Who should you marry?

Embrace to be Remembered, denomination, marry, love, convertA reader of  this site asked the following question:  “Should you marry someone in a different denomination?”

In general, it depends on what denomination you are asking about and how strong you are in your faith.

My mother was Methodist and my father was Southern Baptist.  When my father asked her to marry him, he gave her a couple of stipulations.  First, she had to become Southern Baptist and second, she had to wash the dishes.  She decided to change over to his denomination as well as wash dishes.  This story was told to us growing up and it really didn’t seem like that big of a deal.  The thing that is interesting is they lived this way since my dad’s faith was important to him so that he made this part of the deal.  My mom decided to follow his leadership and I feel like this is the reason I am where I am today.

I know when I was 17, and started off to college, I joined a new church.  I rededicated my life and from that time my faith is my life.  I met a girl and I have to tell you I fell in love with her. Knowing she was a true believer in Christ meant more to me than anything.  To meet a women that was beautiful, awesome, and loved God with all of her mind, soul and strength seemed to be a great thing. After being married for 27 years, I have to say that our faith has been the glue in it all.  My wife has helped me grow 1000 times over in knowing God.

Marriage is work!  When times are good and when times are bad,  it is so awesome knowing that when we are together or apart we are praying for each other.  I know when my wife tells me she loves me it is awesome, but when she tells me that she forgives me or ask to forgive her, it shows me why God wants us to repent to him.  Someone knowing you with such detail and is willing to love on you and forgive you is really what God is all about.

With all this said, the question that I have is, “Is the person you are going to marry a true believer?”  Is it just a hobby or is it what they believe?  What about yourself?  Are you living in sin now prior to marriage?  Do you need to rededicate your life as a couple and walk away from the sin?  Just a thought as I think through this…

Based on these questions, the following passages come to mind:

This passage talks about being unevenly together with someone else.  If one person is a Christian in the relationship and the other person is not, then I would say do not get married.  I know so many people that come to church alone and they are sometimes miserable.  They feel like they could have converted their partner to do what they do and it has backfired.  Also, when they got married, their faith was not that big of a deal but now it is.  Also, if you are getting married or are married to someone who is not believing the same way it says in the Bible, to be like a shining light of hope in their life, the passage in 1 Corinthians  talks about how you should respond. (Matthew 5:16, 1 Corinthians 7:12-15)

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  2 Corinthians 6:14-15 (NIV)

The real key is the following:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

This passage talks about the goal of focus on both parties.  Love God with all you heart, soul, and mind.  Also, love others as yourself.

If you are going to marry someone with a different faith, I would recommend that you buy the following book and for both of you to dig in and decide on the one denomination that you are going to join as a family and then, do not look back.

I pray that God leads you to make the right decision!

God Bless,

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