[Spanish Translation] [Tamil Translation]
“Can a Christian marry an unbeliever?” Hold on. But… Wait… First, “Can I date a non-christian person?” We get asked these questions very frequently.
Why is God not ok if you date or marry someone of another faith? Why would God not be ok?
No, it is not about religious tolerance or equal rights. There are some deep rooted issues that are involved with the decision of marrying an unbeliever.
First and foremost, we must remember that God’s plan and purpose for marriage is radically different than how the world views unions. It is obvious that the world will have a problem with this view of marriage through the eyes of God. Simply because world sees partnerships as a means to satisfying one’s own gratifications, which helps explains the reason why divorce is so rampant in our generation.
However, God’s advice for marriage is to first and foremost embrace God and His glorious call to selfless and Jesus-filled marriages that bring His peace into our lives.
Here are seven very important things we need to know:
1. We Are Not Our Own
God created us in His own image. Christ died on the cross for our sins and purchased us with His own blood. The Holy Spirit dwells inside of us. We are His temple. The body is not unto us but for the Lord.
The Temple of the Living God
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?
15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
2 Corinthians 7:1 “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.”
The goal here is to keep dying to sin till we cry out, “Thank you Jesus, you have got all of me.”
2. Strings That Pull You Down
The introduction of premarital sex in a relationship seems to be a easily overlooked fact today. Many young people are coaxed to believe that a physical relationship is necessary in order to sustain a relationship. Such kind of thinking seems to tie people down into marriage in order to overcome that guilt of the past.
However the truth is far from reality. The more a relationship becomes based on lust, the sooner it is bound to fail as the relationship is not motivated by pure love. And that’s the reason for broken marriages – lust is never satisfied.
Not breaking God’s heart should be your greater priority than staying in a relationship that manipulates you away from the Truth!
Very Important: Don’t allow the enemy to tie you down into a relationship with the memories of your past sins, false guilt and shame. As a child of Jesus remember that the blood of Jesus washes you from all sins. ALL! So confess your sins (I John 1:9), repent (Rom. 2:4), walk in the light (Eph. 5:8-9), and be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:17-21).
3. Understand the Truth About Compatibility
Webster defines compatibility as “the capability to live together in harmony.” Many fall into this deception thinking that someone compatible is the ultimatum for marriage. “But she laughs to my jokes. He understands me so well. She likes my singing. He likes my painting.” Heard of that before?
Truth is that the Bible teaches us that how since the fall of man in Genesis 3, sin makes us incompatible and relationships are naturally broken. But with the cross of Jesus, we have hope to live in love with each other as Jesus becomes the centre of your marriage. (Rom 15:5)
One of the arguments brought forth is that marrying a non-believer is better. Some point out to happy marriages outside of Christendom to prove this. What they don’t realize is that the enemy is not after a non-believer. There is surely a greater spiritual attack against a marriage that is based on God’s principles.
Don’t base your decisions by what you see, hear or read. Look for directions in the Word of God.
There are no perfect marriages, only perfect Jesus! Instead of finding a compatible mate, a true child of Jesus is instructed to marry another true child of Jesus and become a compatible couple through the transformation power of Jesus.
4. Remember the Legacy You Leave
What we often forget is that every decision we make today is carried on by children and the generations after them.
Amos 3:3 talks about how two cannot walk together without agreeing with each other. Imagine then how those two, that don’t agree, can live together under the same roof with children that want to know about the real truth?
Please don’t tell me you are going to let a child decide their own future, because that is the biggest blunder you can do. As the scripture points, it is the duty of the parents to bring up the child in the fear of the Lord. How are you going to do that without you yourself taking a stand for Jesus?
And with disagreement in the house, you will not only sow confusion in the child’s heart but even rebellion as they grow up.
5. Maintaining God’s Standards
“But I can save him.”
I’ve heard that dozens of times. You are not the Savior. Avoid the savior mentality. Leave that to Jesus. If you will compromise your faith for a relationship that clearly shows that Jesus Christ was not the Lord of your life. Also remember, there is a high possibility for your partner to accept Christ for your sake and that is not true salvation.
A young girl recently wrote to me about how perfect she felt her relationship was, yet it had lacked God. Thankfully despite her friends mocking she was able to take a stand for what she believed in more than how she felt about it. (Jer 17:9, Eccl 9:3)
Yes, we are called to love everyone, loving an unbeliever is different from marrying one.
God’s warning to King Solomon is very fearfully true, we see how his disobedience caused Solomon to fall away from God even with all his wisdom and wealth.
Here’s a powerful verse we need to pay attention to. “Did not Solomon king of Israel sin on account of such women? Among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless, foreign women made even him to sin.” Neh 13:28 (Foreign women here refer to the ungodly women. It does not refer to interracial marriages. As long as both the individuals have Jesus in their hearts, they are like-minded).
There are many scriptures in the Word that warn us from being unequally yoked. (2 Cor 6:14, 1 Cor 7:39, Deut 7:3,4, Joshua 23:12,13, Ezra 9:12) That also means a true Christian must marry a true Christian.
6. But It Worked for Them
I know after reading this all of the above some would still want to point out that someone did it and got away with it. If someone did get married to a non-believer and then God touched them and changed them, let us thank God for His mercy. But that does not allow us to disobey the Word of God. Obeying what God says in His Word is more important than any other human example.
Cultivate a strong mind that is based on God’s Word for your personal opinions. Don’t let your association determine your relationship with Jesus.
One of the commenters on our Facebook says:
I would be afraid of any other argument than what the scripture clearly states. Remember Paul warns us to not heed to even an angel from heaven that contradicts God’s word. (Gal 1:8) How much more any vision, prophecy or examples of others should not deter us.
1 Samuel 2: 30 says, “…the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from Me, for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.” And loving God means to obey His commandments.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3
Here’s another interesting comment on our Facebook page:
7. Nothing Impossible With Jesus
Irrespective of the emotional baggage you carry, remember there is no problem that hell can invent that heaven cannot solve. There is nothing impossible with Jesus. When you surrender your life to His hands, He will help you overcome your issues.
Marry someone that loves Jesus more than you and you will always have a husband or a wife that may not be perfect but willing to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus for a better marriage.
Here’s a great video: