Dear Sister in Christ,
Not so long ago, I took a taxi to the wharf. I found it interesting when I entered the car that the driver was reading his Bible while he waited for me. That is a bit, well, unusual. He turned out to be quite a talkative and easygoing fellow who at one point burst into song, a local song about broken relationships. Then he went on to reveal to me that he was in a similar situation, with his wife of nearly thirty years. He explained that he had married a non-Christian ungodly woman, even though he was a Christian. She had promised she would try to have a better relationship with God, but she didn’t. He complained that sometimes days would go by without him seeing her, and explained that she was a “party person”, which he was not.
I felt bad for him. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be unhappy in a marriage, and to have a relationship end after more than two decades together. As if trying to drive home a lesson to me, the driver admitted that it was a mistake to be unequally yoked in the first place, and I thought about how his story was a real life example for us single Christian women.
So many of us get involved with non-Christian and non-Christian-minded men and rationalise that we can bring them to God. Sometimes, they even promise to draw closer to God for our sakes. Those are just the lies we allow ourselves to believe so we can feel better about our relationships. We rationalise that our relationship is in fact some sort of a ministry. God is not deceived; he sees it for what it is, nothing but trying to bypass the rules because we have grown weary in the desperation to find a partner. But apart from God knowing the true motives of our hearts, we also have to deal with the consequences of entering into unequal relationships. Personally, I don’t really think being unequally yoked is a sin in and of itself; I think Paul was giving advice. Nonetheless, this is sound, self-evident, almost commonsensical advice, because being poles apart in a romantic relationship eventually takes its toll.
I know, I have been there. I don’t remember what my excuse was or if I even had one; all I know is that after a while I seemed to become more and more distant from God. I loved God still, but my mind was not on Him and His things as much. In the space of eight months, I probably made it to church six times!! Little by little, I was being pulled away from the One who mattered most, not because my partner was deliberately trying to do it, but because whether we like it or not, we inevitably become influenced by the people closest to us and who have the strongest presence in our lives. Besides, we differed in our value systems, and worldview. It’s truly hard to build a relationship when you are so different.
I learnt my lesson, and that is never to accept less that God’s best for me. I also learnt that it is not a good idea trying to rationalise sound biblical teaching to suit our particular carnal desires. In the end it backfires. It might take almost three decades of marriage before it does, but eventually, it does.
Daughter of a King