I played trombone under Dr. Bartlett, who directed our 80 member symphonic band. One day at practice he asked us to close our eyes and start the song together. The first time we tried there were 80 different sounds and a lot of laughter; it was a train wreck. However, we were all amazed to discover that through practice and listening, we were able to play together beautifully without being able to see our conductor. In the same way, many marriages in our culture become a train wreck. But it’s possible to have a beautiful, enjoyable, intimate marriage, even when life is hard and we can’t see our Heavenly conductor.
The Bible says that a husband and wife are yoked together in 2 Co. 6:14. A yoke is a harness used to connect two oxen to a plow, or two horses to a sleigh. It requires the two go the same direction, the same speed, with the same exertion, and always at the pace of the slower, weaker partner.
Ephesians 5 is a prescription for a healthy, equally yoked marriage. Verse 25 says a man is to give himself up for his wife, or sacrifice. Verse 22 says a woman is to stand under with confidence, or submit to her husband. The husband makes sacrifices or yields when he feels too busy or too tired. The wife submits, or yields, and stays confident when she feels frustrated or lonely. Sacrifice and submission are the keys to being equally yoked.
If a husband and wife are yielding to each other, it’s pretty hard to have a head-on collision. In marriage, you have to choose to go the same direction, at the same speed, pulling with the same exertion. If you don’t, your marriage yoke will be a pain in the neck.