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The consequences of refusing to be “unequally yoked”.

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Jeremy Fox, Dec 15, 2018.

  1. Jeremy Fox

    Jeremy Fox New Member

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    This is going to be a very long beginning to a thread so only keep reading if you have a ridiculous amount of time on your hands.

    I committed my life to Christ here in Australia when I was about twelve years old. Since then (I’m 38 now) I’ve had all kinds of ups and downs and been in and out of church genuinely struggling. But through everything I believe in my heart God exists and he loves me. I know I am capable of an incredible and a kind of love that has an overwhelming depth to it when I allow myself to feel and express it. It’s why I have always been so careful about doing that. I have always been told never to be “unequally yoked” with non believers and so for most all of my years I remained single, no Christian women have ever been remotely interested (it’s a small town) and to be fair 98% of the Christian women are and were already taken. If they hadn’t been I’d have been too self conscious and shy to start even talking to them anyway. I’ve always been a very outwardly ugly guy, shy and nervous around women. I wouldn’t blame any woman Christian or no, for rejecting me outright for my appearance alone. And boy have they. I have been ridiculed my entire life by a hoard of people for never having had a girlfriend and while I’ve watched thousands of relationships blossom with frustrating ease over my years on this earth, that was always impossible for me and I had to learn to accept this would never happen and to let it go. And eventhough I had prayed every day for many long years that God would lead me to a companion, there had been no one and the loneliness of that was crippling and plunged me into depression time and time again. No matter how fulfilling my relationship with Christ was, my heart had always longed to have a wife who loved me unconditionally and a family of my own. And that desire has never left. For me falling in love with a woman.. any woman and them loving me back.. that situation alone arising even once in a lifetime, encompasses astronomical odds and so in my twenties in the summer of 2008 when it happened it was the best time of my life. I had never been so in love before and she loved me just as much. It was a miracle. My prayers answered in my mind. The girl however was not a committed Christian.. she was open to it in a very broad “I believe something is out there” kind of way and went to church with me sometimes but she did not believe as I did and she did not believe sex before marriage was a sin and the army of people in my general vicinity including my pastor were quick to point out I should not be “unequally yoked” with this woman and should cut all ties immediately. I loved her so much by this point and she was the only person in my life I felt ever understood me in the slightest and accepted me for who I was. Because of the guilt from my pastor and other church members and my family I began to feel extreme guilt for the love I felt for her and then one night as she talked about how she wanted to marry me and proceeded to attempt to have sex with me, with a broken heart I stopped her and I told her I couldn’t and that I felt it was wrong and we were wrong. She felt extremely rejected by this but eventually said she understood and proposed that we first get married then it would all be permissible. I told her I’m committed to my faith and could only marry a girl who was also a believer. She persisted that she didn’t know where life would lead her and if this truth of mine would be eventually revealed to her but right now she couldn’t believe because she just wasn’t 100% sure. But she was getting older and wanted to marry and start a family and didn’t want to wait. And so and it utterly broke my heart more than anything else in my life had, but I broke it off with her and let her go. Something I would come to regret deeply. She was utterly devastated and went into a deep depression and eventually turned to drugs and alcohol and hurt herself in many horrible ways until I lost track of her and never heard from her again. She may have died in her grief for all I knew. The bottom also fell out of my life when she was gone. It was like the lights went out. I had never felt such deep despair. I blamed God, I blamed myself for the drastic consequences me rejecting her had done to her life. I left town and moved to an island off the coast where I lived alone for ten very long years and severed all contact with my family and everyone I knew who was a Christian .. which was everybody. I became an alcoholic. A recluse, completely alone in my pain and tears that felt like they would never stop. I almost died of liver failure. I prayed every day for god to take this pain and grief at the loss of this girl away but it never left me and within my deep well of pain I became angry at the world and at God that what seemed like an answer to prayer became instead such a living nightmare beyond my control. But one day ten years after this relationship ended I woke up one day and I was okay. I felt numb to it all as if I could never love another human being again, but it was a numbness better than the pain. I quit drinking and took a long journey home and looked up my parents. The prodigal son returned, and having no where else to go I lived with them again at 34 years old. I began going to church again, my faith renewed. I asked for forgiveness from God for my mess of a life. He fulfilled me again but again I was still plagued with this crippling human loneliness for a human partner. A desire that it was impossible for God to fill. And again I prayed that he would provide me with someone I could share my life with.

