Quoting Quiverfull: Unequally Yoked in Marriage?

Quoting Quiverfull: Unequally Yoked in Marriage? April 21, 2013

by Mark Cowperthwaite of Biblical Families “So You’re Looking For a Wife?”

When considering 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, even the tenor of Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth in general, there is no hint that it would be anything short of folly to marry or “become one” with an unbeliever. If one is born of God and the other serving their father, the devil, then what makes us think it would be pleasing to God to marry an unbeliever? 

Even on the practical end of things we see great fault with the idea of marrying an unbeliever. Along with the spiritual battle, we also would surely see different views of marriage, child rearing, discipleship and a host of other issues. As I often see with those espousing non-Biblical views of creation and evolution, once the Bible is not seen as the ultimate authority in all matters you will never find ultimate common ground. For those who don’t see this as a major issue, I suggest watching Jason Lisle’s talk on “Nuclear Strength Apologetics” which explains this issue in a very clear and logical way that is truly irrefutable. Basically the point is that once Biblical authority is no longer our ultimate standard (only a Christian would accept this) we will see failure and conflict in many other areas of life. Sure, an unbeliever might allow a believing spouse to practice their faith, but this relationship will never be truly symbiotic as marriage should be until the unbeliever repents and is born again. For those who are currently married to an unbeliever, 1 Corinthians 7 speaks to that issue and I will leave that for your personal study and consideration.

Comments open below

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Antigone10

    Why do they always quote 1 Corinthians 7 ? Seems like that should undermine their message of “Marriage looks like women under the male for life”. 1 Corinthians 7 is basically “You shouldn’t marry. But if you HAVE to, or if you already, just stay married. Unless it sucks so bad you have to leave”. Everything it says women should do, it says men should do too.

  • The term “unequally yoked together” is part of the 2 Cor. passage referenced. I always wondered: Isn’t husband as “authority” and wife one-sidedly submitting also a way to be unequally yoked?

    I believe that marrying an unbeliever would have been a bad idea in Paul’s culture, but most of us come from cultures where the ideas of Jesus have influenced society so much; and church is pretty much a safe and respectable hobby practiced many not transformed from the inside; that it is entirely possible to meet an unbelieving who treat you much better than any church man would.

  • I think there’s a grain of truth to this- if your faith is something that defines your life and permeates everything you are, then it makes sense to choose as your spouse and possible co-parent someone who shares that, just as it’s important to choose someone who shares most of your ideas about morality, finances, etc. There’s a good reason to prohibit to people with basic, fundamental disagreements from marrying. But….. neither do you have to agree on every minute detail. My husband and I are both Christians, and we agree on a lot, but we actually don’t agree on specific biblical interpretations, the line at which literality becomes obtuseness, or.. ummm….. creation. We are partners, best friends, and have a fantastic marriage. I think that of all the issues to use as a litmus test, creation vs evolution is a little bizarre. So what if one of us is a theistic evolutionist, and one of is is an old-earth creationist? We both share a basic faith in God as Creator which is not confined to young-earth creationists, and we both believe that faith does not require shutting off one’s brain. If you have two reasonable people of faith, their specific doctrinal differences do not need to be an issue. Seriously.

  • BabyRaptor

    By “prohibit,” do you mean legally?

    If so, that’s way too huge an over-step for the government. Do you really want to trust the government to decide if your values align with someone elses’ properly? And what happens if you’ve been dating someone for like 7 years, you want to marry, you’ve proven it can work, but the government doesn’t agree?

    No, that would just be whoever is assigning the marriage papers forcing their opinions on others, much like “pharmacists” refusing to dispense proscribed medication because it ‘violates their personal beliefs’ is.

  • Yes!

  • No, definitely not legally. That smacks of a theocracy, which is in my mind universally bad. 🙂 I don’t think Paul was trying to establish a legal framework; that issue came up in a letter he wrote about church polity and Christian practice. It’s all strictly voluntary.

    A pharmacist refusing to dispense medicine is a different issue. That is a person choosing to risk losing their job or losing customers in order to maintain their religious beliefs. If the pharmacist in question works at a public pharmacy, they should abide by the rules of that entity or resign their position. If they wish to start their own pharmacy that only dispenses prescription fertility boosters and baking soda toothpaste, (yes, that’s just a weird, random set of items; no significance to it whatsoever) they should feel free to do that at their leisure, in accordance with applicable regulations and licensing. It is acceptable, in my mind, for a pharmacy that receives no federal funding to limit their stock as they see fit. This would not generally infringe on my rights as a customer or my ability to choose to shop elsewhere.

  • I very much dislike this verse, coming as I am from the perspective of the “unbeliever” in the equation. I can’t think of anyone who likes to be called an evildoer, an ally of darkness, and told that they are essentially not good enough for their believing spouse.

    Why doncha say that to my face, Paul? 😛

  • Tori

    What if just about every pharmacy in your area did that? If they are not prepared to stock commonly used and neccesary medications, they should not be granted the liscence to run the pharmacy.