Our Young Mormon Family blogger, Krystal Wilkerson, is on maternity leave. Filling in for her today is our homeschooling blogger, Britt Kelly, who is sharing some words of wisdom for young moms.
2 Corinthians 6:14 reads “ Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” I worry we frequently misunderstand this verse. It does not say that the two people are equal. It does not say they have the same power or the same pull. They are yoked equally.
My husband and I seldom have the same pull in any one situation. Our skills and strengths are not the same. Some of his strengths are my weaknesses. I did that on purpose! I was looking for someone who could help me. Specifically, it was organization. I am more creatively “organized” and I need some stability. Are we equally yoked in that thing?
Sometimes circumstances dramatically change how we can each contribute…when I was on bed rest, he became superman…literally. He was getting everything ready in the morning, starting laundry, dressing people, handling diapers, cleaning, and cooking. He worked all day, then came home to face all of the damage we had done all day. Were we equally yoked?
How about when I have been sick, or when I had knee surgery, or when we have a new baby? How about with job loss or when his parent’s died?
Being equally yoked has nothing to do with our strength in any one moment. At some points of marriage, my 100% effort has been frighteningly close to nothing. But there we are comparing to do lists and not love itself. Even when I could “do” nothing. I could still love him completely…as completely as a very human person can love. Love is hard to measure or compare or count. Love is one of the keys to being equally yoked. We know being equally yoked is about companionship and not comparisons. It is about teamwork…but it is more.
I have found that even all of the love we can manage is sometimes not enough. At some point there will be more to do than we can do on our own. More understanding, more love, more forgiveness, more patience…more love will be needed than we possibly have on our own. In our desperation, we may find ourselves comparing and counting and finding fault with the love we have chosen to share our eternity with. We must at that point look to Christ.
I have come to realize that being equally yoked has everything to do with Christ. If we each are truly yoked to Christ, if we each have taken His name upon us and trust Him completely, then, and only then are we equally yoked.
The scripture in 2 Corinthians 6:14 doesn’t mention our capacities, it only mentions our righteousness. We too frequently confuse the two. We are all sinners. We may pay our tithing and attend the temple and even manage to remember to read our scriptures on a regular basis…we are not righteous! All of that obedience does not make us righteous. It does not earn us heaven and it in no way fulfills our obligations. We cannot, on our own, do enough to be equally yoked. We know this…kind of. We just forget it as fast as we remember it. We measure and count and
sometimes compare pennies, and conveniently forget that the debt to be paid is in the trillions. Righteousness is about our connectedness to Christ and nothing else. All of our obedience connects us. It binds us to the Lord. It helps us receive His love and righteousness.
Once we find ourselves truly, equally yoked, the burden will be light…but it will still be. The laundry will not do itself, a money tree will not sprout, the pain will still be present, and the child may not run back into your aching arms…but the grace that Christ provides will be there. The infinite, far reaching, over whelming grace of Christ will tenderly heal your heart and provide you with peace, hope and love. We may need to tap into that endless well daily, or minute by minute…but if each partner of the marriage is yoked to Christ…then you are equally yoked.
Britt grew up in a family of six brothers and one sister and gained a bonus sister later. She camped in the High Sierras, canoed down the Colorado, and played volleyball at Brigham Young University. She then served a mission to South Africa. With all of her time in the gym and the mountains and South Africa, she was totally prepared to become the mother of 2 sons and soon to be 9 daughters. By totally prepared she means willing to love them and muddle through everything else in a partially sleepless state. She is mostly successful at figuring out how to keep the baby clothed, or at least diapered, though her current toddler is challenging this skill. She feels children naturally love to learn and didn’t want to disrupt childhood curiosity with worksheets and school bells. She loves to play in the dirt, read books, go on adventures, watch her children discover new things, and mentor her children. Her oldest child is currently at a community college and her oldest son is going to high school at a public school. She loves to follow her children in their unique paths and interests. She loves to write because, unlike the laundry and the dishes, writing stays done. Whenever someone asks her how she does it all she wonders what in the world they think she’s doing.