What happens when a Christian marries someone who is not a Christian believer?

Does the faith of a spouse matter?

Do you believe people with different religious convictions can be happily married?

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Your choice of a marriage partner starts when you choose whom to date.

What does dating have to do with whom you choose to marry? Most people don't date people whose company they don't enjoy. If you enjoy someone's company, it's very likely infatuation or even love might enter the relationship. Once that happens, after an emotional tie forms, you might think religion doesn't matter. When our emotions stifle the messages our brains try to send, we leave ourselves vulnerable to making bad decisions that can destroy our lives and those of our children.

Long before we start to date, we should consider the kind of marriage we want to have. If you have a vibrant faith or adhere strongly to a religion, it is probably an important part of who you are. You will probably want to raise your children in your faith, worship with your spouse, and maybe have devotions as a family. Your faith may determine how you want to spend your money and your time. It may determine how you expect to spend the holidays you normally celebrate. But if you are dating someone who does not share your faith, and you fall in love, your road will not be a smooth one. If you are a Christian, you would be wise to limit your dating to Christians. It will lessen your chances of marrying a man who does not share your values and beliefs. It will lessen your chances of having God's best in your marriage. Your parents may have told you that. Your church may have told you that. But when we are young, we don't always listen. After all, we reason, it's just a date. I'm not going to marry him (or her.)

If you aren't sure what you believe, maybe it's best to wait and marry after you know.
If you aren't sure what you believe, maybe it's best to wait and marry after you know.

Were you raised a Christian, but are unsure of what you believe now?

I always went to church and / or Sunday school when I was a child. I was even president of the church youth group in high school , but I began to question my early beliefs during my senior year. It was fairly easy to start dating someone who wasn't sure what he believed, either. Together we searched and talked about our spiritual journey. After three years of dating, we went our separate ways, still friends to this day.

As it turned out, we have grown in very different directions both spiritually and politically, and each of us married a more suitable partner who shares our beliefs. When we were dating, though, we believed we would marry some day. My parents were wiser than I, and knew that sending me away to school would test the relationship, and as they expected, it didn't pass the test. Today, the young agnostic is an older man of the cloth. We are both committed Christians, but we are still very different in the ways we express our faith and the causes we fight for. Had we married, our marriage probably would have been at best a disappointment.

If you aren't sure what you believe, and if you are still in college or under 25, I would advise waiting to get emotionally involved until you have thought through your own values and your religious beliefs. People often radically change their beliefs during the college and young adult years. Some people turn their backs on the faith they were raised in and embrace a different one or abandon all religious beliefs. Some people, like me, think they have left their faith and then return to it more convinced than ever. Trust me. It's much better to wait until you are settled before picking a partner based on what you believe when you are 17 or 19.

Bethel Lutheran Church in Templeton, California
Bethel Lutheran Church in Templeton, California

Surely dating someone from my church is safe.

That brings me to another point. You may be dating someone from your church and feel secure that you share a common faith. It's just possible, though, that you don't. Do you ever talk about it? Do you pray together or discuss God's word and his work in your lives? If not, how do you know what the other really believes in his or her heart?

After I was away at college, I started dating a man I had met just before I went away to school. We had often talked, and he had, in fact, invited me to attend his church, which he told me was the best church ever. So one night, while I was home for the weekend, I went . He wasn't there, but I loved his church and actually came back to my lost faith that night. I began to attend that church whenever I was home, and after church we often talked. I made the assumption that he was a person of faith just because he belonged to that church. As it turns out, his church may have been just a part of his culture that had not really penetrated his heart and spirit. I did not think that, however, until I became engaged to my present husband. Then the other man showed a side of himself I had never seen. I keep hoping it was an act. I also hope he has fully accepted the faith he was raised in -- especially if he married a girl from his church who believed he was a believer.

I have brought up these examples to show that the unseen matters of the heart may not always be what they seem. If there is chemistry present, we can easily ignore any signs that our date might not really share our faith. Even if our intentions are good, we can be fooled into believing what we want to believe. Our hearts are deceitful. Wolves do sometimes dress as sheep and hang out with the flock. Or sometimes we know they are not part of the flock, but we drag them into the fold anyway, hoping they will learn to feel at home there and become believers.

Couple fighting
Couple fighting | Source

One of the Worst Marriage Mistakes a Christian Can Make

If you are a devout Christian and you have decided to date a non-Christian, it's very likely you believe you can get the prospective partner to go to your church with you, and then become a believer. In very rare cases, this happens. We have dear friends from a past church where this was the case. She was a devout believer. They went to a church based on common culture, and he became a believer. He became a believer long before they married, however, and there was plenty of time to tell if it was real.

