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We are continuing our study of verses most commonly taken out of context. The majority of times I have heard this verse quoted out of context is when "Do not be unequally yoked dating service" brethren or believers are showing that Paul teaches that a Christian must not marry a non-Christian.
There are a few reasons why reading this passage this way is a misuse of the passage…. Paul does not mention marriage or husband and wife relationships in this epistle, let alone in this chapter.
I find it a little odd that one would come to the conclusion that Paul is forbidding marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian in this verse when the topic of marriage is not even talked about in the book… He wrote the book to deal with specific issues between him and the church in Corinth, and marriage is not one of the issues addressed… We will talk about his reasons for writing in a moment as we examine the context.
And if Paul is talking about marriage here, there would be a conflict or a contradiction between what he teaches here and what he teaches in. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.
Paul shows in this verse that being married to an unbeliever is not sinful. He says do not divorce your Do not be unequally yoked dating service spouse… If were talking about marriage, then Paul would be contradicting this statement… The passage in is pretty straightforward in regards to a marriage with a believer and an unbeliever, so understanding Paul to be talking about marriage in is incorrect.
We can see this based on this conflict that arises before we even look at the passage within its context…. The context of the book and the surrounding context: Paul is dealing with challenges to his apostolic authority in the letter. The false apostles led Paul to lose credibility in Do not be unequally yoked dating service eyes of some in Corinth….
He, throughout this epistle, tries to show the Corinthians that God is indeed at work in his ministry, and that his suffering as Jesus did was a sign of it… He tries to show the glory of the message and to de-emphasize the messenger, contrary to the false teachers who were arrogantly lifting themselves up in importance… And the focus of chapters is Paul defending His authority as an apostle….
In verses 11, 13, and 7: Not with His representatives. But with unbelievers… With idolaters… And they need to get away from them so that they can grow in their holiness….
As they listened to these men and followed them, they were joining in with these false teachers in their work. They were having fellowship with them instead of Paul and the other apostles… This is what Paul is showing them in this verse within its context….
So with these things said, I do want to make sure I am not misunderstood about the point that I am making.
Just because someone claims to be a Christian does not mean they are a good person to marry! Here are some things to keep in mind regarding some of the things that may be true about marrying a non-Christian. Even when you are married to a faithful Christian, you still have two people who are struggling with selfishness, pride, and sin.
There will be conflicts that you need to work through… This is hard work for two people who have the same standard! Then you introduce the idea that the non-Christian does not look at scripture as an authority… This makes marriage a lot more difficult. Different mission… your goal is to live for Christ, to make disciples, be hospitable, go to worship services, etc… May marrying a non-Christian get in the way of you being able to fulfill your responsibilities to Christ?
Will they like you going to all of the worship services and Gospel meetings and studies the brethren have?
Will they be ok with you being hospitable to your brethren? Will they be ok with you giving to the church the amount you would like to give? Will they get in the way of you teaching your children the truth, either by their teaching or their example? Inyou see that it is meant to foreshadow the relationship between Jesus and His church.
You see a husband who is devoted to nurturing and helping his wife spiritually — a husband that knows what it truly means to love and sacrifice for the imperfect one you love… You see a wife who desires to love, respect, and submit to the authority of her husband… Christ gives us a pattern here in His relationship with His people that we as His church should strive for… Is this illustration we have of marriage something you are willing to sacrifice.
Are you willing to be the one who trains and teaches your children according to scripture?
I have had this issue with my family. But just imagine not being able to, not only not having the support and help of your spouse in your but to not even be able to talk to them about what the focus of your life is!
We need to ask tough questions of ourselves when we are choosing someone to marry. Our examination of someone we are considering to marry needs to be less superficial. Yes, they may be a nice person and attractive and do some nice things for you and whatever… But will they help you, and your children if the Lord gives you any, to get to Heaven? Or may they hinder that from happening by their example? There are many reasons why we can see that it is not wise to marry a non-Christian.