Tag Archive | unequally yoked

Vblog

Blessings! I just wanted to share a new YouTube video I just made concerning how Christians themselves can be unequally yoked in love relationships. My hope ¬†is that it will encourage others to look into what their hearts are join with and see if they are truly receiving God’s best for them.

This video is hot-off-the-presses, so please enjoy & be blessed! ūüėÄ

Marriage & Health

Can Health Be A Reflection of Your Marriage?

I read an intriguing article online yesterday that I thought deserved commenting on (article linked below for review). It gave an overview of a few research studies on the affect of marriage on health, highlighting the notion that married individuals enjoy a better state of health. Some of the factors they reviewed were lowered antisocial behavior for young males who married later on, lower risk of colon cancer and an improved survival rate for even coronary heart bypass surgery. As a medical doctor, I’m always interested in research that seeks to provide better insight on the relationship between matters of the heart and health, as I believe many health ailments are a result of issues born in the heart, mind, and spirit that is oftentimes overlooked. More importantly, as a child of the Heavenly Father and Great Physician, I know from Scripture that God created us with the intention to enjoy an abundant life overflowing with joy, health, and love. He created the first loving relationship by simply creating us! Then, He created the first marriage and couple in Adam & Eve. When God saw that Adam was not as content as could be despite the surrounding wildlife and nature, God created Eve out of Adam’s rib to fashion a partner after his own heart to enjoy life with…

  • Genesis 2:18¬†And the LORD God said,¬†It is¬†not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
  • Genesis 2:22-23¬†Then the¬†Lord¬†God made a woman from the rib¬†he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.¬†And Adam said, This¬†is¬†now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Notice how in Gen 2:18 God said that is was NOT good for man to be alone, but to be in a partnership with someone suitable for him to enjoy life with. Being in a marriage ordained by the Living God is a good  thing, and is a blessing to be cherished and nurtured.

  • Genesis 1:28¬†And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
  • Genesis 2:24¬†Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

On an earthly level, some of us have been fortunate enough to experience how being in a secure, loving marriage uplifts your quality of life and feeds your soul. When you know you have a partner that has dedicated their life to being with you , who will bear with you through “thick and thin”, support you and defend your union, who will remain faithful to you through all trials and be your team-player in life, there is no better feeling. You have truly found a “home” in that marriage.

That is not to say that marriage is easy;¬†of course it requires dedication and hard work to bring two lives together to become “one” as the Lord says. You have both HIS-tory and HER-story to meander and work through to create a new life as a family. However, when Jesus Christ is the center of your marriage, and its foundation is on solid Biblical truths, the marital path carved for the two is much smoother as you are “equally yoked”. As a result, you are in complete union in mind, heart, body, and¬†spirit. There is less strife, strain, resentment, depression, and warring of spirits since you are both under Christ and agree on moral values. Therefore, both partners would enjoy improved health and¬†well-being, as God blessed marriage to be.

On a spiritual level, a godly marriage also reflects on earth the heavenly marriage we entered into with God through Jesus Christ as our Savior. Just as in an earthly marriage, fidelity, faith, love, and honor are essential to upholding our marriage to God in Jesus:

  • Jeremiah 3:14¬†Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:
  • Hosea 2:19-20¬†And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
Therefore, a healthy & godly marriage can bring forth blessings in physical, emotional, and spiritual health for both partners and their children. It’s nice to see that earthly science is revealing what God already showcased in His Living Word!

Miss-Understood

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Do you go through life feeling misunderstood? Are there times when you wish you had someone who “gets” you and you¬†can feel comfortable with? As I continue meditating on the notion of being unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14), I reflect on how on the surface you can have the¬†veneer of Christian unity in the Church yet feel disjointed socially and emotionally. You can be in a room full of brothers and sisters in Christ, yet still feel alone. You can be what seems and feels like the misfit in the family whose voice falls on silent ears. Your partner can look straight into your eyes and you’re still invisible to them. You can even be the employee whose efforts at better quality work goes unnoticed.

There are many ways to experience being unequally yoked in life, and the resulting effects can range from a slight annoyance to utter devastation. Some of the roots of feeling misunderstood can stem from:

  • Lack of communication
  • Lack of the ability to empathize when (ineffective) communication is present
  • Lack of acceptance/tolerance of the other’s personality traits,¬†frailties, and tendencies
  • Low or excessively high expectations of the other person

On the 1st root, how can anyone understand each other when there is no discussions of feelings and perspectives? Where there is no communication, there is no union of heart, minds, or spirit. It is one thing to have moments of self-reflection and “down-time” to process the stresses of the day (I am one who benefits from periodic solitude, not too often though!), and it is a completely different situation to¬†consistently neglect/ignore each other, many times attempting to avoid conflicts. Even our Living God highlights the importance of communication not only with each other, but especially with Himself through a relationship with Christ (Ephesians 2:13-18,¬†1 Timothy 2:5), honest prayers (Matthew 6:6,¬†Psalms 55:17) , study of Scriptures (Romans 15:4,¬†Romans 16:26), the counsel of His Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:10-14), and throughout His Creation (Psalms 19:1,¬†Romans 1:20, Hebrews 11:3¬†). Therefore, actually communicating with your partner/other party is one of the first issues to be addressed.

