Equally Yoked Dating: How Important Are Shared Beliefs?

Everyone I know wants to be in significant relationships. That is why we invest in friendships and pursue romantic interests. For most, the pursuit of romance starts out with caution; we spend time searching and evaluating to find someone who’s a perfect fit. Over time, however, our romantic pursuits can become rushed as the prospect of being alone for a lifetime blurs our discernment. For Christian singles, this might extend to belief systems – we’re so busy looking for love we forget about the importance of equally yoked dating. But not taking the time to fully consider this kind of compatibility can lead to serious consequences.

Who Are You Willing To Date?

If you are an active individual who takes care of yourself and has decent social skills, people will want to spend time with you. They will find you attractive and interesting, which can be a great boost to your self-confidence. However, not everyone who is interested in spending time with you is a good choice for you. In fact, some people will make your life harder rather than easier.

In general, you are going to find it is simpler to date someone who has an active faith in Jesus than someone who has not trusted Christ as their Savior. I do not say this because believers are automatically better people or more skilled at relationships. I say this because of the transformation that takes place when an individual meets Jesus.

Equally Yoked Dating = Alive In Christ Together

The apostle Paul puts it this way: “You were dead in your transgressions and sins … But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace.” (Ephesians 2:1, 13-14)

Before we knew Christ, we were “dead in our transgressions.” Notice this verse does not say we were inconsiderate or lazy or immature. It says we were dead in some way. When you trusted in Christ, you were transformed into a spiritually alive person who was brought near to God and infused with peace. As a result, when you spend time with another believer, there is an innate connection. You both are alive spiritually, at peace with God and at peace with all who have been adopted into his family.

Conversely, unequally yoked dating – aka spending time with someone who has not trusted Christ –  presents an inherent obstacle. They are alive physically with social and emotional needs, but the part of them that responds spiritually is dead. You may have earthly interests in common, but you’ll be unable to share the spiritual motivations that underpin your convictions and guide your decisions.

Seeds vs. Blooms

Here’s another way to consider the difference between equally yoked dating (dating a believer) and unequally yoked dating (dating a non-believer). Imagine receiving a bouquet of flowers with an encouraging note attached. It would warm your heart, and the sight of them on display would be inspirational.

But what if the same thing happened with a package of seeds rather than flowers, and the person giving them expected to get the same reaction? The seeds possess the potential of becoming flowers, but they would need to be transformed from their current lifeless state in order to release their beauty. Until then, they are dried up and unattractive. They wouldn’t have the same impact because they aren’t alive yet.

Where To Find Equally Yoked Believers

The operative question, then, is how do we meet genuine believers who are interested in spending time with us? Here are a few ideas for narrowing down your search for equally yoked singles:

  1. Spend time regularly in environments where believers gather (both online, with sites like Christian Mingle, and offline, in church and ministry gatherings).
  2. Be prepared to share what God has taught you from the Bible in a friendly way.
  3. Casually ask your friends (men and women) what God has taught them recently.
  4. Spend more time with the people who give solid answers.
  5. Invite the one you are attracted to on a date.

When it comes to your dating choices, you will find it is easier to date those who have a vibrant faith in our Savior because they have experienced the life-giving transformation that brings peace to relationships.

You may also be interested in Dating Vs. Courtship: Which Is Right For You?

3 Comments
  1. I totally disagree. By now we are rather serious Christians, and I believe our example can have a powerful influence over those who are good moral people, who share enough similar values for us to be attracted to each other. I believe that as a relationship moves past the “getting acquainted” stage, there’s room for serious discussons about what anchors us to the Good in our lives, and what drives us to serve others. I don’t buy the idea that Christians should always be sheltered by just hanging out with like-minded people.

    In college I was madly in love with a Christian redhead at a church college. She was nursing a broken heart after an airman stationed at an Air Force base near where she lived when she was in high school, had moved on, both physically and emotionally. He was not Christian. She stayed in touch with him, motivated both by her romantic interest and a desire to bring him to the Lord. She succeeded on both fronts, and they’re still married, here 51 years later. That’s a big reason for my belief that we not set artificial limits on dating non-Christians.

    1. Sabelotodo2 — There is only one aspect of your response I don’t understand–“I totally disagree.” I say that because as I read your response, you are not disagreeing with the writer at all, rather you are referring to things the writer did not say.

      Never once did the writer say you could not have “a powerful influence” (your words) over the unsaved. Indeed, I agree with you–that is the essence of sharing your faith, and using that powerful influence. The writer also never said that “Christians should always be sheltered by just hanging out with like-minded people.” (again your words) I don’t see that message in the article at all. Rather the writer says that “some people will make your life harder rather than easier” and “In GENERAL (my emphasis), you are going to find it simpler to date someone with an active faith in Jesus…” The writer then goes on to explain why he believes it will be easier. So at no time did the writer say, or in my opinion, even allude to “always be sheltered.”

      You also state that, “I believe that as a relationship moves past the “getting acquainted” stage, there’s room for serious discussions about what anchors us to the Good in our lives, and what drives us to serve others.” I totally agree. And I believe that to be a true statement regardless of the faith of either individual. Those discussions, regardless of faith, are important to a long-term relationship. For that reason, I do not see the connection between your 100% valid statement and the point of the article–that dating within your faith is easier.

      Finally, your story is awesome. It is wonderful to see that change in his heart and the amazing life they have had together. I can also tell you of the couple who are parents of a friend growing up, who are now in their 80’s, she a steadfast Christian, him completely out of the faith. They have been married more than 60 years. I’m sure she prays for him finding the lord every day. It may still happen as it did for the couple you know. I would only ask, if the airman had been a believer at the time they married 51 years ago, would it have been “easier” on them? Who knows–another issue other than faith could have destroyed their relationship. However, when faced with an option between a believer and a non-believer, I agree with the writer–in GENERAL, it will be easier.

      1. Well, I’m glad my insights have stirred up some valuable discussion, as a few of them here caught your attention! Being Christian doesn’t mean we have to kill off our critical thinking element.

        Building an oppositng position began with the subtitle, “Is it worth the risk?” We are called to equip outselves with the sword of the Spirit and not fear going out into the Enemy’s territory and take risks to present the Truth of the Gospel to those being deceived! That includes those who have good values but still don’t know Christ, as the root of those values and the energy behind their will to do Good

        You correctly qoute the author, saying “some people will make your life harder rather than easier ” and for “some it’s going to be simpler to date someone with an active faith in Jesus.” In my experience, when I’ve sought the simpler, easier path I’ve been convicted of living a self-centered life that was a slippery slope, taking me to placing a higher value on “blending in” than being the one who stands out because they’re willing to take an unpopular stand.

        I don’t want this to devolve into endless rebuttals. I’m curious as to what some others may think.

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