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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash. Do not marry unbelievers but not alwaysthose who are pondering this question readily acknowledge that the Bible says a Christian cannot marry a non-Christian. Nevertheless, they believe they can move down this path because 1 the Bible does not forbid dating an unbeliever; 2 their romantic relationship can serve as a means of evangelism to the unbelieving boyfriend or girlfriend; 3 their situation is unique; or 4 a combination exists of some or all of the above.
In answering the question whether a Christian can date a non-Christian, it is important to first note that the Bible, strictly speaking, does not forbid Christians from dating non-Christians. That last statement might cause a few biblically-minded Christians to stumble.
But we need to be precise at this point, so that we do not attempt to protect a clear commandment you cannot marry an unbeliever; see 1 Cor. What God has spoken he has spoken, and his Word is sufficient. Nevertheless, we also must consider the fact that during the time that Scripture was penned approximately B. For the Christian, romantic relationships can only be pursued for the purpose of moving toward marriage. Because God has created men and women to come together in physical, emotional, and spiritual union in marriage Gen.
To engage in a romantic relationship is, by de, intended to lead to this union. This does not mean that a Christian must marry the first person they date. Nor does it mean that you must be convinced you want to marry someone before you start dating them. Indeed, the dating process helps confirm or discourage your desire to marry a particular person. But it does mean that you must protect the physical, emotional, and spiritual purity of the one you are dating during the entire course of your relationship.
To engage in physical intimacy before marriage is to defraud each other sexually, and to cultivate romantic feelings toward each other without the express purpose of Do not marry unbelievers is to defraud one another emotionally and spiritually see 1 Thess. If dating Do not marry unbelievers meant to lead to marriage, therefore, it would seem that dating an unbeliever is, if not directly disobedient, at least incredibly foolish.
But we might be getting a little ahead of ourselves here. In order to answer the question not directly addressed in Scripture can a believer date an unbeliever? By examining why a Christian cannot marry a non-Christian, it will become increasingly clear, I believe, why dating an unbeliever is not only unwise but probably an act of disobedience, even if Scripture never specifically forbids it.
The first reason why believers cannot marry unbelievers is that the Bible forbids it. There are two primary New Testament texts that speak to the issue of marriage between a believer and an unbeliever. The principle in this text is that where legitimate marriage can occur—the believer has never married, or they are released from their marriage by the death of a spouse—it can only occur between two believers. Like coupling two animals who are incompatible in strength, size, weight, and Do not marry unbelievers skill, there will be constant friction, frustration, and futility for two people who enter into marriage with foundational spiritual differences.
But Paul is also interested in underscoring the folly of this kind of partnership. With a blistering volley of rhetorical questions, the apostle undermines any hope that genuine intimacy—the kind of intimacy that married couples are intended to share—can exist between a believer and unbeliever. Paul asks. 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? The answer to each question is obvious. There can be, by definition, no partnership, fellowship, or portion between righteousness and lawlessness, light and darkness, Christ and Belial, a believer and unbeliever.
Of course, Paul does not mean that believers are to have no relationship whatsoever with unbelievers.
For the sake of the gospel and out of love for our neighbor we must have relationships with those who do not know Christ see especially 1 Cor. Such a scenario can never occur for the Christian and the non-Christian. For a Christian to enter into marriage with an unbeliever, therefore, is not only an act of disobedience against their Lord, but it is also foolish. When a person becomes a Christian, they actually become a new person, and an ontological, irreversible change occurs at the deepest level of who they are 2 Cor. You are in the Spirit; they are in the flesh Rom. You are a slave to righteousness; they are a slave to sin Rom.
You are led by the Spirit; they are led by the god of this world Rom. You are alive in Christ; they are dead in sin Eph. None of these spiritual realities can be a cause for boasting see Lukefor you did not achieve these things by your will power or intelligence.
You are a Christian by sheer grace 1 Cor. Do not marry unbelievers, the fact remains that Do not marry unbelievers are, at a basic level, different from each other and therefore unable to share true intimacy in marriage. Furthermore, there are countless testimonies of Do not marry unbelievers and women who have married unbelievers who, after years of struggle, say that it was an unwise decision.
Why, then, would you ponder the possibility of dating an unbeliever? The question we often fail to ask is, unique to what? Unique in the sense that things will turn out different? That cannot be guaranteed, nor is it, given the testimony of othersa probable outcome.
Unique in the sense that somehow you are exempt from obedience in this case? Any assumption that connects exemption from obedience to particular circumstances is usually a that you are in the throes of self-deception. Unique in the sense that no one has ever been faced with this kind of decision? No, this temptation, like all others, is one that is common to man 1 Cor. The truth is that your situation is not unique at all.
Let me be clear: Your desire to see the salvation of your unbelieving boyfriend or girlfriend is a good desire. But you must remember that God has not pitted his commandments against each other. In other words, the instruction is clear: you cannot marry an unbeliever. You must learn to obey the Lord, trust that his commandments are good and harmonious, and that he is sovereign over your boyfriend or girlfriend. It is not ultimately up to you whether your boyfriend or girlfriend is saved. Pray for the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest Matt.
So, is it wrong to date an unbeliever? In light of the above principles, I find it difficult to see how a believer can enter into a dating relationship with an unbeliever—a relationship that is romantic by nature and deed to lead to marriage—in faith. Although the Bible does not address the dating question specifically, it does tell us that everything we do in the Christian life must be done in faith; that is, everything we do must be carried out with a good conscience and be something for which we can thank God.
Whatever is not of faith, Paul reminds us, is sin Rom. You may fear loneliness and the potential of never being married. I get that. But a good conscience and a happy walk with Christ is infinitely better than what grasping at romance will get us. Is Sex Before Marriage a Sin? The Importance Do not marry unbelievers Compatibility in Romantic Relationships. Derek J. Derek blogs at fromthestudy. This article was originally published at fromthestudy. Cart 0. Can I Date an Unbeliever? Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning Beautiful Christian Life LLC may get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through its links, at no cost to you.
Is Dating in the Bible? Dating for Marriage For the Christian, romantic relationships can only be pursued for the purpose of moving toward marriage. The New Testament Commands The first reason why believers cannot marry unbelievers is that the Bible forbids it. Paul asks, For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness?
You have opposing worldviews Col. You have opposing sources of wisdom Prov. You have opposing aims in life 1 Cor. You have opposite eternal destinies Matt. Objection 1: My situation is unique. Objection 2: If we break up, my boyfriend or girlfriend may never have another Christian influence in their life. Conclusion So, is it wrong to date an unbeliever? Christina Fox. Le Ann Trees. Love Derek J. Facebook 0 Twitter Pinterest 0 0 Likes.Do not marry unbelievers
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Practical Reason on Why You Should Not Marry an Unbeliever