An Interfaith Kind of Love
Day 1 of 5: Un/Equally Yoked
“Don’t be unequally yoked.” That’s what I’ve heard from the pulpit dozens of times, regarding relationships with non-Christians.
Many of us in the Church have been told that we have to marry the “good Christian girl” or the “good Christian boy.” It’s been steeping in our psyches since our Sunday school days, travelling with us as we navigate our journeys into and through purity culture. We’ve been told that the only way our marriages can be “blessed by God” is if we stay within the walls of our Church and exclude all others.
But what does it actually mean to be unequally yoked? As we learn more about the Biblical texts—its stories, poems, and accounts—things no longer seem as black and white as they’ve been made out to be.
As a cisgender gay man and Christ-follower, I’m married to a Jewish man named David—my King David! (Wouldn’t that make me Jonathan? But, I digress.)
David and I met in Phoenix, walking through the hallways and exchanging glances in the building where we both worked. Little did we know that one day we would end up walking down the aisle and exchanging vows. We were so different that neither of us thought anything would come of our relationship.
The beginning was rocky, and we couldn’t have been more different. David had just ended a long-term, terrible relationship. I was still closeted, trying to figure out the whole God and gay thing. He believed in evolution, and I believed in a young Earth. He liked “secular” movies, and I talked about all the Christian movies I saw. I went to church up to five times a week, and he would go to synagogue on special occasions. I was a Christian, and he was not. I would go to heaven, and he would not.
Ultimately, what happened was that in our struggles to find ourselves, we ended up growing closer together. We both supported and challenged each other. We began asking each other bigger life questions and talking about religion, God, science. Both of our lives were evolving, and what started to happen was that we started seeing the similarities in our core beliefs more than the differences. Some of those beliefs even evolved along the way.
We both believed in God. We both believed that God is love. We volunteered together. He would occasionally come with me to church, and I would occasionally go with him to the synagogue. Eventually, I could see that the common thread between us was unconditional love. The same unconditional love of God.
You see, God is not conformed to this world we live in; God does not belong solely to the Pentecostals or the Baptists, to the Jews or Gentiles, to Muslims or Zoroastrians. Two of the most profound self-identifiers God calls himself in the Bible is “love” and “I am.”
It’s time to re-think what it means to be unequally yoked.
What are a few core teachings of Christ that transcend across various faiths?