I was baptized in Kiev (the Ukraine) in 2007. My question is of a romantic nature. The fact is that I'm going out with a girl who isn't Christian, though she has some faith in Christ. A brother in Christ told me I was doing wrong, and that this might tempt other brothers to look for wives who aren't sisters in Christ. Many brothers agreed with this viewpoint, though I heard one opinion that was the opposite. I know our church encourages relationships between brothers and sisters in Christ, and I think this is good, but I can't understand why our leaders say, "Christians must only build relationships with sisters in Christ." In my humble opinion, it shouldn't matter whether the girl I'm dating at the present moment is a Christian. The important thing is that she believes in Christ and wants to study the Bible. Yes, I really want my future wife to be christian, and I'm asking my Lord for this all the time. I would agree that these relationships are very dangerous and can lead me away from from Christ. But if I am full of faith, and share all my convictions about God with this girl I like, and she accepts my point of view, is there really anything wrong in that? In my humble opinion no, but I want to know your view.--T.R.(Kiev)
My first reply:
I think it is fine to share your faith with a woman or a man who is not a Christian. But when someone is not yet a disciple, investing all that emotional energy in someone of the opposite sex is unwise. It usually makes it very hard for the person to make the difficult decision to follow Christ alone because emotions for the one reaching out to her (you) get mixed in.
Now marrying a non-Christian is a sin. The scriptures are clear, and I am sure you have read them all. It is not reasonable to build a romantic relationship with someone you cannot marry. I cannot say the Bible forbids it, since the Bible nowhere discusses this matter directly. But the Bible does forbid marrying outside the faith. You may weaken your own willpower when you get involved with a woman who is not a Christian.
I know you want her to be truly converted, but I think it is best if the sisters do most of the work in this area! Then, perhaps after she has been a Christian for a while, and had some time to grow as a disciple, it would be appropriate for you to pursue a romantic relationship. Until then, patience!
Sure, it's hard to accept that, but you're absolutely right. In spite of the fact that I like her, I understand if we have different moral values our relationship will fail, because there is no common ground -- Christ. I surely don't want to live without God already. I pray he will help me. Thank you for your explanation!
And my second reply:
Thank you for your humble response. Now, a question for you. Because I think our discussion could help others, would you mind if I edited our communication and posted it as a Q&A at my website? (I would shorten it.) What do you say?
And his final response:
Yes, I think it's a good idea to share our correspondence on your site. It could really help people, because I know many brothers are stumbling in similar situations, and everyone is looking for right decision. Some have followed the teachings of the Bible, but unfortunately others have turned away from Christ.