much as we do
       
      So, the question remains, after what you have stated about the situation: what are you going to do and when?
       
      XD

  • Hi there,
    As far as my dating history I have had 4 serious relationships in my life (including this one). My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year.

    It is very difficult for me to know what to do in this situation. I have heard stories from both points of view. There are those that say one should not be with someone who is not on the same page spriritually at all. I also have heard of people that are married and even though when they initially got married the husband was not as far along spiritually that they kept praying for him and they have seen God change their husbands and now things are great.
    fir
    In my situation, I believe that my boyfriend is a believer and trusts God as his savior. However, it doesn’t appear that he has fully submitted himself to the will of God. He feels that there are a lot of things that he can do/learn on his own. And i really think that’s where the majority of our conflict is coming from.

    I really do love him but I cannot make him have or desire to have a life changing experience with God.
    So to answer your question, I know that I am going to continue to pray and seek God’s guidance through his Word. I still feel conflicted about whether or not I should be more patient because I know He is not going to change overnight. On the other hand, I know that if we get married it will be very difficult for me to submit to someone who hasn’t fully submitted to God themselves.

    • Hi Sarah
       
      I read your response and thought about it for a few days, and the things that stand out to me are statements like:
       
      “I believe that my boyfriend is a believer”
       
      “…it doesn’t appear that he has fully submitted himself to the will of God”
       
      “I really do love him but I cannot make him have or desire to have a life changing experience with God”
       
      “I know that if we get married it will be very difficult for me to submit to someone who hasn’t fully submitted to God themselves”
       
      These statements show that you have a well defined sense of what you want out of the relationship, and also that you are seeing it for what it is, ie: not something that you totally want
       
      For some of us, relationships represent the toughest set of choices imaginable
       
      I don’t think there is a golden rule, but people can be “happy” with a lot of people, even if God didn’t specifically set the couple apart for each other before they were born. But for those who have found overwhelming happiness, people seem to have a similar story of having “just known” that they were meant for their partner
       
      At best, it doesn’t hurt to wait, and it doesn’t hurt to slow things down until you are sure
       
      If you are unsure at the moment, you are the type of mature Christian that will not be happy unless you know it is the right thing to do, and it sounds like there is some ground to cover still before that happens
       
      What does God say when you wait on him for an answer in prayer, I will pray that he give you a very clear answer
       
      Do you feel that there is some form of rebellion in this relationship

    • hi sarah      i read your coments and i wanted to let you know ive been in a situation like this        i was saved and my girlfriend was just a member of a church but not a member of the kindom.      We had been dateing a year and i started makeing some bad choices.    Being with her started causeing me to sin and i started sliping into old habbits.   I didn’t do anything to stop it so in order to help stop sining   God broke us up, and for good reasion.  After this we became friends again and within 2 months she was praying the sinners prayer with me.   So what im saying is   dont let your boyfriend pull you into sin and even if you do brake up with him don’t stop helping him with his faith.   Amazing things happen when our father tests us.

      Your friend and brother in the faith. Spiro

  • Hi there!
    I am sitting here blessing God for the ministry that you have through this website. The statements that you referenced from my previous email now seem like huge red flags to me. It’s funny how you writing my very same words back to me makes such a huge difference.

    You are correct in saying that I will not be happy unless I know that this is the person that God has for me and honestly I can’t say that at this point in time. I think that I might have been making a decision to continue the relationship based on the person that he may become and not the person that he is now. I do love him and I don’t want to hurt him and possibly push him further from Jesus.

    I feel like I have heard from God tonight and the answer is to wait. I think that we need to take some time apart from each other to fully evaluate if this relationship is within God’s will for us.

    As far as your question on rebellion, I’ve never thought of it that way but it is something for me to think about. I will say that when I first met him I made sure that he was a Christian and that he went to church , but I could definitely tell by some of his actions and habits that we were not on the same level when it came to our spititual lives.

    Yet, knowing all of this I still chose to continue on with the relationship. Now that I really think about it I remember praying about it and not really getting a clear answer from God as to whether or not he was the one for me.

    I don’t know if it’s a matter of rebellion or if I just chose to compromise or it may be a combination of the two. I will say that for years people have told me that I am too picky and maybe a little unrealistic about how close to God my future mate should be. So in this situation I was more along the lines of I knew there were some things that weren’t quite lining up with what I desired, but that no relationship is perfect.

