Ms. Nagib says that she has no regrets about the relationship [with an atheist]. “God brought me into his life for a reason.” But she also offers advice for anyone going into such a situation. “You should know what your nonnegotiables are. You should talk about faith soon.” And she also suggests that if you find yourself “becoming defensive about it with your friends, there’s probably a problem.”
As well as evangelical response:
But pastors regularly remind their flocks to avoid dating outside the faith. Lee Strobel, formerly a teaching pastor at Saddleback Church in Southern California and the author of “Surviving a Spiritual Mismatch in Marriage,” tells people that “conjugal evangelism” doesn’t work. “If you’re feeling like if I just marry this person, I’ll be able to influence him toward God, it’s self-deception.” He notes that “the nonbeliever is more likely to pull the Christian away from his faith.” This is a contention, by the way, that sociologists, like Brad Wilcox at the University of Virginia, generally support. Mr. Wilcox explains: “Evangelicals who marry nonevangelicals are typically less likely to remain as or become as devout as those who marry within the fold.”
I had never heard of the term conjugal evangelism, which I suppose is our heart’s wicked excuse if missionary dating failed to bring another into faith.