SharingMy son’s girlfriend is an atheist.  He wants to share his faith but he doesn’t want to alienate her and he knows sharing his faith with her is risky.  Sadly, her defenses are already up because of a series of abrasive Christians she has already met.

Why is it that when many Christians share their faith it sounds like a reprimand?  “I know that you think you’re right, but . . . I believe that what you are doing is bad because . . . God hates it when you . . .” As a result, this young woman and so many like her see Christians as narrow-minded, bossy, and judgmental.

It is going to be a long, rocky road before she will be able to perceive anything else. Yet, my son has people pushing him to convert her NOW. Even when these people know why he is taking his time, they say the same thing.  “If you don’t do it, I will.”

This is what my mother called bull in a china shop.  These people know things are delicate and easily broken but they are going to thunder and they won’t consider another way.

My son has chosen another approach for dealing with people who have suffered abrasive confrontations in the name of Christ.

  1. Let the person get to know you. Model Christ’s behavior in your life and it will be seen.
  2. Mention your faith at appropriate times.  As you interact with this person, don’t hide your faith or your church activities. Make brief comments as appropriate and then move on. This doesn’t mean any time there is a lull in conversation.  It needs to fit.
  3. Link the two.  As your friendship deepens, make the connection between your behavior and your faith more obvious.
  4. Invite. Ask this person to come to a church activity with you. If your friend is especially skittish, start with a social activity. Or if they are civic minded, you might ask them go to the Crop Walk with your youth group. Then invite them to a special service.
  5. Encourage.  As this person starts to open up, encourage this by inviting them to learning activities such as women’s circle or a study group.  The more personal relationships they build with kind, loving Christians, the more likely they are to see the Love and Beauty of Christ.