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Do Not Be Unequally Yoked

DO NOT BE UNEQUALLY YOKED

 

Some contend that 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers”, teaches that it is a sin for a Christian to marry someone who is not a Christian.  This yoking of a believer to an unbeliever is interpreted to be an unequal yoke which the apostle Paul forbids.

 

A consideration of the context leads us to reject this interpretation.  Paul is simply teaching that the child of God is not to participate in error and that to do so with sinners is yoking a believer with error.  This is an unequal yoke.  One who is righteous has nothing in common with lawlessness, nor one walking in light with darkness, nor a Christian with Belial, nor a believer with an unbeliever, nor a temple of God with idols (Vv. 14-15).

 

Now, does Paul have an “unequal yoking” of a Christian and an unbeliever in mind?  Read verse 17: “Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.’”  However, 1 Corinthians 7:12 teaches, “If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.” 

 

So, in 1 Corinthians 7:12 Paul instructed the Christian who is married to an unbeliever not to leave (“divorce”) her.  In 2 Corinthians 6:17 he tells Christians who are unequally yoked to unbelievers to leave (“come out from among them”) them.  It should be obvious that marriage to an unbeliever is not the unequal yoke that is being prohibited.  

 

Should a Christian marry someone who is not a Christian?  The best that can be said about it is that it is unwise.  Doesn’t it make sense for a Christian to be joined to someone who lives by the same high standards, shares the same goal of heaven and will be an asset and not a hindrance in helping the entire family get there?

Mike Pittman