Christian Dating: Be Equally Yoked in Five Areas
With Christian dating, the one Scripture that comes to mind is 2 Corinthians 6:14-15: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness: What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? ” (NIV) It is clear that Christians need to be equally yoked, but not only in their faith.
Being equally yoked has to do with being compatible and like-minded. It really is common sense – You want to get along well with your partner. You want to fit together and enjoy being together. You want to be able to work together as a team, hence the reference to being equally yoked like a pair of oxen pulling the plow together. It is wise to be equally yoked in these five areas:
1. Life Goals – You want the same things in life. You envision a future that is similar. You can support each other’s education and vocational goals. You agree about having or not having children. You are in agreement about where to live.
2. Values – Your values match. Values have to do with what you consider to be important and unimportant. Values also have to do with character. Do you both value hard work, financial independence, family, faith, charity, friends, exercise, a healthy lifestyle, vacations, having fun, honesty, integrity, and the relationship?
3. Beliefs – These are the things you believe in. The two biggest ones are faith and politics. Both of these involve worldviews and have a lot to do with how you see the world and will directly affect other areas of your lives. Having the same beliefs helps you to both be on the same team and it gives you things to talk about and pursue together. It forms a foundation upon which to build your life.
4. Preferences – These are personal likes and dislikes. These can be related to values but typically these have to do with daily lifestyle choices. Do you prefer to spend a lot of time alone or with people? Do you like to go to bed early or late? Do you eat healthy or unhealthy? Do you like to be active or passive? Are you wanting to travel or do you prefer to stay home? These are just some of the preferences that need to be addressed. You can blend different preferences but it is good to evaluate how you will resolve differences.
5. Interests – These are things you spend time doing and investing in. These include extracurricular activities and leisure such as church, politics, art, gardening, sports, travel, hiking, walking, beach and water play, playing games, fishing, reading, or history for example. You don’t have to both like all the same things but you should have some common interests to build a life together.
No two people can be exactly alike, but it important to have enough commonality that your lives can work together without being highly conflictual or one in which you will be trying to make your partner change. If there are any concerns, you should think and talk them through carefully before getting married. Christians dating would be wise to keep in mind that being equally yoked in these six areas will please God and increase the probability that they will be pleased with their spouse and their spouse with them.
This article was contributed by Karla Downing