It was Friday, October 7th, 2016, the first meeting of our new Underground Group. On a crisp fall evening, we met at the Metro House, and thus was the start of a new spiritual journey together. We gobbled down pizza as we went around and introduced ourselves. There were many new faces, and also familiar faces that I know personally or have seen in passing. Although not all of us knew each other, we did have one thing in common: we were all in the beginning stages of a new chapter in our lives.
Our UG focused on biblical marriages, particularly as all of us were learning to navigate our engagements and early years of marriage. The first half of our UG centered around the book The Meaning of Marriage by Dr. Timothy Keller, where each week we read and discussed one chapter of the book. One chapter that stood out to me most was “The Power of Marriage,” where we discussed Paul’s thesis on married couples and the need for the Holy Spirit in our lives. We shared about our personal experiences with self-centeredness, and how that has affected our relationship with our partner. Through our discussions, we explored what it truly means to serve one another and to practice holy matrimony.
While the first half of our UG focused on a contextual perspective of marriage, the second half focused on Metro’s sermons, and how they relate to our relationships. We debriefed each week and discussed our personal experiences with marriage and courtship, and how we handled conflict. We shared about how some of our differences in personality, habits, values, and culture have perpetuated tension, disagreements, and arguments. Most importantly, we shared best practices on how each of us overcame these experiences and how we have learned from them. One couple shared about their implementation of “sharing time,” in which they both intentionally set out time to speak about what was on their heart in order to better empathize with one another and overcome conflict. Personal testimonies are what stood out to me most about our UG because it offered a safe space for each of us to be authentic and vulnerable while being loved on at the same time.
Our serious discussions about marriage were equally paired with laughter, fellowship, and hilarious stories that were truly one for the books. We broke bread and displayed our culinary talents with one another, and had many couples who opened up their homes and offered the utmost hospitality. This time of fellowship was crucial in our early stages of marriage as we continued to lean on our community while casting our cares on our heavenly Father and lifting each other in prayer. I came out with newly found friendships in which I connected with on a deeper level. UG gave me the platform to plug into Metro and to get to know people that I wouldn’t have met had I not joined a group. Before I signed up for UG, I was hesitant due to my competing obligations and priorities. But I am so thankful I chose to join and decided to be intentional about my need for community. We are called to act as brothers and sisters in Christ, and to love on one another despite our brokenness.
This was my very first UG at Metro, and it was one that was truly memorable and invaluable. I grew so much in this past year and learned to put Jesus at the center of my relationship. Despite having gotten even closer with my partner and being intentional about navigating through marriage, I’ve learned that no other person in this world could ever overpower the love of Jesus. His love is unconditional, and I’ve learned to follow in God’s footsteps as He teaches me how to love my partner, just as Christ has loved us.
Submitted by Doris Yau