So this is where we start: one priest’s dating guide for Orthodox Christians.First, and this applies not only to dating, but to all friendships: Hang out with people you want to become like. He understands that sometimes people need help along their journey. In other words, he understands that what he learned as a kid in Sunday school isn’t enough to make it through adulthood. Who is this guy and what kind of a website is he selling? So I was comforted to know that Adam wasn’t an obscure man selling an elusive online product. Adam has worked in youth ministry as a camp director through the Antiochian Archdiocese. Adam is in the Saint Stephens Certificate Program, an intensive three-year course is for laymen or clergy interested in a rigorous introduction to Orthodox faith and practice.In the Orthodox Church it is not permitted for an Orthodox Christian to be married to an individual who has not been baptized, regardless of whether they are of the Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or other faith.While there is generally no exception to this rule, especially in the USA, you may wish to discuss your particular circumstance with your parish priest, who can offer specific guidance tailored to your individual situation.QUESTION: Thank you very much for your timely reply.
Some lucky few have relationships with parents or spiritual mentors that are close enough and mature enough to provide some guidance and advice in the search for a mate. Even if they do ask for advice or guidance from a priest or parent or other responsible person, many young people are merely seeking confirmation for what they already feel or think or lust for.
Simply put, one who has not entered the life of the Church through Baptism, Chrismation, and the Eucharist—and who as such does not acknowledge Jesus Christ as his or her Lord, God and Savior—would reduce the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony to pure external form or ritual since he or she, by not acknowledging Jesus Christ, cannot properly seal his or her marriage in Him.
In other words, marriage in Jesus Christ presumes that one accepts Him and believes in Him.
This does not mean that you do not hang out with people who are not perfect; that’s ridiculous, no one is perfect.
What it means is that you look for Christ-like virtues: kindness, gentleness, self control, faith, joy, etc.