Andy and Grace met through a mutual friend. From day one they seemed to be the perfect match. Grace was everything Andy had always wanted. She was beautiful, outgoing, and caring—always there when Andy needed her.
For the first five months they were inseparable. Andy could hardly think of anything but Grace. He didn’t need to look further, he told friends, ‘She’s the one’.
Now almost three years have passed. Andy still enjoys the familiarity of being with Grace, but the spark is gone. Grace’s flaws seem more obvious. He’s not sure he finds her as attractive as he once did. He’s sure there’s a better option out there.
And he’s beginning to resent all the time she wants to spend with him. One night when she asks if they can define the nature of their relationship, Andy blows up. ‘We’re together, aren’t we?’ he asks angrily. ‘Why isn’t that enough for you?’
Obviously, Andy isn’t ready for a commitment. And it’s unclear if he ever will let himself be.
You need to know something about the couple.
There are millions of Andys walking around today.
And Grace isn’t a girl. Grace is a church.
- From "Stop Dating The Church: Fall In Love With The Family Of God" by Joshua HarrisDid you see that one coming?
More importantly, did it describe you or a trend you see in others?
Many of us have been just like Andy. We've treated the local church like a someone we want to string along, keeping a presence there just enough to maintain the relationship, but never a real investment to see the beauty of what commitment could bring out.
That’s because it’s easier to date than it is to be in a marriage – to spend hours with someone at dinner or doing something special is easy. But to make a “for better or for worse” commitment is hard. That means living with them when you're grumpy, they're sleepy, you're sick, they're worried, you're struggling, and they're disappointed.
"Andy" is a perfectionist with the church - first she was all that, and then she was nothing.
- Some of her faults are really hers. Nobody’s perfect, and the better we get to know each other, the more we learn how much that’s true.
- Her other faults, however, are more in him than in her. The standards he applies to her he doesn't apply to himself.
Is your relationship with your church one you'd rather not define? Or is it one you're "all in" on and putting in the effort to make sure the "family" is the healthiest it could possibly be?