Submission & Church

I have so much that I want to write about since my last post, but I guess that will just give me more to write about throughout the rest of the week – like a run-through of the ladies night I had yesterday called How-To Guide for the Woman Warrior.

Amongst the responses that I have received about my church hunting updates have been questions about my relationship with Derek and effects that has on my current and future church selections. So, I’ll address some of those questions quickly and let you know what I believe about marriage and churches.

Derek is currently attending church in Swanzey, which is about an hour and a half from my house and a little over 45 minutes from his house. His brother, our friend Chris and Chris’ brother Scott also attend the same church. The church is a great fit for Derek and it’s helping him grow a lot, which we both love. I’ve attended services at the church on various occasions and had considered making the drive out there on Sundays – yes, that sounds very insane, I know. After praying some more, I realized that I couldn’t commit to a church so far away as my home church and still be involved the way I wanted to be during the rest of the week with the community (in and out of the church body). So, Derek and I will both be attending different churches right now. Yes, it is a little sad because, I mean c’mon, he’s my boyfriend and I love having him with me when I’m in church and, well, all the time… But we both definitely feel that we’re on the right paths right now and that it’s best for us to be where God wants us, even if that’s apart for the time being.

The question came up of if Derek and I got married, would we still attend different churches? While marriage is a possibility for us, it’s still a ways off, so attending the same church isn’t something that we worry about right now. However, we both strongly agree that married couples should attend the same church. There’s a special bonding that comes when you are presented to a church body as one and building relationships within a church community together. Attending the same service and getting the same revelations from it or even getting different revelations and then sharing those with one another to build each other up.

That leads us to another question: would I just submit to Derek’s choice of churches or would he go to my church? Again, while submission in marriage is definitely important and highly beneficial to a happy, growing, passionate and glorious Christian marriage, Derek and I would do neither. He would not make me go to a church that did not feel home to me and I would not require him to go to a church that didn’t build him up. We would both look for a church that we both liked – one that would continue giving us the tools we needed to live our lives in the absolute best way possible and to continue to be a light for Christ, even more so as a married couple. If at that point in our spiritual lives we find that either of our churches fits what we need, we will attend there, but we will continue to search outside those churches until we find a church that we both want to call home.

As most of you know, I attended the first church in my journey for a new church home this past week – Crossway Christian Church. I was very excited to have Derek with me on my first real “church test” as I’ve started referring to the process as, and also being there with some friends was good. We went to the 11:00 service, which I’m not used to. So much sleep. : ) There was a cute coffee/snack bar out back, most of which was gone due to the two services that happened prior to ours. The worship had already begun when we walked in and sat down, and it was pretty good. Music is important to me. It is by no means everything, but it definitely makes an impression on me when it’s great or not great. The music wasn’t quite my taste, but it was still good and put together well. I’m also a fan of hand-raisers – you know what I’m talking about. Though in New England it can be a pretty rare sight, I love when people in the congregation are comfortable with raising their hands in music or moving around a bit, even if it’s just a sway. : ) Crossway didn’t seem to have too many, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. The lead pastor had just returned from a missions trip and told some wonderful stories about the different things that happened on the trip. The service was good, but the lesson didn’t quite challenge or connect with me like I wanted. It was a wonderful experience and I did enjoy myself, but by the end of our time, I knew that God had a different home chosen for me, and Derek and I talked about that a bit in the car on our way to lunch.

Tomorrow, I’ll be attending my second church – Calvary Chapel in Chelmsford. I’ll have to admit I’m a bit more excited about this church. It was the church I felt inclined to visit first, but when asked to go to church with some friends that just happened to be attending one of the churches I wanted to check out, I reordered my visits. : ) Calvary has two services – 9 and 11, and I will definitely be going to the 9am service, partially because 11 just seems so late but also because I have 2-3 family portrait photo shoots tomorrow which I’m super excited about. This church is second farthest from my home, but again, it’s the one that caught my attention the most with the Young Adults group that they have.

Prayers for me would be appreciated as I continue in this journey! I still don’t know if I’m going to attend all the churches on my list before deciding or if I’m going to just attend one at a time until one feels right… I guess God will let me know what to do with that when the time comes. : ) Have a fantastic rest of the weekend and I’ll post about my revelations of women as warriors for Christ within the next week!

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