1) Attend and be active at a church together
Worship is not only for Sunday mornings, or whatever day you gather with fellow believers. However, the accountability, inspiration, and discipline of leaving your home to join with other Christians, worshipping God and learning from His Word, is a powerful act of obedience in your marriage.
If you’re currently engaged and happen to live far apart, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to attend church together. But that doesn’t mean you can’t share what’s happening and the different ways you are involved at the church you attend. Don’t worry, the day will shortly come when you can go to “church” together (I’m referring to the building).
God did not create us to function independently of the body of Christ, the believers. We need each other. Church is not only a place where you can use your gifts to bless others (see 1 Pet.4:10,11, NKJV) but a place where God uses others to bless you. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV) tells us that meeting together is an essential part of growing in our faith.
We’ve seen couples drift because participating in the gathering of the saints was not a priority for them. One common narrative that we’ve heard from these couples goes something like this: We can’t seem to find a church that’s right for us. They’ll stay at one church for several months, maybe even a year or two and then go to another one. Then, the narrative repeats. Do you see a pattern? At some point, you must search yourselves and come to the hard reality that you may be the problem.
There is no perfect church because there are no perfect people. But that shouldn’t keep us from gathering in the presence of the One who is perfecting us.
Some might think that it can be a sacrifice to give up that one chance during the week to sleep in. If you have young children, you know that it can be a challenge getting everyone out the door on time. But the sacrifice is well worth it when you connect with a faith-community that resonates with your soul.
On that note, we need to be careful about what we call sacrifice. In the western world, we might get puffed up thinking that we are making a “sacrifice” by taking 2 hours out of our jam-packed week to attend a church service. Jesus didn’t die so that you can get a high on good performance. We go to church out of love. Go back to where we talked about The Circle of Spiritual Discipline, and you’ll recall that everything we do as a Christian is but a response of love to the love God has shown us.
Being active together with the church of God, the world-wide community of true believers, will be a means for much encouragement and correction. Speaking from experience, as you do life and ministry with your brothers and sisters, you will often be reminded about how much you don’t know, and how much you must learn. At the same time, you’ll also be reminded about how faithful God has been, and how far you’ve come, by His grace.
We grow as a couple in the context of a community. We need to hear the stories and perspectives of others to be encouraged to keep doing good.
Short, Biblical lessons and free resources on all things love & marriage. A pocket-guide for married couples and for single adults who want Gods best for their life.