Since 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:
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.”
“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.
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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