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Why a Christian cannot marry a non-Christian?

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The first reason why believers cannot marry unbelievers is that the Bible forbids it. There are two primary New Testament texts that speak to the issue of marriage between a believer and an unbeliever. In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul says, after a detailed discussion of marriage and singleness, that a woman whose husband has died “is free to marry whomever she wishes, only in the Lord” (1 Cor. 7:39; emphasis added). The principle in this text is that where legitimate marriage can occur—the believer has never married, or they are released from their previous marriage by the death of a spouse—it can only occur between two believers.

The second text that offers clarity on this issue is 2 Corinthians 6:14 where Paul says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.”

…The phrase “unequally yoked” refers to a close, intimate partnership—like marriage—where each person is meant to be “plowing” in the same direction, at the same speed, with the same purpose. Such a scenario can never occur for the Christian and the non-Christian. For a Christian to enter into marriage with an unbeliever, therefore, is not only an act of disobedience against their Lord, but it is also foolish.


Consider how this change affects every area of the Christian’s life and what basic differences now exist between you and your unbelieving boyfriend or girlfriend:

1. You have opposing masters (Matt. 6:24; Eph. 2:2).

2. You have opposing worldviews (Col. 2:2-8).

3. You have opposing sources of wisdom (Prov. 1:7).

4. You have opposing aims in life (1 Cor. 10:31).

5. You have opposite eternal destinies (Matt. 25:31-46).

6. You are in the Spirit; they are in the flesh (Rom. 8:6-9).

7. You are a slave to righteousness; they are a slave to sin (Rom. 6:20-23).

8. You are led by the Spirit; they are led by the god of this world (Rom. 8:14; 2 Cor. 4:1-6).

9. You are alive in Christ; they are dead in sin (Eph. 2:1-10).

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