To the Christians (especially married ones) Who Like to Instruct Single Christian Adults They Should Only Marry Other Christians, Listen Up (Re: Equally Yoked Rule)
It seems like at least once a year, some editorial, pod cast, article, tweet, or blog post appears some where, usually by a married Christian man (can be by a woman, but it’s usually by a man, one who graduated from college prior to the advent of the CD-ROM and Atari 2600), who shames, pressures, (or claims that the Bible teaches that) single Christian adults should only date or marry other Christians.
Much of what I say in this post will be repetitive for anyone who has actually, regularly visited this blog of mine in years past, and for that I apologize, but some themes bear repeating.
There is one new angle to this I will add – kind of.
Here’s the new twist, which I’ve not thought to come right out and say before:
If you are a Christian, especially a married one who has been married for many years, who believes in the “equally yoked rule” (or sometimes, it’s stated as “do not be unequally yoked”) when opining about dating and marriage, I want to know, what specifically are you doing to help single Christians, especially single Christian women, who desire marriage, to get married?
What concrete, practical steps are you taking to get singles married?
What have you done for single adults lately? Hmm?
An applicable music interlude: (Link, You Tube video): What Have You Done For Me Lately?, by Janet Jackson
Giving advice, or quoting Bible verses, at singles about marriage, relationships, Jesus, or contentment, does not count.
Nor does tossing out Christianese platitudes to singles help or count, such as, “Remember, the LORD will be your husband,” “Trust in the Lord and his timing, and He will send you a spouse,” or, “find contentment in your singleness, and that is when the Lord will send you a spouse.”
Telling Christian singles to “just get out there more,” “volunteer at church more,” or “try dating sites” doesn’t count, either.
If you’re a “be equally yoked believer,” what are you doing to help marriage-desiring singles to get married?
How many singles social functions, parties, get-togethers, or luncheons, have you put on at your church, or elsewhere, for singles over the age of 30 to meet and mingle?
With the single adult’s input and permission, how often have you introduced her to single adult Christian men of her age to meet (for the intent of dating and/or marriage)?
How often have you done things such as invited a single Christian woman to your home for dinner and invited a single Christian man of her age to sit across from her at the table?
I personally rejected the interpretation of the Bible years ago that says a Christian may only date or marry another Christian.
But if you are a believer that Christians should only marry other Christians, you have no idea how difficult it is for a single Christian woman to meet eligible, single Christian men the older she gets.
There are many gross, weird, violent, psychotic, or abusive men who identify as “Christian” on dating sites (even the much-loved “eHarmony” – married Christians seem to love eHarmony, for some reason), so telling your single adult woman Christian friend to “just try a dating site” is not helpful.
There’s not too many things in life MORE ANNOYING than a Christian who’s been married over five years, especially the old married couples in their 50s and older who run about on blogs, social media, and pod casts, shaming, scolding, and pressuring single adults to “only marry another believer in the LORD!”
I am not a believer in “early marriage,” as so many evangelicals push, as ‘early marriage’ comes with its own set of problems, but, it is harder for an adult single over the age of 30 to meet compatible single partners.
A lot of older single adults have jobs, they may have elderly family they are caring for, and whatever other responsibilities to attend to, and they are not defacto surrounded by single adults in their own age group, as they once were in college.
And, again, I must point out that considering a lot of self professing Christian men commit adultery, Clergy Sex Abuse, or are into wife abuse or pedophilia (more examples (Link): here), there’s no benefit for a Christian single woman in marrying a Christian man.
A kind-hearted, loving, honest atheist man would make a better marital partner than a Christian man who consumes porn, molests children, or abuses his wife.
See also (this blog):
(Link): Abusers Hide In Churches – Equally Yoked Does Not Help Single Christian Women Who’d Like to Marry
As every single Christian woman knows, there not many single Christian men out there. Walk into any church, and there is (Link): an absence of marrying-age Christian men.
All the members of the male sex in your average church are either under the age of 25 (too young), or widowed and over 65 (too old for most women).
The men who do attend church, who are in the middle age ranges, are already married.
