Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Unequally Yoked”


I am reaching a point with my girlfriend where I am beginning to consider that she is ‘the one’ for me.  I really love her, and she challenges my faith and challenges me to be a better and more compassionate person.  I really think I want to marry her.  The problem is that she is Catholic (I am a christian).  We've talked about this and prayed over it, and we're both against converting because we know that we'd be doing it for the other person and not necessarily for faith.

Is this a problem?  What is the Bible's approach in regard to inter-faith marriages?

Sincerely, Future In The Balance

Dear Future In The Balance,

‘Inter-faith’ marriages have disastrous results, an awful track record, and God warns against them. The Bible’s most notorious example of this is Solomon. Solomon’s idolatrous wives turned the heart of the wisest man on the planet away from God (1 Kgs 11:4). If Solomon in all of his wisdom couldn’t resist the pull of a false religion, we should consider ourselves just as vulnerable. There is too much at stake. If your heart is turned away from God, your soul will be eternally destroyed (Heb 3:12).

No matter how much you love each other, there are only four possible outcomes for your marriage, and only one of them is good:

  1. She eventually converts and obeys the gospel, becomes a christian, and is saved (GOOD).
  2. You eventually convert and obey the Catholic church, and you are both lost (BAD).
  3. You both make compromises in your beliefs, and you no longer fully serve the Lord (BAD).
  4. You both eventually renounce both of your belief systems, and are both lost (BAD).

The only positive outcome is the first one, and that isn’t any more likely to happen after you are married than before. Either she will eventually convert, or she won’t – getting married won’t increase the odds.

God warns against being ‘unequally yoked’ to someone with different values than you (2 Cor 6:14-16). Once you get married, you are ‘yoked’ to that person with a lifetime agreement. A godly marriage is designed around unity (Gen 2:24). If you aren’t unified on your core belief system, then everything else will be affected. Where will your children go to church? How much money will you contribute to the Catholic church vs. God’s church? What happens when she wants to put up Catholic emblems around the house? These are just a few of the thousands of day-to-day problems you will run into. God tells us that a christian should marry someone ‘in the Lord’ (1 Cor 7:39). If she really does love the Lord as much as she loves you, her honesty and humility will guide her to accept the truth. If not, you are both better off knowing before entering into a heartbreaking marriage.