“Why didn’t Adam have a side chick?”
“You were actually a virgin until you were married?”
My husband, Daron, and I have heard some tough questions since we began hosting an interactive Bible study (Ptownfresh) in Portsmouth, Virginia, four years ago. But it was these unexpected and unfiltered remarks during one of our studies that reminded me of the narratives in our community, and how we must be willing to open our home to tell a different story.
Twenty-six-year-old Courtney*, who posed these questions, had no context for fidelity or purity—and as the night went on, she continued to express her bewilderment and amazement at our loving marriage. She was surprised Daron and I still liked each other after so many years. Such a thing was foreign to her. Much like 18-year-old Ashley*, who broke down in tears after Daron and I and several guests shared a meal following one of our studies, telling us that it was the first time she’d been a part of a family dinner.
Daron and I have realized that there are so many things we take for granted that can be life-altering for those we minister to. We have realized that we teach both through Scripture and through living our everyday lives with them.
That’s what drives us to keep an open-door policy in our home, hoping to help people experience God afresh. When Courtney—who didn’t like “church people” because she viewed them as judgmental—fell on hard times, Daron and I invited her to move in with us. She stayed for several months. During that time, we learned that ministry is holistic, and that if we want to see God change lives we must be willing to invite people not only to study the Bible, but to study our very lives, feeling free and safe to ask all manner of questions.
*names have been changed to protect privacy
“Open Doors” © 2017; Precious Moore and Caresse Spencer. Used by permission of Precious Moore and Caresse Spencer. All rights reserved.