Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make a helper fit for him.”Genesis 2:18
In addition to the marital relationship, God has designed us to need other relationships in a healthy community. God’s admission of Adam’s loneliness calls us to be relationally connected beyond marriage. Simply put, the helpless and alone description explains the purpose of marriage, and it is also about relational community.
Your closest relationships as individuals and as a couple will bear significant weight on your perspectives in life. Whomever you allow to be in your inner circle will affect how you value marriage. Surround yourself with immature believers who hold their vows loosely, and your marriage is immediately endangered. Ensure that the people closest to you are closest to God, and your life together has a fortitude that is hard to gauge.
The healthier your relationships, the stronger your marriage.
We neglect real wisdom when we refuse to be intentional in learning from others. That’s why I cannot overstate the benefit of planting your marriage in a healthy church. Your involvement must be more than attendance in large group gatherings. If all you do is come in late and leave early at a worship service without knowing anyone and being known by others, you are missing what the church is intended to be.
The Body of Christ is a group of people who are more than simple spiritual consumers. Biblical information is accessible easily, but biblical transformation often happens within the context of relationships. Commit to a local church that prioritizes biblical discipleship, honors faithful marriages, and fosters intentional relationships. You need people around you if and when life gets challenging.
Do not wait to find the perfect church because you will never discover it (and you will ruin it once you get there).
If you prioritize gospel-centered relationships, you increase the chance of your marriage surviving any onslaught brought against it. Mentors and friends will reveal to you that your challenges are not unique. Within the context of these relationships, you will find practical wisdom and helpful testimonials on how to apply biblical truth to a marriage. The church is meant to be a group of people who remind us that God hasn’t given up on us, and neither have they.
You will find differences. That is expected. But you will also find remarkable similarities. Within these relationships, you will be served with encouragement and serve as encouragers. You mutually share lessons to help one another bypass potential landmines and nurture flourishing marriages.
Your marriage needs encouraging support around it in the form of consistent, Christlike friendships. If you want your relationship to strive, ensure that you have people around you who desire the same thing.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.