Unequally Yoked

I am wondering about the unequally yoked issue. I don’t understand the principle of an unrighteous being made righteous because they happen to be married to a believer when they themselves are not a believer. Is the issue of being unequally yoked only for those that have not yet married?

Q. I am wondering about the unequally yoked issue. I don’t understand the principle of an unrighteous being made righteous because they happen to be married to a believer when they themselves are not a believer. Is the issue of being unequally yoked only for those that have not yet married? Does the unrighteous being made righteous mean that the believer may somehow “cover” or stand in the gap of their non believing spouse? What if there are children involved and what is the right thing according to God when the unbelieving spouse begins to teach their views against God to the children? I don’t understand and would appreciate your insight. You are such a blessing to so many of us.

A. If you’re referring to the passage in 2 Cor. 6:14-18, Paul was explaining that the the world view of the Christian and the world view of the unbeliever are so different that they can’t be mixed. They’re like oil and water, and the admonition applies to all close relationships, of which marriage is only one.

The issue of mixed marriages comes up in 1 Cor. 7:14 where Paul told mixed couples to stay together as long as the unbeliever was willing, but if not let him or her go. The idea of the believer making the non believer righteous pertains only to the children below the age of reason. His admonition in verse 16 confirms this. “How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” We should never marry someone hoping to change him/her later. It rarely works.

Even though each child must eventually choose for himself/herself to accept the Lord’s death as payment for their sins, having divided parents makes it especially difficult, partly because they may fear disappointing one by accepting the beliefs of the other. If one party became a believer after the marriage it’s one thing, but if a believer knowingly marries an unbeliever, it’s something else altogether. That’s why Paul preached against it.

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