More heatwave musings…
I’m a black and white sort of person. I think that grey is a colour that is avoidable by clear instruction in most cases! :o) I make that statement to add context to some comments about unequally yoked relationships.
Now obviously, if a partner is saved after marriage and the unsaved partner is willing to stay with the saved partner, Paul instucts them to remain as they are…afterall covenant is significant. It is an unequal yoke still the same, but it is not a situation that one can prevent and so the saved partner simply has to respond to the situation with much prayer and positive verbal and lifestyle example.
However, if one is saved, the clear instruction is not to marry outside of the Kingdom thus creating an unequal yoke. That is, of you’re a Christian, don’t even think about marrying a non-Christian. Why? Because it is very very very difficult. Reading that in scripture I don’t see how you can be fudgey about the issue. Surely if you have someone’s best interests at heart your desire is to share that essential truth with one about to be married to a non-believer.
Yet, I know of many salvationists that I am sure they wished someone had emphasised this scripture to them! I can think of several in my home corps and some in the current corps where I know that there are people who would loved to have someone explain this concept. I think one barrier to this is to do with my last post..we don’t often do strong shepherding. But more than that I just don’t think we always see scripture as difinitive in the areas we don’t want interferance.
I can think of one particular Christian, a male, who was getting married to an ex-salvationist…now not only opposed to Christianity, but to the Army aswell. I remember a mature Christian brother sharing concern about an unequal yoke but the advice was spurned. His service in this particular corps, his personal faith, his work, his giving and even his personal witness suffered as result of this union…and this all for love.
To avoid these situations more and more I believe we need to teach it to our youth at the ‘dating’ stage. Not only for any future marriage prospects, bot for the whole dating stage itself. If Christian dating relationships can go off the rails now and again, how much more can an unequally yoked relationship go off the rails?
Then there is the leading of the Holy Spirit – I remember shortly after becoming a Christian, lifestlye changing rapidly and suddenly, one of the most stunning girls in my year at school asking me to go out with her (I was thinner and better looking then). She had been attracted to Jesus in me and mistaken if for me actually. Now, I had gazed adoringly at this girl for years before becoming a Christian yet my immediate instinct to her question was to say ‘Thanks for asking, that means a lot, but actually, I can’t.’ Non-one had taught me that..it must have been the Holy Spirit.
So…I guess I am saying we should be more intentional in instructing people in Kingdom principles when it comes to the marriage game. Better still, lets consider that Paul had it sorted when he encouraged people to stay single!!! :o)