In the last post, we learn that one way we glorify God with our relationship is by understanding the purpose of the relationship as God intends it to be and treating our relationship accordingly. God created human beings male and female. One reason is so that they can reflect the beauty of the Gospel and the intimacy of the Trinity in their marriage. God gives us the capacity to fall in love, the longing for faithful companion, and the desire to emotionally, spiritually, and physically unite with someone. Those are good, and God desires it to be fulfilled and consummated in marriage. Of course, not everyone must get married. It is totally alright to not get married. However, we must realise that relationship or dating is a stepping stone towards that end. It’s not supposed to be an end in itself. So, if you are not intending to get married, then don’t even think about relationship. And of course, not every relationship will end up in marriage. The success of a relationship is not measured by whether or not they end up married. However, we must embark on a relationship with the attitude that we are going to work on it towards marriage.
Having said that, the implication is huge therefore on our decision on whom we should have relationship with. One of the ways we glorify God with our relationship is by abiding in His principle on this issue. I know .. I know … we are talking about relationship here. Not marriage yet. However, knowing that relationship is the stepping stone towards marriage, we must therefore embark on a relationship with someone with whom God says it is okay for us to get married. Investing your time and heart with someone whom you know you should not marry will just waste your time and break your heart unnecessarily.
The question now is this: does God say whom we should or we should not marry? Well, the Bible does not say a lot about the criteria of your spouse. The hair length, hobby, race, none of that. However, there is one thing that God says. Christians must not marry those who are not of the same faith.
In many places in the Old Testament, God forbids His people to intermarry with people from other nations. Not because of their race. In fact, there were many non-Israelites who became part of Israel because they forsook their gods and embrace the God of Israel. By doing so, they were counted as Israelites and they could marry an Israelite. So, no, God is not racist. The command not to intermarry was really because of their religion. God knows that if they intermarried with people of other religions, they would unavoidably begin to worship other gods too. King Solomon is a good example on this. So, God wants to keep Israel as His people who are set apart for Himself.
How about the New Testament? Paul in 2 Corinthians 6:14 says this: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” Yes, the context here is idol worship. But knowing that our body is God’s Temple, and knowing that there is essentially spiritual unity in marriage, this passage applies very much to marriage too. By uniting with someone from different faith, we are uniting God’s Temple with idols.
Now, please hear me out. I am not saying this because Christians are better than non Christians, or Christians are morally superior than other religions. Not at all. However, I am saying this because we trust our God and we want to follow the One who has purchased us and redeemed us. Our life is no longer ours. It is Christ who lives in us. Therefore, we don’t have the liberty to use our life in whatever way we please. We believe that God’s command is good for us.
On a practical level, I would also say to people who are not Christians to NOT marry a Christian. Why? Because their lives will be miserable. If you are not a Christian who marries a Christian, trust me, you cannot live peacefully the way you want to. On Sundays, your spouse will want you to go to church. Your spouse will want to give money away to this God that you don’t even believe in. Your spouse will want to go to a fellowship group too. Your spouse will want to invite strangers to your home. Then when you have children, your spouse will want to read the bible at home with your children, and possibly with you too. If you are not at the very least open to that, you will regret marrying him or her. Again, it is not because one spouse is better than the other. Not at all. Rather, it is because faith is at the core of our worldview, and that shapes our values, behaviours and practices. If two persons have different faiths, they can still be good friends because they are still free to live their lives anyway they want regardless of what each other says. But they cannot be good married couple because the husband is not at liberty to do whatever he wants without any regards to his wife, and vice versa. The values will always conflict. They will always question each others’ practices. Again, not because one is evil and one is good. Simply because they are essentially very different.
So, having said all that, if you are a follower of Christ, then one of the ways you glorify God with your relationship is by your decision to date only someone who shares your faith. Spiritually, it is your obedience to God, and practically, it is wise too. No, it is not easy to say no to someone who is perhaps very handsome and very strong. Yes, it is very difficult to say no to someone who is perhaps very beautiful. However, I do hope that you believe in the goodness of God who has saved you and has given you eternal life, and I hope that you glorify God by trusting in His plan in this regard.
In the last post, we looked at the why. This post, we look at the who. At the next post, we shall look at the how.
- HELP! I am in LOVE (Part 1) – Is falling in love biblical?
- HELP! I am in LOVE (Part 2) – Is dating biblical?
- HELP! I am in LOVE (Part 4) – Biblical Criteria
- Is there such thing as biblical dating?