I have been thinking a lot lately about some of the reasons why Laura and I like living where we are at so much. We didn’t even mind our old apartment despite the quirks and constant mariachi music that emanated from the cars on the street. We like Fort Worth even though seminary has been a big drag for us. We like Fort Worth even though we have no family within four hours of us. Why is it that we like it here so much? Why is Fort Worth so much better for us than Dallas was?
In a word, it’s our church. During our first year of marriage we had the privilege of attending Immanuel Baptist Church in Shawnee, OK. We were a part of a growing and thriving Sunday School class of people at a similar stage in life. It was a great community to have supporting us as we went through our first year of marriage.
During our time in Dallas, we never found a church we really felt like God was leading us to attend. We went to a number of churches, but never really felt peace about any of them. Our year in Dallas was not bad, but we lacked the community of support that comes with a church and a small group of people going through life in a similar stage as we were.
Thankfully, our move to Fort Worth also brought us to our current church. We have been able to make a number of friends in our class that have helped make Fort Worth feel more like a home than merely a stop along the way. I don’t know if I would have kept my sanity in seminary these last two years if I did not have a group of guys that I could go blow off steam with during Friday afternoon video game sessions.
I also know that having a good church family has been good for the relationship I have with my wife. It is such a blessing to be able to hang out with other married couples. I think that one of the best things for a marriage is to spend time with other people who love their spouses because that sort of thing is contagious. When you are around couples who enjoy being together and build each other up, it challenges a person to look at their own marriage relationship and make efforts to improve it.
All that to say, I think it is vital to spiritual, emotional, and marital well being for young couples to get actively involved in church. Yes, it requires commitment. It might even mean that sometimes one spouse has to attend church without the other present due to challenging work schedules. When Laura and I were first married we both worked retail and their were times we would go to church alone because the other was working. Basically, it comes down to priorities. If you make church and fellowship with other believers a priority in your marriage than you will find a way to make it work. If you don’t you will every excuse to not go to church.
Get out there and find a church with a small group where you can plug in. You will find both spiritual and marital growth waiting for you.