SHOULD YOU MARRY AN UNBELIEVER OR SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF YOUR FAITH
Do Not Be Unequally Yoked With An Unbeliever Or Someone Outside Of Your Faith!
2 Corinthians 6:14
God knows the problems that come with making two into one, and He encourages His children to be yoked together with someone they can become fully one—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We are holistic human beings, and in order to truly connect, we must find someone with whom we can connect on every level and aspect.
Within that deep vulnerability, our relationship with Jesus is what keeps us anchored. He motivates us to love, to forgive, and to put ourselves aside so we can glorify God through our relationship. Relationships are not rooted in ourselves, but in God at work within us. He binds us together spiritually and enables us to love unconditionally- something that is impossible to do on our own.
Dating someone outside of our faith, we cannot engage in a relationship with someone with whom we can connect with on every level. We're encouraged to pursue God's gracious gift of a healthy marriage, and in doing so, experience the privilege of having a partner who can identify with the deepest parts of who we really are. But this is a choice and the choice is ours to make. The choices we make will determine the kind of life we will live.
No matter where you may be on your quest to finding love, always remember that God knows your every need. When you're tempted to settle for less than best, be reminded of His faithfulness and His furious love for you. May God grant us more faith and wisdom, and the courage to choose correctly as we seek to live out His best for our lives.
Things to Consider Before You Get Married
Your Faith Walk
Do you share the same fundamental beliefs? Do you share the same view on Scripture (authoritative and sufficient)?
Do you agree on your understanding of the Trinity, the gospel, salvation, sin, and Christ?
Look at the person’s life and start asking some questions about how he or she lives out his or her faith.
Does he or she deliberately live out a life of faith? Is there noticeable fruit and godliness?
Does he or she have a servant’s heart? What do other people say about his or her faith?
What does your pastor or pastor’s wife think about him or her?
If you don’t see clear evidence of faith, then you need to ask yourself (and the other person) some hard questions:
Do they have a steady devotional life? If not, why not?
Do they show a desire to obey Jesus in all things? If not, why not?
Are they faithfully serving in their local church? If not, why not?
Do you agree what type of church you should go to? If not, what are your theological differences?
The closest bond Two people can have with one another is found in a covenant marriage. God created marriage so that 'two will become "one" flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh or two are united into one. Mark 10:8, a relationship so intimate that one literally and figuratively becomes part of the other. Uniting a believer with an unbeliever or someone outside of your faith is essentially uniting opposites, which makes for a very difficult relationship.
Can a spiritually-minded Christian marry a carnal-minded Christian?
You can be a believer and yet be carnal. The carnal mind is the mind of the flesh. The flesh is defined as the old and sinful nature of man. However when you become a Christian you become spiritually/ literally born again as a child of God. Once you are a Christian you have to decide whether to obey the flesh and its lusts or the Spirit in love and holiness in the new man.
Romans 8:5-11 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh and carnal desires, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
A carnal Christian believes that Jesus is the Messiah, The Christ, and there is salvation in Him. That is what makes them believers. From there they fall into all kinds of categories and doctrinal differences, but nonetheless, they are believers "yet carnal."
“What harmony is there between Christ and Belial” (2 Corinthians 6:15)? The answer is there is no agreement between the two! The unbeliever is someone who is self-sufficient, truly independent, and has no master; one who does not follow Christ. We must not be self-sufficient but worship and depend upon our Master…that is Jesus Christ and follow Him. These two are diametrically opposed and opposites of each other.
God is our Father (2 Corinthians 6:18) but the unbelievers have Satan as their father (John 8:44). These are not my words, but Jesus'. And a carnal minded or immature Christian's have both Satan and God as their Father.
We are the temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells in us, therefore there is no place for idols. God must be first and foremost in our lives (Matthew 6:33) but this would be difficult if we marry someone who does not believe in God or who does not put Him first. The man is suppose to be the Spiritual leader in the home and if He isn't led by the Spirit, he will be led by his emotions and the relationship fall upon all kinds of temptations and diseasters.
"But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.… For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man’s sake. However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God." (1 Corinthians 11:3,8-12).
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her." (Ephesians 5:23-25).
