Unequally Yoked – What does this mean?

Equally Yoked | Godly Leadership

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership can righteousness have with wickedness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

While driving home from a long trip I listened to Lee and Leslie Strobel give their testimony. When the two married, neither were Christians, however Leslie became a Christian soon after they married. In the broadcast they tell  what happened as a result of their suddenly becoming unequally yoked.


Lee’s description of unequally yoked really caught my attention. Lee described how the term applies to farmers who use a yoke to connect two farm animals in order to plow a field. This isn’t done much anymore, so many people do not realize the serious consequences of being unequally yoked. If both animals are the same species and have the same purpose they will do fine. If, however, one is a horse and the other an oxen (just one example), they are not the same in any way. The yoke will pinch and torment both animals. They struggle against the yoke and the field is not plowed, the animals are not happy, and most of the time the farmer will have to un-yoke them, because a farmer cannot change a horse or mule into an ox. Thankfully, our heavenly Father can make new creatures in Christ!


Leslie and Lee were equal when married. Both were lost. Neither had a personal relationship with the Lord. Eventually, God, in His great love and mercy saved both. So know that if this has happened to you, there is hope. God knows all about us. He knew before you married and He is able to save both. Listening to the tape might prove very helpful to you.



We are warned not to marry if we are unequally yoked. Does this mean if a born again Christian willfully disobeys and marries a lost person, God will not save the lost partner? There is always hope in the Lord and Christ is still our hope for all marriages. These verses are encouraging.

To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. **A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (1 Corinthians 7:12-16)

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. (1 Peter 3:1-6)

However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. (Ephesians 5:33 AMP)

1 Co 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

1 Co 7:13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.


Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership can righteousness have with wickedness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

It is my belief that this verse applies to Christian believers and not religious people. Christianity, alone, consist of those who place their lives in the work of Christ Jesus the Lord by faith and as believers depend upon His completed work at Calvary to make atonement for sin and His resurrection to insure the future resurrection of all who believe in Him.

See Equally Yoked – Godly Leadership


About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
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