A friend asked me to talk to some rowdy, smelly, lovely church kids recently. It didn’t take long to discover I’m not very good at that. Luckily I also found that if I posed a couple of questions, the crazy kids actually preferred their talking to mine!
I asked them if they had any Muslim friends and what they know about Muslims. Some answers were startling. A sweet little hand shot up, “Muslims worship a false god,” then amended, “Muslims worship the devil.”
This has made me think two things: One, I hope no one is asking my kids these questions! And two, what should we teach our kids about Muslims?
It’s tricky. You want to be honest, but calming. Accurate, but sensitive to minds that can’t appreciate the complexities of political will conflated with religious rhetoric. (Like we even understand that!)
I think we can agree: We bear responsibility to train our kids to think and act like Jesus relative to Muslims. [Tweet this]
Here are three things we can tell them:
- Some Muslims have done some terrible things, but almost all of them don’t do things like that.
- God loves little Muslims kids just like he loves little Christian kids: Big time! Deep and long and wide and he wants them to have great lives now and forever. [Tweet this]
- You don’t have to be afraid of Muslims. Almost every Muslim you’ll ever meet would rather be your friend than your enemy. And if you bump into someone who wants to be your enemy, Muslim, Christian or Martian, God’s got your back.
By God’s grace, may our kids do better than us. May they love deeper, with action and authority, courage and kindness. May they share the life of Jesus you’ve shared with them with many people everywhere.