Research and surveys tell us the truth about marriage: many couples divorce. Many children suffer the separation of their parents, growing up in a broken home. Many marriage vows are broken, with no chance of being fulfilled. Hearts are broken, lives are torn, and souls are wounded deeply.
Now maybe you're asking why I opened this article with such an intro. To be honest, I deliberately did this so that I could give you a clear picture of what divorce brings – what happens when God isn't invited to and given room in any marriage relationship.
God in marriage
Friends, it's wrong to believe that divorce doesn't happen to couples in the church. Statistics, according to Focus on the Family, tell us that some Christian couples end up breaking off from each other. Sadly, that's not what God wants. God doesn't want couples to hate each other, fight and bicker against each other, and then choose to leave one another.
"[Jesus] answered, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man put asunder."" (Matthew 19:4-6)
Friends, God wants married couples to stay together until death. He wants the husband and wife happy with each other, both of them committed to loving each other, working things out together, and helping one another fulfill each other's callings and ministry for and unto the Lord.
This brings me to the question posed by the title of this article. Is it ok for a Christian to desire to marry someone who doesn't believe in Christ?
I'm pretty sure you already figured the answer out: "No."
Friends, the Bible tells us that Christians should not desire to be yoked together with unbelievers.
"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion has light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14)
Christians should not desire to be unequally yoked with non-Christians in marriage. A "yoke" is a piece of wood placed on the shoulders of two oxen so that they could pull or carry something together. Thus, to be "yoked together" means being joined for the same purpose and task. Knowing this, we should realize that as a people who seek to do what God wants, we must not align with or partner ourselves with those who don't even know Him.
I know that might sound harsh, but the Bible is clear on this one: it's either you are in Christ or not. It's either you please God or not. It's either you follow Christ as Lord or not. There's no middle ground.
Marriage as a yoke
That said, we must realize that marriage is a yoke carried by a man and wife. They must work together in order to carry the marriage to somewhere God wants them to. If they don't have the same direction, they won't go anywhere.
Friends, I leave you with this short exhortation from Amos 3:3:
"Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?"