Unequally yoked: Is it really a big deal?

Working with young people, one of the most common questions I hear stems from the apparent Biblical principle that we should not date/marry a person who does not have the same faith in Christ as we do.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? — 2 Corinthians 6:14

The overarching idea seems to be that being in a relationship, with the assumption of eventually being committed to each other in marriage, to someone without the same faith standards as yourself would cause problems in the marriage, and out of a need to see eye-to-eye, could cause those strong in their faith to compromise on their beliefs.

What do you think? Is it really that important for a Christian to marry another Christian? Or is there really a case to be made for “evangelistic dating,” where the Christian tries to convert the non-believing partner?

What has your experience been? Add your comments.