Lord thank you! Thank you for my birthplace & heritage. Thank you for my parents & the foundations they were able to lay for my life.
A friend of mine rang me to ask if I could go to meet her & her friend who has recently become a believer. Her friend, Sannah, is worried because she doesn’t know how to tell her family about her decision to follow Jesus. Like many new believers from Muslim background, Sannah is excited & amazed at God’s work in her heart & her life but that’s balanced with her fear of & confusion about how to tell her family about her new found faith. She loves her family and doesn’t want to lose the relationships she has with them & her Muslim friends in the community she grew up in.
Sannah is aware of the potential implications for her relationship with her father & brothers & sister. Not only will how she tells them have an affect on the relationship but timing is also very important. She like many new believers of Muslim backgrounds is desperate to be accepted by her new community as well as keeping the relationship with her birth family therefore she doesn’t want to wait too long to be baptised.
The implications for the family, which she is aware of, are that they will be shamed by the fact that she has left Islam & when the community & extended family finds out they may be ostracised from the community. It may have implications for her younger sister’s marriage as her parents may not be able to find her a husband for her. It will also be a source of pain & many feel a sense of betrayal when they hear this news. There’s pain on each side & a sense of grief over what the relationship was before conversion.
We can listen to both sides, be there to listen, to pray and ask for healing & wisdom in these situations. We can be sensitive in how we celebrate this new believer. We can be alongside the new believer in the challenges they will face. We can help them to work through the feelings & make wise decisions about when to tell family & when to be baptised.
Written by Roxy