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unequally yoked, Christians paired with unbelievers,
to be unequally yoked is looking for love in a graveyard

Unequally Yoked: Seeking Love in a Graveyard

If you’re a teen or young adult who has grown up in the church, you’ve probably been warned at some point not to get romantically involved with an unbeliever. A Bible teacher once illustrated such a mismatched union like this: “A believer is someone who has been brought back from the dead and born of the Holy Spirit. So for a Christian to be joined with someone with an unregenerated spirit, is like walking down to the local cemetery and looking for a date there.”*

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:14-16).

A Christian and non-Christian together in relationship aren’t simply two people operating in different belief systems (although that in itself is significant enough to create plenty of problems). Rather, they exist in two different realms. According to Scripture, one is of light, the other of darkness. One is of righteousness, the other of wickedness. One is a servant of Christ, the other of Satan; one is of life, the other of death.

In the western world, the focus is centered heavily on the physical, or outward appearance. A lot of homage is also paid to the intellectual. But spiritual realities are given far less attention, even among the Body of Christ. Yet Scripture talks about God preserving Christians blameless in spirit, soul, and body (1 Thess. 5:23), in that order, signifying that the spirit is the most important. Being yoked equally in relationships with other believers is a vital part of preserving  one’s spirit, soul, and body blameless.

Many people, teenagers and young adults especially, spend a lot of time in front of the mirror before going out the door, ensuring that their physical appearance is acceptable. But do we pay attention to how presentable our spirits are? Have we tuned them to heaven by spending time in worship and prayer and the Word before we go out in the world? Are we aware how potentially deadly it is to be yoked with an unbeliever?

What are some ways that being yoked to an unbeliever can make living for God difficult? Do you have the courage to end an unequal relationship?

*Pastor Allan Chambers is credited with this insight

About Emily Tomko

Emily Tomko's radical encounter with the Lord while at a nightclub changed her life forever and inspired her first novel, College Bound: A Pursuit of Freedom. She is the author of seven books, including 31 Thoughts on Prophecy and Leaving the Shallows: igniting the faith that overcomes the world. Her tastes tend toward vintage and she's a Germanophile, having spent a year in Bremen and Nuremberg. Emily loves the scriptures and writes with fierce compassion and a deep desire to see people freed from the miry clay of this world and walking in the truth.

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  1. I can testify first hand to the difficulties and struggles being in an unyoked marriage. Neither one of us were serving the Lord, but when one spouse finds Christ while the other one is still living in darkness, it becomes a daily struggle especially when desiring to be obedient to God and what he has called you to do. Sometimes the yoke comes to a balancing point, but that is only temporary. As my desire to serve the Lord with my whole heart grows, so does the distance between our spirits. However, God has allowed this relationship and I will continue to serve Him for God is faithful!

    “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” (1 Peter 3:1-2)

    Thanks for writing about the importance of this subject. Powerful analogy between a graveyard and finding a date.

  2. Renee, thanks so much for being vulnerable in sharing deeply and publicly on this topic. Praise God for His faithfulness in your life, and may His kingdom come today in your marriage.

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