When a person begins a relationship with Christ, there is an excitement and a new-found joy that is inexpressible. This is how the start of our marriage felt. We were elated as we said heartfelt vows to love one another. Granted, we had no clue how to be a husband and wife, and like most people, we came into our marriage with a lot of baggage from our past and our own ideas of what marriage should look like. We had no idea of how God had wanted us to communicate or love one another. Whenever we tried to fix the problems we had in our own strength, we failed. We found that the real problem in our marriage was much greater than the sum of all of these shortcomings put together. Our real problem was the selfishness of our hearts. Over time, we saw more and more clearly that just as we needed Jesus Christ to save our souls, we needed Jesus Christ to save our marriage.
Thanks to the everlasting mercy of God, Jesus made a way for us through discipleship at United Faith Church with Pastor Jerry and Pastor Janeth Santiago in Barnegat, New Jersey. Many think of discipleship as simply training someone to read the Bible and pray to God. Thanks to our pastors, we found that real discipleship is about relationship and is completely practical, applying the word of God to every aspect of life, including marriage.
Pastor Jerry and Pastor Janeth Santiago began to teach us the most beautiful truths about marriage from the word of God. They modeled these truths in their everyday lives and taught us to do the same. Who knows what might have come of our marriage had it not been for the consistent and unwavering commitment, time, prayers, and love that our pastors have poured out to us over the last seven years. There is simply not enough space or time to write all of the wonderful truths that God has taught us about what it truly means to love one another as Christ loves the church and has given up His life for her. We are so grateful!
In our marriage, we have finally come to learn the secret of true love that lasts forever… believing in and obeying the greatest commandments: to love God and to love one another! If these truths are not firmly established and practiced, no marriage can ever be what it was purposed to be, which is an amazing representation of Christ’s relationship with His church. Just to share a glimpse of the transforming power of God in our marriage, we have come to a place where God’s greatest commandments are in our house and in our hearts.
Above every other concern that life brings, our primary focus each and every day is to ensure that we are both growing in our relationship with Jesus Christ. We have committed ourselves to bless one another daily by speaking the truth in love to one another, by knowing and delighting in one another, by embracing, obeying, and sharing the word of God, by staying in fellowship and accountability with our pastors, brothers, and sisters in United Faith Church, and by placing one another’s welfare above our own. Daily, we expect to grow closer to God and one another, and we are! By God’s grace, we and the other families in United Faith Church are walking in this love, and the unity and harmony that has blossomed out of this journey is nothing less than incredible! We can say with confidence in God’s perfect word that our marriage will continue to grow stronger and stronger in the love of Christ!
If you’d like to know more about how the Word of God can help you to develop a strong marriage, visit unitedfaithchurch.org.