Unequally Yoked – Dating a non-believer.

Unequally Yoked

Christian singles who are looking for a spouse sometimes come to the question of whether it is ok to date a non-believer. Or, what the reaction of their family would be if they brought home someone who wasn’t Christian. Are these kind of relationships worth pursuing? What does the Bible says about being unequally yoked?

Can different religions bring a relationship to God?

The Bible states clearly that believers shouldn’t be with non-believers. But how is that not ok, when we see couples who don’t have the same religion, fall in love, get married and live a happy life together?

We forget to think about the foundation of love and relationships. If the foundation is built on different beliefs, it is like a house’s foundation being built with concrete and clay. Somewhere, it will crack and possibly crumble. Adding children to the mix will make it worse.

Bible passages about unequally yoked.

The Holy Bible has many verses and passages showing the Israelites going astray from God because they married people who believed in other gods. The Israelites started to serve the false gods around them, rather than bringing their spouses to worship God.  It happened to the most intelligent man in the Bible, Solomon, so yes, it can happen to you, too.  Why, then, would you then take the risk?

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. Kings 11:4

Here are other passages that alert us to avoid worshiping false gods or intermarrying non-believers (being unequally yoked):

  • Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. (Deuteronomy 7:3)
  • Now honor the LORD, the God of your ancestors, and do His will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives. (Ezra 10:11)
  • Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

The children of these inter-faith marriages.

I see people from different religions struggling with what to teach their kids, what to say about God and what to teach about God. I see the impact of a non-Christian partner’s actions and attitudes towards life, others, church, and Christianity has on their children and on their spouse.  I see people struggling to teach their kids about Jesus, when one spouse doesn’t want to or believes that kids shouldn’t be taught about Him at all, or wants to let the kids decide when they get older.  There are cases where the partner doesn’t even want celebrate Easter or Christmas.

I see the kids of those marriages, in their teen years, struggling with faith, as they see that the parent who isn’t a believer not believing or going to church, so why do they, the kids, need to go? Why believe in God when one of the parents doesn’t even care if there is a God or worships a different god?

The believe spouse can end up compromising on their faith and convictions to “save” a marriage or to avoid hurting their partner. But, whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (James 4:17)

What you may face marrying someone with a different religious conviction.

Religious beliefs really impact a marriage. While it may not break the marriage if both sides are committed to making it work, more often than not, a relationship with someone without your beliefs can really damage the relationship, as the “stronger” will dominate the “weaker”.  I see children from these kinds of marriage not having a strong faith themselves.

Check out ChristianCafe.com’s blog post about Relationship Advice: Is my relationship ok with God?

Dating a non-beliver is a dangerous step that the Christian single has to avoid, if they want to follow what the Bible teaches and what God expects from us. And more so, if we Christians believe that only those who call our Lord Jesus their Savior, and live their lives to honor His sacrifice for all of us, would you be willing to live a happy life knowing that your spouse, who isn’t a Christian, won’t be in Heaven?

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4 comments on “Unequally Yoked – Dating a non-believer.Add yours →

  1. I agree with this more then ever but I wanted to say that it isn’t always this clear. So many guys have told me their Christians but their actions and the fruit in their life speaks otherwise. I refuse to spot it and always end up getting hurt. There are a lot of phonies running around scamming people and so it is not always clear what they believe because sometimes they are not as direct to say they don’t believe. This also is referring to being spiritual unyoked. There are spirit filled charismatic Christians that need to be with someone who embraces the gifts of the Holy Spirit and walks in them.
    I have no idea how any Christian can live without the Holy Spirit when Jesus Himself sent him to all those who believe. Anyways there is much more to the Christian faith then believing in Jesus going to church and reading the Bible. This is what I call fast food Christianity. They speak a simple message but that message is not the whole story. We need to Holy Spirit and without the Holy Spirit are Christian walk is died. I encourage every believer to study their Christian roots and I found that Catholicism fit perfectly with my beliefs. Many “Christians” don’t think Catholics are saved but this is not true and no one should judge another man’s salvation.
    Look into the history and you will see what I mean. Start with studying the church fathers. We need the passed history and we need to Holy Spirit to go forward and have hope to the future without this your Christian walk isn’t going anywhere. God desires that you know Him fully.

  2. I think beyond what most think this passage means that marrying a non Christian is something not to be considered. Scripture points out “What hath light to do with darkness.” I think people need to find others of like faith and even more than that how we find ourselves yoked with others including business partners. I believe even those you are in business on any kind of equal level where you both own a business that it’s better for people to be in business with a fellow believer. As for marriage. If you follow through many times you find that the children of these marriages that one knows the Lord but their children have not been brought up with a growing faith or any faith at all.

