What It Means to Be "Unequally Yoked"

You've obviously done your homework. Unfortunately, we can't help feeling that there's a sense in which your findings and conclusions are beside the point. Bear with us while we try to explain.

Let's set aside for a moment the question of whether it would be a sin to marry a non-Christian. Common sense alone suggests that it would be unwise. Why? Because it wouldn't bode well either for the success of the marriage or the health of the believing partner's relationship with Christ.

You're probably right to assert that Paul wasn't thinking primarily of marriage when he wrote, "Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers." But that doesn't mean that the principle contained in this verse can't be given a broader application. It's always important to ask ourselves, in every area of life, what part a believer can have with an unbeliever (II Corinthians 6:15). This is particularly true where marriage is concerned. Remember the call of Christ: "Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me" (Mark 8:34). How can you expect to follow a Master who demands absolute allegiance if you choose to become "one flesh" (Genesis 2:24) with a person who disregards His claims?

Naturally, it's not our place to tell you whom you can or cannot marry. The choice of a lifelong mate is a matter of profound importance. It's second only to that of a person's relationship with God. Accordingly, it's a decision that you alone must make for yourself. For that very reason we would urge you to proceed with caution. Be humble and listen carefully to the advice of those who know and love you best. You won't regret it.

If you think it might be helpful to discuss your questions at greater length, call us. Focus on the Family has a staff of pastoral counselors who would love to speak with you over the phone.


The First Five Years of Marriage: Launching a Lifelong, Successful Relationship

The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters

Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know

The Bible Answer Book

Marriage Alive

Christian Research Institute

Insight for Living


Red Flags in a Relationship

Strengthening Your Marriage

God's Design for Marriage

Spiritual Intimacy

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