When I married my husband, I’d only known him for a short time. We were first friends, then dated, got engaged, went to marriage counseling, the whole nine yards… but still, as a mere 20-year-old, I staked my future on 18 months of dating. Looking back, it was ridiculous and a little risky. Neither one of us really knew what we were doing. Our initial feelings of love were either going to dwindle or deepen, depending on how they were nurtured.
When I look back at the 22 years we’ve been married, I can honestly say I love Peter more than I did as a starry-eyed bride. Why? Because I’ve spent two decades studying him, figuring out his quirks and what he loves. On our wedding day, I was hopeful he’d always be generous and faithful, but now today I know for sure. I suspected he’d be a good dad, but I didn’t have any way to prove it. Turns out I was wrong. As I’ve watched him love our kids over the years, I can now confidently say he even more amazing than I imagined. My love for him has grown as my knowledge for him has increased.
Many of us began our relationship with Christ in the same way. Perhaps you, like me, were a child when you prayed a prayer to ask Him into your heart, but you weren’t exactly sure what that meant. Or maybe you cried out to Him based on a feeling, or you were in a place in your life where you knew it was your next step.
Very few of us enter into our relationship with Christ with extensive knowledge or understanding of what we’re getting ourselves into. We understand the basics—our need for forgiveness and grace—and we know that there’s something missing in our life. We may understand that God is good, but we haven’t studied Him enough to prove it to be true. It’s easy to feel stuck when that honeymoon phase ends. The only way for our relationship with Christ to last is if we nurture our relationship with both love and knowledge of who He is. And growing in our understanding of Jesus is an exciting and fulfilling part of our journey!
If we’re going to grow in our love of Jesus, we have to grow in our knowledge of Him. Study Him. Be transformed by Him. Talk to Him and read His Word. May you find that by fixing your attention on Him, you’ll be “transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God” (Romans 12:2).