The Truth About Dating a Non-Christian

Most Christians want to know what the Bible says about dating a non-Christian. Many of them wonder if it is a sin to date one.

Can you date someone from a different religion? We have all been asked this question at one point in our dating lives. However, the way we answer this simple question could have a significant impact on our lives. 

At first, dating a non-Christian may appear to be a worthwhile and wonderful goal to share the gospel. But it could also raise the question of whether or not the other person is indeed being led to Christ by your efforts in the process of dating.

Dating a non-Christian

What Does the Bible Say About Dating a Non-Christian?

Is Dating in the Bible?

The Bible does not explicitly address the topic of dating. In the Christian community, however, dating is among the most discussed and debated topics. Many questions stem from the differences between modern dating methods and those used in biblical times. Even though the biblical accounts of marriage are set in a different time and place compared to the present, Scripture still contains essential truths for a godly union. 

A godly relationship is characterized by both partners’ mutual pursuit of the Lord. In Genesis 2:18, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Here, God’s intention for companionship between man and woman came to light. 

Throughout the Bible, there is a lot of discussion about how relationships progress. Numerous marriages were predetermined by God or left to His guidance. God revealed to Abraham’s servant how to bring Isaac and Rebekah together. Joseph and Mary’s union fulfilled God’s purpose. 

Even in marriages set up by men, God allowed them to take place. Such a union came about solely as a result of His will. God also explicitly selected a man and a woman for the role of husband and wife. Ultimately, the destination and intention of dating are whatever God wills.

Biblical perspective of dating a non-Christian

If you are wondering if it is okay for a Christian to date a non-believer, keep in mind that the Bible explicitly does not prohibit it. But there are subtle reminders for Christians to avoid relationships with non-Christians. 

In 2 Corinthians 6:14-15, the Bible says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

In 1 Corinthians 7:39, Scripture says, “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.” Furthermore, Proverbs 31:30 provides, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

We must maintain a healthy emotional distance from unbelievers. It also boils down to a desire to serve rather than be served. Relationships with non-Christians can mean spending time with them, serving them, and being open-minded about their issues. Such gestures can seem harmless. In some instances, it can even be seen in the light of care and love. But if you accept their advice and begin to live your life according to it, you will be crossing a biblical line. 

Is dating a non-Christian a sin?

In Romans 3:23, God tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This verse means we are born sinners, and none is exempt from this sinful nature. We also sin when we disobey and displease God. And most importantly, we sin when we prefer another over God. 

If two people have varying faiths, principles, and beliefs, there can be no profound union of minds and souls. From the beginning, there will be a gap and unfamiliarity. You may find yourself comprising your personal beliefs to accommodate your partner’s. When we focus too much on the other person, we shift the focus away from God. 

A Christian relationship that takes precedence over God is also a form of idolatry. Our worldly needs and wants, even when not expressly defined as sins, are shown by the fact that we are willing to jeopardize who we are and what we believe in for another person. You are engaging in sin if your desire for human company outweighs your passion for God. As for who you’re taking out, it is unquestionable. Your treasure is God, so you must always choose Him.

Dating a non-Christian

Why it Matters Who You Date

There are many reasons why it is not a good idea to go on dates with people who do not share your faith. When we start dating someone or enter a relationship with another person, we do so with marriage as the end goal. Dating is all about finding out if the person we are with is the right one for us to settle down with and build a family with. 

When we date for marriage, we are looking for a partner who will help us grow closer to God. We do not get married just to have fun and get too close to the person who makes life more enjoyable. We get married as an act of submission and devotion to the Lord. When we meet the right person, we become willing to commit. Dating a non-Christian will prevent you from accomplishing this goal. 

Non-Christians have a different understanding of what constitutes a successful romantic relationship. As a Christian, your core will be rooted in the Lord, while theirs will be rooted in worldly things. To please a non-Christian, a Christian may make concessions and start to love God less. As a result, a relationship or marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian will most likely end in disaster. 

But it is always best to know that only the Lord can satisfy you. This truth can be a constant reminder for you to avoid dating non-Christians.

How Does Dating a non-Christian Affect You?

When God tells Christians to avoid dating or marrying non-Christians, it is because their lives are entirely different. A Christian is set apart from the world (1 Peter 2:9). Before people accept Christ, they are not living for God’s glory. That person is living for themselves. On the other hand, the primary goal of a Christian’s life should be to glorify and serve God. 

When Christians and non-Christians date, their priorities are very different. Even if they are compassionate, nurturing, and amazing, a non-Christian cannot truly understand your heart that is authentically and passionately devoted to Christ. 

Your relationship with a non-Christian partner will inevitably be strained if you base your entire self-worth on Christ and see no other source of meaning or purpose. That you are fundamentally different from one another means you will never be able to share real intimacy in marriage. This indifference can translate into your individual beliefs and priorities. It may cause you to become less hopeful, less faithful, and less dedicated to the Lord.

What To Do if You are Dating a non-Christian?

The painful reality when dating a non-Christian is the acceptance that they may never become Christian. We cannot predict whether or not someone we date, who is not a Christian, will become a believer. We may find ourselves asking what will happen if they still do not believe in God after decades together. Even after putting a lot of time and effort into the relationship, they may never become Christians. 

Their conversion is not in your hands. This fact will undoubtedly leave you in a challenging situation. Therefore, breaking off the relationship as soon as possible would be best. It would not be wise to wait until things get more complicated. Again, it is much easier to say this than to do it and accomplish this goal. To know what is significant to you, ask yourself if you value a relationship with someone who has similar spiritual aspirations. If you do, then dating a non-Christian is something you should not be doing.

Dating a non-Christian

In Summary 

Is dating a non-Christian wrong? In the short term, dating a non-Christian could bring happiness. However, since the relationship cannot be centered on Christ, this will become a source of frustration and pain. If you are a Christian and you are in a romantic relationship with a non-Christian, it isn’t easy to envision how you can do so in faith, given these principles. 

Dating or marrying a non-Christian may prove to be unacceptable. If you let your guard down, you will quickly fall into an ungodly relationship. Make sure you do not get enticed to date a non-believer by setting boundaries. However, even if Christian relationships are the best, this does not mean they are free of difficulties. 

No Christian or non-Christian relationship is perfect. Because of this, we need a partner who can see and address our imperfections through God’s love for us. Such can only happen with a partner that shares our faith, a Christian in every way.

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Alex Shute
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.

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