    One night that year I was awake and at my computer in a chat room and I met an English girl online who was dealing with grief over a loss. She was clearly suicidal.. I recognized all the signs.. I had been in her place myself. It was an instinct to try and help. I called her and stayed up with her all night talking her out of what she was about to do. It turned out she had attempted suicide many times. Her legs and arms full of deep cuts. Scars she couldn’t hide anymore so didn’t bother trying. She had been in and out of mental wards most of her life but was extremely intelligent and certainly not delusional. As we shared our lives with each other with words alone night after night we quickly became good friends and supported each other. She revealed to me her awful upbringing and how as a five year old child she was taken from her parents by an evil monster of a man. He raped her for an entire year until she escaped and was found and returned to her drug addict parents. This experience left her a shell of a person with a severe eating disorder and other mental issues who wanted nothing more than to shrivel up and die to stop the hell that living was to her.

    I never thought of this girl as anything more than a close online friend but over the course of a year getting to know each other we both fell in love with each other. Each not revealing to the other how we felt. Me in particular fighting my own feelings and constant thoughts about her with every fiber of my being. It was impossible she felt the same way about me anyway. I just had to kill those feelings. but they grew stronger anyway. She was incredibly beautiful despite her scars, inside and out. She was the most caring person I’d ever met and she understood me on a level no one else ever had. I knew this connection with her ran deeper and meant even more than the relationship I had broken off all those years ago, but yet again she too did not believe. She respected my belief but maintained that if God existed he would not have let her suffer as a child as she cried out to him and no help came. She concluded God was not real and was something only fools and privileged children believed in. She would never hold my belief against me but could not share it. She said she had too many doubts and only divine incontrovertible proof would make any difference. But then she wrote me a very long heartfelt letter explaining despite everything her feelings for me and that in her mind she understood they could never be returned but she just needed to tell me anyway. And here I was deeply grieved again that the second person in my life I had for whatever reason fallen deeply in love with, also happened to not be a Christian. I felt the same as she did but how could I tell her that if I couldn’t act on it? And with how close we were how could I lie to her and pretend I felt nothing when I felt everything so deeply even if we were a world away? I felt trapped. All I could do was pray and call out to God for an answer to this impossible situation. And then something happened. Something I never expected. He actually answered. As clear as I had ever heard God in a way and with the certainly I would place my entire faith on, I heard the words right through my heart like fire. Like lightening. “Love her.”

    I still don’t know what to make of that but whatever the meaning it prompted me to tell her everything about the things I had been feeling for her. She told me no one had ever truly loved her in her life and me being in her life had stopped her from killing herself a hundred times already. We were both in tears on the phone.

    I knew how against this everyone would be and how it might be completely wrong and how maybe my family and church would shun me forever but I couldn’t be apart from her another minute. I at least had to meet this person in real life myself. So I sold my car, sold most everything I owned (which wasn’t all that much) and hopped a plane to England planning to stay a few weeks in hotels until my money ran out. And so we met and even though I was convinced she would be utterly repulsed by my appearance and it all would end right there and I’d at least have some closure, she miraculously wasn’t. She accepted me for everything I was and am and every day I was there we fell more in love. She was about to be kicked out of her place and become homeless at the time and I was living out of expensive hotels sending me slowly bankrupt, so I could either leave her to the streets and return home or get all the money I was spending on hotels and had left and rent us both a place to live temporarily until we could figure something else out. So as guilty as I felt about that and “living in sin” I justified it because it felt more about survival than about her and me. But it was both in a way. We slept in the same bed but we never had sex until months later she felt so rejected by that and I was so afraid to lose her and plunge us both into another nightmare if I made her feel any more rejection .. afraid history would repeat.. so we did it, just once. The only time in my life. I stayed there with her in England for six months total and then had to return home where I have been now for a few months. In my time there we went through the best times and the worst times. I supported her through such emotional darkness I have never seen in another human being. Even with me there I had to physically prevent her from attempting to kill herself more than once. I am convinced without me she would have been dead ten times over. Thankfully at the end of our six months it was like she was a different person. She feels loved by me and I feel loved in return. It’s amazing and beautiful what we have together but I am rejected by my church and family for the decisions I have made and for what I have done. But I look back over it all knowing and having experienced this young woman’s life that hung in the balance the whole way, and seeing how changed she is now and the good and positive things that have come from me being there for her not just in her life but in mine and I find for the first time in my life despite all my crushing guilt, that yet I absolutely cannot feel regret. I feel irredeemable as a Christian man and I can no longer face my church or my family who continue to strongly feel being “unequally yoked” makes me utterly unacceptable to them. I’d feel too big of a hypocrite at this point to walk back into a church because I am choosing to continue with her. Because of our financial situation and international law and a lot of things the only way for her and me to be together now is basically to be married. It’s something we both want and are sure about and something no one else in my life will ever accept. But we need each other and we are doing it anyway.

