“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
The concept of being unequally yoke comes from the notion of yoking two oxen together to pull a plow. One being very strong and one being very weak. The strong one has to drag the weak one along constantly fighting to stay on corse as the weaker side continually causes the plow to veer of course. The stronger ox slowly wares down wearied until he can no longer fight to stay on the straight and narrow path. When two are unequally yoked the weaker is never made stronger by it, but rather the stronger is made weaker until they both are off course.
The warning not to be unequally yoked is often preached in relevance to seeking a spouse. The truth is that if you’re Christian and single you really should not be seeking a spouse at all, but rather seeking God for a spouse. Remember “For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:32-33) If you are seeking a person the devil will surly send one to you and it will appeal to your flesh in every way while they slowly destroy you, but if you are seeking God, He will send you one that will appeal to your spirit in every way while strengthening you spiritually, emotionally, and physically.
The true context to not being unequally yoked, though applicable for romantic relationships, actually refers to ALL relationships. It’s speaking specifically about your friends, your crowd, who you “fellowship” with. Though we are commanded to love everyone we are also commanded not to partake of their sinful activities or give the notion of condoning their sin with your unprotested presence. Yes there are times when God will send you among sinners to witness, to minister to them, to show them love and charity, to help them in their time of need, to be the body of Christ, but never to fellowship and partake with them. Christ did not have sinners as friends and disciples. He loved everyone, and healed and ministered to all, giving everyone a chance to know Him, repent, be changed, and follow Him but those that remained unrepentant He left behind. Telling His people that only those who follow His commandments, does He call friends. He knew the danger to his followers of allowing the unclean to fellowship for any length of time with the clean. The dirt tends to rub off on you.
“Be not deceived: bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
Once you get saved and God changes your heart, your must change your crowd or else your crowd will change you. If you don’t come out from among them and be ye separate, they will slowly pressure you and convince you to compromise. The devil will speak through them telling you that it’s ok to partake in a little sin here and there as long as you love God. Only there’s a problem with that, the bible says that if you willingly sin or break His commandments then you really don’t love him, you love the sin and the ungodly friends more, and that’s idolatry.
Though the devil will cause those closest to you to turn on you, attack you, rail against you, and even cause some to utterly hate you for it, you must choose Christ and stand for righteousness. You can’t have it both ways and it be the real thing. To say yes to Jesus you must say no to sin and remove yourself from the temptation of it no matter what people think or say of you. What God thinks of you is more important then what man thinks of you, and that’s the simple truth.
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:” – 1 Peter 4:1-4
“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” – Ephesians 5:3-11