“Do Not Become Unevenly Yoked”
THE two bulls pictured here have enormous strength, enabling them to pull heavy loads with ease. But suppose one of the bulls was replaced by a donkey. Since a donkey is smaller and weaker than a bull, likely it would rebel by kicking the traces holding it in this uneven yoke. With good reason, then, God’s law to Israel stated: “You must not plow with a bull and an ass together.”—Deuteronomy 22:10.
The apostle Paul wrote something similar concerning humans. He said: “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers.” (2 Corinthians 6:14) This should especially be kept in mind when choosing a marriage mate. Marriage is a permanent partnership, for Jesus Christ said: “What God has yoked together let no man put apart.” (Matthew 19:6) Much heartache results when a married couple do not share beliefs, principles, and goals. It is therefore only reasonable to follow the Bible’s admonition to marry “only in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 7:39) Entering into wedlock with someone who does not share your religious faith would present an even greater problem than yoking a bull with a donkey.
Difference in religious belief is just one factor that could cause a couple to be unevenly yoked. Prospective mates—even of the same faith—would do well to ask, ‘Do we share the same goals? Where will we live? Who will handle the budget? Will both of us work? What about children? Would kindness and consideration govern the relationship?’
To some degree, the manner in which such issues are discussed can indicate whether a yoke will be even or uneven. Of course, no two persons are completely compatible. Overall, however, if a courting couple can face and solve problems together and if they can keep the lines of communication open, it is likely that they will not be unevenly yoked.