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God gives us a clear-cut admonition not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers:
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness:

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people."

Therefore "Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you."

"I will be a father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
(2 Cor. 6:14-18)
If you begin to date an unbeliever and become involved in a friendship relationship leading toward the possibility of marriage, just remember: every date doesn't end in marriage, but every marriage begins with a date.

It's a possibility that in dating a Canaanite you might fall in love with a Canaanite. The Bible is very clear in the Old Testament concerning this. There was to be no joining together between the inhabitants of the land of Canaan and the children of Israel.

Once the Israelites trespassed God's commandment, there was a gradual infiltration of the worship of idols in the place of the worship of God.

God has a purpose for a believer not uniting with an unbeliever. He wants a strong union that can be a testimony to the world.

There are many people today who married unbelievers thinking their mates would change after marriage, and they've suffered years and years of heartache. You need to teach your sons and daughters this biblical principle and establish it in them.

We do not reject unbelievers or put them down, but we're not to be joined to unbelievers in marriage. Instead, we're to pray for them to come to the knowledge of Christ.

When two people want to get married, some of the first questions I ask them are:
  • Do you know if your mate is saved?
  • Do they pray in the Spirit?
  • Do they read their Bible?
  • Do they fellowship with God?
  • Do they have to be nudged by you to get involved in the things of God, or are they motivated on their own?
When someone is looking for a mate, they need to look for someone who is self-motivated to seek God, because if they have to be pumped every time they are to seek God, that'll quickly wear out and will become a source of contention.

You need to look for a person to date who has already made a choice to serve God, whether they marry you or not.

Witnessing—An Excuse for Dating an Unbeliever
Sometimes young people use the excuse of "a need to witness" to an unbeliever as their justification for dating them. I've got news for you.

You can witness to someone without dating him or her. I've heard that excuse and seen the negative results of it too many times.

Years ago, Sharon prayed with a young woman at an altar who had been dating an unbeliever with the attitude that she was going to witness to him and bring him closer to the Lord.

After two or three months of dating, these young people fell in love with each other and then decided they were going to get married. But the young woman came to the altar one night, because her spirit was grieved. She was crying inside, because she knew her fianc é wasn't saved.

Although they had already decided to get married, Sharon told her, "You're not locked into this thing yet, even though you may have announced your engagement. It may be a week, a day, or the very day of the wedding, but you're not locked into it yet. You can change it."

Then Sharon asked, "What have you witnessed to him?" She said, "I've been waiting for the right moment."

Sharon replied, "You've waited too long!"

This young woman was trapped by the devil into a relationship where her intention was right in the beginning, but she felt she couldn't get out of it. She didn't want to offend the person by witnessing to him, yet she realized the relationship was not right.

Many times people think they're going to witness, and they keep waiting for that right moment. In the meantime, they begin to fall in love with the unbeliever, and it's dangerous.

We are a righteous seed, and God wants to bring salvation to others in this earth through us, but it's not going to happen through believers dating unbelievers. When you begin to date someone, you accept everything about that person.

You don't necessarily have to date a lot of people to be successful in marriage. Dating is not a required demand. I've been around a number of people who have gone through the whole dating scene, and they came to a point of saying, "You know, this whole thing is just a rat race. It's just a game."

They've been hurt and disappointed so many times. Finally they say, "I'm going to let God lead me to the person I'm going to marry."

This, of course, puts them in position to receive "God's best" in a mate.

Source: Building Stronger Marriages by Billy Joe Daugherty
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Billy Joe Daugherty
Web site: Victory Christian Center
Billy Joe Daugherty was founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was also the founder of Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute and Victory World Missions Training Center.

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