unequally yoked

In love with a non-believer. Now what?

Question of the day:

You meet a new love interest who is smart, kind, loving and generous, BUT they are a non-believer in your faith.  Do you attempt to convert them, pray on it—because, after all, God can move mountains—or do you simply keep it moving?

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This is a great question…if I must say so myself. LOL. Seriously, I know a woman who is a devout Christian and she’s married to a devout Muslim and they’ve been married well over 40 years. I think a marriage can be successful when there is mutual respect. People always tout, “you’re not equally yoked,” but clearly it can work with respect, love, understanding, patience and our ability to recognize that we are not married to a replica of ourselves.


Yes, if both are respectful of the others faith and if there are shared values and respect.

David Kierniesky

When you meet someone, get to know them and a relationship forms, you are accepting that person “as is”. If it’s a problem that they do not share your specific religious views, the relationship is probably not going to work. However, if you are comfortable with them having a different set of beliefs, it can be a beautiful mix.

W. Jonathan McCoy

As Linda describes, RESPECT is the Key! If that person (me in this instance) can accept and RESPECT another’s belief, then the groundwork for a stable, loving relationship can be created.


A man can’t lead his family if he is lead them spiritually.

W. Jonathan McCoy

Being led “spiritually” has caused an awful lot of problems in this world… Maybe a man should lead his family “in partnership” with his partner using the guidelines of Love, Respect and Honesty. Being “led around” by someone’s Religion or Spirituality just scares the “heck” out of me!

Solomon Jones

When it was clear that we liked each other (maybe three dates in) my wife asked me if I was a Christian. I was, but I had never had anyone ask me that before. That’s deep considering I was about 29 at the time. But when she asked me that, and persisted about it, that was one of the things that let me know there was something very different about this woman. If you are serious about your beliefs, it’s hard to be with someone who believes differently, because one of you is going to have to compromise to the point where you don’t know what you really believe anymore, and that’s not a good place to be.


Hmmm…Solomon, I opened this page and read some of the comments…both have true merit…my brain says that in order for a relationship to work, you both must be of the same ilk, and that includes your faith…but my heart says there are good people everywhere, and we all have different life experiences and are raised in different households, and areas of the world…because of this, I feel we can all co-exist. Mutual and true respect, real communication and love in one another are the keys! If these work for a superior society, why wouldn’t these keys work in a marriage?

Alonzo Johnson

I have thought long and hard about this question and I have come to the conclusion that some people are going to do what they want to do, regardless of what I or the Bible says. The question is not will we but should we? The Bible does not recommend it. 2 Corinthians 6:14 states “Do not be yoked together with an unbeliever for what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” A yoke is a wooden bar that joins two oxen to each other and to the burden they pull. An “unequally yoked” team has one stronger ox and one weaker, or one taller and one shorter. The weaker or shorter ox would walk slower than the taller, stronger one causing the load to go around in circles. When oxen are unequally yoked, they cannot perform the task set before them. Instead of working together, they are at odds with one another. If the Christian person is singularly focused on Christ they must and should only date or court a person who is moving in the same direction. If the person is a nominal Christian or just religious and not in a relationship they are going to do what they want to do anyway. Because Christ is just one of the many things that they do. My answer to this question is please keep it moving.

Solomon Jones

Thanks so much for this thoughtful, biblical response.


The answer…keep moving. In a relationship where both people are believers they are on the same page. They can come to God together in prayer whether it is a difficult situation, sadness, tribulation, or come to the Lord together in praise. Often times as Christians we come to the Lord or seek his word for answers as opposed to following the ways of the world. In a relationship where one person is a believer and the other is a nonbeliever there can be disagreement in the way things are resolved. We are to put God first in all things including our relationships. God can not be the head of the relationship if one person is rooted in the world and the other in Christ. Pray for the person, yes, witness to the person , yes; but it should go no further.