It was many years into my practicing being a Protestant that I came to finally hear (or perhaps actually understand) the biblical concept “equally yoked”.
The expression did indeed explain a multitude of current dilemmas that I’d been unable to articulate for many months. Depression had set in and some days, I wouldn’t have known how or where to start. I was as green as the next young woman, wondering just how my choices hadn’t culminated in the same path that my parents had forged.
Mom and Dad excelled well above most couples; they worked well as a team at home and together in their own small business. Not too many others of their peers could say the same. I had witnessed their devotion, tenacity, and dedication during my youth. Mistakenly, I had presumed that my path would simply follow theirs.
I understood much too late how one seemingly romantic wish could lead to several unspoken, less desirable choices, all included in the entire marriage package when one said “I do.” Had I done my homework as diligently on the Sacrament of Marriage as I had on every subject I’d excelled on in school, perhaps then I might have perused a bit longer, reading between the lines and actually noting some of the finer print. Unfortunately, I was as trusting as any romantic who discovered all too late that the meaning of “becoming one” in the marriage vows was not necessarily a team goal viewed by both partners. I was living an “unequally yoked” existence; its day to day consequences were less and less fulfilling.
The grass was not greener next door; it wasn’t mowed any more often than ours, nor was the landscaping any better! But the teamwork was by far a better example of two people pulling an equitable partnership. When challenges appeared (and this couple had its share), both individuals focused on what was needed by their yoked team for the betterment of the family unit. They were motivated, ambitious, and most importantly, made a great team!
I was somewhat taken aback when My Only chose to spend her tenth birthday with this same family. Yes, I was hurt. But, sadly, I understood. My Only needed the sense of security that our recently separated home could not provide for her that year. The neighbors had once been her extended family; though now miles away, their hearts and home were still open to us. Then as now, I was truly grateful for their loving presence.