We have another case where it turned out differently. We were active in a campus Christian organization at UCLA, and the year before I arrived on the scene, a couple from the group had married. He had been president of the group. She had come as an unbeliever searching for the truth -- or so everyone thought. She became a believer and seemed to be very zealous. The group's president felt secure enough that her faith was real that he married her. Shortly after, the marriage ended. She "lost" her faith. No one is sure what really happened. It ended though, with hurt people.

Many times I have seen people who become believers through a the witness of a campus Christian group, and then they were urged to join discipleship groups and were propelled into positions of leadership. There's nothing wrong with that. But sometimes these people are pushed into positions they are not spiritually ready for, and instead of getting their sense of worth from the love of Jesus for them, they get it from the position of leadership they have attained. Their roots don't go deep, and when tests come, they are gone. I have seen this happen more often than I wanted to. Be very careful about dating new Christians until they have shown they have the fruits of the spirit in their lives.

In another case while I was at UCLA, I ran into a friend from high school, the daughter of missionaries. Since her senior year of high school she had been dating a neighbor of mine who had lived across the street when I was in elementary school. He was Italian and raised Catholic. She was very Protestant. But that was not their biggest problem. I knew something about him she didn't, because when we were neighbors, I had learned he was a bully. He had a very cruel streak. When I ran into my friend at UCLA in our senior year, she said her boyfriend had converted and they were engaged. He was now studying to be a minister at a small charismatic church. They invited us after they were married, to hear his first sermon. After that, we lost track of them, since we lived far apart. Years later I heard they were divorced and she had left the faith. Seemingly, he had been abusive. I don't know if he left the ministry or not. He had changed his dogma, but I never saw a change in his heart from the cruel person who had terrified me when I was a child. Our hormones can blind us to a person's real character -- a character we will have to live with if we marry that person.

When a person really becomes a Christian, the heart should change and he or she should become a new creature with a new attitude. When we are emotionally involved, we are seeing a person in the best possible light. We are seeing what we want to see. It takes time to reveal what a person is really becoming. We can even deceive ourselves. The person you love may simply be eager to be what you want him to be, and may not be faking it. He may not know himself if he is believing from the heart or agreeing with some doctrine and joining a church to please you. The truth will come out after time passes. That's why I advise premarital counseling in all cases. (See my Hub Advice to Brides-to-Be on Marriage)

Let God Make You One.

Make the commitments that give your marriage the best chance for a union of hearts and spirits.
Make the commitments that give your marriage the best chance for a union of hearts and spirits. | Source

"Do not be mismated with unbelievers."

If you've been raised in a fundamentalist or evangelical church, you've heard this message of Paul's from Corinthians II many times. It's not there to spoil your fun. The warning is there to keep you from being miserable later. Being mismated means having different values and different goals in life. It means you will be married and trying to go in opposite directions. "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

I have lost count of the Christian women I know who have married unbelievers hoping that they will become Christians. In most cases it never happens. I do know of one happy story where the husband finally became a believer after his wife and daughter (who was then married) had prayed for 30 years for him. But that was after 30 years of a marriage that was not all God had intended it to be.

Paul's advice is clear: Believers and unbelievers should not get married. If they do, they will find it very difficult to live in peace because they will disagree about many important issues. Many of these issues will remain hidden until the children are born. I have seen many a grown woman weep because she did not heed Paul's admonition. The older a woman got, the more she missed having a partner in the spirit, as well as the flesh.

How did it happen? It happened because she dated a non-believer and thought it didn't matter. It matters if your faith matters. Make the commitment that your close friends of the opposite sex, whether you date them or not, will share your faith. Then make sure that both of you are committed to a marriage that lasts until death parts you. Making these two commitments will save you a lot of grief and go far toward building a happy and fulfilling marriage

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Do you have a question or experience to share? 59 comments

mcdimar profile image

mcdimar 5 years ago from Jos, Nigeria

The Bible emphatically say that we should not yoke with unbelievers in marriage. Follow my hub and you will soon get my article on this subject.

nybride710 profile image

nybride710 5 years ago from Minnesota

When I found myself single again at age 40, the only place I went to try to meet someone was Christian dating sites. It worked, and I have been married to the most kind-hearted Christian man for eight months who I met online. It was a minimum starting point, so that only made sense. It is frustrating to have friends who claim they are Christian readily jump into relationship with non-believers because they think the selection of men at our age is in short suppl, so they have to take what they can get. Then they lament the fact they can't find anyone with the same beliefs. I say if you take caution at the beginning, then you won't find yourself in this situation.

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

@mcdimar: I will check out what you have to say on this. There's nothing new about the advice. The problem is that people just don't believe it. People always seem to think they are the exception to the rule. Our hormones overrule our brains. That's why it's so important not to develop close emotional relationships with those of the opposite sex who don't share your faith.

@nybride: You have shown great wisdom. Many people have discovered too late that it's better to be single than in a miserable marriage. Being Christian means trusting God in every area of life and really believing He's concerned about finding the right partner for you if He intends for you to be married. Maybe I will tell some of the stories of those, like you, who waited for God's best and how he brought the right partner to them. Have you written here about your online dating experience? I will check your hubs to find out.

Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

Wanna: This one is tough. I never talk about religion because it can bring people to such depths that I cannot even explain. I am cool with anything that anyone does.

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

I'm OK with others thinking differently than I do. Example, you worship on Saturday, I worship on Sunday. You need to face east to pray, I can pray in bed with the covers over my head. Other differences I find harder to be OK with. I can believe Jesus died for my sins once and for all, but someone else believes he needs to throw his child into a fiery furnace to appease his gods. Someone else believes he must tie a belt of bombs around himself and run into a crowd, detonate, and enter eternal bliss.

Let's say you believe a person should be free to have no religion and still have all the rights granted to those who are adherents to a specific faith. In the United States, as I write today, this is possible. Let's say you want to have an affair with a married man, and you have no moral problem with that. Now let's say you move to Iran and you still have those beliefs and you try to act on them. You would likely meet death in a fire of stones. Beliefs have consequences. I have been raised in America, where most people used to believe in the Judaeo-Chrsitan version of God and that the Ten Commandments should be the basis for our laws. You could be Baptist or Catholic, or Jewish, or atheist, or Christian Scientist and you were free to live and worship as you saw fit and discuss your differences with your neighbors and friends or not as you choose. You could encourage them to join you in your beliefs, but you could not coerce them o pain of death. You religious rights ended where another's began.

In many other countries it is not so. Because we Americans tend to believe another's religious belief is no skin off our noses, as long as he doesn't keep trying to convert us, we find toleration fairly easy. Perhaps if we lived in the Middle East or in Africa, where, even as I write, Christian homes and churches in Ethiopia are being burned down by those of another faith (and yes, I got word of this last night from someone whose husband is there), we might realize that beliefs do have consequences. Many in this world do not honor the free will God gave to man to make his own moral choices, and they try to take judgement out of God's hands and dispense their version of it themselves. That's why I can't be "cool with anything that anyone does" if "anyone" happens to want to kill someone I care about because of what he believes.

Waited  5 years ago

Please, please wait for a Christian man. I had prayed for over 20 years and God has brought me in contact with the most Godly Christian man I know. PLEASE WAIT - IT IS WORTH IT!!!

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Waited, I'm so happy for you. I have heard similar stories from others.

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

I agree with you, it is the same advice I gave to a young friend lately and an older friend years ago. Marriage is hard enough for Christians at times.

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Pollyannalana, I love that name. You're right. I think marriage may be harder now than it used to be because our expectations for it are so high. When they aren't met, we blame the partner or the combination. I don't see how people make it apart from the grace of God unless they are extremely well matched in every other way.

bugslady8949 profile image

bugslady8949 5 years ago from The Bahamas

you did a great job on this hub.i think it is best that you marry someone in your faith where if you do have children your children will also be able to be strong in their faith, with the blessings and guidance of their parents.

FaithDream profile image

FaithDream 5 years ago from (Midwest) USA

WannaB, I found your article very interesting and rich with thought. I agree with your view of marriage.

I married early in life at the young age of 18, neither of us were believers although I was raised as Catholic. I got married in the Catholic church and practiced the Catholic faith, my husband was not brought up that way.

Over the years, we struggled in our marriage from everything and anything. It was 17 years later when I found Jesus Christ and claimed him as my personal savior. I prayed for my husband's faith and to know Jesus.

I attended services alone and fell into a lot of guilt. In the beginning, it was quite difficult. Others did not understand my new found faith.

Time passed and God continued to work on my husband over the next 14 years. Just recently, after 31 years of marriage, my husband found Christ.

He attends services with me and I can seek God working on his heart.

I can say the years were never wasted because I saw God do some wondrous things in my marriage.

My faith is stronger than it has ever been.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful article.

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Bugslady, thank you for your thoughtful words. When parents share he same faith, it does prevent one problem as they raise their children.

FaithDream, you illustrate the Biblical principle that if one becomes a Christian after marriage, she should stay in the marriage, " for the unbelieving husband is consecrated through his wife." (1 Cor.7:13-14.) Please note that this teaching was given to those who were already married when they became believers -- not to those who were considering marrying an unbeliever.

FaithDream, I'm so happy you shared this and that you were able to witness God's work in the life of your husband. I hope this will encourage other wives who became believers after they were married to a nonbeliever.

Charlotte B Plum profile image

Charlotte B Plum 5 years ago

Thank you for sharing this precious wisdom. So many people need to hear it.

God bless!

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

When I've heard so many people who were suffering because they had married unbelievers tell their stories, I could not help but try to spare others. I hope they will take it to heart instead of believing they are the exceptions.

sophie_allen profile image

sophie_allen 5 years ago from Washington D.C. USA 20002

It is important that in marriage, you do not look at each other, but you and your spouse should look in the same direction together. And in order to do this, you have to believe together and share the same faith. Without our faith for God and our Lady, life would be cold and dry. Thank you for sharing this WannaB.

