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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”—2 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)
My friend met the man of her dreams. She e-mailed us to let us know she was leaving town and getting married.
Happy for her, I smiled and continued reading. She described his killer smile, his sense of humor, his hard work at a thriving business, and his love for family. I was about three paragraphs into the e-mail when I read a sentence that made my heart sink.
“He doesn’t know Christ yet, but he is interested in spiritual things. I think that will come soon. He’s so close.”
I didn’t have a working phone number to reach her, so I prayed for God to give me the words to craft a gentle, grace-filled written response. I told her that I loved her and wanted her to be happy, but as her friend and sister in Christ, I wanted to ask her some questions that might prevent her from making a choice that would lead to a heartbreaking crash in her future.
The apostle Paul challenged the believers in Corinth to not yoke themselves to an unbeliever. In marriage, couples must partner together to carry the heavy weights of this broken world. It’s impossible to work together as one when your spouse is pulling in a completely different direction. Rather than plowing the ground and harvesting abundance as a team, you end up standing apart on a barren, empty field of broken dreams.
Marriage is more than a relationship. Marriage is a covenant of two hearts surrendered to Christ. In Song of Solomon 4, we see the intimacy of the lover and his bride. They are one in body, in heart, and in spirit. He calls her his sister and his spouse because their communion is completely pure.
Marriage is a picture of our relationship with Christ and settling for anything less will never lead to full intimacy.
If you are single, heed the advice of Solomon and “do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time” (Song of Solomon 2:7 HCSB). Missionary dating is never a wise choice. Our mission is to stay focused on Christ. He will open the door to marriage when the time is perfect and pleasing to Him.
DIG: Read Song of Solomon 4:12-16. Why do you think Solomon uses the imagery of a garden with living waters to describe the intimacy of the marital relationship? How does this metaphor tie into Christ when you read John 4 and John 15?
DISCOVER: Read Ephesians 5 and consider how an unbeliever would fulfill the qualities of a spouse described by Paul.
DISPLAY: Spend time this week praying for God to give wisdom and favor to your single brothers and sisters and to anyone who is married to an unbeliever.