“Did you guys choose Christian marriage?”
“What does that mean?”
“I just want to get married. What’s this Christian stuff?”
I think the best way I can explain this stuff is to clarify what I believe with Christianity.
I believe that about 2000 years ago, a historical man named Jesus walked, taught, was crucified, died, then was resurrected. This resurrection, which he foretold would happen, validates his teachings that He (Jesus) is the way, the truth and the life. He is our salvation from sins which would have condemned us to hell.
If I believe this to be true, then living a life devoted to Jesus according to his teachings is the only way to live. Knowing what I now know, if I chose NOT to do this, I’d be condemning my soul to hell by choice.
So Jesus is first and the rest is second (myself, Sarah, our community).
Therefore, the only way that Sarah and I could see living life together is to do so aligned with Truth (Jesus’ teachings). The cool thing is: living aligned with Jesus' teachings means living a full and beautiful marriage (not necessarily easy). My boy brain pictures it as a system, with many safeguards protecting us from messing this thing up, because it's built for success (IF AND ONLY IF we follow the lessons of Jesus).
Here are three things we believe based on what we've learned (in my own words):
- Christianity is a grace based lifestyle. Grace is defined "the free and unmerited favor of God". So Sarah and I freely forgive each other. There's no "keeping score" in a Christian marriage. There's no "power struggle".
- We have a common core of Jesus holding us together. Sarah will fail me. I will fail Sarah. However, having Christ at the center of our relationship keeps us fulfilled because His love never fails.
- Jesus was a servant-leader. Not a totalitarian-leader. He put others before himself. If we can follow his teachings, which are aligned with the servant-leader framework, we'll have a constantly giving, never taking relationship.
Are there other ways to be married? Legally, sure. By other religious standards, sure. For social satisfaction, sure. But if I believe this man walked, talked, died, and was resurrected 2000'ish years ago, then there is one Truth out there and one marriage that matters under God.
A question for you: if you believe Jesus is the one way to heaven, how much do you have to hate someone to not tell them about Christ? (there are two choices: Heaven or Hell)