Loneliness can make a person do desperate things — even cohabit with one who isn’t a believer. As a believer, when one’s sole focus is on being free from human loneliness, it can cause them to make concessions with their convictions. They hope that being in a relationship with the unbeliever in their life will cure them of the heartache of being alone. What they don’t understand or refuse to face is that in the end, if the person they are with does not love Jesus as they do, they still find themselves lonely while in a frustrating relationship.
I think this is one reason Paul encourages believers to unite with a believer. He knew the heartache one would encounter if spiritually unequal. He also knew the bond one makes with a believer is closer, and more lasting than one with an unbeliever.
“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).
To “team up” means more than just being a friendly acquaintance or a witness for Christ. To “team up” with someone is to make you vulnerable to them, to depend on them, to go where they go, do what they do, and be influenced by their life and decisions.
When we are intimately connected with unbelievers, we give them the power to influence us away from God and His Truth. We may justify our relationship with them by thinking we will lead them to God, when in fact, they lead us away.
At the beginning of this relationship, it might work at first; you have your life with God, they have theirs without. Or they may follow you for a time just to win your heart, but then, time brings out who they are. Your differences will divide you from them, or they will bring you down. You will either leave the person or walk away from the One relationship that matters to you most. The typical pattern in this situation is a person will choose the unbeliever over Christ.
This separation is the devil’s specialty. He wants you to believe that you are doing what’s right. He deceptively tempts you to think your influence will help the other person.
Crafty is the devil.
The Truth is, thinking you’re helpful to a person who distracts you from the Lord is to believe a lie and makes a way for your destruction, pain, and disappointment.
You end up living with regret. It’s not a matter of if, but when. When reality hits, your partnership with this unbeliever will become apparent; you’ll feel hopeless. When this relationship suddenly stops working and more strife is your existence, you’ll be hurt as well as alone. Noting seems to cause more difficulties in a relationship like being spiritually unequal.
Why go here, when you don’t have to? Be not unequal and alone. Make the clean break now. It is better to be alone and united with the Father in Heaven. Paul admonishes you with a warning and a comfort:
“And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18).
“I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people…I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters” says the Lord. His promise is to fill your void of loneliness in the absence of a human relationship. If you wait for God’s best, He will fill your need for companionship as He prepares you for the one person who will grow your love for the Lord rather than take it away.
If you feel like there is no hope for a relationship for you, cast that worry on the Lord. Trust that His best is at hand for you.
I have seen lonely people who are desperate for companionship go in and out of relationships that were unhealthy. They are a hurting group of people. If they were honest, they would tell you not to unite with an unbeliever, but instead to wait on the Lord’s best.
Likewise, I have also seen those who have prayed and waited. God delivered. And they are grateful that they waited on Him. For they did not have to abandon their relationship with God and God gave them a person to share in His love.
Trust these words from the Psalmist for they are true and a promise for you:
“Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” Psalm 27:13-14