“Earmuffs, Jesus. You know you’re still my boo.” This unexpected movie quote got my attention Saturday night. When one character referred to her birthday as “the real meaning of Christmas,” her friend looked up to the ceiling and advised the Son of God to cover His ears like He was a five-year-old. I know it was “just” a line from a movie, but it did sting my ears. Though seemingly harmless, such sentiment seems to be present everywhere. As a society, we have gone from revering Jesus as mighty and powerful (or, at the very least, a Being to be respected) to using His name as a swear word and painting Him as a weakling. Is it a sign of the times?
Who do you say Jesus is?
Who is Jesus? Who do you say He is? Who does your significant other say He is?
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16, ESV)
If He is Lord – and your Lord – then, He is at the core of who you are… your speech, your desires, and your actions. None of us are without sin, but for those who have repented and confessed Jesus as Savior and Lord, He is everything. If Jesus is our everything, how can we be joined with someone who does not live as though Jesus is Lord? It is one thing to utter, “Jesus is Lord;” yet, it is another for your lifestyle to demonstrate you believe it.
Years ago, Eric and I talked to a couple to their wits’ end. Desperately trying to avoid a break up, they sought to work out their differences – which were entirely religious in nature. She believed in God and wanted to serve Him through the power of Jesus Christ in her life. He wanted her, but not her Jesus (not an uncommon story). However, leading up to that point, he joined her in church and played the part. He appeared to believe just as she did. The true contents of his heart emerged a few years into their relationship when he revealed his atheistic beliefs.
We never ended up hearing what happened to this sweet but frustrated couple. Our earnest prayer is that God led him to repentance and that hopefully they are living happily married today. My heart recalls the ache it felt as we talked to them for hours. They were in love with each other. They felt like family to each other. Their hearts were intertwined and yet this core difference was legitimately pushing them apart. No matter how unsettling, difficult conversations about one’s religious beliefs and theology need to happen before emotions become hopelessly entangled.
Before Easter passes…
Before Easter passes, please have a thorough discussion about Jesus. Look up Scripture. Pray. Share your stories. Talk about your faith heritage. If you have questions, talk about them. Try to find answers. Ask others who have walked in the faith for years. This is the most important discussion to have and dig into before getting engaged and the most crucial time to be honest. Retrieve your Creed notebooks, add the below questions, and talk through them:
- Who is Jesus?
- Does the question “Who is Jesus?” matter to me? Why or why not?
- On a scale from 1-10 (1 being He is not an active part of my life and 10 being He is the center of my life), how close is my relationship with Jesus Christ? (Take some time to ponder this question. Be completely honest, even if you think your answer might upset or dismay your significant other.)
- On a scale from 1-10 (1 being not interested and 10 being extremely interested), how much do I desire a closer relationship with Jesus?
- Is there evidence in my life that I have been changed and redeemed by Christ? (cf. 1 John 1:5-10) What is that evidence?
- How important do I believe Jesus is to my future marriage?
- What does my future spouse need to believe for us to be compatible?
What Does the Bible Say?
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2, ESV)
But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. (Hebrews 53:5, ESV)
And behold, you will conceive I your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:31-33, ESV)
Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” (John 11:24-27, ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6, ESV)
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” (Matthew 14:28-33, ESV)
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” (Luke 24:1-7, ESV)
(Jesus speaking) “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20, ESV)
He Is Risen!
In less than a week, millions of the Christian faith will gather to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There will be sunrise services, communion, new dresses, and giddy children. For all who believe, Resurrection Sunday is a time for unspeakable joy and rejoicing. He is alive!
This is a great time of year to start outlining your creed, especially if Jesus and faith is foundational to your beliefs. There are scores of theological theories and disagreements, but Christ’s birth, death, burial, and resurrection are central to the Christian faith regardless of theological leanings. How central is Christ to your beliefs? How will He impact your creed?
Make Time for Some Fun!!!
Throw yourselves an Easter egg hunt!!! They are not just for children anymore! In each egg, hide a question you want to ask, a treat, a favorite quote, or something you appreciate about the other. Enclose favorite Scriptures. Whether indoors or outside, hide the eggs you prepared especially for each other, go on a hunt, and then enjoy opening them together. It is one of a million fun ways to learn more about each other while enjoying quality time (and gift-giving) together! ~smile~
Happy Resurrection Day from PreEngaged!
We hope you have a week of deep reflection. As Good Friday approaches, saturate yourselves in the riches of God’s Word, and on Sunday, enjoy a time of great rejoicing. Jesus lives! He sits on the right hand of God the Father (cf. Colossians 3). He has taken back the keys to death and the grave (cf. Revelation 1:18). Through Him, we can have everlasting life if we confess our sins (i.e., agree with God that we have done wrong), repent of our sins (i.e., turn 180 degrees away from them and walk the other way), and put our trust and faith in the finished work of Christ (cf. John 19:28-30). God bless you all and have a Happy Easter!!!
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV)
Do I believe in Jesus? What do I believe about Jesus? Do I believe on Jesus?