Can a Christian be married to a Non-Christian?

I always try to focus on topics that truly matter. Topics sometimes tend to have a gray area attached to them. When the Word of God is interpreted in its intended literal form, confusion ceases to exist. When something is not explicitly described, we use the Holy Spirit as our guide to make a moral judgment. One such topic in question has to do with marriage and whether or not a Christian can be married a non-Christian.

For the vast majority of cases, the answer is a resounding NO. This is explicitly discussed in Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. He cites two cases. The first case, which this is my interpretation but it seems evident, states that if a couple were to marry and sometime later one of them becomes a Christian that they do not have to get divorced. In this case, you can be married to a non-believer but I find this to only be representative of a minority of marriages. Here are the verses providing evidence:

1 Corinthians 7:12-14 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband;

There is one of the exceptions. The majority of cases are where a Christian wants to marry a non-believer knowingly. Paul is clear about this as well. Here are the verses:

2 Corinthians 6:14-16 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

This is a warning to Christians who knowingly choose to marry non-believers. It can lead to the corruption of your soul. I know there are some that would say, well I can lead them to God through our marriage. If that is your rationale for marrying someone, you should be very careful and I would advise against it. A marriage is sanctified and kept whole through God. There will be an eternal division between both of you if that kind of marriage moves forward.

Lastly, this is clearly not a Scriptural opinion but I would even caution Christians who are on polar opposites of the denomination spectrum to be cautious as well. The values held by Protestants versus Catholics are very different. The foundation is similar but not precise. The same would go for Christians and Jews intermarrying. Again you have a situation where both of you ARE believers, if the Jewish spouse does consider Jesus as the Savior, so I would say that it is not unbiblical but should be cautioned. Like with all things, make your decisions on what the Lord condones, and that is especially important with marriage.

82 Comments Add yours

  1. Andi Garcia says:

    Interesting piece, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. th3platform says:

      Of course! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Branden says:

    I would say this is an interesting take on a very difficult topic. If this is in fact your position how do you deal with the prophet Hosea? God expressly commands his prophet to marry a harlot. Note I ask this in a genuine manner, I would say that your ideology is sound. But I would really like to emphasize that there are instances where a marriage between a non-believer and a believer are actually ordained, and can even be beneficial…However it is obvious that doesn’t happen often.It would be certainly out of the ordinary. However it is even more obvious that this topic isn’t as simple as you make it sound?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. th3platform says:

      That is actually a very good comment sir. I know my post is somewhat of a simplified version that does not encompass every exception. I would say that the example of Hosea is one of a kind compared to what we go through in the modern day. The Lord does not literally command us by voice to do things. He speaks to us through His Word and other people. So I think that it does not apply to us today and I would not use that example as a reason to marry a non-believer. (Not saying that you would of course.)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Branden says:

    1 Corinthians 7:12-14 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband;

    Paul wouldn’t have written this verse if it wasn’t a common undertaking in the early church. Meaning that it happened a lot, and still does. I would also challenge you, that God does in fact speak to people through more facets than the Bible or other people. I have spoken to more than a few people that have told me they have heard God speaking audibly. If what you say that God speaking audibly to command us to do anything anymore is correct and this is in fact “does not apply to us.” What makes this passage from 1 Corinthians apply to us now? I mean is this just a responsible behavior that Paul has logically come to? Or did he hear God expressly command it to him so that he could share it with the Corinthians? He even says in verse 12 that he is the one saying it and that it is not God. Note I am pointing these things out, because I am looking or an explanation as to why you 1. Don’t think God speaks audibly to us. And 2. If you don’t think God speaks audibly to us, then why do you believe Paul in this instance? When Paul expressly states that he is the one speaking and not God? Is it simply because it makes logical sense and represents responsible behavior?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. th3platform says:

      God spoke audibly to Paul as an Apostle. I’m saying that in the early church of course it would have been extremely common because Christianity had just been born. So let’s say two unbelievers were married during this time and one of them heard of the gospel and became saved through faith in God, they are not required to divorce their spouse because he or she does not believe. That would have been extremely common back then but that is not the case today. It is rare today, especially in America. As for God speaking to us audibly, I have genuinely on multiple occasions called out to God to speak to me or send an angel to speak to me, and have not received a response. I’m not saying God is not capable of course, but that I do not believe He does that anymore. I know of no one personally that has been spoken to by God audibly.

