It is always a good idea to be sure you understand what you’re getting into before you make a commitment. If you don’t, you may end up breaching the commitment, and then dealing with the fallout of failed promises. Or, perhaps worse, you may end up doing the right thing by honoring your commitment and then struggling against a sticky spider web of entanglements you never anticipated, licking wounds you never expected, and trying to unfasten locked doors that were once wide open.
Imagine a pilot getting ready for a flight. He does a variety of flight checks. He walks around the aircraft and looks at all its major pieces. He tests them. He inspects them. He observes them carefully to verify their physical integrity, and then tallies his preflight checklist before even starting the plane up. This checklist is of very great importance. Once the plane leaves the runway and commits to flight, a small problem arising from that checklist which could have been corrected on the ground can become deadly in the sky — and not just to the occupants in the plane, but to anyone in the crash zone.
This sort of checklist is the kind of thing that you can (and should) apply to your own life. Before establishing a committed relationship, whether as intimate life partners, or simple friends, or business associates, you should go through a checklist. Number one on that checklist should be to make sure that your friend is equally yoked with you. A yoke is a wooden bar that binds two animals together so that they can combine their strength to pull a plow. Paul instructs the church at Corinth that believers should not be yoked intimately or significantly with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). To do so invites a conflict of values. Such a conflict can have serious consequences for your life, and can prevent you from doing those things God has called you to do. Worse yet, being unequally yoked can cause you to stray from the field altogether. Instead, test the spirits of those you wish to be in your circles to see if they are from God (1 John 4:1-6). If those spirits are not from God, then keep some distance. Then, once you’ve established that connection, be sure that your potential relationships are marked by people who can improve your flight rather than crash your plane (Proverbs 12:26, Proverbs 13:20, and 1 Corinthians 15:33).