Marry a Christian

Number 0009


by Roger D. Campbell

If you are not married, but you hope to be married someday in the
future, do you plan to marry a Christian? Christians have the right to
be married, for it is written, “But and if thou marry, thou hast not
sinned” (1 Cor7:28). But, it is not true that marriage is only for
Christians. Thousand of years before Jesus came to earth, Adam and Eve
were married, and thus became one flesh (Mat 19:4,5), but they
certainly were not Christians. Furthermore, it is possible for a
Christian to be married to one who is outside of Christ, and God
recognizes them as husband and wife (1 Peter 3:1). So, what advice
shall we give to our brothers and sisters (both young and not so young)
who hope to get married some day? Should they marry a Christian, that
is, one who is a member of the Lord’s church? Without any hesitation,
our answer is YES! By all means, marry a Christian!

After Jehovah brought the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage, at
Mt. Sinai He declared unto them, “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of
priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). God wanted His people to be
holy as He was holy (Leviticus 11:44). One specific command that He
gave to His holy nation pertained to whether or not the Israelites
should marry the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, who were Gentiles.
God told the children of Israel, “Neither shalt thou make marriages
with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his
daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son
from following me, that they may serve other gods; so will the anger of
the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly”
(Deuteronomy 7:3,4). We see that God forbid His children from marrying
the Canaanites, and the reason was plainly stated: God did not want
the Gentiles to influence His children to forsake Him to follow false

Can you think of an Israelite king who disobeyed God’s command not
to marry a foreign wife? If you were thinking that the answer is
Solomon, then you are right. Of him it is written, “But king Solomon
loved many strange women . …women of the Moabites, Ammonites,
Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittities . . . Solomon clave unto these in
love. . . For it came to pass when Solomon was old, that his wives
turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect
with the Lord his God” (1 Kings 11: 1,2,4). Make no mistake, Solomon
was responsible for his own mistakes. But the text plainly shows that
his wives turned his heart away from Jehovah to false deities. About
five hundred years later when Nehemiah saw that the Jews of his days
were involved in mixed marriages with foreigners, he reminded them of
Solomon’s tragic mistake, severely rebuking them by saying, “Ye shall
not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto
your sons, or for yourselves. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by
these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who
was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel;
nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. Shall we then
hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our
God in marrying strange wives” (Nehemiah 13:25-27)? Solomon sinned
when he married those foreign wives, and as a result of their
influence, he began to serve idols! We recognize that Christians are
not under the law of Moses, but we also understand this truth: “For
whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning”
(Rom 15:4), so there are some powerful lessons that we can learn from
the Old Testament. Solomon probably thought those wives would never
influence him to depart from the true and living God, but they did!
From Solomon’s mistakes, do we not see that it is a very dangerous
affair to marry someone who is not a child of God?

Every Christian must be very careful about his associations with
others, as God warns us, “Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt
good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Surely all of us need to be
extremely careful about the marriage relationships into which we enter,
for the decision that we make about whom we marry may effect the
eternal salvation of our souls and the souls of our children! Please
consider this: the Lord Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against
me” (Matthew 12:30), so one who is not a Christian is, in reality, a
child of the devil (Acts 13:10). Do you realize what that means for you
if you marry a child of Satan? It means that the spiritual father of
your spouse, your father-in-law, will be the devil himself! Like it or
not, that means you will always have the potential for serious
spiritual problems.

It is a risk, a very high risk, for a Christian to marry someone
who is not in Christ. Yes, it is possible that you might eventually
influence your mate to become a Christian, but the chances are much
greater that your mate will influence you to become lukewarm in your
service to Christ or to leave the Lord completely. Brothers and
sisters, please believe me. I do not say that because I doubt your
faith, but rather I say that because in history a very high percentage
of members of the church who married a non-Christian, in the end
ompromised their faith and became unfaithful. We do not desire to
conceal that fact from you, because we do not want to see you make the
same tragic mistake that many others have.

We know that before a Christian marries a non-Christian, when they
are still just dating the non-Christian often promises that it will not
be a problem in their marriage if the Christian wants to continue to
attend services and live a faithful Christian life. Probably the
Christian thinks that is true, and deceives himself into thinking that,
yes, all will be fine in his marriage to one who serves Satan. Stop!
Please take time to seriously think about the following problems that
you will face. If you marry one who is not a member of the church, you
will still want to keep coming to every Bible class and every worship
service of the church, just like before marriage. However, your spouse
will not like that. He or she will probably be jealous of the Lord and
the church, because he will consider both the Lord and His church as
competition. Suppose your mate’s mother’s birthday is on Sunday, and a
birthday meal is planned at your mate’s house at the same time the
church is assembling to worship God, and you tell your husband that you
will be going to services first, then later to the meal. He will not
like it one bit, and you will have a serious conflict. And what about
your kids? You will certainly want to bring them to every service and
Bible class of the church, so that you can raise them up in the nurture
and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). Do you think your mate will
like that? Probably not, and more serious conflicts will be coming.
When you tell your non-Christian mate that you are going to give as
much of your money as you can to the Lord each first day of the week (1
Cor 16:2), how do you think your non-Christian mate will like that? Not
much! When you want to spend as much time with other Christians in
order to enjoy their wonderful fellowship, your mate will probably be
against it, as he or she would rather be with his or her own worldly
friends, doing the things that worldly people do. Sisters, how is your
non-Christian husband going to like it when he smokes and drinks, but
you tell your kids that you will beat them severely if you ever see
them smoking or drinking? Conflicts, and more conflicts! How will you
and your husband spend your time and money? Will you raise your kids to
know and serve Christ? With which friends will you spend time,
Christians or non-Christians? Don’t deceive yourself, you and your
non-Christian mate will never have the same answer for these questions.
You might think that you will be strong and will never compromise, but
the sad reality is that most Christians married to those out of Christ
do, in fact, compromise, and their souls are in great danger!

Before you make a decision to get married, please ask yourself
another question: If I marry this person, will he help me go to heaven,
or will he hinder me? Will he help me train my kids to know the Bible
and faithfully serve Jesus Christ, or will he hinder me in this effort?
Believe me, if you marry a child of the devil, their will be no
spiritual help from them, only hindrances to you and your children
going to heaven. We do not say these things because we hate those who
are out of Christ, for we love them. We say all these things because
they are true, a reality that many Christians have found out only when
it is too late. Marry a faithful child of God!

We are sure that some will say, “Brother Roger, you have still not
shown one Bible verse in which it plainly says that a Christian sins if
he marries one who is not in Christ.” I agree. But together we have
seen some important Bible principles. Do you truly seek first the
kingdom of God and His righteousness in your life (Matthew 6:33)? If
so, how could you even consider marrying one who is not in the kingdom
of Christ? If you marry a Christian, does that guarantee that you will
have a happy, successful marriage? Not at all. So, make sure that you
marry only one who is a FAITHFUL member of Christ’s church. That will
be your greatest chance for having a happy marriage in this life, and
having a marriage in which you and your mate can exhort one another to
be faithful to the Lord so that you can spend eternity together in
heaven in the next life. If you get married, will you marry a
Christian? We hope so.

26 JUNE 1998