Sad, but true: I once had a boyfriend who told me if Jesus came back, he would just hold onto me to get into heaven. I almost think he was serious. That should’ve been a red flag. But that’s a story for another time. If it were that easy, we’d all live however we wanted and when the trumpet sounded, frantically search for the most sanctified-looking person in the vicinity like a game of eternal freeze tag.
But all jokes aside, I’m certain there’s a better way to have a godly relationship while experiencing our own spiritual growth on a regular basis. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of two Christians dating or even having a “Kingdom marriage.” However, there are some key benefits to knowing God for yourself, first and foremost.
We know how it is. You see them getting their praise and worship on at church. Your dates consist of bible studies and coffee. You pray together almost every night on the phone.
But ask yourself, is this person fit to carry the spiritual weight of a godly marriage? Are you?
It may come as surprise to many, but it takes more than works. It takes true relationship. Sometimes we overlook the fact that:
- Each spouse has a unique spiritual role to play.
- As humans, eventually we may fail ourselves and our spouse.
- Leaning on our spouse’s spiritual relationship with God while neglecting our own is a form of idolatry.
Here’s how to avoid the pitfalls of being “saved by association.”
- Become familiar with God’s plan for marriage and the individual strengths gifted to believers in the roles of husband and wife; believe it or not, this starts before marriage. Can I let you in on a secret? I used to think it was corny to pray for someone I hadn’t met who may not exist. But over time, God has shown me it teaches me to be intentional, as well as getting into the habit of praying for my spouse on a regular basis. There is another principle here that can be applicable in all areas of life as well: Praying over the promises of God before you actually see them come into fruition is an example of maturity in your faith. God is good teacher like that.
- Alexander Pope once said, “To err is human.” Be aware that one day, one of you will be weaker spiritually. This could last for a moment or for years. But how can you cover your wife or husband if you were depending on your spouse the whole time as your personal go-between for you and God? Think about when Job’s wife encouraged him to curse God and die during his low season, or when Lot’s wife, who was clearly weaker spiritually, chose to look back. These are both examples of what it looks like when your spouse doesn’t know God intimately for themselves.
- Bring your own relationship with God to the party so you don’t fall into idolatry. In our circles, sometimes it feels like an actual godly man or woman is like a unicorn in today’s society, so when we do come across a potential spouse, we get infatuated with the idea of Kingdom dating and marriage that we forget the “Kingdom” aspect. We can begin to look to this person for everything we feel we need instead of God, if we’re not careful. Learning God for ourselves everyday keeps our eyes focused on Jesus.
We are a people meant to be true salt and light. Whether you know it or not, someone is watching you and learning from you. It may be your children, or unsaved loved ones, your coworkers, or even strangers that follow you on social media. In order to effectively demonstrate this good thing we have found in Christ, we ought to genuinely walk out knowing Him, growing in Him, and living for Him.
Amber Shardé resides in South Florida where she lives and serves the creative community while raising her two young children with her husband Thabo. Driven by a passion to be counter-cultural and advance the Kingdom, she heads up creative organization, House of Bezalel, which uses the arts to reach the unreachable. Amber is also setting up to release her first book and launch the "What We Talkin' 'Bout" podcast as co-host with the fiery CeCe and hone in on what it means to be millennial Kingdom women in the real world. Follow along on IG: @HouseofBezalel