      Like

      1. Upon asking God into my life I was literally dying, or perhaps already dead depending on how you would look at it medically. I can clearly remember looking down at my body laying on my bed, undoubtedly hear God say this is it, and I can clearly remember breaking inside and asking him to save me and come into my life. At that point I was a blatant Athiest and dying, only moments later to be born again and alive…

        I agree with the post. Just not that God doesn’t still speak to people.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. lptrey says:

        Well that is quite the story! For me I just think it’s very rare. On your honor though, that’s exactly how it went down? What were you dying from?

        Like

      3. Quite certainly. Well no you see. You just said you think it’s rare but before you said it never happens any more, which one is it?

        Like

      4. lptrey says:

        I can’t remember if I responded to this. I just think it is rare. Sorry for the confusion. As I believe I mentioned in an earlier comment, I have pleaded countless times with God to speak to me directly and send an angel, not for a lack of faith but just direction in life. I realize that He speaks through His Word and other people but I really do wish I could verbally talk to God directly when I pray and have him respond to me.

        Like

      5. There has been no other time since then that it has been like this. That being said I’m certain that God speaks to our prayers daily

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That would be through the bible, songs….one of my favorite songs is Jesus I’m Disguise. It’s there, the answers, all around us but all to often…with me as the front runner, missing it.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. lptrey says:

        My friend, I don’t question you in malice, it’s just hard for me to comprehend that happening. This really happened to you on your honor?

        Like

    2. th3platform says:

      I find myself skeptical to anyone who claims that God has spoken to them audibly because it is rare in this modern era. It should be taken with a grain of salt considering there are many deceivers and false prophets. That’s not based on a lack of faith but just from my experience with people.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Branden says:

    I would say that you are correct in one instance. In America it is rare for people to hear God audibly. But it is only rare among traditionalists. In other Countries this happens all the time. I am not skeptical of that at all. If someone says they heard God audibly say something its OK to be skeptical, It is also even better to go and measure it against what he has previously said in the bible to see if it is in alignment. And in my opinion (which is certainly a humble one) you are incorrect about the rarity of Christians being married to people of other faiths in our country. I think it is more common than you are aware. I also think that as far as being responsible and sensible your point is well made. I would also propose that you don’t stop crying out to God for that audible voice. And be careful of your bias towards those that can hear it. I haven’t ever heard it myself, but I can tell you with some certainty, there are gifts that God gives some people that he doesn’t give others. I would like to ask one final question. Why do you believe that
    God doesn’t speak to us that way anymore? What has caused this belief? Is it simply because you prayed for an audible voice and it never came? Or do you have solid evidence that proves that He does not?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. th3platform says:

      I do appreciate your comments sir. I have no problem with disagreement in open discussion. I would say some my view on God speaking audibly is from personal experience and the fact that even my pastor, who is a honorable trustworthy righteous man has never told us He has been spoken to audibly by God.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Branden says:

    Also I apologize for being difficult, I love frank discussion about God, who he is and what he does.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. th3platform says:

      It’s no problem whatsoever! I welcome frank discussions. Please feel free to visit my other posts and you can askquestions we can discuss those as well!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Branden says:

      That is fine understanding that not every person has that gift, it would make sense that even your pastor who is a righteous man, wouldn’t hear God audibly. Because not everyone possesses this spiritual gift. Just think that going to the extreme of saying God “does not” speak audibly to people anymore is a mistake.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. th3platform says:

        Yes sir. That’s my mistake then. It could very well happen to many people around the world.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. th3platform says:

      As always thank you sir. God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Cathy says:

    Do you – all who commented – not know that our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, that God Himself lives in us? He does not have to speak audibly- what about the still small voice? Since He lives in our hearts, He can “speak” to our hearts. One has to train themselves to listen, but an answer should come, unless the answer is to wait. And yes, answers should be confirmed by the Scriptures, if appropriate and relevant.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. th3platform says:

      I do know that ma’am. Thank you for your comment. The Lord opens and closes doors in my life and the Holy Spirit is my moral guide who convicts me and encourages me. I do read the Scriptures for truth as well of course.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Branden says:

      Totally agree. That still small voice count as audible? Some would say yes.

      Like

      1. th3platform says:

        Probably but again I myself have not heard anything.

