Should a Christ-follower date or marry someone who is not?
Dr. Jerry Nelson www.soundliving.org
Because of my love for God, for you, and for anyone you date, who is not a Christ-follower, I urge you to know and respond to God’s instruction regarding dating and/or marrying a non-Christian.
God’s instruction is clear: A Christ-follower should not marry one who is not a Christ-follower (Deuteronomy 7:3, 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Corinthians 7:39).
Why? There are several reasons but I will mention only one. If you are following Christ and you marry someone who is not following Christ, you will both be miserable. A believer and an unbeliever will have conflicting values. (1 Corinthians 2:14). For example, the believer has biblical instruction for how to make and use money, how to know God’s will for his/her life, how to rear children to follow Christ, which activities are helpful and which are harmful, how to serve the kingdom of God, etc. The unbeliever does not consider such instruction as authoritative in her/her life. While there may be consensus on many subjects, eventually “push will come to shove” on some major issue (like child-rearing or use of money and time or what is considered “fun”) because the believer is guided by God’s Word and the unbeliever will be guided by his/her culturally determined preferences.
I know that dating is not marrying but for a Christ-follower to even date one who is not following Christ is foolish at best and fraudulent at worst. It is foolish because dating often leads to an emotional attachment that is difficult to break. Many marriages have begun when initially one or both said, “Oh, we’re just dating.” Dating a non-believer may even be fraudulent if the unbeliever thinks the relationship may lead to marriage and the believer knows it is not.
Marriage, based on a common faith, is for our benefit, blessing and protection. God wants what will bring him glory, what will advance his kingdom and what is best for us. Make the decision to obey Him and trust Him to help you find the right person to marry.
Deuteronomy 7:3 “You (God’s people) shall not intermarry with them (those who are not God’s people), giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods.
2 Corinthians 6:14. “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
1 Corinthians 7:39 A man or woman is “free to be married to whom she/he wishes, ONLY IN THE LORD.”
1 Corinthians 2:14 “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.