Be ye not unequally yoked ( not equal) together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
KJV 2 Corinthians 6:14
Being unequally yoked, or in an marriage that is not equal, used to carry a large weight in the Christian community, especially in the Seventh-day Adventist church. As a Sevenths-day Adventist growing up, the pastor would not even marry a couple in the church unless the non-Adventist party was willing to be baptized into the denomination. I never agreed with this concept but it showed how adamant the church was about this particular charge in the Bible. In reality though, is the charge really that deep? As Christians we are all people who believe in Christ… do the denominational values really cause couples to be unequally yoked? An even better question is, does being unequally yoked only refer to spiritual context? I do not believe so. I believe being unequally yoked could mean a plethora of things. It could mean do not marry someone with different morals than yourself. It could also mean do not marry anyone of the same sex as yourself as God created Eve for Adam. Or maybe it could possibly mean do not marry some one who is of the world. In reality though, is the charge really that deep. This is one of the main reasons why pre-marital counseling is so important. One always thinks they know someone, but what the really know is how the person looks “on paper”. Counseling brings out attributes and flaws, if the work is being done, that may not other wise have been seen until it was too late. Marriages are supposed to be life long commitments, and sometimes love is just not enough. When a couple is yoked equally they will be able to work through those hard times when love is not enough and the divorce rate possibly would decline.
Below are a few cross references that Christians sometimes use in their journey of finding a mate or deciding what is meant by being unequally yoked.
I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living,
Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.
They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.”
1 Corinthians 5:9
I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people–
1 Corinthians 6:6
But instead, one brother takes another to court–and this in front of unbelievers!
1 Corinthians 7:39
A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.
Therefore do not be partners with them.
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.
1 John 1:6
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.