Sometimes, being single is not easy.

There is so much pressure to pair up and live happily ever after.

The world views singleness as a problem. On every TV channel, there are ads targeting the single crowd telling them that they would be happier in a relationship. An array of romantic comedies and emotional tales of true love leave single girls pulling out their hair and screaming, “Where is the one?!!”

And for the single woman who really does want to be married, it is easy to get discouraged. In case you haven’t noticed – there are a lot of strange guys out there. And turning to lost friends from work for companionship, rather than enduring the loneliness of one more Friday night eating a Lean Cuisine with Ben and Jerry can be convenient.  Why wait for God’s Mr. Right when Mr. Right-in-front-of-you is sitting in the next office? He doesn’t have any major vices, he seems like an all around good guy. So what if he’s not only a CEO in work, but a CEO in church…as in “Christmas and Easter Only”? At least he is sort of spiritual and seeking…..something?

So what?

The Bible is what.

God is very clear on this subject of close relationships between believers and unbelievers. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” This verse applies to all types of relationships with non-Christians, but there is only one relationship that if “yoked” with an unbeliever, cannot be undone. … Marriage.

So, what does Paul mean by unequally yoked? The expression “unequally yoked” comes from Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:10, where it means “mismatched.” It’s talking about the yoking of two animals of very different sizes and temperaments to walk at the same pace and to act as one in the same work. It will never happen – the animals are just too different!  In this passage, Paul is warning the Corinthians against compromising their witness to the world. He emphasizes avoiding any action that would cause believers to link up with the world, which includes marriage.

You may think that the “lost, but so amazing” guy you are dating is the only one who really “gets” you. But if you do not have Christ in common, you have no foundation for a relationship. In the next few verses (2 Corinthians 6:14-16), Paul links unbelievers with lawlessness, darkness and even Satan himself. He is emphasizing the difference between those who do know Christ as Savior and those who do not. Ultimately, the two have nothing in common. And any believing wife married to an unsaved man will attest to this fact.

You may think that there is no harm in dating the new super-cute non-Christian guy in your life, but the Bible says otherwise. In 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1, Paul quotes four verses from the Old Testament to explain why it is so important that we not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. “For we are the temple of the living God…” Remember how holy God considered the Temple back in the Old Testament? People could not enter into the Holy of Holies for fear of death! God’s Spirit literally dwelt in the Temple. Paul applies that same standard of holiness to the believers at Corinth, who were a part of the new temple of God. It is because  they are the temple of God, they should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers . Paul is not saying that believers should withdraw from culture, but that in their pursuit of holiness they should break any ties with the world that would compromise the holiness of God’s temple, including close friendships, business partnerships, peer groups, dating relationships, and yes, even marriage.

God is not being cruel by commanding you to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. He is calling you to live a holy life and He is trying to protect you, His daughter, from a great deal of heartache. The most important thing in your life  – your Jesus – is foolishness to a unbeliever. (1 Corinthians 1:22-25).

Paul is saying that as a believer, your primary influences should be believers. Your best friends, your advisors, your dates, and especially the man you marry should know your Jesus!  It is tempting to settle for a great lost guy over the socially-awkward stalker in the single’s ministry or being alone for another Friday night. But it doesn’t matter how sweet, handsome or dynamic the guy is – if he is lost then he is NOT God’s will for you.

God is not punishing you with singleness. God loves you (John 3:16). For some women, God’s best for them is to be married earlier, so that they can learn important lessons about God through marriage. For other women, God’s best for them is keeping them single for a time, so they can learn those same lessons through singleness. Singleness is not a problem to be fixed! Singleness is a season of life where we can focus solely on God. The Bible says that it is God’s will that everyone be single for a time and some be single forever – and those are blessed! (1 Cor. 7:32-35)

You can choose to be obedient and single for as long as God wants or you can disobey and date/marry the next cute lost guy who walks across your path.

Who will it be? God’s Mr. Right or the world’s Mr. Right-in-front-of-you?