Unequally Yoked with Another
Once we truly set out to seek God with all our heart, mind and soul we start to change. We are drawing ever close to the presence of God. More of who God is, is filling our lives. His Spirit is working and molding us inside out. 2 Corinthians 3:18
One area this transformation in our souls becomes apparent is with relationships with non-believers. When we are truly born of God and growing in our new life in Him, these relationships change. It’s more than engaging in different behaviors. It’s more than having a different focus, direction, and mind-set. It’s more than having different values, though all these come into play. There is a divergence occurring on the deepest level of our being.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
At the core, believers and non-believers are dwelling in different places; one in Christ the other not. One is growing in truth and love, the other is not. Only from God comes truth and love. Only by being connected to Him can we truly know these. One is an eternal living being and the other is not.
Though a believer’s love for non-believers grows as they draw near to God, the ability to deeply connect begins to wane. A true believer and a non-believer can’t be truly yoked. Being yoked is connecting to others on a deep level within our souls. We connect when we are in a similar place internally. When we connect at this level, there is a powerful depth and intimacy that is shared. There is a special connection that is made and each life is greatly influenced by the other. Yoking is what we desire in our marriages and our closest friendships. It’s a deep connection between two souls.
Recently, I learned a great lesson in unequal yoking. I have a friend from my days prior to having a relationship with God. I called myself a Christian. I presumed I was saved, but I didn’t seek God. I didn’t walk with Him. During that time in my life though she was a non-believer, we were in a similar place internally and our souls became yoked.
As I started to seek God and His ways, a gap between her and I started to form. Our relationship became strained because I was no longer where I used to be – in that internal place where we so strongly connected. The spiritual battle in our relationship grew. You could feel the underlining tension as the gap widened. My love for her didn’t fade, but my ability to connect with her as I once had did.
For months, I didn’t understand what was happening. I prayed for our friendship. I tried to nurture our connection. I thought it was a phase. Then one day as I was praying for counsel in this relationship, the Holy Spirit cut through the whirlwind in my head as I tried to get my mind around what was happening and impressed upon me the verse above. We were unequally yoked. I can’t be how I once was with her. The love remains, but our deeper connection is gone.
The Holy Spirit simply told me what had already happened and what I knew deep down – our connection as it once existed was gone – the yoke was broken. I needed to accept it for what it was and let go.
The connection between a true believer and non-believer is limited. They are simply in two different places spiritually. It doesn’t mean we can’t have relationships with non-believers. It means that it will only be at a certain level, and should be at a certain level. We shouldn’t be trying to form a “yoke”. We can be very blessed by relationships with all kinds of people of all walks of life. However, when it comes down to connecting with others at the depth of our soul, being yoked, we are to focus on connections with believers. With non-believers we can only connect so much, there will always be a gap as there is between life and death. And what communion has light with darkness?
For your relationships with non-believers, seek God’s will for you and them. Sometimes we have to let go. Sometimes we have to embrace the limitations. Sometimes we have to reconnect at a different level.
October 24, 2010 at 6:04 pm
It takes someone who is strong spiritually to maintain a relationship with a non beleiver. The non believer will do their best to put your relationhship and your beliefs in God down and try through intimidation to get you to back away from your Christian relationship. Kudos for knowing when to sever the relationship.
Blessings on you and yours
October 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm
Great point. We are so heavily influenced by those around us. Even those who are “strong” need to be aware and undersatnd their ability to be influenced those around them.
October 24, 2010 at 6:50 pm
Interesting. I’ve never thought about applying the unequally yoked verse to friendships until today.
October 25, 2010 at 7:36 pm
Hi Leeleegirl4 – 🙂 I think it is an area that is overlooked. Being unequally yoked is often thought of in terms of marriage, but not friendships – though friendships are a powerful dynamic in our lives.
October 25, 2010 at 12:05 am
Thanks for this. This is something the “seeker-friendly” mentality doesn’t grasp. It’s also not taught these days from too many pulpits.
