Although some are taught that certain sins carry more weight, the Bible is clear that a sin is a sin is a sin. It even goes so far as to say that to lust after another man’s wife is the same as adultery itself. So the way I see it, God is leveling the playing field here. He removes any opportunity to point the finger at the “really bad guy.”
What about murder? Shouldn’t that be in a category all its own? Nope. Again, the Bible tells the story of personal redemption. All people may redeem themselves through a relationship with our Lord and Savior. The story of David shows that murder AND adultery were redeemable even before Christ walked the earth and the Holy Spirit dwelled within us.
Yet there is one commandment to watch out for: Do not be unequally yoked. Plain as day, yet it is easy to miss. It is certainly not in the big ten and I don’t think it is even repeated. More confusing are the apparent contradictions in the Bible. We are told to care for the sick and poor, minister to others, witness unceasingly, love they neighbor as thy self. One could get confused.
Many of us missed this critical commandment all together. And most likely we did so not with ill intended hearts; actually quite the opposite. Personally, I was filled with joy and appreciation for the grace and mercy God has poured out, so the natural tendency was to want to pour it out onto others. And those who DO NOT know Him are more in need and seemed to be better targets for such love. Thus we might fill out cups with the everlasting water of God’s love and pour, pour, pour. What I have learned is that while pouring may be fine, attaching or yoking is not!
My checkered past reminds me that no one has sinned more than me. Yet my blessed present days filled with the joys of three wonderful children remind me that no one has been blessed more than me. So, my life philosophy is simple. God loves me. I deserve his love less than anyone alive but have been given it more so. In sum: "Since God loves me, I love you."
It is a great plan which God supports. Loving others is encouraged. BUT don’t miss 2 Corinthians 6:14. Attaching ourselves (i.e. marrying, founding a business) nonbelievers is the no-no. Had I been deep into Scripture earlier in life, I wouldn’t have missed it I suppose. But life is a journey and Christianity is a walk. I prayed, attended church regularly, journalled, served, and like many brides nearly memorized 1 Corinthians 13’s advice on love. Yet, somehow I missed this critical passage in the very next book.
Why is being unequally yoked the one and only nonredeemable sin? This is the one YOU can’t pray yourself out of. Even GOD can’t alone do His miracle. God loves us. His one desire is to know us. To know us we must be in relationship with Him. A personal relationship requires a personal commitment. There it is. God is a gentleman. He waits patiently at the door of our hearts but refuses to break it down. Could He? Well, Scripture and my life experiences have taught me there is NOTHING God can’t do. But there is one thing God won’t do. He won’t make someone love Him. If He did, where would faith be? He allows us to live in a world of chaos which causes Him and us great pain. Nevertheless this world of chaos allows for personal will. Truly it is His greatest gift to us. He gives us the ability to choose to love Him. Thank you God for this remarkable gift!
So now what do we do? Perhaps some have used this passage as an excuse for divorce. Try typing divorce into your online concordance. You don’t have to do too much scrolling before seeing divorce is not something God supports. You’re in it, be safe, stick with it...
Jesus does offer us his yoke. Let’s try it on. He even promises that when we take up His yoke our load will be light. I have found this to be true. I am "unequally" yoked to my verbally abusive bipolar husband. Though we have suffered four separations necessary for the safety of my family we are growing. The growth really started when I fully yoked myself to Christ. I explained to my husband that I was married to Jesus and that my husband is welcome to join us; that will have to be his choice, not mine. I have found that being bipolar is no reason for separation from God or anyone. My experience demonstrates that denying mental illness and blaming the condition on others creates separation. God created us the way we are. Part of putting on His yoke is to accept who we are, learn to make the most of it, and accept the love that surrounds us. Today, I remain prayerful that one day my husband will accept that opportunity. So, even God won't force my spouse to love me or God. Yet, through Christ, I can have enough love for both of us, Thank you, Jesus!
Note: It is worth restating that having a mental illness can be NO problem, denying it can be devastating.
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