Should Christian Girls Date Non-Christian Guys?

By: Kristen Clark

Back in high school, I remember walking out of Walmart and finding a secret “love note” stuck to my windshield. It was from none other than the Walmart parking lot cart guy himself!

After weeks of catching him stare at me every time I pulled up, he finally (cleverly) spilled his interest in me. He invited me to join him on a romantic date to Chili’s *ahem* the following Tuesday.

Well…long story short, I didn’t go.

That marked the beginning and end of my Walmart romance.

He seemed like a nice guy and all, I just wasn’t interested in dating around. But the bigger reason I said no was because of something much more important. To my knowledge, this Walmart cart guy wasn’t a Christian. And for that reason, I would never consider dating him.

So why wouldn’t I date a non-Christian?

The question of whether a Christian should date a non-Christian has been circulating for centuries. In fact, Bethany and I spoke at a Christian girl’s conference recently and that was one of the hot-button questions during the panel.

“What’s the harm in dating a non-Christian guy?”
“What if he’s a highly moral guy, but he’s not a Christian. Is dating okay?”
“We love each other and love is bigger than religion, right?”

These were common questions many of the girls at the conference had, and I’m guessing some of you have similar ones as well.

Here’s the deal.

As Christian girls, we are called to live for a greater purpose than our personal happiness.

We’re called to live for the purpose of glorifying and honoring our King in everything we do. We have been bought with a price, and our life is no longer our own to run.

“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19b-20).

Our responsibility as Christian girls is to honor God in ALL that we do. And that includes the type of guys we date/court.

In order to honor God in all that we do, we need to know what He thinks about us dating non-Christians. Right? We have to go to God’s word (our source of truth) to find help on this weighty topic.

But before we go there, let’s chat really quick about why we “date” anyways.

Personally, I believe God’s plan for romantic relationships is for the purpose of intentionally getting to know someone, with marriage being the end goal. The modern trend of casually “dating around” isn’t helpful or wise on so many fronts.

For more on the topic of dating, check out this post.

Since the purpose of dating/courting is to ultimately find a spouse, we should be extremely careful about who we date, right? Since a girl may end up “falling in love” and marrying the guy she is dating, she needs to make sure he’s someone God would actually want her to marry.

Here’s what God’s word has to say on the topic of dating a non-Christian.

“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).

This verse is a clear warning sign that believers should not be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers. And if you’re wondering (like I was) what “unequally yoked” means, here you go.

A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen together as they pull a load. When one ox is larger, taller, smaller, or weaker than the other, it causes the team to lose all efficiency. They cannot perform tasks, and instead of working together, they end up spinning in circles.

I think that’s a really interesting analogy!

When it comes to a Christian dating or marrying a non-believer, the Bible says we become like an unequally yoked pair of oxen. We’re basically entering into a relationship that isn’t going to be efficient for the Kingdom and will ultimately leave us spinning in circles.

In order to understand why God is against a Christian marrying a non-Christian, we have to step back and look at the BIG picture. We have to get a birdseye view of our lives and our purpose as Christians.

In order to give you the bird’s eye view, let’s take an honest look at the pro’s and cons of dating (and potentially marrying) a non-Christian Guy.

The PROS of Dating a Non-Christian Guy:

1. Expands your “pool” of options.

Yes, you will definitely have more options to choose from if you date non-Christians.

2. Potential for sharing the gospel.

Sharing the gospel can definitely take place while dating a non-Christian. However, the Bible doesn’t ever encourage us to be “intimate” with unbelievers. The Bible commands us to evangelize them…and this is always done in a non-romantic relationship.

The CONS of Dating a Non-Christian Guy:

1. Don’t share the same standards and convictions.

No matter how you slice it, a non-Christian guy will never share your same Biblically based standards. Whether it’s on the topic of purity, media choices, activities, language, or something else…you will find yourself at odds with one another regularly.

2. Aren’t on the same mission.

As a Christian girl, you are here on a mission for God. He is your King. You’re called to live for God’s glory, to evangelize the lost, and to make disciples. A non-Christian boyfriend will not share this same mission with you because He does not serve the same King. You will find yourself striving on your own with little support or understanding.

3. He can’t provide spiritual leadership.

God calls men to be spiritual leaders, and a non-Christian guy cannot provide that for you. No matter how “nice” or moral he is, he cannot provide you with spiritual leadership because He doesn’t have a relationship with God.

4. You won’t share the same worldview.

Whether it’s politics, hot topics of the day, evolution, abortion, or something else, a non-Christian guy will always view life from a totally difference lens than you. His source for truth isn’t God’s word, so his worldview won’t align with yours in many areas.

5. You can’t seek the Lord together.

Since this guys isn’t a believer, you will never be able to seek the Lord together. You will never pray together, seek wisdom from the Holy spirit together, or learn from God’s word in the same way.

