EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring 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 or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: As a Christian, is it OK for me to date or marry a new or recent convert? And does it matter that I was one who led this person to Christ?
If you’re looking for a specific unequivocal answer to your questions, I would have to say “yes” and “no.”
What I have seen, experienced, and learned over the years is the amount of time a person has been a believer or follower of Christ is not as important as to what a person has done in that time since proclaiming and giving their life to Christ.
A “young” (or new) believer can be more mature in their relationship with Christ than one who has grown up in a “Christian” home their entire life.
In the same way a maturity in life important, a maturity in Christ, both personally and relationally, is extremely significant - especially when it comes to being involved in a serious relationship.
Just because two people carry the label “Christian” doesn’t mean they are equally yoked.
I have a (female) friend who led her “friend” to Christ. He was mentored and discipled by one of the deacons in our church, both served in the youth group, and dated for a number of years before getting engaged. One year after they married, he walked out on her never to be seen again by her or the church.
Another friend met his wife while neither knew the Lord, but after his wife got pregnant, she started going to church, accepted Jesus and later led her husband to do the same. They have a wonderful family with god-fearing children and grandchildren, and he serves as a deacon in his church.
All this to say, only time and life will tell.
It’s easy to portray yourself as anything you want for a period of time (i.e. on Facebook, Twitter, and any social media profile). But it’s over the long haul and experiences together that you really get to know someone and their heart as to whether they are compatible (and equally yoked) with you and a committed follower of Jesus.
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him
I think it's important that new Christians have a period of time to learn what it is to be a Christian. They have just left a world where their values, direction, choices, and patterns were based on following what they thought was right vs. what God says is right. As a new believer, there will be times of struggle with change. Sure, they are saved, making them "equally yoked" with another believer. But they could still be unequally yoked in their walk with Christ, their maturity, and direction.
Now is the time for someone to come alongside them to help them grow in Christ. Due to being a new Christian, they may still have a large amount of debt, struggle with pornography, anger issues, or any number of things.
Now, you might ask, "How long do I wait?" You wait 'til God tells you it's OK to date that person. If you are a female, the male should be the spiritual leader. If he is a new Christian, he will not be that person for a while. If it's the opposite, and it's a female, you may not have to wait as long as you are the leader - BUT, in today's world, very few woman are willing to be led. So again, allow some time to pass. Continue to build your friendship. Join a small group. Encourage them in their growth. Pray for them. Wait on God to lead in the next step.
Oh, and does it matter that it was you who led them to Christ? I say, no. I think it's great that you led them to Christ as friends. So if they are important to lead to Christ, then they are important enough to wait on Christ.
LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of three books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Publication date: June 11, 2015