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Question:
I need your advice on a question. I am a practicing christian and met a woman who is not and professed her faith to be Buddhist. I want to marry and settle and have prayed several times but not sure whether God is anwering or not. Please let me know your take on this.

Answer:

This is the full question:

I need your advice on a question. I am a practicing christian and met a woman who is not and professed her faith to be Buddhist. My flesh lead me to ignore the warnings from the Scripture and inside of me. I continued the relationship and found myself not being very happy because we argued continually about everything and I found myself sacrificing a lot; however I made it clear that my faith was not for negotiation. I finally decided after several prayers and fasting to break the relationship because I could not go out with a non-christian. To my amazement after several agonizing discussions, she decided she will convert because she did not want to loose me. I made it clear that this was a personal choice and I will not accept a light hearted commitment. I consulted several christian people on this and decided to stay. She has since bought the Bible and is studying it slowly with some commitment. She prays with me now etc. We still have some of the old problems however things are getting better. My question is, I still do not know whether she is the one God has prepared for me. I want to marry and settle and have prayed several times but not sure whether God is anwering or not. Please let me know your take on this.

Part of my answer will be directly Biblical, and part of it will be own opinion from experience. I am going to interlace my answers with your question for clarity:

“Dear Brent, I need your advice on a question. I am a practicing christian and met a woman who is not and professed her faith to be Buddhist. My flesh lead me to ignore the warnings from the Scripture and inside of me.”

You are correct that it was your flesh that led you to ignore clear warnings in Scripture. The “warnings” inside of you, were the Holy Spirit trying to get your attention, which you ignored. There are several Scriptural principles that make dating a non-Christian the wrong choice:

  1. It is an “unequal yoke”; a yoke is harness used to connect to oxen together so that they may combine their strength together. Unequally yoked oxen create a conflict instead of cooperation. This inequality can be from size, strength, health, training, deformity or even will power. For Christians, the “yoke” is from God, and allows a husband and wife to work together for God’s purpose. When you date or marry a non-Christian, it’s like a strong ox hooked to a feeble, sickly animal. You will do all the spiritual work, and it will eventually cause a lack of results, and conflict.

    2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (NKJV)

  2. A Christian is to guard their heart; and becoming intimate or married to an unbeliever is like letting the enemy inside the gates of your city.

    Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

  3. Bad company (which unbelieving company is) corrupts good Christian character.

    1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (NKJV)

  4. It is incompatible with the principle of “light and dark”. There is no compatibility with two; one will destroy the other.

    2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (NKJV)

The Holy Spirit indwells each Believer to guide, protect and counsel them. When you purposely ignore the “warnings”, you can be assured that what you are about to do is going to end up troubled.

“I continued the relationship and found myself not being very happy because we argued continually about everything and I found myself sacrificing a lot; however I made it clear that my faith was not for negotiation.”

The fact that you were not happy is the usual result of ignoring God’s warnings. A Christian who ignores the Holy Spirit has already begun the process of “sacrificing alot”; but not in a good way. They are sacrificing their Godly integrity and Holy Spirit led conscience.

No matter how “clear” you stated that your “faith is not negotiable”, your words rang hollow because your actions had already plainly stated that your faith was at least partially for sale and the price was a “relationship”.

“I finally decided after several prayers and fasting to break the relationship because I could not go out with a non-christian. To my amazement after several agonizing discussions, she decided she will convert because she did not want to loose me. I made it clear that this was a personal choice and I will not accept a light hearted commitment.”

Why did it take “prayer and fasting”? The Bible is clear. You did not need confirmation about what God plainly states. Now, if the prayer and fasting helped you to gain the spiritual courage you needed, then it was a good thing.

My point is, we don’t need to “seek God’s face” and struggle over “God’s will” when it is clearly stated in Scripture. We need simply to repent, acknowledge and obey. The Lord told Joshua (Josh 7) to “Get up! Quit praying” because the answer was already obvious. Sometimes we just need to get about doing what God has clearly revealed.

There should be sirens, warning flags and alarms resounding in your head when a person converts to Christianity because they don’t want to “lose” a relationship. Don’t get me wrong… if this results in her ultimate salvation, to God be the glory.

My overwhelming experience (and apparently other Pastor/teachers as well) is that “conversions for love”, ie. wanting to hold on to a relationship – almost never are genuine or lasting. You say you will not “accept a light hearted commitment” but you have already demonstrated to a large degree that you will, because you have compromised your own commitment to God by violating your conscience and dating an unbeliever.

I’m not trying to be unnecessarily hard on you, but there is a lot FOR OTHERS to learn from your choices. So I’m giving it to you straight up. If you are serious about not accepting a “light hearted commitment”, then tell her that you will start dating her again in two years if she is still a faithful Christian at that time.

This is my opinion; I am not presenting this as a Biblical command.

“I consulted several christian people on this and decided to stay. She has since bought the Bible and is studying it slowly with some commitment. She prays with me now etc. We still have some of the old problems however things are getting better.”

In a multitude of counsel, there is wisdom:

Proverbs 15:22 Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established. (NKJV)

It is good that you continue to seek counsel but it concerns me that you “consulted several Christian people” and the consensus was for you to stay in the relationship. Make sure that you are seeking the counsel of mature, disciplined and faithful Christians who know God’s Word rather than rely on feelings or opinion.

“My question is, I still do not know whether she is the one God has prepared for me. I want to marry and settle and have prayed several times but not sure whether God is anwering or not. Please let me know your take on this.”

I’ve never been of the opinion that God prepares ONE person for us, and if we “miss” that person, somehow we will just have to suffer with something less. The Bible does not support this idea.

God’s only directive is that we marry another Believer. He will guide, protect, bless and honor a marriage between any two Christians who marry under God’s terms.

So whether or not “she is the one” is still a question, and may remain question. My counsel to you is not to even date her, or consider her “the one” until she has shown by faithful commitment that her conversion to Christian is genuine. And that takes TIME. There is no shortcut or easy way out.

If you are “not sure God is answering” then you can BE SURE that God is not saying “go ahead, marry her”.

My answer in summary is this:

  1. Biblically – do not marry or date an unbeliever.
  2. My personal advice – if you really love this person, then become her “Christian friend” for a couple of years and help disciple her, but don’t be her primary discipler; she should have Godly women around her to help her grow spiritually; don’t date her. If her conversion and commitment is still in tact after that, then I would think it safe to consider a relationship at that point.

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