Pastoral guidance of the "unequally yoked" marriage partners
Theron, Petria Magdalena
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This study deals with problems of the unequally yoked marriage partners (a couple where one is a Christian and the other not). The practical theological model of Zerfass was followed by establishing a basis-, a meta- and a practice theory. The basis theoretical perspective shows that God forbade mixed marriages in the Old Testament due to the danger that His people could be lured into heathen practices. In the New Testament, Paul warns Christians not to many unbelievers. Unequally yoked marriages happened when one of the partners got converted after the marriage. Paul's advice to believers is that divorce is permissible, but the decision lies exclusively with the unbeliever. If the unbeliever wants to leave, the believer must let him/her go. Peter's advice to the believing wife is that she must submit to her unbelieving husband and not say a word, as he may be won over for Christ through her deferential behaviour. From the metatheoretical perspective, the literature consulted shows that religious commitment and homogamy have a positive effect on marriages. Believers in unequally yoked marriages revealed in the empirical study the problems they experience and how they cope. A relatively fulfilled marriage is possible. Pastors consulted in the empirical study want to help couples to accept each other and to learn to live with their differences. The pastors focused mostly on the believer's relationship with God. Guidelines for a possible model which pastors can follow in their pastoral guidance of the unequally yoked couple are given and focus primarily on the believing partner. Prayer and Scripture are fundamental in the pastoral guidance.
- Humanities 
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