As you say, there’ll always be a gap between life and death.
Praise God though, the gap created between us can be closed.
I heard that a musician friend was in hospital dying with cancer. The gap between us was very wide for 15 years or more. When I visted him he was open to the gospel. So was his wife. Three days later he was with God. How cool is that?
Bless you heaps
October 25, 2010 at 7:38 pm
Hi Roger – You never know how God is going to use the people in our lives or we in theirs. Sometimes a connection we make today isn’t so much for today as it for some period down the road. How God works is truly amazing.
October 25, 2010 at 2:13 am
Such TRUE words, Rachel. And such “tests” in our life…when passed…are PROOF that we truly DO love our Lord and Savior MORE than we love others. For we “choose JESUS” and our relationship with Him…OVER all others. Again, not saying we don’t love THEM…but the YOKE is broken….for “two can’t walk together except they be agreed.” Amos 3:3. And our “agreement” must be FIRST in the spiritual realm…(the highest realm of relationship) if we are to “last” in the soul and physical realms with another. We are of the FAMILY of God…for they are our “Eternal” family! I always am fed and blessed by your blogs and the insight which God unfolds for you. What a gift from God!
October 25, 2010 at 7:42 pm
Hi Sandy, Thanks for your thoughts. It is about putting God first and His counsel first. His ways are so far above our ways. There is so much that gets in the way of our thinking in relationships (needs, emotions, misunderstandings, etc). It’s so important to learn to seek adn hear God’s counsel and then follow it. When we do all works out as it should.
October 29, 2010 at 3:18 am
Important points Rachel; the meaning of “yoked” is something that I usually pass over without much thought..
As one seeks a deeper connection with God, all aspects in life will likely change–including people we were close to prior to the journey.
October 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm
Hi Slamdunk – I’m finding that to be true – and it makes sense that it would change.
October 30, 2010 at 12:23 am
Awesome post! I found your website recently and follow you regularly. I feel like your post today was specifically for me. Thank you for your faithful service.
October 30, 2010 at 7:06 pm
Hi Janet – I felt it was for someone (s) specifically – I had a different feeling about this one for some reason – so thanks for your comment. 🙂
October 31, 2010 at 2:15 am
Hi Rachel, Another very good message especially for the times we are in. The enemy will try to do everything he can to take us down and using friendships is one of his best efforts.
October 31, 2010 at 10:49 pm
Hi Marianne – you make a good point – the enemy uses our relationships. We need to be aware and let God’s Word dictate our actions not our emotions.
October 31, 2010 at 4:56 am
To take this even deeper we can apply being “equally yoked” to relationships between Christians as well. Our closest friends(spouses too) need to be on the same spiritual level as us so we can be iron sharpening iron and wise counsel for each other.
October 31, 2010 at 10:52 pm
Hi Janna, you bring up an interesting thought. There is a unity that comes from being in the same place spiritually – because with it comes a deeper understanding, thus encouragement and as you mentioned sharpening.
January 10, 2013 at 2:26 am
Lynn! It’s like the words came right out of my head! I have had so many women in my life who think I’m not being a good enough Christian to save my husabnd. But God promises us, that is not our job it is His! I will say that I have found that reading your blog provides the encouragement I need to know that I am not alone out there and we should not be ashamed! I personally have found myself some God-ordained girlfriends to attend church with. Some are single, and one is unequally yoked like me. It brings joy back to church, because I don’t have to feel so alone. I encourage all women to find their own God-ordained girlfriends to go to church with too!
May 28, 2012 at 11:18 am
I am a Christian who is in a close walk with God, but back in the days i wasn’t i had a relationship with a man who is a Muslim, i have two children for him. I love him very much, and him also. As we both love each other we would like to marry, but i am worried that i can’t because of this particular verse of been ‘unequally yoked’. I am very much confused, i am very much in love and i really do not like the idea of another man as the father of my kids.
