Is it OK to Date an Unbeliever?
For a believer to date an unbeliever is a serious matter. Differences between the two groups arise from having different value systems. For this reason, the apostle Paul warned, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
The above verse presents a warning against any association with the unbelievers that would put the believers in circumstances where they find it hard or impossible to avoid compromising principle. Every union in which the character and beliefs of the believer could lose anything of their uniqueness and purity is prohibited.
There is a big gap in ideals and actions between the Christian and non-Christian. To date or enter into any binding relationship, whether in marriage or in business, causes the Christian to face alternatives of either abandoning principle or facing difficulties. To those who do not believe in Christ as their Lord, and His teachings as their way of life, the path of Christianity is foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18).
By their beliefs, non-Christian often find it hard to tolerate actions that tends to restrict their lifestyle, or shows that their goals and practices are evil. For this reason, the counsel in 2 Corinthians 6:14 is necessary to heed. Those who pay attention to this instruction will have God’s favor and will discover that He has a special blessing for them.
Separation From Sin
Separateness from sin and sinners is explicitly taught throughout the Scriptures and not just the New Testament as seen in the following passage: “I am the Lord your God, who has separated you from the peoples” (Leviticus 20:24). No other principle has been more strictly given by God. Throughout the history of God’s children, the breaking of this principle has resulted in apostasy and ruin.
Christ is the Lord of light (John 1:9; 8:12). His people are the children of light (Matt. 5:14; John 12:36; Ephesians 5:8). They follow their Master in the light, and their destination is the city of light (John 12:35, 36; 1 Thessalonians 5:4, 5; 1 John 1:5–7; Revelation 22:5). The devil is the angel of darkness (Colossians 1:13). His people are the men of darkness (John 3:19; Ephesians 5:11). Their destination is the death (Matthew 22:13; 25:30; 2 Peter 2:17; 1 John 1:6; Jude 13).
Christ Our Example
Paul does not speak against all association with non-Christians, but only such association that would belittle the Christian’s love for God, corrupt his purity, or cause him to stray away from the Lord. Christians are not to avoid their families and close associations, but to mingle with them as living examples of how Christianity should be and so win them to the Lord (1 Corinthians 5:9, 10; 7:12; (10:27).
Christ was able to mingle with sinners and yet be separate from their sin and its evil influences during His incarnation. “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26). Believers should do the same and follow in the Lord’s steps.
The Christian needs to ask himself: Does he choose to mingle with the non-Christian because of an attraction to their life, or because of a real wish to be a blessing to them and to win them to the Lord? Whose influence is he going to reflect, that of Christ or that of Satan? When it comes to a serious relationship such as marriage, however, the believer who sincerely honors God will in no way date or unite with a non-Christian, even in the hope of winning that person to the Lord.
In His service,
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