By contrast, when men understand the sacrifice Jesus made for them, they are more inclined to respect and follow Him. In turn, Christ can then live His sacrificial love through a husband to his wife. As the wife realizes that both Jesus and her earthly husband desire to give themselves up for her, she more naturally accepts their leadership. God says that we are called to subject ourselves to our respective heads regardless of their performance, but only if they are led by the Holy Spirit.
If both are not Married to Jesus Christ you will have trouble in your marriage for certain, you will be unequally yoked throughout your lives, you will have many disagreements, you will struggle over values and ethical and moral decisions, you may have differing principles in child rearing, your television or movie taste will be not be the same, your language, communication, work ethic, just about everything will be different. You will struggle at almost ever thing You do. God commands believers to "not be yoked together with anyone outside of their faith" (big faith, little faith) because "what fellowship can light have with darkness?" It is for our own good and God always knows what best for us…more so than we do for He is God and we are not.
Staying single is always better than a bad marriage, especially since marriage is suppose to last until “death do us part.” Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can convert them after you marry them because it is God who draws people to Christ (John 6:44). It is more likely that they will draw you away from God, instead of you drawing them closer to Him. Just because they say they believe in God does not mean they believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior and the crucifixion. Even the Devil and his demons believe in God but that doesn’t make them Christians (James 2:19). You will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16, 20) and not by what they say. Time will surely tell. Jesus said, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit” (Matthew 7:18) and “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:17).
We must walk beside Christ to have the yoke work for us. If we walk ahead of Christ, the load will be on us - if we walk behind, there will be no help with our heavy burden - but if we walk with Christ, we have access to Christ and we can have Him share the load. That is how we can find “rest for [our] souls” for His “yoke is easy and His burden is light.”
Those who marry a believer walk together in agreement. They share life’s heavy burdens together “Two are better than one, because they have a better return for their labor” (Ecclesiastes 4:9) and “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (Ecclesiastes4:10)! Amos 3:3 puts it this way, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?”
With Jesus, He will love both of you through Him. This kind of supernatural love creates a bond stronger than any non-Christian married couple. Joined together in Christ, you will share the same desire to glorify God, the same joys and sorrows, and the same Source of love—you are one (Ephesians 5:31-32).
One believer marrying another is like a three-fold cord because, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Two are able to stand stronger than one against the Enemy but when Christ is in the marriage, it becomes a strong “cord of three strands” which is “not quickly broken.” When Christ is in the center of the marriage, two become stronger because of Christ’s presence and His strength.
How To Select A Good Christian Marriage Partner
Who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who can give him counsel?” But we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:12,14,16 NLT).
Jesus can work through your heart and mind to direct you toward a good relationship and dissuade you from a bad one. However, you can only discern His counsel when you are willing to pray and listen and yield to Him. Pray for wisdom and discernment.
Romantic passion is not a solid foundation for marriage. Jesus wants you to give your heart to someone based on character and passionate sacrificial love. To help you discern if your relationship contains these elements, consider the following nine questions before you get engaged.
1. Are You Both Married to Jesus Christ?
This question relates to the spiritual-relationship - the most important aspect.
If you or your date does not know Jesus as the principal Source of love, then you will try to control or influence love from one another. This type of human love is like eating chocolate—it may taste good, but it cannot satisfy you. Your heart needs more than romantic affection to survive; it needs unconditional love, which can only be found in Jesus Christ. Thus, it is best to marry someone who understands that he or she is married to Jesus and realizes the importance of depending upon Him, not your mate for fulfillment.
If you date or join yourself with an unbeliever (or an immature Christian), you will be incapable of sharing real intimacy, they cannot meet your need for love or security. Furthermore, you will usually assume the role of spiritual parent. You become that person’s connection to God, and he or she can improperly cling to you for spiritual direction and maturity. Therefore, your relationship becomes an unhealthy parent-child situation. Since you can’t improve another person’s character, the two of you will remain on unequal levels. For Christians and non- Christians, reliance on each other prevents you from learning to rely on Christ, which can cause both to become totally Spiritually disinterested.
Spiritually disinterested singles can seem fun to date. Yet if you marry someone who doesn’t love Jesus, you will limit your opportunity to share oneness. Instead, seek to date and marry a strong mature Christian single who embraces his or her spiritual marriage to Jesus. Then you will have a partner who can participate in divine intimacy with you till death do you part.
