Monday, April 15, 2013

Marrying Someone Who Is Not As Spiritually Mature?

For a person who has developed a keen sense of hearing and love for music; (s)he is not satisfied with a N100,000 sound system and speakers. They will go crazy because their ears pick out all sorts of imperfections that the rest of us don't hear, yet our enjoyment of the music goes on without a care; we are content and happy. And while the sound aficionado tries to explain to us what it is we are missing, we do not relate to their level of passion.
I have asked this myself this question many times but I never felt I had enough knowledge of the situation to write on it until I came across a discussion on the subject. Fine, don't marry an unbeliever but what if he or she is a Christian not as spiritually mature; wouldn't it be hard to raise children in a spiritually confusing environment? Surely, there would be less problems between spiritually mature couples. 

The problem is a lot of time Christians equate christian maturity with more time with the Lord. Or more concepts they have picked up and can teach to someone else. But more often Christians tend to equate it with someone who understands and can explain a lot of biblical stuff, rather than their knowledge of God and how it manifests itself in their dealing with their fellow man. We tend to evaluate the maturity level by how busy they are for the Lord.

I think there are two very important aspects of this discussion. One is the maturity level of people to grasp and understand issues dealing with theology and doctrine topics, coming from a pastor's sermon. Versus number two which is the maturity level of the person which is measured by the level of manifestation by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which shows up in the person character and moral values they exhibit.

The Gospel is simple, as are many of the instructions we received from Jesus. I don't remember Jesus discussing all these topics that only a mature christian would understand. So why do so many christians preach a complicated Gospel? While doctrine and theology are very interesting, these aspects have in my opinion cluttered the christian life. We have over indulged in analysis paralysis, by focusing too much time on the but what if's of christianity. The ability to particapte in these discussions is more a function of one's interest level than one's maturity.

I have become aware of how to swim, and drive a car, yet that knowledge doesn't make be a better driver or swimmer nor would debating it make me one either. I think we mix up academic maturity, that is the ability to understand involved theologic concepts, with social maturity, that is to behave in a christ-like manner.

And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

It wasn't just evil knowledge that God had a problem with us learning too much about, good knowledge was also on that tree. Likewise in my opinion mature, christians should not attempt to seek too much good knowledge at the expense of just simply learning better ways to apply their faith and the teachings of Jesus Christ each day.

One's maturity level to understand and accept complicated theology and doctrine concepts is only frosting on the cake. Living a christian life nor our salvation is concerned with all these extras. Again the information is interesting, but it has nothing to do with our real christian walk nor our real christian maturity, which is:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' and Love your neighbor as yourself."

If being mature in Christ, means being able to handle a lot of heavy duty concepts then we have made a wrong turn somewhere on our christian walks. We are convicted by the Holy Spirit not by information we learn along the way.

I think also, that Jesus spoke in parables so that EVERYONE could understand, but there was no complete Bible yet like we have now, and there are alot of principles in the Bible that you come to learn, accept & follow with growth. We have to study to show ourselves approved, so if I'm conversing with another believer who doesn't study their Word (or a new believer who is just getting started) I can't expect them to understand the same things I do, if I've been disciplining myself with regular study and they haven't yet. I don't think their spirit will bear witness with my spirit. It might not make sense to them, and that is to be expected. Whereas with Jesus, he used parables as he worked to spread the good news to all. There is just so much knowledge to obtain from the Bible for life application, even when we are mature, we may have a different interpretation of a scripture we have read hundreds of times perhaps because of something we are experiencing in our life at that moment, so there is always something to learn.

"You never graduate from the Bible until you meet the author."

Marriage is cultivated by time, love, and God. There are always issues. I think you have to look at marriage as a willingness to grow together in Christ. The level of maturity of each individual is of little importance compared to his/her commitment level to a happy, healthy marriage and family. 

Ijeoma Olujekun

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