While I’ve been single for most of my life, I’ve been infatuated with numerous women before.
Now because some of these women weren’t Christian, I was tempted to ask God, “So what if she doesn’t love You?” Honestly, I went so far as to think about “converting” someone just so I could get into a relationship with them. But I really should know better about not being unequally yoked – God is clear and firm about this (2 Corinthians 6:14).
So, one time, a Christian friend of mine entered into a relationship with a non-believer. We were all talking about his new relationship when I gently surfaced my concern that the relationship would likely face stresses owing to the couple’s different beliefs.
“Stop being so small-minded, Roy!” was another friend’s swift retort. That got me thinking: Has the command not to be unequally yoked expired in our generation? Are we just old-fashioned and small-minded?
Looking at the life of Solomon (Nehemiah 13:25-26), here’s my case on why the command still applies: Do not be unequally yoked.
Growing up, I learnt about how great a king David was. While Solomon is famous for asking God for wisdom … He wasn’t nearly as great. Solomon disobeyed a fundamental command given by God to Israel: To not be unequally yoked.
“You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.” (Deuteronomy 7:3-4)
Solomon collected wealth, horses and literally had a thousand wives – all of which led his heart away from God (1 Kings 11:1-3). And this was a man after God’s own heart – the wisest man of the age.
We often hear that David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). But I believe Solomon had actually bested his father’s heart for God – only he pressed the self-destruct button. Reading 1 Kings, I cannot help but be in awe at Solomon’s heart for God.
Having inherited the temple-building operation from his father, Solomon constructed the temple in no time. Every measurement and detail was the way God wanted it to be. After the temple was finished, Solomon dedicated it to God. Read his amazing prayer of dedication to God in 1 Kings 8:22-53. It’s quite lengthy, but it tells us how desperate Solomon was for God to be among them.
My point is this: Solomon was close with God and wise – greater than many of the previous kings of Israel. But sin messed all of that up when the wisest man of the age entered into unequally yoked relationships.
When it comes to any decision to make we have only two outcomes to consider: Closer to God or further from God.
You cannot outsmart sin. If even the wisest man fell into sin – what hope would we have? Solomon might have thought himself above the problems and consequences of marrying the foreign women. It might have been pride, it might have been denial.
But there was only ever going to be one outcome in that decision: He would be further away from God as a consequence. When it comes to any decision to make we have only two outcomes to consider: Closer to God or further from God.
Besides, if she does not love Jesus, she will not love you – at least not in the way God intended. It’s why so many relationships today don’t work out. We build it on good feelings and emotions, and when it faces the first blustery winds – it all comes down.
The only way any human being can truly love, is by being filled with God’s love first (1 John 4:19). If you love Jesus, intimacy with Him is your priority. Logically and necessarily, you’d want to find someone who would help you to grow in desiring God.
You’d want to be a couple who would take each other closer to God.
For all this talk about binary choices, it’s not God or girlfriend: It’s always God first – girlfriend maybe!
Until you know in your heart that God loves you, you will never be able to love or see others the way He does. So our only recourse is to draw near to God and learn about what He thinks of us. Only by growing closer and deeper in love with God can we truly love others – especially our significant other.
Thousands upon thousands are making the mistake of not learning how to love before jumping into things. But you don’t have to make that mistake.
Learn to love and be loved by God, and whether or not you get married, you will live a life that’s built on solid ground.