The significance of community has truly become more and more apparent to me as I walk this journey in a mismatched marriage and have the pleasure of interacting with you, our readers, here, on our Facebook page and on our 1Peter3Living Yahoo group. The very first group I ever joined was in Europe at my international church. It was an amazing thing to be with a group of women who all spoke different languages, yet we “spoke” the same language when it came to our mismatched marriages.
God designed us with a need to connect to those who share common interests and especially common trials. I was reminded of this Sunday at church. I chatted for just a few minutes with two gentlemen in my church. What did we talk about? The Bible. Specifically about how God’s Word is so alive! How we can read something we’ve read many times, yet find a new revelation and meaning in the very same piece of Scripture thanks to the Holy Spirit and God’s timing.
Just this brief conversation reminded me how much we need to connect to other believers to not only share our needs but to share our excitement about our faith. To stand with other believers who are also walking the journey of faith in Jesus. Two places in Scripture reveal this:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. — Hebrews 10:24-25 (emphasis added)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. — 2Corinthians 1:3-7 (emphasis added)
Both of these Scriptures point out our need to be in community with other believers, not only to receive comfort and encouragement but also to be comforters and encouragers as well.
Simply said, we need each other.
I know it’s not easy getting to church every Sunday for many of us, so I’d like to encourage you to think outside the box here. Can you join a small group for Bible study, even an online group? In this day of technology, it’s overwhelming but it’s also easier than ever to find others who share in our faith walk and join groups for Bible study. Please consider these options carefully, of course.
A dear friend of mine pointed out a wonderful truth in 2Corinthians 1:3-7. God’s Word tells us in these verses that God desires us to use the comfort we’ve received to comfort others. We are called into service here. The other side to this is amazingly simple and beautiful.
When we are struggling in our trials, we can expect God to send others to encourage and comfort us. Yes, expect! Isn’t that amazing?
Look for those precious people God sends into your life at just the right time. Ask God for a way to connect with other believers to share your faith. This is especially vital for those of us in mismatched marriages because it gives us a way to talk about our faith without putting expectations on our unbelieving spouses.
Then the need for community that God designed us to have is nurtured and filled exactly as God designed it to be.
Praying and believing,