A young man in his 20s attends our church. He has gotten an unbeliever pregnant. The situation is sad. He asked me for advice, and I told him that it would be alright to marry her. He asked about the verse that says Christians should not be unequally yoked. I told him that he was unyoked when he had sex. Was this good advice? Also, our associate pastor told him that he needs to address the church with his sin. I do not find that to be biblical. I did not share that with him, but I do not know why he needs to address the church. He has confessed it to the Lord and to the girl. What are your thoughts?
There are two key passages in the Bible that speak to your questions. But first, the young man needs to set his heart not on on his past sin but on wanting to please God who wants him to hunger after holiness or as Matthew 5:6 says, “righteousness.”
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. (NASB) Matt. 5:6
This is a heart issue. Otherwise, he lives his life by a set of rules and by a desire to please God by fleeing sin. How he proceeds from here is the difference between heartache and joy.
He is not unequally yoked until he marries an unbeliever. God does not want Christians marrying non-Christians. In the Old Testament, God warned the Israelites to not marry men and women from other nations. Here is the reason.
Furthermore, you shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor shall you take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods . . . (NASB) Deut. 7:3-4
When we come to the New Testament, we find that God still does not want us to marry non-believers or non-Christians.
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (NASB) 2 Cor. 6:14
The Bible says that the only time the church needs to know about a person’s sin is when the person does not want to stop sinning. It is called church discipline. Matthew 18 says that we go to the person first in private and encourage them to stop. If they do not listen to us, then we take someone along and encourage them again to stop sinning. If they do not stop after the second warning, then we take a church leader with us. If they do not listen this third time, then we tell the church and they are supposed to be removed from the church at that time. So if he is willing to stop having sex with the girl and he is willing to follow the guidance of the church leaders, then the church congregation does not need to be told. Otherwise, it is the elders who are to tell the congregation and not the individual.
The goal is not punishment but to rescue a Christian from living a pattern of sin. God wants him to not marry the girl and to not have sex outside of marriage. This honors our Creator. This is His desire.