Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? -2 Corinthians 6:14
Any way you look at it, dating can be tricky...especially when religion is involved. Being raised in a Christian home where tradition runs deep, you may find yourself in the midst of a major battle when your heart is given to someone with different beliefs. There is, of course, nothing wrong with dating a non-Christian, just keep in mind that you marry who you date. If this is understood, and you are truly willing to accept and deal with the repercussions, all the more power to you. All we suggest is that you consider a few things before jumping in.
What kind of dilemmas would you face in the future? Can a non-Christian help you spiritually, or will they gradually pull you down? It's easy to compromise your standards and beliefs in order to stay appealing to that person, but is that really being true to yourself? It shouldn't even be an option to alter everything you've based your life around because your beliefs have helped shape you into the person you are, the person that they fell for.
Then there's always the issue of children. What kind of foundation will their lives be built on? Would they be encouraged to attend church and live the principles that you live by, or will they be brought up in the middle of a constant tug-of-war? It general, it just seems to be easier on everyone, especially kids, when both parties follow the same rulebook. Then again, there are those occasional exceptions to the rule.
We've all heard different stories of Christians dating non-Christians who eventually do turn their lives to God. They later marry and have strong, happy relationships with values centered on Christ. Or, there are those couples that just don't let religion get in the way. Both are willing to compromise and let the other partner have their freedom to worship and live in a way that suits them. As promising as it sounds, though, it's not always realistic. Many couples involved in "dual-faith" relationships will find themselves buried in conflict and heartache at some point, causing them to break up or divorce.
It's to be expected that meeting new people, especially people that you're compatible with, is going to be challenging. But, consider carefully whether short-term gain is worth ending up with the wrong person. Falling in love is easy, but it's hard to imagine ever voluntarily walking away from the relationship because your partner's beliefs contradict your own.
The bottom line is that it's up to you who you date, because you're the navigator of your future. No matter who you end up with, you're bound to run into problems now and then. That just comes with the territory. From there, it's up to you what happens. You'll either choose to stick at it and work through the rough patches, or you'll decide it's too hard and back out. If it makes your decision any easier, just remember this advice: when a Christian and a non-Christian jump into a relationship, the scales are uneven and likely to tip!
About the Author
Tracy Jones was always active in local and international ministries. She was a faithful member and treasurer of the local chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for many years. Tracy graduated from FSU in 1987 and has earned 18 years of business experience. Since 1997 she has built business in the technology industry with Yahoo!, Inc. and was recently recruited by Spark Networks to build ChristianMingle personals service.