Does God forbid marriage to non-believers?

Posted on

Through the Scriptures, God clearly taught separateness from sin and non-believers (Lev. 20:24; Num. 6:3; Heb. 7:26). No other principle has been more strictly taught by God. During the history of God’s children, the violation of this principle resulted in spiritual ruin.

In the OT, God forbade the Israelites from marrying the non-believers lest they backslide away from the true path (Deut. 7:3,4). For a husband’s love for his idol worshiping wife would naturally turn his heart away from the Lord. The unbelieving wife will also negatively influence her children.

God instructed His children not to be united in marriage with those that don’t love God (Deut. 16:21; Jud. 6:25–30). This warning was clearly given by Moses (Numbers 33:52) and Joshua (ch. 23:11–13). The sad experiences of Esau (Gen. 26:34, 35) and Samson (Jud. 14:1) are persuasive testimonies to the effects of such unions and show the importance to remain separate from the corrupting influences.

God also warned that marital relationships with nonbelievers would not only influence families but also the nation as a whole and would bring about its destruction (Ex. 34:15, 16). When King Solomon desecrated this principle, he brought about great personal and national ruin (1 Kings 11:1).

This same principle of separation applies also to the NT church. The Lord warned, “Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what partnership has light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).

When the believer is baptized “into Christ” (Gal. 3:27), he becomes a member of Christ, and it is vital for him to protect his pure relationship with God by keeping his body and mind holy. God ordained the NT church to be a “holy nation” to show His love to the world (1 Peter 2:9).

There is no happiness or safety in making intimate relationships with those who neither love nor serve God “…Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Cor. 6:14–17).

The believer who chooses to obey God’s advice may expect God’s favor. He will find that the Lord has great plans in store for him that are far better than what he desired and hoped for himself.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team


A closing message from BibleAsk:

Thank you for visiting BibleAsk – an online ministry dedicated to providing Bible based answers to your questions.

  • If you enjoyed and agree with this answer, please like and share! If you don’t agree, please leave a comment below, and we’ll be sure to respond!
  • If you have another question you would like to ask, please click here and someone from our team will personally answer it (don’t worry, your email address will never be shared).
  • Check out our Bible Answers page to see just Bible verses answering thousands of questions.
  • If you feel impressed to support this ministry, kindly visit our donate page to send a tax-deductible love gift to BibleAsk.

Sign Up for Our Updates

Get notified of our latest updates. Don't worry, they're occasional :)

You May Also Like

Is a 20 year gap between couples contemplating marriage a problem? What does the Bible say?

While the Bible doesn’t specify age ranges in marriage, it teaches the basic principle that we should count the cost before entering into any important relationship (Luke 14:28). Age differences are one of several important compatibility factors associated with successful marriages. Will these couples with 20 years age gap be able to sustain their relationship … Read more
View Post

Which books in the Bible talk about marriage?

Marriage is an institution by God Himself from the beginning of our time here on Earth, with Adam and Eve. Throughout the Bible we can see references to marriage, as listed below: Old Testament The Lord created Eve for Adam as a loving companion and a help mate. (Genesis 2:18) Eve was made from Adam’s … Read more
View Post