You never realized the late-night conversations, the fun outings, or innocent meet-ups could result in you falling in love. You never planned to fall for a non-Christian because your mother or that friend from the church warned you, but you did. Or maybe, you’re just curious and testing your odds.
There is nothing sinful or immoral about dating a non-Christian. However, it is recommended not to do so. The drastic differences between a believer and a non-believer sets the relationship up for failure in the long term. It will also have an impact on your emotional and spiritual well-being.
The more answers you seek and the more people you talk to, the more challenging it gets to find a definite answer. To clear the air, let us weigh in detail why you can or cannot date a non-Christian.
Why Is It OK To Date Someone Non Christian?
Since the Bible doesn’t explicitly discuss dating or relationships other than marriage, it doesn’t directly forbid dating a non-Christian. With time, Christians have opened up to an array of possibilities outside traditional norms and succeeded in building healthy relationships outside their faith.
However, what religion and communities have to say is one segment of a larger story.
Several factors influence and make dating a non-Christian successful. Let us look at each in more detail:
1. It is Not a Sin, Technically
If you are concerned about whether you go against your faith in the word of God or are sinning by dating a non-Christian, then you do not have much to worry about.
Why? Because the Bible never directly addresses dating, and thus, it does not directly forbid dating a non-believer.
However, you should also remember that Christianity sprouted from an era when dating was non-existent, and romance was limited to marriages.
Christianity sets forward rules and regulations for who you spend your time with, what you indulge in, and the intentions of your heart – each of which you should carefully consider.
2. You have your Own Interpretation of Christianity
With time, Christianity has found many interpretations among diverse communities.
Every person looks up to Christ in his own way and finds God in his heart through different means.
The best way to know if you should or should not date a non-Christian as a Christian is to ask yourself what Christianity means to you.
What does your path to light look like?
You are bound to be confused at first, but if you find it okay after you self-reflect and question your opinion on the matter – then it is okay to date a non-Christian.
3. Love is the Greatest Virtue
One of the most significant lessons of Christianity is that of love. Love trumps all – and it arises out of pure intention.
This is also where you should beware of missionary dating.
You might try to justify dating a non-Christian by hoping to convert them – but that pulls you away from the word of God.
As a Christian, your intent to date must come from the intent to marry and develop a true connection.
You are closer to Christianity when you conduct your acts with genuine intention.
As long as you are willing to spend a life alongside a non-believer while being devoted to Christ, you can date one too.
4. Humans Can Learn to Respect Diverse Beliefs and Co-Exist Mutually
One of the biggest concerns with dating a non-Christian is a misunderstanding.
Before you start dating a non-believer, you must ensure that you are open to accepting them and their religious beliefs.
Do not forget to assess and understand whether this person also respects and understands your love and devotion to Christ.
If we can learn and grow to be more accepting and understanding in relationships, it is okay to date someone on a different path.
The differences are often difficult to handle but not impossible.
5. The Experience of Life is Unique to You
As a Christian, who you date is of high importance. To seek your answer, you would often look up to the experiences of those around you.
Some will quote the Bible and discuss their opinions. Others might share their personal stories or stories of their friends.
Just like each person interprets religion in their own way, they also knit their own experiences and thoughts.
It is common for dates between believers and non-believers to be disastrous due to a strong difference of opinion or in what they seek from dating.
However, it is acceptable for you to want to still give it a chance to try it for yourself.
6. Only You Can Decide What’s Right for You
At the end of the day, no one can tell you what to do and what to believe in. You believe in the word of God because you chose to.
You found your own meaning and path, and only you can see your own truth.
Dating a non-Christian does not have to be blinding or pull you away from the message of Christ – unless you choose to.
When you believe that you can make it with them or that a person is worth giving a shot, then you must try.
Irrespective of everyone telling you not to, if you still feel that it’s okay, then it will be.
7. Your Heart Knows Why
Your spiritual path might get easier with a Christian partner’s support. And yet, there is still a strong feeling to date this one specific person.
When your heart knows why you are willing to go out of your way to give that relationship a shot, it is okay to date a person.
When you understand your desire to date a specific person, you will know whether it is sinful or incorrect.
It must not arise from temptation, lust, or greed. Try not to justify your desire but understand where it comes from before you jump to a conclusion.
Dangers Of Dating A Non Christian – Why Is It Not OK?
While it is acceptable, dating a Non-Christian is not an easy thing to do. You will have differing opinions at every step of life. Relationships, which are difficult as is, become harder without the acceptance of your community and can pull you away from the Path.
Your love for God should remain the highest.
Whether you wish to succeed at dating a non-Christian or are looking for caution, you must be aware of the dangers before jumping in to take the bull by its horns or dodge it.
1. Dating With Impure Intentions is a Sin
Marriage in Christianity is seen as a union of body, mind, and soul. Dating, by definition, aims to lead to this union.
While it is true that your desire to marry someone can die down after getting to know their authentic self, you must have that desire, to begin with.
And if you see marrying a non-Christian as a sin, dating a non-Christian will also be viewed as one since you were aware of your lack of desire to marry them.
Whether you should or should not marry a non-Christian becomes a conversation of its own and an important determinant in deciding whether you should or should not date a non-Christian.
2. Your Partner Will Shape Your Life
Romantic engagement is one of the deepest connections we make in our life.
When you learn to see someone become one with you, their beliefs and habits also become a part of you.
Your partner’s behavior will be shaped by their belief systems, and their behavior will have a deep psychological impact on your own beliefs.
When you date a non-believer, it may hinder your devotion to Christ and his message in the long run.
