There is an epidemic occurring among Christian singles that is absolutely devastating their relationship with Jesus. And either they don’t see it coming or maybe they just don’t care. I’m talking about Christians dating non-Christians.
Very rarely will a Christian who is dating a non-Christian ask my advice about their relationship. Whether I’m asked or not, this is what I share with my single brother or sister who’s risking it all on a relationship with a non-Christian.
“Maybe it started as a harmless date with a really nice person. Honestly you probably didn’t realize they didn’t know Jesus as their Lord when you started dating. But one date led to long, late night conversations on the phone, and within a month you were as head over heels for this guy as a freshman invited to the prom by the varsity quarterback.
After the first month you’re canceling commitments with your friends, he’s met your parents, and really you’ve been thinking “he’s the one” for at least three weeks now.
In complete honesty, I’m really happy that you’re happy. But I must warn you, as your pastor, this is a very dangerous relationship to continue. And it’s not because he isn’t a Christian. It’s because you are a Christian.
You may “think” that by you dating him, he’ll come to Church with you, hear about Jesus, and become a devoted follower of Christ. And I’m praying for that. But let’s be honest. He’s only coming to Church to be with you. If you want to bring him to Jesus, then stay out of the way by not dating him, invite him to Church, share your faith, but maintain a healthy distance so he can get to know Jesus. I’ve seen the alternative way too many times. He comes to Church with you for a while until one day, when the relationship is comfortable, he’ll quit going to Church with you. And eventually he’ll discourage or distract you from going too.
You may “think” that it’s not that big of a deal if he holds the same beliefs as you. After all he at least believes in God. He just doesn’t go to Church. Let me ask you something: If you marry this guy, and then you have kids, will you want your kids to attend Church with you? Why should they come if their daddy doesn’t go? At some point your future kids will ask that question.
You may “think” that you’re love for one another will get you through your differences. Differences can be overlooked when there’s some distance between you. When you go a day or two without seeing someone, you’re so excited to see them and that’s all that matters. However, when you live with them and their differences are always around and they become a bigger deal. Your love is far from perfect. Remember, you only love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). If one of you doesn’t believe God’s word to be true, where does that leave their definition of love?
You may “think” it makes sense to live together before we get married. After all, it’s a good idea to test drive a car before you buy it, right? Statistically living together increases the likelihood for divorce by more than 100%. It may save some money, it may seem like you’re more of a family. But let’s be honest, if you’re living together, you’re probably having sex the reality is that’s a sin that can only be repented of if you stop (Hebrews 13:4).
You may “think” you’ll never meet another person so perfect for you.
If the person you’re dating is not a Christian, then they are not God’s best for you. If Jesus is the center of your world as Christian, then your non-Christian boyfriend won’t understand why they’re not the center your world. Literally he is competing with Jesus for your attention. No one can compete with Jesus and both win! Jesus promised His followers in John 10:10 that He wants to give us “life and life to the fullest.” Living in a relationship with a non-Christian will be a lifetime of struggle over pleasing God AND your non-believing spouse. It’s like a train being pulled in two different directions. I cannot believe that this is God best for you.
If you’re single, start becoming the person you want to one day marry. And if someone asks you to compromise who you’re becoming in Christ, they are not the one God has for you.
My advice to you if you’re dating a non-Christian: gently end the relationship and encourage them to focus on becoming the man or woman of God that you both one day want to spend the rest of your life with. You’ll be grateful one day that you didn’t settle for what’s available right now.