On a chilly November morning in 2014, I was privileged enough to marry my wife Debbie in front of a multitude of our friends and family. It was the culmination of a two year long dating relationship, during which I experienced romantic moments that I will treasure forever. Of course, a relationship is not built on romantic moments alone, but on a solid foundation of mutual respect and care for one another, even when the romance of the relationship begins to fade. What do you say to each other over dinner on your 203rd ‘date night’ that you haven’t said already? Surely there must remain some stories untold, but far be it for to you recall them in the silence. Or what happens when your long time love says something that you don’t agree with? Do you engage in the exhaustive effort of working it out until an understanding is reached, or do you agree only with your voice, while burying your disagreement in your heart to fester? Such are the challenges of sustaining a relationship.
I believe we face similar challenges in our relationship with Jesus, particularly in the realm of engaging with scripture. I’ve found that most followers of the Way can recall a season during which the bible came alive for them. They yearned for its narratives like we yearned for the life stories of our significant other. But what happens when those feelings fade, when we are no longer reading verses for the first time? Those revealing, ‘mic-drop’ moments come more and more seldom and suddenly, spending time in the scriptures feels like just another box to check, and the once enticing accounts of the life of Jesus become repetitive and disinteresting.
So how can we go about reviving the excitement of reading about Christ? I was given wise advice by my father-in-law before my wedding. In short, he said: always remember why you fell in love in the first place. Reflecting on the attractive qualities of a person is a great way to rejuvenate the relationship. In the instance of Jesus, we have scripture, which points us to who Jesus is (John 5:39). Reading scripture, as well as reflecting on the character of Jesus, reminds us of how truly lovely He is. Debbie and I strive to do this daily by reading the Moravian daily text. Not only are we able to provide accountability for each other in our daily routines, but we are led to discuss the different issues and nuances we come across. This helps us avoid the individualization of our walks with Christ that has been prevalent in our Christian culture as of late, and instead allows us to create a unified vision for what our marriage should look like. Instead of each creating our own ideas of how we should be living, we remind each other of the character of Jesus and work out together how this should affect our lives. With this accountability, we are able to weed out our own biases and form a more complete view of who Christ is. And as we do this, we find ourselves engaging with each other and Christ on new levels and are reminded of the person and of the God we fell in love with in the first place.
Like what you see here? Join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30 at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington for the conversation and our Q&A.