Let's talk about something. K? Cool.
It's the thing that legitimately propelled me both out of my faith and back into it, both at the same moment and also a year after I committed it, and even now as I reflect on it. WHOA.
It's that SUPER odd Christian thing about the unequal eggs. You know what I mean right? Unequally yoked.
Don't date a non-Christian.
End of story.
Nobody (at least when I was younger, when I was struggling with it, or even very often now) taking time to unpack the Gospel wisdom of why not, and the heart of what we're called to.
. . .
oh. No. That's not the end of the post. This isn't a rant about how I think the idea is wrong.
I think the idea is right. But only because I spent time not believing it and fighting it.
It's that I spent the first 19 years of my life knowing that it was wrong but never knowing any reason.
So. I'm going to try to unpack the Gospel wisdom of this idea.
. . .
So is that like one yoke is bigger? Or like different coloured? Or . . . ?
I watched a sermon once and in it, the pastor shed light on this topic. And it BLEW my mind.
Because for one, I already knew what he meant. As in, I'd seen it in practice in my own life.
He said something along the lines of:
The reason we don't date people who believe differently is because neither will fully accept the other.
Read that idea again.
A relationship NOT built on full acceptance will never be correct.Even if the person really cares for you, and you really care for the, both of you will be wanting the other to change. You'll always be praying that they'll become a Christian (aka not accepting them) and they'll probably hope that one of these Sunday mornings you'll just stay home with them.
Because it can't be.
I met a guy while I was questioning my faith and not living for Jesus. He didn't love Jesus, and looking at how my life was lived in that season, neither did I.
We met in a club.
I headed home with him.
As we waited for the bus I said, while fully intoxicated, "but we can't have sex cause I'm a Christian".
And God has grace that for some reason kept me safe.
And sent me home with a guy who somehow honoured that request.
But of course we didn't last.
We tried. We made it work for a month or so where I would drive up to where he lived, or we'd meet in the city that was in the middle, and each time Jesus protected me.
((( the story is a lot longer and more complicated than all of that, but that's the gist I'm sharing today )))
I never understand grace because it is so much bigger than I can ever even hope for.
But, like I said, we didn't last. While he respected my belief system and thought it was great, he didn't accept the things I believed.
And though I really wasn't living for God, I still knew God's truths deep within my heart.
A year later was about the time that I actually gave my life back to Jesus.
In February, it'll have been 3 years since I gave my life back to Jesus and I now get what that pastor was saying.
This guy was a miracle in that he respected me, but I still made sexual decisions in that relationship, and in the ones that followed over that year while I floundered around not knowing what to believe, that impact me even to today.
I had a guy not date me because I had a past. His attitude towards my sins, my fully forgiven by a Jesus who never offers condemnation to those who call upon His name, taught me that my sins put me in a category called "dirty" and for a very long time I thought I would probably only be able to date/marry someone who had as dirty of sexual sins as I, or who had "worse" ones.
And reading these words that only recently I've been freed from, I shudder because so many people feel this way too.
Both those who have given away and/or lost parts of their purity and feel dirty.
And then those who don't have sexual sins in this past and have therefore decided that their lack of sexual sin makes them better.
I really believe that that is another form of unequally yoked. The person who is only willing to be given a "pure" person.
Or who has been taught that their sin makes them only available to same/worse sinners.
Haven't we figured out that we all suck?
Does every newscast filled with more horror, and every sorrow that plagues our world not show us?
And while my sexual sins are long past, my sins of complacency, jealousy, and fear all compromise my purity.
I'M the worst sinner.
I'm the one who deserves Hell.
But grace redeems.
The grace of Jesus alone.
Jesus lived a perfect life. NO sin. Not at all.
And He was hated. And killed. In the most brutal way.
And then He rose from the dead.
And because of that, even me, even you, we're redeemed when we call upon the name of Jesus.
Who are we to be yoked with?
Someone who has been transformed by the Gospel is the one to look for.
And not only to look for, but is the one to be.
And honestly, and I'm speaking to my single (and those dating/engaged) female friends - it's not worth it to date the ones who don't love Jesus.
It's easier to date non-Christians because sometimes we get tired of waiting for these silly Christian boys to get their act together (and to stop playing video games) and to ask us out (and actually pay for a date) - but we have got to trust that God's desire for our life is better than our wish for some dude.
Because only Jesus satisfies.
So someone finding satisfaction in anything other than Jesus is just plain 'ol not right for our sweet and sinful hearts.
Wait for the one who loves you and recognizes a redeemed soul when he sees one.
And who also, whether his sin "level" matches (ugh, even writing that out makes me want to shower because it's so dirty of a thinking process) yours or not, considers himself the worst of all sinners.
We all need Jesus.
We are all broken.
Never forget that.
Live in that joyful truth.