Christian Marriage Guide
Should You Marry an Unbeliever?
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The Beginning of Marriage. In the Garden of Eden, the LORD God “formed man of the dust of ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7). After making man, the LORD God determined that “it was not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18) and created woman from the rib of man (Genesis 2:22). The LORD God brought the woman to the man so that she would be a “helper” (עֵזֶר) suitable for him (Genesis 2:18). Therefore, from the beginning, God joined man and woman together so that they would become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Jesus taught that “what God has joined together, let no man separate” (Matthew 19:6).
Christian Marriage. God designed marriage for men and women ready to leave their parents and establish a new life together in Christ (Genesis 2:24; cf. Genesis 24:58). Because marriage joins together two separate creatures into “one flesh,” a Christian should never marry a non-Christian (2 Corinthians 6:14). In 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, God explains the reasons for this union of a male Christian and female Christian in marriage.
No Partnership. God explained the lack of partnership (“μετοχὴ“) between believers and unbelievers. Righteousness indwells the believer while lawlessness rules the unbeliever. God ordained a partnership of two righteous believers, but by nature the righteous cannot be joined to the lawless (2 Corinthians 6:14).
No Fellowship. Just as believers and unbelievers cannot have partnership, so also they cannot have fellowship (“κοινωνία“) together. God extends His fellowship to believers, and then allows believers to have fellowship with each other through Him (1 John 1:1-4). Fellowship exists in the light of God, and the darkness cannot comprehend it (1 John 1:5-7; John 1:4-5). Unbelievers dwell in darkness, and light cannot have fellowship with darkness. Therefore, the believer, a child of light, cannot have fellowship with an unbeliever, a child of darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14). The believer has been transferred out of the domain of darkness into the kingdom of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:1-3; Colossians 1:13). God instituted marriage to be a source of closest fellowship. An unbeliever can never know the fellowship with God enjoyed by every believer and shared among believers.
No Harmony. Unbelievers cannot live in harmony (“συμφώνησις“) with believers just as Christ cannot have harmony with Belial (Satan). Harmony here may be pictured as a melodious blending of two distinct voices, joining together to make one beautiful song. The believer has been born again in Christ (John 3:5-8; Romans 8:9) and claims God as Father (Romans 8:14), while unbelievers descend from their father the Devil (John 8: 44). Unbelievers do the works of the Devil, while believers do the works of Christ (Ephesians 2:10).
Nothing in Common. Believers have nothing in common (“μερὶς“) with unbelievers. Even as Christ forms the ground of partnership, fellowship, and harmony, so also He provides unity in marriage. God draws upon the thought that Christians form one cohesive whole in marriage by drawing together two parts into one whole. In contrast, an unbeliever has no part in Christ. Without Christ, the unbeliever has nothing in common with the believer (2 Corinthians 6:15) and everything in common with Satan.
Temple of the Living God. Believers are the temple of the living God. God lives in the believer, and dwells in them and walks with them (2 Corinthians 6: 16). God explicitly commands His people to live separately from unbelievers, and never touch anything unclean (2 Corinthians 6:17). Then, God will welcome them as Father, and they will be sons and daughters to Him (2 Corinthians 6:18). God concludes His warning against marrying unbelievers with a direct command to live separated to God, as His child, looking to Him as Father.
A believer should never marry an unbeliever. They have no partnership, no fellowship, nothing in common, and no harmony. Believers are the temple of the living God and it should not be polluted by becoming one flesh with an unbeliever. By the way, never date an unbeliever for the same reasons because you do not want to gain strong romantic feelings for an unbeliever.