Marriage

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by freeatlast, Mar 10, 2011.

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  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    There are many pastors on this site. Do you feel that scripture forbids a Christian from marrying a non believer? Would you marry a couple when only one was a Christian?
     
  2. SBCPreacher

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    First question: Yes. 2 Cor 6:14.
    Second question: No. I would not knowingly marry a Christian to a non-Christian.
     
  3. annsni

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    My hubby is a pastor and he has the same answer as SBCPreacher.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

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    ditto! :thumbsup:
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    Let me stir the pot just a little. I’m not a pastor, freeatlast, but I do have an opinion.

    Is it unwise for a Christian to get involved in a serious relationship or marriage with a non-Christian.? Yes, I believe it’s very unwise. Why do I think so? Because I’ve seen it happen and I’ve seen the adverse affects. I’ve seen the one parent come to church with their children without the other parent. (Mostly mothers, but a few dads.) And I’ve seen those same parents weep uncontrollably at the thought of their spouse going to hell and worry to the point of making themselves sick of how that other parent may influence their children spiritually speaking. And these unsaved spouses that I know – they aren’t bad people. They are not drunkards, cheaters, beaters, or thieves. And they love their families dearly. But they are lost nonetheless.

    I’ve watched a woman with adult children and adult grandchildren who were ALL saved bury their husband (father and grandfather). He was one of the most loving men who adored his family and they adored him. They prayed for him for decades – the son, the two daughters, and even the grandchildren. But it was to no avail. The funeral was maddening. They all knew that he never made a profession of faith – never came to church – didn’t want to hear it. They all knew of their own security in Christ and had to sit through that funeral looking at his shell in the casket and knowing where his eternal soul was.

    And those are just the good stories. There are definitely more tragic stories that all of us here could tell about these marriages where the Christian partner compromises their walk for the sake of their unbelieving spouse.

    But, and here is where I must stir the pot.....

    ....Would a pastor be remiss in not counseling the believer in the relationship about these things? Yes, he would be very remiss. Yes, marriage between a Christian and non-Christian is unwise. But is it expressly forbidden by scripture? I don’t think so.

    If we are going to use 2 Corinthians 6:14 as a statement of “forbidding” Christians to marry non-Christians, then I think we have to at least look at who Paul is talking to and what exactly he is saying.

    I always think about my New Orleans when I think about Corinth. It was a huge place of commerce and entertainment and became a very wicked place – just like New Orleans. False god and goddess worship abounded there. In first Corinthians 6 (not 2nd), Paul spells out their problem in the church there. It’s licentiousness. They think that because they are Christians that they can do whatever they want to and participate in all of this wickedness that abounds in their city.



    In 2 Corinthians 6:14, I believe that Paul is speaking in generalities of wickedness. He is not speaking to a group of singles who are looking for spouses. He is speaking to a church – as a whole bride – who has embraced immorality. He is commanding those people in this passage to reject the wicked lifestyles that they have embraced. He is worried sick about their genuine faith and their repentance as he says in the closing chapter of 2 Corinthians.

    Could choosing a Godly spouse be umbrellaed under this verse? Umm….it could be.

    Is it explicitly forbidden? No. To the same exact group of people in Corinth, Paul gives hope to the believing spouse in 1 Corinthians 7:14: "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy." Next, Paul also says that they are certainly NOT to divorce. "If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him." Then he says, "For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?" If these marriages were expressly forbidden, then they would be grounds for divorce and even mandates for divorce - but Paul encourages them NOT do divorce.


    Even Peter gives believing wives hope and confidence of winning their lost husband to the Lord. 1 Peter 3:1-4 "If you are a wife, you must put your husband first. Even if he opposed our message, you will win him over by what you do. No one else will have to say anything to him, because he will see how you honor God and live a pure life. Don't depend on things like fancy hairdos or gold jewelry or expensive clothes to make you look beautiful. Be beautiful in your heart by being gentle and tranquil. This kind of beauty will last, and God considers it very special."

    Therefore, in my mind, marriage between a Christian and non-Christian is highly unwise, but not expressly forbidden. Any pastor worth his salt should see to it that his people look for marriage partners that are of the same faith. And if he chooses not to marry a couple of unlike spiritual beliefs, he is certainly within his rights to decline and should not be chided for it. But the couple are certainly with their rights – being as marriage in a church under a Christian pastor is not a mandate for marriage in the United States – they are free to seek a justice of the peace.
     
    #5 Scarlett O., Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  6. Amy.G

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    I think it's unwise and wrong to marry a believer to an unbeliever. I married an unbeliever in a Baptist church who became a Christian (?) 26 years later which lasted for 7 years then dropped out of church and refused to read his bible. We are now headed for a separation because he doesn't want to be with me anymore.
     
  7. Gershom

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    Scarlett beat me to it. :type: Good post.
     
