Disclaimer: The following is not an indictment against believers and non-believers getting married. It is a cautionary tale about how easily the evil one can cloud our connection to the One True God and distract us with other gods.
A social-media friend of mine, and pretty audacious Christian, recently got married. Prior to the nuptials, we had shared some special private messages getting to know each other and it seemed as though she’d come to see me as a mentor of sorts (as much as one can mentor being separated by miles and having never actually met). Not to get too far off track in this post, let me just reiterate that it’s imperative that maturing Christians hook up with new and younger Christians – it’s a bless-bless situation. Their fire and zeal for the Lord is amazing and invigorating and we help support and guide, having been entrusted by God to do so.
I touched base with my young friend right after she announced she was in a relationship on Facebook. I’d messaged her to wish her well and in the course of conversation, inquired of her boyfriend’s beliefs. She, quite gleefully, informed me that he was not a believer but that she was sure God had put him in her life so that she could bring him to Jesus. I cautioned her to be careful and to take it slowly and then prayed that God would keep her safe and direct her path.
Her engagement came as a shock to everyone … within weeks of the onset of their dating, they were engaged. I reached out again as the rush just wasn’t sitting well with my soul. “Be careful,” I told her although I feared she wasn’t listening, “ask God for an extra helping of discernment.”
“I will.” She said joyfully. I could hear and feel all the excitement that comes with a betrothal. After years of pain and hurt over bad, broken, and abusive relationships, she was jumping in and not looking back. Anything I said would have fallen on deaf ears so I did the only thing I could do, I prayed. I prayed that God would watch over her and minister to her throughout their engagement and open the heart of her fiancé to accept Him.
God didn’t have long to do that. Within a matter of months she announced that she was married.
Paul’s words rang in my ears …
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
I continue to pray for my friend, but I still worry. She has always been impetuous (which is one of the traits that drew me to her) and her posts used to offer up praise and worship for Jesus on a daily basis. Her passion for Christ couldn’t help but bring a smile to your face.
Truly, if her posts and tweets were cups of water, we’d all be drenched in His glory.
But she never mentions Christ these days. Her posts are still quick and bright and bubbly, but now she blasts out, “I love Target!” and a week later, “I love grape jelly!” I’m concerned that her love for Jesus is being replaced in her heart with a love of the world and it makes me sad. Gone is the girl with a heart brimming full of love for Jesus.
Let me take a moment and assure you that I am not condemning the union. Also, I’m in no way saying that I think believers should never marry nonbelievers. I know of several successful marriages where one spouse believed in the Messiah and the other didn’t … at least at first. Gratefully, it seems that sooner or later, the unbelieving spouse awakened to God’s voice and joined our family and I can only pray that the same thing happens here.
What I am calling attention to is how easy it is for us to fall away from God. Even Jesus reminded us that believers would fall away:
The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. ~ Luke 8:13 (NLT)
Perhaps my friend’s roots weren’t as deep as I believed them to be. But are we, the single Christian, perhaps desperate for a mate, to forego pursuing relationships with non-believing men? The world would say, “No way!” “Love the one you’re with.” “Do what feels good to you.” But, maybe we are. Maybe we’re supposed to have faith in God that He will bring us the right man and not just any man who flips our skirt. After all, didn’t He ask His chosen people not to mingle with others? Aren’t I, after having been grafted in, now chosen by Him? I have to put the hard question to myself … in the end, who’s relationship do I value more? God’s or a man’s?
I don’t know the future for this young girl and her husband but I continue to pray that (1) she doesn’t completely fall away from her faith and (2) that her husband comes to know our Lord Jesus Christ and accepts Him – for the sake of his own life and that of his marriage.
Situations like these are weighing heavy on my heart right now because I’m writing a memoir and being reminded through the writing just how long I dragged my feet in coming to Christ and even when I did, how many times I fell away from God.
But what is awe-inspiring – completely amazing – totally astounding is that God never stops waiting for us to return to Him. He is so patient and merciful. We can hardly deserve it. We really do need to trust Him above all.
In His love,
Photo credit: www.christianpost.com