I started a series on the blog called, “Questions About Sex, Love and Relationships.” In it, I’m answering some questions that came in during our series at Journey Church on the same topic. Here is the question for this post:
What does the bible say about inter-religious dating? (What if the other person is questioning?)
First of all, I’m not a fan of dating in the traditional sense of the word. I think of dating as “trying out” different people until you find one that fits. Rather, I’m a fan of courting, or entering into a relationship to see whether or not you are compatible for marriage. You may be saying, “that’s a big step, don’t you have to date first?” If you keep your relationships in the context of a friendship, it makes it much easier to get to know a person. You can get to know someone way better in the context of friendship than you can if you exclusively “date” them, and you can do it without the pressure of physical intimacy. Once you cross the line of physical intimacy, you will always want to default to that (especially if you are attracted to them).
Inter-religious dating can have a very negative impact on your life and your relationship with God. If it progresses to marriage, that person can actually turn your heart away from the Lord. Once you are married you become “one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) That means, in God’s eyes, He sees you as one person or “unit.” You still have your individual qualities and are an individual person, but you have joined together as one flesh and made a covenant before God. It’s really hard not to become like a person when you are one with them, and many times, sadly enough, the relationship will take on the characteristics of the person who is not following Jesus.
I will give you an Old Testament example and a New Testament one. Let’s start with Solomon.
The best thing you can do if they are questioning is pray for them, be their friend, answer their questions (or find answers) and share the gospel with them – NOT DATE THEM! Flirting to convert is definitely not a practice I recommend! The underlying issue is you need to believe that God has a person for you that is on the same path, shares in the same faith and convictions, and will grow together with you in your relationship with Jesus. Don’t get impatient and try to make it happen your own way. I have seen too many people do this and end up in a bad situation. Trust the Lord and wait for the right person. Often, you will find them as you focus on whole-heartedly pursuing the Lord and becoming the person you would want to have.