The short answer is YES! But, why?
You may be surprised to learn that most major religions have prohibitions against interfaith marriages (meaning believers marrying unbelievers and couples who are of different faiths). The Bible puts it this way “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? … Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
Even though the “yoke” description seems strange, it is a great analogy. In ancient agricultural societies, yokes were used to bind bulls together to help plow fields. Yokes helped bulls pull together in the same direction, instead of pulling in different directions.
So, when couples are spiritually incompatible, they usually struggle because they are constantly going in different directions. A person’s spiritual life is foundational to who they are. It shapes their identity, their values, their priorities, and their goals. So, couples often struggle with what each considers important. What will they teach their children? How will they spend their money and time? How do they determine what’s right and wrong? How are they going to make decisions?
Research says that couples who do not share the same faith report being unhappier and less satisfied than those of the same faith. When one spouse becomes more involved in religious activities than the other, marital satisfaction decreases. Marriages of interfaith couples also end in divorce at a higher rate. (Till Faith Do Us Part by Naomi Schaefer Riley)
So as you wrestle with decisions about if you should pursue or maintain a relationship with someone, please don’t forget to see if you are spiritually compatible and headed in the same direction with God. It may be a bigger issue than you think.