Love and Marriage
As a single guy, I was dismayed to note that the vast majority of available women in your Christian Singles Organization, Equally Yoked, were divorced. Considering that viagra 100mg divorce statistics show that “Christian” marriages fail at the same rate that those of the “unsaved” do, one may well ask, “Is there such a thing as an ‘equal yoke’ any more?” Well, there is if both husband and wife are operating at the same level of spirituality, be that level a close walk with the Lord or a close walk with the world. I think that, in today’s world, the latter is more common than the first.
I don’t think that we have to worry about the sodomites or the polygamous or other perverts destroying the institution of marriage. I think that the heterosexuals who accept the idea of divorce as a solution to marriage problems have managed to do that pretty well already. Here in Finland, society accepts the “open union”, which we Americans call either “shacking up” or “common law marriage”. Such people have been known to be faithful to one another for a lifetime. On the other side of the coin are people who have had legal marriages, even church weddings, but have been divorced and remarried numerous times. People in which situation are really “married”, as Scripture defines marriage?
My problem, as a single guy who wanted to have a real Christian marriage, was discerning who, of the available women, I might be yoked to who would really be equal in that yoke. I’m sure that there were some in EY, but its structure did not help with discernment. I was a member of eHarmony before I joined EY. For all I know, their success rate may well be better than society at large, but their matching didn’t provide me with an equal yoke, for they match psychologically and physiologically (energy level, etc.) but still not spiritually.
Three excellent sermons on marriage come from Jay McCarl, pastor of Calvary Chapel on the Georgetown Divide in the Gold Rush country of California. In one of them, he describes the courting ritual of ancient Israel, which provides a much better picture of the courting “ritual” of our Lord toward us. The three sermons can be found at this site. They are entitled Submission (2/11/07), As Christ Loved the Church – Ephesians 5:21-33 (2/18/07) and The Cleansing Word of God — Ephesians 5:25-33 (2/25/07)
I think that a Christian or group of Christians who want to help fellow believers to be equally yoked would create a structure that would imitate that old method. But how many Christians, especially American Christians, would put up with having a third party select their mates for them, even if they had veto power? I may just be crazy enough to suggest a structure where this may be done. I wonder if the Lord would bless such an effort.
My wife and I shared with each other this morning that we are much more in love with each other now than we were when we were married. She told me some time ago that my EY video left her with a “‘Thanks, but no thanks’ feeling” but, thankfully, she already knew me before she saw it. What’s more, I was not designed to be single and was not thriving when I had to live that life. My brothers have noted that I’m more pleasant to talk with since Pirjo and I were married. Since the time of the death of my dear Wilma in 1985, I had been plagued with depression. Chronic depression will be communicated in your relationships, even when you aren’t feeling depressed. I haven’t had a sign of depression since Pirjo and I gave our hearts to one another. Unless you have been there, you can’t appreciate how great a change that makes in a person. While I was still living in that chronically depressed state, how was I to convince any woman that I would be an asset in her life? And, since when is that a godly criterion for a Christian relationship anyhow?
The limits placed on Pirjo and I due to distance, etc. proved to be a Godsend because it meant that the Holy Spirit had to do what we were unable to do, even if we’d been minded to do it. He inspired our words to win the other. He’s still doing that.