At first glance, Micah and Kendall Spence were seen as an “unlikely couple” by their peers at the small Bible college they attended. Micah, who came from an ultra-conservative home, was not expected to date someone like Kendall—whose upbringing was deemed much more liberal since she grew up wearing jeans and attending public school.
Micah and Kendall fell in love without as much as holding hands. The strict rules enforced at their school prohibited such outward displays of affection. The young couple wrestled with living in a spiritual climate marked by harsh legalism and hypocrisy. The leadership at their school painted God in one light, yet their daily actions failed to align with the God whom they professed to know and serve. The leaders at the school exemplified a God with endless rules and demands who felt distant, unapproachable and impossible to please. Scarred by the influence of people who preached a message of grace yet embodied the opposite, Micah and Kendall felt a growing distrust of their Bible college and the faith it represented but continued to pursue the truth of God’s Word in their lives.
“My good works don’t earn any more of God’s favor, and my sin does not remove or negate His favor."
After graduation, Micah and Kendall moved to Dallas and began attending The Village Church. The Lord was gracious to lead them into the gospel-centered community of their Home Group. For the first time, Kendall felt truth wash over her wounds. "It was like my heart had been wrapped up in these chains, which were the law,” she said. “I realized that I didn’t need those—and they were broken away from me—but the marks were still there. They left an impression.”
It was through life in community that Micah was able to finally journey toward authentic freedom in Christ. “I complained all the time about our prior experience. Once, we were sitting around with the people from our Home Group, and I started crying and I said, ‘I’m actually bitter.’ The Home Group was instrumental in challenging me. They let us have a safe space to decompress and work through a lot of what had happened in our lives, but after that they started encouraging us to grow.” The authenticity and grace the Spences experienced in their Home Group stood in stark contrast to the stifling hypocrisy they observed at college.