What exactly does it mean to be equally yoked?
Equally yoked is such a churchy word. It’s one of those sayings that people use so often that they assume they know the meaning through context without really understanding it.
On the surface, people interpret it to mean that two people in a relationship have to belong to the same religion.
In my opinion, it goes far beyond that. In order to understand something like this from the Bible, you have to know the context of the time it was written to understand how it’s used. So let’s start with the yoke (not to be confused with egg yolk). The yoke was a heavy wooden harness that farmers used to hitch two animals (usually oxen) together to plow a field. It was important for them to have a similar size and strength to move together evenly in a straight line. On top of the physical similarities necessary for balance, they also had to be going in the same direction once they were yoked together. One yoked oxen could not move without the other’s support and participation. A disagreement on direction would end in a pulling battle or no movement at all.
So how does this apply to dating? Think of marriage or a committed relationship as a spiritual yoke and ask yourself these questions:
· Are you spiritually stronger than your partner or vice versa?
· Do your morals and values mesh well with each other?
· Are the two of you heading in the same direction?
Whatever your goals and objectives are for your life, make sure you choose a partner who is heading in the same direction so you don’t pull each around other in circles.
So how do you figure this out? Ask questions. Lots of them. What you want to learn is what are their beliefs and values? What matters most to them? They will give you a verbal answer with their words, but also evaluate how they live their lives. How do they spend their money? How do they spend their time? What matters most to them in life? If you disagree with any of these things, they will be a likely source of conflict if you live with them or plan to some day. Whatever you see or hear from them, believe it. Don’t overlook these differences with hopes of them changing in the future. It is extremely unlikely for people to change their core beliefs or values after marriage.
Another important aspect of being equally yoked with a person is truly knowing yourself. Before pursuing a serious relationship with someone else, you should have solid answers to all the questions I recommended for you to ask. Being equally yoked is a two way street, so make sure you’re living up to all of your expectations.