    At any rate, I’m going to stop rambling now but I just want to say that I really truly appreciate you taking the time to respond to me and say thank you for your very valuable advice and insight.

    I must be honest in saying that I have never heard of your website before and I came across it by doing a google search on “can two christians be uneuqally yoked”. Some folks would say I found this site by coincidence but I know that it was by divine intervention!

    Thanks again for your help and I pray that you and Amy have a wonderfully blessed God filled marriage:)

    • Wow sarah! I just read your posts and I am in the same exact situation. I know it’s been a while and hopefully you see this, but I wanna know what was the decision you made? Are you still together? Did you give him time? Has it gotten better? I was amazed because pretty much you spoke my situation word for word it was like I wrote the post. Please respond. I’m in a tough situtaion. Thanks 🙂

  • I love what you have said both in your original post as well as the dialogue that you have been having in replies to comments. I have a new dating blog aimed at Christian single women like myself and I explored this topic a little bit. I am curious to hear what you think of my post “Dating Christian Men” ( http://welcometoearthdating.blogspot.com/2011/05/todays-life-inspired-moment-dating.html )

    If you like it, agree, disagree, or are just completely shocked, I would love to read any comments that you might have. I think an important part of the Christian walk is exploring life questions and how we might react/act as Christians.

    • Hello!
       
      Apart from scripture, which I feel is very clear on the subject, there is just no reason to be married to a non-believer for the simple fact that this type of relationship will interfere with your intimacy with God
       
      Also, it is incredibly important to understand that being a Christian isn’t about following rules or acting a certain way because we are told, it is about knowing God in a deeply, personal way–seeking him consistently, and honoring him in all ways
       
      A good Christian woman or man should be picky, we were bought with the very blood of God, but we should never be selfish or stuck up
       
      Regarding premarital sexuality in relationships, if this is a major, or defining component, it is way too important and probably being looked at from the wrong perspective
       
      It is very easy to make a physical relationship important, but if there is no deep sense of trust and honest friendship, there is no relationship to be had, regardless of whatever else is happening
       
      Christian partner or not, true friendship is key, but relationships should only bring us closer to God, not separate us from him–no matter how good it may seem in the moment

       
      Also, I have found that, as a general rule, if we have to try and rationalize or convince ourselves of something, it is probably not a good thing, ie: dating non-Christians if they are “good people”

      • You have hit on what I am getting at with my post but I had struggled with how to articulate it. How do we determine in what ways we should be “picky” about whom we date/marry? 

        As I completely agree, being a believer is not about behavior. Still, it is not just about claiming to be a believer because that is also just behavior/action. A person who claims to believe in Christ but whose life does not reflect it may be the same as someone who claims to believe in Christ but also has some agnostic leanings or may simply be unknowingly uniformed in certain areas of the faith. (Oprah is always who of I think of as an example. She believes in the God of the Bible but believes in a lot of other things too).This is coming from a Christian single woman’s perspective: there are so many men out there in the churches that whose beliefs do not seem to be authentic and so many men outside of the churches today whose understanding of belief is inaccurate. Who does that leave as relationship potential? The point that I am trying to get Christian single woman to see is, just as you are saying, be picky when it comes to matters of Truth. But from my perspective, you must also accept the idea if you are picky, especially on the important issues, you may never get to experience being in a long-term relationship given current circumstances. Too many women in the Church are not ready to accept that reality. Being in accordance with God is a lot harder than we think, but we must still do it even though sometimes it means sacrificing our desires. 

        That’s why I call my blog “Welcome to Earth.” Life is not about fairy tales and dreams come true all the time. Christians will go through some really tough things here on earth and we need to start seeing that. The good news is that life on earth is only the beginning.

        • Hello,

          Life is definitely not about wearing a Christian badge while leading life according to a moral compass the world would guide us by, and our relationship choices should be the ultimate expression of our commitment to God, and ourselves

          The worst way anyone can sabotage their lives is by being in a bad relationship, hands down, and for any Christian, this means getting involved with someone that doesn’t have a relationship with God

          This just never ends well, despite how it may begin, because no matter what, we will never be as spiritually mature as we would be if our relationship was founded on spiritual intimacy with our creator

          But the truth is, finding the person that God wants us to be with is not like throwing spaghetti at a wall, we have to be patient and accept that we may need to grow into the people God wants us to be before he gives us the relationship that he meant for us; we are not always ready to be blessed, as some things require maturity and wisdom to understand and appreciate

  • I agree with what you’re trying to say.  There are better (more relatable) examples you could have used, though. 

