Be ye not unequally yoked together…

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Benjamin, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Seems some marriages could have this problem:

    What if, one person of a married couple becomes engulfed in a growing relationship with the Lord to the point in which it causes a large separation between that person and the other who is not growing at all or near the same rate? If the division seems to be causing a disconnection between the two is their ever a time that it could be wrong for the one who is engulfed in such a relationship to continue to widen the gap and thereby is causing the two to increasingly yoke up differently?

    IOW’s, If you were to put two oxen together on a yoked cart and one was eating a lot and getting much stronger as to pull the cart off course. You wouldn’t want to cut back the food to the one that is growing, would you; and if you couldn’t get the other one to eat you got a dilemma in how to keep the cart path straight. So are you disobeying the command for them not to be unequally yoked and possibly having this hardship because of this disobedience?



     
  2. Aaron

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    Your question is, must one disobey one command to avoid disobeying another. The answer very simply is, no. How ludicrous!

    You've got to be careful here. The one who posed the question to you isn't demonstrating real spiritual growth to entertain the idea of quenching the Spirit so as to preserve the relationship with one's spouse. Make sure that the marriage is really the issue, and not just an excuse to make compromises and to be disobedient.

    And more importantly, make sure that one spouse is truly "engulfed in a growing relationship with the Lord," which is a wierd way to put it, and isn't simply "engulfed" in what passes for spirituality in many circles these days. (The wording makes one wonder.) If the growing spouse is the woman, she will be more respectful and submissive toward her husband; if it's the man, he will be more loving and tender toward his wife.

    How could that strain a marriage?

    But there are rare cases in which an unbeliever will depart from his spouse because he finds (true) Christian spirituality too distasteful. Understand that the cases are rare, and that it's the unbeliever that desires the marriage to dissolve. I have seen cases where professed believers have made life miserable for their spouses so that they would be willing to abandon the marriage, and the professed believers can falsely claim they were abandoned because of the Gospel and then remarry. Make sure this isn't what is happening.
     
    #2 Aaron, Oct 5, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2008
  3. EdSutton

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    Aaron has offered good advice here, IMO.

    But I would add, albeit slightly off topic, that I believe it to be a serious error to apply this admonition, though applicable, only to marriage, for the subject of marriage is not even in view in II Cor. 6, where this admonition is to be found.

    Ed
     
  4. Benjamin

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    That was a well thought out response Aaron, and I liked it, but I don’t think it is so rare to see widening gaps in this area where the cart gets off course. My question is also a statement that this issue is forewarned of and many come face to face with how to deal with it. I’m kicking around several thoughts here. For instance, I’ve known a devoted pastor whose wife takes little interest in growth and it is a hardship for him. Also, I’ve read of several pastors whose marriages have failed being in this dilemma and I find it hard to place all the responsibility on the “engulfed believers” (for lack of a better word) seeming they don’t have control over the other person’s will, which is a big cause of the problems. And yes, this hits close to home for me, but this isn’t what it’s all about as I know better than to stop eating cause I would starve to death and my hope is in my strengthening through God’s instruction and wisdom. Plus, I am a very patient man and will, and have pulled my cart using a side step to drag the other side and straighten it out as needed to stay on the path. My focus is not only present situations but on dealing with a difficult problem before it gets worse.

    For example: Let me put it another way, I’m presently thinking about a young couple where the woman is a strong believer but the young man (he came from a JW background and has rejected that belief but presently is more in line with an Oprah-ism form of Universalism than a follower of Christ I fear.) I’ve talked to him a few times and he is an intent listener, seems convicted by the truth, and has been digging into his Bible but his walk is slow. On top of this he is going to college to be a Psychologist and I fear this may have a negative effect on him. (I happen to be taking psychology myself right now and the secular dogma is about all I can stomach in getting through this required class lead by an Atheist pushing the intellectualisms of Darwinism; don’t even get me started here) I like the young man but I see this couple’s future as heading into turmoil if they are heading down a path in which they will likely become increasingly unequally yoked. I feel lead to either council the young lady alone, as she is more likely to see this as problematic, or maybe the two of them together, about being unequally yoked and am trying to decide how to go about this. I want to be patient with him and don’t want him to feel as if I put a knife in his back, but I don’t see this (growing relationship) as a good situation for them to be in at this time. (In light of 2Cor 6)

    If the young woman ends up marrying him will she not be struggling harder to stay on the path and slowing down her own walk? She remains in disobedience for being in this situation even though we know there is no solution by two wrongs making a right?

    Ed Sutton: But you do feel the instruction or wisdom does apply to marriages don’t you?
     
  5. Benjamin

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    My point would be that the woman being more respectful and submissive, or the man being more loving and tender doesn't meaning the marriage will not still be strained; the marriage is strained because they are unequally yoked and are the gap is getting bigger. Could this not be the case?
     
  6. Don

    Don
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    But it would be denying that scripture says the husband and wife should remain "yoked":

    1 Cor 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
     
  7. EdSutton

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    Uh- yeah! I just said exactly that in post #3, above. :BangHead:

    Ed
     
  8. Benjamin

    Benjamin
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    Just asking for clarification about... "though applicable" but then that "the subject of marriage is not even in view". I see now you were just pointing out it was about Christians with Jews, heathens, unbelievers, not specifically marriage, I guess.
     
  9. Jim1999

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    Life would be a lot simpler if people actually married within the scriptural confines, but the reality is that they don't. This is what we have to deal with as ministers.

    Try counselling some of the situations of to-day and over the last 50 years. Even Christians are seeking divorcement. It is easy to make hard decisions paved in concrete, but this would not address reality.

    In my counselling, I always reminded the couple that they have one commitment they pledged before God that their union would be "until death us do part...." We have an obligation to work differences out and sometimes this begs sacrifices.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. EdSutton

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    Correct. "Unequally yoked" could be in any setting. It is not good Scriptural exegesis, for example, to suggest that one should not to be "unequally yoked" in marriage, but at the same time, that it would be OK to be "unequally yoked" in a business arrangement, at least IMO. Both would be being "unequally yoked" as I understand Scripture.

    Ed
     
  11. webdog

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    If being unequally yoked is pertaining to going down the same path spiritually as a unbeliever...how does that play into the role of business? I hear this verse used to support not being "yoked" to an unbeliever in business, but unless you work for a Christian employer who only hires Christian employees, 99.995% of all believers would be considered "yoked" unequally, not to mention believers who buy items from an unbeliever, those who play sports on the same teams as unbelievers, etc.. That would bump the numbers up to 100%. The purpose of business / trade is to earn money, make a living. It really has no bearing on spiritual issues, but physical.
     
  12. Marcia

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    Looking at the OP, the question/issue does not seem to be about an unbelieving spouse and a believing spouse, but about one growing in the Lord and one not. This is not unequally yoked, based on the passage in 1 Cor 6, which states, "do not become unequally yoked with unbelievers."

    I think unequally yoked would only apply to one spouse being unbelieving and the other being a believer, which is not the case here. Even then, the believer is to remain in the marriage - only if the unbeliever leaves or desires a divorce, can the believer have grounds to end the marriage.
     
  13. Aaron

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    More accurately, if the unbeliever departs, the believer is not bound to him. In other words, the desertion of the unbelieving spouse for the sake of the Gospel ends the marriage.

    It's important to understand the believer neither ends nor has grounds to end the marriage.
     

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