But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Mark 10:6-9)
One man, one woman. Man cleaves to his wife. They become one flesh. That's a pretty simple plan to follow. But now we need to add an eternal perspective. Some people serve God and some don't. That's not a little thing especially since many important decisions we'll make will be based on what we believe. God knew that and commanded his people to not marry unbelievers.
What happened to Solomon thousands of years ago happens all too frequently to Christians today...
But king Solomon loved many strange women...Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.... and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.
(1 Kings 11:1-4)
I remember talking with a young couple who were planning to get married. They were both brought up with very different beliefs, but at the time, neither was living their faith. I asked them point blank about that. They really didn't have a well thought out answer. I strongly cautioned them to talk that out because eventually that would become important.
They got married and guess what? The lenses of real life have replaced the rosy glasses and faith is a major issue. Several months have passed now, and they're expecting their first child. How much more important will faith become in raising children? Off the charts is about right.
Marriage is wonderful! It's also wonderfully difficult even under the best of circumstances. Two people heading in opposite directions spiritually is asking for trouble, arguments, and many tears. What's even worse – much worse – is that some believers will compromise their faith to appease their mate and eventually lose their soul. They'll put their spouse above the Lord.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
Some lovely Christian women will spend more time picking out their gown then they will examining the depth of their fiancee's commitment to Christ. Ladies, the man you marry will become your head and spiritual authority that God will expect you to submit to. Have you thought that through? I write this not only to the twenty-somethings, but to you mature women of God too. Loneliness is difficult for sure, but being disobedient isn't the cure. Guard your witness and your ministry. Don't leave your first love. I know of a woman who, despite warnings from others, married the wrong man. She realized it almost immediately after the short honeymoon was over. Then, just a few months later, the right man appeared. Ouch.
Men, sex is great, but it's not everything. Underneath the curvy figure of your bride to be, are you confident there's a heart devoted to Jesus? Would you bet eternity on it? Or will prayer and Bible reading interfere with more worldly things to do? Be wise and don't set yourself up for failure. Unequally yoked marriages are more costly than you can possibly imagine especially when children become part of the picture.
I'm writing a novel that not only involves a unique approach to church fellowship, but also the interesting perils of an unequally yoked marriage. See more about that here.
Marriage and the Bible go together like a hand in glove. God's Word is full of advice and promises for a fulfilling and peaceful relationship to those who read and obey. That helpful advice actually begins before you get married.
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