    Things that 21st century couples are likely to disagree on:

    how to discipline the children
    political issues
    balancing work/family/quiet time
    etc…

    Being unequally yolked doesn’t always mean you are in a relationship with someone who you may disagree with on blatant obedience (to God) issues.  I think any beleiver has the capacity to lose sight of God’s purpose or just not understand it at times.  But the underlying issue in those situations is whether they are willing to turn to God when they are reminded of that.  When conflicts arise, are you both willing to put your own opinions aside and be open to discovering what God would have you do in those situations?  That is equally yolked.

    And the only way to find that person who you would be equally yolked with is to seek God first.  Matthew 6:33.  It’s easy to forget this when we are searching for what we thinkis best.

    • Hi Corrinne,

      Yes, there are more relevant examples, but the point being made with Abraham’s experience is that it is an exaggerated example of how when a couple’s individual relationships with God are misaligned, it can lead to a lack of communication and intimacy for the couple, ie: not sharing that you are going off to sacrifice your son in the morning is a big thing to leave out while chatting at the dinner table

      When things like this come up, as in Job’s case, the compass that guides the relationship is torn between God’s expressed will, and the will and/or understanding of the other person–a tough spot to be in for both parties

  • Well, since none of us will ACTUALLY be asked to sacrifice our children in this manner, it doesn’t make sense to use the most extreme example you have in the Bible.

    You can also be a match SPIRITUALLY and have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in common causing you to STILL have fights over entertainment choices.

    There is more in life to fight about than sprituality.  And actually, for some people, going to church together is enough for them.  You might be equal when you start, and yet people change over time.  What then?

    • Hi Diana,

      My personal ideal for relationships, are those that help both parties grow in ways they may not have experienced otherwise

      Not to say that people should rely on relationships to help them become better people, but it is a powerful thing when true love sweeps into someone’s life and causes them to see, feel, think, and do different things based on honoring the gift of something so pure as love

      And yes, most people won’t be asked to sacrifice their child, but God asks people to sacrifice the things they love most all the time, ie: money, power, free time, etc…

      If people respond to these invitations to grow and seek God’s kingdom differently because of their spiritual, emotional, or intellectual differences, this can sometimes cause issues

      People often change over time, without a doubt, but the real question is why, and how much, ie: people grow and fall away with no set limit other than their own will and ambition

      • Even the bible tells Christians that “iron sharpens iron” and that sharpening comes from relationships with other Christians.

        How do you resolve that fact that some Christians are so overly cautious about relationships that they are NEVER in a relationship?  Hardly anyone is dating or courting and church and even fewer are getting married.

        Let’s get personal – are YOU dating anyone?  I don’t care if you call it courting.  Are you in a relationship?  Are you married?  Do you even know what you’re talking about?  Why should we even believe you when Christians are landing in divorce court, too?  Is it really right that so many are afraid to try and have a relationship?  Can’t churches do better than to just give us tools of avoidance?

        Also, would you mind deleting all of my comments.  I didn’t intend for my facebook to be used.  Thanks.  I’m finding Facebook to be very annoying.

        • Hello,

          I am happily married as of June 15th, my wife’s name is Amy and she is the most amazing gift from God I could have imagined!

          Amy is my best friend, lover, confidant, and spiritual partner in every sense–life couldn’t get any better

          Regarding your points, I understand from your tone that you have a strong perspective on the state of Christian relationships, dating, etc… and I am definitely curious why it comes to such a place of negativity so quickly

          Christians and non-Christians alike are capable of making the wrong decisions when it comes to dating and marriage, we are still human after all, but I have seen both sides of the spectrum you are speaking of, in that people often use church as nothing more than a place to meet potential wives/husbands, and not a place to meet God

          Everyone’s experience within Christianity will vary based on the people they are exposed to at their churches, but choosing a marriage partner is not a decision to be taken lightly

          Regarding churches preaching avoidance, I am not sure where this statement is coming from as I have not encountered churches that openly teach people to avoid having relationships with other Christians

          Can you provide some more context for where you are coming from?

