You’re at a grocery store and see a cute guy/girl. You ask them out and get to know them. On your first date, you’re head over heels, but then they mention they’re not a Christian. You only date for marriage because of your beliefs, but is this someone you can marry?
Can Christians marry non-Christians? Christians should not marry someone who is not a believer because it is not the way the Lord designed marriage. Marrying a non-Christian will cause you to be unequally yoked, which we are called not to do in 2 Corinthians 6:14. This is to protect us from wounds that can be caused by an unequally yoked marriage and will help keep us from being torn from God.
If you’re contemplating spending your life with someone who does not share the same beliefs as you please read this article. Our flesh craves to conform to the ways of this world.
You must fight that desire and see what the Bible says before marrying the person who you believe to be the one.
Can Christians Marry Non- Christians?
Marriage is something that many of us have dreamed about since we were kids. We’d play house with each other and pretend to be husband and wife with our friends. Some of us even had fake weddings.
This is a deep desire within many of our hearts. We go through our lives searching for someone we can share it with. We date all kinds of people hoping that we’ll find our soulmate.
This can cause us to become so desperate that we end up settling for someone who does not fit our Biblical standards. We end up find a sweet, kind, caring, attractive person. But they’re not a Christian.
As Christians this a situation we must resist ourselves from getting into. God wants us to share our lives with someone who shares the same beliefs as us.
Because of this Christians shouldn’t even begin to marry someone who isn’t a Christian. The Bible even warns us of doing so.
Bible Passages About Marrying Non-Christians
Our parents, family, friends, and pastors warn us of dating and marrying someone who doesn’t share our beliefs. However, they’re not the only ones.
Throughout the Bible, there are many stories and verses that show we should not marry Non-Christians.
One of these examples is King Solomon. King Solomon was an Israelite, one of the chosen of God. He was a rich ruler and considered to be wise.
King Solomon ended up getting caught up in his love for women.
King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.”
Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.
As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.1 Kings 1:1-6
Solomon went against the Lord’s commands and married multiple non-believing women. He loved them and became consumed by lust. Because his wives were lost and did not follow the same God as Solomon, they ended up leading him astray.
Solomon became lost and fell away from the Lord. He denied the God that he had encountered two times because he was caught up in sin.
He trusted his faith with many women who did not value it, and because of this he angered the Lord and followed false gods.
We must not overlook the example of Solomon and separate it from our situation. We too are God’s chosen people and are called to not be with others who do not share beliefs.
God does not want us to be led astray like Solomon. Instead, He wants to be drawn closer to Him.
Do Not Be Unequally Yoked
In all of our relationships, we are called to be equally yoked. We see this in 2 Corinthians 6:14 which was written by Paul.
Though this verse does not apply only to marriage, we must accept that applies to all of our relationships. Especially marriage.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?2 Corinthians 6:14-15
Before this verse can fully impact us, we must understand what a yoke is.
A yoke is something that used to be used most commonly by farmers on their cattle. It is a wooden device that goes on the neck of two cattle connecting them.
It is tied around both animals so that it is secure and they cannot escape.
This is so that they have to walk next to each other and cannot part. If they are not equally yoked, one ox will end up dragging the other. It even causes them to choke the other.
If this did not just make something click, then I would recommend re-reading this so that it does. Brothers and sisters, if we are unequally yoked it is deadly.
We are called to walk along with those who do not follow Christ because one within the party will get dragged behind or stay stagnate in our walk.
We are called to share Christ with those who are consumed by darkness, but we are not called to live within them and allow what they do into our lives.
We Are Called To Strengthen And Grow One Another
God’s word also tells us in several different verses that we are to grow and support one another.
Proverbs 27:17 alludes to the fact that Christians are to help strengthen one another.
As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.Proverbs 27:17
By sharpening each other we are to call out what each other needs to work on, and point each other to God’s word to make sure that we are applying it to our lives.
We cannot fulfill this if our spouse is an unbeliever. Sure we will be able to point them to Christ, but if they don’t share our beliefs it will be viewed as criticism.
They won’t have the same viewpoint as you, so they will not understand the importance of Biblical standards.
They also will not be able to strengthen or challenge you because they won’t point you to Christ. They will gravitate more towards the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 also mentions how we are to encourage each other.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11
Though an unbeliever can bring a smile to your face and maybe encourage you for a time being, they will be unable to give you the same long-lasting encouragement as a believer.
What really encourages us and gives us hope is the Word of God.
Even with God, we will still experience hardships and difficulties because sin runs rampant in our world.
We must ensure that we are with someone who still has the hope of God when things get rough, instead of someone who clings to the world and is more likely to give in to their flesh.
