Many of us have heard the phrase "unequally yoked". It has a Christian background, coming from 2 Corinthians 6:14-"Be ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers. . .”
Where did this phrase even come from?
Well me, being the history nerd that am I looked up what it truly means to be "yoked". A yoke is a wooden frame or bar with loops at either end, fitted around the necks of two animals(usually oxen), which tied them together and forced them to function as one.
Essentially, both animals are pulling their equal weight. This is exactly how I take the phrase to mean not only in my romantic relationships but also in my friends. Many of us use this phrase when referring to marriage because that is one of the most important
relationships we will have in our lives, but it I believe it is probably the most important to use in terms of friendship.
As the semester comes to a close, and I near a new chapter in my life, I realized that it was time to do a evaluation of self and the people around me. I had to ask myself a couple questions about myself first.
I said "Self?"
Myself said "Uh?"
I'm just joking, but really mentally I asked myself some questions:(I suggest everyone do this every so often)
1. Are you the most supportive and loving friend?
2. Are you there for your family and friends when they need you the most?
3. Do you put yourself first when you need it the most? i.e. mentally, physically, and spiritually
4. Do the people you surround yourself with motivate you to be the best you? Do these people add value to your life?
5. Do you give more effort and time in your relationships than the other person?
And I had to sit back and actually think because there were couple of people in my life who were not equally yoked with me, pulling their weight in our friendship.
We all have that friend, let's call her Needy Nancy or for my guy readers, Needy Nate. This friend..... a) always needs consistent attention b) always in relationship c) only hangs with their significant other and forgets their friends
Now I bet some people are saying "Who hurt you?", but you know what I am getting at. Everything in life has balance. We are really too young to dedicated all our time to someone, to the point where your friends are saying "You've completely gone ghost..." or "Who are you again?I forgot what your face looks like. "
I had a friend, who would get in a relationship, and forget her friends existed. We would try to invite her out all the time, she would say yes and then the last minute make an excuse. After the fifth time, we just said forget it. Months would go by, and her and her boyfriend would break up. Then magically she knew us again and our numbers. Always trying to go out. Our friend would be back for awhile and then she would find someone new and the cycle would start again. Sounds familiar?
Probably cause we all have this friend. I used to place certain friends in categories of semi-reliable, not reliable, and reliable, but as I get older I find myself thinking how ludicrous that was for me to do.
If they are my friends, they should always be reliable. I shouldn't have to be the one who is always reaching out, always going out of my way when they need me, and always putting forth effort in the relationship.
Every relationship requires work whether it be romantic or not. If you constantly have to tell this friend about how he/she doesn't put forth effort in the relationship or you always feel disrespected/always going above and beyond let it goooo *frozen voice*.
But seriously. You can't keep having the same conversations and handing out chances like it's monopoly before you realized that person doesn't appreciate your friendship and is most likely taking advantage. One person can't "yoke" alone.(however you say it)
It takes both friends to support each other and work together to strengthen the relationship.
Moral of all this: Drop the dead weight. No point to weigh yourself down. People grow and move on. Be thankful for what they have given you and added in your life. In the future, just remember both of you must be equally yoked in the relationship.