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Sophie, you put it very well.

aethelthryth profile image

aethelthryth 5 years ago from American Southwest

Good article. I hope it gets read a lot. By age 35, I had decided my only requirements were that a man had to be a strong Christian, and had to want to marry me! I figured the first requirement ruled out about 95% of available men, and the second ruled out about 95% of the remaining 5%!

Anyway, at 35 I met a man who was a new Christian, and we dated mostly by attending church together and talking afterwards, I introduced him to as many of my friends and family as I could, and listened to what they thought, and WE DID NOT TOUCH each other until marriage. After all those years of being single, I knew more than when I was 20 about how to make some pretty good guesses of character. Still, it was dangerous and I knew it, having just had a friend of a friend get divorced after what appeared to be a perfect match. Anyway, after 6 months, I knew enough about him that I couldn't think of anything else I'd learn by dating longer. (Our premarital counselors only had one appointment with us because it turned out we'd already discussed all the things they usually discuss with engaged couples. They knew us from church, and couldn't see any problems.)

So then we got married, and he turned out to be just who he had seemed to be, and THEN I fell in love, and we have been very happily married for 7 years now.

All that is to say, I think WannaB is quite right in her recommendations; anyone can say he's a Christian, but test it in every way you can think of and don't fall in love till you know!

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Aethelthryth , thank you for that lovely testimony. There's nothing like the voice of experience.

P Klieina 5 years ago

@mcdimar "The Bible emphatically say that we should not yoke with unbelievers in marriage. Follow my hub and you will soon get my article on this subject."

I think you are taking a deeply spiritual message about 'union' and debasing it into some banal advice on 'earthly marriage'. Your sort of irresponsible make-up-the bible-as-you-go-along advice probably explains why divorce rates are so high in the modern so called 'Christian' Evangelical 'churches'.

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

P Klieina, I'm sorry you interpreted my hub that way. keep in mind that this hub was written for Christians who may not be a committed as you are and who might be actually considering marrying or dating a non-Christian, thinking it doesn't really matter. This entire hub was written to show that it does matter and to warn of the consequences of violating the Scripture you quoted. Exactly which portions of this hub were, in your opinion, "irresponsible make-up-the bible-as-you-go-along advice" ?

Debarshi Dutta profile image

Debarshi Dutta 5 years ago from Calcutta

I appreciate your hub from your deep religious rootedness and conviction in faith..point of view. From that perspective of religious habits that are formed of values that has been cultivated lifelong through practice and observation of religious codes of conduct..Your hub is apt and makes it's point...However when it comes to choosing a partner and marriage...If someone really wants to marry another of a different faith or different food habits

( vegetarian/non-vegetarian)...due to a firm conviction that one really wants live to be lived with the other person...religion is a mere barrier between two hearts and mind who are supposed to be true.

kerlynb profile image

kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

Faith is a strong, common ground for many couples. I've seen marriages fall apart for several things - including differences in religious beliefs. It would be nice to have a partner from the same church although not so many people get that great chance. Thanks for this enlightening hub :)

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Debarshi, sometimes barriers are in place for a reason. Comparing different faiths and different food habits and is like comparing apples to oranges. Diet is a way of life that may or may not stem from deep convictions. For a strong believer of any faith, faith is the core of who a person is, and it's impossible to share one's whole self without sharing that faith. People will be looking at the world in two entirely different ways.

kerlynb, I know faith is what has held my own marriage together through some very tough times. It is common ground at the core of what we value.

fmcb26 4 years ago

Hi wannaB! I appreciate your hub. I can relate to this situation. Since i was born, iam a catholic. Im already 23 years old and Im having a problem with my boyfriend because of my religion. He is a baptist and Iam not. They just change their religion when he was 17 years old. On our first 3 months,his parents are not againts us. I met them in their church. They invited me to their churh to attend church service. I attended for about 4 to five times during my day offs. Then suddenly,my boyfriend opened up to me that his mom doesn't like me anymore and she wants his son to break up with me. His churchmates are all againts us because according to them Iam an unbeliever.

When i met this guy,everythings changed. My faith to God become stronger. Even his parents are againts us we are still together for a year now. Im willing to be one of them but since they dont like me and they dont want to see me,i dont know what to do. Theres one thing i know,praying. That someday they will accept me for their son.

WannaB i hope you get my point. I need your advise.. Im hoping for your response..thank you and God bless you!

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

This is a dilemma. I'm not sure what you can do, except study the Baptist faith and if you truly want to be a Baptist, profess your faith in that Baptist church and be baptized. What the people in the church are afraid of is probably that you will pretend to be Baptist and then go back to your own faith after you are married. You didn't say what your boyfriend's family was before they turned Baptist, but new converts tend to take their faith very seriously.

