To Equal or Not to Equal

African-Couple-in-Love-219x146

Be ye not unequally yoked ( not equal) together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
KJV 2 Corinthians 6:14

Being unequally yoked, or in an marriage that is not equal, used to carry a large weight in the Christian community, especially in the Seventh-day Adventist church. As a Sevenths-day Adventist growing up, the pastor would not even marry a couple in the church unless the non-Adventist party was willing to be baptized into the denomination. I never agreed with this concept but it showed how adamant the church was about this particular charge in the Bible. In reality though, is the charge really that deep? As Christians we are all people who believe in Christ… do the denominational values really cause couples to be unequally yoked? An even better question is, does being unequally yoked only refer to spiritual context? I do not believe so. I believe being unequally yoked could mean a plethora of things. It could mean do not marry someone with different morals than yourself. It could also mean do not marry anyone of the same sex as yourself as God created Eve for Adam. Or maybe it could possibly mean do not marry some one who is of the world. In reality though, is the charge really that deep. This is one of the main reasons why pre-marital counseling is so important. One always thinks they know someone, but what the really know is how the person looks “on paper”. Counseling brings out attributes and flaws, if the work is being done, that may not other wise have been seen until it was too late. Marriages are supposed to be life long commitments, and sometimes love is just not enough. When a couple is yoked equally they will be able to work through those hard times when love is not enough and the divorce rate possibly would decline.

Below are a few cross references that Christians sometimes use in their journey of finding a mate or deciding what is meant by being unequally yoked.

Genesis 24:3
I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living,

Deuteronomy 22:10
Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.

Ezra 9:2
They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”

1 Corinthians 5:9
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people–

1 Corinthians 6:6
But instead, one brother takes another to court–and this in front of unbelievers!

1 Corinthians 7:39
A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:7
Therefore do not be partners with them.

Ephesians 5:11
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

1 John 1:6
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

The Aftermath

Three is a crowd

While marriage can be the most pleasurable experience, it can also be the most painful. It breaks my heart that almost half of all marriages end in divorce.  An extramarital affair is the most detrimental event to a marriage and for the most part the hardest to treat. Going through the aftermath of adultery is like having to grieve for a death of a loved one. It is important to allow time to grieve whether you decide to stay or leave. It is also important to get professional help. Invite God to help you in the healing process. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit washes us with the water of the Word. The Bible is His Word. Start allowing the Lord to wash over you with healing as your begin to read the Bible. The Word of God states that His ear is attentive to your cry (Psalm 34:15) so He will comfort you (Isaiah 66:13). Turn to Him as you face this difficult phase in your life because there is nothing impossible with God. He will always work on the behalf of a person who trusts in Him and is trying to do the right thing. Give us a call so that we can help you in the healing process as well.

Control

control

Treat others the same way you want them to treat you (Luke 6:31)

There are some things that we can control, and some things that are just out of our control. The things that we have control over are our words, actions, ideas, efforts, and behavior. Things that we do not have control over are other people’s actions and words. We also have not control over other people’s feelings, behavior, or ideas. Regardless of what other people say to you choose to respond to them the way you want to be treated. It is not about them, but about you and your character. Do not break your integrity when others choose to be ignorant or disrespectful. If you do they win. Treat others the way you want to be treated is and has been the golden rule for a long time, we just don’t put it into practice too often. The pebble, dropped in a pool, can make ripples to the furthest shore.

The way to happiness
is made much brighter by
applying the precept, “Try to treat
others as you would want them
to treat you.”

Do Not Go to Bed Angry

Do not go to bed angry

Conflicts are a healthy part of marriage if handled correctly. We should not bottle up our anger, but openly discuss the problems in our marriages. In marriage we have to give each other the right to complain. Do not go to bed in anger because this is when the enemy will come in and bring destruction in your marriage.  Please watch the following 5 minute video about daily anger by Pastor Jimmy Evans from Marriage Today.

 

20 Minute Challenge

20 Minute ChallengeIf you are married I challenge you to set aside at least twenty minutes a day to sit down and talk with your spouse. Communication is so important in marriage. When a husband and wife are not communicating with each other problems usually enter into the marriage. That happens because it gives the devil time to talk to each spouse separately. He will sow seeds of suspicion in your marriage along with doubt and lies. The silent treatment between two spouses is an invitation to trouble. Please don’t use silent treatment as a punishment, but rather make it a point to communicate to each other every day.

 

My Money Is Your Money

My Money Your Money

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate (Matthew 19:6).

In marriage there really shouldn’t be my, his, or her money. The money should be ours. Money should not cause division in your marriage. After all our money is all God’s money that he has entrusted to us. Married couples should be on the same page in tithing, giving, spending, and saving.

You need to be a team to have a successful marriage. Money is powerful, and if we don’t have any accountability we can become selfish very quickly. We need our spouse on our team, so that we can have the right perspective on our money. If you are not on the same page it is important to sit down and have a talk about creating a spending plan together.

Not only will you develop a deeper bond with your spouse when you can manage your finances together, but you will please God. Your intimacy will improve as well. Finances can deepen your relationship with one another if done right and if done together. When you keep your finances separate it says that I don’t trust you, or I am not ready to become one.

More marriages have blown apart over financial issues than almost any other factor!! Always discuss your finances as a couple. One spouse will usually have more financial skill and will naturally take the lead, but this is not an excuse for the other spouse not to be involved. Listen to what God is telling you through your financial circumstances. Don’t forget that everything we have comes from God. He owns all of it, and He entrusts it to us to use for His purposes. True financial success comes from following God’s plan for our finances.

Vernesa Perry