What do you do when you hear that a young woman you once knew well, and who had been showing much spiritual promise, has started dating a non-Christian? Here’s a lightly edited email I sent some time ago when faced with that tragic situation (name changed). What would you remove from or add to this email? Dear Rachel, I hope you are well and that the Lord is continuing to bless you in your vocation. I often think of you with much fondness.
I know that I am about to risk losing your friendship and affection. However, Rachel, I must write the next few sentences because there is a far greater risk you are running – the risk of losing your own soul. I know you have not made a profession of faith, but you cannot deny that the Lord has been at work in your life; and I had a good hope of it being a saving work. However, you are in great danger of spoiling and ruining this work by dating an unbeliever. I have seen this pattern repeated again and again and again over the past twenty five years. Christian young woman starts dating unbeliever. Unbeliever starts going to church now and again. Christian young woman persuades herself that the unbeliever is converted or soon will be. They marry (often after pre-marital immorality). The unbeliever gradually loses his “interest” in the Gospel, and stops going to church. The marriage suffers. The Christian young woman backslides. Any children are usually drawn to the unbelieving man and start living ungodly lives. The marriage is miserable and often ends. The young woman’s life is destroyed and so is her witness. That is exactly as we should expect because the Bible forbids the believer from making the choice to be united to an unbeliever (1 Cor. 7:39; 2 Cor. 6:14-16). The exceptions to this pattern are extremely rare.
Rachel, your life is so full of potential for happiness, usefulness, and Christian fruitfulness. I plead with you, please, please, please give up this relationship and seek the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy. The Lord can provide a wonderful Christian husband for you, if you are patient and seek His will. And, above all, seek marriage to the best husband of all, the Lord Jesus Christ. With much Christian love, David. PS. She never replied.