Marriage of Christians With Unbelievers. --There is in the Christian world an
astonishing, alarming indifference to the teaching of God's word in regard to
the marriage of Christians with unbelievers. Many who profess to love and fear
God choose to follow the bent of their own minds rather than take counsel of
Infinite Wisdom. In a matter which vitally concerns the happiness and well-being
of both parties for this world and the next, reason, judgement, and the fear of
God are set aside; and blind impulse, stubborn determination are allowed to
Men and women who are otherwise sensible and conscientious close their ears
to counsel; they are deaf to the appeals and entreaties of friends and kindred
and of the servants of God. The expression of a caution or warning is regarded
as impertinent meddling, and the friend who is faithful enough to utter a
remonstrance is treated as an enemy. All this is as Satan would have it. He
weaves his spell about the soul, and it becomes bewitched, infatuated. Reason
lets fall the reins of self-control upon the neck of lust; unsanctified passion
bears sway, until, too late, the victim awakens to a life of misery and bondage.
This is not a picture drawn by the imagination, but a recital of facts. God's
sanction is not given to unions which He has expressly forbidden.
God's Commands Are Plain. --The Lord commanded ancient Israel not to
intermarry with the idolatrous nations around them: "Neither shalt thou
make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son." The reason is
given. Infinite Wisdom, foreseeing the result of such unions, declares:
"For they will turn away thy son from following Me, that they may serve
other gods: so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy
thee suddenly." "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God:
the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all
people that are upon the face of the earth." . . .
In the New Testament are similar prohibitions concerning the marriage of
Christians with the ungodly. The Apostle Paul, in his first letter to the
Corinthians, declares: "The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband
liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she
will; only in the Lord. " Again, in his second epistle, he writes: "Be
ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath
righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth
with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye
are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and
walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore
come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the
unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye
shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
The curse of God rests upon many of the ill-timed, inappropriate connections
that are formed in this age of the world. If the Bible left these questions in a
vague, uncertain light, then the course that many youth of today are pursuing in
their attachments for one another would be more excusable. But the requirements of the Bible are not halfway
injunctions; they demand perfect purity of thought, of word, and of deed. We are
grateful to God that His word is a light to the feet, and that none need mistake
the path of duty. The young should make it a business to consult its pages and
heed its counsels, for sad mistakes are always made in departing from its
God Forbids Believers Marrying Unbelievers. -- Never should God's people
venture upon forbidden ground. Marriage between believers and unbelievers is
forbidden by God. But too often the unconverted heart follows its own desires,
and marriages unsanctioned by God are formed. Because of this many men and women
are without hope and without God in the world. Their noble aspirations are dead;
by a chain of circumstances they are held in Satan's net. Those who are ruled by
passion and impulse will have a bitter harvest to reap in this life, and their
course may result in the loss of their souls.
Those who profess the truth trample on the will of God in marrying
unbelievers; they lose His favour and make bitter work for repentance. The
unbelieving may possess an excellent moral character, but the fact that he or
she has not answered to the claims of God and has neglected so great salvation
is sufficient reason why such a union should not be consummated. The character
of the unbelieving may be similar to that of the young man to whom Jesus
addressed the words, "One thing thou lackest"; that was the one thing
Solomon's Example. --There are men of poverty and obscurity whose lives God
would accept and make full of usefulness on earth and of glory in heaven, but Satan is working persistently
to defeat His purposes and drag them down to perdition by marriage with those
whose character is such that they throw themselves directly across the road to
life. Very few come out from this entanglement triumphant.
Satan well knew the results that would attend obedience; and during the
earlier years of Solomon's reign-- years glorious because of the wisdom, the
beneficence and the uprightness of the king--he sought to bring in influences
that would insidiously undermine Solomon's loyalty to principle and cause him to
separate from God. And that the enemy was successful in this effort, we know
from the record: "Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and
took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David."
In forming an alliance with a heathen nation, and sealing the compact by
marriage with an idolatrous princess, Solomon rashly disregarded the wise
provisions that God had made for maintaining the purity of His people. The hope
that this Egyptian wife might be converted was but a feeble excuse for the sin.
In violation of a direct command to remain separate from other nations, the king
united his strength with the arm of flesh.
For a time God in His compassionate mercy overruled this terrible mistake.
Solomon's wife was converted; and the king, by a wise course, might have done
much to check the evil forces that his imprudence had set in operation. But
Solomon began to lose sight of the Source of his power and glory. Inclination
gained the ascendancy over reason. As his self-confidence increased, he sought
to carry out the Lord's purpose in his own way. . . .
Many professed Christians think, like Solomon, that they may unite with the
ungodly because their influence over those who are in the wrong will be beneficial; but too often they
themselves, entrapped and overcome, yield their sacred faith, sacrifice
principle, and separate themselves from God. One false step leads to another,
till at last they place themselves where they cannot hope to break the chains
that bind them.
The Plea--"He Is Favourable to Religion." --The plea is sometimes
made that the unbeliever is favourable to religion and is all that could be
desired in a companion except in one thing--he is not a Christian. Although the
better judgement of the believer may suggest the impropriety of a union for life
with an unbeliever, yet, in nine cases out of ten, inclination triumphs.
