Home Outreach Leaders Articles for Outreach & Missions Why Driscoll Thinks Missionary Dating Is a Terrible Idea

Why Driscoll Thinks Missionary Dating Is a Terrible Idea

Missionary dating leads to painful divorce.

As your question indicates, many Christians justify romantic relationships with non-Christians by calling it an opportunity for evangelism, aka “missionary dating.”

Don’t fall for it. Hit the brakes. Run away. Flirting with sin will not lead to life and joy and “happily ever after.”

Don’t believe me?

Ask almost any Christian married to a non-Christian; they’ll tell you about the years of pain, discouragement and anxiety that comes with knowing that the person you love the most is running toward hell.

Even if you can endure such an arrangement, chances are slim that your children will grow to know the Lord and love him wholeheartedly when mom and dad aren’t even in agreement on who God is.

Missionary dating is a recipe for miserable divorce. The likelihood of divorce increases with interfaith marriage, while the lowest divorce rates are among Bible-believing, Jesus-loving, church-attending evangelical Christians. If you’ve heard that Christians get divorced just as much as non-Christians, you’ve been lied to.

Many Christians justify romantic relationships with non-Christians by calling it an opportunity for evangelism. Don’t fall for it.

How to evangelize your non-Christian friend.

Does your atheist love interest need to meet Jesus? Yes. Is dating him the best way to make that happen? No.

You can have nonromantic evangelistic relationships with non-Christians, but if the parties involved are single, the odds of attraction are high.

A better idea would be to introduce the would-be boyfriend to your Christian male friends so that a more healthy, genuinely evangelistic relationship can form between them.

Pray for him. Introduce him to the men at your church.

But don’t date him. 

Portions of this article were adapted from Pastor Mark’s book Religion Saves: And Nine Other Misconceptions.  

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markdriscoll@churchleaders.com'
Pastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience—fans and critics alike—spans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his updates at twitter.com/pastorMark.