The following has been brewing in my heart for a few weeks, and I finally feel like it’s ready to be poured out into a blog post. If you know me personally, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of love. I read love stories, I watch love stories, I seek out love stories in my friends lives. I just love love. And so truth be told, if it wasn’t for fear of how others may feel, I would be writing a lot more Love and Relationship themed posts on my blog. It’s one of those touchy subjects (no pun intended) that can either leave people feeling super encouraged and ready to conquer the word, or it can leave people feeling condemned, ashamed and just simply rubbish.
So before I start this post, I want to highlight the fact that this isn’t written in a way to make you feel bad or condemned about yourself or your relationship. It’s meant to make you feel the opposite. I’m writing this to give you hope – whether you’re in a relationship or not. My prayer is that it sheds light in an area of your life that may feel uncertain or shaky. I hope that God has led you to read this for a reason, and that you allow Him to speak to you through my jumble of words.
Okay, so now that’s out of the way – let’s go…
Before I met Bradley, I met God. Before I loved Bradley, I loved God.
And I’m really glad it happened that way around because God taught me a valuable lesson without me even realising it.
Psalm 92:13 – Those who are planted in the house of the Lord will flourish in the courts of our God.
How do Bradley and I have a happy, strong and lasting relationship?
The answer is simple – we’re both planted in the church.
A crucial mistake so many Christian couples make when they start going out is that they fall more in love with each other than they are with God. They take their eyes off of Him and focus them on their other half. They become complacent with each other’s company and stop seeking His. This is really, really, really, really, really easy to do.
It usually begins when you start exchanging Sundays for date days. And then when you stop serving regularly because it gets in the way of being together. This is especially easy to do when you both have busy working weeks and you don’t have much time for each other in general.
But my encouragement to you is that when you plant your relationship in the church, you will flourish as a couple. If it’s in the Bible, it’s a promise! And God never breaks His promises.
Planting yourselves in His house gives you a firm foundation you place your relationship on. The church surrounds you both with people who are there to keep you accountable, encourage you and build you up.
The church helps you not to isolate as a couple. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that you can’t sustain your friendships! Being at church every Sunday gives you that time to build your friendships. It gives you opportunities to hang out and meet new people. It enlarges your world.
Of course it goes without saying that sustaining a relationship is difficult – regardless of being planted in the church – we all have uphill battles to climb, and climbing them as a couple can be truly testing. But I believe that having your relationship built within the church can help you in those difficult seasons. The church keeps your feet steady – so when trouble comes and life feels heavy and dark, you both know what to do and Who to look to. You can walk through the darkest valley, with Jesus right in front of you.
Bradley and I have seen the endless blessings from making church a priority in our relationship, and now our marriage. I have seen those same blessings in other marriages too – my parents, parents-in-law, pastors and so many couples within the church. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that they have happy, healthy and thriving marriages and that they’re planted in the church. It’s a blessing that comes from it. A promise of flourishing that comes from staying faithful to His law.