Churches Of Christ/marriage

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Question
I am a new member of the Church of Christ. I have been single all my life. Down through the ages women and also men have been subject to arranged marriages, these marriages having taken place without love even being a factor in the mix. I have thought about a marriage of convenience for some time, I don't love this man, but he is a good friend of mine. We would probably not even sleep in the same room, I don't love him that way. My mother is aging and throughout the years a lot of my family have died out, just don't want to feel alone. Would this be wrong to marry someone knowing that I could never be truly a wife to him, and if he knew that and he's still willing to marry me? He is not a Church of Christ member, and I know that the bible says not to be "yoked unevenly" to another. Just wondering what your thoughts are.

Answer
Pearl

The initial answer is in your last line...do not be unequally yoked. The reason for that is not that there's a rule about it, but it is dangerous to the believer's faith. It is hard to live the life of God when someone so close does not.

Marriage similarly isn't about living arrangements or getting along. It is about commitment, about life-long intention to care for and nurture our partner.

Love is a decision, not an emotional or physiological reaction to someone, although friendship may well be. To love someone is to put them first, to look out for their best interest, to be a safe landing place for them. To marry someone is to make that commitment to them for life.

To my mind then, there are two reasons not to marry this person. The first is your own answer of being unequally yoked. The second is that the purpose and intent of marriage is more than what arranged marriages might signify. We do not get married with one foot in and the other out. Marriage, correctly understood, is something we jump into with both feet. Our partners deserve that of us.

Those are my thoughts; your mileage may vary.

Blessings on your journey and your decisions.

Hoyt

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Hoyt Roberson

Expertise

I can answer just about any doctrinal, relational, or Scriptural question from a "traditional" church of Christ perspective, and from perspectives of somewhat more progressive congregations. If you want an answer from a particular perspective, let me know that up front, and I'll respond in that vein. If you want to peg me on the liberal-conservative spectrum, I would suggest a bit left of center. Depending on the question though, I might be far left, or perhaps rather toward the right.

Experience

I have fifty years as a member of Churches of Christ. Over those five decades, I have taught teen classes, adult classes, served as a deacon and congregational administrator, Lay Leader at two military congregations, and finally as a shepherd of a 500 member congregation. Most of the congregations I have been a member of have been "mainline" congregations, but I am quite familiar with more conservative and more liberal congregations and views as well. I read and subscribe to various books and periodicals for churches of Christ, and have discussed a variety of topics with representatives of our various groups both in person, and via mail. One of my Masters degrees is from Pepperdine, so let that guide your understanding of my formal training.

Organizations
Christian Association for Psychological Studies, American Association of Christian Counselors, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Publications
www.robersonblog.blogspot.com

Education/Credentials
I hold a Masters of Ministry degree from Pepperdine University, as well as a Masters of Counseling degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Phoenix.

Awards and Honors
The greatest temporal honor I have had is to be an elder for ten years. The next greatest temporal honor is having been asked to preach for our current congregation.

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