  8. Tater77

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    Its not a good idea at all.

    But I have seen this handled terribly before. I saw a young man in college get his heart broken because his Christian girlfriend dumped him because he said he was an atheist. She didnt even try to help him, just dumped him.

    His heart became broken and hardened.


    But I was saved about this time because my Christian girlfriend didn't give up on me and took me to Church.

    This is a tricky subject.
     
  9. freeatlast

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    Here is the bigger problem. A Christian should never get involved with a non Christian in dating. Not even the thought of it. This just opens the door to the things you mentioned and even worst if they do get married while one remains lost, it goes against the Lord and the mate has no Christian fellowship with their spouse.
     
  10. annsni

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    I totally agree with you. Not only that, but we've found a large issue with a mature Christian dating a very immature Christian and it was not good. My daughter was dating a very immature Christian and she found much of the relationship to be HER taking the spiritual lead while she fought of worldly influences in the physical part of her relationship. She broke it off. Since then, she met a very nice unsaved young man at school and invited him to church. He was saved (and he was very specific that he was not doing this to date my daughter) and is growing very well in the Lord. However, my daughter told him that it would be a long while before she would consider dating because of her experiences. They both actually agreed not to even think of it for now. I greatly appreciate my daughter's heart in this.

    So bottom line, my girls will never consider even entertaining the thought of dating a non-believer or being interested in them. They have seen the spiritual leadership of their father in our family and that is what they want for their own marriages. They know that we would be very upset if they did date an unbeliever as well.
     
  11. freeatlast

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    Ann I wish that our churches got more involved in this and told the people how the Lord felt about this issue and what the consequences can be if we decide not to follow His leading.
    I recently counseled a young woman and her friend about their relationship. Both are Christians, he is called to preach and attending school at grace college in Ca. where MacArthur preaches. I told them that to get to know one another they need to first decide what they are looking for in a mate. Set down and write out their desires for themselves and what they expect in a mate. List everything from who works, is she expected to work, how many hours will beset aside for family time, how many children to who pays the bills monthly, who does what chores, what is expected of the other in every aspect of their life. Do you expect to travel or own your own home or rent, have more then one car, just every little detail should be weighed. What she expects and what he expects may be totally different. Dating is mostly a cover-up by emotional disires and when marriage happens everything changes. So there needs to be a clear expectation clearly spelled out from both so as to keep the surprises at a minimum.
    I let them know that they would most likely not agree on every biblical position so they need to decide if they could live with certain differences in belief and practice, and I mentioned much more.
    When i suggested this he had already asked her to marry him.
    They did as I suggested and found out that they might not be as compatible as they thought. While they are still friends and talk the proposal is on a hold, not off totally, but certainly no more a rush and they are looking closer at one another to see if this is what they want or should they look for another.
    More young people, but not limited to the young, need to step back and look at who they are agreeing to spend the rest of their lives with before they make such a big decision.
     
  12. annsni

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    That's what we do for premarital counseling but I can see that it would be great for dating couples to do. Good work!
     
  13. gb93433

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    What fellowship does light have with darkness?
     
  14. freeatlast

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    Totally agreed, but many do not believe that God knows best and they do it anyway.
     
  15. SBCPreacher

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    BINGO! Statistics would prove (if there are any on this) that you will marry someone that you first dated, unless your folks do the arranged marriage thing. The best way not to marry a lost person is not to date one.

    I teach 8th and 11th grade Bible in the local Christian school. We go over this every year. I encourage them not to even consider marrying someone who doesn't love Jesus more than they love you.

    Sadly, many don't heed this advice. Some have come to me after the fact and told me that they wished they would have listened.

    PARENTS, TEACH YOUR KIDS THIS!!!
     
  16. Servent

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    I was not saved when my wife and I married, it was 20 years later. Im not saying it is the right thing to do it was hard but we did survive 34 years know.

    Not to hijack the thread but would any of you marrie a couple were neither one was saved
     
  17. freeatlast

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    I would not. Our calling is to go and tell, not marry the people of the world. The right to marry people is a privilage given to the church through the pastor by the state. It should only be used to marry two people who are Christians when done by a Pastor.
    The lost can go to the justice of the peace.
     
  18. Scarlett O.

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    Not to be a nitpicker, but I believe that Christians can go to the justice-of-the-peace also. Your venue and officiate are your choice.

    But yes, a Christian is most wise to marry another Christian.
     
  19. blackbird

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    SBCPreacher-----------they WERE listening when you said that---or else they wouldn't have ever come back to you and told you---------they were listening----BUT they made a deliberate choice to REJECT what they heard!!

    See what I'm saying????

    :saint::saint::saint:
    Blackbird
     
  20. abcgrad94

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    So, if a saved woman is living with an unsaved man and has a child by him and they want to marry, is it wrong to marry them?
     
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