Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries
Photography by Kristi Foreman
My husband and I are opposites.
I am outspoken, he is reserved.
I am a dreamer, he is realistic.
I am driven, he is laid-back.
I’ll never forget the friction these differences triggered early in our marriage.
Finding your other half is exhilarating; learning to live with your other half is exhausting.Finding your other half is exhilarating; learning to live with your other half is exhausting.
From a young age, I dedicated my life to serving the Lord.
I envisioned a life partnered with a man who shared my calling.
When I married my Mechanical Engineer, I naively assumed that God would transform him into the man I thought I needed.
I wanted him to be just like me—an outspoken dreamer with an insatiable desire to lead others to Christ.
Fortunately, my husband is a wise and patient man.
After listening to me rant and rave about God’s call on my life and how I needed my spouse to lead the way, he responded with such tenderness, “Sarah, if I were actively engaged in ministry, who would care for you?”
As those words to settle in my soul, I released the future I envisioned and embraced the partner God gave me.I released the future I envisioned and embraced the partner God gave me.
It’s been 12-years since that day and I’ve grown to admire and respect my husband’s differences.
My husband’s strength and support frees me to selflessly serve.
He cares for me so I can care for you!
Colossians 2:6-7 says, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
My husband and I agree on the importance of growing deep roots within the local church, but for years we struggled to find a church family that met our diverse needs.
I crave community, he craves solid teaching.
I care about relationships, he cares about doctrine.
I want to belong, he wants to learn.
Shortly after our two girls were born, we set out to find a new church home.
It didn’t take long for us to agree that Parkview EFC was the right fit for us.
Many of our friends attend (relationships for me) and the pastor is committed to expository preaching (solid biblical teaching for him).
We have faithfully attended and served the Parkview family for the past 8-years.
With every passing year, our roots grow deeper and our lives produce more bountiful blossoms.Our church is far from perfect, but it is exactly where we belong.
God’s calling upon Parkview Church is to be “Rooted to the Scriptures.”
We believe that the greatness of our God through Jesus Christ is made visible in the 4-Fold life. The “4-Fold” life is …
1. A God-Centered Life
Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. -Psalm 86:8-10
A God-centered life is all about Him, not us.
What does God value? What does He think? What pleases Him?
Our focus must be on God’s greatness, not our desires.
2. A Gospel-Oriented Life
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried,that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
A Gospel-oriented life is focused on the Good News.
Salvation is the work of God from start to finish, wholly dependent on the work of God’s grace.
The gospel motivates us to share Jesus with everyone and earnestly apply the good news to every area of our life.
3. A Church-Connected Life
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:23-25
A Church-connected life is committed to serve a specific community of believers.
It is our responsibility to actively participate in the ministry of the church.
We do not focus on what the church offers us, rather we prayerfully consider what we offer the church.
4. A Character-Transformed Life
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy. -1 Peter 1:14-16
A Character-transformed life is governed by God’s Truth.
The Holy Spirit governs our mental outlook and our heart’s affections.
We establish significant relationships with fellow believers and our lives are a testimony to God’s redeeming work.
Rooted in Faith
The 4-fold life is rooted in faith, built up in community, and sustained by Scripture.
It demands that we curb selfish behavior and submit to the authority of the local Church.
It forces us to recognize that the purpose of the Church is not to cater to our every desire.
The purpose of the Church is to grow us from a weak seedling into to a robust, productive specimen.Are you ready to build a life rooted in faith, built up in community, and sustained by Scripture?
The 4-fold Christian life is not supposed to be posh and comfortable.
It is messy, complex and beautiful—just like being married to your other half.
To Live Like Jesus T-shirt Bundle Giveaway
This specific t-shirt design caught my eye because it is so close to our Church mission, “Rooted to the Scriptures.”
I reached out to the owner of the company, Chad Nichols, about featuring his custom design on my blog, and the rest is history.
Photography by Kristi Foreman of Picture Perfect Portraits.