A female friend called me and asked, “What if I like a Muslim guy?” My immediate response without thinking at all was, “What is wrong with a Muslim?”
What about being Unequally yoked with unbelievers? Sit back and read. I will start with the rest of my chat with this friend. I’ll call her Miss A for the purpose of anonymity.
Miss A: Have you ever liked a Muslim girl before?
Tolulope: I don’t think I’ve been close enough to one to like them to that point. I was a no dating someone in secondary school and there were barely any Muslim in CU. I didn’t go out much during NYSC or meet people much, plus I was dating then.
Miss A: You don’t get close to them? Ohhh. Workplace nko?
Tolulope: Not that, hardly worked in a place with a Muslim really. Plus I’ve not worked much. The Muslims I’ve worked with are guys.
Miss A: Okay. I get. But you don’t push them away?
Tolulope: Nope. I might never get close enough to wanna date tho, I lowkey have some things I want or I don’t want, so they are natural filters to who I crush on or like
Miss A: Ooooohhhhh I get. Well you a guy Yeah
Miss A: What If a Muslim wants to date me and has all the criteria I want in a man? Cause some Christians makes it feel like it is a great sin to be liked by a Muslim
Tolulope: being liked by a Muslim is one thing, dating a Muslim is another thing I don’t think it’s bad to like a Muslim. They are human and some of them have better character than many Christians. Some of them are even better looking than some Christians.
Miss A: Exactly. This what people ought to be saying. Not making you feel you have lost your salvation. 🤣🤣🤣
END of Chat.
What if you like a Muslim?
Liking someone is grossly dependent on some factors aligning. What do I mean? We all have something that attracts us to people, and it varies for different people. For some, it’s looks, body type. Others, it’s a way of life, character, you see someone who loves his family, easy going and that’s all the turn-on you need. For some, it’s the drive, passion for a cause or for career, discipline.
One thing you’ll notice that is familiar to all these lists is that they are independent of a person’s religion. Anyone can be fine, disciplined, focused…So it’s perfectly normal and human to be attracted to or to attract someone of a different religion.Anyone can be fine, disciplined, focused…So it's perfectly normal and human to be attracted to or to attract someone of a different religion. Click To Tweet
Now, the point is attraction is one thing, acting on the attraction is another. Meeting someone who meets a good number of your spec is one thing, but deciding to pursue it is another thing. And like many other things or decisions in our lives, we don’t always do something because it feels right. We don’t always pursue a choice just because it looks good. We don’t always do what we like, at least I hope so. Especially for a believer, we check it against the wisdom of God’s word.Attraction is one thing, acting on the attraction is another. Meeting someone who meets a good number of your spec is one thing, but deciding to pursue it is another thing. Click To Tweet
The bible has the wisdom to guide us in making the right or wise decisions on almost all aspects of life and marriage and relationship doesn’t fall behind. The bible has wisdom, counsels and ideas on what to desire, what kind of trait or character to look for in a partner and what to see as red flags.The bible has wisdom, counsels and ideas on what to desire, what kind of trait or character to look for in a partner and what to see as red flags. Click To Tweet
For instance, It’s better to live alone in the corner of a roof than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home. – Prov 25:24. Tells you to avoid a contentious or nagging woman. While, Paul in 1 Tim 5:8 talks about a type of man to avoid – But if anyone does not provide for his own, that is his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Now, what does the bible say about marrying a non believer?
Oftentimes when the question of marrying an unbeliever comes up, 2 Corinthians 6:14 comes up often, Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers… But not so many people understand what this means, because if we do, it is not even a question of if you can marry a Muslim or non-christian, it is that many professing Christians don’t even qualify.Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers is not even a question of if you can marry a Muslim or non-Christian. It is that many professing Christians don't even qualify. Click To Tweet
Let’s examine the text;
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 ESV
This verse can be said to reference a verse in the old testament; Do not plough with an ox and a donkey yoked together. – Deuteronomy 22:10. And what does it mean?
