The answer to whether a person should date a non-Christian is closely related to the purpose of dating. That is discussed in another article so we’ll just summarize it here.
The goal of dating should be to find someone who is suitable to marry. If a person is not suitable to marry, then no time should be invested in dating them.
So then the question becomes if a Christian should marry an non-Christian. This article discusses biblical reasons why a Christian should not marry an unbeliever.
Many people do not take dating seriously and therefore if they date a non-Christian isn’t a big deal to them. Some even view dating a non-Christian as a way of evangelizing and getting a person into church. This is known as missionary dating.
The problem with missionary dating is its low success rate and high potential for dangerous repercussions. The pitfalls are the same whether a person is actively trying to win their boyfriend or girlfriend to Christ, or if they are just dating for fun.
There are some success stories of people who were brought to Christ through the work of the person they were dating. But for every success story, there is a hundred or even a thousand stories of Christians who were pulled away from Christ because of who they were dating. Sometimes it is temporary, other times it is permanent.
The truth is it is far easier to lower one’s standards than it is to raise them. A good illustration is that of a Christian standing on a chair. As they reach out to an unbeliever standing on the floor, they do all they can to pull them up onto the chair. It is hard work and often fails.
On the other hand, it doesn’t take much effort at all for the non-Christian to pull the Christian off balance. A slight tip in the wrong direction and the Christian can be sent tumbling without the non-Christian even intending to do so.
Dating is not the same as marriage but a lot of the same rules apply. What is most influential is the amount of time people spend together. Because of this, many of the same biblical reasons for not marrying an unbeliever apply to dating an unbeliever. For the biblical reasons against marrying a non-Christian see the article, “Can I Marry an Unbeliever?“