Staying Within the Lines
Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can goodness be a partner with wickedness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
Did young Noah ever take his future bride on a romantic boat ride?
Did Moses ever take his girlfriend to the Saturday-night chariot races?
Did Jacob and Rachel go out for pizza and Cokes before they were married?
We might never know the answers to those deep questions, because we can’t find dating in the Bible. Dating wasn’t a part of Bible-times society. Back then, parents usually decided who their children were going to marry.
You’ve probably never thought of the upside of letting your folks pick your mate. You wouldn’t have to worry about dating someday. And you’d be able to tell the google-eyed guy or girl you couldn’t stand: “Buzz off. I’m taken.”
The arranged-marriage idea has drawbacks, however. When you were just a baby your parents may have signed you up to marry the cutest baby on the block—but in high school that kid might still be sucking his thumb. Besides that, there’s a little thing called love. Wouldn’t you like to love the person you’re going to live with all of your married life?
You’re probably glad that someday your parents will let you look for your own mate. You’re probably twice as glad that you have a bunch of years before you have to make the ultraimportant decision of which lucky person you’re going to marry. Even so, there’s something you can decide right now. You want to decide today that when the time comes, you’ll look for God’s very best for you—a mate who follows God.
When 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV) says not to be “yoked” with unbelievers, it’s referring to the yoke that oxen wore when they were used as farm animals to pull plows and other farm equipment. It was important for a team of oxen not to pull in different directions. In the same way, Christians shouldn’t marry non-Christians, because they want different things out of life. They will try to go in different directions.
If a committed Christian is the kind of person you want to marry someday, then decide today that they are the only people you’ll ever date. Then you’ll be living by the same wise rule you’ll need when you’re ready to date or to pick a mate. Getting “yoked” to another Christian is God’s most important guideline for finding your best friend for life!
TALK: How is God’s guideline in 2 Corinthians 6:14 meant to make your life great—not miserable?
PRAY: God, we want your very best in all of life—including the people we choose to love.
ACT: If you’re ready, hit Mom and Dad with all your guy-girl questions.