After over 65 years of ministry, we have developed the top 27 questions people ask us so we would like to share these questions each week for our weekly blog and share the answers as a resource for you all to use in your ministry, churches, and family.

Top ? #25 Should a Christian Marry an Unbeliever even if They Love Each Other?

Answer:  No, the Bible commands us to not be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers, which means, among other relationships, marriage.

One of the difficult situations older Christians have to deal with when counseling young people is that of marriage between a Christian and an unbeliever.  It is a very common circumstance and often one which is impossible to resolve in a biblical manner without great heartache and disappointment.

When a person becomes a believer in Jesus Christ that individual is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).  His or her relationship to the world has been irreversibly changed.  Believers are described as having  citizenship in heaven (Philippians 3:20).  The Christian’s relationship to the world is that of a foreigner.  The priorities, values and worldview of a Christian will be very different from that of an unbeliever.  Likewise, the believer has the hope of eternal life and unbelievers are described as “without hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

When a believer and unbeliever are bound in a relationship such as marriage it is inevitable that the differences caused by these two perspectives on life will result in tensions.  Such issues as attending church, raising children, giving money to ministries and a host of others will create sources of problems for a couple.

The most important verse related to this subject is 2 Corinthians 6:14 which says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.  For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with darkness?”

The comments of Allison Stevens (Grand Rapids, MI; Radio Bible Class, cited from website about this verse are valuable.

When Paul says that Christians shouldn’t be “yoked” together with unbelievers, he uses the image of two draft animals pulling a load. An ox and a donkey fastened to the same yoke won’t work well together. They are “unequally yoked,” with serious differences in height, size, and gait. Struggling to compensate for their differences, they squander their strength.

Paul’s example is a good metaphor. In some ways, a “team” of two people is better equipped to handle life’s load of stress and responsibility. But unless a husband and wife are working together as a team, their union becomes a liability rather than an asset.

Another important passage is 1 Corinthians 7:39.

A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.

This verse speaks directly to widows, but certainly the same can be applied to unmarried single people.  The requirement for remarriage (or first time marriage) is that it should be to another believer.

The clear command of Scripture is that believers and unbelievers should not be married to each other no matter how much they may feel they are in love.  Such a command is often very difficult to follow once a romantic relationship has been established.  For that reason it is advisable that single Christian young people resolve not to become romantically involved with unbelievers so that they do not have an opportunity to set themselves up for being emotionally hurt.

Please read the following verses:  Romans 8:9; Ephesians 2:1-5; 1 Corinthians 5:12; 1 Corinthians 7:12-16.


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