Question: What does it mean to be unequally yoked? Is this just in relationships? Or does it apply to friendships too?
Answer: To be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians 6:14) means that both parties are not Born-again. One is. The other isn't. In order to be equally yoked, both parties must be Christians. They must be Born-again. They must have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Does this command apply to friendship? It is referring to relationships, as in romantic relationships.
When it comes to friendship, if we want to be friends with Muslims or people of another religion, that's fine. We should be careful not to let them influence what we know is right.
If the person is of good character, we can be friends with them. We need to make sure we are solid in our own faith first. We must know what we believe and why we believe it. If we aren't, we will be tossed around by any form of doctrine that sounds right.
We must avoid forcing our beliefs on them. We wouldn't want them to do that to us, so we shouldn't do that to them. Instead we should lead by example.
If she sees our character shining through when we deal with difficult people and when we handle adversity, she will want what we have.
If she inquires about it, if she asks questions, we can answer them without forcing our beliefs on her.
Instead we should pray for her. Pray that God will send labors across her path (Matthew 9:38) to teach her about God. Someone she will respond to.
We need to show compassion and love toward people of other faiths. God advises us to shine our light before men so that they can see God's works (Matthew 5:16). We must shine our light so others can see what God has done for us.
What does being unequally yoked mean when it comes to relationships? When we are dating?
What is dating exactly?
To the world, dating is going out with people in order to have fun with no intention of marrying them.
For Christians, though, dating--be it controversial--is a way to find the person God has for us to marry.
Dating is not about just having fun. It is about selecting a mate.
According to 2 Corinthians 6:14, if we are going to marry a person, we cannot be unequally yoked with him. We can't be Born-again while he is a sinner. If we are dating to find the person God has for us, then it is unnecessary to date unbelievers.
In recent years, missionary dating has become popular. This is where we date a person who is an unbeliever in the hopes of converting them to Christianity.
Life is not like the movie, My Big, Fat Greek Wedding where Toula falls in love with a man who is not of her faith, and he converts.
We should not date a person with the intention of converting her. Whether she is of another faith, whether she is a sinner, we run the risk of letting her beliefs influence us and our thinking. Not to mention, when two people date, their emotions become invested in the relationship.
Even in a normal relationship, the combining of two people's lives is difficult. Two different personalities, dreams, abilities, backgrounds, but when we put together two people of different faiths, it becomes nearly impossible. Not only does it make for a difficult relationship, but it is in violation of God's Word.
I dated a man who wasn't a Believer and had no intention of becoming one. He believed he could earn his way to heaven by being good.
I had a relationship with God. I had strayed from God, but I remained saved.
I loved this man, but the thought that when this life ended, we would be going to two separate places frightened me.
I should have never dated a man who hadn't accepted what Jesus did on the cross, that wasn't a Born-again Believer. He influenced my thinking. By the end, for me, the lines between right and wrong had blurred.
We must always be equally yoked in a marriage. We must be saved, and our mate must be too. Remember this is God's command. He commanded it so we could avoid trouble.
When we find a person we want to marry, we need to ask ourselves some questions. Does he talk about God? The Bible? Does he curse? Call people names? Call us names?
We must watch what he is saying. Remember what author Iyanla Vanzant says, "Your words betray you."
What is she focused on? Is it her business? Us? God? Wherever her focus is that is the direction in which her life will go. What are her priorities?
What are his habits? On what does he spend his time? Who is he hanging around? What does he do when he is angry? What does he do when he is sad? Depressed?
These are clues into the real person we are marrying not just the facade she displays for us. Google her name to see her activities on the Internet.
No person is even going to be perfect. He is going to slip up once in a while, but what is his character like on the whole?
Before marrying anyone, we need to pray about it. We must seek God about marrying him. Also we should ask the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth (John 16:13) regarding him.
Asking God for help requires us to wait for God to answer. The answer might come as a feeling of peace (Colossians 3:15), which means to do it, or dread, which means not to. Or God might even give us a dream at night or a word in our spirits.
We shouldn't do anything until we hear from God. It will save us a whole lot of trouble.
Annagail Lynes is a published author, pharmacy technician and starting her business as a life coach. Her work has been published in 21st Century, SeaLetter, Christian Home and School, You! and many more online and offline publications.
To learn more about her, go to facebook.com/coachannagail