2 Corinthians 6:14 says for Christians to not be involved with unbelievers. Is this God, or Jesus, saying this, or is this the opinion of the apostle Paul? First and second Corinthians are the books in the New Testament where Paul is corresponding with the Corinthians. This was about the church he established there. He was dealing with the divisiveness caused by false teachers. Paul is telling the Corinthians to not follow the false teachers; however, can this verse be extrapolated to relationships or marriage?

Primary Context

2 Corinthians, chapter 6, verse 14, is not dealing with the personal relationship of a man and woman; it is dealing with the church body being influenced by the opinions and teachings of unbelievers – those not following the teachings of Christ and his apostles – and is Paul’s instruction on how the church should not follow the false teachings, but should instead follow Christ.


A literal interpretation of this verse can lead people to believe they should not have anything to do with someone who is not a Christian. This is a false reading of the bible; Christ ate with the outcasts of society – lepers, tax collectors, and prostitutes, to name a few – and would hold that Christians should indeed deal with unbelievers, and should carry his message to them. Literal interpretations of scripture are almost always inaccurate; Jesus taught through parables, not through literal instructions. This particular verse is written by the apostle Paul, but he is also not telling the church to disdain from contact with unbelievers – he’s telling the church to not believe their teachings, not to walk away from them.

Unequally Yoked

In today’s modern world, a Christian often finds him or herself involved with a romantic partner who either doesn’t believe in God at all – an atheist – or someone who doesn’t know what to believe – an agnostic. If the atheist is willing to allow the Christian their right to believe, the relationship has possibilities; if the atheist is not willing to allow the Christian to believe, the Christian must decide what is most important to them – their faith, or their relationship with the non-believer.

For a true person of faith, the decision is easy to make, even if it will be painful to implement – their faith will prevail. For a person with weak faith, the personal relationship wins out. In such a case as this, the relationship is rocky from the get-go; a person of weak faith will still resent being forced to give it up, although they will not realize it.

Agnostics usually don’t demand the person with faith abandon it; they will either allow the believer to practice their faith with no interference, or they may start attending church with them, to learn more about the belief system and why someone would follow it.

How to Deal with being Unequally Yoked

If, as a Christian, you find yourself in this situation, you must determine your level of faith. If you are a true believer, you will not accept being forced from your faith. In case your partner does not insist on you leaving your faith, then gently begin trying to convert your partner. If the partner remains a steadfast atheist but your relationship is otherwise strong, pursue your faith alone. Show your partner your faith is solid. In the event that your partner is agnostic, take your partner to church. Educate him or her on why you believe. The agnostic will make up his or her mind on whether to become a believer or an atheist. All you can do is provide him or her with the information they need to make up their mind.

As a Christian, you should invite others to Christ – not be forced from your faith, and not forcing your faith on others, but showing them why you choose to follow.