Interfaith marriages?

Question: How strong do you feel about being with, or marrying someone who isn't of your faith or religion?  Would you consider not being with someone because of their spirituality or choice of faith? If you are spiritual, would you marry someone who isn’t so spiritual, or atheist?


My Reply:
The main thing that attracted me to the woman to whom I'm now married was her faith and relationship with Jesus Christ.  I’d dated people in the past who had nothing to do with Jesus, and it was a real downer...I couldn't pray with them because they didn't have a relationship with or believe in the Lord; I went to church alone; there was nobody to talk with about my God experiences or questions about God; I couldn’t discuss what I’d learned while studying the Bible because they saw it as nonsense, or their opinions of it would lead away from the truth, since they don't know the Truth. Also, when problems arose, whether in the relationship or just in life, giving them up to God was pointless to them, so nothing ever got resolved.

I've also known people who married somebody from another faith.  One couple was Jewish and Christian, the other couple was Catholic and Muslim.  Interestingly enough, all was good until they had kids.  That’s when their marriages began to fall apart, for the wife wanted to bring up their children in her faith, and the husband in his.  So if your spouse is just as serious in his/her faith as you are in yours, then conflicts will occur.

In the Bible, one of the wisest men to ever live was very unwise in this matter.  Besides the fact that Solomon married many women (when God only created marriage for 1), his bigger mistake was that he married many women as peace treaties with other nations.  And with each of these women came the different worshiped gods/idols from their lands/cultures.
Remember now, when you’re sexually intimate with somebody, you’re joining yourself to them, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. So if your spouse is spiritually joined with another entity other that God, then you’ve just joined with it also. Another problem is that Solomon’s wanting to please and get to know his wives better, actually led him to worship their gods/idols also.  But God alone is to be worshiped.

I believe this was why God said in the Old Testament (Torah for the Jews) not to marry “outsiders”, or people from other nations.  Keep in mind now that back then, anybody not of Israel’s descent didn’t worship the Lord.  So “outsiders”, or people of other nations/races, were worshipers of other gods/idols.  Today, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been shared around the world.  So to say that we’re not to marry anybody not of our race is to say anybody not of our faith, not anybody not of our country.  Plus, Christianity is in fact a race of its own, and anybody in a relationship with Jesus is also a resident of God’s Kingdom, or nation.  So it’s not out of context even today.

Now, there is also a danger of marrying somebody who IS of your faith, but who’s not equally yoked with you in the faith.  Remember, I mentioned that one of the things that attracted me to my (now) wife was that her relationship with Jesus was/is like mine with Him.  I’d dated some women in the past with whom I was not equally yoked, and we had similar conflicts as when I dated somebody outside of my faith.

So no, I would not suggest that anybody marry somebody outside of their faith or religion.

---Pastor Andy
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