These women quickly became my friends. Perhaps they thought we were ancient the day Lauren and I first walked in to lead a summer discipleship group. Perhaps they still think we are even almost two years later.
But they are my friends, first and foremost. My just-barely-slightly younger sisters in Christ. We meet at Georgia Tech on Monday nights and talk life and Jesus and how in the world we give the one to the other.
We married one of them off in December. A few have serious boyfriends. And we’ve all been grappling with this age-old question regarding the equality of our yokes…whatever that means.
Paul gave the admonition to the church in Corinth because believers were marrying unbelievers and it needed to stop. Light cannot be one with darkness. Neither can a resurrected heart be joined to a dead heart.
But the older we get and the longer singleness lingers, the more difficult it becomes to hold to the God-sized dream of being “equally yoked.” As friends start to talk, date, engage, marry, and procreate, the ground starts to sway and suddenly our surety about equality is squished.
“He grew up Catholic, but he doesn’t really go to church right now.”
“He believes in God, but not in organized religion.”
“He says he wants me to help him get closer to God.”
And really, when we get to the bottom of all of these questions, we want to know just one thing.
And this is what we came to on Monday night. We need to get real and we need to get practical and we need to get there now.
We need to push the emotions of singleness and flirtation away and let the real implications of being the Temple of God bring our emotions back under the authority of Scripture.
We are not looking for laws or to set ourselves as judges, but women of God, Beloved, we absolutely must recognize the work of the Spirit in our own lives. It is essential to knowing what sort of man will demolish that and holding out for the man who will delight himself in building you up.
If you are in a small group asking this question or reading these words in your spare time or hoping he’ll be mildly enthusiastic about visiting your church with you, that match will not be equally yoked.
If you are in a small group where you regularly study God’s word and open your heart in accountability, equally yoked means your man does the same.
If you are hungry to seek God corporately on Sundays and throughout the week, equally yoked means your man hungers after God and His Church too.
If you are leading younger women into deeper relationships with Jesus, equally yoked means your man is passionate about investing in others too.
If you are preparing emotionally, spiritually, and practically for living as an independent and responsible adult, equally yoked means your man is as well.
If you are dating toward the end of being married, equally yoked means your man is as well.
Are we judging or condemning men who do not fit the description? No. We are being wise, we are making assessments based on the Word of God and the wisdom of the Spirit. These men you graciously turn down are of infinite value to God—who died for them—and we pray they will know and love Him more, but they are not qualified to be your husband.
Yes, qualified. Can we use this word?
Because you are building something with your life
by the power of the Holy Spirit,
and to come alongside of you in marriage
will be a lifelong and glorious job.
It will be difficult, but it will be rewarding. And the work will require a man who is qualified for the job.
And yes, this is equally yoked. Two people, harnessed together by the grace of God, to accomplish the work of the harvest. You know, the laborers are few. And we come under the yoke that is easy and the burden that is light and we throw our lives together into the work of the Kingdom. We work toward the one goal of glory, at the one pace of grace, for the one hope set before us—the joy of Jesus.
Two people, harnessed together by the grace of God,
to accomplish the work of the harvest.
You have work to do, Beloved, with a man or without. Your Father in heaven has good works laid out for you today. Be about the work of the Kingdom. Stop sitting while you wait for a man and work because your God became a man to die for you.
Keep your longing for marriage always at the feet of your gracious God. Be honest. Be bold. He loves you. And He loves to give you good gifts.
Beloved, hold out for the man whose life meets you under the powerful grace of God. Your w h o l e – o n e – life is at stake. And your heart, your joy, and your Kingdom work are too much to risk on a man who is not ready to die to himself so you might know more of Jesus.
Gracious Lord, give us patience and unearthly wisdom,
that Your daughters would not be bound to men whose hearts are far from You.
Bless the work of our hands, and send laborers your women can marry.
All for Your glory and our good.