To answer your good question, let’s read 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

First let’s define what a yoke is: A yoke is a wooden beam normally used between a pair of oxen or other animals to enable them to pull together on a load when working in pairs. By yoking two animals together, the load is made lighter and more work can be done. When choosing the animals that are to be yoked together, you want to get two very similar in size and type. Otherwise, one animal will be bearing too much of the load while the other one is merely being pulled along. You would not yoke an ox with a horse. The horse is much taller and would make it uncomfortable for each. The ox is much stronger, so he would bear most of the workload. You want to yoke two oxen together, or two horses.

In life, for a Christian to be yoked together with an unbeliever would be an ‘unequal yoke’. As the above verses ask: What fellowship? What communion? What concord? What agreement? What ground of fellowship does a believer have with a believer? They cannot pray together. They cannot be strengthened of the Lord together. They cannot fellowship together. Indeed, they are unequal. We often use these verses to caution believers that they should not marry an unbeliever…and that is so very true. We can also apply this truth to our business lives. To partner with an unbeliever in business would be an unequal yoke. You would not have the same moral values. You would not be able to seek the Lord’s guidance together for the business. This is different from accepting a job from an unbeliever. We all have to work, and if we work for an unbeliever, we are not ‘yoked together’ with him. We can always walk away from a job if we believe we are being mistreated, if we are asked to do something illegal or immoral, or if the atmosphere of the work area is filled with filthy or sexual language.

We should even determine our close friendships in consideration of this truth. We are told in 1 Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”” (NKJV) When we associate ourselves with unbelievers, we will be affected by their behavior. If we are to find a common ground of fellowship, it will be something other than the Lord and that will corrupt us. We will be defiled by their moral influence. In a marriage, business, or friend relationship, if we must avoid talking about the Lord in order to maintain that relationship, we have lost our testimony to that person.

Believers are the “temple of God.” We are a dwelling place for our Lord. He is our God. We are His people. We read in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “What? know ye not that your body is THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS IN YOU, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY, AND IN YOUR SPIRIT, which are God’s.” As believers, God is our father. Yet, if we will separate ourselves from that which dishonors Him, that which is unequal, that which corrupts, THEN He will BE a Father to us in a practical sense. He will involve Himself in every aspect of our lives. He will guide us, protect us, and fellowship with us as a father does with his children.

Before closing, let me make one more point. Separating from that which is evil or unequal, does not mean that we have nothing to do with the unsaved. Rather, we should be involved in sharing the Gospel of Christ with them. Romans 10:14 asks, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” We should love them enough to tell them that Christ loves them and wants to save them, if only they will accept Him as Savior and Lord. (268.8)