May 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm
Hi Sandy .. I agree with thethreshermansson … seek God’s counsel in this. Come to God willing to do whatever His will is knowing it is perfect and whatever the answer will be the very best. He truly loves you .. He truly knows what is best. He is the discerner of hearts. He knows what your future holds so only He can truly guide you in it. Honor God in all your choices, yourself and all others. I will be praying for clarity for you in this. No decision of God is based in fear, except going against His will because that brings you true life.
May 28, 2012 at 11:38 am
I have heard so many horror stories about american women marrying muslim men and then the men insist on taking the wife and kids back to their country where Sharia law prevails. I sugest that if he won’t convert to Christianity you break up with him. I know it sounds hard but I have your best interest as well as your kids best interest at heart here
May 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm
im certainly not a marriage counselor nor would i wana be,…and theres only One Marriage coming up that i would want to even contemplate being part of or even invited to the Feast of it would do
Im not sure Paul was talking about marriage as in people, being yoked that way….i think he meant the ones who worshiped Belial,….from talking to Christians and Muslims,…Muslims are clued in far more than most Christians as to who Belial is,…and most Christian churches sadly are yoked to him…any self respecting Muslim knows of and are waiting for the one eyed liar,..most christian s are in the prophesied delusion and stupor
2 Cor :6
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,
all mans religions are yoked with Belial,..all mans religions are pagan is some way big or small,and all are part of ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’……all those that want and are His People will separate themselves and leave all religions behind and seek The Almighty God with their hearts and love of Truth,..and the Only Way is through His Son,…Whom i hope and pray we all will be Yoked to Him Forevermore
December 1, 2012 at 9:04 am
Thanks so much for this post. I have a close relationship with a dear unbeliver freind that actuall drew me back to Christ. Years later I am realizing that something is different. I’ve been asking God what to do. It’s complicated by the fact that she is going through another time with cancer. Your words spoken so softly allowed me to hear the answer. All the other post people talk like the person is so bad. Sometimes that unbeliver isn’t trying to get you away from God, they can be very beautiful and very loving. My friendship with her is so important to me and it saddens me deeply to finaly face the truth. I like how you summarized it, we can still have a relationship but it can only go so deep. Thank you so much for your words.
December 4, 2012 at 11:40 am
Remember we’ve all been in the same place; the pit .. what people need is our love; not our judgment. Christ is the judge; and his judgment is perfect and full of love and mercy. When you are seeking truth … this spirit of truth, thus love is very powerful that is growing in you.. and it’s the love she needs. But with some people you will feel opposition and a contrary spirit in which they don’t honor your spirit … and that causes separation.
December 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm
There was no opposition and she did honor my spirit and my beliefs just not believe in them. That is what makes this difficult. she does not believe Christ died so her sins could be forgiven and wants to take responsiblity herself before God. She does believe in Jesus just that his purpose was different. I still love her very much and I don’t judge her. Are you saying that if there is no opposition and contrary spirit I can be yoked? I’m just starting to feel a change in our relationship. I would love to be wrong but it’s pretty clear ‘Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers’.
I’m just having a hard time visualizing still giving her love but not being yoked. Thanks again
December 4, 2012 at 4:35 pm
What’s the nature of your relationship? a friend, etc.
December 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm
My sister-in law and friend.
December 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm
Put this relationship into God’s hands, ask Him to reveal the true nature of it and what He desires of it for you. Seek what the Holy Spirit instructs you to do specifically. Each situation is different, thus why we need our faithful counselor. Only He knows the whole situation and hearts and will lead you correctly.
December 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm
Yes I agree and I’ve been doing that for some time. I believe this verse and your story is the answer. I trust that God will give me the love and strength to follow His commands.
December 7, 2012 at 1:48 pm
Yes .. and all His commands serve love.
December 2, 2012 at 7:19 am
Hi would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time deciding between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something
completely unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I
had to ask!
December 4, 2012 at 11:40 am
hi .. I use wordpress.