The First Love series takes a look at how different individuals in the community keep Christ the first loves in their lives. Here is a the story of Bryan and Sasha, a couple that is engaged to be married.
Making Jesus #1 in our lives involves two disciplines: fighting to be content in Him and fighting to keep Him as our fullness and satisfaction above all else.
These revelations were recently shared with us as we were working through the sin in our lives together. While praying for the roots of our sin to be ripped out of our hearts, it became clear to us that the root of most sin in general is discontentment.
In our relationship, we have learned that things get messy, disappointing and dissatisfying when we are discontent with Jesus. The symptoms we experience: ungratefulness, a lack of connectedness with each other, frequent miscommunication and disproportionate reactions to failed expectations in each other.
As saved Christians who must still live with our flesh, we are naturally discontent with what God has given us, where He has us in our lives, and how He has instructed us to live. We have to fight for contentment that frees our hearts to revel in the joy He freely gives. This is our key to consistently regarding Jesus as King, Savior, and Friend above all else.
Matthew 5:27-28 speaks to discontentment loud and clear:
God tells us that we don’t have to commit external actions for sin to be destructive. When we are discontent with the stage of life God has us in (for us it's engagement) we are already in sin. Furthermore, we're at risk for our discontent hearts to act out and cause us to look elsewhere for validation, joy, fulfillment, and everything else that should come primarily from God.
When we are discontent in the identity Jesus has given us, the love and connection we have with Him, the jobs He given us and His timing in our lives, we act out of pride, lust, laziness and irritability.
When we notice these patterns of discontentment, we stop and pray. We pray for hearts that are completely satisfied with the riches we’ve been given in Christ Jesus so that we are free to love Him in return. We also pray for eyes that can see that the present is where God has us on purpose and we are much better off when we are grateful for this time period rather than waiting for it to be over.
The best part about praying for these things is seeing our relationship flourish in response. God hears us and He is pleased to answer these prayers. He gets the glory; we get fullness of life and joy.
We have been going through the entire Bible together since last summer, reading together or sharing revelations as we go throughout our days. We also try to pray together before going to sleep.
We aim for consistency, but sometimes fail to read or pray together. We have both noticed that when we deviate from this routine, we feel off... A little confused. Dried out. It's amazing how quickly our hearts wander and discontentment settles in when we are cut off from our life line, Christ, when we neglect prayer and the meditation of His word. This is why we simply don't tolerate sin in our relationship and aren't afraid to call it out when we see it in each other.
The fight for contentment and gratitude in Jesus has consistently delivered us into the greatest joy, freedom and “expectation-shattering” satisfaction in the relationship God has blessed us with. Our prayer is that we would continue fighting side by side, into our marriage, until we see Jesus face to face and hear, "well done, good and faithful servant."