    I understand everyone is pretty much in agreement that this is sin but I am really struggling with the fact that the alternative of rejecting again someone I love so much and cutting all ties with her because of a difference of belief.. is at this point the most destructive thing I can do, not only to my own life but to hers as well. The consequences of letting this all go now I KNOW will destroy her and me both. I could try and be the good Christian as my pastor suggests, repent and never have contact with her again but I know deep down if I do that this time.. that’s it for me I’ll be finished. I won’t be able to cope. I couldn’t take it and her who I have loved with everything I have in me unconditionally, will be left alone in the dark with no family or friends left. I know how that story ends. I don’t feel that any choice is right strictly speaking at this point but this one and this path I am on, in deciding to marry her and stay and fight to be with her seems the more right of the two and the choice with the least destructive consequences. I don’t know what the answer is here and all I can do is pray that God will forgive me and one day bring her also to a knowledge of him. I hope my family and God will one day accept us both. If this relationship is wrong and as unacceptable as everyone says, then why does it feel more wrong to let it go? I genuinely feel if I had never pursued this relationship she would now be dead and I would be drinking myself into a depressive death somewhere out there having a relapse over it. Even now deep down I know I would likely give up on my life entirely without her. And she will definitely 100% give up on her life without me. I’m not saying it’s right for me to feel that way but I do, I know God should be enough and maybe he could be and maybe he could sustain me through anything and I might survive it but if I go.. if I leave her alone in the dark she definitely won’t. She’s not strong enough and I’m all she’s got. But still my family tell me if I stay with her I’m going to hell with her and if I pursue this path knowing that it is wrong I won’t be forgiven.

    I’m not sure why I have written all this in the night. I’m not sure what advice I could receive that would even help. I’m a disappointment to my family and feel like an irredeemable failure as a Christian but every decision I’ve made I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. I’m not sure what that makes me now. If that means I’m a lost cause I guess I’m a lost cause. Thanks for reading this if you have. No one has really ever heard this and I needed to get it out.

    - Jeremy
     
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  2. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Jeremy, most Christian churches would say that to be "unequally yoked" refers to being controlled or compromised by a marriage to someone who would interfere with your exercise of your (Christian) faith--as opposed to merely being the spouse of a non-believer. Unfortunately (I would say), you belonged to a church which had a different interpretation of the meaning of that verse.
     
  3. SkyWriting

    SkyWriting The Librarian Supporter

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    You didn't mention that she's getting professional help. From my experience with my brothers death, I'd measure her life in hours, gauging from your story. If she is depending on you for support, one tiny misstep on your part will result in her death. Are you properly prepared for her death? Most survivors are not prepared for the death of a loved one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  4. EzekielsWheels

    EzekielsWheels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jeremy,

    First, thank you for sharing your story and for seeking advice from fellow Christians. It sounds like your life has had some difficulties to say the least. It is not sin to marry a non-believer, in fact Paul advises those who are married to non-believers to stay married to them so that they might perhaps be saved at some point themselves. Check out 1 Corinthians Chapter 7 for more on this. The issue with marrying a non-believer is that you may be tempted by their unbelief to be slack or perhaps give up your faith. But that doesn't mean you can't, it just means you need to be aware of that fact. If you don't feel her lack of faith disturbs your relationship with God then I don't see any issue with it.

    The only concern that I do have is that it seems that you have put certain women on a pedestal in your life and have elevated them above all else, perhaps even God. Now, I'm not saying that your being with this woman or even marrying her means that you have, I'm saying this is something you must be aware of right now and going forward. It may be that the Lord has blessed you by putting these women in your path, but don't put them before God. Pray every day. Read the bible every day. If your family and everyone else won't accept you because of this that's their problem and not yours. Find another church. Don't let their lack of faith disturb yours. Just be mindful of how emotionally involved you are in this person and the potential dangers that could come about as a result of that. Your life must be, and I mean absolutely must be, about putting your faith and trust in God and loving him more than anything else. Can you honestly say that's the case right now? If so then all is well. It may be that you will save this woman's soul so why should you refrain from marrying her? But do not put her (or your own needs) above worshipping God. If you ever feel that your faith is compromised because of her lack of faith then you have a problem.

    Otherwise brother, Godspeed and may the Lord bless and prosper you both. Live for the Lord and give no concern to the judgments of men.

    -Daniel
     
  5. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  6. vinsight4u

    vinsight4u Contributor

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    /nvm
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  7. Andrew77

    Andrew77 The walking accident Supporter

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    Wow dude. I don't know why you posted that here for. You have put yourself in the place of Jesus, and now you are posting it here, as if we can do anything about it.

