When I first met Heather I knew I wanted to marry her. I had always heard about such sappy love stories, and thought such a notion was only written in the pages of a Hollywood manuscript. But I can honestly say, I knew immediately that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. In those initial days, I did what many other guys were doing – I flirted with her. You know what I mean, the subtle innuendos of romance…the sentimental gestures of infatuation: the winks, the calls, the goofy names.
More than likely, some form of flirting initiated your relationship with your spouse as well.
Flirting – it means to “behave amorously, to show superficial or casual interest.” Flirting is a simple way of showing someone that you like them.
There came a point in time however, that flirtatious gestures could not sustain our sophomoric relationship. I needed to make a commitment. I needed to show her that I was willing and able to enter into a faithful bond. Enter the wedding ring. It was then I got invested, I sold out. I moved the playful and engaging conversations into a serious dialogue about commitment. In other words, we got hitched.
Some folks need to make the same decision about their church membership.
Church membership seems to be a deemphasized subject of commitment these days. For whatever reason, people are expected to fulfill requirements in every area of life (home, job, sports, relationships, investments, etc), but when it comes to church membership, there seems to be a lot of wiggle room. In an effort to grow the masses, we have failed to call believers to faithfulness. We may be growing our congregation, our buildings, and our programs, but the church itself is suffering. Flirty Christians make goo-goo eyes at the steeple, blow meaningless kisses at the altar, and seem to be interested only when it is fun and exciting. Come Monday, they are flirting with something else.
Flirting requires no commitment. It requires no real love. It requires little time, devotion, or energy. Anybody can flirt.
Faithfulness on the other hand puts the ring on the proverbial finger. It is the manifestation of love and honor. It requires much time, attention, investment, devotion, prayer, and affection. It is not always fun or exciting, but it indeed has its advantages! Anybody can flirt, but only the committed are faithful.
There came a point in time when I had to make a decision about my relationship with Heather. I could continue to flirt and risk the chance of losing her to someone who was much better at it than I was. Or I could show her my true feelings, bow my knee, ask her hand in marriage, and devote my affection to her for the rest of my life. I chose the latter, and for over thirteen years we have enjoyed the blessings of a committed relationship.
Stop flirting with your church and get hitched.