The Worldly View Of Marriage
As I said earlier we all begin to dream of marriage at a young age. Ever since I was five I’ve wanted to be a wife and mother.
It was one of my deepest desires and biggest dreams. I loved Disney movies and sappy Rom-coms.
Because I did not have many healthy marriages to look up to, I got my idea of relationships from these movies. The girl sad and hopeless and then all of a sudden Prince Charming walks in and her life has meaning.
Did she care about Prince Charming being a Christian or even really know anything about him? No, but she was happy, so that must be what happens in real life right?
Again, wrong. Movies and media create a false idea of relationships and lead us to believe that one does not have meaning unless one has a significant other. This leads us to idolize marriage and even our spouse.
When we are seeking someone for meaning and joy, we’re really trying to fit them into the God-shaped hole in our hearts. This usually causes one of two results that both lead to disaster.
The first potential result is that we begin to idolize our spouses. Because they’re what brings joy into our life, they become our whole life.
We spend all our time with them, constantly message them, and cut out others from our life because we want to put them first.
Because they become our life, we become terrified of losing them. This leads us to lose who we are because we want to please them. We like all the things they like, and do whatever pleases them.
The second result is that because we look for them for happiness, we have unrealistic expectations. We begin to expect them to do whatever we want.
We want them to read our minds and only do what pleases us. They have to look a certain way and be willing to do what they want.
Now you may think “That’s a little drastic”, and my response is that though your situation may not seem like it’s this bad. You’re facing one of these two situations if you are with an unbeliever or have a worldly perception of marriage.
Examples of this are saying: “I love you more than anything”, “You’re the reason I’m alive”, “I can’t live without you”, and “You complete me”.
Living a relationship that’s influenced by the world only leads to disaster. You either lose yourself or the other person feels like they could never be good enough for you.
God’s Plan For Marriage
God’s plan for marriage is completely opposite from what the world believes marriage to be. We have to realize that the only thing that makes us complete in Christ.
He is the only one that can bring us true joy and happiness.
Without Him, we are empty and lost. We live a life that tries to please the world, but the only one we are designed to please is the Lord.
When we get our sense of worth from Christ, we are less likely to seek others for it.
Before we can love others we must first accept God’s love for us. Accepting God’s love for us will allow us to truly love others the way love is explained in 1 Corinthians 13.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This must be our basis for love. This is Agape love. The love our Heavenly Father has for us needs to be the love we strive to have for others. Once we realize that this is the way our Father loves us, we begin to have a kingdom mindset of others.
We no longer desire to be married in order to have true love, but instead for companionship and to be able to grow one another in Christ.
The purpose of marriage is to help grow God’s kingdom with your godly partner and to push them closer to Christ as they push you.
We see God’s design for marriage in Genesis 2 when marriage was first designed.
The man said, “This is now bone of my bonesGenesis 2:23-34
and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
God saw that Adam needed a partner and created a wife for him. They were connected and one flesh.
Marriage is a beautiful precious gift that the Lord has blessed us with. We must not abuse this gift by overlooking its importance.
When you get married you are to combine your lives. You no longer focus on how things solely impact you, but how they impact you and your spouse.
You are to love one another, grow each other, point each other to the truth, and live out the Biblical roles of husband and wife.
What If I Already Married A Non-Christian?
Maybe you are just now coming to know God and live a life that is pleasing to God, but you’re already married to someone who is not a Christian. Or you made a choice as a Christian to marry someone who doesn’t share your beliefs and things are starting to get hard.
Loved ones do not lose hope.
You may be wondering if you should start thinking about leaving or if this is a Biblical reason to divorce because marrying a Non-believer is not within God’s design for marriage.
Paul addresses this situation in 1 Corinthians 7
To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.1 Corinthians 7: 12-13
Paul states that he believes those who are already in a marriage covenant with an unbeliever are not to divorce them.
They are to still earnestly seek after the Lord, but also commit to the vow that they made to that person.
Being in this situation is heartbreaking and can tear you apart, but do not lose hope. Paul continues with these encouraging words.
For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.1 Corinthians 7:14
If you are a believer and your spouse is not there is still hope. This does not mean that you should just go ahead and marry an unbeliever.
This verse is specifically speaking to those who came to the faith after they were married.
Christ purifies us and because this is such a powerful thing, it allows us to shine His light into our spouse’s life. It also gives hope for your children that they are holy and still loved by the Lord.
For those of you who have committed to an unbeliever and tried to fight for your marriage, but the left. I’m sorry.
It’s heartbreaking to fight for someone when they don’t fight for you. Though this situation also breaks the Lord’s heart, you have not sinned.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?1 Corinthians 7: 15-16
Once they leave you and the papers are finalized, your marriage has been dissolved. You are no longer tied to them and have been freed in the eyes of the Lord.
