1 Kings 11:1-3 (NIV) 1 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter–Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray.
On verses 1-13: As wise and as rich as Solomon had become by God’s grace, here we see Solomon’s fatal flaw: his insistence on being romantically involved with women who did not worship the same God as he did. In doing so, over and over Solomon disobeyed God’s command to not intermarry with unbelieving women. This sin would lead him to worship other gods (v5, 7-8), and would ultimately lead to the downfall of his faith and the removal of his kingdom (v9-13).
Why is it that over and over in Scripture the Lord commands His people not to becoming romantically involved with people who did not worship the same God as them? It’s for a very practical reason: it’s to protect God’s people from the wrong influences. We see that happening in Solomon’s life: “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God” (v4).
What can we learn from this? The lesson should be more than clear. One of the most foolish things you can do as a Christian is to become romantically involved with someone who is not a Christian. To do so is like committing spiritual suicide. For as long as you stay romantically involved with a non-Christian, your life in Christ will be stifled, compromised, and confused.
If you are a Christian and you are currently dating someone who does not worship Jesus, what are you doing? You are playing with fire, disobeying God’s command regarding relationships and living very foolishly. Why sacrifice the most important thing in your life for something that is not as important? Of course God loves that person you are dating, but He does not want you to sacrifice the most important thing in your life — your relationship with Jesus — for someone who doesn’t even believe in Him. Don’t be like Solomon and throw away your destiny and your children’s destinies by “yoking yourself to an unbeliever” (2 Corinthians 6:14), as the Bible says.
Perhaps you have heard of a miracle story where a Christian dated or married a non-Christian and that non-Christian came to faith. In my experience, those “miracle stories” are rare. Most end up like Solomon. It’s no wonder God warns against yoking yourself to an unbeliever. Don’t take the risk. It’s not worth it.
So practically speaking, what should you do?
– If you’re dating a non-Christian and they are open to coming to faith in Jesus, ask them to get baptized as soon as possible as evidence of their faith before you proceed further with the relationship. Do not marry them until after they come to a genuine relationship with Jesus and get baptized.
– If you’re dating a non-Christian and they are obviously and persistently closed to the Gospel, do not proceed further with the relationship. End it now. It doesn’t matter how rich, good looking or nice that person is. The short-term pain will be worth the long-term gain. Why wait for a miracle that may never come and gamble your faith and the rest of your life away in the process?
– If you are married to a non-Christian, then don’t seek a divorce on that basis (see 1 Corinthians 7). There’s not much you can do except to do your best to love your spouse and to pray for a miracle to take place in your unbelieving spouse’s heart, that they would one day trust in Jesus too. (But if you’re single and reading this, don’t settle for this third option! You still have a chance for something better.)
Want more detailed reasons as to why a Christian should not date or marry an unbeliever? Check out my earlier GAME sharing on 2 Corinthians 6:11-18. In it I detail 3 reasons why dating a non-Christian is a foolish and disobedient thing for a Christian to do. It’s worth checking out if you haven’t already.
This is a topic I feel very strongly about. It’s because I so want you to experience God’s best for your life. But you won’t experience God’s best if you chose your way over God’s way in the area of relationships.
So let me warn every Christian who is not yet married and reading this: if you care about your life in Christ, do not date or marry someone who does not believe in Jesus. If you do, you need to question how much you really trust God with your life and how serious you are about living for Him.
Heavenly Father, I pray for all of my friends who are reading this GAME sharing today. For those who are struggling with what to do about a relationship they are in right now, please give them wisdom to know how You want them to handle the situation and give them courage and faith to do it Your way. No matter what, may they choose to follow You above all else. May they trust that Your way regarding relationships is so much better, sweeter, more peaceful, and more blessed than the world’s way. Help them to seek Your kingdom first, for when they do You will add to them everything they need. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!