Equally Yoked Means Equal Convictions

equally-yoked

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

A few months ago, my friend and I were stretched across her long black leather couch having girl talk with dark chocolate, licorice and hot tea when my friend dropped a bomb that gave me chills.  It was a cold Friday night in suburban Michigan so naturally, it was a great time to stay indoors and talk about life, love, dating and relationships.   We were at the peak of discussing some of our past (not so-great) relationships when she said “I’ll tell you one more thing I’ve learned and that’s…equally yoked also means equal convictions.”  You see, it’s easy to share equal likes and dislikes in a relationship such as:

  • We like action movies
  • We dislike waiting in line at Walmart (me too!)
  • We like going to the gym in the morning
  • We like big city-life
  • We dislike apple pie
  • We love chocolate ice cream…etc.

However, it’s a bit different when our likes and dislikes are things called convictions and boundaries.  Things get a bit more complicated.

One of the most heart-breaking stories I’ve ever heard was the story of a woman and her husband who became enraged after she tithed $10,000 to her church. In fact, he became so upset that he called the pastor of the church and demanded their money back.   She was utterly embarrassed and ashamed by the ordeal, and a few months later they were divorced. The dissimilar view and value regarding tithing was just one of many things she overlooked about her husband during the dating phase of their relationship.   They had a long distance relationship while dating therefore, they didn’t really get a chance to attend church together. Her husband believed in God so, she never thought to ask about his beliefs and practices within the church. Instead, she assumed that since she loved to tithe, he would too once she became his wife. Unfortunately, that never happened.

When it comes to navigating relationships, the bible offers us wise counsel on the importance of being equally yoked in order to be on one accord with our spouse or mate.

It simply says “two cannot walk together unless they’re in agreement” (Amos 3:3).

Animal-EncountersOxenYoked

If you’ve ever seen a pair of yoked oxen or cattle you’ll notice that the actual yoke is equal on both sides to allow the cattle to walk together. If the distance between the cattle and the yoke, was off by even a few inches, it would affect the way the cattle carry their load. The ox on the left would grow tired before the ox on the right if her load was heavier, and the ox on the right would eventually move at a slower pace.

Similarly, in relationships two people with dissimilar convictions will have a difficult time progressing in their relationship.  Let’s use sexual purity as an example: when one person is striving to maintain his or her sexual purity and the other is not, it slows down the pace of the relationship.  It takes the relationship off course, and it causes one or both individuals not to reach their intended level of spiritual and emotional maturity.   The person with a commitment to purity finds themselves struggling with guilt and regret from being thrown off course, while the other (who never really had any sense of conviction or direction in the first places) continues to walk aimlessly.

In contrast, let’s consider a couple that has been intentional about being equally yoked in their relationship. Imagine the couple sitting down and saying “hey, I’m working on honoring God with my body so I’m not going to ask you to spend the night at my home. I’m not going to wear seductive clothing around you. I’m not going to ask you to spend your tithes on an anniversary gift. I’m not even going to try to persuade you to deceive your parents so that we can take a weekend getaway together.”  It may sound cheesy but imagine how beautiful and wonderful their relationship would be on their wedding day by agreeing to respect and establish their boundaries.  When we make time to discuss our boundaries and consequences in the early phase of our dating relationships, we do more than just create enlightening conversations.   We also set the tone and atmosphere for our relationship.  We establish our character, we define our integrity and we create a firm foundation for a healthy and godly relationship to flourish.

When we establish these areas early-on in our relationships, we can avoid the feelings of regret, guilt or shame later.   Being equally yoked has much to do with sharing the same religion but it has much more to do with sharing equal convictions, and agreeing on consequences when boundaries are violated.

If you’re currently in a dating relationship that you desire to see develop into marriage, ask your mate to write down his or her boundaries and convictions for your relationship.  Make a promise not to cross the boundaries. Then, write down shared consequences (i.e. we will break up or we will tell a close friend/pastor) if the boundaries are violated.

When your relationship develops into marriage, you’ll have a wonderful testimony to encourage other singles and couples.  You and your spouse will also have a beautiful legacy to leave for your family, children and friends.

Be encouraged to stay equally yoked in your convictions and boundaries when dating.

Love,

 ~ETE

 =)

Scripture: “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

3 Comments
  • @IAmMikeMose
    September 16, 2014

    Great post! Loved the picture of the eggs up top lol Very creative!

    The story about the man being mad about his wife giving 10 grand to the church is interesting. That’s a lot of money and tithes is something a couple should talk about before getting married in my opinion.

    I think a lot of these surprises can be prevented if people just talked to each other more I guess or maybe we as people assume too much lol

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      September 16, 2014

      Thanks Mike! I love that egg photo too lol! It’s so cute! When people say that finances are the number one cause of divorce, I believe it. We don’t always share the same beliefs about finances or even tithing. Tithing is one of the first questions I’m asking on a date lol. I don’t even have time for any surprises lol! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  • Roselyn
    September 16, 2014

    Great post Erika! This post sparked a sensitive spot on my heart, which God is really giving me understanding on.
    We are all created differently, with individual traits , gifts and with cultural and traditional orientations thrown in the mix, it makes the whole picture look overwhelming. But thank God for his love the tide that binds. Because of his grace we are able to become compatible with a mindset to commit at peace with each other. God is the one who brings two people together and makes them compatible “living together harmoniously”with him as the binding cord. He is the one who places love in our hearts. It’s great you talked about writing down the list. The list helps distinguish the differences but we need not be discouraged or give up if the other’s list is different from yours because it will likely be so.Sometimes God wants us to trust him and in doing so he sometimes also wants us to meet him halfway. We need to remember that God seeks a relationship with us John 15:15 ” I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” And one thing about Jesus is he had a great relationship with God, his relationship was exhibited mostly through the dialogues he had with our Father by means of prayer. That’s what Jesus Christ also made known to us with the help of the Holy Spirit which intercedes on our behalf. So back to the point I am trying to convey. If you meet someone and uncover their list which might be different from yours, it is ok to pray about it and tell God your concerns. He wants us to voice them out to him, we need to be afraid but be honest with God in the most vulnerable state possible. He knows the desires on our heart because he gives and grants the desires of our heart if it will be helpful. Be honest and tell God I love this guy/girl but xyz is preventing me based on the list, it seems we might not be yoked in the area of xyz. Now we need not put our foot forward and try to change the person by imposing our ways. Our job is to pray and if God wants to he can and will change the person’s mindset by convicting him/her. Sometimes God wants us to negotiate with him. he needs us to cooperate with him and be in a committed relationship with him as well. The story of Hannah is a great one that teaches us about negotiation and us also cooperating with God. Hannah cried unto God for years fora child, and God answered her prayer when she struck a deal with God. She said if God gave her a child she will let the child “Samuel serve him” . When she met God half way by committing and cooperating with God, when she what God heard her commit the right way and own up to her portion of the deal “plan/will’ of God he responded. Yes indeed God has a will for us in our lives, but it is also ok for us to tell and ask him our heart desires if those a desires will align with his will he is also faithful. Sometimes we need to be specific in our prayer and not be so broad. The will of God is the broad picture, by touching specific areas in prayer he is able to move and we are able to see the picture come together. Ephesians 1:11 ” him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will”.

    Sorry for the long comment. In the nutshell if you don’t like the person’s list talk to God in prayer, and if your request aligns wit his will for your life in the area of relationship, HE not YOU, but HE will convict the person and cause them to come on board. A relationship be it marriage, friendship, couples have the potential to be compatible if both allow God take his place to work on their individual hearts and the two also put in the work through God’s given wisdom and understanding to establish the relationship.

Drop me a line!

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