Unequally Yoked


We are bombarded with messages every day from our culture about what love is and how we should follow our hearts in relationships, dating, and who we ultimately seek to marry. The emphasis is on compatibility, attraction, and emotion, and if these components are present then a couple is assured that they are made for each other. Unfortunately, just because a couple is free to marry, according to state and local laws, and meets the culture’s standard of being in love, it may not be prudent for them to marry. God’s Word tells us to look beyond emotion and the world’s definition of compatible. Christians are called to “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.1” This paints the picture of two animals being yoked together in the context of pulling a load or plowing a field. If a bull and a mule are yoked together, their two different designs and strengths will result in an unbalanced load and difficulty keeping things moving in the right direction. The verse continues on to ask, “what fellowship has the light with darkness?” No matter our beliefs, we all choose to follow something in our lives. As Christians, we devote our lives to following Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. An unbeliever may be a “good” person, but the guiding force in their life is going to be something other than Jesus. Since marriage is a covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and God, it is also not feasible to join in covenant with someone who does not recognize the authority of God to bind the couple together and sustain them in their marriage. As a result of God’s clear instructions in His word, a Christian should not seek to enter into a marriage relationship with someone who is not also a believer. The best way for a couple to explore their biblical compatibility to marry and lay a solid foundation for a lifetime together is by seeking Godly premarital counseling.

Footnotes: 1 2 Corinthians 6:14-16

For further study, see our Position Paper on Marriage.