You have to ask yourself honestly what you really do believe. Would you still convert if your boyfriend were not in the picture. If not, then the family and the Baptists may have valid fears, because they have heard that Catholics much raise their children to be Catholics, and this man probably wants to raise his children as Baptists.

Are you a serious Catholic now? Will a part of you always be afraid you are in spiritual danger if you leave the church? If so, you should not change your faith with the hope that your boyfriend's family will accept you. They will be skeptical until you've shown that you would be likely to remain Baptist even if your boyfriend decided to marry someone else.

The third thing to consider is that your boyfriend may be having second thoughts himself and be using his family as an excuse to break up with you.

Perhaps you should ask your own parents about the situation and get their advice. If you are afraid of what they might say, you might want to stop seeing your boyfriend for a while and think about what you really believe and talk to those who will help you understand the Baptist faith better, or your own faith. A religion is not just a set of traditions and rules to follow, but something that needs to reside in your heart and spirit. For a believer, that faith defines who he is. And since it's the biggest part of him, he expects his mate to share it in her heart -- not just be willing to go along with him to a different church.

I wish I could sit down and really talk to you, since I'm not sure exactly where either you or your boyfriend is in this faith matter. Maybe both of you are just trying to go along with the faith your parents have chosen.

fmcb26 4 years ago

Thank you for the advise. I appreciate it. We broke up a while ago. I want him to be worry free and happy. Its really hard. Im so upset. I love him and i want him to be happy.

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

I know it's hard. I've been there and done that. Some of the poems I've written here are evidence of that. But you are right to let him go. Your time will come and God will bring the right one when the time is right.

Lela 4 years ago

Hi I just want your advise in my situation. My boyfriend was situated in a place where christianity is a threat for them, muslim country. But he had a doubt to his faith 8 years ago and he turned as an agnostic. He still search for the truth and always asking me about God. He even read christian bible for curiosity sake, but he misinterpreted the word of God. I know that I shouldn't be in a relationship with unbeliever but we both love each other because I love him I don't wanna left him and cut the contact between us, because if I do who will then share the Word of God to him? Since I am the only one who he knows as a christian, who can tell the truth with him. Because their country is a solid muslim, christianity cannot really enter inside them. I can't left him because I wanna share God. He is very honest, genuine and committed. I told him that I will not marry him If he dont have a personal relationship with God but he said that he cannot fake anything just because I want it. So I told him that I will pray for him everyday and share how truthful God is in my life. He still cannot understand any spiritual things unto him but he admitted that he wants to know if God is really real and he will only believe God if he experience Him himself. So my commitment to him is like, I am willing to wait as long as I can until he discover God in his life. If he became a real christian and I see the fruits of the Spiri,t that is only when I am gonna marry him but if he can't wait or believe that it will happen to him then he is always free to break up with me anytime.

But right now, what I am doing is I am trying to obey God in everything I do and to put God first, coz I still hold on God's promise in the bible that if we seek him first He will give our hearts desire. My real desire is that he and his whole family will be save in God's name and I don't care if he will become my spouse in the future or not, I just want to share Christ to him. I tried to broke up with him but the thing is we still show our affection and concern to each other even if we r not together anymore those time. So we decided to be together again.We are already 2 years together as a boyfriend and girlfriend.

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

It's a hard one. The answer to this is too long for a comment. Can you ask it as a question? Then I can answer it in a hub. The answer concerns one's view of God. Your situation is unusual, but not beyond God's ability to act.

Lela 4 years ago

Yes It is really a hard one. The thing is if I broke up with him I have to cut our contacts or we will still feel the affection with each other if we remain in contact. I am actually asking God's answer for my situation and seeking for His will and I know God will answer it in His own ways.

Your article is a great one and very true. God bless you always as He continually use you in your writing. =)

fmcb26 4 years ago

By the way,what do you mean by unbeliever?

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Sorry to take so long. I've been dealing with a family health emergency this week.

In the context of this hub, we are dealing with Christian belief so an unbeliever would be someone who is not a Christian believer. So an unbeliever is one who does not believe Jesus is Lord, has come in the flesh, died on the Cross for his sins, and rose from the dead on the third day. He believes at least part of his salvation depends on his works -- his own goodness or good deeds rather than entirely on Christ's righteousness. A believer has also confessed Jesus is Lord with his lips and believes in his heart that Christ rose from the dead.

jim 4 years ago

we are all created in GODS image so if you choose one whom you like its good because Gods is the chooser

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

I agree we are all created in God's image, but it doesn't follow that each of us is also God. We can also say Hitler was created in God's image, but it doesn't follow that everything he liked to do God liked and wanted him to do. Maybe I am misunderstanding you. It sounds like you are saying if someone is made in God's image, and he likes someone, that God has chosen that someone.

a herdman profile image

a herdman 4 years ago from In the South - USA

Great hub! Thanks for sharing! Totally agree. Marriage requires two people to be on the same page for sure in matters of faith!

