Unequally Yoked?: Introducing God into Your Relationship
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
-2 Cor. 6:14
“For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart to follow after other gods: and his heart was not sincere with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”
-1 Kings 11:4
I was blessed to have grown up in a godly household. I was thoroughly instructed in the way of the Lord and the Scriptures at an early age. However, we often do not act according to what we know. I was no different.
When it came time for me to date, the last thing I wanted was a “church girl.” In all honesty, at that age, I thought it was cool if a young lady loved the Lord and was into church, but she would be my friend, not anyone I would consider seriously dating. In my adolescent and young adult mind, I thought “church girls” had to many “hang-ups.”
As I matured and developed my relationship with God, I realized how difficult it is to establish a similar God-focused relationship with a person who has not benefited from the same experience/upbringing/awakening. Even more difficult is when you meet your significant other while you are “living in sin” and now you want to walk on the straight and narrow.
Ideally, we would wait for that appointed person who God has ordained for us. But, due to our impatience, that does not happen much and we end up with someone we really, REALLY like.
At first, everything is cool, lovely, peachy even, until you run into a problem. Your approach may be to pray about it, their approach may be to react out of their emotions. Even worse is when you have an argument, then what? You try to ignore the spiritual differences for as long as you can.
However, something has to give: either they are going to get down or you are going to lay down (read compromise). As my father is oft to quote “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (See Amos 3:3). For better or for worse, we are highly susceptible to the influence, habits, traits of our significant others.
Like a thorn, the differing levels of enthusiasm and development on a spiritual level will be an impediment to the “oneness” God designed man and woman to experience. In another scenario, you can try to overlook the differences, but that also is undesirable. You both will be coming from two different places when LIFE happens. So…
What To Do, What To Do?
I have found myself in situation like this before. My current wifey had a base and was curious and wanted to know more about that aspect of my life. In other relationships, I felt that there was a part of me I was keeping from the other person. Because I did not want to scare that person off or for fear they would not understand.
You cannot force Jesus or any other religion down anyone’s throat. The best thing to do if you find yourself in that situation is to be a living example of your faith. As it says in the good book, “let your light shine before men so that they may glorify God.” Just like if your significant other sees you going to the gym every day and living a healthy lifestyle, maybe your example will motivate them to follow suit (if they know what is good for them). ;).
Also, pray that they will come around and that you will begin to have the same mind and heart in that area (assuming they are worth it, but that is between you and the Lord). It is going to take a lot of patience. I think the Apostle Paul was thinking when he wrote the Corinthians, that it is not worth the time and the trouble, because it will take a lot of energy and you will bear/suffer a lot of bruises as it is (because relationships are messy).
If you find are in that position, you may be able to do some good. See 1 Cor. 7:14. If the love is real, God may use you as a vehicle to lead your loved one to Him.
For Your Protection…
God gave the “do not be unequally yoked” commandment for our protection. The human heart is easily given and not easily taken back. The most intimate thing you can do with someone is pray with them and seek God together. By placing God over each other, it provides a sure foundation and you have someone watching your spiritual back.
You want your loved one to love God more than they love you because if they do, there is a limit to what they will do to you and how they will act towards you, regardless of what you are doing and how you are acting. A person walking in the love of God will only seek your good. When people love you with human love, they treat you any “ol’ kinda way,” but a person who is open to Godly influence will do God’s will in every situation.
As a caveat, beware! Just because they are into church does not mean they have the fruits of God’s love. But that is another post too. You also have to watch out for the trap of someone going through the motions to appease you or keep you. If you put it in God’s hands, the truth we come to the light.
Many people in one-sided relationships have had to struggle unnecessarily and endure heartache and pain because they were loving someone God’s way and not getting it in return. This, amongst other things, leads to mental, emotional and spiritual bondage. My prayer has been for sometime that my mate and I love God far more than we love each other, because that is the basis of true intimacy.
That is my piece on this topic. What are you thoughts, experiences and reflections on introducing God and the spiritual aspect to your relationship? I am sure I did not cover everything and I am going to have to write the 2.0 version of this post, however, this is a good start.
Truth and Peace,
Steven M DeVougas