I Am Engaged to a Great Guy, but He Is Not a Believer. What Should I Do?

Question from a reader:

I read the article about dating non-believers, but I am yet bound by a dilemma. Before I took on my walk with Christ, I met a guy who was an agnostic as I was myself at the time. After having had gone out with this guy for almost two years, I moved away for a short time to work with my father who was a strong believer in the word. I took on the word, and indulged myself in it. needless to say, my father converted me. I came back to my hometown with the Holy Spirit in my heart, and with the word in my mind. Everything was great, my life was falling together.
     The guy and I are deeply committed to each other, and share a great mutual respect for one another. We are engaged to be married. Our relationship is perfect.
     He is very firm in what he believes, and unfortunately it is not in Christ. I beat around the bush from time to time about the teachings of Christ, and he claims he “cannot believe.” He is naive to the fact that grace and glory has been given to each and every one of us.
     When he is tormented by the stress of the world, I painfully stand back and watch, as if the glory and grace within him is being blocked by something. What should I do?

Answer from Randy Alcorn:

(All names and identifying information have been changed to protect the individual)

I am convinced that 2 Cor. 6 applies to marriage more than anything else when it says a believer and unbeliever should not be bound together. I’ve seen many people violate the passage, thinking their love for each other would compensate for spiritual incompatibility. It’s an illusion. It doesn’t work. It’s a matter of obedience. I think you need to explain why you have to end the relationship. Yes, it’s heart-breaking, but it’s far better than violating Scripture and having to live with the consequences the rest of your life.

God gives his rules in our best interests. Spiritual incompatibility ends up in tragedy and usually divorce. It may also be an opportunity for him to come to faith, not for you, but for God’s glory and his good. But if that appears to happen, be sure it is real and that he has time to grow before you marry. Seek wise biblical counsel—some well-meaning people will likely advise you from their own preferences, but not from Scripture.

Melody Green of Last Days Ministries wrote an excellent article on dating unbelievers.

Best wishes.

Randy Alcorn

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries