This September will be my 7 year wedding anniversary. As many of you know I grew up in church my whole life and am a bonafied church girl. I always knew I wanted to be married and knew that I would not be married to someone that was not also a believer. 2 Corinthians 6:14 admonishes us to “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” Many of us that were raised in church had this scripture drilled in us. To ensure we were aligned with the scripture we try and find someone that is also a believer, attends church and is filled with the Holy Ghost. This is a wonderful and necessary foundation. The trouble is, sometimes we stop there.

In almost 7 years of marriage I’ve learned the importance of being equally yoked in more ways than one. Yes both of you may be Holy Ghost filled; but are you equally yoked when it comes to finances, childrearing, drive and ambition? Not being equally yoked in some of the aforementioned things can be the foundation of a marriage filled with frustration.

Finances

Let’s start with finances. I was blessed to find my equal when it comes to money. We are both awesome when it comes to saving. I can be a bit more of a spendthrift than my husband but are attitude about money is the same Imagine being unequally yoked with someone that can not save money to save their lives. Money is one thing we have NEVER argued about. The only disagreement I can remeber about money was early on in our marriage. Looking back we weren’t making what we’re making now and had to be careful with our spending. I wanted an occasional date night, nothing fancy just dinner and a movie. My husband however would remind me that even though dinner and a movie would not have broken the bank at that time. it was not the best thing to be spending our money on. Those conversations were annoying to have but I was always grateful that I didn’t have someone I had to hide money from because they did not understand the value of money like I did.

Family Boundaries

Being yoked with someone that shares an understanding of the importance of boundaries is such a blessing. When coming together with someone as a union, you both bring different family dynamics to the table. Your family structure you will create with your spouse will be heavily influenced by your own upbringings. Sometimes merging those 2 worlds together can be a challenge and even an area of contention. One of you may have a harder time than the other when it comes to “leaving and cleaving” while the other does not. Understand and examine your future spouse’s family system and the role they play in their family. Enmeshed (no boundaries between members of the family) and rigid (discouragement of individuality and independence) family boundaries may be a way to forecast how these types of relationships will impact your marriage. You may find yourself questioning where you fit in with your spouse if you both do not agree and DEMONSTRATE that you put each other first.

Drive and Ambition

Drive and ambition may be the makings of a complimentary relationship. However if you are more ambitious and driven than your spouse you may begin to feel a push and pull that makes both of you uncomfortable. Joining in matrimony with someone that is content where they are while you are ambitious and don’t feel you are where you want to be yet may cause you to feel you are always pulling things along. You may feel you tire easily of always being the one that has the “vision” for the family. In turn you may cause your partner to feel pushed. Pushed into something they don’t want and feeling that nothing they do is ever good enough. Matching each other’s drive can help with the foundation of a harmonious future.

I’m not suggesting you have a list so long the only man that can meet your requirements is Jesus himself. I am recommending however you take a really good look at your list. Select your top 3-5 things you desire in a spouse. Make sure whoever you choose they are equally yoked with you in those areas and that you are ALSO able to show up in those areas for them. Ensuring you are equally yoked in more ways than one is you doing yourself a favor.

Hey Church Girl! is my personal story in my own words of how I went from spiritually bound (and didn’t know it) to living a life of spiritual wellness. Living a life governed by rules and laws, do’s and dont’s made for a not so peaceful walk in my early life with God.

For most of my life I viewed God the way I viewed myself and other people.  Super critical and lacking mercy.  It was hard for me to accept grace and mercy.  I felt I had to work for God’s approval and I didn’t realize it but I was driving myself crazy.  Constantly questioning or wondering where I stood with God caused occasional bouts of anxiety.

It wasn’t until I gained more clarity on the origin of these thoughts and feelings that I realized I was governing myself.  I wasn’t trying to nurture a relationship with God as much as I was just trying to stay out of Hell.  Much of what I felt was the voice of or conviction from God was really me.  I was making my walk with him strained rather than sweet by setting unrealistic standards for myself.  That was ROUGH y’all!

I know I am not the only one that identifies with a story much like my own.  There are so many expectations of who a church girl is or what a church girl should be.  So many of us have walked away from our pursuit of a life with Christ due to poor examples and influence.  We feel or have felt we will never do enough to live up to what is required to be a “good” Christian.  I pray as I share my story you are able to begin redefining what your relationship with God looks like.  I also pray you are able to see achieving a balanced life of spiritual wellness is possible.