I wasn’t raised in the church. I began attending church regularly around age 22 and was baptized at 24. When I began hearing the phrase “equally yoked”, I wasn’t sure what it meant. It wasn’t until I attended a single’s conference that I fully grasped the concept.
Bishop Craig L Oliver of Elizabeth Baptist Church explained how being “equally yoked” includes having the same mission while going in the same direction, at the same speed. He took it as far as showing a physical example. Pastor Oliver asked his wife to stand beside him and they joined hands. They began to walk together but after a few steps, he sped up and ended up walking faster than her. He explained that this doesn’t work because she is now trying to keep up. Next, he then turned in the opposite direction and explained how that didn’t work either because now they were going in the opposite direction. He wanted us to understand that the mission, direction, and speed all matter when being “equally yoked”.
What is Unequally Yoked?
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?II Corinthians 6:14-15
The Bible makes it pretty clear what it means by being “unequally yoked”. Do not yoke or bound yourself with an unbeliever. The context of the text refers to biblical times but still reigns true in current times. One should not create a business with, relationship with, or partnership with an unbeliever because it would be difficult for God to get the glory. This scripture was never written to limit our interactions with unbelievers. If we are to make disciples, we should be interacting with unbelievers so we can make an impact. But joining together with them in business or partnership isn’t a good idea.
If you are a true follower of Christ, you should actually want to partner with someone who understands your way of life because Christianity can come off weird to someone who isn’t an actual Christian. Think about it; you tithe 10%, you pray to a God who you have never seen, you take communion for a Savior who died on the cross and then was resurrected after 3 days, and you study a book that was written thousands of years ago by different people. When you really think about it, how can you explain this to someone who isn’t a believer and actually get them to believe you? They need to have the Holy Spirit or else it’ll fall on def ears. You’ll spend most of your time trying to prove your faith rather than walking by faith.
Is Being Equally Yoked Only Spiritually Related?
Although being “equally yoked” is a biblical concept, I don’t believe it only addresses your spiritual faith. You can be with a Christian and still be “unequally yoked”. You have to ask yourself about goals, mindsets, and preferences. Just because you’re compatible in faith doesn’t mean you’re compatible in a relationship. I’ve had moments where I put more emphasis on the person who was a Christain just to find out they were emotionally unavailable, their goals didn’t match mine, and our speed of expected commitment didn’t match either.
I once dated a guy who was a Christain but he lacked ambition. He literally told me he felt God didn’t want him to be rich or make a lot of money because he should be humble. I wholeheartedly disagreed. I’m an ambitious visionary. I would feel suffocated dating someone who feels living at their highest potential isn’t necessary. I believe being “equally yoked” matters in the spiritual, mental, and emotional.
We’re Not Equally Yoked, Should I Date Him?
As stated previously, I got saved in my adult life. This means that most of my life was lived unsaved. After being saved, I still dabbled in unsaved waters. I have attempted to date several men who do not share my faith. I’ve learned that it is a horrible idea and I would never recommend it. Not only will you clash about general beliefs, but you’ll also clash about morals and values.
I remember dating a guy who thought flirting wasn’t cheating. No, he wasn’t a Christian. I later found out he was planning to cheat on me. He was flirting with women on social media and I caught him. He was sliding in DMs and having a good ol time. When I confronted him, he brushed it off as if I was overreacting. To him, it actually wasn’t a big deal. For me, it was a dealbreaker and I ended things immediately.
My moral compass was way higher than his due to my relationship with Christ. I believe in honor, treating others as you want to be treated, and making every effort to be at peace with others. Well, he did not because he wasn’t living for God, he was living for himself. He’s not the only unbeliever I’ve dated. After continually bumping my head trying to date these people and realizing the scripture was right, I learned a few things.
Why I Won’t Date Him If We’re Unequally Yoked
Lack of Accountability:
God is huge on accountability. The Bible speaks heavily on confessing sin to not only Him but also to who you’ve wronged and to make amends. When I’ve dated men who weren’t believers, they avoided accountability like Covid. It was never them, it was always deflection or passive aggression. I refuse to accept full accountability in a relationship where there are two people. I can’t carry that kind of weight.
Lack of Purpose:
I’ve heard a few men of God say they didn’t see a need to be faithful to any woman until they found their purpose. I believe anyone with purpose is more disciplined, more focused, and more intentional. Having a purpose in life makes you happier and just more joyful to be around. Most of the “unequally yoked” men I’ve dated didn’t have a purpose. They had goals to make money but that was for pride and ego, not to fulfill their legacy on earth. Men with no purpose tend to be aimless, some can be lazy, and many will be unfaithful because they’re trying to fill a void that only purpose can fill.
Lack of Growth:
God will always call you to grow. No matter how amazing you are, God will always call you higher spiritually which will affect your mental and emotional. My relationship with Christ has stretched me very far and this has made me a better friend, daughter, leader, and all-around person. I refuse to be in a relationship with someone who isn’t stretching like me. That’s unfair that I’m doing all the emotional and spiritual work while they reap the benefits. I think not.
Lack of Commitment:
Nowadays, marriage seems to be the last thing on many people’s minds. Many men don’t even see the benefit of it. Marriage is a biblical principle. If a man isn’t following Christ, it’s rare that he will rush down the altar. I’m not saying men who aren’t Christians don’t get married because we know that’s false. But it’s often like pulling teeth trying to convince someone you aren’t “equally yoked” with to fully commit and marry you.
Lack of Empathy:
This is the biggest reason I don’t date men I’m “unequally yoked” with. Men who don’t have a relationship with Christ tend to be very cold-hearted. Biblically, they’re called stiffnecked people or people with hardened hearts. Men who lack empathy will run instead of resolve. They won’t offer a soft place to land when you’re dealing with a troubled time, they will offer a cold shoulder. I don’t know about you but I am looking for a kind heart. I want someone gentle who can put themselves in my shoes and offer an encouraging word. People who lack empathy don’t possess this kind of gentleness and I’ve found that with many unbelievers.
The goal of this post was to offer you the advice I wish was available when I was dating men I was “unequally yoked” with. I could’ve saved plenty of time, energy, and sorrow if I would’ve just listened to my pastor and the Bible. Remember, it’s not all about being spiritually compatible but also emotionally and mentally compatible. We all have our flaws and we all want different things. But “being equally” yoked does make the dating process way easier because you can expect honesty, intention, and empathy.