Equally Yoked – Does it Really Matter – Is it Racist?
What is a yoke?
A yoke is a wooden bar or frame by which two draft animals (such as oxen) are joined at the heads or necks for working together.
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29-KJV)
What is the purpose of a yoke and do we need one?
According to the Smith’s Bible Dictionary, “Yoke” means: A well-known implement of husbandry, frequently used metaphorically for subjection, e.g. (1 Kings 12:4, 1 Kings 9-11; Isaiah 9:4; Jeremiah 5:5) hence an “iron yoke” represents unusually galling bondage. (Jeremiah 28:48; Jeremiah 28:13).
But….Jesus’ yoke is “easy”, He tells us in Matthew’s Gospel example writing. (Matthew 11:29-KJV)
I wonder if a spouse (in the case of a marriage), or a dating partner (for the single person) would share an “easy” yoke too. Is being single…no yoke at all, better?
It looks like, in simple terms, it is to keep us in line. Keep us from going off a certain path. Making sure we obey and submit to whomever is in control of the reins attached to the yoke? Or just to keep in step with the one that is walking beside us.
It sounds like Jesus would be on one side of the yoke and we the other. Since he is greater than me, just like a larger animal training a smaller one, Jesus would be carrying most of the load. That sounds like a good plan. But….I would have to submit in order to have the yoke placed over me to begin with in the case with Jesus.
Does it matter if I am not equally yoked?
Thinking about the yoke, if it were out of balance or one of us, whoever was beside me was slower or moved too quick or just so strong they dragged me along, that would not be fun, or easy. It could even be at my own peril to stay connected to that person. Common sense right?
So, for my safety and sanity and just pure happiness, I need a better match.
In comes Jesus, or someone like Jesus. Yes, that would be good for me. But am I good for them?
Maybe they are a gentler kind and I tend to be more demanding and need my own way. There will be a struggle on the yoke. We will be pushing and pulling in all directions.
I think I need Jesus too. Or find someone who is just like me. An atheist will do well connected to another atheist for instance. They can both perish together but will be happy at least in this world together yoked. Now a conservative with a communist, not so much. You get my meaning.
I think a Minnesota Vikings fan can pull an ox cart quite well enough with a Wisconsin Green Bay Packers fan as we can have some differences between us that are just minor. If you have the same six ox in weight and build but one is brown and the other tan, it will still work successfully.
How can I tell if I am equally yoked with someone?
(Spouse, friend, family member, co-worker…etc.)
Some relationships we can leave easily, or they will soon leave us. It is the long-term relationships and those that have an influence on our children or others under our care that matter the most.
- Does this person lift you up or tear you down?
- Do they share your same moral standards/beliefs/faith/ethics?
- Is your life growing or do you feel held back from your life goals?
- Do they make you feel threatened or intimidated?
(Are you walking on egg shells?)
Healthy relationships support each other. They help each other by working together through tough times. They are like one unit when together, yet can stand alone, if need be, when apart. A good relationship does not manipulate the other to do what they don’t want. The best relationships love serving, honoring, respecting and praying for each other. The best relationships have Jesus at the center of the relationship.
Is being single a better idea for me?
Some people are called to be single. But the bible says if you can’t control your urges, marry. Sex outside of marriage is not God’s way. God does not say sex is not God’s way, but between a man and a woman and not outside of marriage.
I am not here to judge anyone. I was not a perfect, nor am yet a perfect (until I get to heaven) human being. I wish I could say I was a virgin when I married and that I only had one marriage. I can’t, yet this is not what my post is about.
I can say, I know my life would have been so much better had I been on both accounts. A virgin at marriage and my only marriage. But life comes with free will as God planned it. God planned on Jesus sacrifice even before the garden (Adam’s sin). He knew we were only human. By grace we have been saved if we are in Christ Jesus.
Sin always has a price and always makes life harder for us. Stay away from temptation in the first place! Ask God…the giver of all things, for help! I did and he answered me so many times I have fallen.
Just get up again. Always get up again…one day at a time….sweet Jesus will take your hand!
Only Satan wants you to give up. He is the father of lies.
Don’t listen to him.
Start praising and worshiping God and he will flee. He hates that! Read God’s Word out loud. Satan will cringe and leave you alone. PRAY! Always pray and pray outloud.
Satan can’t hear your “thoughts’ or your prayers if they are silent in your head. He hears only your voice. Only God knows your thoughts and hears your “silent” prayers.
God knows ALL THINGS, not the devil. He is a defeated foe!
Blessings with an equally yoked partner?
Because I have been with so many unequally yoked people in my life including my first marriage, I will just share what it is like to be with one that is equally yoked:
- Conversations are more fruitful. We engage back and forth and have a dialog about many different topics and things even if I am not that interested or knowledgeable on a subject. If I am getting bored or have something to get to, I can ask to end the discussion without being intimidated or scolded.
- I can talk freely about my faith, political opinions, our parenting (even though a blended family, some things still need to be set in stone), where we want to vacation, how I want to spend my time, my worries, cares, concerns (even if it has to do with his health).
- We share the work around the home. He usually takes care of the outside, the cars and the garage but occasionally will want to help with cleaning. I occasionally will insist I help lift something heavy into the back of his truck bed. Some things too are off limits for each of us. He can’t lay a hand on my houseplants and I can’t clean his garage (and he does a good job of keeping it in order).
- My list could be very long for this man I wed. He is terrific, but will just add one more thing.
Equally yoked does not always mean everything is going to be perfect, but if you are fortunate to be with a Christian, read your Bible together. We started out this way but now we read together, but separately and at different times during the day. I do ask and sometimes remind him to be reading. God’s Word planted in our hearts and minds do transform us.
Most important, care about each other’s spiritual life. Satan hates the family. Why is the world so consumed with destroying it?
Homosexuality, pornography (even now on the award shows and Netflix), Abortions made easier and on demand. Now even to pay for those being performed in other countries by our American tax dollars!
Silence in the media about atrocities happening around the globe and in America against women and children. Drugs, crime, indoctrination vs education(calling too strict standards racist) and churches not standing against any of it. Nothing said about fathers absent in the homes. I will stop my rant! Satan is behind all this!
My husband is more private about his faith and I can understand and appreciate that. He walks the walk and HIS LIGHT (Jesus) does shine through that man. Even so, do a check up now and then. It helps a marriage. We all need to be kept in line with our yoke or the other is bearing too much of the burden.
“Two are better than one,because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9,10)