Unequally Yoked – What’s The Big Deal?

Anyone in the Christian circle has heard the statement, “don’t be unequally yoked.” But what does this actually mean, and why should we not do this?

We often hear about the do’s and don’ts and not much about the whys.

If we tell a child not to stick his finger in the power socket and walk away, more than likely, that child is going to stick his finger in the socket. If we tell him how he might get hurt if he puts his finger in the socket and we don’t want him to get hurt, then you may see him avoid that action because he understands the why and the heart of the person telling him the no.

It is the same with being unequally yoked. So today, I want to talk about what it means to be unequally yoked and why it is not a biblical or healthy choice for a believer.

A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the load or burden they are pulling. A team that you would consider “unequally yoked typically has one stronger one and a weaker one. One might be taller, and one shorter. When the oxen are unequally yoked, they cannot work together because they are always fighting one another. They are in different places, have different ways of thinking, and go in different directions.

When you have a Christian, a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, and an unbeliever, one who doesn’t believe in Jesus at all, the relationship will be like these two oxen we described above.

You have two very different belief systems and two very different ways of living life coming together while trying to live one life going in the same direction.

This couple will be attempting to walk together forward while one is going one way and another is going another way.

What happens is either something breaks apart, one caves into the other’s way of thinking and begins to go in their direction, or they don’t get anywhere and stay stagnant with no growth because they are at a standstill.

This compromise tends to lead to several scenarios:

There is a constant battle between the two in the relationship

The Christian believer usually is the one who ends up compromising and sacrificing to keep their relationship in a good place. You begin to see them slip out of church more or be distant from other Christian friends.

The relationship tears apart, and the compromises that have been made along the way up until that point leave the person scarred and left with a lot of broken pieces.

One thing I have learned along the way in my life is that God says things with a purpose and, like a good Father putting healthy boundaries around HIs daughter for protection and out of love, God tells us in His Word:

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 (NASB)

God loves us so much He wants us to experience His best in our relationships and in marriage. He doesn’t want us to have to walk this life with someone who will pull us down or move us away from Him.

Our relationship is most important. He is to be our first and most important love always. He is a jealous God.

“for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God— otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice, and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods.” Exodus 34:14-16

So if we make a covenant with an unbeliever, the danger is we will begin to live the way they do and live for other gods in our life instead of God, our Father.

God knows this, and it is why He instructs us in the way we should go. He is a faithful God and Father.

This is not an easy choice sometimes, especially when we meet someone our heart seems to connect with deeply. The temptation is to think that we can change that person or that we won’t change by being with that person.

That is a lie from the enemy because he knows once we get into that relationship, compromises will be made, and as they are made. We grow more emotionally attached, and the easier it will be to stay with that person and make excuses for our actions. We will begin to justify our choices, and soon we will find ourselves distant from God, living the lifestyle of the person we have attached ourselves to.

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

The temptation will be there. Just because we are children of God and followers of Jesus Christ, it does not mean that temptation will never come upon us. We live in a fallen and sinful world, so it will always be here. Our enemy will always be looming around to seek to steal, kill, and destroy us and the life Jesus died to give us.

But God always gives us a way out. We have to choose it.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

God has given us everything we need in His Word to know and understand the life He wants to give us. His heart is for us to have an abundant life, and He provides the way out of temptation if we choose to take it.

When I was younger, I loved reading. I especially loved reading the choose your own adventure books.

As I have lived my life, there are adventures I went on that I wish I could go page and turn a different page because the cost of some of my choices has stolen my peace and parts of my life. They destroyed areas of my heart that have taken decades to heal and killed my opportunity to experience God’s best in areas of my life that I have had to mourn.

God wants better for His children, and I want God’s best for you, your children, and your families.

We live in a culture that says these things aren’t a big deal or everyone is doing it. The culture has desensitized generations.

But God is restoring what the enemy has stolen or tried to steal.

Let’s be a part of reminding this generation of God’s incredibly deep love for us and encouraging God’s best in their lives.