Dating & Marriage

Dating a non-Christian

I’ve dated a few Christians in the past, but things did not work out due to various reasons such as not being financially stable and having cultural differences. Recently, I started dating a Thai lady. She is not of the same faith. I understand that as a Christian, we should not be unequally yoked. If both parties are serious and committed to work things out, should I continue dating her? I know there will be many obstacles ahead, such as my parents, who I think will object to a daughter-in-law of a different faith and nationality.

J

At The Well

Benny says

Dear J,

Thank you for your question about being potentially “unequally yoked”. You are worried that your growing relationship with a person of a different faith and nationality may not be well received by family and friends because of this.

This old farming term speaks of harnessing two animals to help in the hard manual work of ploughing a field. The farmer needs to make sure that both animals are harnessed and pull together to get the best results.

Applied to a marriage, the concern here is that if both husband and wife have marked differences, then they will not be able to “pull together” to address the challenges of a marriage and family. Both of you seem aware of this and are “committed to work things out”. This should involve a sincere attempt to understand and harmonise your beliefs. Attending Marriage Preparation Classes or classes like the Alpha course can be a way for your partner to better appreciate our views of the world and our values.

Gaining the acceptance of family and friends can prove to be another challenge. As marriage is a joining of two families and traditions, some strongly held views may surface. Should you run into strident opposition, you may consider consulting a counsellor.

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