While I was at college, there was a church I attended pretty regularly for about 3 – 3 1/2 years, since about the time it was planted. I considered it my home church. Whenever there was something major in my life, I would talk to one of the pastors, I would ask for prayer, tithe, seek advice from the elders, etc. Than I started dating a girl and it all seemed to change.
I was attending these classes through the church for two semesters while I had free time and nothing better to do. My last semester while I was living at college, my schedule didn’t work out for me to attend these classes, and the one class I could take, I had taken 2 years earlier. I had several classmates mock me and tell me how much spiritual they were then I was because I “couldn’t cut it” anymore. I assumed they were just joking around, but nevertheless it seemed a little harsh. I would often hangout with my classmates during my time at that church, but after I couldn’t attend classes anymore, I hardly ever saw them.
After my current fiancée and myself started dating, a couple of my closest friends who also attended that church had began to talk to me less and less and even went as far as to suggest that me and the girl shouldn’t be dating. In one guys opinion, we shouldn’t have begun dating until we had known each other for at least a year. I had never been a relationship prior to this one, so I asked one of these friends if she knew of any bible studies for dating couples. She suggested that we don’t study or read the bible together. She said that when we broke up, it would make it harder and could lead to us falling away from God.
Five months later, my girlfriend and I had gotten engaged. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, by far. The following Sunday I was super stoked to go to Church that evening and expected some congratulations, selfish thinking probably. To this day, only one person from that church wished us good luck or congratulated us in any way. It hurt a lot. It’s not like I was engaged to some monster of a woman. I was engaged to another Christ loving and God-fearing Christian. It hurt a lot to feel chastised by the local body of believers I had come to call my family, for no apparent reason. Whenever any of the pastors invited young couples over for dinner, we were always left out.
But regardless of all that, I still love THE Church. I’ve talked to a lot of believers who have ill feelings towards local churches because of bad brushes in the past. Myself personally, I’ve had bad experiences with 3 of the 3 churches I have attended for long periods of time (though, one of the churches was effected by a tragedy, so it wasn’t the church itself). Experience’s like these really make me strive to find a local church now that I live in Columbus to call family. Hopefully I have found that one in Covenant Church in Galloway. No church is perfect, allow me to stress that. I just can’t wait to be apart of a mature body of believers who help me and my eventual wife grow together in Christ!