We could talk for hours about shared ideas and interests.
Then he slipped me a note during class to ask me out to a movie. He was shy, a bit awkward, and I knew from reading the stories he wrote in a writing workshop we’d both attended that he had little confidence when it came to his appearance or appeal. I found this out two days after we set up our date, when a lecture on evolution prompted the religion discussion we hadn’t had yet.
The Bible says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 Corinthians , ESV), and that’s what will happen if you let yourself get more and more romantically involved with someone who doesn’t share your faith. That was a mistake, but once I finally started praying, God responded.
He made me “strong in the Lord” to say what needed to be said, and renewed my confidence that God does indeed hear and answer our prayers for help (1 John -15).
When the single life gets hard, and marrying a non-Christian looks like the only choice, it's imperative to decide what is most important.
If following Christ and serving Him in any circumstance is paramount, the decision is easy—don't be unequally yoked (2 Corinthians ); look forward to what God is accomplishing (Romans ); and trust that God's blessings are better than we can imagine (Ephesians ).
If that happens, here are a few things I learned that might help you respond when an unbeliever wants to date you. 1 thing I look for in a man was, and I would have said “strong Christian faith.” But when Joe and I started talking, I’m ashamed to say that shared interests and intriguing conversation overshadowed the quality I considered non-negotiable. Usually when we’re making a list of things to look for in a potential spouse, we focus on what we want rather than what we don’t want.
My last year of college, I sat next to a guy in biology named Joe (not his real name).
As we started eating lunch together, we discovered a mutual love of science fiction and classic literature.
When emotions get involved, we have to be on guard that we don’t get carried away and lose sight of what matters to God. However, in her book True Love Dates, Debra Fileta suggests organizing your list into Red traits that you won’t settled for, Yellow traits that put you on your guard, and Green traits that you want in your partner.
The idea is that you never date anyone with Red traits, no matter how many Green traits they seem to have. As soon as I found out for certain that Joe was an atheist, I told him I couldn’t see myself in a long-term romantic relationship with someone who did not share my faith.