I've known for awhile that I wanted to date a Christian man. I wanted someone who would help me grow in my faith, where I wouldn't have to be the "spiritual leader" simply because I am a pastor. I wanted someone who was not just Christian, but a faithful disciple.
I had an ideal in my head of what I wanted, but based on prior experience was not quite convinced I would ever encounter what I really wanted. I even asked a friend/mentor if it was fair of me to place such a high standard upon a potential partner (especially if I didn't want to marry another pastor).
Well as luck (or providence) would have it, I (re) met such a man. Early on in our relationship I expressed that I wanted us to pray (beyond mealtime prayers) together at least once a week...he said ok. He didn't balk. He didn't shy away. (I was stunned, I've dated pastors who were reluctant to pray with me even during a crisis....and here was this man who was ready and willing). He prays both with me and for me. He prays publically, on the spot, extemporaneously, any time really...in front of my family, in front of my parishioners, in front of my friends and it's fabulous.
We also made a commitment to go to worship together. Both of us lead worship, I as a pastor, he as a worship leader and we had been to each other's church, but we can't worship together in either of those settings, so we decided we go to a night service at some other church. And we do and it's been good. It's nice to be able to be in worship first off, and nice to be able to talk about the service or the sermon or what we could incorporate in our own ministries or otherwise.
He is also good about sending me Scripture and even us doing devotions together, which is fabulous. It's nice to date a man with similar convictions and who places God and church and discipleship high on the priority list.
His faithfulness is attractive me. Strangely I've imagined us talking to teenagers about dating and relationships and have imagined myself telling the guys that being faithful disciples will help them win over the ladies....not the right motivation for discipleship, but true nonetheless.
It's nice to be with a godly man, and I feel like we are able to connect at a greater depth because of our faith. I'm not sure this is a fair assessment, but I feel like if we each have a measured depth to our relationship with God, that is the depth to which we can connect to each other.
Let me try and explain. Say my God depth were 20 and his were 30 (or vice versa), we can only go to 20 because that's as far as my depth goes. Or if we were both at 5, we can only connect to that level, but if we both make it 100 in our relationship with God, then we have the potential of making it to that depth in our own relationship.
Maybe that can't be applied universally, but it works for us, at least in my mind.
All of that is to say I appreciate him and his faith and that we can share that, and I have no idea where I'd be if I couldn't share my faith with my partner or if we didn't connect at the same depth. It's nice to be able to pray, and read, and talk together, and even better to be able to share ministry together. He stepped in as a last minute small group leader for our Lenten studies since I already have a class and hadn't planned well to have someone else teach. He just stepped in and took care of the first week and then volunteered to take care of the rest of Lent too, he's even doing it while I'm away on a mission trip!! How cool is that?!?