One of the Christian buzzwords over the past few years is community. I can’t tell you how often I’ve heard young adults talk about “doing life with my community.” For the most part, the emphasis on the importance of community has been toward single men and women. With marriage being delayed (sometimes indefinitely), single adults need a place to belong and journey together. What is often overlooked is the need for married couples to have community as well.
Take my husband and me for example. One of our New Year’s Resolutions for 2015 was to develop community (even though we didn’t use those words). With three busy teenagers and two careers, Mike and I realized that we had not been intentional about developing friendships together. We moved from Ohio to Colorado Springs about seven years ago and hit the ground running. We found a church, floated in and out of a few Bible studies, developed relationships at work and in the soccer stands, but we really hadn’t worked toward meaningful friendships as a married couple. Having community as a married couple is not a luxury, but a necessity—one that we were living without for too long.
What Is Community?
Although there is some overlap, community is different than friendship. It involves a group of people who intentionally invest in each other for a common purpose. You can find running communities, homeschooling communities, and artistic communities that are rallied around a common interest. A marriage community exists primarily to encourage and strengthen the members’ marriages. It doesn’t have to be formal, but it will always be intentional.1