There are (Link): no single Christian men of marrying age for marriage-desiring single Christian women to marry, especially not in churches…
So where exactly do you ‘Be Equally Yoked’ promoters expect a Christian single woman to meet a decent Christian man for the purpose of dating and marriage?
I guess Christian single women could try bars and nightclubs, but I don’t know how many Christian men go to such places.
I’ve already pointed out that dating sites don’t always work for all Christian singles.
(I tried dating sites myself years ago, and often, even back when I was into the “equally yoked” rule and trying to date Christian men, the self identifying Christian single men on such sites – including eHarmony – are smarmy, crass, dirt-bags who’d I’d rather NOT contact.)
It’s simply not enough to shame and tut-tut Christian singles who desire marriage from dating or marrying Non-Christians (you shouldn’t be shaming or badgering them about this in the first place, you obnoxious married person who has no idea what it’s like to still be single into your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond).
If you insist church is only for (Link): “spiritual” matters and for “worshipping Jesus,” (a view with which I disagree, by the way; the purpose of church is for more than those stated reasons, it includes taking steps to help singles get married, like putting on social events for single adults, etc), and yet you also scream and complain about Christian singles who are okay with dating Non-Christians, you are part of the problem.
The Bible, in James 2, states:
If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
—- end quote—
Let me re-state that sentiment for those of you who are pushing “don’t be unequally yoked” down the throats of single, Christian adults:
If one of you says to her, “Go, I wish you well, single Christian woman who’d like to marry; but date only Christian men if you’d like to marry, never date Non-Christian men,” but does nothing about her relationship needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
—- end (modified) quote —
How about this one, “Don’t Be Unequally Yoked” advocates?
From Matthew 23, Jesus speaking:
But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. … You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.
—- end quote—
Now, you may want to argue, “But I’m a Christian who married another Christian, so that doesn’t apply to me,” my response is perhaps the entire point doesn’t apply, but this part sure does:
“They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them”
You “be equally yoked” pushers shut the door of possibility of marriage in the faces of single adults with your “be equally yoked” teaching.
Further, to add insult to injury, you won’t lift a finger to make marriage more of a possibility for your single friends who’d like to get married, but they’re striking out on their own at nightclubs, bars, dating sites, and there are no singles in their age range at their local church.
Do not under any circumstances,
and this goes one hundred fold if you are an old married codger,
sit there and coach single Christians who’d like to marry to only date other Christians,
if you have never and don’t intend to ever,
actually get up off your pious, platitude, verse-quoting ass, and actually take steps to help your Christian single friends and acquaintances actually get married – by doing things like, but not limited to, introducing them to other marriage-desiring singles their age (with their prior approval).
If you’re not prepared to actually help Christian single adults to get married, you’re in no place to shame them for their dating choices.
Reminds me of the Christian relatives who abandoned me and weren’t there for me after my mother died years ago: they had the audacity to, years after the fact, criticize HOW I handled the grieving process.
If you did not actually help me in my time of need with X, Y, or Z, whether it was getting married, or how I handled the death of a family member, or whatever it was, you have not earned the right to sit there later and judge who, when, or if I marry, or how I handled X, Y, Z in my life.
You did not, and are not, walking with me through whatever “valley” of hardship or heart-break I am in, so you’ve not earned the right to criticize, judge, or offer advice, in HOW I dealt with said valley, and no amount of Bible verse quoting at me can defend or excuse that behavior.
You love to theologize and spout opinions but not actually do any work to help the people you’re lecturing. That’s a bad habit you need to drop.
Single adults don’t need Christian pontificators ranging from John Piper to Pat Robertson to Matt Chandler to Greg Laurie to whomever else insisting that adult singles should marry only other Christians, if these folks haven’t actually engaged in steps to help said adults to get married.
Keep your theological opinions and sermonizing to yourself. Stop promoting the “be equally yoked” rule, at least stop doing so publicly.
I personally used to believe in the “be equally yoked” rule for many years (but no more), and I lived the Christian life the way mainstream Baptists and evangelicals say it “should” be lived, and I never did get married.
I posit that the “be equally yoked” interpretation actually played a role in my prolonged, unwanted singleness.
