Over the 16+ years of our marriage, we’ve learned firsthand the transformative power and necessity of Christian community. Christian fellowship is much more than simply going to church and church events. It’s about fostering deep, meaningful relationships with fellow believers that enrich our spiritual lives and strengthen our marriages. Fellowship is not optional for the believer, it is a command. God calls each one of his children to grow in our fellowship and unity with each other.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)
“From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him, you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)
We remember the time when we first joined a marriage Bible study group. We were new to the concept, a little apprehensive, but eager to grow in our faith and our marriage. The experience was exactly the thing we needed in our marriage. We found ourselves surrounded by couples who were navigating the same journey of marriage, grappling with similar challenges, and striving to live out their faith in their marriage and life.
Romans 12 paints a vivid picture of what Christian community should look like. It speaks of us as individual members of one body, each with unique gifts and roles, but all working together for God’s purposes. This scripture challenges us to evaluate our roles within our community and to fulfill our unique roles with grace and dedication.
In our experience, being part of a close Christian community has been a source of immense personal growth and played a major part in saving our rocky marriage. As we share in each other’s struggles and victories, we learn to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). This shared experience fosters a sense of unity and mutual support that is invaluable in our journey of faith and marriage and reminds us that we are not alone.
One of the most profound aspects of the Christian community is the practice of serving others. When we fulfill that, when we walk out in serving others, the intrinsic value and what it does to our hearts is transforming and wonderful. Serving others isn’t just about meeting their needs; it’s about allowing God to work in our hearts and transform us in the process.
However, being part of a Christian community isn’t always easy. It requires constant communication and a willingness to be vulnerable, and having eyes and ears open to those around us. Are you aware of brothers and sisters that might be walking in sin or struggling in their marriage? And not being afraid to go speak the truth in love to them… It’s called iron sharpening iron. This accountability, while challenging, is crucial for personal growth and a stronger marriage.
Christian community isn’t just about what we receive, but also about what we contribute. As we read in Romans 12, we each have a role to play in the body of Christ. Whether it’s through encouragement, teaching, or acts of service, we are called to use our gifts for the benefit of the community.
Christian community plays a vital role in a thriving and strong marriage. It provides a platform for mutual support, personal growth, and spiritual enrichment. It challenges us to look beyond our needs and serve others with love and humility. As we continue to navigate our journey of marriage, we are grateful for the Christian community that surrounds us and the invaluable lessons it teaches us.
We invite you to join us on this journey. Evaluate your life and your marriage in light of Romans 12. Are you fulfilling what God has called you to do? Are you being the community you desire? Remember, “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season, we will reap a harvest” (Galatians 6:9). Let’s be the community that the Bible calls us to be.
Aaron and Jennifer Smith
Aaron and Jennifer Smith are the authors and founders of MarriageAfterGod.com. We are passionate about encouraging couples to set their eyes on God while boldly asking the question, “God, what can our marriage do for you?” In our books, we share personal stories of failure and victory from our own marriage while pointing to the wisdom in God’s Holy Word. We have been married for over 16 years and are raising five young children, and we are no strangers to the enemy’s attack on marriage. We hope to equip you to be prepared, inspired, and encouraged to live boldly, chasing after God’s purposes together. Ever since we got married, we have purposed to serve God and build His kingdom together. We blog, write books, and host a weekly podcast urging couples to say yes to God and to be used by God for His extraordinary purposes.