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Corinne

Old and unmarried

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My topic encourages male believers to give their opinion, I actually might need some male perspective so please feel free to give replies. If you wanna skip my paragraph  I'll just ask this question now:

- is it acceptable for a female believer to marry a non-believer?

For background: I'm old (15+17=my age for those that love math) and I've never had an opportunity to meet a Christian, more so a Baptist. I'm old and I'm afraid I won't get to marry anyone so I'm thinking if I should accept proposals from guys that have nothing to do with my faith, basically ungodly men. Why? Out of need for affection, to belong to someone, to have a family.

At the same time, I'm scared of what will happen if I actually marry a man that is against my faith. Living in a corrupt EU country makes it much worse, it's quite common for the family to be 1wife+1 husband + 2/3 mistresses, a daily occurrence for the wife to be beaten, I won't say more, it's a vile, depraved country and I've said everything that needs to be said with that.

Should I say 'yes' after all? I've had some men trying hard to woo me and a few have asked me for marriage, but then I'm not allowed as a Christian to accept. However, I HATE to live as a single woman, I really wish God would remove me from this Earth quicker if he chooses that I shouldn't marry. I just can't live without a man that's why I'm so tempted to say 'yes' even to one of these men that aren't Christian.

Please be honest in your replies, I need a male advice. Women can also reply obviously. 

Edited by Corinne

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I think it would be a great mistake for you to marry an unbeliever. 

In a previous church I was in there were several women who married unbelievers and it was always a problem.  There were two men who married unbelievers.  The wife of the first one was eventually saved, the second  had a wife who worked for the Samaritans. He was dying from Cancer .  He was extremely ill and begged not to go out and leave him.  She said she wouldn't give up her Samaritan work for him or anyone.  I went and brought him to our house for the day, and offered him a meal but he was too ill to eat it.  In the afternoon I took him home and stayed with him till his wife got home and he told her he was feeling awful.  She said "You shoudnlt have gone out then"  He told her he wanted his funeral service to be carried out by our church, but she said she never would agree to that.  He died soon after and she had the service at the Anglican Church.

  • 2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

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         Rebecca, thank you for your encouraging message. It means very much because sometimes societal pressure takes over me and I tend to overlook that amazing verse about not being unequally yoked. The thinking gets carnal sometimes and I try to reason that maybe it will be okay, but I agree that disobeying such an important commandment will have consequences. Especially since marriage is a huge final decision giving the nature of the vows.

   Given your situation, I really admire your strong devotion to God, only accepting a man that will meet your godly requirements. 

  We have an American missionary who opened a church, I try to visit as often as possible, but there are only families. It's still great for fellowship.

       That's right, Invicta.  You also mentioned a very significant consideration: the aftermath. The result of choosing a wrong mate. I have to think long term and stop trying to form close friendships with men that don't follow my faith. It gets me emotionally attached to them and it clouds my thinking.

       No, not France. France seems quite nice and civilised. I'm from Eastern Europe, locally there's just an entire absence of integrity in regard to most things. People from developed countries, even if they don't follow a faith, still have a more acceptable 'this is right, this is wrong' mentality but with a corrupt country, you simply can't trust people. 

 Thanks so much for offering examples. 

  

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My advice would be to not marry an unbeliever, if by unbeliever you mean a hardcore atheist who despises Christianity and / or God. However, if by unbeliever, you mean Christian who belongs to a different Church or who holds different doctrinal beliefs than you (e.g. an Anglican, a Catholic etc.), then you should probably pray about it and let the Holy Spirit guide you. I don't think that Paul's advice applies to Christians who want to marry Christians from another denomination. Also, if by unbeliever you mean an atheist who is simply disinterested in religion, but is willing to allow you to help him grow in faith by attending church with you, engaging in Bible reading and even praying despite his lack of faith, then you might want to consider such a person as a future spouse because- who knows? - you might win his soul over for Christ.

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The Holy Spirit has already told us through the inspired Word of God that a believer is not to marry an unbeliever. Different doctrinal beliefs between churches are often extremely significant. You see, someone who believes that baptism provides grace towards salvation (catholic, anglican, lutheran), or someone who believes that works are necessary for salvation (catholic, orthodox), is not saved. Because God says in His Word that salvation is by 'grace alone, through faith alone, and not of works (lest any man should boast).' These different churches actually teach different gospels. Since the Holy Spirit will never teach contrary to Himself - as revealed through God's Word, the BIble - we already know the answer to whether a a born-again believer should marry someone from a denomination that does not teach the truth.

The same requirement applies to atheists. We are specifically instructed not to yoke together with unbelievers. It would be disobedient to do otherwise. There is thus no consideration necessary.   There are also many testimonies of those who tried so-called 'missionary dating' to their lasting regret.

What about those who are born-again believers, but have significant doctrinal differences (that do not affect salvation)?  That is still a very dangerous prospect. How can two walk together unless they are agreed?  The stress of deciding where to attend church, what to teach the children - I don't understand why anyone would even want to subject themselves to that. Marriage is a good thing, but it is not a necessary or required thing, and it does bring trouble in the flesh. Better to be single than marry into such a situation.

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Appreciating all your input, it's very hard to keep such a commandment but I want to be blessed and I desire for my marriage to be God approved. Sometimes even as Christians, we encounter difficulties when getting along with each other, a saved Christian man still struggles with temptation from other women and various troubles, but at least I have a guarantee that he will TRY to fight any such things whereas an ungodly man becomes a prey much easier.

