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):
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): 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): Stop Believing God Told You to Marry Your Spouse by G. Thomas