Friday, December 2, 2011

An Ounce of Prevention: "Looking for Love: Marrying a Non-Christian"

Earlier today...

I sent an email to a spiritual sistah of mine re: her relationship with a non-believer. Here is an excerpt:

"I will say this: when it's of God, warnings don't come. PRAISES DO. You've been getting *a lot of warnings*. Externally and internally"...

Also, real talk, I've been consistent in saying that most of the people in the Bible were the classic definition of 'unequally yoked' (Boaz and Ruth, Moses and Zipporah, Esau and Ishmael's daughter). But you know what? Now that I think about it, only one time do I recall that it was *the man* who was not a believer (Queen Esther's case in marrying King Xerses and she was called to deliver an entire nation AND didn't have children...a part of me wonders if that was due to the bloodline of a woman marrying a non-Jewish man. HMPH.)."...

I'm not sure if God IS speaking. I think he HAS spoken on the matter, though. He's loving. He's patient. He's longsuffering. Just because he's not *pushing you*, that doesn't mean that he doesn't want you to move."

This urgency came upon me after reading an article from a woman who married a non-believer. Man, talk about a *very thorough red flag checklist* to consider. BEFOREHAND. This quote (featured in the piece) is a keeper: "Love is blind, but marriage is an eye-opener." WHEW:

"As they say, 'love is blind, but marriage is an eye-opener'. I now realize we actually discussed very little before we married. We were more interested in the physical side of things, although I made sure that we didn’t go 'all the way'.

Here are some issues I now know I should have considered or that I would have had to consider if I were to marry in this present era.

    * A born again believer cannot share the most important part of her life – the spiritual part – that part of her that has been united with Christ – with her husband.

    * If Christ is not the center of your husband’s life, then who or what is? (In Bob’s case it was himself)

    * If your husband’s moral values aren’t based on the Bible, then what ARE they based on? What does HE believe about controversial issues such as abortion, divorce, drugs, euthanasia?

    * Even closer to home, what does HE believe about how children should be disciplined? (Bob said 'You smack them – then they can hate you.')

    * And speaking of the children, will your husband agree with your sending them to Sunday School, taking them to church, taking part in whatever rites your church practices; or will he say that children should not be brain-washed with religion, but should be allowed to wait until they are adult, and can then make up their own minds?

    * If your husband is not familiar with the idea of having a 'Quiet Time' – a time you spend in reading your Bible and talking to God – is he willing to give you the time and privacy you want for this?

    * If you going through a time when you’re not on speaking terms with God, how will you explain to your husband why you are down in the dumps, and don’t feel like talking? Because if you try to tell him, he won’t be able to understand, because in 1 Corinthians 2:14 the Bible tells us:
        
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. (Bob’s reaction? 'What the #@*!* are you crying about now?')

    * And speaking about this verse; how will he react if you tell him 'I believe God wants me to join a church in a different suburb.' (Bob said, 'You only want to go to that suburb for its snob value.')

    * Come to think of it, how are you going to explain any of God’s guidance?

    * How will your husband react if, as you mature in Christ, the Lord convicts you to stop certain practices that you currently have no qualms about?

    * Will there be any disagreement about the way you celebrate Christmas and Easter? Not every Christian makes a fuss over Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. (Of course my grandkids preferred their grandfather, because HE knew that Christmas and Easter were meant to be exciting times, with visits to Santa Claus, and gifts from Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.)

    * Will you agree on, or argue about, things like Christmas cards (The Babe in the Manger or Santa Claus), playing Bingo, buying Lotto tickets, watching R-rated shows on the TV, etc.? (Bob used to put lottery tickets inside Christmas cards that said things like 'May The Prince of Peace Be With You At This Holy Time'!)

    * What if he wants to go to – or even take you to – erotic floor-shows, etc? Since you are Christ’s, He indwells you. So Christ goes wherever you go.

    * What if he buys you sex manuals that suggest that things like 'threesomes' are fun?

    * If you decline to watch television shows you find offensive, will your husband understand, or will he feel that in rejecting that show, you are rejecting him?

    * Has your husband had any involvement with the occult? Does he believe that astrology, fortune telling, ouija boards etc, are just innocent fun? Is he a member of a secret society?

    * What if his family’s life style is different from yours? (Bob’s people were lovely, but they always invited visitors to go to the local club and play Bingo, and the pokies. I don’t drink and I don’t gamble.)

    * If you believe in giving 10% (often called a 'tithe'), of your earnings to the church, how will your husband feel about it?

    * What will happen when your husband’s planned activities for Sunday are on at the same time as your church’s services? Who gets to use the car?

    * What do YOU see as being the respective roles of husband and wife? Does your husband agree with you? (Bob was VERY aware that God expected me to obey him, since I had promised to.)

    * When a major decision has to be made, who will have the final say, and on what principles will that decision be made? (Naturally I yielded to Bob. His criteria – whatever suited him best.)

    * One example of this could well be your children’s schooling. If you want to send your children to a Christian school, will your spouse: a) Agree to this? b) Be willing to share the financial burden involved?

    * How will your husband’s indifference to the Lord affect your own spiritual growth? (How greatly – and how adversely – this affected me will show up more in Marriage in a Minor Key. The over-riding phrase as far as I was concerned was 'bitterness towards God'.)

    * Are you quietly saying to yourself: 'I really love this person, and I know that he is a good-hearted person. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before he comes to know the Lord'? Many people have been mistaken about this.

    * Does he say that, although he doesn’t believe in God, he’s happy for you to be as religious as you want to? Do you know what God’s word says about people who don’t believe in Him? Psalm 53 says:
        
The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. Do you REALLY want to marry a fool?

    * With so many homes these days not only having personal computers, but also having access to the Internet, will your husband agree with you as to what kind of information to download to your hard-drive? I’m not thinking only of obvious things like pornography. I am also thinking of material that is, by its very nature, anti-Christian., e.g. anything to do with the occult."

You can read the rest of this *great article* here.

The Lord got me clear a long time ago about the difference in praying and *preying* and sometimes, whether we realize (or is it accept?) it or not, when we want something that *clearly speaks against God's Word, will and way*, we will attempt to even (gasp!) *prey upon God* until we feel like he will give us what we want. Yeah. And here's the scary thing about *that*: "And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul." (Psalm 106:15-NKJV)

When a relationship is unhealthy (i.e., in this case, *spiritually incompatible*), there is no "weaning off". Clean breaks are best. The waiting game is a dangerous game because more time only makes you more attached, which leads you to becoming less willing to do what's best for your soul and more desirous to do what your flesh (some people would say "heart") longs for. And flesh? It can't be trusted. *Ever* (Jeremiah 17:9)

Hey, but if you need more than mine, this woman and the Bible's take on the matter, feel free to get some more *Christian counsel* on the matter. There's safety there. And also according to the Bible, people *fall* without it (Proverbs 11:14) and that's usually because they are *too prideful* (Proverbs 16:18) to get outside of their own voice.

This is a good time of the year to clean (and clear) some things up.

I'll keep prayin'.

SRW

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