17 May 2013 by Adeline Lum CM-
We hear about stories of how two lovebirds fell head over heels with each other; the girl grew up in a Christian family while the boy did not believe in Christ. One of these stories may even be close to our heart, one that we personally know or know through a friend.
So, what do we do if we are in this situation?
What the Bible say is plain and simple, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers” (2 Cor 6:14).To put it simply, two persons of different faith would have a little in common to unite as one in marriage. This is because either sides would need to compromise their beliefs, faith or spiritual habits to be on the same page.
Hence, if you’re single and you find yourself getting attracted to a non-believer, a wise step to take is to hold your horses until he or she sincerely comes to faith. Take your time to think and pray without making rash decisions of starting a relationship.
It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows.
But given another scenario, what if one of the non-believing couple accepted Christ? For instance, both Rita and Mike had been dating before Rita became a believer in Christ. Should Rita immediately end the relationship with Mike or should she wait patiently for Mike to accept Christ?
While cutting the relationship short is a simple answer, there have been accounts of non-believing partners coming into faith shortly after his or her beau believes in Jesus.
On the flip side, there are also accounts of the relationship ridden with heartaches, where the believing partner falls out of faith and/or experiences a lonely walk of faith with God.
So, how do we know for certain whether God would save our non-believing partner down the road of our courtship?
What are the telltale signs of one who is most likely to accept Him? Should we stay in the relationship if he or she displayed potential of coming to Christ, i.e. practices godly behavior or shows a spiritual interest to come to Christ? And also, how long should we wait for the non-believing partner to believe in Christ?
Although there are many reasonable questions to ponder, there are unfortunately no specific answers because every non-believing partner has a different spiritual interest, personality, character, family background, circumstances and expressiveness.
The good news, however, is that God has the answer and He knows what’s best for us as believers of Christ! The solution then is quite simple yet difficult to do, which is to surrender your relationship to Christ.
What is surrender?
Surrendering to the Lord doesn’t promote either continuing or discontinuing a relationship, but rather giving up of our rights to determine the outcome of the relationship at His feet.
God may honor you with your partner coming to Christ. On the flip side, He may also lead you to ending the relationship. Whatever it is, in this process of surrendering, we must have faith and trust that He has the best interest for us.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
“But I really want this relationship to work,” you may say. Do not worry because God knows your desire and He enjoys listening to His children praying to Him.
In fact, He said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6).”
In other words, if you desire to continue the relationship and whatever your desires may be, bring them to Him. But again, let go of your rights to determine the outcome and let Him guide you in making a decision. God’s way and timing is the best.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding; in all you ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
In fact, God desires for all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4); and that includes your non-believing partner! You can also be rest assured that God knows him or her better than you because no thoughts or emotions are hidden from Him (Hebrews 4:13). In other words, He knows what’s best for him or her. And most importantly, He also knows what’s best for you.
Hence, for the question on whether he or she is worth the wait for marriage in His eyes, pray to God for wisdom to determine a reasonable period for you to make a decision. Ask God to show you clearly on whether your beau is the right person for you.
Also, pray to God on how we play a role in bringing the person to Him. During this period of confirmation, you could bring your partner to church, hang out with cell group members, and/or pray for him or her. Note that God may also not want you to do anything but rest in Him.
While waiting, don’t forget to also honor God in your relationship by maintaining purity and most importantly, actively draw close to Him by spending time with Him.
As you come close to Him by praying, reading the Word and seeking advices from your spiritual mentors, trusting and surrendering to Him become easier. Not only that, you would also find wisdom and courage in making the right decision.
In conclusion, although we cannot deduce whether a relationship would certainly work or not here, one thing for certain is that God works in all things for the good of those who love him and those who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
One may think surrendering does not include any decision on our part. But when we surrender our relationship, we are making a few decisions which are:
1. I am not getting married with a non-believer, or I am willing to wait for my non-believing partner to come to Christ before marriage upon confirmation from the Lord.
2. I am setting myself for an appointed and reasonable time to pray and wait for an answer from the Lord.
3. I am choosing to draw close to God more during this time of confirmation.
4. I am choosing to maintain my purity in the relationship during this time of confirmation.
5. I am choosing to be open to God's leading.
5. I am choosing to be courageous in obeying the Lord when He confirms the answer to me.
Remember that you have the choice or free will to surrender your relationship to God or not.
Simply because it is the safest and most wise decision to take. God loves you and He wants the best for you… He knows your deepest heart’s desire, and mostly he understands what you need more than you know yourself. So, give your non-believing partner to the Lord. Give your fears to Him and have faith in Him. Honor Him in your relationship and keep your relationship pure. Read the Word and pray unceasingly. Draw close to Him and rest in his Peace.
Dear Viewers in Christ, if you find this article edifying to you, please share with your friends or loved ones by using the social media plugs (Share, Email to this article). The Lord will surely bless you as you bless others. May the Lord’s peace and love be with you.
References for pictures: