Can I Marry An Unbeliever? Perhaps you love someone and are trying to determine if you should marry that person. Likewise, you might be in search of what it takes to find and marry the right person. In this writing, we’ll reveal the Biblical principles to guide you in making that decision. There is no book as old and rich as the Bible when it comes to getting information about marriage. The Bible tells us that God performed the very first marriage on the sixth day of creation week. Genesis 1:27, 28, NKJV says – “God created man in His own image…male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth’ ”. Marriage has been existing for as long as we have historical records.
Brethren, let no one deceive you, for marriage is a blessing from God to mankind. Indeed, God created marriage in the beginning. We should always keep in mind that it was God who initiated the very first marriage in the garden of Eden between Adam and Eve. We are trying to say here that marriage comes from God. God’s ideal for marriage was illustrated when he united Adam and Eve in an unbreakable bond. That is, one man and one woman joined together in a faithful and long-life commitment to each other. From creation, a husband and a wife were meant to work together for the establishment of a strong and godly family. Although human beings have not always followed this ideal path, it remains the best from God.
Can I Marry An Unbeliever?
Before going deep into what the Bible says about who you should marry, there are a few things worth pointing to. It is without a doubt that there are currently lots of contradictions when it comes to handling the Christian marital aspect. A good Biblical foundation on what God is saying about marriage will prevent you from falling victim to unsound and diluted doctrines. The bond of marriage is so powerful that it joints two individuals into one flesh. The Bible is very clear on this divine truth. When God created Eve, “He brought her to the man. And Adam said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.’ . . . Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:22-24). This is an account of the very first marriage celebrated by God himself.
Is It Right For A Christian To Date Or Marry A Non-Christian?
As a Christian, dating a non-Christian is unwise, and marrying one is not an option. 2 Corinthians 6:14 tells us not to be “unequally yoked” with an unbeliever. The imagery is of two incompatible oxen sharing the same yoke. Instead of working together to pull the load, they would be working against each other. Although this passage does not specifically mention marriage, it definitely has implications for marriage. The same passage further tells us that there is no harmony between Christ and Belial (Satan). Thus, there can be no spiritual harmony between a Christian and non-Christian. In addition, Apostle Paul reminds believers that they are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, who inhabits their hearts at salvation (2 Corinthians 6:15-17).
Following the fact that the Holy Spirit inhabits the bodies of Christians, they are to be separate from the world – in the world, but not of the world – and nowhere is this more important to be respected than in life’s most intimate relationship – marriage. In the same light, 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” It is important to understand that having any kind of intimate relationship with an unbeliever can rapidly lead to something that will become a hindrance to your walk with Jesus Christ. Note that we are called to evangelize the lost, and not to go intimate with them. However, there is nothing wrong with building quality friendships with unbelievers, loving them, praying for them, and treating them well. In fact, Christ commanded us to do this. But we should put limits for them not to corrupt our minds.
Is it a sin to marry a non-Christian?
Many people regularly ask whether or not it is a sin to marry a non-Christian. If you are one of such, then we think you are asking the wrong question here. The good question should be, “why would you want to marry a non-Christian?” Remember that God’s vision for marriage is that of a place where a “culture of two” is created. In fact, marriage is about sharing our lives, and about the “oneness” that emerges from that shared culture. Therefore, marriage becomes the central situation in which we grow to become what God intends us to be, the very context in which we lovingly raise our children to know and honor Him. Note that a great and successful marriage becomes a place of shelter, comfort, hope, and strength during challenging times, and a place of deep joy and thankfulness to God for His goodness.
In a Christian marriage, a shared belief in God provides a bedrock for the shared values that define the relationship and family. Thus, in light of God’s vision for marriage, the question, “is it a sin to marry a non-Christian?” reflects a strong willingness to settle. Marrying a non-Christian may, in the short run, bring satisfaction. But over time, the marriage is likely to become a source of pain as it is not centered on Christ. Today, there are many Christians around the world who are regretting their decision to marry a non-Christian. Although some still love their partners, they are missing so much of what God intended for their marriage. In situations that children are involved, the complications are higher. Imagine the case of a man asking the wife not to read Bible stories to their children nor pray with them because he thinks that God is a fantasy.
Why Christians Should Go For Christian Partners In Marriage
1) Christians are to marry only Christians – 1 Corinthians 7:39
1 Corinthians 7:39 says, “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.” In this Biblical verse, we are made to understand that a Christian must only marry another Christian. The phrase “but he must belong to the Lord” refers to a Christian. However, this is not the only Biblical verse where Christians are warned not to marry a non-Christian or unbeliever. This command was given as inspired by God’s Spirit to help us avoid the heart-ache that accompanies a Christian who marries a non-Christian. Likewise, 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?“
It is important to understand that the Greek word translated as “bound” literally means “to be pulled in opposite directions.” That is “bound” is a poor translation. The word truly refers to being pulled in opposite directions or being wrongly matched. This is to say that believers and unbelievers are opposites and they will pull in opposite directions. It is written in the Holy Scriptures that “What partnership have righteousness and lawlessness?” The couple will be pulling in opposite directions. The Christian partner will want to go to church, read the Bible, minister in the church, pray, obey God, and avoid sin. On the other hand, the unbelieving partner will not want to do any of these things and might even stand against them at home.
2) A Christian can marry any Christian of their choice – 1 Corinthians 7:39
1 Corinthians 7:39 says, “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.” We are made to understand by the Scriptures that an individual Christian is free to marry any believer that he/she wishes. The Greek word translated “wishes” is thelo. This word means “to wish, desire, want or to take pleasure in.” This is an indication that a Christian is free to marry any believer that he or she wishes. Since a Christian is free to marry any Christian that he/she desires, there are a few things worth considering. Both partners should see unto it that they share the same goals and visions for the future. This is a Biblical principle that can be adopted to make a successful marriage.
It is said that “make my joy complete by being of the same mind” (Philippians 2:1-4). The Greek word for “same mind” refers to being in agreement. It literally means thinking the same things. Likewise, Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Thus, it is very important for those planning to get married to see unto it that they are of like-minds. Also, both partners must understand and accept the differences in their backgrounds, cultures, and/or habits. 1 Peter 3:7 says to husbands: “live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.” This means that a husband must know and understand his wife. He should know her weaknesses, attitudes, desires, and learn to treat her well.
3) A successful marriage requires a level of spiritual maturity – Genesis 2:21-25
Surprisingly, a successful marriage is not necessarily all about love but spiritual maturity. Behold, love was not required for the marriage of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:21-25). Adam was already alive and then Eve came forth. Note that they did not spend time before getting married. The Bible tells us that God created Eve and presented her to Adam. Interestingly, God did not ask Adam whether he loved his new wife nor did God ask Eve whether she loved Adam, her husband. Sinful behavior was not an issue yet. However, we can be confident that they in time loved each other, but that was not the primary reason that brought them together as husband and wife.
In fact, love was not the primary basis of marriage in the Old Testament era. A good example is Isaac and Rebekah. We are told in Genesis 24 how Abraham sent his servant back to his home country to the Ur of the Chaldeans, to find a wife for his son, Isaac, from among his relatives. The servant prayed and asked God to guide him, and behold, God guided him to a woman named Rebekah. Genesis 24:58 recounts how Rebekah agreed to return with the servant and marry Isaac. She was not asked if she loved Isaac because she had not yet met with him. Genesis 24:62-67 tells us that when Rebekah arrived and met her new husband, she entered his tent and became his wife. Love was not the basis for their marriage. Rather, it was respect and commitment. However, they grew to know and love each other.
4) A Christian partner will make it easy and/or possible for you to honor God’s commands – Leviticus 22:31
Leviticus 22:31 says “So you shall keep My commandments, and do them; I am the Lord.” If you desire God’s favor and abundant blessings in your marriage, then it is important to see unto it that you and your partner are keeping His commands. For those still planning to get married, it is worth evaluating their potential spouse for an obedient heart to God’s commands. This is what we refer to as figuring out and understanding the spiritual walk or behavior of your future husband or wife. Below are a series of questions that you can consider in order to better understand your partner’s spirituality.
Questions to consider:
- Is your potential spouse willing to have children? Remember that in Genesis 1:28, God commands couples to have children.
- Will your potential husband be able to support the family? Today, it is rather unfortunate that some husbands stay at home and expect their wives to meet household needs. The Scriptures clearly address this in 1 Timothy 5:8 – “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
- Are both the potential husband and wife walking in the spirit? As Christians, we are encouraged to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-23; Ephesians 5:17-6:5; Colossians 3:16-22). Undoubtedly, a spirit-filled husband and wife will have a “successful” marriage. Together, they will grow spiritually and control their household in a way that is pleasing to God.
- Is the future husband willing to love and treat his wife well? It is important to understand that God has commanded a husband to love and treat his wife well (Ephesians 5:25-33; Titus 2:6-8; 1 Peter 3:7, 8-9).
- Are both the potential husband and wife having a forgiving spirit? When an argument occurs, what happens? Does one of you have an elephant’s memory and repeatedly blame the other for your differences? Are you both humble or faultfinders? It is worth pointing to God’s call for us to have a spirit of forgiveness (Ephesians 4:31-32).
- Is the future wife willing to submit to her husband? Or, does she want control over her husband? Remember that God has commanded a wife to submit to her husband (Ephesians 5:22-23; Titus 2:4-5 and 1 Peter 3:1-6, 8-9).
5) Engagement period is genuine, fun, and done in the Will of God – Ephesians 5:25-27
Engagement is a trial period. This is a time of exclusive commitment to one another. It is a trial period that should be broken in case of any serious problem or area of incompatibility. However, the future wife should be able to respect and consequently be in submission to her future husband. Likewise, the future husband should be lovingly leading her into spiritual things (Ephesians 5:25-27). It is highly important for couples to maintain sexual purity throughout the engagement period. It is also recommended that the couple stay off any passionate kissing until the wedding day.
6) Marriage is a partnership in doing God’s work – Genesis 2
Genesis 2 makes us understand that marriage is a partnership in doing God’s work. Genesis 2:15–17 reports how Adam is Prophet/Priest/King in the garden kingdom where God has put him to rule within the constraints of God’s ultimate kingship (symbolized by the two trees: blessing and life for living under his rule; curse and death for rebelling against His rule). The rest of the chapter clearly details how Adam is incapable of fulfilling his calling to be prophet/priest/king alone. So, God presents Eve to Adam as a helper together with whom he will carry out the work and bring glory to His Name. Following this, we can say that marriage is a partnership. “It is not good for man to be alone” is not just true because man is lonely but also because man alone is incompetent. This is true even before the fall of man.
7) Marriage is harmed by sin – Genesis 3
Going through Genesis 3, we discover how marriage gets messed up by sin. Adam and Eve go from naked and unashamed to hiding from one another. In the curse, the Lord God pronounces how marriage post-Fall is a battle of one sinful will against another: “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16). By this, we understand that all marriages are hard. However, in a Christian marriage, spouses have the opportunity to call one another to submit one’s sinful will to God’s perfect will. By marrying a non-Christian, you lose out on the blessing of having a spouse who calls you to submit your will to Christ.
8) The Old Testament warns against marrying unbelievers – Genesis
Across the Biblical book of Genesis, we see the significant effort being put in place for the people of God to marry only those who believe in Him. In Genesis 24, we clearly read about the extra mile that Abraham went in order to secure a believing wife for his son, Isaac. Likewise, in Genesis 27:46–28:9, we read about Rebekah and Isaac’s disgust at the marriage of their son to Canaanite/Hittite woman. Note that, this isn’t racism: it’s religious. In the conquest of Canaan, the Lord God gives strict prohibitions against intermarriage: Deuteronomy 7:3–4 says, “Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.” This very prohibition is repeated in Joshua 23:12.
9) New Testament texts imply the prohibition to marry unbelievers remain – 1 Corinthians 7:39
There is sufficient text in the New Testament to make us believe that the Old Testament prohibition to marry non-believers still holds. 1 Corinthians 7:39 says, “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.” Likewise, 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” In addition, 1 Corinthians 9:5 says, “Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?” This suggests that having an unbelieving wife would at least disqualify from ministry.
10) The New Testament reveals a clear and positive vision for marriage – Ephesian 5:21–33
Amazingly, the New Testament gives a clearer revelation of marriage: it’s a partnership that pictures the redeeming love of Christ for His Church. The main point of marriage is to picture the gospel of Christ (Eph. 5:21–33; Rev. 21:9–27). Beyond that, it also pictures the very relationship that exists between the Father and the Son (1 Cor. 11:3). Thus, to marry a non-believer is like two artists trying to paint two different pictures on the same canvas. While you are trying to paint the picture of Christ and the Church, your spouse is trying to paint something completely different.
What Should A Christian Do If He/She Is Married To An Unbeliever?
There are several challenges that a Christian who is married to an unbeliever encounter. Some of these challenges are having to choose between romance and winning a soul for Christ, difficulty to cultivate spiritual intimacy in the marriage, and the inability to build and maintain a quality marriage on the most crucial issue in the universe – Jesus Christ. As a matter of fact, being married to an unbeliever can be one of the most difficult challenges in a Christian’s life. Remember that marriage is a sacred covenant that joins two people together in one flesh (Matthew 19:5). It is difficult for a believer and an unbeliever to live in peaceful harmony (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). If one partner gets to know about and believes Christ after the marriage, the inherent struggles of living under two different authorities quickly become apparent.
Most Christians in such situations usually look for a way out of the marriage, convinced that this is the only way to truly bring honor to God. Surprisingly, God’s Word says the contrary. It is of great importance for us not only to be content in our situation but also to look for ways to bring glory to God out of our challenging circumstances (1 Corinthians 7:17). Amazingly, the Bible specifically addresses those married to unbelievers in 1 Corinthians 7:12-14: “…If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband…”
Looking unto God when you are married to an unbeliever
Christians married to unbelievers will need to pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to enable them to profess Christ and live in the light of God’s presence (1 John 1:7). In addition, they should seek God’s transforming power to change their hearts and produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). It is important to note here that a Christian wife is obligated to have a submissive heart, even towards her unbelieving husband (1 Peter 3:1), and she will need to stay close to God at all times for His strength.
Amazingly, Christians are not meant to live solitary lives. That is, they can find support from outside sources such as the Church and Bible study groups. Being married to an unbeliever does not alter the sacredness of the relationship, so it should be the priority of every Christian to pray for his/her spouse and set a good example, thereby allowing Christ’s light to shine brightly in their life (Philippians 2:14). In the midst of your challenge, pray to the Lord God Almighty that if it is His Will, may He make you experience the truth that was revealed in 1 Peter 3:1—that an unbelieving spouse is “won over” and glory brought to His name.
Can I Marry An Unbeliever?
2 Corinthians 6:14 – “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?“
1 Corinthians 7:39 – “A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
1 Corinthians 7:12-16 – “To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?“
Group 1 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
1 Corinthians 7:14 – “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”
Deuteronomy 7:3-4 – “You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.”
Ephesians 5:33 – “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
2 Corinthians 6:15 – “What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?“
1 Corinthians 6:18 – “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
1 Peter 3:1 – “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,“
Group 2 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
1 Corinthians 7:1-40 – “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. …“
2 Corinthians 6:14-15 – “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?“
1 Corinthians 7:15 – “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.“
Group 3 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 – “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”“
2 Corinthians 6:14-16 – “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
Group 4 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
1 Corinthians 7:12-13 – “To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.”
1 Corinthians 7:15 – “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.”
Romans 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Deuteronomy 7:3 – “You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons,”
Amos 3:3 – “Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?“
Matthew 19:5 – “And said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?“
1 Kings 11:4 – “For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.”
Group 5 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Deuteronomy 7:1-4 – “When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than yourselves, and when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 – “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.“
1 Corinthians 7:10 – “To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband.”
Group 6 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Proverbs 12:15 – “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.”
