By James Smith
"She is free to marry anyone she wishes—but he must belong to the Lord." 1 Corinthians 7:39
Young friends, do you profess Christ? If so, take care what marital connections you form. Never consent to marry any one in opposition to the plain precepts of God's holy Word. Remember it was mixed marriages between saints and sinners–which brought on the deluge! It was mixed marriages that brought the Jews into such distress after their return from the Babylonish captivity. It was such a marriage that brought all the troubles of Samson upon him; and it was marrying with unconverted women that led away Solomon's heart from God. The strongest and wisest of men were thus overcome, and therefore you should be on your guard.
Think of its effects on your own spirituality—of the consequence to your children—of the bad impression it makes on the world—and the mischief it introduces into the church. It is one of Satan's chief snares—one of his most powerful engines; therefore beware of it!
Settle it in your minds; determine, in God's strength, that, yield to what you may, you never will yield to this temptation—to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. A man must be intimately acquainted with the entire history of God's church from the beginning, and then he would require the arm of an angel, and the intellect of an archangel—to write down all the mischief, misery, and sin, that has resulted from the mixed marriage of believers and unbelievers! If such a volume were written, it would take more than a lifetime to read it. But it is written, it will be read; for when time with us shall be no more—when it is too late to correct the wrong or make amends for our mistakes—we shall see, in the clearest light, what have been the fearful consequences of such unhallowed connections.
If any of my readers have fallen into the snare, confess your sin before God, walk softly before Him, accept the punishment of your iniquity, and try to warn and deter others from falling into such a fatal snare! Many such marriages have I seen in the past fifty years—but never did I see one that turned out to be happy, holy, or for the real benefit of the parties. But I have heard the confession of the broken heart, I have seen the scalding tears flowing from the weeping eye, and I have marked the dismal effects of such disobedience to the Divine oracles, in a variety of ways.
You may fancy you are about to pluck a rose—but there is a scorpion under its leaves! You may think you are about to drink of a cup of nectar—but there is poison in the cup! You may foolishly conclude that your case will be an exception to the general rule—but it is not. God is true; his Word must be fulfilled; and every age has borne its testimony to the fact that "the way of transgressors is hard." It is hard—but who shall say how hard, since the bitterest sorrows, the sharpest pains, the most acute sufferings, and the most agonizing remorse, have been endured in secret!