She got married this weekend. She married a man who doesn’t share her love for Jesus. She married him against the church’s counsel. Did she ignore the wisdom of the pastors and older ladies in the church? Did she ignore the sermon the pastor preached just for her?
I know she heard. I know she struggled. I know she prayed for her boyfriend to become a believer. I know she sent him scripture and tried to speak to him. In the end she made the decision.
She got married this weekend. She now lives with her husband and his family. She is now the kelen (the daughter-in-law who must see to her mother-in-law’s every wish). She is now the only Christian in a Muslim household.
I pray for humility for her in her new home. I pray that they may see the purity and reverence of her life so that they may be won over by her behaviour (1 Peter 3:1).
She got married this weekend. My heart grieves for the choice she has made. My heart aches. Yet I will try to understand. I will try to understand the pressure to get married in a culture that honours family as of the utmost importance. I will try to understand that she is a young woman who is considered too old to be single in her culture. I will try to understand that in her culture, marriages are often arranged and distant family relatives are often the preferred choice of a partner. I will try to understand that her culture demands that she has a child (preferably a son) to provide for her when she is old. A child who will care for her in the same way that she cares for her own mother now. I will try to understand.
She got married this weekend and I worry for her. Will she be allowed to come to church again or will her new Muslim family forbid it? Will her husband love her when he doesn’t understand the love of God? Will she teach her children about Jesus in the same way as she has taught my children about Jesus for so many weeks in children’s church? Will her children ever get to hear the name of Jesus? Will she be brave enough to share her faith with her children if her husband is against it? Will her faith in God be strong through difficulties? Will her love for God grow in a dark place? Will God’s joy still shine from her eyes and from her smile if her heart is unhappy and troubled?
I pray for God to sustain her. I pray for her faith to grow even in these circumstances.
She got married this weekend and I am burdened. Did we do enough? Did we pray enough? When she brought him over to share a meal with us so that he could meet a Christian family, did we do enough? Did we ask the right questions? Did we challenge them enough? Should we have invited them to spend more time with us? Did we fail? Is it too late?
I pray that it is not too late. I pray that the things we have said would be seeds in his heart. I pray for more opportunities to talk and to share with them as a couple. I pray that now she is married I will be able to speak to her as one married woman to another. I pray that our friendship will grow.
She got married this weekend. My heart grieves. My heart aches. I worry for her. I am burdened for her.
She got married this weekend. She belongs to her husband. But she also belongs to God. She belongs to God and it is in Him that I put my hope for her.
Beth is from the global South, and she loves the ocean and cold Christmas dinner on a hot day around the pool. She is married to an adventurer, and they have three wonderfully unique children.