Bible Question:

I know that marrying a non-believer is wrong, but I am already engaged to be married this year. Would this count as already being married? I recently became a Christian and am living together with my fiance who is agnostic. His parents are Christians.

Bible Answer:

Based on your question, it appears that you are considering canceling the engagement and thus the marriage. From God’s perspective this would be a wonderful decision since God has told Christians not to marry non-believers. God’s directions on this matter read as follows:

. . . she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. (NASB) 1 Corinthians 7:39

This applies to both men and women. The pattern is not designed to rob us of joy, but to save us pain and to bring us closer to God.

Example of Solomon

In case you might reconsider and go ahead with the marriage, we need to remember what happened to King Solomon. He had married many unbelieving foreign women. God had warned His people not to marry unbelievers because the unbeliever might pull the believer away from the Lord (Deut. 7:3-4). Solomon married unbelievers anyway. Here is the result.

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women,from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. (NASB) 1 Kings 11:1-4

Solomon’s heart was pulled away from God, and as a result God was angry with him. I am sure Solomon never thought that this would happen. It was what God was concerned about. As a result, here is how God responded.

Now the LORD was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the LORD, (NASB) 1 Kings 11:9

Already Married?

An engagement is only a public statement of intent to marry another person. It is not a binding contract to marry. The prospective husband or prospective wife has the right to back out of the engagement if he/she discover that God would not be pleased with the marriage. He/she also has the right to back out of the engagement if he/she discovers the other partner has lied, misrepresented some fact, or discovers he/she does not actually love his/her prospective spouse. God did not design marriage as an evangelism tool. No, an engagement is not a marriage. It is only an intent to marry.


I would encourage you to please your Lord. God sees the bigger picture and He has a believer selected for you. Marrying an agnostic is not His desire for you. Marry only in the Lord. May the Lord bless you.