Faith stole my love
It is written in 2 Corinthians 6:14: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?"
Many believe this means that Christians cannot marry or date non-Christians. Why, the debate is never-ending. Stacy Foreman* learnt the hard way that it did not pay to be a temptress in the eyes of one of faith.
She met her boyfriend through a mutual friend on a blind date, and surprisingly they hit it off right away. The two became friends, and later lovers. But that did not stop the past from rearing its ugly head every now and then. "When it wasn't my ex popping up, women from his past kept returning to reclaim him. Once the smoke cleared, we settled in comfortably as partners." But then the ultimate test came when her boyfriend told her that he had been called by God to return to the church. "I was ready to fight off just about any girl," Foreman stated, "but when it came to God, that was one battle I would never even attempt."
She said that when he gave her the news, she was very supportive. "I gave him all the support he needed. I gave him the space he needed, asked him about church, even paid close attention in the church I was attending, took a vow of celibacy, and told him I would wait until we got married."
But her boyfriend caved the next time he saw her. "I stood my ground and said we both made a promise. He broke up with me right then and there because I had not given in and done things his way. Some time after, he confessed that I was just too much of a temptation for him and we just couldn't work out." She was torn by the outcome, but happy that she was able to provide the reinforcement he needed to trod on his
Dale Michaels* confessed that he was once distracted by a lady love name Dahlia*. He explained to Flair, "This all happened in high school. Dahlia told me that I caught her eye on the basketball court and that she was impressed. A teammate called me and asked if she could get my number and I said 'sure'. We spoke on the phone then met the very next day in person. As the conversation intensified, so did our feelings, and after a month of talking, we decided to make our relationship official."
They dated for about four months - they were both on the high school choir so they were very close, and their conversations were always good. At first, faith never interfered with anything. Her being a non-Christian and him being a Christian didn't seem to be a problem.
That was until his attitude towards church changed. "I found myself spending more time with her, even ditched church a few times to be with her. During this time, I felt I was drifting away from the word, so based on my passion for God, I decided to end the relationship."
He admitted that sex played no part in their break-up as it was never something she tried to initiate. She also didn't discourage him from going to church. In fact, she had started attending church. "But it just wasn't working for me. After taking a few weeks to assess the situation, I told her we had to call it quits. I felt that she was going to church for me rather than herself. I wanted her to know Christ for herself, and not for me. I also told her that my relationship with God was more important, and because of our relationship, I was drifting from God."
Michaels said the very next day, he became public enemy number one at school. "They teased me saying I left Dahlia for Bible studies." That summer, however, Dahlia called him with good news - she was saved and it wasn't because of him, she found God in the process of finding herself after the break up. The next school year, they had more in common, and became good friends.
According to the Pastor Junior Headlam, the matter of Christians dating non-Christians is a regular occurrence. "I discourage it because the value systems are very different. So, basic things such as premarital sex and practising abstinence may vary among the party. So if you're dating someone who believes in engaging in premarital sex, for instance, the Christian could possibly give in to the demands of the non-Christian. That will pose some challenges for both parties in that dating situation."
However, he noted that this is not to say that people in the church don't fail, but it is easier to guide those within the faith because of their belief system. "There are cases where two people are dating and one gets baptised. We find out about their plans for marriage and fast-track that process. The church's objective is to ensure that marriage is a compatible relationship among those in faith. I always say 'Go with the best we know and the best we can do' will follow."
* Names changed upon request