If you’re into “Be Equally Yoked,” in regards to Christian singles getting married,
and especially if you are a MAN who has been MARRIED longer than FIVE YEARS,
and you have not, and do not, make any actual moves to help single Christians get married, keep your “Be Equally Yoked” garbage and mantra to yourself. Kindly stop tweeting or blogging about it.
What Have You Done For Single Adults Lately? Nothing but offer shaming, lecturing, guilt tripping, or advice giving, or Bible verse quoting? Then please sit down and shut your pie hole, thanks.
(Link): Maryland Pastor Pushes Equally Yoked Doctrine – Which Only Promotes Unwanted Protracted Singleness
(Link): Supporting Singles and How Churches Can Help Singles Get Married – Lessons from Match-Making by B. Lea
(Link): Celebrating Milestones in the Lives of Single Adults – by Anna Broadway
(Link): Lifeway Research: Pastors Encourage Single Adults, Some Provide Targeted Ministries (How Churches Are Ministering to Adult Singles in 2022)
(Link): Thoughts Regarding ‘Crisis in the Christian Church: A Lack of Young, Single Men’ Essay by S. Green
(Link): The Problem with Platitudes – for Christian single over 35 years old never married
(Link): The Creepy, Sad, and Weird Love Life of Actor Tom Cruise – (Cruise’s Dating Life is Applicable to the Christian “Be Equally Yoked” Rule Re: Marriage / Dating)
(Link): Christians Who Marry Non-Believers Must Be Ex-Communicated, Says John Piper
(Link): Are There Any Protestant or Baptist Singles – Friendly Churches or Denominations ? / Singles Single Adult Childfree Childless Age 30 40 50 Christian
(Link): Typical Conservative Assumption: If you want marriage bad enough (or at all), Mr. Right will magically appear
(Link): Dear Abby: Friends Push Overweight Woman To Date But Offer No Help
(Link): Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo
(Link): Lies The Church Tells Single Women (by Sue Bohlin)
(Link): Forget About Being Equally Yoked: “My Abusive Christian Marriage”
(Link): There is No Such Thing as a Gift of Singleness or Gift of Celibacy or A Calling To Either One
(Link): Update on Christian Rapist Man Who Used Christian Mingle Site To Pick His Victims (he liked to discuss Jesus and the Bible with them before raping them – other details in update) Equally Yoked Teaching IS A FARCE
(Link): Conservatives Have Now Abandoned All Pretense of Advocating For Sexual Abstinence and They Actually Lament the Lack of Fornication – The Bradford Wilcox Piece, 2019
(Link): Christians: Please Stop Telling Singles that Their Singleness is “For God’s Glory” / Owen Strachan’s “Being Single To Bring God Glory” Essay
(Link): What Christians Really Think About the Church’s Relationship Advice by Anna Broadway
(Link): The One Thing Evangelical Leaders Don’t Want Christians to Know about Mixed-Faith Marriages (two links). by C. Cassidy
(Link): I’m a Christian Married to an Atheist — Here’s How We Make It Work by S. Allen
(Link): Consider The Source: Christians Who Give Singles Dating Advice Also Regularly Coach Wives to Stay in Abusive Marriages
(Link): Depressing Testimony: “I Was A Stripper but Jesus Sent Me A Great Christian Husband”
(Link): More Christian Dating Advice (for teens) That Will Keep Singles Single (book: Dateable by Justin Lookadoo)
(Link): ‘She Was A Sex Slave’: Wife of Preacher Reveals Horrific Torture At Hands Of Her Husband by L. Little
(Link): Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work
(Link): Horrible Sexist Blog Post from John Piper’s Desiring God Site: ‘Husbands Get Her Ready for Jesus’
(Link): Tim Challies Needs to Shut His Pie Hole about Many Things, but Especially About Dating, Marriage, Singleness, and Now, Equally Yoked
(Link): Stop Believing God Told You to Marry Your Spouse by G. Thomas
(Link): Never-Married Adult Man Named Stephen Asks Christian Host Why God Has Not Answered His 3-Decades Long Prayers To Send Him A Wife
(Link): How the Dating Scene Became Stacked Against Women
(Link): Getting Married Is Not an Accomplishment by N. Brooke
(Link): Single Adult Christian Pressured Into Marriage by Her Church – And Regrets It
(Link): ‘She Was A Sex Slave’: Wife of Preacher Reveals Horrific Torture At Hands Of Her Husband by L. Little
(Link): The Nauseating Push by Evangelicals for Early Marriage
(Link): A Case Against Early Marriage by Ashley Moore (editorial)
(Link): Old Married Christian White Guy Who Teaches Married Women to Put Up With Abuse Has Audacity to Teach Marriage-Desiring Adults How to Handle Their Single Status
