Part One of Two: One Swift Tug

To make a point, a fellow believer friend of Suzie Christian asked her to stand on a chair, which she did. He then asked her to hold hands with Johnny unbeliever, who was standing on the floor in front of her. Pull him up he said. When she tried to pull him up (to her faith), she was unsuccessful. However, it only took one swift tug for Johnny to pull her down into his arms (and down to his level). What was Suzie’s friend’s point?

His point was that believers should equally yoke to one another that if they don’t, how easy it would be for unbelievers to pull them down to their level and eventually turn the believer away from God. Be not deceived. . .

v33 Do not be mislead: “Bad company corrupts good character” [1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV].

Herein lays the problem: when two people yoke unequally, it doesn’t take but one swift tug to pull the believer down. Why is it so relatively easy for an unrepentant to persuade a believer to sin against God? Does Christ not sanctify us [1]? Let’s look at that.

It’s easy for us to sit back and judge Suzie for not being the sharpest tack in the box and/or didn’t even have faith enough to figure out [2] that yoking unequally is not only a bad idea, but against God’s will and Word. Moreover, here’s the rub, sometimes people forget that whether the couple are believers, unbelievers, or mixed, they all still have the same sin nature in them. Consequently, if the faith and/or the will of the believer are not strong enough, unhappy times are definitely in their forecast [3].

Actually, the term “Equally yoked” is not even in the Bible, but Paul, through the anointing of the Holy Spirit, does speak to the believers at Corinth of an “unequally yoked” partnership. This commandment of God, we can read in 2 Corinthians 6:14. Below is the NASV [4], which is a little more forthcoming than other versions, as well as the KJV [5], and is essentially closer to what Paul really meant. Notice that this verse is not a suggestion. Neither does it speak to where our heart might lead or to what it wants.

v14 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness [2 Corinthians 6:14]?

In verse 14, Paul is discouraging the church at Corinth from being in unequal partnerships with unbelievers because they are opposites and have nothing in common [6]. Paul wasn’t saying unequal relationships but rather unequal partnerships. Although marriage is surely a great part in a partnership, Paul did not mention it in this Scripture. He was painting a much broader stroke.

The Corinthian’s were deep into paganism so Paul was warning them against having any partnerships with any unbelievers. Even those who just drank the milk of faith [7] knew that the principals of Satan governed the unbelieving world [8]. Similarly, babes in Christ today know the same thing that Satan governs the unbelieving world. Christians are to separate themselves (in thoughts, deeds, and in actions), from the satanic influence of the world [9]. Believers do not do this by marrying an unbeliever.

Marriage is the most intimate partnership of all where the couple actually become one [10], both literally and figuratively, and this is usually how believers interpret 2 Corinthians 6:14. Uniting a believer with an unbeliever is essentially uniting opposites, which will make for some unhappy times to say the least. Trust me.

Anyway, for this imbalance to work, one of the two partners must abandon their beliefs and principals for them to live in harmony with each other. (Refer back to 1 Corinthians 15:33.) For harmony to be in a relationship [11], especially if there is a commitment that leads to marriage, then the couple should equally yoke.

The encouraging thing here is that it is a blessing from God to equally yoke with a marriage partner. Why is this? Because then the threefold cord is in play, whereas it was not in play with an unequally yoked couple [12].

Next week: Equally Yoked
Part Two of Two: Abigail and Nabal
What does Paul’s metaphor really mean? What should we do if we are already in an unequal marriage? We will also look at a few reasons why couples do not equally yoke? Finally, we’ll take an unequally yoked couple out of the Bible and see if we can learn anything from their arrangement. See you then. God bless you all and thanks for your support.

[1] Sanctify means to separate.
[2] Matthew 17:20
[3] Romans 14:1-4, Romans 15:1
[4] New American Standard Version
[5] King James Version
[6] Ephesians 5:11
[7] 1 Peter 2:2
[8] 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6:15
[9] 2 Corinthians 6:17
[10] Genesis 2:24
[11] 1 Peter 3:1, 7, 8; Philippians 2:2
[12] Ecclesiastes 4:12

6 thoughts on “EQUALLY YOKED

  1. Jim ,I like reading your blogs but sometimes I have to say something that might sound like I’m arguing wit you ….What I’m trying to say is that I believe we have to be around unbelievers and let them know more about God ….My late husband only attended church with me on one occasion ….I knew that he had been brought up in church but he refused to go with me ….Around 15 yrs..I went to church without him and lots of times he was upset when I got back home ….About 2 yrs before he passed away he started acting like he was proud that I was serving The Lord and he didn’t want me to be around certain people because of their language …That made me feel good that he would honor my feelings like that …I am trying to say that I lived with him all those yrs and I didn’t give up on The Lord …The day he passed away I found religious papers in his billfold and I have to believe he made it right with God and that I did have some influence on his way of believing …Just saying I do believe we can be married and still have a loving relationship …I know he knew right from wrong and he was a loving guy that cared for others …Thanks for the blog ..Hope I didn’t say anything wrong


    1. NOT at all Barbara. Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I also married an unbeliever. Although she came to Christ things did not work out. I welcome all opinions whether my readers agree our not. My wife and I had a pretty good marriage ourselves. But I was still wrong in unequally yoking. I’ll address some of your concerns in next week’s part. Thanks again for reading and for taking time to comment. GBY real good.


      1. Good words…from scripture that has been proved over and over again…that “Oil can never mix with Water” …..no matter how you stir the pot to try and make it work…it will not:) What is sad sometimes, is that some people feel that ‘Well, we have the same value system as in just being ‘good people?’ (e.g. A Christian and a good Values person) But even so , if two do not have a common ground (both believeres of Jesus Christ) you will never ever really come to an agreement of resolve, because one is always going to ‘give up’ a little of what they have truly believed in,,,,causing resentment at times. It is hard enough for two Christian people to resolve issues alone unequally yoked couples? We are not clones of each other…so there will always be dischord unless we have that “Common Denonminator” of going to our Heavenly Father and pray that He will be our guidance through any situation.
        Thanks…Jim for your words…!!! One can’t argue with scripture…can we 🙂
        Blessings to you!!…………………………………………………….


      2. Thanks Ev. I agree with everything you said, esp the part about one of the two having to give up on beliefs and principals to live in harmony. Harmony might be fire a spell but eventually, things will go awry. Satan governs the unbeliever and God governs the believer. And like Paul said, “What fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?” GBY Ev and thanks for dropping by and reading.


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