Dating Non-Christians: The Forbidden Fruit

forbidden fruit Pixabay apple-1569011_1280Since the beginning of humankind, we have been experiencing the pull towards that, which is “forbidden.” God says, “no” to some things, and just like Eve in the Garden of Eden, we allow ourselves to entertain the question, “Did God actually say…” This is no less true as it pertains to Christians dating non-Christians —the “forbidden fruit.”

It can be tempting to go out with someone we are attracted to and think, “this one time won’t hurt.” But then the temptation arises to go out on another occasion, and then another. Each time there seems to be some good reason why we think it would be okay.

Outside the Boundaries

For some reason, when it concerns matters of the heart, we can often be swayed to wander further outside of God’s boundaries than we may on other matters. There are so very many reasons why this happens. But we need to beware. God is very serious in what He tells us concerning our “affections.” We are told in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 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. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them,’ says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.’

A Challenge to Consider

For those of you who are dating, or are tempted to date a nonbeliever, I’d like to challenge you to reconsider.

To help you in this mission I have provided links below to several thought-provoking articles and videos.

It is our hope that they will challenge the thinking of those of you who are considering, whether the person you are dating (who isn’t a Believer), could truly be “the one” you should marry.

Please prayerfully read and consider what God is saying to your heart —especially in light of the verses in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

The following are links that will take you to these specific articles:

DATING NON-CHRISTIANS: Forbidden Fruits Appeal – Part 1

DATING NON-CHRISTIANS: Forbidden Fruits Appeal – Part 2

And then below you will find another article that I encourage you to read. Here is the article where Steve Shirley gives his biblically-based answer to the question:


A Video to Watch

And then here’s something you may want to view on this issue, talked about by Pastor Tim Keller. It’s a Q&A video on the subject of “Dating a Non-Christian.” You may find this very insightful:

— PLUS —

Below is a link to a video titled, “Should a Christian Date a Non-Christian” with Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke. In it, Jefferson makes the point:

“Why would you want to date someone where it could lead to marriage —the closest human relationship you could ever have, when Jesus, who is closest to you personally, is someone they don’t share with you? … God is part of your identity —it is who you are.”

He also quotes Tim Keller (the speaker above) and says:

“When you date someone who’s not a follower of Jesus, one of two things happens. The first one is —you put God at the center and that person you’re dating is on the outskirts. You feel like you’re always separating because you’re trying to get closer to God. That is something they can’t understand. So you drift. OR you put the person at the center of your relationship and God is on the outskirts. This is because they don’t share that experience. And when you have decisions to make, it causes you to drift apart from God. It’s only when you both are followers of Jesus that you can be on this journey together.”

Jefferson Warns:

“Don’t get caught up in just looking for a Christian —someone who says he (or she) is a Christian. Look for someone who is a disciple of Jesus.”

He also warns:

“Don’t play the flirt to convert game.”

Alyssa then goes on to talk about “settling” where too often we “settle for less” because we don’t trust God enough. You can listen to what she says and he says on this, plus more.

Please Watch:

I pray this helps in some way. Please know that the person you are dating, considering dating, or even considering marrying (who is not a follower of Jesus), may be a wonderful person in many ways. However, that doesn’t mean that you should be “yoked” with him or her in the sacred relationship of marriage.

And please don’t pull a “Sarah” where you take matters in your hands because of your doubts. It might even be that you are impatient. We’re told (in Genesis 16) that Sarah did this. She decided the baby, that God promised to Abraham and to her, wasn’t going to come unless she made it happen. So she manipulated her husband to sleep with her maid servant so a baby was born. Because of Sarah’s boldness to make this “promise” happen in only the way SHE thought it could, there have been negative repercussions for many generations, to this day.

Doing the Right Thing

It may make sense to you to do things your way, but that doesn’t mean that God will bless it. If He says no, in His Word, you can believe his blessing won’t be upon it. Seek God in all things, including relationships. Go with God; it’s the only right thing to do.

I pray you make the right decision —as God would have you:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ —to the glory and praise of God.(Philippians 1:9-11)

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.

If you have tips to help others in this area of marriage, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.

