"Mommy, Is It OK to Be Friends with a Muslim?"

Posted by Kaylee K on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 Under: Response
This is what I suppose our children are soon to be asking… if we’re lucky. The conversation might go something like: “There’s a new boy in my class. His name is different. It’s Mohammed. Is it ok to be his friend?” or perhaps, “This new girl in my class looks different. She wears a scarf on her head. Can I talk to her?” If we are lucky, they’ll at least ask us. And, if we’re following Jesus’s teaching our answer must be: “Yes.”

But what if they don’t even ask? That scares me even more. What if our children hear all the hateful things that are being said about these foreigners among us and they think that they are also to reject them? How are we actively showing our children in these challenging times that Jesus loves Muslims because Jesus loves all of us. How do we show them that Jesus teaches us to actually go out of our way to be friends with these people who are different than us? We teach by our action as well as our words. How are we acting? What are we saying? How are we loving?

I’m wondering just how different the current racial climate is from the time when U.S. schools were first being desegregated and different kids were all of a sudden in the classroom together. If that was the case now, what would you tell your child about the boy or girl in the classroom who has different color skin? We are quick to say we would not have been racists in the 60’s. We are sure we would certainly not have been Nazi’s. So, what about now? This is the racial divide of our time. How will we respond when our children ask? How would Jesus respond?

Whether we are in the U.S. or Europe, we cannot hide behind a claim that we are “protecting our Judeo-Christian foundations” by keeping out Muslims. We can’t hide because that is not the teaching of true Christianity. Jesus came to serve and to die for ALL. When we tell our children that all means all except those who practice other faiths, we are not sharing Jesus’s value, but instead we are teaching our children …and Muslim children…that Jesus is not true love and that His teachings are so frail we have to keep out those who have different beliefs or ours will crumble.

Jesus can handle meeting Muslims. He can handle loving Muslims. So, what about us? Are we not to teach our children His ways? Are we not to love the ones Jesus loves?

When the question beneath the question about the different kid in class really is: “Mommy, who does Jesus love?” What will be our answer?

Here are some resources to help us understand Jesus’s teaching about how we are to care for our different neighbors and a recent article about the just and compassionate response to the refugee crisis in our world:
Why Should Christians Be Concerned About Refugees?
Justice and Compassion – Responding to the Refugee Crisis in Europe

In : Response 

Tags: muslim  children  jesus 

Blog Authors

John and Kaylee Kolditz Kaylee founded Refugee Connect in 2008. John joined the work in 2011 as we investigated the refugee situation in Europe. But our faith and cross-cultural journeys have been a work-in-progress for many years. Much of this blog reflects that. ************************************************ We met in Austin, TX, while volunteering at a serving event at Gateway Church and have been married since 2002. Marriage, parenting and ministry all require a great deal of intentionality, humility and true reliance on God for strength, wisdom, and grace. It is a journey we are grateful to be on together. Ultimately, what matters to us is building into meaningful relationships in ways that, to the best of our ability and by God's grace, demonstrate the love and hope Jesus freely offers to us all. ************************************************ We bring both business and ministry backgrounds into our current work. John started a business in his 20's and helped build several other businesses. He has also served with churches in a variety of roles including as an assistant pastor, director of community development, and missions board member. Kaylee left her marketing career to become the global missions director for our home church in Austin, TX, then founded a local refugee ministry, and became TEFL certified (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in order to prepare for our work overseas. We have led short-term teams domestically and internationally, and served with a variety of cross-cultural ministries. In 2008, we sensed a call to build into the church in Europe, which was also around the time when God broke Kaylee’s heart for refugees. Since then, God has continued to weave together this heart for refugees, desire to serve alongside the church, and focus on His call to Europe.

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