2 thoughts on “To the Christians (especially married ones) Who Like to Instruct Single Christian Adults They Should Only Marry Other Christians, Listen Up. (Re: Equally Yoked Rule)”
Thank you for writing about these topics. I am a 46 years old, never married Christian woman, who, – to complicate the matters even more – is slightly physically disabled. I just walk a bit funny. University educated, serving in church since I was baptised at 16 in spite of growing up in a non-believing family. I got all the “true love waits” in my teenage years and it looked so sweet. I will wait and get my husband. In my twenties I was waiting and praying and because of my disability rarely considered as a potential partner. I did not realise that there were fewer men in the church then. In my thirties I was still waiting and looking for a partner, being rejected by Christian men who said things like “God certainly has something better for me than a disabled wife.” to me or “I only want to serve you, not to marry you.” I rejected a few non-believing partners, because I had sincerely believed in the “equally yoked” rule. These days, in the COVID times, I am only in touch with church when I actively seek the contact… everybody is concerned about their families only (understandable), so if I died now and was not able to let anyone know, the church just would not know. I live a quite a lonely life with my elderly and non-believing parents, trying to take care of other people. Yet I still sometimes get “you should not have a non-believing parter, because life is difficult, if you have one and are a Christian. You will not be able to share your faith with your most important person. However, I have no idea what to share Christianity with my most important people, aka family members means. I have never had that in my life. So, what would be the difference for me with a non-believing partner?
I wish someone in the church had told me I could have a relationship and kids already when I was at the university and also that I have to be really active and bold in letting romantic relationships into my life… and that I do not have to settle in for the first man that comes along, but also that the shared faith is not a must and can be figured out with respect, care and dignity, because what counts is a good heart and the willingness to work on the relationship… and therefore I am leaving this note also here. Been there, done that. Do not make the same mistake as me.
I am so sorry for what you’ve been through.
I’m in the same position, except I do not have a physical disability.
It sounds as though you also have endured a lot of insensitive comments and attitudes from Christians.
I’m in my 50s now – when I began this blog, I think I was either in my late 30s or perhaps early 40s at the time – time seems to be moving faster the older I get…
I don’t agree with the “be equally yoked” rules in regards to marriage.
I think it’s better for a marriage desiring Christian single woman to marry a compatible, kind person, regardless of his religious belief, than to have decades (literally decades!) squandered away while waiting or hoping for a Christian partner to appear – one that may never, ever come.
And it’s infuriating to see how out of one side of their mouths, the Christians who shame and scold Christian single women from dating or marrying non-Christian men are often the very same Christians who are
1) already married themselves and
2) refuse to do anything to help single women to actually get married
I think I largely made peace with my single status years ago, but what annoys me now are seeing all these double standards held and practiced by married Christians, ones that hurt or disparage single adults.
Here in the United States, there is a segment of Christians (usually evangelical or Baptist) who complain that marriage rates have fallen off… they shame singles for not being married….
And yet, these are the SAME Christians who do counter-productive things, like refuse to put on social events so older singles can meet, date, with the goal of marriage…
Some of them shame singles from actively seeking out a spouse (some of them will tell you do not date, do not use dating sites(*), etc) and just “hope” and “pray” that God will magically send you a spouse.
Anyway. I am so sorry you were mistreated by Christians, that your church overlooks you, and that you are being ignored.
I’m also sorry that you are still single when you had wanted to be married.
*Not that dating sites are a guarantee, either. I used to use dating sites, and there were a lot of creeps and weirdos on the dating sites.