I can’t imagine that there is a single theological perspective that is one hundred percent accurate. After all, we are all humans with a finite understanding. What we see of God through Scripture and His interaction with us in this world is just a minuscule image of who He is. So, no theology will be complete until we see Him face to face. But, that lack of perfection in theology is part of what makes studying it so extremely critical for even the most average believer. Each picture of God that we can study, compare to Scripture, and personally evaluate increases our own understanding of God. It grows us more and more as we approach that point where we will see Him face to face. And oh how exciting that is!
So, how does that apply to you?
How can you truly adopt a life of spiritual growth that includes theology? Allow me to share a few suggestions.
- Decide that you want to learn. Read a book this year that challenges you. Not a fluffy self-help book. A book that takes you to the heart of digging into Scripture. Ask trusted godly friends or your pastor for recommendations if needed. But dig!
- Don’t limit what you read to those who reside within your own “group.” Branch out beyond your denomination or personal belief system.
- Don’t be afraid to disagree! It is okay to look at someone from whom we have learned much and disagree with them on some point. It is also okay to find a nugget of truth from someone we typically disagree with. Just learn to be able to back up your arguments with Scripture.
- Do be careful, though. Some points are non-negotiable. Jesus was fully God and fully man. He did die. He did rise again. He did ascend to heaven and now sits at the right hand of God. He is the only way. Anyone who does not agree fully and completely with those statements is probably not worth listening to at all. And even some who agree with those statements might be rather loose with their interpretation of the rest of Scripture. Bottom line – seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance as you dig, and make sure every single belief can be backed up solidly by the whole of Scripture. You have personal access to the throne of God. Use it!
I warn you: the more you learn theologically, the more you find you still have to learn. But, oh how worthwhile it is! Even if you are someone who already loves theological learning, my prayer for you is that a year from now you will be able to look back and discover that you are less afraid of theological ideas. Still intimidated, maybe, by the vastness of what can be learned, but not afraid. And I pray that such a discovery will excite you phenomenally, leaving you hungry for much, much more.
Now, how does this fit into marriage?
Very simply. Do not hash out your theology alone. Take the practical tips above and actively work them into your marriage. Discuss. Evaluate. Ask one another questions. Consider each other’s thoughts and opinions, drawing on the possibility that your spouse may see something from Scripture that you have not considered. However you approach this growth, determine to do it together as a couple.
I guarantee this – when you discover more about God together, you will strengthen your marriage. And that combination, growing closer to God and to each other, can never be a bad one.