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

a herdman, Marriage may not require it, but having partners on different pages in matters of faith can cause plenty of problems.

kim 4 years ago

I am a christian girl and have been dating a muslim guy for a year now,we got engaged,my parents dont see a problem about it,him and i talks alot about God,we pray together and trust in God,i dont really know all about this,i heard my father saying if we get married i would be a muslim,i asked my fiancé about it,he told me that it is my choice whether i become a muslim or remain christian,am afraid this ???? affect my children,i used t0 believe which i still d0 believe that religion is a force of devision..pleas comment in my story

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

How important is your Christian faith to you? Christians and Muslims have a very different view of God's character and what one must do to be in right relationship with God. I suggest you find out exactly what view of God each faith has and what each faith requires and then make your decision. Religion can definitely divide people just as water and oil don't mix well together. If both of you really feel there's not much difference and you wouldn't care which religion your children were raised in, my guess is that neither of you is a strong believer in your faith and may just consider religion part of your cultural upbringing. Sexual attraction can definitely make us overlook a lot of things that may seem much more important after the knot is tied. What do your finance's parents have to say on the issue? It might be good to find out what they expect before you tie the knot.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

This is a very sound hub, and I am very grateful to have found it. I already know all this, but it is indispensible to hear it from someone else. Too often, the Christians that I do know, advocate getting involved with someone I like, and depending on them becoming saved after we are involved or married. I know that's not right - even though I am always open to he possibility that God might direct me to marry a non-believer, I know no one should seek such a marriage! Excellent article Wanna B.

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WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Alexander, It is really easy for our minds and hearts to deceive us when our emotions are heavily invested already. It's easier on everyone concerned not to let the unevenly yoked relationships get off the ground in the first place. I'm glad you found support in what I wrote, but what I wrote is just my take on what the Scriptures teach. I know too many people who have been hurt badly through evangelistic dating and it turned a lot of people with hearts broken by their Christian sweethearts away from wanting a relationship with Christ. Better that evangelism be directed to friendships of the same sex.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Evangelistic dating? Now I've never considered dating with the purpose of proselytizing only - that is definitely wrong! In fact, it's deceptive, God won't bless that I'm sure. It reminds me of a friend I use to have that was involved in drawing in non-believers with the lure of a party, but when they got there, it turned out to be a Christian evangelizing meeting. He thought that was fine because it got people to come. But all they were doing is letting people know that Christians are liars. Same concept.

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WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Alexander, that's not exactly what I meant. People don't date as an evangelism program. They justify dating non-believers by saying that their influence might help their date meet Christ. They hope the person they want to date will become a believer. It rarely works. They may get their date to go to church with them, but if the believer breaks it off later on, the nonbeliever associates Christianity with the hurt, since the person who broke it off was a Christian. It's far better to introduce someone you'd like to date to a mature Christian friend of the same sex as the date and let that person invite him to church, Bible studies, etc. Meanwhile, don't complicate things by dating that person until you are convinced he has become a believer on his own.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Amen to that. Sorry I misunderstood you - but I'm relieved it's not a common evangelizing tool :-) What you say makes total sense in any case, mixing romantic love with the ultimate spiritual journey to eternal salvation is a poor recipe as it does not place Christ at the head, but most likely equal with another person.

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Motherbynature 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Excellent hub. I'm a believer who dated and married a non-believer. The marriage is now ending and his faith ended before that. A person with no convictions or conscience cannot care for your heart or put your needs before theirs. I should have heeded the warning. I just hope I can help someone see clearly, as you have. Thanks for writing this. It is very needed.

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WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Motherbynature, thanks for sharing your story. I have heard many like it. I am sorry you had to learn this hard lesson, and I hope others will learn because you shared here and will heed your warning.

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Mr Love Doctor 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

When you get married, the inevitable times of testing will come. For a Christian, the "dark nights of the soul" are understood to be times when the Holy Spirit is drawing us away "into a desert place" to learn, dig deeper into who we are, and force us to face our doubt. The trouble is, the outward manifestations of these dark nights are not so pretty. They can be emotionally rowling periods, full of anger, confusion, a touch of loneliness, and even some lashing out at God. If you marry someone who isn't a Christian, what are they to make of these times? Unless someone has been to the desert and back, it's hard for them to understand when you say that, for all the agony of these periods, you are grateful how God uses them to manifest Himself to you. Wait . . . what? Great hub, very thought provoking. Spoken from a man whose wife is a patient, sweet Christian.

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WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Mr. Love Doctor, you have written some very true words. If both husband and wife are not Christians, it's impossible for the unbeliever to understand spiritual battles and the "dark nights of the soul" you mentioned. I'm glad you and your wife have common spiritual goals and can understand one another's need to be close to the Lord.