        Like

  7. Lawson, I love that you are not afraid to tackle hard subjects straight on!
    I believe it is wrong for Christians to marry non-believers because the Bible says so. God commanded Hosea specifically to do so, as a lesson to the nation of Israel. He also commanded 1 prophet to preach naked! Does that mean the Bible teaches us to preach naked?? Nope, that goes against the rest of the Bible. This comment is for Branden.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. th3platform says:

      That is a very valid point ma’am!! Amen! Great example. Thank you for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Branden says:

      My only point here. Because I could get distracted by a myriad of things you just said. Is that your statement “The bible says,” doesn’t always fly. Where I agree that the idea that Christians should marry other Christians….I disagree that it “sinful” for a Christian to marry someone who is not a Christian. I could give you a few examples here, Like this letter was originally written to a specific group of folks in Corinth, and that other believers all over the world at the time never read this letter until it was published in manuscript several hundred years later. My point here is that if this was a thing that God had commanded, Why didn’t he command it to the Hebrews? Gods chosen people? Why now do we take Paul’s writing as a command from God, when he expressly states that he is the one saying it and not God. I am Christian, I married a Christian. For instance, Why must women be silent during church? Why must they have their heads covered? These are express commands that Paul gave the same Corinthians…that we don’t follow now in the church body. (or at least in most) My point in saying this is, if you think this command that Paul gave to the Corinthians is one you must follow, and that the others that he gave them aren’t, why are we following some and not the others? These things are also what “The Bible Says.”

      Like

  8. hoojewale says:

    The scriptural truth is that marriage is meant for only Christians. Christians are the only ones who go by the appellation “God’s children”. The first marriage took place in God’s house – Eden. It took place between a brother and his sister. The pristine couple were God’s children. The most important offspring of parents is the incarnation of the Most High. Any other marriage is an imitation, a mockery of the Divine Lord’s institution. As pertaining to Hosea’s issue, check it out there’s no historical proof of that conjugation, the wife and the said ominous offspring. It can’t be taken literarily. God won’t violate His word.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. th3platform says:

      Well Hosea does say that the Lord did command him to marry a promiscuous woman. I believe he did do it. Historical evidence or not with all due respect sir. God commanded him to do so with a specific purpose in mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Branden says:

        I would also submit, that the marriage during that time wasn’t considered marriage until conjugation. If people were married the marriage had to be consummated before it was called a marriage.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Branden says:

    Also the fact that Hosea paid a dowry for her offers further proof that this was a factual historical marriage…you don’t pay a dowry and then bring her into your house without being married.

    Like

  10. crystalfoose says:

    My mom became more religious well after my parents were married but they make it work. I even think there is a chance my dad will become a believer eventually. At one time it was a major difficulty for a protestant and Catholic to marry and now we don’t think much about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. th3platform says:

      Thank you for your comment ma’am and for sharing your personal experience. Your parent marriage is Biblical since I mentioned that exception. I do pray your dad becomes saved. As for Catholics and Protestants marrying, that’s strictly my opinion. Their values are quite different and it could cause problems. It can work but the couple has to be wary. Blessings to you

      Like

  11. Ash says:

    Personally, I am a very opened minded person. But not that open minded. Christians should not marry non christians. My mother adviced me not to marry a person in a different denomination….
    I don’t get why someone would be content and happy marrying someone they know is not saved and when they die, they will go to hell.
    I have been a big fan of accomodation. But bad character corrupts good character. Therefore it’s just safe to avoid bad company. In this case, a non-believer. For it’s much easier for you to lose your faith, than it is for them to take up yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. th3platform says:

      Thanks for the comment! I agree 100%. It’s not that a Christian would lose their faith but they would still be corrupted though. One flesh that serves two different masters is a terrible thing.

      Like

  12. #hhhigh says:

    Well written – correctly advised . Mostly advised “NO”. But still we have chance bring the case to court of God by prayer . But the obvious thing is Not to do that . If we know the fire burn us why do I bother myself to touch it ?
    Come and visit me . And read 7 things for your soul .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. th3platform says:

      Thanks for the comment and welcome to the platform. I’ll will be happy to come visit when I get time later. God bless!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. jessieqblog says:

    Thanks for writing this! I think it’s quite common these days for Christians to “compartmentalize” their lives, and so they justify marrying a non-believer. But if we are truly following Christ, we have to be those willing to leave everything behind and follow Him. Of course, this doesn’t justify divorcing a non-Christian spouse when you are saved, but our lives have to be fully committed to Christ–every single part–in order to be obedient to calling of Christ. Being married to a non-Christian will not help you to be stronger in Christ, and therefore, why would you want to pursue marrying a non-believer?
    Thank you for handling such a difficult subject with such clarity and grace. I really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lptrey says:

      Thank you Jessie. Very glad you enjoyed it. Check out my post the sanctity of life! I see you are active on the pro life front.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jessieqblog says:

        I’ll check it out! Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. mrnobodyatall says:

        Mr Iptrey are you a Catholic ?

