Can marriage and mission mix? This is a big question on Jeremy’s and especially my mind. Since the time we met, before we got married, we spent time with one another because we were both serving God in ministry. The whole basis for our marriage was to minister together and share the Gospel together. We chose many years ago what our mission as a couple and as a family is. There was never a doubt. When I was 16, I remember singing St. Francis of Assissi’s prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
I knew I was made to proclaim the Gospel to those dying in spiritual darkness, those who never have seen or known God’s love, forgiveness, and grace. After high school, I started my training to become a missionary. When Jeremy and I married, he then started his training. We believed we would be a couple in ministry. After gaining our Bachelor degrees and starting our family, we saw God’s guiding hand pointing us to move to the mission filed. We were there 2 1/2 years before things in the country were such that we could not stay. Once again we saw God’s guidance. When we came back God faithfully guided us to take a pastoral ministry job at our supporting church. However, life is full of many twists, turns, and surprises. My question: Did God call my husband to become a pastor, us as a couple, or us as a family? In the missions world couples and families are thought to be called, but life in the American church is so different and maybe foreign to me. This article is how Jeremy and I see our marriage and life here on earth. We are both on mission together. Not separately. We believe, in marriage, we are called to bring the message of reconciliation to those we meet together. Jeremy is not a pastor alone, but as a family we minister together. As missionaries, Jeremy nor I were missionaries on our own, but as a family we worked together. Jeremy and I are apart of the same mission. We purposely do not choose to minister in different ministries (Ex: Jeremy in our church & me in a para-church organization) because:
- we believe we are more effective together (the purpose and reason for marriage)
Jeremy found this article the other day, which is good representation of how we see our marriage and mission. Connelly uses the example of Aquila and Priscilla.
Article Snippet: Can Marriage and Mission Mix?
Gospel Centered Discipleship – by Ben Connelly
Aquila and Priscilla were not pastors and they didn’t have seminary degrees. They made tents for a living, working a culturally-normative profession. Yet they saw themselves as ministers of the gospel by opening their lives to Paul. We see at the end of 1 Corinthians that they hosted the local church in their home. Later in Acts 18 they go with Paul on mission for the gospel. In some circles today, Christians refer to “tent-making” as the honorable use of a “secular” job for ministry. For this couple, tent-making carried no great honor; it was simply their job, and a means of God’s provisions, as they lived their lives for the gospel! They were a married couple with a normal life, who used their marriage and life for God’s ministry. Whoever you are, and regardless of your job, city, or profession – or marital status! – you are a minister of the gospel!