Maria3333 4 years ago

Hi, I am glad I have found this web page. I am a Christian, a believer but I do not practice. My fiancée is a Muslim (american born). I am afraid of getting married to him, regardless all love. I love him with all of my heart. I would never start the relationship if he did not promise to leave Islam if we get close to marriage. We planned on raising agnostic kids. However, after 3 years of relationship, I am sure he will not leave Islam, he also started practicing it. I do not want my kids to turn out Muslim. I want them to enjoy the freedom I have, and live normal modern life. I do not want them to practice any religion, but least of all Islam. I find my fiancee's believes wrong in so many ways. They are based on fear. Mine are based on unconditional love of God. What is my best chance to try to convert him? I do not want him to fear, and spend life thinking of life after death that I do not think exists at all. I am very afraid of closing eyes, pretending that it won't matter. I know our plan for raising kids believe in God, and letting them choose when they are grown up will end up in both of us secretly trying to get kids on our side. I am far from devoted Christian, but I see Islam as a cancer. I see Muslim people are missing out all beauties of modern life. I might be agnostic in my heart. But the longer I am with him, the more I feel a need to practice Christianity, being afraid that as an agnostic I am likely to lose a fight over religion believes of my children. Ideally they would be open-minded agnostics, but I prefer devoted Christians over even moderate or secular Muslims. That religion contradicts all freedoms and advances of beautiful modern and democratic society. What are my chances to help my fiancée leave Islam. This year he was fasting, behaved all awkward for a month and it scared me off. He started commenting on my dress code which is making me furious. I love him too much to leave him. But I cannot marry him or have children together before I am sure they won't go the wrong way. I do no fall for: "you can practice your religion". It is not an expression of tolerance of Islam, it is that way because of expected dominance of man. I did my research on Islam, and I realize that all of his "acceptance" of my religion and believes is according to his book. It is not going a step out of it because of love. I know his parents will try to raise my kids Muslim, and that is why I refuse to live in the same country. I am safer faraway from them, where they would get to see my kids once a year. We are both highly educated and successful. My parents are not trilled with me dating him. But I have fate that I can free his mind and make loving family with him. He is a good man, and would make awesome father.

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WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

I know how hard it is to leave someone you love and are emotionally bound to. Believe me, I know. It is very painful. But please believe me for this: It's not as hard as being married to someone you fear or you no longer love but believe you must stay with. If you want to prevent the things you fear will happen if you marry this man, you need to leave, painful as it may be. Believe me for this, too. Your pain will heal. I have been there, and I know both the intense pain and the healing. The healing takes a long time. You will cry a lot. You will think you will never be able to get over it. It's as bad as having someone you love die (another thing I experienced when I lost my son at the age of 14.) The difference is that leaving someone you love is something you have control over sometimes (unless he's left you. ) You have to constantly resist the temptation to go back when he begs or you want him. But you can do it. What you need to do is keep a picture of the things you fear in your mind and take them to an extreme, and then ask yourself how hard it would be to live with that. Example: You rightly fear he might become more committed to his faith and want to raise your children as Muslims. He will want to do that. Then picture your yet unborn son getting in with the wrong Muslim group -- an extremist group -- an becoming a terrorist who straps a bomb on himself in the name of Jihad. Ask yourself if you could live with the knowledge you could have prevented that by leaving this man before it was too late. I'm not saying this would happen. I'm simply saying that believing it could happen might give you the courage to make sure it never does by breaking this relationship.

If you marry this man and he becomes more and more committed to his faith, he will insist on raising your children in it. He might even turn them against you if you don't convert. Under his religion, it's perfectly OK to lie to an infidel (you) to advance the cause of Islam, so you should not believe him when he says the children can be raised agnostic and decide later. There will be intense pressure on him from his Muslim friends to raise his children that way. Once you are married, your opinion won't count. How will you handle that? One way might be to turn to Christ in a new way and become firmer in your own faith, and that would cause even more conflict with your husband.

I think you know in your head you ought to leave this relationship now, but your heart won't listen. In this case, you need to listen to your head and your spirit. The Bible says "the heart is deceptive above all things." (Jeremiah 17:9.) God knows us better than we know ourselves. We need to trust him on this. The Bible also tells us that he heals the broken-hearted. I have also experienced this. Our emotions are untrustworthy and can turn on a dime. They are often based on lust we don't recognize as such. Even if you are quite sure you love this man, how sure are you that what he feels for you is really love? Words aren't always true, and we often believe what we want to believe. I would recommend you see a Christian counselor before you marry this man, if you are still thinking you want to marry him. I would recommend a pastor, but not all of them are good counselors. I've known some great preachers who were not good counselors. Different pastors have different gifts. I think it's important that you go to someone trained as a Christian counselor. A secular counselor might be OK, but many of them would just say if neither of you were religious you wouldn't have a problem, and you already know that. I've known such counselors to try to tear down the faith of people who come to them. If you leave this man, you will need your faith in God more than ever. I hope you also have parents or friends you can talk to for support if you do make the break. It helps to feel surrounded with people who support you for doing the right thing. If not, feel free to write to me. I can be contacted through HubPages. I notice you just joined. I suspect you would have a lot of material to write hubs on if you make this break. Writing is good therapy, and what you write might also help others and give them courage to do the right thing.

