Let me start by confessing I was always the one asking my friends if the guy they were dating was a Christian. Then I secretly judged them in the back of my mind if he wasn’t. I was judging the fact that they would CHOOSE to date someone who didn’t know God. That they’d leave themselves open to heartbreak and confusion. Yet now I’m finding myself doing the exact same thing.
I never thought I’d find myself in this position. I don’t even know how it all started really, but I now find myself asking some very serious questions about my relationship goals as a Christian. I’ve always prayed for a triple H: a hot, holy husband. Yeah I know, I know… But on a serious note, I always prayed that I would meet a guy who I’d be able to pray with: a guy who would pray for me, who would intercede when I didn’t the have faith to. A guy who would go after God’s love unashamedly. To be honest, I find those things really attractive in a man.
I’m someone who is choosing to go after God on a daily basis and follow Jesus as much as possible. Yet I’ve been blown away by my new boyfriend – let’s call him Steve – who exhibits so many Christian values. Steve believes and sees the goodness in God, but does not believe that He comes in the form of a man who lives in the sky with a big beard (I said that I didn’t either). He also doesn’t believe that He is a living God that we can access here on earth, which opened up a whole new conversation about God and my faith in the most beautiful and honest way.
In my opinion, he’s agnostic and searching for meaning – but I’ve never rammed home my own faith to him. It’s clear that he’s open and searching, and I feel like I’ve been presented with an opportunity to show him what real love from the Bible looks like; the way it was revealed to me in following Jesus.
At the moment, I’m concerned with making sure that Steve’s in a safe place with me and my faith. That he can come as he is and I will not make it my job to change him. But he’s also free to ask questions and I will not belittle his curiosity or wonder. Never once has he made me feel like I’m a Christian kook; Steve acknowledges my faith is part of who I am and he believes it’s what makes me different to the women he’s previously dated in the past.
The thing I’m really enjoying with Steve is the fact that nothing is off the table when we talk. Sometimes there may be some apprehension and worry, mainly from me, but his response has always been in line with his character – warm and understanding. I know there will come a point when we transfer from the “honeymoon stage” to real life and this will be the real test in putting my communication skills into action.
So am I wise to continue in this path? We know what the Bible says, and many will refer to 2 Corinthians 6:14 at this point: “Don’t be yoked.” But what’s the logical extension of this – that we can only be closely connected to people who are Christians? What about our friendships? A couple of my closest friends are non-Christians. Am I saying that we can’t do the journey of life together because Jesus has not revealed himself as their personal Lord and Saviour? Is that what love looks like?
There are tons of views on this matter and this post is not about the rights and wrongs of dating a non-Christian. Nor is it about casting shame on those who might judge people for their choices – I get that, I’ve been there.
My understanding of this verse now goes deeper than making a decision as to whether I date a Christian or not. For me this is about making sure I’m living as a child of God and working towards removing the things from my life that prevent me from deepening my relationship with Him. And in some ways I feel that Steve knows this, because he’s actively encouraging me to go deeper in this area of my life. He knows that when I’m not connected to God, I’m not myself. Are these the actions of a person who is operating in darkness?
There will be many that will judge me for this, as I have done in the past. And there will be others who who might see this as a challenge to “win souls”. But I’m learning some very important lessons on this journey – the most important of which is being myself by staying connected to God. I believe the Father wants to be a part of this process and anything that goes on in your life. And I’m trusting the Holy Spirit to provide direction and wisdom.