Back in high school, I remember walking out of Walmart and finding a secret “love note” stuck to my windshield. It was from none other than the Walmart parking lot cart guy himself!
After weeks of catching him stare at me every time I pulled up, he finally (cleverly) spilled his interest in me. He invited me to join him on a romantic date to Chili’s *ahem* the following Tuesday.
Well…long story short, I didn’t go.
That marked the beginning and end of my Walmart romance.
He seemed like a nice guy and all, I just wasn’t interested in dating around. But the bigger reason I said no was because of something much more important. To my knowledge, this Walmart cart guy wasn’t a Christian. And for that reason, I would never consider dating him.
So why wouldn’t I date a non-Christian?
The question of whether a Christian should date a non-Christian has been circulating for centuries. In fact, Bethany and I spoke at a Christian girl’s conference recently and that was one of the hot-button questions during the panel.
“What’s the harm in dating a non-Christian guy?”
“What if he’s a highly moral guy, but he’s not a Christian. Is dating okay?”
“We love each other and love is bigger than religion, right?”
These were common questions many of the girls at the conference had, and I’m guessing some of you have similar ones as well.
Here’s the deal.
As Christian girls, we are called to live for a greater purpose than our personal happiness.
We’re called to live for the purpose of glorifying and honoring our King in everything we do. We have been bought with a price, and our life is no longer our own to run.
“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19b-20).
Our responsibility as Christian girls is to honor God in ALL that we do. And that includes the type of guys we date/court.
In order to honor God in all that we do, we need to know what He thinks about us dating non-Christians. Right? We have to go to God’s word (our source of truth) to find help on this weighty topic.
But before we go there, let’s chat really quick about why we “date” anyways.
Personally, I believe God’s plan for romantic relationships is for the purpose of intentionally getting to know someone, with marriage being the end goal. The modern trend of casually “dating around” isn’t helpful or wise on so many fronts.
For more on the topic of dating, check out this post.
Since the purpose of dating/courting is to ultimately find a spouse, we should be extremely careful about who we date, right? Since a girl may end up “falling in love” and marrying the guy she is dating, she needs to make sure he’s someone God would actually want her to marry.
Here’s what God’s word has to say on the topic of dating a non-Christian.
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
This verse is a clear warning sign that believers should not be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers. And if you’re wondering (like I was) what “unequally yoked” means, here you go.
A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen together as they pull a load. When one ox is larger, taller, smaller, or weaker than the other, it causes the team to lose all efficiency. They cannot perform tasks, and instead of working together, they end up spinning in circles.
I think that’s a really interesting analogy!
When it comes to a Christian dating or marrying a non-believer, the Bible says we become like an unequally yoked pair of oxen. We’re basically entering into a relationship that isn’t going to be efficient for the Kingdom and will ultimately leave us spinning in circles.
In order to understand why God is against a Christian marrying a non-Christian, we have to step back and look at the BIG picture. We have to get a birdseye view of our lives and our purpose as Christians.
In order to give you the bird’s eye view, let’s take an honest look at the pro’s and cons of dating (and potentially marrying) a non-Christian Guy.
The PROS of Dating a Non-Christian Guy:
1. Expands your “pool” of options.
Yes, you will definitely have more options to choose from if you date non-Christians.
2. Potential for sharing the gospel.
Sharing the gospel can definitely take place while dating a non-Christian. However, the Bible doesn’t ever encourage us to be “intimate” with unbelievers. The Bible commands us to evangelize them…and this is always done in a non-romantic relationship.
The CONS of Dating a Non-Christian Guy:
1. Don’t share the same standards and convictions.
No matter how you slice it, a non-Christian guy will never share your same Biblically based standards. Whether it’s on the topic of purity, media choices, activities, language, or something else…you will find yourself at odds with one another regularly.
2. Aren’t on the same mission.
As a Christian girl, you are here on a mission for God. He is your King. You’re called to live for God’s glory, to evangelize the lost, and to make disciples. A non-Christian boyfriend will not share this same mission with you because He does not serve the same King. You will find yourself striving on your own with little support or understanding.
3. He can’t provide spiritual leadership.
God calls men to be spiritual leaders, and a non-Christian guy cannot provide that for you. No matter how “nice” or moral he is, he cannot provide you with spiritual leadership because He doesn’t have a relationship with God.
4. You won’t share the same worldview.
Whether it’s politics, hot topics of the day, evolution, abortion, or something else, a non-Christian guy will always view life from a totally difference lens than you. His source for truth isn’t God’s word, so his worldview won’t align with yours in many areas.
5. You can’t seek the Lord together.
Since this guys isn’t a believer, you will never be able to seek the Lord together. You will never pray together, seek wisdom from the Holy spirit together, or learn from God’s word in the same way.
6. Conflict in raising future kids.
And if you did end up marrying a non-Christian guy, your challenges would only get harder. Raising kids in a spiritually divided house is tough. Mommy will want to raise the kids to love the Lord, but daddy won’t. Mommy will want to take the kids to church, but daddy will be indifferent. Your kids will never have the spiritual leadership that a father is called to provide.
So there you have it. The pros and cons of dating a non-Christian guy.
By now, I hope you can see the dangers of dating a non-Christian guy. The cons far outweigh the pros.
If you’re currently dating a non-Christian guy or know someone who is, I hope you’ll really take this post to heart.
To learn more about God’s amazing design for romance, I can’t encourage you enough to grab a copy of our new book, GirlDefined. Chapter 9 is all about Love and Romance and is worth the entire book just for that!
Now I want to hear from you on the topic of dating a non-Christian.
- What additional PROS or CONS would you add to my list?
- Have you experienced or seen the negative effects of someone dating a non-Christian? What happened?
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