Are you dating the church, married to it, or broken up with it?
by Michael Galloway
I went on my first date as a freshman in high school. I remember asking this girl out on a date, a little while later I got a call as the girl had talked to her parents. They had decided that before they would allow their daughter to go on a date, the guy had to eat dinner with their family. Looking back at that time in my life I can see that I didn’t date the girl long, and in fact didn’t date any girls for a long time while in high school. I enjoyed going on dates but not being “burdened down” or committed to a girlfriend. I have realized since that time that there are many who treat their religion like “high school me” treated relationships. There are many who try to date the church, when instead they should be trying to marry it!
1) What is a church dater? Most of the time when someone is just trying to date the church everything is about them! They are me-centered, independent, and end up being a harsh critic about the smallest things. They care nothing about the church they are trying to date. The problem with this is the attitude. The church is not just about us. Instead the church is about Christ!
2) Those that date the church with no intention to marry miss out on the benefits of marriage. As most readers know when you stop dating to date, and start dating to marry you end up with a better relationship. In most instances you care more about the other person, and care more about the relationship. The same is true when it comes to the church. The church is about relationships. The church is described in the Bible as being the bride of Christ. The church is also described as being made up of Christians who have obeyed the gospel. If the body of the church is made up by Christians then that means we are Christ’s bride. The church is made up of a group of people that act as your spiritual family. When you date with no outlook for the future it will causes the relationship to fail. When you look towards the future it causes you to strive towards greater things such as heaven.
3) Those that marry the church should be committed to it. If you want to be married to the church that Christ started there are several things to realize. First, we must join in the manner that Christ set into place in John 3 with Nicodemus. Second, in order to truly realize the benefits that Christ has given and to truly do what Christ wants we must commit to his Church. After all there are responsibilities from both parties in marriage. The church was central to God’s plan and it should be central to any Christian’s plan as well.
What about you? Are you a church dater or have you married the church? Have you broken up with the church? I encourage you to marry the church and stay married till life.