Marriage itself is a covenant, a commitment of love regardless of what may occur. As it is said, “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” Because of this, the devil will never stop trying to destroy any and all marriages, both of Christians and non-Christians. For Christian couples specifically, he knows that in Christ, death has no power over them and cannot “do them apart.” In him, the devil, there is no love. He will continue working until the relationship between husband and wife is ruined and broken.
When I was still living in my flesh, and hanging out with the world, I heard many theories about how a couple could keep a good marriage, as well as many theories about what a perfect match is. Many of these theories are common interests, such as hobbies, lifestyle, friend groups, or life goal. Then, I accepted Jesus and became a Christian, but for over ten years I heard many Christians talking about the same things, as though there were no differences between a Christian marriage versus a non-Christian one.
The Bible mentions, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14, NIV) If the concept of what a good marriage is the same to both Christians and non-Christians, then why would God warn us to not be “unequally yoked” through His word? Jesus reminded us not to be like those who do not believe but, instead we should know the truth by growing mature in His word.
What is a yoke? A yoke is a wooden beam normally used between a pair of oxen or other like animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs (Wikipedia). So, what does the definition of “yoke” tell us? If they are two different types of animals, they are not able to pull the load together. Just picture it, if we yoked a wolf and a sheep together, or maybe a goat and a calf together, no one would expect them to pull the load in a harmonious and cooperative way. Instead, it is easy to see what a disaster that would be.
If we think about a good marriage in the context of being a good match along with our understanding of what it means to be yoked together, then we can clearly see the problems that can and do occur when two people are yoked together unequally. This is not just about the hobbies, life style, friend groups, or life goals. What is we also thinking about differences in self-value and identity? How about weaknesses and strengths when facing hardships? If one would choose to give up while the other decides to stand and endure, how would that work? What if one runs toward the world to seek solutions, while the other stays still and waits upon Jesus? Being unequally yoked does not only apply to marriages between a believer and an unbeliever, It can also happen in Christian marriage between two believers. What would happen if one believed that salvation comes by grace while the other believes it also requires works? In a marriage the two are supposed to become one, but what if they are going in different directions and they are no longer moving in the same rhythm as they follow Jesus? Once they begin pulling into different directions it will create distance, and that will become a gap in which the devil can step in.
Having different hobbies, or having different habits when it comes to how to prepare dinner may be easily overcome through maturity and understanding. However, what will happen when two people do not share the same desire to seek and be transformed by Jesus? The person who is truly seeking Him will no longer be the same, and their desires and prospective about life will change as well. Try to visualize two people building a house together, one building using brick and mortar, and the other using sand… will that house truly be able to stand?
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27, NIV)
Do you believe that just being husband and wife is enough to build the house and make it stand? Is it enough that both the husband and wife claim to be Christian and have been baptized?
Husbands, your wife is God’s blessing to you and you should be the head, leading her along the way to eternity. Wives, your husband is God’s blessing to you and you should grow and move with him every inch of the way. Always remember, do not let the devil have any chance to become involved in your marriage. He will take every opportunity to do as much harm as he can. Click here to return to the Marriage Column