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Are You Equally Yoked?

Over the past couple of weeks I, along with my blogging buddy, Brookey, have been talking relationships, Black Love and so on. As I live with a woman myself, my wife, I'm forced to have daily intense interactions with another person --- for better or worse, and reflect on them.

What does it take to love a black woman? Do black men deserve to be loved? Are Barack & Michelle the quintessential of black love, and so on. At the center of these questions is the question of love. Love period. Color, class or creed be damned.

For all of us love takes different forms, as it lies in the eye of the beholder. And trust me, as a semi-hopeless romantic, it is very easy to fall in love. The problem is being "in love" in that spontaneous, uncontrollable way passes very quickly. Prior to my wife, none of my relationships worked because I simply wasn't interested after that "in love" feeling passed and was emotionally incapable of making love work. Plus, when I wasn't walking away, I was getting dissed and cheated on (probably because many of my relationships began with me helping them cheat on someone else), so I didn't get the chance to find out what my emotional stamina was even when I did want to stick around.

But what about that spiritual component? Yes, I'm going there. I've watched so many friends get divorced and I've even found myself a bit bewildered in the midst of arguments I have with my wife. Would these things happen to the degree that they do if everyone...if I, were equally yoked?

I believe they would, but maybe not with the intensity that they do.

The terminology being equally yoked is specific to the Christian faith, but I'm sure most religious beliefs have some passage or clause that warns about becoming one with someone who doesn't share your beliefs. On its face it can be a source of strife. No different than a boss who has a staff who doesn't share his/her goals. No matter how hard you try, you'll always go in different directions.

I'm sorry to say that when I've specifically heard the term, "being equally yoked" it's usually coming from a friend who's lamenting that some woman he's dating who's a born-again Christian with 3 kids by 4 different men is telling him he's going to Hell for not going to church with her. Clearly this is wrong and does more to chase people away from Christianity than embrace it.

But what about being equally yoked? If, by your faith, it's easy to forgive, easy to move with the ebb and flow of life, you try to keep love at the forefront of your thoughts, you chose to stay away from things that poison your mind, you don't gossip or you're just very thankful. What if the person you're with is on their own program? They act out of their own strength, they are easily angered, they always find some reason not to trust or believe in anything or anyone, or they seem lost in this life. Not can't-find-a-job lost, but just LOST, hopping around life making a mess of theirs and anyone's they come into contact with.

My twist on this is that you can be equally yoked and not necessarily be of the same faith or same devoutness. I don't believe God is this rigid and if this were the case then like peoples would only marry each other (making for a very dull planet). But I do believe you have to be on the same page with your partner. Being on the same page opens the door to understanding one another and encourages the pursuit of that understanding if it doesn't exist from the very beginning. The one thing I will say in support of being equally yoked: when two are equally yoked it is slightly easier to discern one's actions from oneself. So when things do go wrong you're fighting the wrong and not each other. The Bible says, "Hate the sin, not the sinner."

So are you equally yoked with your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/partner? Are you not? Do you feel you have to be? Does it even matter? Does your love (or like) work? Could it be stronger? Whatever your pleasure, please share with in a Holler Back.

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