I want to make something clear: being a single girl who is surrendering her life to God is difficult.
It is difficult because everywhere she goes she are reminded of something, her singleness.
Every magazine geared towards her demographic contains articles about how to get the guy, how to tell if he is into you, or how to look to attract a guy. Her friends are in relationships, the movies are grand love stories about girls her age, and to top it all off her family is always asking if she is seeing someone.
Obviously, there is something wrong with her.
Older friends say she will meet someone at church, or that they are always looking for guys to introduce her to. As she listens to these outside influences, she lets her guard down. She begins talking to a guy that she meets at a church function. Since he was there he is obviously a believer, so check the top box on her list.
2 Corinthians 6:14 says "Do not be yoked with unbelievers." Based on what his Religious Beliefs on his Facebook say, he's a good choice.
On the surface, this whole scenario is perfectly normal and quite acceptable.
Recently, this has been something God keeps bringing up to me. How does a modern Christian girl approach dating? It obviously can't be the way the rest of the world approaches differently because we are called to be holy like God is holy (1 Peter 1:16).
I was listening to a Pastor Steven Furtick sermon where he addressed this issue. To answer the question about God's will and singleness, he said many things that were good, but two specifically that I will address. The first being that singleness is not a condition, or an ailment, or an issue that needs solved. It is a season, one that doesn't have a definite ending, but one that should be looked at in the present tense. By this he means that if you are looking for the fastest way out of the season of singleness, you will miss whatever lesson God is trying to teach you, this can apply to any life "season." The second thing he said is that you can only focus on fixing yourself during this time. More or less become the type of person you want to date.
During this sermon, he also addressed the idea of dating someone who is not actively walking in their faith with God in the most articulate way I have ever heard. He started by addressing that instead of categorizing people into "Christian" or "Non Christian" it is more beneficial to recognize that everyone is on a different area of their path of a relationship with God. He then coupled this with Amos 3:3 which says "Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?" (NLT) He used the visual of two people holding hands and attempting to walk in opposite directions.
Now this combined with my life experiences, and conversations with friends, and books I have read made it hit me: "unequally yoked" doesn't mean a "Christian" and "Non Christian" it means two people trying to follow different things.
It could mean a Christian and a Non Christian, it could mean two Christians. But the defining factor is what direction they are walking in.
Let's go back to the beginning, the girl meets a guy at a church function. They are both on the path towards God, she is walking, but he is standing still. Are they still unequally yoked?
I would argue yes.
I would argue that the only way to determine if you are walking in the same direction is by fruits (Galatians 5:22).
Rob Bell in his book "Sex God" poses these questions:
Does he demonstrate that he is the kind of man who would die for you? What is his posture toward the world? Does he serve, or is he waiting to be served? Does he believe that he's owed something, that he's been shortchanged, that he's gotten the short end of the stick, that life owes him something? Or is he out to see what he can give? Does he see himself as being here to make the world a better place?
In the illustration of marriage in Ephesians 5, women are called to submit, or hupotasso, to their husbands. Meaning "to tend to the needs of the other." Men are called to love their wife as Christ loves the Church.
Christ died for the church.
Does he treat you like you are worth dying for? Do you realize that you are worth dying for?
This realization changes everything for me. It grants me patience. Why should I settle for the first checked box when there is a man who is prepared to die for me?