Strict as God’s commandment on inter-religious marrying may seem, the truth is the person who can most influence our worship and spirituality is our spouse, whether for good or bad.
A person who has an unbelieving spouse lives divided, always trying to find the balance between two sacred priorities.
If both partners hold strong values, this can lead to countless unnecessary arguments that can leave emotional scars on either of them or their children.
Growing up, my father was agnostic and my mother, a zealous evangelizer of God’s word.
In recent years, my father has changed his opinion of the Bible and now participates in bi-weekly Christian meetings alongside my mother.
In effect, they get along a lot better now and are overall more happy than when they each held separate belief systems.
It is as easy now as it was in ancient Israel to underestimate the degree of influence a potential spouse will play in one’s relationship with God, especially because we tend to think of spirituality as an individual soul-searching process.
Sadly, throughout my adult life I have had the experience of witnessing the exact opposite of my parents’ experience.
I have had several friends leave their God-fearing spouses for unbelieving new partners.
This course of action has led these friends to spiritual ruin, and has undone the reputation of their faithful spouses.
It is just as essential, then, to heed God’s advice and seek an intimate relationship with someone of the opposite sex “only in the Lord,” (1 Cor. 7:39).