May 21, 2008

Do We Belong Together?

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
2 Corinthians 6:14


Years ago, when talking to a Christian who had married a non-Christian, I asked, “Is it difficult to be a Christian when you are married to a non-Christian?” Her answer has stayed with me throughout my ministry. She said, “It’s almost impossible. We are on totally different tracks. When I want to go to church, he has other plans for us. When I try to do my devotions, he walks away.”

God was concerned about compatibility when he instituted marriage. God wants us to make sure we are suitable for each other. Compatibility has many facets, but the most important part is spiritual compatibility. According to our Bible reading for today, this is not negotiable. Says Paul, “Do not be yoked together with an unbeliever.” A radio pastor once said that for a Christian to marry a non-Christian is like getting on two trains going in opposite directions.

If you’re dating, ask yourself, “Do both of us have a living relationship with the Lord, and does it show in our lives?” Without a shared relationship in Christ, a deep level of oneness isn’t possible.

But what if you are married to a non-Christian? Pray for grace to show your unbelieving mate the care and grace of Jesus Christ. We don’t marry to evangelize our partner. Yet many have met Jesus through the Christlike love of their spouse.

Father in heaven, help those who are thinking about marriage to choose the person you have in mind for them, and help them to make sure they belong to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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