    Beyond all that, given a visual example the Lord showed me somewhat deepened the insight into this passage. I was watching heavy horse pulls one night with the Lord giving me this analogy. The first set of horses was like they bucked and bucked and bucked like they were nearly fighting every inch of the way before settling into the harnesses. (a little of what one might think of as a bad marriage or one that was tough for the individual to endure). The next set of horses pulling these heavy weighted sleds. One Horse settled into the harness and tried and hoped to get somewhere and could not accomplish anything. (The Lord said as the saying goes “pulling a dead horse through life”). Like no matter what you did you were held back. The next teem of horses the owners brushed their cheeks and whispered in their ears as they gently eased into the harnesses and took off with the greatest of ease. And even for a lighter team of horses they accomplished a great deal. The final thing the Lord asked me, if you’re going to team yourself with a horse in life which horse do you want to find yourself with. Perhaps further than that what kind of horse do you desire that your potential mate be able to find themselves with. I felt this was a little of something worth sharing with many of you.

    Whereas you find time to get to know people. Remind yourself it’s a time involved effort. To take time to put something of your own person and character into the other persons understanding that there is something that says to others that you have something to say and that what you say can be of great interest to the next person even if you think it’s the most boring mundane thing in your life. On the other side of the coin show interest in the things that make up the person. Interests, hobbies, school or their like of sports even if it’s something that is not a personal interest of yours. Let that other person feel that what they have to communicate and say is of value to you as it makes up the character and thread of who a person is. Not one to often read or answer blogs. However felt there was something I could lend to the conversation.

    They say love is blind, love can throw its brain out the window too. Many people in my life I have seen get into sometimes unhealthy relationships or marriages that would have been wiser for them to remain single. Some have the idea that they can’t be happy without a relationship or live like their hormones got in a knot and they can’t control them then to find later they made their own life more difficult because of an unwise decision. I can tell you that most people that I have ever known or talked to made better to just be friends and often pointed to the fact that most I would not have wanted any kind of dating relationship with. Put much thought into these decisions. And often would recommend people take time to allow a bit of a friendship time before dating as this can save a lot of regret and heartache. You then have time to fast discover with an individual that you were spared having not been in that kind of relationship. And more opportunity sometimes just for a good friend.

    I have learned to be content in life. I am in no rush to make a relationship out of something that points in my discovery of people that something should not in most cases go that way. But I will say if it happens fine. But I have found that I am able to live life to the full and be content apart from the inner longings for a partner but I don’t let that kind of thing every moment of my thinking. Take time to develop close friends. Many sit at home and don’t take time to connect with people they go to church with. Sometimes a meeting of friends over dinner or coffee or a visit in one’s own home can be a fellowship blessing you share with the individual you talk to at church. Some may say but I am shy, and I will point it out to you, a little boldness and willingness to share a meal or fellowship with a newer friend can bless them as well. There are some also that need to focus more on developing their friendships than their hormones and the perpetual treating of life like your unhappy if you can’t find a mate. I am sure there are those that will point out that that don’t always make a person happier. But not to be obsessively focused on not having one. Anyway that’s my take on things.

  3. I appreciate the article, but I believe we need to also nuance this passage to discuss those who profess faith. Christianity, at the time, was not socially or economically advantageous. It was not a part of the ‘family or community structure’ in a culture. Now it is all of the above. The result is we have many professing faith who are not deeply committed. It is possible and frequently happens that two individuals professing Christ have faith which radically differs. Those seeking to marry should understand their potential mate will show fruit in keeping with their level of faith. If you cannot find fruit evidencing their service then bear in mind you are marrying someone who functionally is a nonbeliever, and this will have the same result on your children as someone who is at least honest and professes no faith in Christ.

  4. The main reason we are here is to meet someone who believes in the same God. Many of us are in different stages in our lives walking with God. Are we to set the bar who qualities of what equally yoke they are or God? From personal experience, grew up Catholic but my ex-fiance (christian) helped me to develop a relationship with God. However, He was weak following the desires of his flesh with another no-christian woman. So much for equally yoked. Also I see many men bringing to church non-believers and marry them instead of the many single ladies walking with God. Still, we are so many singles at church but very few dares to ask someone out from the same church. Whats wrong with this picture? Isn’t this the perfect environment to meet someone with similar faith?

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