What if you had a group of friends who loved you and spurred you on to love and good deeds? A group of friends who God used to change every part of your world? How different would your life and walk with Jesus be? Good, faithful friends are hard to find. God used a group of friends to transform my life as a new Christian. I grew up far from the Lord and didn't even hear the Gospel until I was 22. Somehow the Truth of God's Word alluded me for the first two decades of my life. When I finally grasped the truth of the Gospel, the grace of God rocked my sinful world. The Gospel changed almost every part of my life, except for one nasty sin habit that I didn't want to give up right away.
After almost two decades of hiding an addiction to pornography, I finally confessed my struggle to a group of single men in my community group. In my confession, I fully expected condemnation, judgment and a swift kick out of the church. Instead, I found grace, love, and truth from a group of co-strugglers.
Fast forward a few years to my first Christian dating relationship. Once again, community played a huge role in helping navigate the ups and downs of this relationship, eventually encouraging me to break things off with her because of some unhealthy relationship dynamics (lack of purity, idolatry) to pursue greater intimacy with Jesus.
Also in Atlanta, my soon-to-be-wife's life transformed because of the small group of women in her community group. Kristen was dating a non-believer and consistently chose less than God's best out of people-pleasing and insecurities.
Add these dynamics and community victories together, and you find a couple who made a commitment to never live life apart from biblical community.
[Read the rest of the article at Start Marriage Right.]