Are Christians allowed to marry non-Christians?

Asked by Paul

Are Christians allowed to marry non-Christians?


The Bible tells us in the Second Letter to the Corithians (2 Cor Chapter 6 verses 14 and onwards)

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.  For partnership has righteousness with unbelievers 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?”

This warning is not just about marriage but does apply to marriage as that is the closest form of “yoking” a person can have. The passage tells us to “not be unequally yoked with unbelievers”. A yoke is a bar that was laid against two animals (ox) to plow fields in the days of Jesus.  A yoke could be weighed differently so that one beast could take more weight then the other hence the term “unequally yoked”.  As a marriage places us in a position where the non-believer will have a lot of influence over us (unequally yoked) we should not marry a non-believer.

In practice what happens is the non-believer starts off happy that the other person is a Christian and supports them but over time becomes jealous of how much time their Christian spouse spends at church or Bible Study (things all Christians should be doing).  This jealousy usually stops the believer from going to church or Bible Study and in the end they stop being a Christian to please their non-believing spouse.  As such the Bible warns us against marrying an unbeliever.

There are many reasons a Christian may want to date a non-Christian, I know the difficulty of being single and a Christian, as that has been my status for many years.  The best thing to do is chat to your minister about your struggles or another mature Christian.  Ask your Christian friends to introduce you to Christian guys/girls they know.  In the end we may think a marriage with a non-Christian looks good because we may have so much in common but as 2 Corinthians puts it “Or what fellowship has light with darkness?”, Jesus has made the Christian so different that it is like comparing “light” and “darkness”.

Answers are kindly provided by our friends at Christianity.net.au

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