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Mr. Right or Mr. Right In Front of You?

| November 15, 2010

Sometimes, being single is not easy.

There is so much pressure to pair up and live happily ever after.

The world views singleness as a problem. On every TV channel, there are ads targeting the single crowd telling them that they would be happier in a relationship. An array of romantic comedies and emotional tales of true love leave single girls pulling out their hair and screaming, “Where is the one?!!”

And for the single woman who really does want to be married, it is easy to get discouraged. In case you haven’t noticed – there are a lot of strange guys out there. And turning to lost friends from work for companionship, rather than enduring the loneliness of one more Friday night eating a Lean Cuisine with Ben and Jerry can be convenient.  Why wait for God’s Mr. Right when Mr. Right-in-front-of-you is sitting in the next office? He doesn’t have any major vices, he seems like an all around good guy. So what if he’s not only a CEO in work, but a CEO in church…as in “Christmas and Easter Only”? At least he is sort of spiritual and seeking…..something?

So what?

The Bible is what.

God is very clear on this subject of close relationships between believers and unbelievers. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” This verse applies to all types of relationships with non-Christians, but there is only one relationship that if “yoked” with an unbeliever, cannot be undone. … Marriage.

So, what does Paul mean by unequally yoked? The expression “unequally yoked” comes from Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:10, where it means “mismatched.” It’s talking about the yoking of two animals of very different sizes and temperaments to walk at the same pace and to act as one in the same work. It will never happen – the animals are just too different!  In this passage, Paul is warning the Corinthians against compromising their witness to the world. He emphasizes avoiding any action that would cause believers to link up with the world, which includes marriage.

You may think that the “lost, but so amazing” guy you are dating is the only one who really “gets” you. But if you do not have Christ in common, you have no foundation for a relationship. In the next few verses (2 Corinthians 6:14-16), Paul links unbelievers with lawlessness, darkness and even Satan himself. He is emphasizing the difference between those who do know Christ as Savior and those who do not. Ultimately, the two have nothing in common. And any believing wife married to an unsaved man will attest to this fact.

You may think that there is no harm in dating the new super-cute non-Christian guy in your life, but the Bible says otherwise. In 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1, Paul quotes four verses from the Old Testament to explain why it is so important that we not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. “For we are the temple of the living God…” Remember how holy God considered the Temple back in the Old Testament? People could not enter into the Holy of Holies for fear of death! God’s Spirit literally dwelt in the Temple. Paul applies that same standard of holiness to the believers at Corinth, who were a part of the new temple of God. It is because  they are the temple of God, they should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers . Paul is not saying that believers should withdraw from culture, but that in their pursuit of holiness they should break any ties with the world that would compromise the holiness of God’s temple, including close friendships, business partnerships, peer groups, dating relationships, and yes, even marriage.

God is not being cruel by commanding you to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. He is calling you to live a holy life and He is trying to protect you, His daughter, from a great deal of heartache. The most important thing in your life  - your Jesus – is foolishness to a unbeliever. (1 Corinthians 1:22-25).

Paul is saying that as a believer, your primary influences should be believers. Your best friends, your advisors, your dates, and especially the man you marry should know your Jesus!  It is tempting to settle for a great lost guy over the socially-awkward stalker in the single’s ministry or being alone for another Friday night. But it doesn’t matter how sweet, handsome or dynamic the guy is – if he is lost then he is NOT God’s will for you.

God is not punishing you with singleness. God loves you (John 3:16). For some women, God’s best for them is to be married earlier, so that they can learn important lessons about God through marriage. For other women, God’s best for them is keeping them single for a time, so they can learn those same lessons through singleness. Singleness is not a problem to be fixed! Singleness is a season of life where we can focus solely on God. The Bible says that it is God’s will that everyone be single for a time and some be single forever – and those are blessed! (1 Cor. 7:32-35)

You can choose to be obedient and single for as long as God wants or you can disobey and date/marry the next cute lost guy who walks across your path.

Who will it be? God’s Mr. Right or the world’s Mr. Right-in-front-of-you?

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Comments (13)

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  1. Elisabeth says:

    Thank you so much for this … my favourite bit is at the end:

    “For some women, God’s best for them is to be married earlier, so that they can learn important lessons about God through marriage. For other women, God’s best for them is keeping them single for a time, so they can learn those same lessons through singleness. Singleness is not a problem to be fixed! Singleness is a season of life where we can focus solely on God.”

