“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” Book of Second Corinthians
“Stunned” is the only word that came to mind as I listened to a local Christian radio talk show host and his guest, a Bible scholar, give “christian” advise to a caller to the show. The host had invited people to call in with questions for said Bible scholar, so on the other end of the line was a woman with a question concerning her daughter.
The question went something like this, (although throughout this dialogue, it is my a paraphrase), “My daughter has walked away from her faith and the church and is living with her boyfriend, who is not a Christian. They have decided to get married and my daughter is looking to me for help. What should I do?”
Bible Scholar answers using the verse that I started this post with,“According to the verse in 2 Corinthians, if we are to truly live our lives out of a commitment to the word of God, it would be wrong for you to offer her help because what she is doing in marrying a non-believer, violates the Word.”
Woman caller, “Yes, that is what I have been taught about that verse. But do you think that it would be wrong for me to attend the wedding?”
Bible Scholar, “Sometimes being a Christian is not easy. Sometimes, if we are to be faithful to Our Lord we need to make difficult choices, and not attending the wedding of your daughter is a difficult choice. But I believe that when we make those difficult choices, God sometimes uses them to impress upon others their need for Him and they turn back to Him”.
“Thank you so much for your help, I believe that is what I need to do.” Caller hangs up.
So I sit there in my car, in my driveway, and all that comes into my head in that moment is WTF. Here is a woman calling the show, probably a bit confused because she loves her daughter but has been taught something that goes against unconditional mother love and is told that the best way to love her daughter back into the Kingdom is to reject her?
I looked up that passage in numerous translations, and I compared several commentaries on 2 Corinthians, man stated that there is no concise understanding of what Paul exactly meant concerning interaction with the world, perhaps it involved intimate friendships, or business partnerships, but none of the commentaries said that the passage was being specific on the issues of marriage.
But even if it had been specific, the passage says nothing about a mother helping or attending her daughter’s wedding day. That is what is so upsetting about how this ivory tower “bible scholar” counseled this woman. If she goes through with what was suggested, she will only alienate her daughter further and this action may shut the door to anything spiritual again. Her daughter may also feel that her mother does not love her and allow a toxic wave of rejection and hurt overwhelm her. It will most certainly keep the future son-in-law from ever considering becoming a Christian, and this woman, because of how she hurt her daughter, may never have any contact with future grandchildren.
Here is my advise. One of the greatest attributes of God that we can mirror to others is unconditional love. While this woman’s daughter has chosen to try a path contrary to what SHE ALREADY KNOWS are the beliefs and wishes of her mother, her mother, in Christ’s love is there for her. She is there in spite of her discomfort with the whole situation. Her daughter, and possibly her new son-in-law begin to see the love of God in a different light. Seeing maybe for the first time that Christianity is not about rules and regulations but about forgiveness, patience, and grace. Curious, the daughter begins to ask her mother questions and through love she and her husband are drawn to God and new life.
The “bible scholar” used the Word of God that would have brought death to several relationships. That is not what the “Words of Life” were meant to do.