We also see in this verse that we should not marry someone in hopes to convert them to the faith. This is not within our ability.
The only one who can make someone a believer is Christ Himself. We are but just a vessel.
We may be able to speak truth into that person, but they must choose to submit to the Lord. The only one who can save lives is Christ Himself.
What If I Marry Someone Who Leaves The Faith?
This is a loaded question. I believe that once someone gives their life to Christ and chooses Him, that they cannot lose their salvation. Because of this when someone “leaves the faith” it’s most likely because they were not fully following Christ.
They may talk the talk, but it turns out that they don’t walk the walk. When we fully give our lives to Christ His Holy Spirit enters us.
Because we have the Holy Spirit living within us, we desire to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord.
If you are married to someone who is no longer pursuing Christ I’m sorry. It probably feels like your heart is being pulled in two different directions.
You may feel like you had the wool pulled over your eyes, and can’t fully comprehend how you got into this situation.
I personally know what it feels like to be in this situation. All I did was blame myself. You have to accept the mistakes you’ve made, but also balance them with grace.
Because you made a vow to this person, you must do your best to fight for the marriage. Though it’s a hard situation, I don’t believe this to be a biblical reason for divorce.
This situation applies to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:12-13 as well.
Pursue Christ, pray for your spouse, talk to them about Christ, and surrender your marriage fully to Christ. Trust that God really does work out things for His good.
I cannot guarantee that your spouse will end up coming to know Christ, but what I can guarantee is that God is good all the time.
How Do I Determine If My Bf/Gf Is A Christian?
You may be wondering how you can prevent yourself from marrying someone who doesn’t really love Christ.
The truth is it is not up to us to determine someone’s salvation. However, we can look for signs that one is a follower of Christ. Here’s a list of some things to look for in a future spouse:
- Does your boyfriend/girlfriend attend church weekly? Whether or not they’re committed to church will show if they are committed to making time for God and see it as a priority. However, there’s much more to this category. It’s also important that they pay attention to the sermon and serve in the church. If they do these things it shows that they actually care about learning more about God and being His hands and feet. Also, be aware of whether they were attending church before you started dating.
- Do they put God first? God needs to be first, not you. To determine whether or not this is true of your significant other be aware of their prayer life. Are they willing to pray for you and others? Do they say that they need to pray about it before making a decision? If yes then they are seeking God first and will continue to do this in your marriage.
- Do they prioritize reading God’s word? We all can struggle with this and no one will be perfect. However, it’s important that you’re partner see the value of God’s word and how all of our answers dwell within it. You need someone who can point you to the truth when things get hard, and they will only be able to do this if they have an understanding of God’s word.
- Do they bear good fruit? Good fruit in one’s life is evidence that one is a Christian. This means that they have impacted others, have joy, peace, and kindness. They show the fruits of the spirit in their daily lives. If one is not showing any of these fruits then you need to look into why.
No one is going to be perfect for you because Christ already is. We’re humans. We fail and mess up, but we also shouldn’t settle.
We need to make sure all of these are items are reflected in our own walk. Then see if they are reflected in our significant others.
Being unequally yoked is more than just being with someone who is an unbeliever. It relates to someone who is at a different stage of their walk with Christ.
Take time to pray, evaluate, and seek the Lord before you step into a marriage. We want to makes sure that we steward the gift of marriage well, and that we are also not mistreating someone’s heart.
We can do this by being with someone we know we shouldn’t be with. We have to be willing to guard our hearts and our partners because we care for them as more than just a spouse, but as family.
For more advice on dating non believers click here.
Fight The Flesh
Our flesh desires to give in to the ways of the world. Just because you’ve read this blog does not mean that you won’t be tempted. The devil will still try to tempt you.
Who knows you might even meet a drop-dead handsome model after reading this, but they’re not a believer.
Your flesh is going to scream out “Do it, they’re attractive. It doesn’t matter that they don’t love God as you do. You can change them.”
You might even “fall” for someone who doesn’t know the Lord. You must deny your emotions and these feelings that are coming from your heart.
We’re warned of trusting these feelings in Jeremiah 17.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?Jeremiah 17:9
Our hearts may tell us to be with someone, but we must not let that be the determining factor. The World tells us to follow our heart, but we must follow God.
Please realize that your worth is defined by the Father, not by a significant other. God loves you and wants the best for you.
He desires you to be with someone who will push you closer to Him, not pull you away.
I pray that your heart aligns with God’s desires for you and that you find someone who will point you to Christ and help you grow the Kingdom.