Q: I’m a Christian. Why is it so important for me to marry a Christian?
A: We often get a question like this. Listen to what Jessie said:
“I’m not married yet, but I am in a very serious relationship that is eventually going to be a marriage. How can a person like myself prepare for marriage so that the difficulties I hear on your show don’t have to happen to me and my future husband? What can we do now? I mean, we do a few things; we’re doing okay. We’ve learned to sit down and talk. We don’t argue a lot, but when we do I think we do a good job at communicating. I’m a Christian and he’s a Christian, but what else is important?”
Jessie already hit on what’s most important. As a Christian, she needed to find a Christian guy. Believers should not be “unequally yoked” with nonbelievers. No matter how much love you may feel now for a nonbeliever, it won’t carry you through years of going to church alone, arguing over basic issues of morality in Scripture, or simply being alone because you can’t connect at the area of your life that is most important. When you marry an unbeliever, you will find a very painful emptiness in your marriage.
You’ll want to look for someone who’s the real deal. For example, watch out for the recent “convert” who became a Christian in order to date you. You want to marry a person who’s walking with Jesus, who has a tender and teachable heart, who prays, who is maturing in Christ Jesus. Check with the people who love you. Do they think this potential spouse is the real deal?
This is a very significant issue because when you’re making decisions together, you’ll want to be able to discuss those decisions from the standpoint of both of you desiring God’s will. When you’re resolving conflict and experiencing forgiveness, it needs to come as an overflow of a vertical relationship with Christ. When you’re dealing with finances and the stewardship of your God-given resources, your decision needs to come through a filter of the relationship with Jesus Christ. The physical aspect of your relationship is most fulfilling when it comes through your own deep intimacy with Jesus. Even if you find a wonderful person who has great character, a kind heart, and good communication skills, but does not have a relationship with Jesus, then your marriage relationship is never going to experience all that God designs for it.
While finding a believer must be your top priority, it is also important to understand that just being two Christians doesn’t mean marriage will be a breeze. Other factors are important. The two of you must learn how to resolve conflict and talk through your differences wherever they are and whatever they are. You need to be able to compromise. Take plenty of time to really invest in your relationship. Learn about each other. Become friends. See how you resolve conflict. Take off the “rose-colored” glasses and ask God to give you true wisdom and discernment. After all, after becoming a Christian, whom you choose to marry is the most important decision of your life.
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!