Do not ‘Mingle’….
Dan. 2:43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.
GK H10569 | S H6151 עֲרַב ʿaraḇ
v. . [Pap] to be mixed; [Htpa] (ptcp.) mixture.
2Cor. 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
In this paper, we will address a few points;
1) What is meant by the term, ‘biblical yoking’?
2) Are Christians that disregard the exhortation to ‘not be unequally yoked’, sinning?
3) Problems in the local church in relation to no eligible candidates for marriage
4) Problems arising out of the issue of no marriage candidates
5) Dating services, i.e. Match.com, single groups, etc
Scenario: You are a young adult; you were baptized as an infant, raised in the church. Your parents were faithful in that they led you in the ways of the Lord. You have prayed for your mate from a young age, knowing that God was preparing your mate for you, knitting him or her, especially for you! Marriage is a gift; it is intrinsic in man’s nature to desire it. You have sought the kingdom firstly and now want to start a family. Your friends are all getting married, yet you see no prospects for you at this point. You are a bit frustrated-even jealous.
One of the comments I most often hear when we speak of singleness and the Christian is that there are very few eligible bachelors or bachelorettes in the local church. Some of the pitfalls in this are that it forces these people to seek a mate outside the realm of their respective congregations. There is a security in meeting and serving alongside our mates in the church we reside. It is optimal! My wife and I met while we served. We watched each others walks. We watched each other interact with other believers. We saw each others reactions to joyful situations as well as grievous ones. It gave us the opportunity to understand the inner workings of our personalities. The local church has oversight. God’s people, the sheep, are watched over and for good reason. Sure we are not in this realm 24/7 physically. However, a person of God, acknowledges Christ’s bride even when not physically there. We acknowledge that if we have a shortcoming outside of that local church setting, say, in our secular employment, our supervisors in those secular jobs would do well in contacting our church leaders to quell whatever shortcoming we are being chastened for in those settings. We answer to higher authorities and rightly tremble at God’s oversight. The secular realm doesn’t get this and would benefit from our submission to our leaders.
You might be wondering, where I am going with this is that in regards to finding a mate? Most people step out of that local, God ordained oversight and protection; Even if Presbyterian, these people start to think and act as independents. A good example is resorting to things like dating services, single bars, different churches, single groups, etc. There is a great danger in these approaches based on a few things.
When one is forced to pursue marriage outside of their church’s oversight, disaster could prevail; all of us, at one time or another, have heard the horror stories in regard to people who have, suddenly, decided to wed, out of the blue. We were all like, ‘He/She is marrying who??? I didn’t even know she was dating! Who is it?? Have I met the person? Do they go to our church? I don’t get it!! How did this happen?’ In these cases, the person has been busy as a bee, working behind the scenes, putting together a plan. Now, on the front end, I want it understood that I am not saying that God cannot use these situations, ever; The Lord is not tied to any box. He is God and uses ‘all things’ to fulfill His decrees. I am speaking along the lines of generalities. In most cases I am describing, the end result is not good.
On most of these occasions, the person has taken the issue into their own hands, has decided that they will take whatever avenue they can find to find a mate, even going the route of compromise. I give reservation for being proactive. I have not yet figured out how to define this idea, however. Singleness is not a blessing; unless, of course you have been gifted w/ the gift of celibacy and how many people do we know with this gift? Most all times, when a person has told me they had that gift, I asked if they still have desire to be one day, married. Most answer yes. In my estimation, if you had this gift, you would have no desire for marriage; as well, one must consider becoming sexually excited-ever. If you ever get sexually aroused, chances are you do not have this gift-this is exactly why Paul compares it to a eunuch. Sexual arousal is kinship to ‘burning with passion.
Having said all of the above, it brings us to my concern; are these people actually ‘yoked’ equally? Sure, there are optimal yoking and sub-optimal in the Christian realm. For instance, the scripture call believers to unite only with believers. To be united with an unbeliever would be sinful, unless of course you became a believer after you were wed-in that case, the scriptures call you to remain in this state. re, i.e. yoked with an unbeliever. It is important to understand that if my wife had a deep desire from the Lord to be in the mission field, to deny that God given burden was to compromise and sin. She would not have been equally yoked with me.
Many times these people are highly unyoked, and sometimes, yoked even with an unbeliever. Yea, I have heard it said by the stronger believer, “He is a believer!”. When I ask additional questions, it is obvious that the person is either a new believer or a questionable one; Sometimes, the stronger believer has placed the person into the proverbial corner during the courtship and forced them into submitting, else lose the relationship. There are a few hot problems occurring here; If it is the male who is the weaker of the two, he is submitting to the woman. The woman is compromising in lieu of actually finding a male who can lead and teach her.