Spiritual declension commences the moment the vow is made at the altar;
religious fervour is dampened, and one stronghold after another is broken down,
until both stand side by side under the black banner of Satan. Even in the
festivities of the wedding the spirit of the world triumphs against conscience,
faith, and truth. In the new home the hour of prayer is not respected. The bride
and bridegroom have chosen each other and dismissed Jesus.
The Change Is Wrought in the Believing One. -- At first the unbelieving one
may make no show of opposition in the new relation; but when the subject of
Bible truth is presented for attention and consideration, the feeling at once
arises: "You married me, knowing that I was what I am; I do not wish to be
disturbed. From henceforth let it be understood that conversation upon your
peculiar views is to be interdicted." If the believer should manifest any
special earnestness in regard to his faith, it might seem like unkindness toward
the one who has no interest in the Christian experience.
The believing one reasons that in his new relation he must concede somewhat
to the companion of his choice. Social, worldly amusements are patronized. At
first there is great reluctance of feeling in doing this, but the interest in
the truth becomes less and less, and faith is exchanged for doubt and unbelief.
No one would have suspected that the once firm, conscientious believer and
devoted follower of Christ could ever become the doubting, vacillating person
that he now is. Oh, the change wrought by that unwise marriage!
It is a dangerous thing to form a worldly alliance. Satan well knows that the
hour that witnesses the marriage of many young men and women closes the history
of their religious experience and usefulness. They are lost to Christ. They may
for a time make an effort to live a Christian life, but all their strivings are
made against a steady influence in the opposite direction. Once it was a
privilege and joy to them to speak of their faith and hope; but they become
unwilling to mention the subject, knowing that the one with whom they have
linked their destiny takes no interest in it. As the result, faith in the
precious truth dies out of the heart, and Satan insidiously weaves about them a
web of skepticism.
Risking the Enjoyments of Heaven. --"Can two walk together, except they
be agreed?" "If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing
that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in
heaven." But how strange the sight! While one of those so closely united is
engaged in devotion, the other is indifferent and careless; while one is seeking
the way to everlasting life, the other is in the broad road to death.
Hundreds have sacrificed Christ and heaven in consequence of marrying
unconverted persons. Can it be that the love and fellowship of Christ are of so little value to them that they
prefer the companionship of poor mortals? Is heaven so little esteemed that they
are willing to risk its enjoyments for one who has no love for the precious
To connect with an unbeliever is to place yourself on Satan's ground. You
grieve the Spirit of God and forfeit His protection. Can you afford to have such
terrible odds against you in fighting the battle for everlasting life?
Ask yourself: "Will not an unbelieving husband lead my thoughts away
from Jesus? He is a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God; will he not lead
me to enjoy the things that he enjoys?" The path to eternal life is steep
and rugged. Take no additional weights to retard your progress.
A Home Where Shadows Are Never Lifted. --The heart yearns for human love, but
this love is not strong enough, or pure enough, or precious enough to supply the
place of the love of Jesus. Only in her Saviour can the wife find wisdom,
strength, and grace to meet the cares, responsibilities, and sorrows of life.
She should make Him her strength and her guide. Let woman give herself to Christ
before giving herself to any earthly friend, and enter into no relation which
shall conflict with this. Those who would find true happiness must have the
blessing of Heaven upon all that they possess and all that they do. It is
disobedience to God that fills so many hearts and homes with misery. My sister,
unless you would have a home where the shadows are never lifted, do not unite
yourself with one who is an enemy of God.
The Christian's Reasoning. --What ought every Christian to do when brought
into the trying position which tests the soundness of religious principle? With a firmness worthy of
imitation he should say frankly: "I am a conscientious Christian. I believe
the seventh day of the week to be the Sabbath of the Bible. Our faith and
principles are such that they lead in opposite directions. We cannot be happy
together, for if I follow on to gain a more perfect knowledge of the will of
God, I shall become more and more unlike the world and assimilated to the
likeness of Christ. If you continue to see no loveliness in Christ, no
attractions in the truth, you will love the world, which I cannot love, while I
shall love the things of God, which you cannot love. Spiritual things are
spiritually discerned. Without spiritual discernment you will be unable to see
the claims of God upon me, or to realise my obligations to the Master whom I
serve; therefore you will feel that I neglect you for religious duties. You will
not be happy; you will be jealous on account of the affections which I give to
God, and I shall be alone in my religious belief. When your views shall change,
when your heart shall respond to the claims of God, and you shall learn to love
my Saviour, then our relationship may be renewed."
The believer thus makes a sacrifice for Christ which his conscience approves,
and which shows that he values eternal life too highly to run the risk of losing
it. He feels that it would be better to remain unmarried than to link his
interest for life with one who chooses the world rather than Jesus, and who
would lead away from the cross of Christ.
A Safe Marriage Alliance. --It is only in Christ that a marriage alliance can
be safely formed. Human love should draw its closest bonds from divine love.
Only where Christ reigns can there be deep, true, unselfish affection.
When One Partner Is Converted After Marriage. -- He who has entered the
marriage relation while unconverted is by his conversion placed under stronger
obligation to be faithful to his companion, however widely they may differ in
regard to religious faith; yet the claims of God should be placed above every
earthly relationship, even though trials and persecution may be the result. With
the spirit of love and meekness, this fidelity may have an influence to win the