In case you don’t know what “unequally yoked” means, don’t worry. I didn’t either when I was dating. Granted, I didn’t grow up as a Christian or in a Christian household. I didn’t religiously go to church as a kid. I didn’t even call myself a Christian until I was married. Even after my divorce, I was learning the Bible and developing my relationship with God, and had never thought to apply “unequally yoked” to romantic relationships. But that is the most important place to apply it.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers”
– 2 Corinthians 6:14
What does it mean? Unequal anything in a relationship creates an imbalance that severs the relational cord between two lovers. But when one partner is a Christian and the other is not a believer of Christ, the imbalance is greater than any other imbalance between two people.
A man and woman can disagree on certain topics like where the toaster belongs on the counter, or which football team is the best. The root of a Christian, though, is God and His Word. It’s everything we stand for, and not having a partner who is founded on the same faith will be disastrous. Let me explain how through a personal experience I had in 2021 with a man I almost dated. We’ll call him “Lyle”.
Dodging a Spiritual Bullet
Lyle and I met through a community activity, and from day one I absolutely adored his nature. He had rosy pink cheeks and gentle, little boy eyes, and he radiated patience and understanding and calmness. After suffering a decade of abuse, I was very much attracted to the kindness of his aura.
Through text, Lyle and I got to know each other. We had a few things in common with our children being almost identical in age, both of us being divorced and loving social events. Once he found out about my crush on him, Lyle asked me on my very first date of all my life.
One night after our second date, Lyle and I got into a debate after he revealed a tragically unholy decision in his past. I fought for righteousness according to God, he fought for what’s right in the eyes of the world. We did not agree. We clashed heads and stopped texting.
As I’m lying in bed that night, I’m almost asleep when God calls me. He says, “Go”. I knew what it meant, so without hesitation I got up and drove to Lyle’s house. He’s not home. Something is wrong. When I tell Lyle I’m at his house, he comes home immediately, and he confesses his whereabouts. He was at a nude bar. After our fight, instead of coming to me to find a resolution—which is what lovers do—he sought out the attention and comfort of other women in a vile den of iniquity. Right then, I lost everything for him.
And yet, I went on two more dates. At that point, in my mind we were just friends. I was on my way out, but I wanted to convert him from his sin before I left. I tend to have a Savior complex when it comes to those who are led astray from the path toward Christ. I couldn’t save him from himself, though, and we argued one more time on the final night we saw each other. He was for strip clubs and pornography. I, as a woman of God, am against them. He was certain that a cure for his childhood trauma and addiction was impossible. I, as a woman of God, knew better. He justified his habits based on the world’s acceptance of them. I fought his habits based on the Word of God.
So, I proposed a final ultimatum: give up porn/strip clubs or give up me. He chose the world. And I chose to walk into God’s arms with not even a glance over my shoulder at what I was leaving behind. I just shrugged and said, “God, I tried my hardest.” And God took my hand, patted it, and walked me away saying, “I know.”
That is what dating unequally yoked is like. An imbalance between beliefs that is rooted in holiness versus worldiness. A man/woman who is not founded on the Word of God will live a life full of fleshly desire and unrighteous justification of sin.
Is that to say that Christian couples are perfect and do not sin when in love? Absolutely not. I’m not referring to sin, however. I’m referring to belief. So, for instance, Lyle did not believe that pornography was a sin against his flesh. According to the world, it’s natural and all men do it. But according to God, to act upon the temptation of our flesh is sin.
That unstable root of belief is what causes strife and ultimately separation in unequally yoked relationships. It’s not the sin itself, it’s the belief in what is sin, what is love, what is right or wrong.
Hope in a Holy Partner
I didn’t think it was possible to meet another person who was as pure in spirit as me. I might not have been founded on solid Christian beliefs growing up, but at heart I’m so pure I feel unwelcome in this world. And after Lyle, I almost lost hope that there were men out there as alpha in their faith as me.
But then, I met one. A man who parallels my strength in faith.
That one man restored my hope in dating someone Christ-centered. It IS possible to find someone who is as pure in their mind as me, someone as selfless in their heart as me, someone as powerful in their faith as me. Through demonstration of this man’s holy nature, God was telling me that leaving Lyle was going to reward me in my romantic future.
Now, the way I determine if a man is good enough by biblical standards is through one image: me standing before God in the church where I want to get married, gazing up at my husband-to-be. If I can’t see myself and the man standing before my Father, it is a no-go from the start. The man that will stand by my side will create an equally yoked relationship founded on God’s Word. We’ll both be sinners. But we’ll also both love one another, and love God above all.
Thank you for reading!