Thursday, August 16, 2012

'Missionary Dating'

"...any fellowship together in the Spirit?..." Philippians 2:1

Don told me his story of seeing a Muslim woman, although he wanted me to know it wasn’t anything romantic. He tried to convince me he wasn’t 'missionary dating'. He had hoped that witnessing to her would bring her into the Kingdom of God and said, “That works, doesn’t it?” Don felt sorry for Muslim women and considered them oppressed and needing to be affirmed. Hmm…his story brought back memories of when I was seventeen and missionary dating. I even lent my Bible to Steve which he kept for weeks. I didn’t want my missionary parents to think I was romantically involved with the guy. Eventually I began to want my Bible back more than the guy.

Maybe you are seeing a Muslim guy and you are trying to convince yourself you’re not romantically involved – just 'missionary dating'. In a large percentage of conferences or churches I speak at I will inevitably meet some Christian women who married Muslim men whom they had been seduced by or attracted to for various reasons. The men were religious, respectful, and charming. The Christian women made the assumption that missionary dating – witnessing to the Muslim man to bring him to the truth of Christ – would work. But they discovered too late that they had been deceived. They have spent years in marriages unable to pray together in one spirit, even though many declare that they really love their husbands and that they are wonderful men. Not all stories are horror stories, but many are sad. What I usually hear is that the spiritual union remains incomplete. Spiritual oneness really is the “icing on the cake”. For those of us who have experienced spiritual oneness we can testify it is truly the sweetest union of all.

Once physical and emotional captivation has taken root it is very hard to walk away from the Muslim person you have come to love. Soul ties in dating which are not designed by God can be broken but that does come with a lot of pain. It is possible. However, usually radical measures have to be implemented like no more phoning, emailing, texting, chatting on the internet, and seeing each other.

If you are missionary dating a Muslim I would encourage you to find a Christian man or woman(man with man, woman with woman) to spend time witnessing to the Muslim person you find yourself drawn to. Spiritual interest will become genuinely revealed. You really do need to know how genuine his or her interest is. It will be difficult for you to read the signals clearly once you have been romantically captivated. Marriage is about two people becoming one. There is the pleasure of physical oneness and satisfying oneness of mind and purpose, but there is also spiritual oneness. Without spiritual oneness you will always feel there is something missing. Ed and I start our days reading the Bible together and praying. We unite our spirits in the Holy Spirit. It is mystical and sweet. Without that our marriage would be like eating a plain cake. How much more desirable when the cake comes with the icing, lighted candles and decorations!

Dear heavenly Father, some Christian woman reading this needs Your help. Please come to her rescue. In Jesus’ name, Amen.