According to Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary;
An ox and ass, being of different species and of very different characters, cannot associate comfortably, nor unite cheerfully in drawing a plough or a wagon. The ass being much smaller and his step shorter, there would be an unequal and irregular draft. Besides, the ass, from feeding on coarse and poisonous weeds, has a fetid breath, which its yoke fellow seeks to avoid, not only as poisonous and offensive, but producing leanness, or, if long continued, death; and hence, it has been observed always to hold away its head from the ass and to pull only with one shoulder.
And also corroborated by Matthew Poole’s Commentary;
1. Because the one was a clean beast, the other unclean; whereby God would teach men to avoid polluting themselves by the touch of unclean persons or things, 2 Corinthians 6:14. Or,
2. Because of their unequal strength, whereby the weaker, the ass, would be oppressed and overwrought.
You will notice that this instruction is a wisdom that is relevant to all aspect of life. If you partner to run a race or play a team sport with someone who doesn’t hold similar contributions to the team, has an opposing value and character or attribute, it will bring down the result of the team.
The verse communicate different things to look at;
- Faith – What does the person believe?
Take note of Paul’s use of language; righteousness and lawlessness, light and darkness, Christ and the devil, God’s temple and idols.
14 Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 15 What agreement can there be between Christ and the devil Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement does God’s sanctuary have with idols? For we are the sanctuary of the living God, – 2 Cor 6:14-16
Don’t marry someone who doesn’t believe in the Lordship and saving grace of Jesus. It matters!
Interestingly, it has been an Old Testament instruction for the people of God to not marry from outside their nation. The reason was simple. If you marry from the pagan nation, they will bring their idols, idolatry and pagan practices into the Israel camp.
We saw how Solomon’s many “unbeliever” wives turned his heart away from the God of his father.
We have a different culture, a different code of conduct, if you marry someone whose allegiance is to a different God, it will be a problem along the line.We have a different culture, a different code of conduct, if you marry someone whose allegiance is to a different God, it will be a problem along the line. Click To Tweet
One of the reasons you were asked not to pair an ox and a donkey in ploughing the ground is because they don’t make a good partner for that particular task. They can be paired with their own kind, donkey to donkey, ox to ox, but not mixed. And it is simply because they don’t work together well, the union is not efficient for the task and can even lead to a permanent deformity or even death of one or the two animals.
If we don’t choose just anybody to team up with in a school competition or business deal, then why do it for the most important and longest partnership that is marriage? Do not be unequally paired.If we don't choose just anybody to team up with in a school competition or business deal, then why do it for the most important and longest partnership that is marriage? Do not be unequally paired. Click To Tweet
This doesn’t mean you must marry someone who is exactly like you, No. But you must have similar values, similar beliefs and outlook, a similar commitment to the journey. You must complement each other not drag each other down.This doesn't mean you must marry someone who is exactly like you, No. But you must have similar values, similar beliefs and outlook, a similar commitment to the journey. You must complement each other not drag each other down. Click To Tweet
Now, someone might want to ask, what about 1 Cor 7:12-14;
To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
Here are a few things to note;
- Paul was answering a question on what to do when you are already married to a non-Christian. It wasn’t him giving the approval to marry one.
- Marriage is God’s design whose covenant holds true regardless of who you marry. Yes, he has a design and a context for which it must be done, a believing man and a believing woman. But when we go out of this design, His values and principles still stand
- So, Paul’s advice was simple, if the unbelieving partner isn’t fighting to leave the marriage and the only issue you have is the difference in religion, he says, stay in the marriage. God’s design for marriage is permanence on earth. But if the partner has other issues and contending for a divorce, then grant the wish and leave the marriage.
So in summary, the bible is not mute on the kind of person to marry. Marry a believer, marry someone who understands that they are God’s temple, bought with a price and holds and honour God’s word as the final authority over their life. In reality, that is our only security.The bible is not mute on the kind of person to marry. Marry a believer, marry someone who understands that they are God's temple, bought with a price and holds and honour God's word as the final authority over their life. Click To Tweet
Grace and Peace.
Also Read What If You Have Same-Sex Attraction?