Is he running hard after God?
Are you running hard after God?
Would you like to run hard after God together?
Well then, that’s all that matters.
Go for it.
You are “equally yoked.”
You should be good to go.
And hurry it up.
No long engagement.
Wouldn’t want either of you to “burn with lust.”
We will do some premarital counseling.
Tell you how to do your finances.
How the wife should submit to her husband.
And the husband should love his wife.
You good at submitting?
You good at loving?
You should be good to go.
Don’t spend too much time together before the wedding.
Too much temptation.
Let’s get you to the altar.
Then you can kiss.
And hang out more.
All the time, actually.
After your wedding day.
Go on ahead and live together.
Make a home together.
Have some kids.
A quiverfull in fact.
A little army of Christians.
All equally yoked.
It will be Heaven on Earth.
It won’t be that.
You will be running hard after God.
Together, of course.
And that is hard.
Running is hard.
But it’s all a part of dying to yourself.
Which is biblical.
This will be good.
Until… it just isn’t.
This is how we believed.
I somehow ignored the wisdom of my mom.
She would always say my dad was her best friend.
They liked all the same things.
Had so much in common.
Rollerskating, bowling, vacations, family.
She loved to talk about the fun they always had together.
It wasn’t so much about their theology.
They did go to the same church.
They loved God and loved others.
But they left room for each other to run at their own speed.
And enjoyed their lives together as partners.
Do you see the difference?
Kev and I had so much in common.
We were friends before we got married.
Honestly, we did things all kinds of backward.
Kid first, then wedding.
Big fat no-no.
But we got the friendship part right.
And the more we got involved in church…
The more I worried about the “running together” part.
I felt like I was always running ahead.
Wanting to go faster.
Dragging him along.
We’ve gotta get to God.
You should be running a little ahead of me.
Your faith should be stronger.
Our pastor says you need to be going to the men’s group at 5:30 AM.
Get up, you sluggard.
Go learn how to lead me.
Of course, I didn’t say that out loud.
I was a gentle and quiet kind of wife.
One confused, pissed, gentle, quiet wife.
And then, my faith began to shift.
The questions came.
The anxiety and depression came along with them.
I went from running full speed ahead…
To sitting down in the middle of the track.
While sweet Kevin stood there.
Wondering what the heck was going on.
At first, he was telling me to get up.
People are passing us.
But eventually, he just plopped down beside me.
Realizing we both just need a good rest.
And as we sat there in the middle of our little chaotic race.
We looked each other in the eyes.
It took a long while.
Years, in fact.
To really see.
The tears began to dry.
The sun began to shine.
And we saw each other for who we really were.
Who we are.
A couple of kids who are growing up together.
With kids and grandkids of our own.
We like the same things.
The same music.
~ R & B.
The same sports.
~ Baseball is our favorite.
~ Just get us to the beach.
~All of it.
~All the kinds of food.
Now that our kids are grown.
We have so much time together.
And we’ve realized.
We both love God.
And we enjoy each other.
Nothing perfect about it.
I’m just saying…
Marry your friend.
Make sure you have more in common than just your theology.
Your theology will shift.
Your faith will grow.
And there is room for it all.
Marriages inside of a pressure cooker just don’t work.
All the expectations.
Trying to get your spouse to be who you think they need to be.
Run the pace you think they need to run.
The one the pastor is telling you all to run.
Take the pressure off.
Have a seat.
Figure out if you are friends.
Go from there.