Do Not Be Unequally Yoked

Kevin DeYoung

READ : Malachi 2:10-16

Judah has desecrated the sanctuary the Lord loves, by marrying the daughter of a foreign god. (v. 11, NIV)

Here’s another issue the Lord has with Judah: they have been profaning his covenant by breaking faith (v. 10). The people were breaking faith by “marrying a daughter of a foreign god.” This was a religious problem, not an ethnic one. Malachi condemns interfaith marriages, not cross-cultural ones. God’s people were marrying idol worshipers, which desecrated the sanctuary of the Lord (1) by ignoring the Lord’s commands and then worshiping like nothing was wrong, and (2) by the inevitable blending of different religions and gods that followed from such marriages.

This may be a hard teaching, but it is repeated in the New Testament. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” 2 Corinthians 6:14-16). If you yoke two oxen, one of which wants to pull north and the other south, they are just going to make each other mad, or worse, shatter the yoke. That’s what happens when Christians marry those who are not going in the same spiritual direction. In time, the couple will either be frustrated and stop walking with the Lord, or the yoke will break. If you are still looking for that perfect spouse, make sure he or she will walk with you spiritually and not against you.


Father, give us strong marriages that are moving in the same direction—yours. Amen.