2. Can You Resolve Conflict Together?
Allowing Jesus to live His love through both of you resoloves conflict. Letting Him meet your need for security and significance diminishes your motivation to attack or manipulate someone else. You still continue to voice your opinions and desires, but Christ within you works to reach a solution that most benefits your relationship. This means you learn to give and take. Should you need to give, Christ will prompt you to be humble. Likewise, if it is your turn to receive, Jesus will lead you to accept in gratitude.
Only through your strong faith can Christ help you resolve your issues. As a couple, you both have to yield to His desires. So it is important that you deal with conflict several times before considering marriage. Determine whether both of you have shown a desire to compromise in past arguments. If not, does one of you try to bully or control the other with angry outbursts? If you have trouble handling disagreements, date longer to learn how to disagree agreeably. If it does not improve, you may need to end your relationship.
Civilized arguments can benefit a relationship by unveiling neglect, unrealistic expectations, or different points of view. Sometimes, neither person is wrong. Each one is simply approaching the same topic from unique perspectives. Therefore, do not try to avoid conflict but seek to resolve it in a loving, mature manner. If you cannot freely voice your opinions, you will live in miserable bondage to another person. Both parties should have the freedom to express their ideas and desires.
A relationship devoid of conflict may signal that one of you is either too passive or too afraid to be genuine. These attitudes are not conducive to an intimate marriage, and you should not continue dating if you cannot be authentic with each other. Healthy relationships foster an environment in which you have the freedom to disagree. Thus, before you marry, make sure you both feel free to be yourselves and know how to lovingly resolve conflict.
3. Have You Dealt With Emotional Baggage?
Painful memories, mistrust and hurt carried around from the past that have not been dealt with can reak havoc in a relationship. Please do not downplay relational baggage—it has the power to destroy your relationship. Sometimes, these complex, negative issues require years to resolve. Do not expect that marriage will make them disappear. You will generally have to wait until a person overrides his or her baggage with the truth of God’s love before real healing takes place. Therefore, if your date carries emotional baggage, please vigilantly deal with it before you get married. Marrying someone who is free of baggage is worth the extra months or years of waiting.
4. Do You Have the Support of Friends and Family?
The number one relationship killer for most couples has little to do with their relationship and much to do with the relationships they are surrounded by. The role of your parents, in-laws, siblings, children and friends all shift the moment you say “I do,” because when you join together as one, you’ve chosen to put your spouse above all others. Too many marriages are struggling or divorced simply due to a lack of priorities, finding themselves pulled by everyone else in every which way, except toward each other. Healthy marriages learn to choose one another above all others.
5. How Do You Handle Conflict
The difference between good and bad marriages is not that good marriages don’t struggle. The difference between good and bad marriages is that the good ones know how to handle conflict in a Christ-like, respectful, and humble way.
How do the two of you handle conflict? Do you tend to leave things lingering?
Are you likely to build up grudges and frustrations? If either of you struggles with anger, how do you head it off before it explodes?
Are you quick to forgive the other person and keep short accounts? Do you both initiate reconciliation or is it usually one person?
6. Have You Sought Pre-Engagement Counseling Together?
Pre-Engagement counseling is so helpful when you are interested in marrying someone. It is impossible to uncover by yourself every potential problem area of your relationship. Even wise friends and family can overlook negative warning signs. Therefore, seek a trained Christian counselor to discuss the details of your relationship before you get engaged. I promise it is well worth it even if you have to go out of your way to find it.
The decision to marry someone is so significant; please do not bypass the wisdom of outside counsel before engagement. If you can meet with someone trained to deal with relational problems, you can save yourself a lot of heartache. Furthermore, a good counselor can help save you from marrying the wrong person.
7. How do you know whether the person you date accepts God’s leadership structure?
Observe his or her willingness to lead or submit. Ladies, does your boyfriend follow Jesus and love you sacrificially? Guys, does your girlfriend follow Jesus and respect your decisions? If not, you may be dating an immature person. When someone is unwilling to try out his or her relational role in dating, he or she will unlikely embrace it in marriage. Passive or dominating behavior boils down to a lack of faith in the authority of Christ.
