Are you spiritually single? If you are married to someone who is not a Christian, then you fall into this category. Are you equally yoked with your spouse or significant other? If you are not both on the same spiritual plane, then you probably aren't, even if both of you are in fact Christians. I mention this topic today, not out of the blue, but because it came up today at our church service today as our pastor continued a series on dating and marriage. Consider the following:
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? 16 Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? (NKJV)
As my pastor had a helper bring out an oxen yoke for demonstration, my heart sank as I thought of how so many people are living out their lives in a constant battle because they and their spouse are not on the same spiritual level. I thought of all of the married ladies that I see attending church without their husbands and my prayers go up for them. Think about what happens if two oxen are yoked at neck and one of those oxen is weak and can't pull its share of the load. What if one of the oxen wants to go left while the other wants to go right? Can you see what kind of a problem this could become? How much energy is spent fighting against the other?
As stated above in the passage from 2 Corinthians, we see this example as applied to people. It is so important before marriage to make sure that our partners are going the same direction we are and at the same speed that we are. Fire insurance - just making sure they are Christian - is not good enough.
Friends, my intent here is not to make anyone reading this feel bad because of a mistake they have made or merely to warn single individuals about the pitfalls of being unequally yoked. We need to be aware that our fellow brothers and sisters who are unequally yoked either to a "baby" believer or to a non-christian need our prayers desparately.
If you find yourself "spiritually single", here are some tips that might prove helpful for you:
1) Pray before you speak. Remember that you are not your spouse's Holy Spirit, God is.
2) Focus on your own walk with God. The only sure-fire way to change someone else is to change yourself first. I guarantee your spouse will respond more favorably to you if you are acting more like Christ.
3) Remember that you are not alone. If you can find a prayer partner in a similar situation, do it. They are out there. (However, be sure to not dishonor your spouse in your prayer meeting)
4) Read or talk to a person who has "survived" a similar situation and pick their brain. I highly recommend the book Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage, by Lee and Leslie Strobel. It gives lots of helpful insights into what the non-christian spouse is thinking.