It never ceases to amaze me how God can bring people together in the most amazing ways. Why am I surprised?
The FamilyLife team were running A Day Together event for couples at All Souls, Langham Place, London recently and at the end of the day I found myself in deep conversation with a young couple. They told me that they’re dating. She’s a Christian. He’s not… but he is very interested in Christianity and searching for answers.
I smiled to myself because this was the situation described by one of the FamilyLife facilitator couples, Gary and Jan Palmer, during the final session of the day.
Jan grew up with a strong Christian background and her faith was important to her. Gary had no faith background and initially saw Jan’s faith in Jesus as something of a challenge. He wanted to convince her otherwise so that he could take first place in Jan’s life. Jan explained that although she was willing to accept that Gary wasn’t as tall as her ideal man, matters of faith were non-negotiable!
Gary eventually decided to explore the Christian faith and gave his life to Christ. The couple were married and their joint commitment to keep God at the heart of their marriage and family life is something they treasure. They shared how God has helped them communicate deeply, build trust and love one another unselfishly in good times and bad. God has made their marriage strong and helped it flourish.
I asked the ‘seeking man’ what he thought about Gary and Jan’s story. He said that he found it very interesting and was struck by the similarities with his own situation. I encouraged him to keep searching and to read about Jesus for himself in the Bible. He has also signed up for a course. I pray that he will come to know the transforming love of Christ and when the time is right build a marriage with God at its heart.
I also asked him what he thought of the day. He said it was not what he’d expected. He’d thought that he would be “preached at”. He was impressed by the ‘normal’ couples who, like Gary and Jan, shared very honestly. He also liked the film clips, stories and jokes! He told us: “As a non-Christian, [it was] not what I was expecting. A very relaxed, yet informative approach to relationships that will benefit both myself and my partner.”
Only God can make these divine appointments. Why am I surprised… HE is God after all?
To find out more about attending or hosting A Day Together: www.adaytogether.org