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Should a Christian Date a Non-Christian?

Is it okay for a Christian to date a non-Christian?

Well, the Bible doesn't say much about this. So how do we know what the right answer is? Youtuber Jefferson Bethke and his wife Alyssa explore the benefits of holding off for the right man, or woman, who loves the Lord and builds their life upon the foundational teachings of Jesus.

Don't ask yourself if it's right or wrong, but instead ask, "why?"

If you are dating with the intention of marriage, which is the closest human relationship you will ever have, why would you want to be with someone who doesn't share or understand the one thing that is closest and most important to you? This being Jesus.

Being a Christian is not just a "part" of you, a hobby or passion, but instead it is who you are - your identity. If you date someone who doesn't understand or love the Lord, then they may not ever be able to fully understand who you are. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old has gone; a new life has begun!"

Are you looking in different directions?

In decision-making as a couple, which you do a lot of in marriage, you may be forced to choose between God and your non-Christian mate. What are your motives? Sometimes as Christians we are asked to do things that honour our God that may not make sense to the world, and therefore our non-Christian mate. When you date or marry someone who is looking in the same direction as you (to God), making decisions may seem more clear. You both have the same motivation and goal in mind and therefore can support one another in understanding. 

Do his actions line up with his words?

There are many people who call themselves Christians but aren't followers of Jesus. Don't get caught up in the title of a "Christian" but instead, see where their heart is and make sure they really love Jesus.

Don't play the "flirt to convert" game. 

Let's be honest, we've all heard of success stories where the Christian partner brings their mate to church, they become Christian as well, and they live happily ever after! We aren't saying that isn't possible. God can work all things for good, which also means bringing a loved one to Christ. But missionary dating is a difficult game to play. Don't date someone with the goal of trying to change them, but instead look for someone who has developed a personal relationship with the Lord themselves. This may mean patience! 

Are you settling?

You may be tired of waiting on the Lord so you think to take matters into your own hands! He's cute, and he says and does the right things, but if he doesn't truly love the Lord and therefore can't lead your spiritual relationship, it won't feel right. Pray for discernment and wisdom in your situation and pay attention to those nudges from the Holy Spirit. What are they saying? When it is right, you will have peace. No peace? You may be settling for less than God's best for you!

But I'm in too deep!

You may be afraid to break up because you are too involved (physically or emotionally) which is very scary but question if you are idolizing this person over the Lord. Ensure you are not loving a person over Jesus. Lamentations 3:25 says, "The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him." God is so good to those who wait, and it is worth it to wait on the Lord. Sacrifice is a common element to the Christian faith, but we are promised beauty for ashes. We are commanded to take up our cross and follow him! 

We don't have to believe the lie that God wants to steal our joy. But instead, He is good, He loves us and wants to provide for us. 

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God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- James1:12 NLT
Related Prayer
Dear God, sometimes my "testing" season seems so long. Please give me courage to endure until the end. Help me not to bail! You said you would bless me for hanging in there - I will not give up on you or your promises. You are with me and will see me through this trial.