Though most desire the good gift of marriage we must never forget it is after all a gift.  A gift worth waiting for.  It cannot be forced.  It most certainly cannot be gained by means of sin.   Inter-marriage and inter-dating between christians and pagans is strictly forbidden by Paul. We must never date a non-believer.  But, why? Well, in short, it is idolatry, rebellion, the sin of Eve. It is golden calf religion.  It never leads to life. it never delivers on its promises.


When Paul forbids being unequally yoked, he is alluding to a very common Old Testament theme.  It can be seen in the anti-hybridization laws of Lev. 19.  The intermarriage between Israel and pagans in Exodus 34.  It can be seen in all the laws of God that instruct us to trust and obey his ordering of life.


If we sow two types of seeds in a field, that year’s meals may be diverse and interesting, but in the long run we destroy the longe-range fertility of the soil.  Ever seen a field with sugar cane and corn intermingled?  Farmers rotate but they don’t intermingle.

If we make hybrids to capitalize for a generation on our creativity, we suffer long term sterility.

If we make a shirt out of wool and linen because that happens to be what we have laying around, we might look good for the night, but we’ll be unravelled and naked by next week.  Even your clothes have a honeymoon, but then they get dirty, scrubbed, tumbled, sun-dried.  Then begins the unravelling. It’s not worth it. You waste all the wool and the linen.  It would be better to wait until the next shearing season.

If we yoke an ox and an ass together for whatever reason we may concoct, all we do is plow in circles.  The net result is fruitlessness, frustration, hunger.  You want LIFE? Jesus is the LIFE..not the convenient ass.

These Old Testament laws may be a little odd to our modern ears, but they are quite helpful in catching the gist of Paul’s forbidding of inter-marriage and dating.  True spiritual fertility/life/abundance is not found in man’s domination or in man’s twisting of nature.  Rather, true life is found in submitting to what is natural out of respect and love to God, trusting in his purposes for us which always lead to life.  Generation cannot lead to life…Only regeneration.  And, that can only be done by the spirit, not our contrivances.

The compromises we make for short term “life” will finally lead to long term death. The golden calf seems powerful. He seems to be capable of bringing you to the promised land.  But, when you finally come to your senses, you will realize that you are just back in Egypt and you’ve lost all your jewelry.  You wanted to build a household.  You needed to.  And now you build one brick at a time, without straw.

We must not turn to the forbidden fruit to be “like God.”  Rather, we must trust his way.  This is the only path which leads to true LIFE and ordained god-likeness.


And, one last thing– Pastor, I think he might become a Christian!  Listen, your sin cannot regenerate.  The forbidden fruit doesn’t give you God’s regenerating power.  We cannot baptize idolatry with “evangelism.”  The Great Commission charges us to teach the nations to obey.  So, whatever you are up to, it is not evangelism.


At the end of the day we must remember this simple lesson: Marriage is, among other things, for the purpose of companionship.  What companionship can light have with darkness? While sin may make promises of companionship, the end of loneliness, friendship, in the end, it cannot deliver.  It only disappoints and enslaves in the process. Rather, let us wait on the Lord, trusting in his sovereign plan for our lives.  Let us resting in his unfailing love and promises to show his steadfast love to us in this life– in His wise timing.

P.S. If I’ve thoroughly convinced you, the next few questions you must ask are,

  1. How can I know if he is a genuine believer? What are the signs? What fruit should be evident?
  2. Is being a believer enough? Are there other qualities I should wait for?
  3. Does one’s spiritual maturity factor into this decision?

For answers to these questions I would guide you to my series on building a christian household and to my weekly podcast on the christian household.  Also, please feel free to DM me for direct answers to any questions you might have.  I was un-pastored and un-instructed through the dating season of my life.  But, you don’t have to be.

For more on establishing and building a christian household check out our media resources HERE.

Or you can also listen to all of our archived sermons, radio shows, and podcasts at our archive HERE.