What Does It Mean to be Equally Yoked?

Stephanie’s been a Christian most of her life. She’s always dated Christian men – those who love Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him. But when Drew came into her life, he had everything she ever wanted in a spouse. He had a vision for his life. He had an amazing family. He was kind and considerate. He even believed in God and joined her for church sometimes. The problem was that he just went to church…he didn’t actually profess Jesus as his Savior, nor did he have a personal relationship with Him.

Stephanie had a choice to make. Does she continue her relationship with Drew, or break it off with him and wait for someone else who doesn’t just believe God is real, but confesses Jesus to be his Savior?

We all know the right answer, but when an individual allows himself or herself to become attached to someone who isn’t equally yoked, then it’s much more difficult to break off that yoke. Being “equally yoked” is a term Christians use to describe someone else as their equal in regards to Christianity and having a relationship with Jesus. The term comes from 2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (NIV)

A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen together and to whatever it is they’re pulling. When a pair is “unequally yoked” that means one ox is stronger or taller than the other. The weaker or shorter ox walks more slowly causing the load to go around in circles. They cannot perform the task at hand – they are at odds with one another.

The Message translations sums up the passage best: “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands?”

If Stephanie were to stay joined together with Drew, she would be unequally yoked to him. When you have a relationship with Jesus, you’re decision to date someone else should center around whether that other person has a relationship with Jesus as well.

Women are infamous for hoping their man will change. They think if they start out unequally yoked then somehow that man will come up to their level spiritually and become just as strong and tall as they are spiritually. Men do this as well – they partner with a woman who has great character, but she’s not on the same level spiritually as that man. The Christian in this scenario underestimates the power of being equally yoked.

Why compromise in the area of beliefs? Why compromise in the area of biblical morals and standards? Why compromise in the area of pursuing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? These are foundational traits of a Christian and should, therefore, be foundational traits in a godly relationship. Without this foundation, the relationship will not stand strong.

It’s shouldn’t be difficult to determine if someone is equally yoked with you or not. The difficult part is submitting to the Holy Spirit’s prompting if He’s telling you “NO” when you want to date someone. But to help you determine if you are equally yoked, in my next post I will ask a few questions for you to answer. You’re answers will reveal if you are of equal height and strength with a prospective man or woman!

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