When we as Christians approach marriage, it is important to know and understand how God has designed it for us. One of the most basic principles of Christian marriage is that Christians are to marry other Christians. 2 Corinthians 6: 14 - 15 reads as follows:
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Paul illustrates that believers should not be “yoked” to unbelievers. The yoke is a reference to a device in Biblical times that was used to bind two animals together, commonly oxen, to carry a heavy load. It is a picture that illustrates the heavy level of interdependence in a very close relationship. Paul points out that there is something dramatically different about a believer. He or she is a temple of the the living God! Believers are composed of 3 parts, the body, the soul, and the spirit of God. However, unbelievers have a body and soul, but do not have the spirit of God in them.
God desires for us to love and be loved in our marriages. His desire is for that love to be a complete, agape love. Agape is a Greek term for love that is used in the New Testament to describe a spiritual love. God has designed marriage for us to love and be loved as whole persons. A big part of that love is the spiritual love that is only possible in a believer that is a temple of the spirit of the living God.
We are certainly called to enter into loving relationships with unbelievers. However, on the topic of marriage, God has asked us to reserve that intimate, interdependent love for another believer. We should not sell ourselves short of all that God has planned for us in a Christian marriage that is centered around Him.