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Question

Is it wrong to have an interfaith marriage? What if they later come to know Christ because you are with them?

Answer

Thank you for this interesting question about interfaith marriage. The Bible does speak clearly into this issue and we hope this answer can explain it. There are a few variables to consider:

Firstly the bible states that believers should not be ‘yoked’ with unbelievers. The term yoked refers to two animals walking side by side and pulling a cart or plough. They need to be the same size and strength or the cart would veer off to one side. This image is given to illustrate that God intends believers to marry believers of the same faith and not unbelievers or people of a different faith, in order that they can move in the same direction.

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

Christian marriage is meant to be an example of how Christ is married to the Church. Therefore it would not make sense for a Christian to be married to an unbeliever.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33)

However there are some exceptions to this mentioned in the Bible. If you are already married then it encourages you to stay with the unbeliever as long as they are happy for it:

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 7:12-13)

This may happen if two people are unbelievers to begin with in marriage and one of them becomes a believer.

However it goes on to say that if the unbeliever wants to leave the believer then God understand this:

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. (1 Corinthians 7:15)

If you are married to someone of another faith and they then start following Jesus Christ then we would encourage you that God has done a great work in their life and you should continue to be married.

However if you are yet to marry, and you are a Christian believer considering to marry an unbeliever, or someone of a different faith, the Bible clearly warns against this. You will also find that other faiths teach that they should not marry unbelievers.

Marriage is the most intimate of relationships that humans can have. Our relationship with God is meant to be the most important relationship and it will be hard to reconcile having a true relationship with God and a true relationship with someone else who believes in a different god.

Also it is important to state that you should not try and see marriage as a way to ‘convert’ someone to a different religion. By all means we encourage you to share the Gospel with others but we encourage you not to marry them until they are of the same mindset as you.

We have seen different people who have married unbelievers and it does not go well for the believer's faith. They often end up turning away from God for their partner and in effect they are choosing their partner over God and putting them in the place of God.

In summary it is not wrong to have an interfaith marriage, only if the marriage has become inter faith after the marriage has taken place. According to the Scriptures, it is wrong to start an interfaith marriage.

We do not want to encourage you to split up from your spouse if you are married and we will pray that they come to know Christ too.

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • 1 Corinthians 7:15
  • 1 Corinthians 7:12-13
  • 2 Corinthians 6:14
  • Ephesians 5:25-33

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answers affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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