        Like

      3. lptrey says:

        I am not sir. Non denominational.

        Like

      4. mrnobodyatall says:

        Same here. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Branden says:

    “Being married to a non-Christian will not help you to be stronger in Christ, and therefore, why would you want to pursue marrying a non-believer?” Not that I disagree…But I have operated under the assumption that anyone or anything can be used to help make you stronger in Christ. But Marrying a Christian makes it easier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lptrey says:

      I respectfully disagree branden. Anything you do contrary to what God decrees will weaken your relationship with Him.

      Like

      1. Branden says:

        and where does God decree this? I know paul says this in the letters to the Corinthians….I don’t remember Jesus saying it…I don’t know where it is decreed directly by God and not just good advice from Paul….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. lptrey says:

        Well for my view it is decreed by God. It was decreed by God in Leviticus. Anything Paul says is what God is saying. It’s not advice, it’s a God inspired truth from God through Paul.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Branden says:

        So where in Leviticus does it say this? Then ask yourself….were there any Christians alive when God said this in leviticus to the HEBREW nation? Also, When Paul wrote this to the Corinthians, was he writing to the Corinthians? or was this something that every Christian could read at the time Paul wrote it? If they could not, and they weren’t Hebrew…Would they be committing sin if they didn’t know what Paul had said? Like I said, I don’t doubt this is really really good advice! I married a Christian woman myself….However I am not certain where it is sinful to marry someone who doesn’t hold your specific beliefs? No doubt doing something like that would make married life and your Chrisitan walk more difficult….but is it sinful? I am not so sure. In Corinthians Paul distinguishes what he says and what God says…Paul explicitly states that he is the one saying these things and not God. That is why I am saying that this might just be really good advice…That said. I could be wrong I have been in the past. I followed Pauls advice. I would encourage any other Christian to do the same.

        Like

      4. lptrey says:

        I misspoke. In Leviticus God told the Israelites not to marry with pagan nations. For Christians of course since there were none back then, Paul gave us the truth to follow when it comes to selecting a spouse. You can’t make the argument that Paul was speaking not God though because all Scripture is God breathed. The Letter is not meant just for the Corinthians.

        Like

      5. Branden says:

        Ok so if the letter isn’t just meant for Corinthians and we need to listen to the words God spoke through paul in this letter, we had better stop letting women speak in church and make sure their heads are covered……you see what I am after here?

        Like

      6. lptrey says:

        I see what you are trying to say but I believe that you are generalizing when you shouldn’t be. Traditional aspects of the Levitical law do not apply to Gentiles. E.g. The burnt offerings and such and other traditions.

        Like

      7. Branden says:

        Those weren’t things written in levitical law. Those are things Paul wrote specifically to the church in Corinthians in the new testament…they were gentiles…or at least alot of them were. check out 1 cor 11:2-16. Next tackle the verse where Paul tells us women should be silent during church….1 cor. 14:34. My point here is that Paul is making very specific statements to a very specific group of people. If in fact all scripture is God Breathed….and Paul states these very specific items, why must we follow his ideologies on marriage when we don’t accept his ideologies on women? Do you see now where I am headed here? I totally agree that all Scripture is God breathed and “Profitable of Instruction” certainly. I however believe your analysis to be a little legalistic in nature, and it seems to me if we are to follow the whole model of opening someone elses mail (ie a letter written by Paul to the Corinthian church) we need to make sure we interpret what he is saying like it is written to them rather than it being written to us….if we examine his letters to other churches and interpret them as if we are the recipients…we are lead to false conclusions. False conclusions lead to judgemental ideologies where we tell other folks they are sinning…when in reality….we have come to a false conclusion.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. lptrey says:

        You make a fair point friend. I’ll have to look further! I still stand on the premise that Christians should be married to Christians except for the cases I mentioned in the article.

        Like

  15. Marriage is an institution created by God. By entering into a marriage you agree to God’s terms. Marriage is beautiful and sacred. For a non-believer its just a piece of paper. I love the marriage that God created and therefore I could never marry a non-believer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lptrey says:

      Very true ma’am! Welcome to the community. Please check out the most popular tab!

      Like

  16. Dr. Enigma says:

    I would have to disagree completely. Let people marry who they love, and not what a ancient book of fairly tales advises them to do. Why are we still using the bible in 2017 to figure this out??