I just reread what you wrote about refusing to live in the same country as his parents. Keep in mind he may be telling you now you won't have to. Once you are married, all that may change. Even in marriages when religion is not an issue, many people can testify that men will change or change their minds about things they told you before marriage, once the wedding is over. My heart breaks for you over the conflict you face. There will be pain no matter what you decide, I'm afraid, but if you get out now, the pain is more likely to be temporary and limited to you. When your grieving is over, you will probably find love again. If you marry this man, you may find temporary happiness that will turn into a sadness and grief you will be living as long as you are together. It's a choice only you can make.

chiradeep profile image

chiradeep 4 years ago from India

Great hub.

The 7th and last Principle of my one & only hub makes the difference as it says, 'a marriage is like a triangle with man and woman on two of the corners on the base and God in the top corner' as shown in the diagram there itself.

In case of non-believers the top corner is absent.

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WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Quite right, Chiradeep. Thanks for sharing that.

kenyanXstian profile image

kenyanXstian 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

WannaB Writer, that is a controversial topic to write about, but I must say kuddos for sayin it like it is. I have seen enough to know that you are right.

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WannaB Writer 4 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

I only wrote it to try to spare people some of the pain I've seen among those who have been unequally yoked. Unfortunately, the people who most need the warnings are those least likely to heed them.

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kenyanXstian 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

For sure, but you know what, you have done your part, and that is all that matters.

tair 2 years ago

WannaB writer, I googled and came across your article. I know this was posted a long time ago, but I love the insight you gave to others and would love to know if you have some for my current situation.

I dated a [who I thought was non practicing] Muslim for just about 2 years. His parents heavily practice. We talked about marriage, kids, etc. In the beginning, it was our kids could choose the religion they wanted after being proposed both sides. I agreed to that because I figured they would choose Christianity as that is what I am and I'm sure most of their friends would be. Immediate family members tried to get him to change his mind about me countless times, asking if he was interested in marrying any Arabic women at weddings, would email and text pictures and videos, etc. I lived knowing that's not what he wanted in life because he always told me it was me. Said he didn't want that life and he was going to do what he wanted-- to be with me. And here I am, 2 years later, broken hearted because he recently discovered that he wants to raise a Muslim family with a Muslim wife and have Muslim kids that speak Arabic. I should have saw the signs in the beginning but I didn't want to believe we wouldn't work out with all the love we shared. It's clear that he won't be coming back, and at this point that's not even what I want. I'm just completely devastated that someone who "loveS me so much" would do this to me. Not even 2 weeks ago he was telling me I'm his life and talking about our future, saying we will make this work and figure something out. He said he never thought this is what he wanted, but the second he found out that he wants the life his parents want for him, he ended it so we weren't wasting each other's time... I've been praying and listening to Christian music because it makes me feel good and makes me feel like I'll always be loved by Jesus. But I'm not going to hide that this is the hardest thing I have ever been through.

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WannaB Writer 2 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

This is heartbreaking story, but I was always told to remember that you don't just marry a person, but also that person's family. I know it's hard to see and upside to this, but your young man probably realized that had he married you, his parents would have made life a living hell for both of you. Maybe he wanted to spare both of you from that. And you don't know what went on behind the scenes to get him to break it off with you.

Heidi Vincent profile image

Heidi Vincent 2 years ago from GRENADA

This is an EXCELLENT article, WannaBWriter! I hope it will reach many believers who may be waiting to find a suitable mate/spouse. You covered each and every point expertly. Thank you for writing this article and I hope that it provide strength and blesses many believers!

WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 2 years ago from Templeton, CA Author

Thank you for those kind words , Heidi. I wrote this because I've met so many who were hurting because they were unequally yoked.

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Lynne-Modranski 2 years ago from Ohio

I agree with you 100% - I married young to a "good" man who was willing to go to church with me as long as we were dating. When we married that changed. I was so young in my faith, and I'd never really been taught about a real relationship with Christ. It was a really rough few years.

So, here's my story for those who are ALREADY unequally yoked because you didn't know any better: After we'd been married for about four years, I found a real relationship with Christ and met with a group of women who all were in the same boat as me. We committed to praying for each other's husbands. Now, while I can promise you the same success story we had, I can tell you that at last count, I know that all but one of those men had accepted Christ within about 5 years.

I don't want anyone to count on that if you aren't already married, but I do want to offer it as a word of hope to those who are praying for your spouse. (Oh, and my husband is a pastor now...)

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