  • Reading this post was *quite* refreshing! I REALLY enjoyed reading it! Yes, you CAN totally be unequally yoked with a Christian….because the Lord gives each and every person different desires….and if the desires of your heart don’t match up with the person whom you think is “The One” then you ~might~ want to start rethinking the relationship you are in! I think one of the hardest things to do when looking for your other half….is to have patience with God….there are SO many websites out there that are ~supposed~ to help you find the “love of your life” but those dating websites….yes…even the Christian websites….defeat the pupose of waiting for the person God has reserved for  you. If you are patient with God, (because his timing is WAAAY better than ours) He will bring you and your other (perfect) half together in a wonderful way!

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      I am glad you enjoyed this post, thank you for the feedback

      It is interesting that people carry the idea that God is going to give them everything they want, and in their timing

      I would really like to know the Bible verse that says this is true!

      This particular issue seems to be especially common when it comes finding a partner

      I am not sure why, but people quite often take the attitude that God pretty much “owes” them a spouse, as they are just afraid of being alone and are channeling their fear and anger towards God rather than seeing that they need to be okay alone before God will give them the right person (usually anyways)

      In other news, I don’t think looking for a partner is completely terrible, but obsessing during the search and feeling like we “need” someone in order to be happy is definitely bad

  • first of all this is awesome.  i laughed at your Abraham example (laughed with you not at you).
    coming across this was refreshing, i was told this by our main evangelist at my church, being spiritually unyoked i mean.  im not married nor have i been ever but i have dated in our church, and i feel that can have the same kinda roll to it.
    but i got this advice once and it made me think… i was talking to a brother about dating and feeling like there arent really any girls in the church i felt equally yoked spiritually with.
    his response was this: well they were baptized and are disciples so they have the holy spirit so how can the holy spirit not be yoked with itself.
    so what do you think of this? ive been listening to a lot of dating sermons and lessons but dating is funny cause the bible doesnt really have a how do on dating. one point i have liked is this one sermon where he talked about being emotionally pure, spiritually pure along with being physically pure which idk would indicate that even with the spirit things can get crazy if we let them…

    • Hi Eli,

      Sometimes I laugh at the stuff that gets written too, thank you for the feedback!

      Dating Christians requires just as much tact and careful selection as any dating scenario, Christian or non, mainly because as much as it would be great if all Christians were at parallel places in their walk, this simply isn’t true

      God’s work within us is heavily reliant on our choices, as if it were completely up to him, he would have perfected us all and we would be amazing testimonies in every aspect

      *cough*

      Regardless of our acceptance of Jesus and having the Holy Spirit, it does not equate automatically to spiritual maturity or a strong relationship with God through consistent behavioral choices, which is always a good reflection of how Christians are at different levels of maturity

      I think that piece of advice sounds good, but the reality is, if we are passionately in love with God, and the other person isn’t, this is going to create rifts

      I couldn’t imagine running home and being excited to share an amazing revelation God gave me, only to met with “that’s nice, what movie are we watching tonight?”

      This is exaggerated of course, but it isn’t that far from the truth in some cases

      And yes, we need to be pure in every sense, as even our thoughts are to be held in adherence to God’s righteousness!

      2 Corinthians 10:5
      We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ

  • That was great! To all of those great Christian believers out there who want a Godly marriage be patient because God will put the 2 of you together in His perfect timing. I encourage people who haven’t watch or listened to Once Upon A Marriage to go on iTunes right now and watch/listen to it because it made a big difference in my life and how I pursued God first while praying for a marriage someday that would be built around Jesus Christ as the center and foundation of our marriage. I have met my 2, you’ll understand that later 😉

  • This was pretty good but it leaves me questioning the deeper realities of relationships with people in the faith. There are more complicated issues that they face that run deeper and are far more common than we realize.

  • I really enjoyed reading this! Well written and I giggled a few times as well!! I am currently writing a bit of a Christian dating pamphlet for my Pastor and as I am on the section in which I am discussing being unequally yoked in relationships, your article was a great help. I have been looking for scripture verses to support the notion that being unequally yoked doesn’t only refer to believers dating or being married to non-believers but also to not being on the same level spiritually. Your reference to the relationship with Job and his wife is a brilliant illustration and I thank you for bring that to my knowledge! It was a great help.

    Oh, and this is a great blog…so happy I happened upon it…I will be checking back here often for more posts and I’ve “Liked” you on Facebook! Keep up the great posts! 🙂

    • Hi Kristen,

      Thank you for stopping by, it is very nice to meet you!