When it comes to the inability to empathize with the other person, this is where I’ve seen and experienced alot of difficulty in feeling understood. Eventhough one may try to discuss their feelings and thoughts on an issue/topic, how far does mutual understanding go when the other person can “see” where you’re coming from mentally, spiritually, and emotionally? This is not to say that the other person must always agree with you to understand you. But, to empathize means you can, as the ol’ saying goes, “put yourself in the other person’s shoes”, which doesn’t mean you end up agreeing with their opinions. In other words, you should be able to take a moment to take stalk of what your partner is trying to say, put yourself in their mental-emotional “space” or environment/situation, and then try to envision/experience how you would feel/think if you were in the same predicament as them. This doesn’t require being “like” them or changing your personality to fit theirs, but it does require the neglected art of listening. Being empathetic not only helps you gain a better perspective on the other person’s feelings, but also offers a glimpse of their personality which leads to being better understood.

Lack of tolerance or acceptance of another’s traits, etc. is also a challenging problem to overcome. Are you constantly frustrated with your partner, friend, or¬†colleague? Do you find more tranquility when not around that person? Are there certain ways or nuances of the person that lead to friction,¬†arguments, and annoyance? ¬†The first area I believe is worth acknowledging is the simple fact that no one within themselves is perfect and according to Scripture, we have all have “fallen short ¬†of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23-24,¬†1 John 1:8), however through Jesus we are given ¬†His righteousness where His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:19). Knowing this allows us to bear with one another as we recognize the need to encourage each other in Christ (Colossians 3:13). That being said, it is also important to honestly review your compatibility status, if you actually like the other person and have basic respect for them as a fellow follower of Christ (James 2:13). Look at each other’s “deal-breakers” and see if there are areas that you can compromise on outside of those “deal breakers”. If there are too many deal-breakers sought to be compromised on, you may have a very “unequally yoked” situation on your hands!

Last, but¬†certainly¬†not least, is the gravity of/complete absence of standards placed on the other person. If expectations on behavior are too high, you leave an imperfect fellow member in Christ no room to breathe and authentically be themselves. You not only create an impossible ladder in character to climb, but also develop an environment of exaltedness that should be humbled (Matthew 23:12) and unnecessary grief. It also reflects how inflexible you are with your own shortcomings and human¬†frailties. You should not only forgive others of their imperfections, but also forgive yourself as The Lord has so graciously forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). Don’t make it impossible for others to be in your presence! However, not having any expectations on how to be treated is also not beneficial in any relationship. You cannot expect another person to understand who you are if you don’t understand yourself in Christ (1 Corinthians 6:11). It is also unfair to assume someone can understand you without expressing some type of framework on how you’d like to be treated. It showcases the point that you should “treat others as you’d like to be treated” (Matthew 7:12).

As you can see, there are plenty of grounds upon which a person can be misunderstood and a relationship can be plagued with strife. The world we temporarily live in (until Jesus Christ’s return¬†John 14:3) is filled with so much strain that it is truly refreshing to experience an earthly relationship with a believer whom you feel “at-home” with. We as true Christians are already “foreigners” in this world (John 15:19) and “peculiar” to the ways/treatment of this world (1 Peter 2:9), therefore why make it harder on ourselves by not seeking to comprehend each other? I certainly know there are things that I can improve upon to understanding others, and the first step in that is awareness of the reasons why we feel misunderstood. My prayer is that in reading this, you will also be encouraged to find better ways to communicate, empathize,¬†forbear, and respect others that will transform you from being “unequally yoked” to Equallyoked!

Sincerely,

Miss-Understood

~Equallyoked~

Copyright V. Gilbert and Arlisle F. Beers

For the last 2 decades of my life, I have contemplated the meaning of¬†2 Corinthians 6:14, and have discovered in my latter years how far-reaching this passage is concerning Christ-centered love. There are so many ways to be unequally yoked, as the Word of God clearly¬†outlines¬†, often times resulting in more discord with a fellow believer than would be expected. Did you know that you can be “unequally yoked” with a another Christian?¬†2 Corinthians 6:14-16 runs deeper than the obvious not pairing your heart with an unbeliever in Christ; a Christian couple can have subtle differences that may seem on the surface as a hairline crack that in time reveals a hidden canyon underneath! Issues in¬†temperaments, financial perspectives, education, communication styles, and parenting (to name a few) can truly wreck the foundation of a Christian relationship or courtship.

However, the most paramount of all is being unequally yoked in where each follower’s relationship stands with Christ. What do I mean by this? Suffice it to say, each believer’s journey with Christ is unique and is what makes Jesus such a personal Savior who can meet us where we’re at and develop/strengthen our relationship with him accordingly. Nonetheless, there are certain foundational elements in our beliefs in who God-Jesus-Holy Spirit is and His Word that should unify all Christians (1 Corinthians 12:12). If the building blocks of faith, salvation, and worship of Our Creator is in discord, how can a couple/friendship/business partnership/family fortify each other’s growth in The Lord ? What are the things that can’t be compromised on, and what can be?

It’s already¬†challenging¬†enough to nourish kinships of love in this world without the difficulty of also finding compatibility with another believer on topics we should be at peace with. However, I thank Our Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) for exemplifying love and elements of companionship in His relationship with us. With His Word as an¬†infallible¬†guide, we can¬†endeavor¬†to understand and appreciate the dynamics of our own courtships & relationships. As a result, we can furnish our hope in materializing an earthly companionship centered in Christ and satisfying in everlasting love.