"Would you expect your husband to attend bible study with you every week? he asked.
We hung out one Wednesday night before bible study. We had a small dinner, talked, laughed, and around 6:30 pm I headed out to make it on time, while he stayed at home preparing to go to the gym. He called me later on that evening revealing that he felt a little awkward as I left for bible study and he was still sitting on the couch.
He knew the importance and significance of church in my life. He wanted to know what my expectations would be if we ever decided to move forward in a relationship. Mind you, he does go to church, and his bible study is actually on Tuesday nights. Because of his work schedule and distance from church to work, there are many nights he is unable to make it to the house for bible study, but will watch online.
Had this been a year ago, I would've been very adamant about attending bible study every Wednesday and being in the house, not online! It was a tradition and routine in my house growing up. There was a bit of judgment that came when I even thought about not wanting to go. Oh, but I've learned better! I've been freed of other people's expectations and judgments. I currently work a great distance from my house and church, and work late hours at times. Bible study is a great midweek boost and study of the word of God. Its a more intimate setting where you can ask questions and hear others thoughts and opinions, but there are just some days I just can't make it, and I am ok with that! I'm still saved!
To answer his question, I let him know that I would like for my family to attend church regularly together on Sunday mornings. Bible study during the week would definitely be a great time to share in the word together as a family, but I absolutely understand the midweek hustle and bustle and would not expect him to attend every week.
But being the woman that I am, I started to over analyze and think too hard. Are we on the same page spiritually, not just from our conversation about bible study, but then I began to wonder about other aspects of his spiritual life. Does he read his word frequently? What's his prayer life like? How involved is he in ministry? Is he a worshiper like me? He doesn't talk a lot about God. Is God really that important in his life? I began to judge his entire spiritual life! We discussed our relationship with Christ and he shared his story of salvation and his draw to the church. But he cusses occasionally, doesn't have a strong desire to wait to have sex before marriage, but respects the wishes of the woman he is with. He's not as involved in ministry at church because of his busy work schedule, and he listens to ratchet music in his car at times.
If I began to list my faults, they may far out way his. Well, let's see. I listen to ratchet music in my car occasionally too! Sometimes I just need a good beat to dance to and Yolanda Adams just won't do it! If you push me too far, hallelujah is not the first word to exit my mouth. I've committed to being celibate and waiting until marriage to have sex, but the way my flesh is set up, that battle is not always won! I think negative thoughts at times. I don't treat everyone with kindness every day. And the list goes on and on. But we are both saved and proclaim Jesus Christ.
As a minister and a seminary student, my life demands visible accountability, studying the word, and constant prayer. A burden and blessing that can be difficult to handle and live up to at times. But its a daily process and struggle that I enjoy, because God has been nothing short of a amazing in my life. Unfortunately, it sometimes causes me to become judgmental in seeking a mate because I zoom in solely on their current spiritual walk and forget the time it took me to grow to where I am today. It's still not anywhere of where I should and will be, but God is good! LOL
Questioning and observing his spiritual walk and relationship with Christ is not a bad thing. Ladies, it should be at the top of your list as you date and seek long term relationships. But when you begin to answer and draw your own conclusions, you slip into the realm of judgment and condemnation that we has humans do not have the right to do. Actions tell a lot, but only time and situations can reveal the true essence of who a person truly is. We are called to be in relationship with one another, yet in dating, as Christian women, we tend to devise conversion plans to make him into the man we want and desire and not who God destined him to be. We must accept people where they are and allow God to do the necessary work. This walk is a race that we are not all in at the same pace and distance, but we are in this race together.
As I've gotten older, dating has actually drawn me closer to God as I seek his guidance on relationships. I seek to be married. Not just to any man, but the man God has for me. And that requires constant communication with the one who is preparing my husband. Reminding myself that its only been 3 weeks!! I am going to continue to "chill", enjoy the experience, and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal and lead me in this relationship. It just makes me tighten up my walk that I may be an influence and not a hindrance. Because if he is not the one, then I want to make sure my seed was planted on good soil, and not choked by my judgment and impatience.