Unlike most pastor’s kids, I spent very little time in church school. In fact, I barely made it through two years at Andrews University before leaving…that’s another story for another day. Anyway, when a church member found out I would no longer be attending that or any Adventist college, the first thing she said was, “Oh no! Now you’ll never find a husband!”
Nineteen year old me was surprised and confused but gave her a shy smile and shrug.
Twenty-six year old me has a few choice words for her.
These days when a church (or family) member asks when I’m getting married, I simply reply, “Oh, you brought someone for me?”
That usually ends the conversation right there.
I’m single, in my mid twenties, and done with school- praise God- and for some reason, most people think I’m itching to get married.
Within six months of graduating with my master’s degree, I had a deaconess praying- while washing my feet during communion- that I would find a man.
No I did not make that up. And yes I did burst out laughing in the middle of her prayer.
Never mind my academic, career, and personal accomplishments, apparently- even in 2018- none of that matters until I find a husband.
As a teenager, any discussions in church about dating usually came down to this one text:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
-2 Corinthians 6:14 (KJV)
I was told in no uncertain terms that as a Seventh-day Adventist, I was to find a nice Adventist young man to date and marry. A relationship with anyone else would be one that was unequally yoked.
I guess the unequally yoked marriages I saw every week in church didn’t count since both parties were Adventist. According to the saints, the key to a healthy marriage was simply finding and marrying another Adventist.
I’m sorry but if you think that is solid exegesis, you might as well tell me the verse is from Two Corinthians.
For one thing, the declaration that anyone who isn’t Adventist is an “unbeliever” is truly wild and quite frankly the height of arrogance.
Second, nobody in the bible was Adventist so clearly that’s not what Paul was saying.
I know Adventists aren’t the only ones who think this way. There are quite a few other denominations who have similar sentiments- this applies to y’all too.
If you take a closer look at the context of the verse, you’ll realize it has nothing to do with dating or marriage…
Now, don’t get me wrong. The principles in this verse can be applied to romantic relationships but Paul was not telling anyone that Catholics can only marry Catholics and Adventists can only marry Adventists.
There is a lot in that one verse and I could probably do multiple posts on it but here are just a few takeaways:
1. When two animals of different strengths and statures are yoked together, they literally go in circles or try to move in two different directions. If you tie yourself to someone with a different maturity level (emotional, spiritual, etc.), most likely, the two of you will be wandering in circles. Or you’ll be trying to go in opposite directions. Either way, you aren’t going anywhere.
2. Different animals require different yokes. An ox and a donkey should never been yoked together. There are times when it is even lethal. In other words, it’s not wise to get together with an
ass…I mean a donkey. You’re gonna be pulling most of the load and it will make your life tedious and exhausting.
3. It is unfair and almost inhumane to expect two animals with opposing characters to work well together. Teaming up with someone who will restrain and prevent you from fulfilling your purpose is unfair to you and them.
I came across this tweet the other day and it made me laugh out loud. It also confirmed to me that being equally yoked is about so much more than a shared religion.
Seriously though, if you don’t understand my VeggieTales references, this is an unequally yoked relationship and you’ve gotta go.
Shared ideals, understanding, and frames of reference are important in relationships. Purpose, goals, and maturity can make or break them.
Just because someone is Adventist doesn’t automatically mean our relationship is in the clear. And it definitely doesn’t mean we’re at the same level of spiritual maturity. In fact, I’ve found that most times the opposite is true…
The dating game is hard y’all but no matter how hard it gets, I refuse to drag anyone along with me through life. I’m also not interested in being the donkey that’s holding someone back.
I’ve learned that an equally yoked relationship doesn’t necessarily mean one with an Adventist- and that’s okay. After all, a “good” Adventist man probably wouldn’t like the fact that I enjoy an occasional side of bacon. The right Christian man however, wouldn’t care. He’d know that bacon is delicious.*
*From the Mixed-Up files turns 1 today! Thanks for your views, comments, likes, and shares! Welcome to year 2 of the mixed-up files of my journey!