Question:

Is love between a man and a woman, apart from the mutual agreement of both families enough to bind them? I’m asking this question on behalf of my cousin who want to go on and marry a Muslim girl irrespective of the lack of agreement between the two families of different religions. They met about two years ago and have been best of friends. My cousin made his intention of marrying her known to our family and theirs, and since then every member of the family has not been happy with him. However, he has the wherewithal for the marriage contingent, yet nobody wants to stand in for him.

My question is: is their love enough to ensure a blessing for this marriage?


Answer:

That is a difficult question to answer because few people understand what love is. I would suggest sitting down with both of them and going though I Corinthians 13:4-8 in detail. You can take a look at "Love is ..." for detailed definitions. Remind them that these qualities are what must be displayed in adversity. It is easy to claim you are kind when everything is going well and no one is being mean to you. But love is is kind means showing kindness when everything is going wrong and the person you love is having a really bad day.

But there are more issues which should be discussed. Muslim and Christian beliefs are very different in many ways. Because each is attracted to a person who is not of their faith, it tells me that both of them are not strongly devoted to their respective faiths. Is one going to convert to the other's faith? In many Muslim communities that can be a life threatening proposition. If each remains as they are, how will they practice their faiths? How will the children be raised? Most often children of mixed religious parents tend to grow up with no belief because they get conflicting answers from their parents and the compromises that the parents make in regards to their religion leaves only a watered down belief system for the children.

I think both families understand this and do want to approve what will cause problems for the couple in the future. I, obviously, see Christianity as the true religion. I would be encouraging the young woman to first decide to become a Christian before marrying your cousin, even though she may be placing her life in jeopardy.

If they marry without either family's approval, then they must plan living a life without the benefits of an extended family. Sure, one or both families might eventually change their minds, but it cannot be counted upon. It means added hardships for both of them without others to rely upon for help.

It is not that such a marriage can't be made to work. The problem is that they will be taking on numerous burdens at the start of their marriage which might destroy what they seek to have.

I strongly agree with your statement "Christianity is obviously the true religion;" indeed it is. The problem with the couple is not themselves but the extended family refusing to give their consent. Anyway, they have agreed to go on with the marriage irrespective of the consequences. The young lady has long since accepted to give up her religion for the love they share. I did forward your advice to my cousin and he really appreciated it, most especially your material "Love is…." I myself equally have gone through the material as well, and I found it invaluable.