Christians Marrying Muslims, an interview with Jami Staples

January 31, 2019

Contact Jami at jstaples@thetruthcollective.org

 

Why has this become such a compelling issue for you, Jami?

This has become so important to me because it exposes two profound realities:  women are not convinced of the identity given to them by a very good and loving God and two, they’re not at all convinced of why their Muslim friends need to know Jesus. There’s a good amount of education that needs to happen for a young woman to understand how the God of the Bible cannot coexist with the God of Islam and why they can’t both be true.  What’s heartbreaking is these women are on a journey which will ultimately lead them to that very question, and the truth is much more costly after the two become one.

 

What do you tell someone when they ask, “Where is God in the midst of my daughter marrying a Muslim?”

Interestingly I don’t get that question a lot.  Most parents who are watching their daughter wrestle with the truth of who she is in Christ, tend to punish themselves before they punish God.  I always hear them say “I wish we would have talked more directly about how to choose her spouse” or often they say “what did we do wrong?”  It’s good for parents to evaluate ways we can sow the Truth of Jesus into the lives of our kids and it’s healthy for us to look for markers of whether that message is being received.  But we also need to remember that she is making choices based on much more than just what she’s been taught – she is making decisions on who she believes herself to be.  Yours is not the only voice in that private conversation! 

It’s also important to remember that Truth has no expiration date – it’s never too late to say what’s true.  Keep speaking Scripture into her life about who God says she is, keep loving her and her Muslim friend as Jesus’ loved, and pay very close attention to the spiritual battle at play. Pray for your daughter, pray for her Muslim friend, and pray for yourselves – you’ll need to be covered to endure the road ahead.

 

Is this happening more or are you just seeing more of what has been happening?

I’m not sure there’s any real way of knowing the answer to that but I suspect it’s both.  My position inside the conversation of reaching Muslims affords me a trusted seat for women to approach on this matter.  Many others in ministry have also indicated they are being confronted by more and more young women on this matter.  If there is hard data I’m not aware of it, but observational research indicates more and more women are setting aside the truths of Christianity to indulge more pluralistic relationships. I suspect this issue will continue to rise unless we are able to equip our women to discern and share Truth with Muslims.

What unique motivations lead Christian women to marry Muslim men? (I’m guessing that is the more usual direction. Am I wrong about that?)  Well, that is the million dollar question, isn’t it?  There are a few things at play here and I suspect they work together equally to create a perfect storm of confusion.  One, despite what the modern feminist movement wants us to believe, women prefer to be cherished. Many Muslim men are raised in cultures which value beauty, language and hospitality. Meanwhile, Western men have been relegated to platonic gestures of affection and their masculine nature devalued – mocked are the Songs of Solomon!  So when an “exotic” ethnic figure appears tender, attentive and tenacious it’s rather difficult for our feminine hearts to reserve a space for “aloof” Christian men.  Second, in Islam men are not only permitted but encouraged to marry “women of the Book” (Christians and Jews) – it’s a noble method of bringing the wife and children into Islam. (I wish I had time to address why most modern Muslim men are not as predatory as that makes it sound). Finally, the discussions she is having with her Muslim friend about faith are very convoluted – quite often both parties argue out of tradition or cultural expressions of their faith rather than what the Bible or Quran prescribe.  So faith conversations quickly degrade to opinions rather than truths and when “love is all that matters” becomes the bottom floor…there’s no stairwell for Truth.

 

What do you tell someone who’s already married to a Muslim?

In Genesis we learn that God is a God who sees you.  He knows the desires of your heart, your good intentions, and the circumstances you are in.  He’s never left you.  Reach out to Him – soak yourself in His word.  He will meet you there and remind you of what is True, what is Good, what is Noble, what is right, what is pure and what is lovely.  Fix your mind on those Truths and let the Holy Spirit show you the way forward.  Meanwhile, pray for your husband – God is in his story too.

I highly recommend the article on Crescent Project’s web site: “Considerations for Marrying a Muslim”