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63 responses to “Dating Non-Christians: The Forbidden Fruit

  1. A lot of different views on this subject, some of which are encouraging and hopeful vs the non-encouraging leaving one feeling hopeless. I’m a christian and my boyfriend is a 5 per center part of the Nation of God’s and Earth’s culture. We were friends for 3 years and have recently started dating for a few months now and boy has it been a challenge mentally and spiritually. I was born into a Christian home and so like every other Christian man/woman I have always thought of marrying a Christian as well as building a family on Christian values. Like some of the women here I’ve dated Christian men in the past and that left me with a broken heart (which I view as a positive thing as its made me a strong woman today).

    Then one day I reconnected with my now boyfriend and he is a great man with a loving, caring heart. I love everything about him, flaws and all, only he is a non-Christian and is very passionate about his “culture” (which of course I’m totally against, I believe that God is within us, not that we are God’s, which is what his culture believes. This doesn’t mean I love him less, but that the reality is, that we have no common grounds to build on when it comes to one of the most important areas in our lives). He was once a Muslim then changed to NGE. His culture has been rooted in him from a very early stage of his life and just like me with building a family on Christian values, he wants to do the same but with his culture.

    For too long now I’ve battled this within and by myself and have only recently started to reach out to God for his help. I delayed for so long because I felt like I could do it on my own – WRONG. It makes me weep being at this crossroad. It is mentally draining and affects me physically (productivity within the home and work place, socializing with friends etc.) I love him and want to spend the rest of my life with him only I feel like I’m playing with fire if I do. Every now and then we’ll speak on God and it never ends on a good note. We’re both left with that sour taste in our mouths, yet every other topic of discussion flows so nicely.

    I hear many Christians say (even my friends) just leave him/her and follow God, my question is…(and I’ve asked this to God in prayer) how does one just stop loving? Yes, it’s possible over time and somewhat easy if they have faulted against you but what If they haven’t? How do you just wake up one day be like..I’m going to stop loving you? The Bible says our hearts are deceiving, when applied to this situation I question that, because if you feel genuine love towards someone is it really deceiving? I know humans don’t have the answer only God does, but this is one of many mental struggles I go through and no doubt those in the same situation do too.

    I just wanted to say to Christians that Christians (like myself and others who have commented on this article/blog) who are in this situation want positive energy like encouragement of prayer, faith and hope that God will come through and shed his light on the situation. It’s bad enough we’re battling within, let alone having to read up on it only to be slapped with what we would look at as negative hopeless feedback, sadly that’s how the human mind works. What you think is encouraging e.g. quoting scriptures only adds to the mental battle within because that’s an extra thing that needs to be considered amongst everything else, also it comes across as judgmental again its how the human mind works because its yet to build that capacity to understand.

    At the end of the day each to his/her own accord, I pray for those who are going through the same battles and pray for God to shed light on you and your situation, God has a purpose for everyone and every situation, turning the bad into good. My hope is that non Christians will come to know God and experience him just like us Christians all in Gods timing and not ours. In Jesus name. Amen.

    1. Hello, I’m dating a 5%er and I told him we could be friends but not marriage. The two become one and he wants me to trust him deeply, believe in him in some kind of way. I think the way I love and trust God and that’s not going to happen. I won’t submit to him because he’s not governed nor seeks God’s counsel, Christ Jesus, or the word of God. I struggle to trust men anyway but the the fact that only a fool says there is no God in his heart and the Bible considers such a person to be in darkness tells me there’s danger there; the danger of becoming corrupted or worse. It would be tumult within our relationship as I would never be truly open to him because I don’t trust him. So, I’ve ended the relationship.

  2. I really needed this. Truly, I thank you. A thought came to my mind, “If he doesn’t love Jesus, he won’t love you…” Thank you.

    1. Rachel, Thanks for your encouragement. Cindy and I are grateful that God used this in a positive way in your life.

  3. I’m 34, Christian, and been in a bad relationship with an non believer, 31. I’m in love with him. We’re both African American. He was born Muslim, but I’m told he’s still Muslim. He denies it, claims he’s spiritual, believes in 3rd eye, doesn’t believe in killing mice or insects. He claims he doesn’t worship any God, says he’s not into any paganism, etc. Believes spirits don’t talk, doesn’t believe in having sex with a woman during her period, and doesn’t believe in the last days, the Bible, heard about Jesus through Davinci Code info; believes Jesus didn’t exist. Through history believes King Tut was a good man, denies a heaven, hell, afterlife, believes angels are mythical creatures with little wings and he doesn’t really believe in the devil only as jinn. He also keeps a weird elephant statue and a afrotique looking tiki god in his room on his wall. What kind of Muslim /spiritual is he?? Is he a radical?