The importance of mate compatibility in Christian marriage can be seen in Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthians: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).It’s interesting that the Bible uses the term “yoke.” Animals can be physically yoked together with the intent that they will work together as a team. Similarly, it’s not unusual for two individuals to become yoked together as best friends. In this case, the two have socially yoked themselves together.
The point is that the yoke referred to in the verse above is not limited to marriage. But marriage is the strongest kind of yoke that can exists between two persons. That’s because God said the two become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).
Also, note the reason why this verse says believers should not yoke themselves with unbelievers. It is not to suggest that believers are any better than unbelievers because that’s not true. The issue is mate compatibility–or the lack thereof. True believers pursue righteousness as defined by the Scriptures, unbelievers do not. True believers strive to walk in the light, unbelievers tend to walk in darkness. It is vitally important that I add that this verse does not say Christians should shun unbelievers. Rather, the former should not yoke themselves with the latter.
Now brace yourself for this point about mate compatibility: Just because two persons are Christians does not mean they are a good match for each other in marriage. Am I saying that if two persons are genuine Christians they may still not be a good match? That’s exactly what I am saying. Believe me, you can be a Christian and still be screwed up in the way you think about life and marriage.
The point is that mate compatibility must not be limited to spiritual compatibility. For instance, if one person grew up in the country and the other in the big city, their resulting differences may keep raising their ugly heads during dating. This is not to be ignored. Also, individual attitudes toward money management can be radically different. One mate may be responsible with budgeting and spending while the other mate just lives for the moment. It’s hard to get ahead that way, and eventually this can become a serious problem. Also, I have even seen serious problems result because one mate is very passionate for God and spiritual growth while the other person is spiritually slack.
I am only scratching the surface here, but I think you get my point about the importance of mate compatibility. Sometimes these issues can be worked out so the marriage at least survives and sometimes they can’t. The point is that just because two persons love each other and they are Christians does not assure a successful Christian marriage. Actually, true Christians divorce every day. But the broader the base of mate compatibility that exists, the better the chance for success AND happiness in marriage.
Copyright © 2012 by Frank King. All rights reserved.