Besides equating leadership with performance, some singles do not understand what leadership truly involves. God’s definition of a leader is not simply “decision maker.” A real leader sacrifices his desires for the benefit of his wife. God says that the man’s job is to love his wife just as Christ loved the church. How did Christ express love for the church? He sacrificed His life so that He could have intimacy with us.
In the same manner, God urges men to love their wives sacrificially. Her needs and concerns are supposed to become his focus. In addition, his role includes maintaining an environment of intimacy. This means accepting her, forgiving her, protecting her, and considering her interests as more important than his. When a husband loves his wife sacrificially, he creates a physical illustration of Christ’s love for believers. Therefore, ladies, observe whether the man you date behaves in this way. Does he know what is important to you? Does he sacrifice his interests for yours? Is he willing to disagree with you when he believes it is for your benefit?
Keep in mind that you cannot lead or submit to someone by relying on your brainpower or self-control. Instead, Jesus wants you to carry out your assigned roles by allowing Him to live His life through you. In a human relationship, Christ can simultaneously express submission through a woman and leadership through a man. He demonstrated both of these roles 2000 years ago on earth as He submitted to His heavenly Father while loving mankind sacrificially. Jesus wants to do the same through you today. Therefore, as you date someone, consider whether you have submitted your relationship to His leadership.
8. Are Your Hopes And Dreams For The Future Compatible
An important part of marriage is being a team. It is important to make sure your hopes and dreams for the future line up. If you are headed down different paths then beware.
What do you both want to do with your lives? What plans or dreams do you have for the future (e.g., career, family, home-life, ministry goals, church involvement, plans for where you want to live, vacations, etc.)? Are you willing to do activities that the other person likes and enjoys, or is it all about you?
If your future goals differ, how are you going to reconcile these things?
9. Are You Truly Passionate About Each Other?
Jesus best defined passion when He innocently died on a cross because of His love for you. He was so excited to be married to you that He sacrificed Himself even though you aren’t perfect. Are you passionate enough to sacrifice yourselves for each other, knowing full well that both of you are imperfect? In other words, are you so spiritually, sexually, mentally, and emotionally attracted to each other that you also accept one another’s ugly, weak, and selfish faults?
Guys, do you feel just as interested in your girlfriend when she removes her makeup? Are you willing to drop your pride and cherish her during her mood swings? Are you willing to go out of your way to make sure she feels appreciated? Do you love her enough to seek her best interests even if that means denying your desires or telling her no?
Ladies, are you more concerned with delighting your boyfriend than making yourself happy? Are you willing to love him even if he neglects or offends you? Do you adore him so much that you are prepared to follow him wherever God leads?
Marriage involves loving someone even if he or she disappoints, irritates, or ignores you. If you do not think that your boyfriend or girlfriend has any flaws, I encourage you to date longer. No one is perfect, and you set yourself up for relational failure if you expect marriage to be smooth and easy. Jesus knew the awful reality of your sin, but He felt such passion that He still chose to marry you. You make this kind of commitment when you choose to marry someone.
God wants Christ’s pure passion to sustain your relationship. On some days the romance will fade, and you will feel bored with each other. How will you stay committed? Your spiritual marriage to Christ will supply the strength you need when times are hard. Jesus knows that you cannot maintain intimacy with someone because your ability to love is limited. Yet His devotion to the person you marry never wanes, so He can uphold your relationship by living His passion through you.
As a Christian, you no longer have to struggle to love. You possess the love of Christ within you, and the purpose of dating and marriage is to bond with someone in His divine passion.
Analyze Your Passion
After analyzing your dating relationship in lue of these questions, you may not feel a peace about committing to your boyfriend or girlfriend. That’s okay. Dating benefits you because you can learn who someone is before you promise your heart. Your discomfort may be the Holy Spirit urging you to date longer or to separate. If you break up, be glad that you avoided an unwise marriage decision. On the other hand, if you responded positively to these questions, Jesus may be leading you toward marriage.
If you are a Christian and choose to marry an unbeliever or someone outside of your faith, you could suffer years of grief and heartache or wind up abused or divorced.
On the other hand, if you select a marriage partner wisely, your marriage could surpassed your wildest dreams of what romance, friendship, and love could ever be. You'll enjoy a lifetime together of intimate love and passion. If Jesus is inspiring you to give yourself to someone special, then take the opportunity to pour His love into that person and relish the passionate relationship that He has waiting for you to explore together.