EDITOR’S NOTE:  Each He Said-She Said column features a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view.  If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness, please CLICK HERE to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).

QUESTION:  I know a Christian woman who is dating a non-Christian man, but won't admit she's actually dating him and will try to hide the fact when she spends any time with him.  I try not to be judgmental, especially since I dated a non-Christian woman soon after I was saved (which turned into one of the biggest mistakes of my life).  It's become difficult though, and I'm starting to think I should just give up on the friendship and walk away.  What are your thoughts on relationships with non-Christians, especially with the opposite sex?  How good of friends should we become with non-Christians of the opposite sex?

HE SAID:  Relationships are difficult.  They have become more complicated as the years pass by, not only because I have aged, but how the world’s view of them has evolved over that time. How we see dating depicted on television and in the movies couldn’t be shown in public twenty years ago.  Sex and the City has become a dating guide for many.  Our culture has legitimized sex, teen pregnancy, homosexuality, divorce, and adultery.  It is no wonder that Christians in the world have difficulty not being of the world.

Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers.  How can goodness be a partner with  wickedness?  How can light live with darkness?  What harmony can there be between a partner with an unbeliever?  And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols?  For we are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:14-16a).

I am a huge proponent of having friendships with unbelievers, both male and female.  We are called to be a light of the world.  The only means to do this is to have interaction with those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus.  The trouble comes when we don’t live out our beliefs in front of those around us, our emotions are drawn in a non-platonic way to an unbeliever of the opposite sex, or we become enticed into situations that lead us away from our walk with the Lord.

In order to abstain from compromising situations, we must have a close relationship with Jesus and be in His Word, be in prayer for discernment and wisdom, acknowledge our weaknesses, determine our boundaries and have a plan of attack in the event the relationship moves toward a direction that is not holy.

These boundaries and plan of attack must be set in advance, before we enter into any relationship (friendship, dating or otherwise), so we are prepared for any temptation or struggle we may face. 

In order to be a man or woman of integrity, it is imperative we have a foundation based upon God and Scripture.  Relationships are hard enough when we are trying to do the right thing with the Lord, let alone doing what we know is to be wrong without Him.

He (Job) is the finest man in all the earth—a man of complete integrity.  He fears God and will have nothing to do with evil (Job 1:8).

When I am in a dating relationship, I want all of my friends to meet and know her—not only to show her off (as a proud boyfriend), but also to get insight from people I trust.  If your friend is “hiding” the fact that she is spending time with a guy, chances are she already knows in her heart what she is doing is wrong.