In May, I told the students on CSM Wednesday night that if they were in a dating relationship, that their relationship should draw them closer to God and should challenge their spiritual life in a positive way. This, I believe, is true for any relationship and is especially true for marriages. Your spouse should challenge your failures, your convictions, your insecurities, and your strengths in a way that makes you want to lay everything you have at the foot of the cross. Before I said this to them though, I had to reflect on how my relationship with Stefanie has strengthened my faith.
I have known Stefanie for 3 and a half years, dated her for 3 of those years, and have been engaged to her for about 7 months. Now, I know that many people in the church will see me as an amateur for those stats but in the short time I have known her, I have never met someody so stubbornly rooted in God's Word. It drives me crazy. If I disagree with her on something spiritual then my opinion needs to have scriptural support. If I don't find that support, then I am stuck not only with her disagreement but also with the new realization that the little house that makes up my opinion may actually be settled on sand instead of rocks.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
As much as my pride hates to admit it, because of Stefanie I have probably read and studied more scripture these past few years than I have ever before. Because of this, some of the beliefs that I held dear out of tradition or nostalgia are now nonessentials to me, some are more firmly rooted, and some have changed completely. I feel more knowledgable now of the Bible than ever before and I know that I will continue to grow in the Word as I continue to grow with Stefanie. With that knowledge there lies clarity, discernment, and security that I don't think I could have gained by simply hearing someone else's commentary or interpretation of scripture. I had to read God's Word for myself.
I hope this short blog post can be an inspiration to one of you at COTHA. Whether you are dating or married, I challenge you to study the Word with your significant other. Pray with each other. Read with each other. Quiz each other. Whatever it is that brings you guys closer together and closer to God's Word, do that!