This Valentine’s Day: How to love your Muslim friend like Christ
“Will you be my valentine?” The question thousands of people are saying this February as a declaration of love.
Now, you’re not going to ask this question to your Muslim friend, for sure! But in the spirit of the season which is all about gift-giving and love, why not focus on loving people in a Christ-like fashion?
Keep in mind, Valentine’s day is not just for romantic love, it’s also for friends, family, and just reminding the people in your life that you do love and cherish them! The Bible does not promote romantic love over any other type of loving relationships, and neither should we. This is not to say that if one is married, their marriage does not take priority, but it is important for us to remember that all relationships can and should be Christ-centered and loving.
In our blogs, we go into a lot of detail about different relationship dynamics between you and your Muslim friends, whether you are coworkers, neighbors, new friends, or have known each other for a long time. However, let’s go back to the basics about what loving your Muslim neighbor looks like:
1. Treat them with humility and respect
1st Corinthians 13, also known as the love passage, puts it plainly, “Love does not brag and is not arrogant.” It is important to treat everyone, including your Muslim friend with the utmost respect. (Philippians 2:3)
2. Wash their feet
As disciples of Christ, we want to be like Jesus, so we need to be willing to wash their feet (John 13:5-11). Not literally of course, because unlike Jesus’ time, no one is walking around on dirt roads in sandals anymore. But washing someone’s feet today can look like picking up coffee for them on the way to work, offering to pick up their kids from school to save them a trip, or helping with yard work without expecting anything in return. The point is to go out of your way to do something that most people don’t do; giving people sacrificial love.
3. Pray for them
Now, if you are friends with your Muslim neighbor, this next verse won’t feel as applicable to you, but some Christians have been actively persecuted by Muslims, especially in other countries. Some Christians are afraid of Muslims because they expect every Muslim to be like the 10% who are extremists, when in reality, around 90% of the Muslim population is not.
This next instruction by Christ is not an easy one, but by the help of the Holy Spirit, we can do it!
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Matthew 5:44
Not to say that all Muslims are your enemy, of course! But for some people, the history and persecution they have gone through can make this command difficult. However, whether you are friends with them or they’re a coworker you are not too fond of, or even someone who has persecuted you, the calling is the same: pray for them.
Essentially, see them as people created in God’s own image and do everything you can to treat your Muslim friend the way Jesus would if He were standing in your place. Pray over these verses and ask the Lord to reveal to you which one you can focus on this week! Meditate on the Word and you will see the fruit appear in your life.