Simple question/Complex answer: “What Does It Mean To Be Equally Yoked?” Equally yoked is a biblical phrase referred in the Christian community that is oftentimes used to justify a decision made about marriage. I have heard people say that they were not equally yoked with someone because of a different upbringing, decision making process, beliefs, finances, education, location and even appearance. That stuff has nothing to do with being equally yoked! What’s funny is that the phrase unequally yoked does not specifically refer to marriage. Actually, the phrase equally yoked is not even in the bible. The bible speaks about being unequally yoked. II Corinthians 6:14 says “Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers. . .” It doesn’t say relationships, it doesn’t say marriage but its implication is that of a relationship with another person. A relationship with another person could be a marriage. So to define “What Does It Mean To Be Equally Yoked?” in a manner that provides Christians with the information necessary to determine their “Yoke Status” with their partner I would first like to discuss what has absolutely nothing to do with being equally yoked.
If two people go to church together that does not mean that they are equally yoked. If two people don’t go to church together that does not mean that they are unequally yoked. If one person goes to one church and the only person goes to another church can they still be equally yoked? Well, maybe. If one person goes to church and the only person does not go to church can they still be equally yoked? Well, maybe. Both people have to be Christians. Being equally yoked does not apply to sinners. Sinners don’t have a yoke. Reading the bible together does not make you equally yoked but we are getting warmer! Being in love does not mean that you are equally yoked. Being married does not mean that you are equally yoked. Having a great friendship does not mean that you are equally yoked. Having things in common does not mean that you are equally yoked. If you are not equally yoked can you still get married? We just talked about that, the bible says NO! Pay attention. If you determine while married that you are not equally yoked can you get a divorce? No. I will explain why later. If you are equally yoked with someone, do you always stay “in yoke” with them? Maybe, maybe not. Can you not be in love with someone and still be equally yoked to them? Yes. Can you be equally yoked to two people at the same time? Yes. I will explain later. . . on second thought I better explain that one right now.
Being equally yoked initially doesn’t have anything to do with your love for another person or your relationship or marriage to another person. The first thing you have to do is be a believer in God’s word. Two people who are believers that are in a relationship or marriage ARE equally yoked. Don’t celebrate just yet! Being equally yoked does not guarantee any sort of successfulness for your relationship or marriage. Confirming that two people are equally yoked is what we should do at the beginning of a relationship. Confusion sets in when we are trying to figure out what it means to be equally yoked. In my humble opinion, being equally yoked is about two believers sharing a spiritual connection for God. For example one person can go to church and another person may not be attending church and they could still be equally yoked if they are believers who share a spiritual connection for God. (The person that does not go to church needs to be in fellowship with other Christians at some capacity on a regular basis.) I am a relationship expert but I can’t tell you if you are equally yoked to another person because I don’t know how you know God. I don’t know how they know God. I definitely can’t tell you anything about your spiritual connection for God that you share with your partner either. Two couples could have two different levels of spiritual connection with God. Couple A could be on “Spiritual Connection Level 8” together and be equally yoked. Couple B could be on “Spiritual Connection Level 4” together and be equally yoked. Let’s say that we have an individual on “Spiritual Connection Level 7” who wants to marry an individual on “Spiritual Connection Level 5.” Should they get married? It depends, they will need to agree on what level they both can share a spiritual connection for God on. Maybe they can meet on level 6. I know what you are wondering! “Is this spiritual connection stuff in the bible?” The answer is NO but the problem is that if I said yes too many people would believe me. That is actually kind of funny. I cannot define for you what “Spiritual Connection Level” you are on because . . . well, I made it up. If you didn’t know that I made it up you need to get that anointed oil in your life.
I have traveled the country talking to Christians and Sinners about relationships and marriage. I have disappointing news about my travels. Marriage is just as difficult for Christians as it is for Sinners – How is this possible? I get the same relationship questions from people who hear me being interviewed on HOT 97 in New York as I get from the people who hear me on gospel radio in Chicago. I get the same relationship questions from people I talk to at one of my book signings at a night club in Atlanta as I do at singles ministry at a church in Dallas. Again I ask, how is it possible for marriage to be just as difficult for Christians as it is for Sinners? Christians have simple instructions and/or examples to follow that will afford them a foundation for which to build upon to have a successful marriage. God says that marriage is a mystery but the bible does give us the direction necessary to build the foundation needed to place our marriage on. Let’s a review a few of these directions:
He took Adam’s rib and made woman.
– A wife is a gift from God. Man, she was created from you for you.
Wives submit to your husbands.
–He submits to God, you submit to him. God left Adam in charge woman!!!
Man leaves his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife.
– I will never understand why more men do not take the title of “Husband” more personal. There is no greater title for a man to have. Not president, not rapper, not actor, not football player, not doctor, not attorney, etc.
Wives respect your husbands.
– Every day I talk to more and more women who intentionally disrespect their husbands. I hereby cancel the “Women’s Independence Movement.” Women, instead of saying “I am an Independent Woman” start saying that “You want a Dependable Man.” (I know, I know, that’s a whole nutha article that I already wrote. Look it up.)
He who finds a wife, finds a good thing. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
– Too many men don’t understand the value of a good woman. President Obama is Presidential with or without Michelle but I promise you that he would not be the President without her. Shoot I need my wife too! Hey Boo!
The serpent said to the woman go ahead on and eat the fruit.
– The serpent has many forms. Could be Momma, could be Sister the serpent could be your best friend that wants your husband.
I could go on, but then I would have to take up a collection.
Christians are either not following these directions or they are following the directions of the Sinners. Sinners have no guide, instruction or direction to follow in terms of how to be successful at marriage. Two Christians that are married should never get a divorce because we should be constantly and consistently trying to grow closer to God. If the husband and wife are both trying to grow closer to God then the only place that they can meet at is at God. LOOK AT GOD! Christians should know love because we know God’s love. Sinners only have the capacity to love themselves, that’s why their marriages are falling. Christians know of compassion, forgiveness, sacrifice and compromise. These characteristics/traits are necessary to be successful at marriage. Sinners don’t know nuttin bout dat stuff. Christians got direction from God and the bible and they have all of these cool characteristics and traits that help build the amazing foundation of which the institution of marriage will reside upon. So why is marriage just as difficult for Christians as it is for Sinners? We got Pastors, Deacons, Ministers and Bishops getting divorces every day. Yes, divorce is in the bible but God hates divorce. How you trying to be in his likeness but you doing stuff that He hates? I believe two things about marriage that I need you to tell a friend to tell a friend about.
1. Marriage Is For Everyone – You are to be Married, Celibate or Fireproof.
2. Divorce Cannot Be An Option – The institution of marriage is perfect. God created it. Man-up or Woman-up and figure out what is wrong with YOU and fight for your marriage!
(Oooooh Weeeee this is going to be a good speech! I can’t wait!)
Steven James Dixon
“Men Don’t Heal, We Ho – A Book About the Emotional Instability of Men” is now available on http://www.RelationshipBeast.com
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