Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? — 2 Corinthians 6:14
Spring is finally in the air. The last nine weeks of school is finally upon us. Over the years I have discovered a strange thing that happens when Springtime comes…boys and girls start boyfriend/girlfriend relationships like crazy. Sure, some have been together all along, but many will get these new relationships started in the next month or so. I remember “back in the day” that I was no different. Along with Spring seems to come, well, love…or at least what our culture tells us is love.
Over the decades, many have used our main verse for today to teach horrible things. It has been used as a manipulative tool to promote racism. Today, I want to suggest a little different take on the words “unequally yoked.” I don’t really think it has anything to do with the types of animals being yoked, but the pace at which they work. If one pulls at a faster pace than the other, the plow will simply go in circles.
Now, you know as well as I do that just because someone says they are a Christian does not mean that they are. Even the Bible says there are wolves in sheep’s clothing. I don’t mean that to bash anyone in particular, but I see relationships all the time that people think are okay because their partner claims to be a Christian. In some wrong relationships, parents see that the other person is wrong for them, teachers see it, other family members see it, even friends see it, but the person in the relationship just does not want to see it. They are blinded by what they believe is love. Years, months, weeks, and sometimes just days later the blinded person does not even need an “I told you so“ because their crushed heart reminds them constantly.
I am going to tell you how to invest in a rock solid marriage. Yes, even if you are an unmarried teenager, you are investing in your marriage right now. Just like a retirement account thrives on good financial decisions up until the point of retirement, a good marriage is based on solid moral decisions up until the day of your marriage. You can’t live recklessly and expect that it all goes away once you say “I do.”
I believe there are only two things you need to do. I did not do either during my teenage years, but I hope maybe one or two of you will do what I wish I would have done. First, you have to learn to be completely content by yourself. I feel so sorry for the girls and boys I see at school that need someone so desperately. They constantly fill the void in their hearts with that “feeling” of love. Unfortunately, it wears off really quickly, and they quickly look for the next guy or girl who will give them their next fix. You must learn to be completely content without being connected to some boyfriend or girlfriend. I would suggest taking the “one year challenge.” If you are single, pick a date and agree to have absolutely no romantic relationships for one year. You will be amazed at how this clears your mind and heart and frees you to think clearly. I know…I’ve actually done this one.
During this time, you need to pursue God as hard as you possibly can. Fill your mind with the Word of God. This needs to be done through every resource possible: A church (that you really enjoy), a small group, accountability partners, sermons on tape (if you remember those), sermons on TV, downloaded sermons, reading the Bible, listening to the Bible (You Version), praise and worship music, prayer, fasting…you name it. Pull out all the stops and hold nothing back.
After one year of this, you will have completely cleared your heart and mind, You have laid your foundation to truly build your house on the Rock. Now, you won’t be looking for a partner to fill the void within your heart, God has already filled it. Now, you will be ready to give to another person and add to the quality of their life as opposed to subtracting what you want from them to get your temporary fix.
If you take these steps, you will be ready for God to bring you the person He has in mind for you. The process is simple from here. Simply look around you and find the person who is pursuing God at the same pace. Refuse to be unequally yoked.
I do understand that almost nobody does it this way. But, maybe that’s why the Bible calls it “the narrow path.”