Unequally Yoked

Understanding ‘Unequally Yoked’: Context and Marriage Myths

Unequally Yoked

Unequally Yoked Reading the chapters and verses of the Bible in their right context can help you understand the message the writer intended to pass to the original audience. However, this may sometimes be challenging as it requires reading more than just a few lines in the chapter or verse.

Today’s scripture is often misinterpreted: “Do not be unequally yoked.” Occasionally, this verse is taken out of context, however this essay will focus on a common misuse.

This verse is often taken out of context when believers try to indicate that Paul teaches that Christians should not marry non-Christians. But is this true? Continue reading to learn more.

Unequally Yoked Taken Out of Context

Was Paul Against Christians Marrying Non-Christian in the Verse?

Paul does not talk about marriage in this chapter, leave alone in verse. It is, therefore, unlikely that he is warning Christians against getting married to non-Christians.

The text does not say, “do not become yoked together.” It says, “do not be unequally yoked..” This could indicate more than just getting into a relationship if  Paul was discussing marriage. It could also suggest that you should also leave an unequal relationship. So if Paul was talking about marriage in this text, it should not be interpreted only as, “do not get married to non-Christians” but also, “leave the relationships with non-Christians.

And if Paul were talking about marriage in this verse, this would contradict his teaching. In his teaching, Paul says that if a man is married to a wife who is not a believer, he should not divorce his wife. He says the same thing to women who are married to men who are not believers.

In this teaching, Paul shows that it is not a crime to be married to nonbelievers. He says that no one should divorce their nonbeliever spouse.

If Paul was talking about marriage in verse, “do not be unequally yoked,” then this could contradict his teaching. This text is so clear regarding Paul’s take on marriage between a Christian and a nonbeliever. So stating that Paul was talking about marriage in the verse, “do not be unequally yoked,” is incorrect.

What is the Context of Do Not Be Unequally Yoked?

In the letter, Paul addresses objections to his apostolic authority. Some people criticized his leadership abilities and communication style.

Because of Paul’s suffering, his stuttering, and the fact that he refused to take any financial support from the Corinthians, among other things, some individuals argued that he was not a true Apostle. Some Corinthians thought less of him as a result of the false apostles.

Paul attempts to convince the Corinthians throughout this letter that God is definitely at work in his ministry and that his suffering, like that of Jesus, was proof of it. In contrast to the bogus apostles who were arrogantly exaggerating their importance, he strives to stress the message rather than the messenger.

In this setting, Paul implores the Corinthians to be receptive to God’s representatives, of whom he is one, from the close of chapter 5 to the beginning of chapter 7. At the conclusion of chapter 5, Paul begs them to reconcile with God because they were letting the false apostles lead them astray.

Paul tells the Corinthians in verses 11, 13, and 7:2, “Open your hearts to us.” He wished people to cease listening to these individuals who guided them away from Christ and toward an idol.

In this context, Paul commands, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” He is demonstrating to the Corinthians with whom they are associating with. Not with Christ delegates, though. But nonbelievers. And to advance in their holiness, they must depart from them.

Paul is not advising against being married to a non-Christian, thus. Instead, Paul urges the Corinthians to stop tying their souls to false apostles, for they dragged them away from Christ and into idolatry.

Should Christians Be Married to Non-Christians?

Though Paul was not against a Christian getting married to a non-Christian, there are a few things that you should consider before getting married to a non-christian. This includes the following:

Different standards or authorities on ethics, religion, divorce, marriage, parenting, and other topics: Marriage is challenging. Even if your spouse is a devout Christian, you always have two individuals in your marriage who are battling pride, selfishness, and sin. There will be disagreements that you must resolve. For two people who have the same standards, this is difficult work. Now imagine getting married to someone who has different standards from yours. This makes marriage much more challenging.

Different mission:

Your mission is to live for Christ, create disciples, show hospitality, attend worship services, and other such things. Could getting married to a non-Christian prevent you from carrying out your duties to Christ? Will they approve of you attending all of the brethren’s worship services, Gospel gatherings, and studies? Will they support you in hosting your brothers and sisters? Are they okay with you offering the amount you want to give to the church? Will they obstruct your efforts to teach your kids the truth through their words, actions, or both?

Cannot offer spiritual guidance or assistance: The connection between Jesus and His church is represented by marriage. In a marriage, according to the scripture, you see a husband who is committed to fostering and assisting his wife spiritually—a husband who understands what it means to genuinely love and make sacrifices for the flawed person they love. You observe a lady who wants to respect, love, and submit to her husband’s authority. Christ demonstrates a pattern of interaction with His people that His church should aspire to. Are you willing to give up the marriage that we have as an example?

Unequally Yoked

Final Take

Reading the Bilble chapters and verses in their right context is very important. This ensures that you don’t misinterpret the Bible.

We hope this article helped you understand the context of “unequally yoked.” In this verse, Paul was not trying to advise christians against getting married to non-Christians. Instead, he was advising the Corinthians to stop associating with the false apostles who were dragging them away from Christ to idolatry.