We know the Bible says to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). So why isn’t God removing your romantic feelings for someone who is not a Christian?
Here are 3 possible reasons for why God is not removing your feelings for an unbeliever.
1. They Will Become a Christian One Day and God Wants You to Be in a Relationship with This Person Once that Happens
In the vast majority of cases, this is not the reason you still have feelings for an unbeliever. However, I want to try to cover all possible angles in this article. Therefore, we do have to consider the unlikely possibility that this person will become a Christian one day and then God will allow you two to become a couple.
Why do I say this is unlikely? The Bible calls us to live in the present and not to live our lives by what “could happen” (Ephesians 5:15-17, Matthew 7:20, Matthew 7:24). The future has millions of possible outcomes and we know none of them (besides what is foretold in Scripture). When you base your decisions on what you hope will happen one day rather than on what is happening right now, you almost always end up wasting time and missing out on other good things that were available to you now.
So if you are wondering if God does want you to date and possibly marry an unbeliever once they become a Christian, my advice is to not wait for this possibility for very long. Share the gospel, invite them to church, be open about your faith in Jesus Christ. If they are receptive and become a Christian, I recommend that you give them some time to mature in the Lord before dating them.
With all that said, God has done this type of thing before. While you should not wait your whole life for an unbeliever to become a Christian so you can be in a relationship with them, this is not an impossible outcome for God to produce.
2. God Is Not Removing Your Feelings for an Unbeliever Because You Are Ruminating on These Feelings
In psychological terms, “rumination” is the process of obsessively thinking about something negative in a repetitive way. It’s natural to want to keep thinking about the issue you are experiencing. How can you find a solution to this issue if you don’t think about it and try to solve it?
Sometimes you do need to dissect an issue so you can come up with a wise solution. At other times, however, ruminating on the issue actually becomes the issue. In other words, sometimes you keep having feelings for an unbeliever because you are obsessively worrying about having feelings for this unbeliever.
At times, we need to accept our feelings and then redirect our attention onto positive things that get us unstuck from a negative thought cycle. By “accepting your feelings,” I’m not saying you are agreeing with them or that you are condoning that they are good. Rather, I’m saying that you just acknowledge their presence without needing to freak out and run from them.
Sometimes your feelings will dissipate for this unbeliever when you stop trying to fight them so hard. Again, I’m not saying you should give into them. Rather, I’m saying you just need to accept that they are there and then move on by doing something positive with your day. When you just sit there and try to endlessly fight these feelings, you are giving them all your attention, which often fuels the feelings and causes you to feel everything more intensely.
By accepting that you have romantic feelings and accepting that you also don’t want to have these feelings and then moving on with your day, focusing on the present, oftentimes your feelings for this person will then go away on their own.
The biblical solution to unwanted thoughts and feelings is not just to avoid them but rather to replace them with what is good (Philippians 4:8, Romans 12:21, Romans 13:14).
3. You May Be Struggling to Let These Feelings Go Because You Have Come to Believe This Person Is Your Best Chance at Getting Married
Many Christians get tempted to date an unbeliever because they have given into the doubt that they will never meet a Christian that they like and that who will like them back. Yet, because this person really wants to be married one day, they end up attaching their longing for marriage onto an unbeliever who is showing them romantic attention.
To overcome a situation like this, you have to resolve in your heart that you would rather be single than marry an unbeliever. You have to go to the word of God and recommit to the Lord that you are going to obey his word no matter how hard it is. The word of God clearly teaches Christians that God does not want them to be romantically involved with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14, 1 Corinthians 7:39, 1 Corinthians 15:33, 1 John 2:15).
Instead, God wants Christians to only pair up with other Christians so they can serve Christ as one unit (Ephesians 5:21-33, 1 Peter 3:1-7, Proverbs 31:10-11).
And, for most Christians, once they fully commit to following the Lord no matter what, he often then does also provide them with other blessings they were hoping to receive (Matthew 6:33, Psalm 37:4, Matthew 7:7-10).