This is one of those sayings that I hear too many times. I normally hear it after a christian tries to justify dating a non believer. To those who don’t know what missionary dating, it is basically when a Christian dates a non-Christian and then tries to convert them while they are dating them. The Christian knows within their heart that the other person is not a Christian, but deceives themself into thinking that it is still OK because ‘they believe in God’.
A female called TBS wrote to Trisha Ramos (Taken from Fish with Trish) with the following question addressing this point:
I’m dating this Muslim guy, and after my ex’s, which have been Muslim too, I thought I would never date another. I know what I want in my future husband and to have him believe and practice my faith as well. He is completely an awesome guy and I do love him. NOTHING like my past relationships. Ive made it clear I WILL NOT MARRY anyone who isn’t Christian. So he’s told me he loves me as well and would love to learn, look into Christianity and has been doing research on his own as well. Def. would love to bring him to services with me….Ive also questioned his converting.. if that’s what he chooses, I would not want it to be because of me solely and that he would want to on his own. I know he cant get to heaven though ME! My question. Do I wait? Or know this will end terribly and end it now? I’m just so confused and thought I could come to you for some advice! – TBS
Dear TBS,<will end terribly and end it now?>>My advice and the bibles advice: Don’t date him. But rather, witness to him and then keep your distance. If he is a true convert, invite him to church (to meet you there) and that is the only context in which I would see him. Then you’ll see if he is serious about the Lord. If he continues to go for a long period of time and demonstrates genuine repentance, it might be evidence that he is going because of the Lord and not just for you.
Remember, there is no such thing as “missionary” dating. We don’t date to convert. Don’t “date” him in hopes that he will get “saved”. Rather, get to know someone who IS a Christian and then marry.
You are not to be unequally yoked (2 Cor 6:14,1 John 1:6). So scripture is clear that you are to cut it off. Imagine a Christian spouse toying with the question, “Is it okay for me to commit adultery…maybe I’ll pray about it?” Scripture makes it clear that you are never to commit adultery. In the same way, scripture makes it clear that you are not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. You don’t have to debate or pray about cutting it off. God has given you the manual (the Bible) to guide you and to light your path (Psalm 119:105).
And also remember that you have a real adversary (The Devil) who
seeks to devour and destroy you. There is a spiritual battle going on here (2 Cor 10:5, Eph 6:12).
I’m so glad you have emailed. I hope this has helped a bit.