  Seen it often with my local men. They just don't care. They cheat openly, they brag about it and they're violent. When there's no love for God or a guy doesn't' think what's he's doing is wrong, it will only cause pain for his Christian partner.

   What was most difficult for me is refusing an American guy. Being from a poor, depraved country and having this young guy from a developed country like US be interested in me, meant so much. He was really nice and polite, could never compare with a local guy (btw I am very jealous of how American men treat their wives, they have so many qualities) but then he wasn't concerned with belief in anything. I couldn't risk it, people change in time, there's nothing to hold a non-believer to turn for the worse later.

    Be grateful all of your ladies that have a saved husband. It is extremely difficult to be single, more so as a woman. There are tons of benefits in having a godly mate.

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I would agree, Corrine, that the ladies who have saved husbands should be grateful. I know that I am. Not only am I grateful that he is saved, I'm grateful that he loves the Lord more than he does me. That might sound silly, but he truly cannot love me as he should if I am first in his affections. Nor I him. 

Something that needs to be realized by any single person - whether male or female, because both genders (and there are only 2...sorry, had to say that 😊 ) have struggles - is that Christ MUST be first place in the heart. While I know the angst that single people who wish to be married have (I was 26 when I got married...not as old as some, but still long enough to feel I was missing out on a precious part of life), I also know that married life is not the answer. Only Christ is. Only Christ. It is only when we learn to be completely content with the life God has us currently in that we can be content in any future life He has for us.

Please know that an American man is not necessarily the answer. There are multitudes of American men who are debauched, wife-and-child-abusers, etc. Nationality does not indicate the goodness of a man's (or woman's) heart. Only salvation through Christ, and obedience to Him after salvation, does. There could be a wonderful man in your vicinity whom God has for you. Please be patient, and learn to lean on and love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then when God does bring you to the man He has for you, you will be completely ready.

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   True, HappyChristian, one should not assume 'American man = automatically perfect'' however I have to disagree a bit regarding nationality issue.

The woman in various countries is seen in different ways. Developed societies recognise the woman as worthy of at least enough respect to value her opinions and consider her a partner of some sort whereas in many 'other' cultures, the woman is not even considered human by the man. I fail to see how men from such societies (mine included) would suddenly ' realise' the value of a woman no matter how diligent in faithful matters he becomes. He can be changed through faith and regeneration, but his mind will still be filled with what he's been taught about women all his life. 

   Will have to agree that patience is key and not trying to force and rush things even though in the world's sight I'm seen as 'expired'. 

   The key is to marry young, because with every year the chance decreases. 

 

    

 

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16 hours ago, Corinne said:

   True, HappyChristian, one should not assume 'American man = automatically perfect'' however I have to disagree a bit regarding nationality issue.

The woman in various countries is seen in different ways. Developed societies recognise the woman as worthy of at least enough respect to value her opinions and consider her a partner of some sort whereas in many 'other' cultures, the woman is not even considered human by the man. I fail to see how men from such societies (mine included) would suddenly ' realise' the value of a woman no matter how diligent in faithful matters he becomes. He can be changed through faith and regeneration, but his mind will still be filled with what he's been taught about women all his life. 

   Will have to agree that patience is key and not trying to force and rush things even though in the world's sight I'm seen as 'expired'. 

   The key is to marry young, because with every year the chance decreases. 

 

    

 

Oh, I would definitely agree that culture influences the way men treat women. And please note I didn't say any man, of any society, would suddenly realize the worth of a woman. Maturity in the Christian faith takes time - and often in cultures where women are devalued it takes more time. And, yes, the mind is still filled with what one has been taught. That is where proper discipleship comes in. Christians need to be taught how to renew and wash their minds so that they can love and obey God properly...and then love women properly. It is also true in the reverse, because in far too many countries women are the heads in their relationships. Every adult that has been saved has baggage of some kind, no matter the culture in which they have been raised. And the only way to unpack that baggage is via God's Word - the study, application, and obedience of it.

Sadly, modern America has allowed "assimilation" to the point where people keep their culture and spread it as more from their culture immigrate here. A solid example of that is Islam. There are cities in this country in which Islam rules, and Sharia law is being pushed. That is a politico-religious ideology that definitely denigrates women. I know of men who have been saved and allowed God to change them - and they have become godly husbands and fathers. Not suddenly, though. Change takes time; it begins at conversion, but conversion begins the journey, it is not the final step.

Sadly, as well, more and more men here in America are neither godly nor even moral. And that does influence how they treat women. As does how their fathers and/or significant men in their lives treat women. And even how their mothers act, whether or not they are moral (no, I'm not saying that it's all the woman's fault, but far too many men have gone wonky because their mothers are immoral). Because this can be publicly read, I will not mention names, but someone I know very well had a mother who constantly had men over while he was growing up. While he didn't beat his wife (wives), he was not faithful. He's married to wife #4, but he has also had a number of mistresses. And he does not believe that most women are/can be faithful to their husbands.  That's baggage that can only be overcome by salvation and proper growth.

Yes, here in America women used to be considered "expired" at a relatively early age - I believe it was 20 or so, so I would have been considered an old maid at 26.  I don't have  a problem with marriages that take place when one is at least 18. With one caveat: that the ones getting married are saved, right with God, and growing in Him. Early age or older, God must be central.

 

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