Christians Dating Non-Christians: What’s the Big Deal?
I recently found myself in a situation where I had to make the tough decision to end a beautifully flourishing friendship with a member of the opposite sex. After 5 months of taking the time to get to know this person I found myself tussling with the idea of severing all ties because I began to notice that mutual emotional attachment was beginning to develop. To the average person this is a normal and healthy occurrence, however this sent up several red flags for me. No he didn’t lie. No he wasn’t a criminal. No I didn’t find out about some secret girlfriend or child. I entered into this friendship with my eyes wide open with the reality that he and I could never be anything more than friends even though there was already somewhat of an attraction there. This friend of mine from the beginning made it known that he was not leading a life of submission unto God and did not intend to do so anytime soon. I justified the friendship by stating that I was witnessing to him and sharing Jesus Christ with him; however, there came a point where I realized that play-time was over and things we becoming serious and I was left with a decision to make.
After my last “relationship” ended I promised myself that I would never put myself through dating outside the will of God again and this newly emerging relationship clearly would have gone against scripture since the Bible urges us not to become unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). However, I did find myself asking “What’s the big deal”? Is me dating an unbeliever as major as people make it seem? I mean yeah I’ve been in church, I’ve sat through Bible study and rap sessions and have heard all of the practical reasons such as “They’ll negatively influence you”. “It will compromise your relationship with God”. “It is an act of disobedience”. “They don’t love your God”. While all of these reasons make perfect sense, they didn’t lessen the desire I had to go against my better judgement and further pursue this relationship.
The best defense that I ever heard surrounding this issue and what actually gave me the strength to walk away was the analogy of the ox and donkey found in Deuteronomy 22:10.
Do not plow with an ox and donkey harnessed together.
To make more sense of this you should first examine the nature of a donkey versus the nature of an ox. Donkeys are generally stubborn, resistant and rebellious animals while oxen are by nature more submissive creatures. This is a nutshell describes the nature of unbelievers as opposed to Christians. As Christians, if we are nothing else we are submitted unto God simply because we have chosen to submit to and believe in the Word of God even though sometimes it goes against all logic. Unbelievers are everything but submitted.
Now, back to the donkey and the ox for a moment. If donkeys are rebellious and oxen are naturally submissive, if these two are yoked together it can pretty much be assumed that eventually the ox will submit to the donkey.
It may not happen immediately but it is almost guaranteed that becoming emotionally tied to an unbeliever will eventually negatively effect your relationship God.
I remember walking away from my friend for the last time feeling intense heaviness as if I had lost something valuable. When I woke up the next morning I felt such peace. Yeah, it would’ve been nice to allow this friendship to continue but at what cost?