    Like

    1. lptrey says:

      I respect your opinion but for people like me and other Christians, the Bible is not fairy tales. It is God breathed truth. People will continue to use the Bible more than any other book to guide them along their paths and hear the gospel.

      Like

      1. Dr. Enigma says:

        Nobody is ever going to argue how much your book means to you. What im questioning is when your book tells you, to tell people who dont believe in your book, who they can and cannot marry, well then that sounds a little weird.

        Like

      2. lptrey says:

        This post is meant for Christians specifically. I’m not telling atheists who to marry sir. Of course that would be weird for me to try and tell a Muslim who to marry. According to the Bible, Christians should marry Christians only.

        Like

      3. Dr. Enigma says:

        No of course not. Youre aimply telling christians not to marry atheists. What would you tell a Christian whobwanted to marry a Muslim?

        Like

      4. lptrey says:

        I would tell them not to. The Lord says “Do not be unequally yoked.” Meaning do not marry someone who doesn’t not share the same relationship with the One true God like you do. The two simply do not mix.

        Like

      5. Dr. Enigma says:

        Its would be sad to think how many potentially perfect unions are non-existent because of fear. Equally sad is how many marriages exist with some from of abuse only because of what was written long ago. I appreciate your responses and your views, but I dont agree with this being the most healthy and loving route without any questions and review. Its the same thing as saying “only marry a fellow white people”, or “only marry similar black people” only because this book that I have beliefs about, tells me to.

        Like

      6. lptrey says:

        I don’t think that too many have been ruined because of it. Not many Muslims and Christians will intermarry to begin with because we are very different people. Interracial marriage is an entirely different thing though which I don’t have a problem with.

        Like

      7. Branden says:

        I guess one would have to define…what is considered a perfect union? Then Figure out how you came to that definition. If it is in fact a perfect union with perfect love…perfect love drives out fear…that is in the bible…Also isn’t this discussion counted as a review? Last question….where was it written long ago (I am assuming you mean in the bible) that interracial marriage was a bad idea? Not that it is on topic, I am just saying it has nothing to do with the original topic at hand…religion and race aren’t the same thing.

        Like

      8. lptrey says:

        I believe this comment is directed towards Dr. Enigma. I never said I was against interracial marriage. We are all distant distant relatives of each other anyway. There is no 100% perfect union because obviously all couples have their differences no matter how small. Having the same spiritual life is half of what makes a union work for Christians especially.

        Like

      9. Branden says:

        It was directed at Dr. Enigma. Sorry that I didn’t get that correct.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. lptrey says:

        All good no problem!

        Like

      11. Dr. Enigma says:

        So its ok to look past racial differences, but not religious differences. I get it.

        Like

      12. lptrey says:

        From an objective point of view, racial differences are a very shallow one. Spiritual differences are extremely more important to avoid because it is a fundamental difference in belief and how you live you life. Racial differences are more of how you look. There is no correlation.

        Like

  17. saltmywords says:

    I’ve heard the analogy that it’s like a Christian standing on a table and his/her unbeliever spouse standing on the floor. Which is easier and most likely? Pulling the person up or dragging the person down? I, too, don’t believe a Christian should marry a non-Christian. That being said — I married a non-Christian, 19 years ago. I know the struggles. I was lucky. My husband is a Christian now and has been for more than 10 years. We have parts of our story on our blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lptrey says:

      You and your husband are a rare case I would say. Thank you for sharing your experience!! I’m a pleased to hear that your husband knows the Lord now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. dray0308 says:

    Reblogged this on Dream Big, Dream Often and commented:
    This is Th3 Platform!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Reblogged this on Goin' the extra..aaamile and commented:
    Everyone has their own view on it I guess…

    Liked by 1 person

  20. mrnobodyatall says:

    Well, I would never marry a Catholic or a JW, Mormon, Buddhist, Voodoo boffin, Mason, +++

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lptrey says:

      Same goes for me but unfortunately not everyone thinks that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. saveedra says:

    Not easily. We are not to be unevenly yoked with our spouse. Can it be done, sure, but with struggle and Jesus missing in the marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lptrey says:

      Of course! Thank you for the comment!

      Like

  22. Venexea says:

    Yes however it is likely to cause drama both emotionally and/or spiritually speed bumps. At least it does and friends that are Believers and their spouse and boyfriend are non-believers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lptrey says:

      Thank you for the comment ma’am. I respect your opinion even though I do not share it. I just don’t see how it would be possible to bridge an eternal divide between their souls.

      Like

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