At the beginning of the first premarital counseling session, the Pastor asked the couple, “Why are you getting married?” their first responses were appropriate and normal: “We love each other…God brought us together…our families approve…we share so much in common…” Sometimes if the couple was focused on “full-time” Christian ministry of some kind (evangelism, pastoral leadership, missionary service), they might answer, “We feel called to this ministry.”
These answers are good – as far as they go. In a healthy marriage, each person’s uniqueness must be respected as unity is built on love, mutuality and respect. For couples that serve God at home and in the marketplace, in fields and factories and not “official” ministry positions, there is a “couple-calling” – being
“on mission with your spouse” that the Lord gives as husband and wife devote themselves to hearing from the Lord and offering all facets of life as worship to God.
How do couples discover this mission? As each spouse devotes him or herself to whole-life discipleship, growing in all five dimensions of the abundant life of Jesus, discovering the shared mission emerges in time through prayer, conversation and engagement in the community. Here are some practical questions:
- What are the deepest values we share together?
- What areas of service to others make both our hearts sing?
- How do other believers in our church see us as a couple?
- What is the Lord saying as we read God’s Word and pray together?
An engineer and a teacher each supported each other’s careers and shared child- rearing tasks. As they sought the Lord, they both felt a burden for orphans. They did not feel led to leave their job – instead, they set aside time and resources and help build orphanages around the world, working with experts. Their shared mission: “Loving the least of these.”
Another couple used their (very) different gifts of communication and the fine arts to offer “Bread and Beauty” to a broken world. The possibilities are as endless as the love and power of our God!
Singles, as you ponder a partner, ask the question, “What could we do together that we could not do separately?” Couples, take time to discover the wonder of the call of god as a couple. Great adventures and challenges await us as the Lord empowers you for service that glorifies God and brings good to the world.