When you were in youth group, you were warned about the dangers of missionary dating. Your youth pastor always said that missionary dating was a slippery slope into an unequally yoked marriage. At the time, you completely agreed with your youth pastor.
But then you met [insert the name of your boyfriend].
You were instantly attracted to him when you met him—and you were instantly impressed with him, too. He’s genuine and honest with you. He asks about everything—from your typical workday to your wildest dreams. He works really hard and has a steady job. He’s sweet, patient, and trustworthy. And his smile is pure magic.
Unfortunately, though, he’s not a Christian.
The thing about your boyfriend is that he’s way more kind, way more mature, and way more of a gentleman than any single Christian guy you’ve met. The guys in your Bible study or at your Christian college or in your small group at church are rude, immature, and ignorant. You just get along so well with your boyfriend.
I understand why you decided to settle for a non-Christian. Because before you started dating him, you were a single Christian girl feeling lonely, desperate, and hopeless. With an indescribably deep longing for love but without any prospects. I feel you, girl.
Don’t worry—I know you may sense a cliche discussion coming about being “unequally yoked” or 2 Corinthians 6. But I’m not going to talk about those things. Rather, I want to say this to you: marrying a non-Christian is not God’s will for you, it’s not His best for you, and I’d absolutely hate to see you settle for less than His best.
And why would you waste your time and effort—and face a broken heart further down the road—by dating someone who isn’t God’s best for you?
Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. Thus also he did for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. Now the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not observe what the Lord had commanded. So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.” (1 Kings 11:1-13 NASB1995, emphasis mine)
God warned Solomon about the women he loved—He knew that pursuing those women would cause Solomon’s heart to turn away from Him. And He was right. God did show mercy to Solomon when he sinned, but He still punished him for his disobedience.
So, to the girl who’s dating a non-Christian, I want you to know this: your heart is very precious. And it is indwelt by a holy God who desires your holiness more than your happiness. I know that your boyfriend makes you happy—he makes you smile, he makes you laugh, and he makes you feel loved. But none of that matters if he’s not a Christian who’s following God with his whole heart.