I get this question all the time.
Is it possible for a Christian to marry a non-Christian?
The answer is no, and here’s why: We are Christians because of our belief in Jesus Christ – God incarnate (John 1:14). It seems obvious that if we’re going to make such an important commitment as marriage, both people should share the same foundational beliefs which are what Christianity is all about.
Here are the best resources that go hand in hand with this guide. (Available on Amazon--Start a 30-day free trial here)
- Preparing for Marriage Couples Guide
- Preparing for Marriage Leaders Guide
- The Meaning of Marriage-Timothy Keller
- Devotions for Engaged Couples- Gary Thomas
Not sure where to start with a premarital counseling conversation, start here.
In the past, there was a lot of debate over whether or not Christians could marry non-Christians. Most people thought that this would be fine because it’s just a “marriage” and they’re only committed to each other. Some people even argue that they want to marry outside of their faith because they are in love with a person and not “religion” that’s a silent red flag.
That may be true, but what about when kids come along? Christians are called to raise their children in the faith, and if both parents aren’t followers of Christ then how can this happen? We will discuss more on these points below.
Reason #1: They will not understand your commitment to Christ
Christianity is not just a religion, it’s also a way of life. What does that mean? The rules and regulations are often more binding than people realize because they ensure consistency in the Christian faith.
Your commitment to Christ will determine how you live your life and that includes the decisions you make in it. So when a Christian decides to marry someone who is not Christian, then they are making an agreement about how their children will be raised with different standards of living.
Jesus said “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” every one of them without exception” (emphasis added)Mark 19:14
This should be our desired standard and focus when we’re looking for a partner. It will substantially impact the results of the marriage if you don’t have compatibility in your belief system.
Reason #2: They Will Not Understand Your Worldview and How you make decision
Life is a compilation of daily decisions and choices, being Christian we make decisions on how we live our lives in accordance with the Christian worldview. This is influenced by the bIble.
Being influenced by someone who is not Christian will have an effect on these decisions, especially when it comes to things like paying tithe and giving offerings or fasting.
Christianity is many times a life-changing experience that radically changes how we see money, relationships, food, clothes…etc
When you marry someone outside of your faith tradition they may not be willing to change their viewpoint for you and this can create conflict within marriage.
Reason #3: Conflict in Parenting Styles
In order to raise a child in the Christian belief system, it is important that they have Christian values and teachings.
For example: going to church, praying before each meal, abstaining from sexual activity until marriage etc. All of these practices are not common within non-christian religions which can cause conflict with how children are raised. One parent may want them to practice Christianity while the other does not or vice versa.
How you choose to handle this will depend on what both parents agree is best for their family. However, there could be friction caused by different viewpoints when it comes down to raising your kids as Christians instead of outside religion altogether.
The idea behind marrying someone who shares your faith beliefs is to make sure that you are raising your kids in the ways of the Lord.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Reason #4 You’ll Have To Worry About What Holidays To Celebrate
Different religions believe in different holidays to celebrate. For a Christian, this is Christmas, Easter, and more while for another religion it may be Diwali or Ramadan that holds the most meaning to them during their celebrations.
You’ll have to come together on what your family celebrates so you can raise your kids with one set of beliefs instead of being confused about why they are only celebrating certain things because there’s no time off from school every other day.
For example, Christians usually celebrate Christmas on December 25th as well as easter at some point between March 22nd- April 24th but if someone has Hindu roots then they would not want their children celebrating these Christian holidays which could lead to interferences when it comes down to parenting.
Reason #5: They Might Want To Marry A Second Partner
If you’re married to a non-christian they might desire to marry a second wife or husband.
This is not what Christian marriage stands for and if they do decide to marry a second spouse then the first one needs to have their rights revoked from them in order for it to be considered lawful under Christianity.
In most cases, Christians who are married to non-Christians end up divorcing due to interferences about religion as well as other marital problems. This could lead to the question of whether or not there was ever any love involved since these things should never come before Christian values.
Christianity has been around for 2000 years and it’s still going strong so clearly this must mean that something within Christianity is working out quite nicely but marrying outside of your faith does not seem like an option that many people would take.
Reason #6: Different perspective on work
Some religions don’t allow women to work or even to drive. Being married to such a person would mean that the wife would have to quit her job and not be able to work ever.
The idea of marriage to someone who is not a Christian may be difficult for some, especially career women who find joy and satisfaction in their careers.
Reason #7: God Desires You To Love Him With All Your Heart
The Bible (Matthew 22:37) says, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first commandment.” It also exhorts its believers to love their neighbors as themselves.
Because marriage unites two people in this way, Christians cannot honor God’s desires by marrying outside of His word or deny others the privilege of salvation.
Therefore, no matter how much they may be in love or attracted to their non-Christian suitors, a Christian should not marry them because it would put an end to their passion and desire to please God.
Reason #8- Perspective on Drinking Alcohol
If you do not drink because you are a Christian who does not believe in drinking alcohol, your partner may not understand. They might think that it is a dumb idea to give up these benefits.
That’s why it’s advisable to marry someone who shares your views.
Reason #9- Disagreements in Religion
It is always best if the person we marry shares our religious beliefs. If they do not share these beliefs or are an atheist, then there may be disagreements when educating children as well as handling family situations like illness and death. This could lead to resentment between spouses which could eventually destroy any chance for happiness within marriage.”
Reason #10: The Bible Forbids
The Bible has a lot of prohibitions about marrying non-Christians, and for good reason. For instance, it says that we are not to be unequally yoked with them because this is against what the Lord would have us do.”
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
“It also tells Christians they shouldn’t marry people who aren’t believers or have been christened as children (see Titus chapter one). It’s important to remember these commands when you’re faced with someone from another faith tradition.”
Reason #11: You’ll Struggle With Differences In Faith And Tradition
Differences in worship practices can lead to disagreements over days off for religious holidays. Or if the person disagrees with your faith tradition, they may not want to raise their children Christian.
Reason #12: You’ll Struggle With Spiritual Deficits
“You’re going to face challenges in the spiritual realm that are completely different than what you would have faced with a Christian,” says Dr. David Jeremiah of Shadow Mountain Community Church.”
The Bible tells Christians that marriage is something more than physical attraction and romance; it’s about becoming one person before God.
Genesis 2:24: Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
But non-Christians typically don’t share this belief, which means if you marry someone who doesn’t believe as strongly as you do, there will always be some kind of conflict over religious beliefs and practices.”
Conclusion: Can Christian Marry A Non-Christian
At the end of the day, marriage is a sacred institution and should not be entered into lightly. It’s important that both people are on the same page about their beliefs because it will have an impact on how they live out their married life together.
That being said, Christianity has been known to bring many couples closer together in understanding each other than ever before. So if you’re considering marrying someone who does not share your faith background, please take time for prayerful consideration so as not to enter into this covenant with regret later down the road! We recommend going through pre-marital counseling before you make the decision to marry someone.
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