Howsoever strong you may consider your faith to be, your partner’s habits can and will rub off on you.
Dating a Christian will ensure you share a similar set of views and a healthy relationship while dating a non-Christian can be more similar to rolling a die.
3. You Will Not Always Be Understood
When you date a non-Christian, you cannot expect them to know or understand your faith or belief.
They might find certain practices eccentric or unnecessary and may also call you out on them.
You can try having a conversation, and your partner could try their best to understand you, but they will never truly feel the essence of your faith.
Giving it words will not replicate the experience of Christ for them. In certain times of distress or frustration, this lack of understanding can make matters worse.
You will have distinct priorities, but your priority towards God will not be understood at all times.
During such times, it can make you question the word of God or your relationship – making the situation harder to get through.
4. Contrasting Beliefs Can Cause Many Rifts
Similar to not being understood, the two of you might have contrasting beliefs and opinions on ethical stance and appropriate behavior from your own learnings and experiences.
Differences in religious opinions can cause several rifts where one partner may try to control another based on their perspective of what is right.
Such ongoing disputes and debates on everyday behavior or personal life choices can become maddening and heart-breaking over time.
Also, when you intend to get married, a lot of decision-making will rely on common grounds such as setting up house rules and raising children.
For common areas of your life, neither you nor your partner can impose your belief, resulting in feuds or one giving up their individual identity or path.
5. Lack of Support can Shake your Beliefs
Even when all goes well, and the two of you manage to get along on common grounds, your path to spirituality would still require you to be alone.
The best part about having a partner is to share your heart’s deepest desires and life’s purpose.
Having someone walk by your side through thick and thin makes your journey easier and better.
However, when you date a non-Christian, you will miss out on support in the most significant area of your life.
Your partner may not attend the Church with you or be interested in reciting the verses of the Bible.
They may not show the same enthusiasm as you for festivals or encourage Christian symbolism in the house or the bedroom.
You can walk your own path, but in the long term, having to walk alone can become exhausting for you and your partner.
This might end up pushing you away from the path toward the light.
6. A Lot of Your Fellow Christians Will Not Like It
Life becomes extremely hard when those around you look down on you. We all need a sense of social acceptance.
Many Christians do consider it inappropriate to indulge in romantic activities with a non-Christian.
Quoting the Bible, many believe that “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” from 2 Corinthians 6:14, referring to marriage and warn to stay away from those that do not follow the path to awakening.
However, another interpretation refers to false apostles. Whatever meaning you personally find, several Christians would disagree with you.
Thus, you may be in a healthy and strong relationship with a non-Christian, and yet, you would always face threats and judgment by certain fellow Christians.
Can A Christian Marry A Non-Christian?
Several interpretations of the Bible claim that marriage outside of Christianity is prohibited. Irrespective of your belief or opinion, you should still avoid marrying a non-Christian as it can lead to feuds, difficulty finding a middle ground, and impact your relationship with Christ.
Let us further look into these factors:
1. You are Falling into Temptation
At the end of the day, you must ask yourself, “why?” Why do you wish to marry a non-Christian?
Marrying someone of a different faith (or none at all) will always be difficult irrespective of what you believe in.
Thus, in most cases, your desire to marry another is the fruit of temptation.
Perhaps you found yourself attracted to someone and are now looking for reasons to justify your doing. Giving in to lust or infatuation is not the path to be taken.
If you find yourself avoiding the voice of logic or constantly trying to find phrases in the Bible for acceptance and validation, there is a good chance your desire arises from temptation.
2. You are to Marry “Only in the Lord”
First Corinthians 7:39 speaks of marriage “Only in the Lord” – and that is to also marry a person in the Lord.
While the quote could find its own meaning, while talking about marriage in the name of the Lord, many Christians believe it prohibits marriage outside of Christianity.
Thus, marrying a person who does not follow the Lord would be to disobey this text.
For those who follow the law by heart and walk the path of Christ as outlined in scriptures, it is advised not to marry a person who has not been baptized or does not follow the path of the Lord.
3. You Seek Different Futures
With Christianity, you choose to devote your heart and soul to Christ. It drives purpose and meaning into your life.
However, when you choose a partner that does not follow Christ and His teachings, both of you will look at life differently.
You will seek different things and have individual aspirations.
With too many different desires or destinations, you will choose different paths that lead you to your own goals.
In marriage, you would want to seek a partner who will walk through life with you, rather than having irreconcilable differences that split you.
4. You Have Separate Ideas on Raising Children
Similar to having different goals, both of you will have separate ideas on the best way to raise a child.
While the teachings of Christ define your virtues, your partner may or may not agree with them as a non-believer.
You may also want your child to be exposed to Christianity, visit the Church with you, or have them baptized – but your spouse may not approve.
This can lead to fights and disputes and create a disturbing environment for a child to grow up in.
5. You Cannot Truly Confide in Them
Throughout your marriage with a non-believer, you cannot expect them to understand your religion, your faith, or the pain you share with God.
While your spouse may try their best to understand you and be there for you in times of need, you will not be able to confide in them about many feelings that pertain to God.
You will have to walk the gritted path of spirituality alone.
And when your spouse loves you, it will also hurt them greatly to see you in distress but to be of no use.
Your faith is a significant part of your identity and life purpose. In the long run, these differences do seep in and come to full bloom as your union progresses.
You may still wish to date and marry a non-Christian, and no one can tell you otherwise, but you need to consider the roadblocks and difficulties before jumping in.
Look at all sides of the dice and study the odds logically before making a decision.
Above all, keep your faith in the Lord as you always have, and seek answers in Him.