Y is for Yoke

Y is for Yoke #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset on TwitterYes, I could have written about Yahweh, but I think you’d expect that from me. We all know how I like to keep you guessing. So, what the Yoke it is?!

Yesterday we talked about the very first Jesuit priest, St. Xavier. Did you know that Pope Francis is a Jesuit? Of course you did.

Tomorrow is the last day, my loves. I’m a little sad!

What is it?

A yoke is a wooden frame used to join two oxen together. When interpreted through the lens of the Church, we have yoke as in, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29) and more specifically today, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Why did I choose to share this particular “Y” with you?

@fillpraycloset #atozchallenge #yoke

Doesn’t it seem like I am disobeying the Word (Bible)? I’m married to an atheist, after all. I have friends who are unbelievers. The Catechism (or Catholic play book, for you sports fans) of the Catholic Church expands on this as well:

Difference of confession between the spouses does not constitute an insurmountable obstacle for marriage, when they succeed in placing in common what they have received from their respective communities, and learn from each other the way in which each lives in fidelity to Christ. But the difficulties of mixed marriages must not be underestimated. They arise from the fact that the separation of Christians has not yet been overcome. The spouses risk experiencing the tragedy of Christian disunity even in the heart of their own home. Disparity of cult can further aggravate these difficulties. Differences about faith and the very notion of marriage, but also different religious mentalities, can become sources of tension in marriage, especially as regards the education of children. The temptation to religious indifference can then arise. Source: (CCC 1634)

This doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. There will be difficulty, arguments and broken utensils. But ultimately, I think it’s the Catholic person, or the person of faith to step back and refrain from preaching to their spouse. I did little things, I emulate St. Therese of Lisieux (also known as St. Therese of the Little Way). This saint opted to serve the Lord in ways that were so small no one would see it. She refused to share her suffering with anyone and in that way, she was showing love.

It is precisely this self-conquest, for it is nothing less than self-conquest, in little things which the world never realizes, which is the real secret of sanctity in great things.

Read more on EWTN

I stopped arguing, stopped trying to make him see that I was still the same woman he married, fell in love with and had children with. I live in and with my unequally yoked marriage. I’ve learned that his spiritual journey is never something I can control or even plot on a map to see how far he is to a destination (wherever that is). I can just love him, the way God loves me and I Him; unconditionally, unreservedly and with deep faith that if He willed it, I’m meant to live it.

#atozchallenge #yoke @fillpraycloset on Twitter
How do you not love this?

I’m not entirely done on this subject. Readers have asked me specifically what I do to “make my unequally yoked marriage work”. That post is coming. SOON!

Come back tomorrow to read all about my Catholic take on the final letter, Z. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.


22 thoughts on “Y is for Yoke

  1. I just love your posts! Acts 16:31 says “They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” The faith of one person in a union can save both! In reference to you marrying an atheist. God bless you and your marriage!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think the last letter will be expected. At least I hope not. I have to tell you, since your one post on grammar/writing, I watch my !!!!! like a hawk.


      1. Oh, that’s so funny! (Notice the !) I have an editor friend who has taken this on as a lifelong crusade so I watch mine, too, but I’m sure I use more than she would approve.


    1. I just had to reply, Astrid. My daughter is about to start Princeton Seminary – she is a liberal protestant as you are… and she is coming home to spend the summer with our family which include her two younger siblings who are proud atheists. I hope she survives and doesn’t take their views personally. Unequally yoked siblings? I am a liberal protestant, too, and sometimes I think I have failed as a Mommy seeing where my kids have landed as not believing. I could go on and on about this but I’ll hold off for now.


  2. Oops wasn’t finished yet. The roles used to be reversed, as I was raised atheist and only gradually came ot Christianity. I have learned not to argue with my husband, for he has far mroe knowledge than I do being a former theology major, and there’s no way I can prove my beliefs anyway (neither cn he, but at least according to him there is scientific proof that the Bible is flawed).


    1. Hi Astrid, thanks for your kind words. For me, it’s not about arguing so much as it is showing through action my beliefs. I have another post in the works that can provide some support, you know, to bolster us up a bit!


  3. I always find it interesting to discuss faith differences in marriage. I have a Christian background and my husband is Jewish. It doesn’t make a marriage impossible, but it does add another complication, another area where you have to choose your words carefully.


  4. Now your post made me cry, Cristina, but not about marraige! It is as if Astrid and you opened the door to one of my sad ungriefs, that of raising children who have chosen to be atheists. At the ripe old ages of 13 and 16 no less. My heart is sad, so sad, and I feel like I have failed them spiritually.

    Was St. Francis of Assissi also a Jesuit? We’re almost over the A to Z finishing line! Woot! Woot! Woot!


    1. Oh dear! I’m sorry I made you cry. The best advice I can give you is to pray for them (and some others, that I will add to a post, just for you!)

      St. Francis is a Franciscan – love of poverty and all that 😉 chin up buttercup.


  5. Love the zany photo! It’s adorable! Must be a challenge to have such differing views but you are making it work which is very inspiring. Marriage is a constant struggle and compromise anyhow, but well worth it.

    I have struggled with not feeling very devout in my continuous quest for spirituality. Finally I’ve come to accept it for what it is and be grateful for the good things I get from practicing Christianity such as a sense of community and caring and forgiveness towards others and myself. After taking part in a few Bible studies, I can’t say I’m as devout as some others, but I am spiritual and feel there has to be more. Hope I don’t sound cynical but just being honest. I have enjoyed your posts and learning about the Catholic faith, something I didn’t know a lot about.



  6. I read something the other day about how in a marriage it isn’t about being on the same page, or pulling with the same strength at the same time all the time. What marriage is, is one person supporting the other in their time of need and then switching places as the other needs support. The biggest struggles are the times when both are in need of support and are leaning on the other, and the easiest of times is when neither needs support. I looked back at my marriage and realized this is true for us. Sometimes my husband needs support, more often than not, I’m the one who needs support. Deployments, where we both need support and aren’t in very good places to give it to each other have been some of our toughest times (as well as the time after return when we’re both trying to lift ourselves up after the fact). I think most marriages are an unbalanced yoke in their own sense. Thanks for talking about this, I can’t wait to read more about the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would love if you could point me to that piece you read. I like this particular take of unequally yoked and am always, always up to reading all that I can about the subject in preparation for those time when all wears thin, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

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