6. Conflict in raising future kids.

And if you did end up marrying a non-Christian guy, your challenges would only get harder. Raising kids in a spiritually divided house is tough. Mommy will want to raise the kids to love the Lord, but daddy won’t. Mommy will want to take the kids to church, but daddy will be indifferent. Your kids will never have the spiritual leadership that a father is called to provide.

So there you have it. The pros and cons of dating a non-Christian guy.

By now, I hope you can see the dangers of dating a non-Christian guy. The cons far outweigh the pros.

If you’re currently dating a non-Christian guy or know someone who is, I hope you’ll really take this post to heart.

To learn more about God’s amazing design for romance, I can’t encourage you enough to grab a copy of our new book, Girl Defined. Chapter 9 is all about Love and Romance and is worth the entire book just for that!

Now I want to hear from you on the topic of dating a non-Christian.

  • What additional PROS or CONS would you add to my list?
  • Have you experienced or seen the negative effects of someone dating a non-Christian? What happened?

Photo credit: Here 

Guy and girl romance

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  • esther espinoza

    I think this is a great article! So much truth in it. I have many friends that have chosen to marry non Christian guys and sadly they are miserable. Many years ago my sister’s friend was killed by her non Christian boyfriend. She has been dating a guy from the military and even though her mum had told her not to date him, she did. Anyways, she wanted to go overseas to study and she told him that she had to break up with him because she was leaving. A night before she left for college, he came to see her and right outside her house, he shot her. My heart breaks just thinking about it. Girls, let’s be wise and listen to God! He knows best. Thanks for writing this Kristen. God bless x

  • Mikayla

    This is such a powerful message! I think that a lot of girls don’t realize how big this issue really is! Alot of people turn sour because they dated the wrong guy! Thanks for sharing Kristen!

  • Thank you for writing this great article!!! I completely agree. One thing I’ve found is that, the stronger your relationship is with the Lord, the more that godly guys attract you, and the more the non Christians or shallow believers become less attractive. It’s SO important to not date a non-Christian.

  • Rebekah

    I never looked at being unequally yoked like that. I have never been tempted to date someone who wasn’t a Christian, but the article is good. I’d love to read you book someday too:)

  • Diana

    I think another con than could be added to the list is that a non-Christian boyfriend may lead you away from Christ. It may be a slow process but definitely can happen especially if a girl is blinded by love.

  • Bethany

    I think in the end dating someone who isn’t a Christian, could potentially turn you away from God. It could also distracte you from what might have been your mission “bring them to Christ.”

  • Kristen Paulson

    I totally agree with everything in this post. I think the verse strongly goes with it as well. You really opened my eyes. Thank you sooo much! 🙂

  • vwlover

    2 Corinthians 6:14 sums it up nicely as to why we shouldn’t. Missionary dating can be dangerous.

  • Jazmín Ovalle

    In the past I dated a non-Christian guy. All of the cons you write are completely true. There is more pain than you could imagine. Thanks God it was a short relationship. I would like to write about my experience and mostly what God taught me, and send it to Girl Define.

  • Sophie Wilkinson

    This is such a great article. I’m seventeen, and have NEVER been on a date, because I don’t see how anything is accomplished in “dating around”. I do support the idea of missionary friendships, but NOT missionary dating. I’ve realized that the vulnerability accompanying a romantic relationship with a non-Christian creates much more of a threat to me, and my relationship with Christ. It’s definitely difficult, but keeping Christ as the foundation of my relationships (not just romantic, but all relationships) is very important to me. Thanks for this article, Kristin!

  • Katirose MacDougall

    What if your Instagram acc is private?
    I love how your posts are so clear and easy to understand!

  • ivett

    Great article. I have not dated at all but i think it’s still a great blogpost to think about. And i shared to my facebok, twitter, pinterest for the giveaway!

  • Madison

    This is such a good post. I have seen multiple instances where a christian girl has dated a non-christian, and at least twice I have seen them marry that man. Both times it ruined their marriage and one even has a little boy. Pros of dating non-christian guys I can’t really come up with, but I do know that another con could be a broken home and broken marriage, if the dating does indeed lead to marriage. I did share this post on my social media, but I wanted to comment as well and just say thanks for taking this ministry so seriously and for being so committed to posting different topics which are so crucial for living life as a Christian girl.

    • Julie

      While at times these cons can be true… My mom was a Christian and my dad wasn’t, but shortly after my dad got saved! My mom wasn’t super conservative, but I am so glad God put them together and brought them both to Him before I was born!!! So, personally I wouldn’t date a non-Christian, but in some instances it works. I totally see your point, but not every time marriages are ruined.. in fact, I don’t know if my parents could be more in love! (And they’re both in love with God) 🙂

  • This is a great post – thank you so much! I totally agree with the pros and cons… too true!

  • Maggie Fipps

    Thanks for the post Kristen! I have resolved to date a Christian guy, but it is a major temptation when that guy is nice and cute…Praying that God will help me with that area of my life!

  • Estela

    I totally agree and can relate to this post because my mom is a Christian and my dad isn’t! although my dad has always encouraged me to go to church and never denied me the Christian belief, it is hard sometimes when you realize that he will not go to heaven and that sadness me a lot!! and it is hard trying to convince them to believe in something they clearly Don’t…. Thank You for this post!!

  • Marlene

    Is this an international giveaway?
    Great post!

  • Olivia W.

    What I thought of as I read this is Genesis 2:24, that a husband and wife are to be united to each other and become as one person. Well, if one person is dead in sin, and the other person is alive through Christ, they can’t possibly become as one person, because Christianity and anything else can’t be combined together. Another thing is that most people who aren’t Christians won’t see marriage as the same lifetime commitment that a Christian should say it is.

  • Kristen Paulson

    When does this giveaway end? Just so I can know when I need to pre-order or I can wait to see if I won the book? Thanks! 🙂

  • Tashia Nicole

    This post was very encouraging, Kristen! I totally agree with you on this topic. Thanks for sharing your thoughts + wisdom in this area!
    I’ve shared on Pinterest. 🙂

  • Beth

    Another pro could be that you will appear more tolerant to others, lessening outside criticism, but the cons of loneliness in faith, and the added conflict of opposition (however subtle) in your own home make the short term blindness of emotion a poor payment for the years of pain ahead.

  • Nadine

    This is such an awesome post! I know that when dating some unchristian guys (not all of them) they expect you to give them husband privileges, that might be another con.

  • Virginia Jiménez

    I loved this post, because it defines clear points that i had to take into account a few years ago. Sometimes you start to see the boy as a morally correct person, and not as it really is: a sinner like me, who has not yet acknowledged Christ as their savior. This decision is crucial for my life, therefore must also be for the person I choose to share my life.
    I really hope this post can help other girls to take the right decision: to wait in the Lord and live a life defined in God.

  • Kristen S.

    I would say another con is that if he wasn’t raised like you and isn’t a Christian, that you wouldn’t have the same focuses on life. All of my best friends and I have our the same goal in life… to glorify God! I wouldn’t make a non-Christian my best friend, and someone you would consider marriage with is supposed to be a life-long best friend…

  • Macenzie

    A con would be that when dating a non-chrsitian guy, they wont have the same values on purity!

  • Aunti Katiti

    I have never dated, but I had a friendy who did. She became a Christian a few months after I met her and a few weeks after that began dating a non-Christian. After talking with her and trying to encourage her that it wasnt the right thing to do she told me she didn’t care and that it was ok; that it wouldnt hurt anything. A couple months later however, she came away with a broken heart. She told me that she realized that she could never marry him, but she had been getting sucked up; emotionally tied and she began to suffer with depression and insecurity. Now though she is a Christian, she still suffers from relationships with non Christians, but can’t seem to shake loose. Only Christ can break the bondage. And she’s got to focus on Him, trusting that He will bring the right one, at the right time…she can’t try to convert someone while “dating” because there is an emotional attachment that happens and then a breakage of that hurts. Especially if it happens over and again.

  • Hannah H

    The first thing I would say if someone asked why I wouldn’t date a non-Christian guy was that it goes against God’s commands in Scripture. Thanks for the post…you pointed out good reasons that are based on the Bible. (And I’m very interested in reading your book. :))

  • Carrie

    Does the pre-order extras still count if I buy it as a ebook? An immediate response would be greatly appreciated!

  • A

    Your cons were exactly right! A long-time friend of mine is dating a girl who is into the occult, and I can tell how much her influence is pulling him further from God. This choice to date a non-Christian isn’t an innocent once-and-done thing! It affects a lot.

  • Celtic Princess

    That unequally yoked example reminds me of a recent canoe outing I was on. I didn’t know very much abut canoes to begin with, and somehow my partner and I ended up facing backwards. We were both doing all the right things as far as we could tell, but any attempt at steering put us spinning in circles! We were only able to straighten out when we both turned around in our seats, and even though I had no clue how to steer, my partner’s instructions were actually helpful when we were facing the right direction.

  • Deranda Smith

    Most boys that I meet call me stuck up and picky when I explain this too them. However, if I am going to be in a relationship with someone I want to feel comfortable and at peace. Why does that make me a bad person? Relationships don’t necessarily make your life any easier but it’s not necessarily supposed to make it harder either.

  • Jack Medaris

    This is a topic that I have been interested in for a very long time. But for some reason, every attempt by Christians to address it has been variations on the same arguments. That so called “God honouring” relationships need to be between Christians. The idea that non Christians are “dead in sin”. My personal least favourite, the horribly flawed analogy that “you can’t pull someone up if they’re trying to pull you down.”

    But somehow, nobody stops to think that perhaps it’s okay to disagree with your romantic partner when it comes to faith. Nobody seems to realise that, in sharing the details of your faith with someone else, you can come to understand your own belief far more. A relationship with someone who wasn’t raised in the same religion you were can cause you to understand your faith better.

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