Focusing on the Negative While Missing the Scriptural Positive
The following is a reply I posted at www.courtshipconnection.net. A woman was considering dating a non-Christian man and was venting frustrations about her inability to find a Christian husband. Here is how I responded (again, lightly edited):
If you look at the Bible and all you can see is the negative commands like "don't have sex outside of marriage" and "don't be unequally yoked", then you are missing the point utterly. What do you think life is about? What do you think marriage is for? Life is about serving God and worshipping Him. Marriage exists so that two people can worship the Triune God jointly in all that they do - in their jobs, in the raising of family, and in intimacy w/ each other. The negative commandments I mentioned above are simply logical correlaries to this truth. Why would you bind yourself to a man who is not going to worship God with you in all he does?
The second greatest commandment, according to Jesus, is to love your neighbor. But how can a husband do this to you who does not love God with all his heart, mind, and soul (the greatest commandment)? Indeed, the unregenerate mind HATES God (Romans 1&3). How can you bind yourself to someone who hates your God?
How can a man be your spiritual leader if he has no relationship with your God? You know very well that being a "nice person" simply does not cut it for spiritual and relational qualifications. If Christianity was about being "nice", then why not simply convert to Mormonism or Buddhism?
Could you bear to be with someone whom you know God's wrath rests on?
How could a man who does not know God raise your kids in the faith? How will he comfort you when things go wrong if he has no hope to offer and no eternal perspective if something like, say, a miscarriage were to occur?
I know that singleness can be frustrating. Loneliness can be a killer, and no one ought ever underestimate its power. So here are some things to reflect on as you seek a spouse:
1. Attitude. Bitterness and desperation are ugly, and it can be spotted a mile away. No Christian man will be attracted to it. God owes us NOTHING. We could all die tomorrow, and God will be just. We exist for His pleasure, and once we realize our place and rest in the sufficiency of his grace in Christ - REALLY rest in it and it permeates our hearts, we will be content. Contentedness IS attractive, and it radiates from a person visibly.
2. Additionally, no self-respecting man, Christian or not, wants to feel like he's being used as a baby-making machine. If he ends up thinking in the back of his mind "she wouldn't have married me if she was not getting older and had a bio. clock ticking away", he will be crushed. This is not theoretical - ask the husband of an infertile couple how he feels if his wife is not content, or how he feels about his intimacy merely being a means toward an end for her. I realize that no one self-consciously INTENDS a marriage to be like that, but if having a baby is such an inordinately high priority in your life that you are willing to make a radical compromise to get it, then the danger is real whether you realize it now or not.
3. It simply won't do to say "there are so many Christian hypocrites and churches filled with low-lifes." By going to large churches you are actually INCREASING greatly the chances that the other singles are either hypocrites or at least weak and flaky. I happen to go to the most unhip church in town - so the people who attend with me go there because they are serious about God, duty, covenant, and Scriptural truth. The church has no social scene or majesty that we should look upon, nor appearance that we should be attracted to it. Just the preached Word and administered sacrament, and lots of gray hair. There aren't as many people who fill our pews, but the quality-per-capita of those who do is off-the-charts. That is where you will more likely find solid Christian spousal candidates.
As for the inevitable hypocrites in any congregation - just because there are traitors in our midst doesn't mean you run and join the other side.
4. If you marry an unbeliever, you will be guilty of the very thing you complain about when you criticize the "Christian" men who marry outside the faith. God is not mocked - those men will pay for it IN SPADES by the terrible discipline of the Father, if indeed He is their Father. In my experience, there are only a handful of possible outcomes to an unequally-yoked marriage (barring the remote possibility of conversion):
A. The believer will live to regret it, especially when children come along and they have to raise them in the faith. I've seen women like this, sitting alone in church because she can't drag her husband to church anymore, looking sad and worn, and looking as lonely as any single person.
If she can drag her husband in, she is embarrassed because everyone can feel the spiritual delapidation of the family and knows that the wife does not spiritually respect her husband; nor does anyone consider him the noble and honorable leader of the household who is spiritually looking after his family.
B. The "believer" will lose their faith, or it will become a hollow shell. It just stops being important in the thick of life and especially as the unbeliever's priorities slowly dull and numb the spiritual sensibilities of the believer, until the believer's priorities are overcome. Perhaps only token church attendance will remain, if that. But those who give up the faith or forsake Christ's church never had a personal and genuine faith to begin with (I John 2:19).
C. Divorce. The unbeliever will not fear God nor respect the covenant, nor understand his duty as a selfless husbandly servant nor the sacrifice of love (as Christ exemplified), and when you get too inconvenient for him, he will put you away.
In summary, don't compromise on the one thing in life you shouldn't compromise on. You will hate yourself for it in time, and it can't be undone. Marriage is God's gift to us and it can be heaven-on-earth, but if we don't do things on His terms according to his design, and regard ourselves as wiser than Him, it will be hell on earth. I wouldn't wish the discipline of God on anyone, so someone, somewhere, has to say these things to you.