“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
What does it mean to be unequally yoked and what type of a guideline should I have?
The concept of “yoke” gives you the key. The yoke was a piece made of wood and used to fasten the oxen to the farm cart or to the plow.
Paul is telling that believers should not be bound together with unbelievers. And he equates the believer and unbeliever as a partnership between righteousness and lawlessness? And continues to say that light and darkness have no fellowship. In the next verses Paul asks the question: what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.” (2 Corinthians 6:15-16)
The point is that if you are in the same yoke, pulling the plow down the same trench, that is, if you are working side by side in the same enterprise and partnering together with an unbeliever…you’ve got a problem.
In a dating relationship you may ask what path honors the Lord. Ask yourself objectively; is there agreement in faith, family and mutual values in this relationship? Where there are sincere questions asked, couples get to know each other, faith and family issues are discussed and prepare the couple for a relationship that has success and pleases God.
Wise dating waits for God’s best and is not suddenly smitten by surface feelings, knowing that if they fall “in love” with someone who does not practice faith in Jesus Christ, the probabilities for a long-term successful relationship is extremely low and probably non existent.
It’s hard enough to work through personality differences, diverse family backgrounds without adding disagreement in the foundational issue of faith in God and obedience to Him. You should start with belief in Jesus Christ and love for Him as your beginning point for being together in a dating relationship and as you accomplish this, you have a good basis to start building.
Committed Christian relationships are not perfect, but they persevere since they have a common goal to honor the Lord Jesus Christ. Be careful to not let the feeling of “being in love” obscure the reality of the other person being a genuine Christian.
Emotions can accelerate bad decision-making, if they are not moderated by wisdom and accountability. This is why wise young people engage the wisdom and counsel of their parents and follow God’s word. Choosing to date someone is not like spontaneously shopping for what’s on sale; it is prudent process that involves prayer.
It is much better to stop an unwise relationship in it’s initial stages, than to later have to untangle a complex web of emotions and possible physical indiscretions. Be wise to date in groups; don’t be alone together in compromising situations.
Lastly, wise dating honors the Lord by honoring your body with purity. True love does not prove itself in sexual intimacy, because “love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:3). When you wait until your wedding day; you will be honoring your marriage and the Lord.
If you focus your energy and emotion into spiritual growth, you will have no regrets. Wise dating prayerfully recognizes a greater objective that is purposed in Christ. The Bible also says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Having any kind of intimate relationship with an unbeliever can quickly turn into something that is a hindrance to your walk with Christ.
Yes, we are called to evangelize the lost, not be intimate with them. There is nothing wrong with building quality friendships with unbelievers, but that is as far as it should go. If you were dating an unbeliever, what would honestly be your priority, romance or winning a soul for Christ? If you were married to an unbeliever, how would the two of you cultivate a spiritual intimacy in your marriage? How could a quality marriage be built and maintained if you disagree on the most crucial issue in the universe; the Lord Jesus Christ?
Keep in mind that the most important decision in life is whether we will serve God or the devil.
The second most important decision in life is who we are to marry. A good marriage can bring happiness, joy, security, true friendship, companionship and honor to God. The wrong marriage partner can literally destroy our life and bring nothing but misery, poverty, stress, dishonor and might even destroy our health.
Marriage is a lifetime covenant contract between God, a husband and a wife. God hates divorce, so don’t marry someone that you do not plan to live with, for all of your life, Malachi 2:16.