Here are 4 things God will show you when you are equally yoked with someone.
1. You Are Equally Yoked with Someone When You Both Believe the One True Gospel
The most biblical way to understand the term “equally yoked” is to see how 2 Corinthians 6:14 uses the term unequally yoked:
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
Here we can clearly see that an “unequally yoked” relationship is one where a believer is joined with an unbeliever. Therefore, to be equally yoked, the bare minimum requirement is that you and this person both be believers.
However, one issue that occurs is that this world is filled with people who believe “different gospels” (Galatians 1:6-9). Therefore, it’s not enough to just here someone say, “Yes, I’m a Christian.” You both need to believe the one true gospel as outlined in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
2. You Are Equally Yoked with Someone When You Can Plow Effectively Together
As I said in point 1, the strictest biblical use the of the term “equally yoked” is for two believers to be joined together. However, as Christians seeking biblical relationship advice, the term “equally yoked” is also often used to mean a bit more than this.
It’s a good term to use because of the imagery it invokes. When two oxen were yoked together but one was larger than the other, faster than the other, had a different temperament than the other – all of this affected their ability to plow the field. This is why an unbeliever and a believer should not be yoked in a relationship, because they will be pulling in different directions and the believer’s efforts to serve the Lord will be hampered.
We can take this principle a step further and also say that there are times where two real Christians do not form a great team because they do not “plow” effectively together. For example, there was a season where Paul and Barnabas split up because Paul did not feel they served well with Mark and Barnabas did feel Mark was a good teammate. Instead of stopping their plowing, they just parted ways so they could keep plowing (Acts 15:36-41).
When God puts you with the right person, you will both be enhancing each other’s ability to serve the Lord, not detracting from it (Acts 16:3-4, Acts 18:26, 1 Peter 3:7).
3. You Are Equally Yoked with Someone When Your Relationship Reflects the Complete Picture of God’s Image that Only a Man and Woman Can Form Together
God made men as men because they reflect something unique about God that women do not reflect. And God made women as women because they too reflect something unique about God that men do not reflect. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
Only when a man and woman are joined together in holy matrimony is the full picture that God intended to show through marriage seen by the watching world:
‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:31-33)
If a man does not play his masculine role in the relationship and the woman does not play her feminine role in the relationship, they are not equally yoked. You need both the masculine and the feminine for the whole picture of Christ and his church to be shown through a marriage.
4. You Are Equally Yoked with Someone When You Both Love Each Other and It’s Not One Sided
Points 1-3 were objective biblical principles that everyone should be able to see when a man and woman are truly equally yoked.
However, the Bible also highlights the need for the couple to also have subjective feelings for each other. In other words, for the relationship to be truly biblical, the relationship also needs to be truly wanted in a personal way by both the man and woman (1 Corinthians 7:36, Song of Solomon).
You’re not equally yoked if you’re not equally loved. If it’s not mutual, it’s not biblical. You will know you’ve met the right person when the relationship is not only objectively biblical but also subjectively desirable by both of you.
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