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Why is it so important? (Part 1)

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Why is it so important to date someone of the same religion?


Shayna Answers:

Dear Reader,
I’ve been asked this question many times, and almost all of us can quote from memory the “do not be yoked together with unbelievers” text, 2 Corinthians 6:14. Anyway, I’ve decided to share some personal stories from my own dating archives to illustrate the biblical points I’m going to give you. Brace yourselves!

The first and most important reason I don’t advocate dating non-Christians is, if you’re serious about your Christianity, your significant other is missing out on the most essential part of your life.

This may sound like an overly dramatic point, but take a minute and think about how many times you acknowledge God in your day-to-day routine—morning devotion? praying over meals? Christian music in the car? reading your Bible while waiting for the bus?

If you count the number of times you’re communing with God during the day, you’ll find that more of your actions than you realize are revolving around your religious beliefs. If you really care about your boyfriend or girlfriend, you’ll eventually feel torn or unhappy knowing that they’re missing out on the biggest part of your life.

Whenever I’ve dated non-Christians, I’ve always felt it was important for my boyfriend to know who I am and what I believe. Saying that you want to show them what you believe and actually doing it, though, can be two different things. You should never try to be anyone other than yourself in a relationship, but praying with a non-Christian boyfriend or girlfriend over a meal is quite different than inviting them to pray with you during your devotion. It takes bravery.

My current boyfriend, Navin, was raised Hindu. The first time he had evening devotion with me, I didn’t deviate from my normal routine. After praying for my family, his family, my roommates, the campus ministry at Johns Hopkins, his work, my work, my school, and whatever else was on our minds that day, he commented, “That’s the longest prayer I’ve ever heard!” The first time he came with me to Wednesday night prayer meeting, I personally was going through a difficult time. I started crying after admitting my very candid spiritual hurdles and praying with him at the end of the meeting (breaking into small groups for prayer at the end of prayer meeting is something my church always does). After the meeting Navin commented that church itself wasn’t bad, and that he was actually moved by the pastor’s sermon. However, he didn’t like my crying!

One of the trials of dating a non-Christian is that they will associate your behaviors with your relationship with God. Because of this, a pressure often exists to “be a witness” in everything you do. I’m not suggesting, of course, that you wouldn’t have to “be a witness” if you were dating a fellow believer. It’s just that he or she is more likely to understand the ups and downs that occur in a spiritual relationship.

A non-Christian, who is depending on you to teach them about Jesus, is looking to you to show them how to worship God. Also, they’re more likely to stumble when you do and become distrustful when you doubt. This does negative things for both your existing spiritual relationship and their budding spiritual relationship.

There’s still a lot more you should know, though! So we’ll continue discussing this next week.

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