      This particular topic affects so many people, both young and old, as spiritual maturity is not often a part of the criteria people use to evaluate potential spouses, which is odd since our relationship with God is supposed to be what we guide our lives by

      It seems to be a very common thing for people to argue that their partner “is a Christian” but they give little regard for how their partner’s spiritual life will affect them, which is really just a reflection that it is not really that important to them, or they misunderstand its importance to begin with

      When I met my wife (Amy), after a few dates I thought to myself:

      “She is the kind of person that God would listen to her prayers”

      It was a really surprising thing to consider, but I knew that I had matured to the point where it was important for me to know this, especially when considering what her spiritual and emotional foundation would be when it came to interacting with our future children (and me!)

      I would love to read what you put together when it is done, would you be open to that?

      And seriously, every time I read that “curse God and die” line I burst out laughing!

  • Hey!
    First, i want to apologize right away for my english syntaxe –  English is not my firts language..
    Second, Thank to the Lord for inspiring you this text. In my life, i never been in a relationship and reading this post and the one intitled ” Christians dating non-Christians…” was for me like some important advices.

    I think it’s very important to talk about this topic which is very current in my surrounding and others young folks.

    Glory to the Lord for that.

    I actually really appreciate your blog and I’m pretty sure that God is blessing you for sharing his Word.

    • Hi Lily,

      It is very nice to meet you, thank you for taking the time to write and for the encouragement!

      Finding a good partner, let alone a Christian spouse, is not easy, but it is easy to get caught up in the idea of finding “someone” rather than waiting on God’s timing

      For Amy and I, God put us together when we were both ready, and I cannot even fathom what it would be like to marry someone that did not love God, the journey with him is so powerful, sharing that with a partner for life is such an amazing thing!

      I think for both young and older people it can feel lonely, but not all relationships magically lead to happiness, sometimes the bad ones are a total nightmare–we just have to be patient and trust God!

  • Y’all are so lucky that you have a passion for God. I used to have one too. I mean sure, I was a legalist trying to justify myself by my works, but at least I didn’t always procrastinate on my daily Bible reading because its boring as heck compared to Facebook, Instagram, and games. I think that school and all the worldly influences I have to put up with (and some that I bring upon myself) have stolen my passion for God.

    I’ve never been one to talk to God. When I’m fantasizing about talking to others I can let my issues out perfectly. But when I’m praying… I just can’t get it out. Same thing when I actually talk to a person.

    I have such a big ego. I dislike reading the Bible because I’d rather be gaming or I’ve wasted all my time and I need to do schoolwork to keep up my GPA (and my ego.) I struggle with lust and masturbation. I try to find love and pleasure in anything and everything but God and just can’t find love and pleasure in God like every good Christian is expected to. I try to fast gaming and I never can do it because there’s nothing else to do and reading the Bible with all that time bores me to death. I am ashamed to tell the Gospel to anyone because I’ve been discouraged by failed attempts and being made fun of before. Sometimes I wonder if I’m a Christian. I believe in Jesus, though I have trouble trusting Him solely for salvation. Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother, if I’m one of the elect.

    I know this is off topic. But please help me. My youth leader doesn’t reply to my text. I don’t have the numbers of any spiritually mature friends that I can trust. I can’t articulate my problems to God. I have nobody to talk to. Please, help…

    Please email me if you can. Thanks.

    nekoFB@aol.com

  • Hey Nathan,

    Great article, I have been conflicted for some months on this. Being from a Christian background and this concept isn’t new to me. I have always been convinced that I have been guarding my heart on this matter, and that whatever ‘head knowledge’ I have is deeply integrated into my core. However, I have recently fallen hard for a non-Christian. I have been trying to extricate myself from this position for a very long time, and am on my knees every night begging God for strength. Such situations have occurred before and God always gives me strength/an escape route. It seems that this time it is taking longer than usual and I am at the end of my wits. In the despair and confusion, I attempted to find out why I fell so hard. The irony is that her girl friends are ALL Christian, but I have nothing for them even if I wanted to. I found that my core principle to seek out a Christian is deeply entrenched to one that displays attributes of a strong character. This particular lady displays the strongest character I have ever seen, and it shines brazenly apart even with her Christian friends around. It seems that in being genuinely crazy for the ‘substance’ of being a Christian, I have fallen for a non-Christian who walks the talk. Of course, I am mightily aware that Christians are often no better than the rest, that we are just saved. And being saved is one of the essentials. But I find it hard to be attracted to someone merely ‘because she’s saved’ over a truly godly character. And it so happens that… yeah. A minimal comfort would be that she advocates instead of hampers my faith, and is willing even to follow me to church. She does read Christian books and is highly altruistic and intelligent, but this sort of openness may be a double edged sword in the sense that she merely ‘appreciates’ my God.

