After trusting and accepting Christ as their Savior, Matt and Carla Moss found transformation in their hearts, which resulted in transformation in their marriage. Today they serve our church body in many places. As you read, reflect on discipleship in your life. Do you have someone you can encourage in their walk with Christ? Who encourages you in your faith journey?
How did you come to know the Lord, and how did that impact your marriage?
Matt: “I grew up as an atheist in a family of atheists, and thought religion and faith were for the weak-minded. Our family had its share of dysfunction, so I began my adult life searching for answers to life’s big questions and ended my twenties without finding them. At that time, I met a couple of men who had the peace and confidence I lacked, and I discovered that the root of that was their relationship with God. They were patient enough to answer my questions, read the bible and apologetics books with me, and model the Christian life. After a few years of exploring the faith, I put my trust in Christ and the work He did to reconcile me to God.
“Around this time Carla and I got married. While I had the disadvantage of being a new Christian and having no idea what it took to be a godly husband, I didn’t struggle with the idea of submitting to God’s authority, because I had no faith in my own skills or instincts. We leaned on God’s instruction, community, and our faith to build our marriage basically from scratch.”
Carla: “I grew up Catholic, got confirmed, and did what I understood to be the “requirements”. But when my atheist husband started to question my faith, I started questioning it myself. Matt’s seeking led us to a nondenominational Christian church near Chicago. There we were fed deeply, and I learned more of the Bible than I had any time before and started to realize that I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus. When I acknowledged I needed this, it changed my life and began to change our marriage. Marriage was very tough in those early years, but being rooted in Christ drove us together, and our closeness to each other and the feeling of being on mission together has grown ever since.”
How do you view parenting differently now that you have a foundation in Christ?
M: “Now that our sons are out of the house, it’s easy to think of many times we messed up, micromanaged, or were harsh. But one thing that has given us comfort is knowing that our boys experienced an overflow of the love of God we had received. It was imperfect and clumsy, but we pretty persistently sought God’s instruction through the process, and over time I’m hopeful the boys experienced more God, less ‘us’ (John 3:30).”
C: “I see our kids now compared to how Matt and I grew up. Their lives are so different because they grew up in the faith. They know to surrender their lives to the Lord. They know the value of having a biblical community around them. At their age, we were just embracing the world and culture, but they’re in college being lights where God put them.”
How do you serve and disciple together?
M: “We each have our passions – I serve in Great Questions because it’s thrilling to meet people I can help because I’ve walked their path; Carla loves discipling young adult women, including at Women’s Bible Study – but a lot of what we do is as a team. For example, when our boys lived at home, we would cook for four people and have dinner together as a family most nights. Now, we still make the same amount of food and invite people over. We just pivoted our ministry to match our life stage.”
C: “Our favorite way to serve together is in leading small groups of newlyweds at Watermark called Foundation Groups. It is an awesome discipleship opportunity because these couples are at such an inflection point in their lives. So much is changing for them in the first few years of marriage, and it’s helpful to know married couples who’ve been there, too. We can relate to them in many ways and try to show them the love of Christ. We’ve been blown away by the devotion of these groups to each other, to their spouses, and to God.”
What encouragement would you give to married couples and young adults?
M and C: “Be patient with everyone (1 Thessalonians 5:14). It took us many, many years to absorb and apply God’s teaching, and we’ve learned people don’t change overnight. But also have assurance that if you do abide with God and apply His teaching, you (and your marriage) will be transformed and blessed (Deuteronomy 12:28)."