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Equally Yoked in Marriage


oMtonic

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I am familiar with the counsel that we should be equally yoked in marriage. From what I could gather, it could pertain to interfaith marriage (2 Corinthians 6:14), or both partners giving 100% in a marriage, or both partners doing their share/fair share in a marriage.

Might it be valuable to know what the Greek word translated as "yoke" in the KJV means?

At any rate, my main question is thus: What does it mean to be equally yoked in marriage?

Your input would be much appreciated!

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As soon as one starts thinking about "fair shares" or percentages of effort in marriage, one will start having trouble. Marriage is a 'shadow' of our relationship with the Lord, imo, becoming one with each other as we strive to become one with the Lord. That means giving our all to the relationship whatever the other does.

In the scriptures "equally yoked" refers to sharing beliefs.


  • 2 Corinthians 6:14
    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

You could apply this to many areas, if your spouse is not supportive or even condemning of what you are trying to accomplish, this not only makes it more difficult and perhaps even impossible to achieve, but it can taint something that should be beautiful and uplifting with negativity and turn it into oppression and filth.
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I am familiar with the counsel that we should be equally yoked in marriage. From what I could gather, it could pertain to interfaith marriage (2 Corinthians 6:14), or both partners giving 100% in a marriage, or both partners doing their share/fair share in a marriage.

Might it be valuable to know what the Greek word translated as "yoke" in the KJV means?

At any rate, my main question is thus: What does it mean to be equally yoked in marriage?

Your input would be much appreciated!

To me, it means to share the burdens associated with life as a couple, and parenthood. That means that, when one of the couple is weak (because of illness, temporary depression or something like that), the other takes on the extra load. This usually leads to an imbalance in the equality of the load shared, because one of the couple will generally be more able to bear the burden than the other. This is especially evident when one of the spouses suffers from chronic illness or disability.

It also means not getting bitter or annoyed when our burden appears more heavy than our spouse's. That can be difficult!

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It means none of you yutzes is good enough for either of my daughters.

:P That's hilarious.

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I am familiar with the counsel that we should be equally yoked in marriage. From what I could gather, it could pertain to interfaith marriage (2 Corinthians 6:14), or both partners giving 100% in a marriage, or both partners doing their share/fair share in a marriage.

Might it be valuable to know what the Greek word translated as "yoke" in the KJV means?

At any rate, my main question is thus: What does it mean to be equally yoked in marriage?

Your input would be much appreciated!

In the bibilical sense, it means you should not be married (yoked) to an unbeliever.

2 Cor 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

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That is how I have always understood this scripture. However, I was married prior to becoming a Christian, and my husband is agnostic at best. Sometimes it can be very frustrating because I feel like I have a barrier, both to my own spiritual fulfillment and my childrens', and also that I do not have a spiritual leader in my husband. It can be difficult :P

In the bibilical sense, it means you should not be married (yoked) to an unbeliever.

2 Cor 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

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Yes, and that verse does bring me comfort, but it still is difficult day to day without having a spiritual head in my husband. :P

OTOH:


  • 1 Corinthians 7:14
    For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

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What does it mean... yes, it means one should try and have your husband/wife be of the same faith.

What can it be applied to... many thing, some very deep. =)

As calm said, mairrage is about giving your all, and sacrificing yourself utterly for the other person, that it is =D. That is the ultimate goal, not always possible in certain circumstances, but worth striving for.

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Might it be valuable to know what the Greek word translated as "yoke" in the KJV means?
Sure would. The Greek word is ??????????????, which means "differently yoked." The "hetero" part at the beginning should be familiar; it appears in all kinds of words like "heterozygous" and "heterosexual." It just means "different"- the interesting part is the "zugountes" (lexical form- "zugeo" or ?????; noun form ?????) that comprises the root word, translated "yoked" in the KJV.

As a whole, the word is used figuratively of Christians wrongly committed to a partner while holding very different values or priorities, especially related to the Kingdom of God. It's as if they're two oxen joined to a single plow and their purpose is to make a straight path in service to God. But if they're unequally yoked, they'll wind up pulling in two different directions, strain against one another even though there's really nowhere for them to go, and frustrate each other (and God) with their lack of progress. You'll find that at number 1086 in Strong's, but if you have access to BDAG, I highly recommend the 3rd edition of that as well.

Back to ?????, though. (No. 2218). Short definition- a yoke, a heavy burden, a pair of scales. Long definition- a yoke, hence the metaphor of a heavy burden comp. to that of heavy yokes resting on the necks of cattle; also, a pair of scales. A wooden bar placed over the necks of two animals so they can pull together as one unit; figuratively, what unites two people together so that they can move together as one.

?????, ??, ?- unites two elements to work as one unit, like when two weights operate on a balance scale or a pair of oxen pulling a single plow

The semantic range of the word covers a pair of scales along with a yoke for cattle; however, that does not mean it refers to both of these things simultaneously. As a pretty reliable rule, you'll have at least a couple of different things that a word can mean. Take "can," for example. It can refer to a half-dozen different kinds of nouns, it can be used how I keep using it here, or it could appear in any of a half-dozen different idiomatic expressions (ie., can of worms). It never means all of those things at once, of course, and it's never used as a noun and a verb simultaneously. It doesn't ever refer to two different nouns simultaneously either. You pick just one that is most in line with the user's intent, and that is the one you go with in that instance. In this particular instance, it's worth noting that ????? can be used to refer to a pair of scales, but that is not how it's being used in this instance. Where it's used in 2 Corinthians 6, it refers to a yoke joining two farm animals and it does not refer to scales. This is how words are normally used; a word will refer to just one kind of thing and not to every thing that it could possibly refer to.

Of course, this doesn't mean divorce is a good thing. Nor is the state-of-being "unequally yoked" grounds for divorce. But if you're not yet married and are considering marriage to someone you'd be unequally yoked with, it's better for you to choose to be with someone who will pull together with you.

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At any rate, my main question is thus: What does it mean to be equally yoked in marriage?

I think it means that if you are equally yoked, you have married a follower of Christ.

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