In this article we will discuss how dating a non-Christian affects us spiritually. It is most important to look at this topic with the following mindset: is my relationship acceptable and pleasing to our Father in heaven?
Let’s search through God’s Word to see what He says about who we date and eventually marry. The whole reason and purpose for dating should be to one day be joined by our heavenly Father in marriage.
Unfortunately, our society has twisted the meaning of dating and the purpose behind it. If we want to strive to follow God’s plan for dating, can we date a non-Christian?
Most of us have been affected by a relationship between a believer and an unbeliever. Whether it was your relationship or someone close to you, most of us have experienced this dynamic at some point in life.
My parents raised me with the mindset of only dating and marrying someone who is a Christian. That is kind of hard when you go to school with three other Christians out of 1500 people.
For this reason, I didn’t really start dating until I was almost in college. One of my friends told me about her friend who was “a really great guy”.
She told me that he is always willing to study the bible and he knows what to do to be saved. I decided I would at least get to know him and give it a try.
This relationship only lasted two months because I quickly realized he was bringing me down, rather than me pulling him up. Unfortunately, this happens in a lot of unbeliever-believer relationships. We tell ourselves, “I can change him,” “He has so much potential,” “He is a good moral guy.”
We spend so much time trying to change the person that we lose ourselves. It breaks my heart, but this same guy ended up later dating my friend, and she is no longer a Christian. I thank God that I got out of that relationship, because that could have been me.
I know that there are good scenarios of dating non-Christians where they are shown the truth and later become deacons, preachers, and even elders in the Lord’s church. Unfortunately, with my experience (and more often than not) the Christian is pulled down, rather than the non-Christian being pulled up.
After this relationship, I promised myself from then on that I would only date Christians. I needed someone to work with me to help get to heaven.
Is Dating a Non-Christian a Bad Idea? 3 Scriptural Examples
The bible does not specifically speak of dating, but it does speak of relationships.
1. Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33)
The Bible clearly states: “Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
This is a scripture I have gone to so many times in my life concerning any type of relationship. When we spend time with those outside of the Lord, we begin to become like them.
My mother in law always told my husband growing up, “Show me who you hang out with, and I will know who you are.” Many of us think we are exempt from this fact. We think in the back of our minds that we are going to change other people, and we forget that these people may be changing us in the process.
Let’s go back a few verses to look at the context. Verses 31 and 32 state, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.”
God is telling us that he will provide ALL our needs if we just seek Him first. With all the distractions of this world, this can be harder than it sounds.
A good way to think about our relationships and priorities is that when we seek God, everything else will follow. God will completely take care of us.
The beginning of the verse even says, “Do not be deceived”. Therefore, looking at this verse, wouldn’t the unbeliever qualify as bad company?
Does God want you to spend everyday with someone who will corrupt your good morals?
2. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? (2 Corinthians 6:14,15)
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?”
While this scripture refers to business relationships, I believe it still applies to relationships in general. If we are in a relationship with an unbeliever, we will be in a constant battle. The unbeliever pulling one way, and the believer pulling the other way.
If we constantly pull in opposite directions, how can we accomplish anything productive?
3. Do ALL for the Glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31) & Seek 1stthe kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33)
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God… But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
These must be some of my all-time favorite verses. If we put God as our first priority, everything else will fall into place.
Picture a bike wheel with all the spokes coming out from the center. We should have God as the center/hub, and everything else should be spokes.
Everything we do should be connected to God: relationships, job, family, sports, hobbies…everything. We should be focusing on glorifying God in all that we do.
Can we glorify God while dating someone who doesn’t believe in Him? Can we truly seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness if we are dating a non-Christian?
Tips For Dating Success:
- Determine in your mind today that you want to marry someone who will help you reach your spiritual goals
- Spend time in Godly places to find Godly people
- Pray for wisdom during this season of dating
- Focus on your spiritual self & know the Lord will provide
- Trust Him & lean not on your own understanding
After implementing these tips, you will be well on your way to finding a godly relationship. Focus on yourself and your spiritual walk, and you will find someone who can help you seek first the kingdom of God.
What’s your opinion? Do you think dating a non-Christian is detrimental to your spiritual life?
Morghan Posey lives in Bowdon, Georgia where her husband is the pulpit minister at Bowdon Church of Christ. She stays at home with her 17 month old son Sidon.
Olivia Helton says
This is a wonderful article that all dating age girls and guys need to read. The author articulates simple yet solid tips on glorifying God through our relationships with others, especially that of the opposite sex.
Mary Harp says
Thank you for reading and for your kind words, Olivia! (BTW – I remember you from our FHU days. Hope you’re well). – Mary Harp
Excellent article! Thanks for writing this!
Mary Harp says
Thanks for reading, Beth!
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