1 Corinthians 7:12-14 – “To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”
James 4:17 – “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
1 John 1:7 – “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Luke 1:37 – “For nothing will be impossible with God.”
James 4:4 – “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
Group 7 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Proverbs 27:17 – “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Genesis 24:3 – “That I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell,”
1 Peter 2:12 – “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.“
1 Peter 3:1-2 – “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”
1 Corinthians 11:3 – “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.“
Ezra 10:11 – “Now then make confession to the Lord, the God of your fathers and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.”
Group 8 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
1 John 2:1-29 – “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: …“
1 Kings 11:1-43 – “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. …“
Group 9 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.“
Hebrews 3:12 – “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.”
2 Corinthians 6:17 – “Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,“
1 Corinthians 14:22-25 – “Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Group 10 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
2 Corinthians 6:16 – “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.“
1 Corinthians 7:17 – “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.”
1 Corinthians 9:5 – “Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?“
Luke 16:18 – “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.“
Proverbs 12:4 – “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.”
Revelation 21:8 – “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
Group 11 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Genesis 6:1-22 – “When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. …“
Group 12 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Matthew 6:1-34 – ““Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. …”
Group 13 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 – “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— …“
Group 14 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Revelation 1:1-20 – “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show to his servants the things that must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. ...”
Group 15 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
2 Corinthians 6:1-18 – “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; …“
Philippians 2:14 – “Do all things without grumbling or questioning,”
Group 16 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Proverbs 18:22 – “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 5:11 – “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.”
Proverbs 6:25 – “Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;“
Group 17 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Ephesians 5:11 – “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
Genesis 2:24 – “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Group 18 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
1 Corinthians 2:14 – “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Revelation 14:12 – “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”
Group 19 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
1 Timothy 2:11 – “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.“
1 Corinthians 12:2 – “You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led.“
Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
1 Corinthians 8:7 – “However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.“
1 Corinthians 8:4 – Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.”
Group 20 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
John 3:16-17 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.“
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 – “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;“
Group 21 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
1 Corinthians 7:13 – “If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.“
1 Corinthians 7:16 – “For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?“
1 Corinthians 7:12 – “To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.”
1 Corinthians 10:14 – “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.“
Group 22 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Psalm 91:1-16 – “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, …“
Deuteronomy 22:10 – “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.”
Group 23 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Malachi 2:1-17 – “And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and you shall be taken away with it. So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the Lord of hosts. My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. …”
Group 24 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
1 Peter 3:1-6 – “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, …“
Group 25 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
2 Corinthians 6:6 – “By purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love;“
1 Timothy 5:8 – “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.“
2 Corinthians 6:4 – “But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities,“
Group 26 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
1 Corinthians 7:4 – “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”
1 Corinthians 1:1-31 – “Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— …“
Group 27 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
2 Corinthians 4:4 – “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Mark 10:8 – “And the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.”
Romans 12:18 – “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.“
Matthew 19:6 – “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Group 28 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Zechariah 14:1-21 – “Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. …“
Group 29 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Matthew 22:1-46 – “And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, ...”
Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
Group 30 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
Exodus 34:16 – “And you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.”
Group 31 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Proverbs 31:1-31 – “The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him: What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. ...”
Jude 1:6 – “And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—“
Group 32 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Deuteronomy 21:10-17 – “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her. ...”
Group 33 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
Ezra 9:1-10:44 – After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands. And in this faithlessness the hand of the officials and chief men has been foremost.” As soon as I heard this, I tore my garment and my cloak and pulled hair from my head and beard and sat appalled. Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, …”
Group 34 – Can I Marry An Unbeliever
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.“
1 Thessalonians 4:8 – “Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”
John 14:1-31 – “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” ...”
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