    I have been on my knees for months now without an avenue out of my feelings. I am desperate in despair and may not last any longer. If there was a way to terminate my feelings for her I will certainly jump on it. It seems that from the start, she is the virtuous wife I want, minus the fact that she’s a non-believer. The irony is how I was taught to be as unconditional as I can in loving that it comes back and bite me this way. Yes, I won’t deny it, I am bitter from this. Why can’t we compromise when it comes to being unequally yoked, but in love it is permissible? Isn’t Love the higher Drive to our faith? I know that love is different in this sense. But I would say that the normal context of love is a subset of this (love for a spouse). So why are we limited to only loving within the boundaries of the subset, and is that even possible to control?

    Despairing,
    Solomon

    • Hi Solomon,

      Just remember, to Eve, the fruit looked great, even having value as food, but it did not make her act of disobedience any less offensive, or punishable, just like our own rationalizations have no authority to place our will above God’s commands, regardless of what it is we are choosing to rebel over

      Something God has put on my heart a lot recently, is being reminded of people’s reactions when they saw God, as we have no idea who we are disobeying, otherwise we would not think or act the way we do for the sake of convenience or our sense of personal happiness, all while compromising our obedience, and respect for God in the process

      Isaiah 6:1-5
      In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:

      “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory”

      At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke

      “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty”

      Revelation 1:12-18
      I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance

      When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades

      Also, look at how even in the NT, the author of Hebrews called God “a consuming fire”, one we should worship God *acceptably*, with reverence, and awe, not just come to him in whatever state we feel is acceptable

      Hebrews 12:28-29
      Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire”

      When we read these things, we have to ask ourselves why we get mad at God because we do not have a spouse, as if we look at the gift of his sacrifice with such unappreciation, we decide that only a spouse is going to make us happy

      Quite honestly, I went through this very same struggle, and only came to realize how immature this was quite later in life, but after a number of wasted years, and a lot of distance from God I never realized I was missing out on

      Also, while it is okay to look beyond favorably at people we truly love, from what you have written, it sounds like you are putting this person on a pedestal, as we often insert all kinds nice sounding logic into a situation to justify the way we think or act, ie:

      “They are curious, so maybe they will become a Christian”
      “They are really understanding about my faith so it is okay”
      “They act nicer than a lot of Christians I know”

      After my own, seemingly endless search in the world of non-Christian women, God showed me this very simple truth:

      If we are truly, passionately, seeking after God ourselves, we would not want to be with someone who is not seeking him in the same way

      Also, do not let the enemy tempt you with bitterness because of your obedience, they excel at that

      For me, I had to ask God why women were so important I was willing to let them come between him and I, ask him the same question, he is faithful, but ask sincerely, with a heart prepared to act on God’s revelation, and truth

      James 1:5-8
      If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do

      James 4:10
      Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up

      1 Peter 5:6
      Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time

      And, also, do not give up, God knows what is best for us in all things–be careful, the enemy likes to tell us we do

  • Do you think it’s okay to date someone that knows who The Lord is but hasn’t been brought up in the church but is eager and wants to? And will start drawing closer to The Lord? I am a women and very in love with The Lord and He is a baby in his faith but said he hasn’t had people in his life to get him to go with him and I am encouraging him and he’s reading on his own and said even if we didn’t work out he would still build his realtionsjip

    • Hi Lorraine,

      We should be looking at questions like this from the perspective of: Does God want me to date/marry this person

      Also, consider this:

      When we try to build people up in their faith as a foundational component of a relationship, it usually has more self-centered motivations than we understand as we generally would not invest the same amount of time in a friend or new believer, but because we see a human relationship which benefits us in the equation, we will do it

      How many people can we say we have discipled which had no attachment of a relationship? Usually not many, if any

      This makes us think about our motivations, and leads us to see questions about whether or not someone is right for us as being inconsequential–we are commanded to disciple others and teach them to obey everything God commanded, not lead others to God and disciple them when it means we get a relationship out of the deal

      Matthew 28:18-20
      All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you

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