Unequally Yoked for Modern Christians
What does being unequally yoked really mean for Christians today?
I am sure most Christians today have read or heard about the verse about not being unequally yoked and we usually equate it with not dating an unbeliever. The verse most of us think of is the passage found in 2 Corinthians 6:14 which states “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”. But, did you know the Bible actually has a lot more to say about yoking than just this verse.
1So what is a yoke anyway? Webster’s dictionary defines it as a : a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (such as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together. b : an arched device formerly laid on the neck of a defeated person. This bring a bit more understanding to this popular verse. Sometimes we may get swayed by societal views and secular norms but the Bible is just as true then as it is now. The standards are not to be compromised or taken lightly. When we enter into a romantic partnership with an unbeliever, we are welcoming the consequences of sin. Such as Webster’s dictionary points out: being spiritually defeated or brought down away from our faith. What I have also come to realize is that although differences are what make relationships interesting, we can be unequally yoked with other believers as well. “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them.” Romans 16:17 It is important to choose a partner with similar values and beliefs. Matt 12:25 states “… Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed; and no city or house divided against itself can stand”. I have seen many relationships struggle due to incompatibility of spiritual levels. One may feel it is important to attend church weekly while the other wishes to attend only on Holidays. One may say premarital sex is acceptable while the other firmly believes it as sin. Or one partner feels that alcohol is a sin while the other would like to consume wine every evening with dinner. These issues can cause much strife and give the enemy a foothold by exploiting feelings that can lead to a sense of rejection, abandonment, and resentment if not resolved quickly.
We each have our own personal relationship with Christ, and we can respect all other’s beliefs and realize that everyone is at a different place in their walk. I would challenge you to ask the Lord about the importance when we enter into potential marriage courtships to look closely at what He has shown you and when choosing a partner with a different belief system and relationship with God.
What do you think, can Christians be unequally yoked with other Christians? I’d love to hear your comments on this topic.
To check out more verses about being unequally yoked see: 2 Timothy 3:5 Proverbs 21:19 2 Thessalonians 3:14 1 John 4:1 Jeremiah 5:5 Matthew 11:29-30 Numbers 25:2-3 Matthew 23:4 Galations 5:1