Marriage is a sacred union which is a blessing from God but it can quickly become a curse if you are married to the wrong person, with the divorce rate as it is in Nigeria many are scared to make the wrong decision and in order not to, questions must be asked. Can you date or marry someone outside your religion? This was the question I asked few of my friends yesterday and 7 out of 12 said no, 4 said yes and the last couldn’t decide. I went further to ask them reasons for their answers and I got different opinions and views which would be explained below.
WHY YOU SHOULD NOT MARRY NON-CHRISTIAN
The bible verses that were most common amongst the 7 that out rightly said no was 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 which says “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what communion has light with darkness? And what Accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with unbeliever? And Deuteronomy 7:3-4 which says “You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.These Bible verses clearly disallows any form of partnership with the Non-Christian. They argued that marrying an unbeliever takes you away from God or reduces your fervor for God as you would not be able to share the most important part of your life with your partner, when faith, opinion and views are different in a marriage it causes division which eventually leads to divorce and even if they stay married they become lonely. Marriage is a crucial step in a man’s life, there would be crisis of growth, there would be challenges, so marrying based on emotions instead of God’s will would not be the right step because when trials and challenges comes you go back to God and in that moment you need someone who shares the same faith as you.Marrying someone of the same faith can be a love language, it gives you a common ground on which you can both grow spiritually and physically, just as Genesis 2:24 says, marrying in Christ can be illustrated as 1×1=1, meaning, you are choosing to be one flesh with your partner, your hearts and minds should be connected spiritually as you’re no longer two individuals. This might be difficult to achieve with a Non-Christian.Marrying a believer also saves the children from having to choose, marrying a Non-Christian portrays a divided front in the presence of the children which can get them confused, they grow up as confused kids, not knowing which to choose and may eventually drop both religion.
REASONS FOR CONSIDERING MARRYING A NON-CHRISTIAN.
According to the four who agreed they could marry a Non-Christian, marrying a Christian doesn’t guarantee the longevity of the union, they argued that some Christians are as “bad” as the Non-Christian and who says that people don’t change in the course of marriage? People lose faith and others come to faith so the only thing that truly matters is the other person’s character, personality and the ability to love regardless.In 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 Paul said “To the rest I, not the Lord say: If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”Another way to look at dating or marrying a Non-Christian is the “Flirt to convert” mechanism. In truth if Christians had no partnership or friendship with Non-Christians, who would preach to them or give them the chance to become a better person. I personally have seen where a woman married a Non-Christian and after a few years he was converted and he accepted Jesus Christ into his life. Now going into a relationship to change the other person is wrong and you might end up very disappointed as this outcome is not guaranteed because one couple is distinct from the other, no two couples are the same.Another reason Christians might consider marrying a Non-Christian is if the love is true. Paul explained love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 which says “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. If a Non-Christian can exhibit this kind of love, it won’t matter if he is a Non-Christian because Love transcends all things.
I have always believed in unity, Acts 15:9 says “After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.”We like to separate Christians from Non-Christians like they are from another planet, instead of embracing them and turning them to Christ like Jesus did. The very fact that Christians and Muslims can’t seem to get along is one of the major causes of Nigeria’s problems, I chose these two particular religion because they are the most prominent in Nigeria. In my opinion you can be happily married to a Non-Christian, but is it God’s best?