A few weeks ago I was accused of living in sin because I, a born again Christian woman, am married to a man who practices astrology and therefore is practicing what is known in the Bible as idolatry.
The interesting thing about this accusation is that it came from a woman who 1) claims to be a born again Christian and 2) has a ministry through which she leads, teaches and coaches other people in the name of Jesus Christ.
Because of these two facts you’d think that she would know, then, what the Bible - the Word of God - says about this particular situation - when one spouse is a Christian and the other spouse is not.
I would expect this question from a non-Christian or a newly saved Christian but not from a self-professing Christian woman who is leading a ministry.
But, alas it came in the form of an accusation from a self-professing Christian woman who runs a teaching ministry who should know better. Go figure...
Now I want to be clear, I have no problem whatsoever, having a potential area of sin in my life pointed out to me by a fellow Christian. In fact, I welcome it. Done the the correct way - Biblically - it presents a tremendous opportunity for me to examine my life in that area, to reflect on the potential sin issue, to search the word of God for what He has to say about it and to seek Godly counsel from a church elder regarding the potential sin issue, if that is necessary.
A Christian brother or a sister, coming to me in love and concern for my behavior is a beautiful thing.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Christians are expected to support, correct and sharpen one another. We are Biblically instructed to do so.
So, here, I am going to address what the word of God says about this issue of, what is known Biblically as being unequally yoked.
And I am doing this so that any woman listening to this or reading my blog who is either in this situation or expects to be in this situation because she is feeling called to Christ, but her spouse is not, can rest easy in God’s clear and thorough answer on this matter.
Let me lay out my own personal situation for you:
I was born again in Jesus Christ on March 18, 2019. I have been yoked with my husband, who is an astrologer, and therefore is an idolater, since Jan 30, 1993.
For 26 years we were equally yoked, both of us non-Christians and practicing in the New Age. Then I was born again in Jesus Christ this year. Which now means that we are no longer equally yoked.
The woman accusing me of being in sin was using this scripture passage from 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 to substantiate her accusation of sin:
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols?”
FYI, Belial is another name for Satan.
Context is very important when using scripture to correct another Christian. Context is ALWAYS important when using scripture, regardless of what you are trying to do with it.
This passage is found in the New Testament. The apostle Paul is talking to the church that he founded in Corinth. Paul has discovered some problems with this church and in this letter he is speaking to people who already are Christians, impressing upon them that, as Christians, they are not to choose to yoke unequally with unbelievers.
However, in my own case, when I yoked with my husband I was not a Christian.
Just after being born again in Christ, however, this unequal yoking was a serious concern for me as a new believer, as I suspect that it would be and is for other new believing wives married to non-believing husbands.
To find out how I was supposed to handle this situation I turned directly to God’s Word for his answer. God is awesome for so many reasons, not the least of which is he covers off and instructs us, in the Bible, on every possible eventuality in our lives. We just have to search the scripture for his answers.
I discovered God’s perfect model for marriage which is found in Gensis 2:24:
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
Then I discovered the instructions that have been provided in the Bible from God for those who are unequally yoked in 1 Corinthians 7:13-17:
“If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.”
Pretty straightforward don't you think? Even for the Bible.
Not only did I pour over God’s Word for his counsel and truth on this matter I also sought Biblical counsel from three different pastors to make sure that I fully understood the Word and knew what God was saying to me. All three of them pointed out that in the fullness of God’s word, God instructs me not to divorce my unbelieving husband.
They also pointed me to this scripture:
1 Peter 3:1-4: “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing that you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle heart and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
It can be clearly seen from these scriptures that in God’s eyes husband and wife are one flesh. In fact this is God's own design. And this is the case regardless of whether or not they are equally or unequally yoked.
If a Christian chooses to marry a non-believer then he or she will need to be prepared to stay through thick and thin, sickness and in health, for better or worse and forsaking all others in order to obey the Word of God.
It can be very difficult for a Christian to be married to a non-Christian and that is the reason Paul says the things he does about not unequally yoking in 2 Corinthians 6:14-15.
1 Corinthians 7:13-17 clearly instructs me, the believing wife, to not divorce my unbelieving husband.
Christ, himself says this about divorce in Matthew 19:3-6:
“And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are not longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
From Christ's lips to our ears. It's a beautiful thing.
If my husband had chosen to divorce me because I became a Christian then I am instructed to let it be so and be in peace about it. It also states that by virtue of my being a believer my unbelieving husband is sanctified by God. I am to live the life that God has called me to in being one flesh with my husband. We were married twenty six years before I became a Christian. My husband has happily chosen to not divorce me. Therefore, I am not in sin in the eyes of God. I am in obedience to his will.
However, I absolutely would be in sin in God’s eyes if I chose to leave my husband. We are still together, and both very happy that we are.
I have also brought myself into alignment with 1 Peter 3:1-4 and have made myself subject to my husband even though he does not obey the word of God.
I am happy to report that since I have put myself in full submission to both God’s will in my situation and, as God instructs, in submission to my husband, God has been at work in my husband’s life in amazing ways and has been working in my life through my husband as well. My testimony in this regard grows every day.
As 1 Corinthians 7:15-16 states: “God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband?”
Confusion and error is the result when an enthusiastic but ill informed Christian takes scripture out of the appropriate context and uses it to try to support an accusation of sin without doing the proper research into the Word of God. If the woman accusing me had done this proper research she would see that 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (the verse that she uses to substantiate her accusation) is not in contradiction to 1 Corinthians 7:13-17. Quite the opposite. The one scripture informs the other. God’s word does not contradict God’s word. It will never contradict itself. This is the fullness and perfection of God’s word.
I have responded fully to her accusation pointing her to the scripture that I have used in this post, however, she has told me that she is not going to listen to it.
It is at the very least worrisome that this woman has an online teaching ministry. I wonder how she is counseling women who are new believers that are married to non-believers? I pray that they do not seek counsel from her on this matter. Or any matter until she learns how to understand scripture and rightly divide the word.
My counsel to you ladies is this: God's model for marriage is the foundational model for the entire Bible. Christ is the metaphorical bridegroom and the church - born again Chrisitans - are the bride.
God takes marriage very seriously and wants nothing to pull it apart, even a marriage to a non-believer.
If you are a newly born again Christian God instructs you to remain with your non-believing husband, to love him, to show him Christ through your heart and your actions, to pray for him and to submit to him.
Through your example he may very well come to Christ on his own.
As always God’s will be done in this and every other matter.
If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
Hi, I'm Clare!
I used to be a practicing psychic medium, mediumship teacher and new age blogger. That all changed when I was saved by grace through faith in Christ. Here is where I share the joy and freedom of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.