    With the first lady, I was proud of you. But with the second, you completely reversed every good choice you made.

    The reason G-d tells us not to be unequally yoked to non-believers, isn't for his benefit. G-d is not better off when you marry a Christian, and nor is he worse off when you marry a non-christian.

    Neither does it affect us. I'm no better or worse of, because of who you do, or do not marry.

    The one G-d was trying to protect, was you. Marrying a non-christian is a great way to end up in hell. I don't mean being tossed into the lake of fire, I mean having a terrible life here on Earth.

    I've met numerous Christians that got involved with non-christians, and few to none do not eventually regret it. Most say "if I knew then, what I do now, I never would have done it". Because you can't end up in a good place, with someone who doesn't believe in the good place.

    And especially with this lady, this girl is disaster. You have made yourself, this ladies personal savior. Every time you say things like "she will definitely 100% give up on her life without me." What you are in fact saying is "I'm G-d. I'm Jesus. I can save her life".

    This is doom. You have set yourself up for hell on Earth man..... because you are not G-d.... you are not Jesus.... you are not her savior. You can't save her.

    The irony is, it is more likely you saved the life of the other woman. You showed that Jesus is real to her, by living out your faith, by not just saying you believe something but acting on it. She is more likely to turn to the real savior, than this woman you are with now who thinks that YOU are her savior.

    And let me tell you, when another human being looks at you to fix their entire life.... you have no hope of success in this relationship. You can't fix their life. Like I said, you are not G-d, you are not Jesus, and you are not her savior. You will never be able to fix her broken life.

    I don't know what your future holds. But you don't need to worry about us forgiving you. No one is going to show up and beat you for your choices here.

    For my part, I hope everything works out. I will say that if it does, you need to bow your head to the dirt of the Earth, and praise G-d for having mercy on you.

    However, if it doesn't work out, you can't be angry at G-d for any of this. You made yourself G-d. You got involved with a pagan girl who is crazy, by your own acts.

    And lastly, just for any other people on this forum looking for a spouse, don't say things like "I had for whatever reason fallen deeply in love with, also happened to not be a Christian."

    Did you not choose to continue talking to someone who was not a Christian, when you knew you shouldn't?

    I've had women come after me in the past. No matter what, the first thing I find out is... are they a Christian. If they say no, then they are off the list, and I limit how much interaction I have with them. Still friends, still talk... but limits on the conversation, and limits on the relationship. Why? Because we are not to marry non-Christians, to protect us from hell on Earth.

    You should have found out if this woman was a Christian right from the start, and when you found she wasn't, you should have moved on. You made choices. It didn't just "happen".

    I wish you the best. I hope it works out.
     
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  8. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal Supporter

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    [​IMG]
    "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?" 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 NKJV

    That verse makes no distinction between an "interfering" non-believer and some passive, "benign" kind.

    Believers should not only marry believers, they should marry believers who are on the same page as themselves.

    "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" Amos 3:3 NKJV
     
  9. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Jeremy,

    As we read the verse, we see that a believer is not to be "UNEQUALLY" yoked with unbelievers, as opposed to the idea that a believer is to not be joined with one, period...which is to say, under any and all circumstances.

    This is exactly the advice I was offering in other words in my earlier reply to your original post. I believe it is correct to say that most churches understand it this way.

    Both the words unequally and yoked go to the point that a mere alliance or even a marriage is not what the verse is describing, unless that association has a certain nature by which one party interferes with the other's (Christian) faith.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  10. Hazelelponi

    Hazelelponi Well-Known Member

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    Marry her and spend your life with her - stop letting others control you through their own interpretation.

    I used to be a Muslim. My husband is a Christian who married me while i was still a practicing Muslim. He believed Himself led by the Holy Spirit to marry me, and so he did.

    Today I'm a Christian.. it took a few years, but in him I saw a living Christ, and loved his God because of His people first. Then I ended up saved. He never pressured me, he never did anything but answer my questions if I asked.. other than that we just were.

    My husbands kindness, his love, his patience, his understanding, his knowledge of scripture and ability to answer my questions all of it showed me a different God, one that was worth worshipping...

    It took time, and it took God Himself intervening in my life, but I am Christian today for it.

    I see no harm in a man marrying a non-believer if she is willing to raise any children as Christians and be a good wife and mother..

    It is children who are the main concern, but Christ over you should sort that out I imagine. .
     
  11. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal Supporter

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    Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30,

    "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

    "Equally yoked" means that you, together, accept the same yoke; that is, the yoke of the same Person.
     
  12. EzekielsWheels

    EzekielsWheels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I pray the Lord gives you wisdom for this decision Jeremy.
     
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