Is This Petty? He’s Muslim, I’m Christian, And I Don’t Know If It’s Going To Work
Earlier this week, I had a conversation with a friend from choir about a guy she is dating that she really likes. It began after she asked me if my husband was of a different faith than Christian because of the fact that I recently started splitting my time between two churches. I told her no and that we’re just different denominations: He’s Pentecostal and I’m Baptist. We do most Sundays at his church and once a month, we go to my church so I can sing with my choir.
Anywho, she asked me all of this because she’s currently seeing a guy she met through a friend, and he’s Muslim. Before talking with me, she asked for the advice of a young minister in the church who pretty much told her that if it were him, he wouldn’t date a woman who wasn’t of the same faith. As he pointed out to her, if they end up in a serious relationship, married and with children on the way, would they be raised to be Muslim or Christian?
According to her, they get along well, enjoy spending time together and have grown close over the last two months that they’ve been dating. They have their occasional disagreements, but they aren’t faith-based squabbles.
“I just know I’m not about to change my faith for anybody, not that he’s asked me to,” she said to me as we prepared for service. “I’ve been in this church since I was young and I don’t see him coming here with me. The assumption has always been that I’d raise my children to be Christian, and now I’m wondering now if it’ll be a problem down the line. As of right now, I’m having fun so I’m not trying to think about it too much.”
But such an issue is an important one to ponder before you get too far into something with another person. With that being said, if you found yourself interested in a person who is of a different faith, would you cut things off even if you found that you really liked them?
After thinking on it and talking to this young woman about her situation, I would say that the move you make should depend on the person you are with. While there are people out there who are okay with believing in what they believe in while their partner believes in something else if it enriches them, there are others who want their significant other, and inevitably, the children they might have, to be of their particular faith. They want their partner to change something that is deeply personal and important in order to be with them. And then there are people who may say they accept what you choose to believe in, only to mock principles of your faith that are significant. For instance, a girlfriend of mine was telling me about a couple she saw in a documentary. The husband was a Christian and the wife was Muslim. When he brought up Jesus Christ as the son of God, on camera, while trying to make a point about something, the wife rolled her eyes at him and seemingly jeered at his statement. Over the course of a long-term relationship, I’m sure you can see why that would be problematic.
But as I said, that goes back to knowing the person you are with and knowing whether or not these are behaviors that would end up on display. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with being with someone of another faith. And as for kids, I also think that while you can raise a child to be a of a certain belief, they are going to grow up and either continue to find God, or choose not to, on their own.
Still, I understand how deeply important it is to many to find someone they are “equally yoked” with. Faith is often seen as the foundation of a healthy marriage and family, and if you’re not of the same type, it could make things quite complicated. And it’s for that reason some people choose to end things early with people who aren’t of the same religious conviction. Because the real question is not if you can be happy dating someone of a different faith, because you can. Instead, the question is if when certain issues arise, you can be okay with the idea of their religious existence being in conflict with your own and accept it rather than trying to change them? I think my choir mate will figure that out sooner than she thinks…
But as always, that’s just my opinion on the matter. What say you? Could you be okay with dating someone of a different faith?
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