    That is so true – and so beautiful!

  2. Sarah says:

    Amen and amen!! Do not be deceived!! Guard your hearts!! The heartache is almost unbearable, and continues for years. I am married to a wonderful man. He is smart, funny, good, goodlooking, a hard worker and good provider. I love him very much, but he is not a believer. I go to church alone, I pray for my children alone, I make Godly decisions alone. I long for a spiritual leader, but I have none. While I am not complaining, and God has met all my needs far above and beyond what I could ever imagine, it remains a struggle and an ever present pain in my heart. God truly makes beauty from ashes, but the best things come when you wait upon the Lord. His timing is perfect. I guess you can say I am waiting too. I know God is working in my husband’s heart, but I have to be patient and trust Him.

  3. Tionda says:

    I use to never care about dating or men much through my years of high school and my first year of college. I never wanted to get married or raise a family. All I wanted was my dreams of being an artist to come true. And to find my role in church.However, now after reaching the age of 21 the thoughts have started to drift into my mind. It doesn’t help either that all my friends around me have fallen in love. Almost everyday I am plagued by hearing countless talks about their boyfriends and love. Watching movies or seeing couples causes me to bother me.I find myself consistently asking “Isn’t Jesus love enough for me?”

    I miss the old me that didn’t care. I pray for the old me to return but I’m still feel the same longing. I do not want to date at all. I think…I do not even know myself anymore.

    What can I do? :(

    • Tionda,
      From one sister in Christ to another, it sounds like jealousy is beginning to enter your heart. And as a 27-year-old single girl, I recognize it because I’ve been there…and back…many times.

      It sounds like you are starting to long for someone to come into your life because your friends have someone in their lives. For every Christian woman, it is vital that we learn to be content in every circumstance – whether single, dating or married. No matter what phase of life we are in, there will be a temptation to become discontent the moment things don’t seem perfect anymore.

      How do we develop that contentment? By spending time with our Jesus. I regularly have “date with Jesus” nights, to help keep my life in His perspective. Take this concern to your Savior, ask Him to give you a joyful heart for your friends, free of jealousy and that you would be joyful in the place where God has you now. Anytime that jealousy begins to creep in, jump into the Word! God’s Word will transform your heart.

      Praying for you,
      ~ Gabrielle Pickle

  4. LadyElaine80 says:

    Ok, I”m just going to be honest here:

    We talk about NOT settling, but we never talk about the desire to be married itself. Yes, the Bible is clear about relationships with unbelievers, but I also think that we never stop and ask, “why do I really want a relationship so badly?”

    Some of us have bought the subtle, implicit lies fed to us since we were little girls that our rite of passage to womanhood is marriage and children. The church reinforces this belief (in the American church) in its administrative and ministry structures. Is it any wonder then, why you see so many Christian women tempted by the non-Christian nice guy in front of them?

    While I heartily recommend that those desires are poured out of our hearts to the Lord in prayer, we also need to be sure that we’re not exercising balance in this area as far as active waiting is concerned.

  5. Ruthie says:

    This was majorly encouraging to me :) Thank you…it spoke the words that I’ve said and wish to say to so many people I’ve known throughout my life who settle for silver, when God wants to give them gold. I’ve been there myself in the past and I praise God for breaking up such relationships that were not ordained by Him. My prayer is that my fellow sisters would trust Him in ever area of their lives.

  6. Yahaira says:

    I am 24 years old and have been single and busy for over 2 years. I dated Mr. Right in front of me, in church, and even though he was from church Christ was not center in his life. It was a heartache relationship and alot of wasted time being depressed. Now as a single christina women I do desire to marry in a couple of years however I am not searching at all, I make sure that I am busy with church events, busy with family activities and busy taking care of my nephews whom I adore. The key is to keep busy in pure things and on activities that will better you spiritually (church) physically (working out,a neat dance class etc.) and mentally (college etc..). Let God bring the man to you.

  7. Ivanna Alicea says:

    I’m already married with an unbeliever, this is making me to have many fights about our differences. I really don’t know what to do. I don’t want to get a divorced. We don’t have any kids right now, but I’m worry about our future, our future kids….