Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Marriage as a Ministry

TJ and I recently had our views on ministry challenged by our lead pastor. This is one of the many reasons I love our church. Our lead pastor cares enough to get to know us personally and help us grow. He also isn't dictating how we should live our lives, but he has asked us questions that led to some really practical and beneficial conversations at home.

Our vows are from Ruth 1:16-17, "Where you go, I will go..." and so we had both always assumed that we would be in ministry together. Now we are thinking outside of that particular box. What if TJ serves in one place and I serve in another? What if we don't serve at every opportunity? What if one of us is serving in one place and the other isn't serving, but rather intentionally setting aside a specific amount of time to be fed spiritually?

We also were asked to discuss if we were involved in too many ministries. Should we choose one and focus our efforts there? Or is it possible, when investing in people, to ever be involved in just one?

What is our primary ministry? Is our marriage a ministry? We minister to each other in so many ways, through prayer, support, comfort, companionship, and more ways than can be listed, but is our marriage to each other in any way a ministry to others? What about when we're volunteering with the youth group and teens see us together, joking, laughing, disagreeing, but never tearing each other down, never joking at the other's expense, discussing our disagreements instead of fighting about them?

I would say, and TJ agreed when we discussed it, that our marriage is a ministry, both to each other and to others. It is our primary ministry. We both believe that church begins at home. Not that it should begin at home, but it does, whether you intentionally participate and direct it or not. All relationships at home are a ministry: wife to husband, husband to wife, parent to child, child to parent, sibling to sibling.

We choose to acknowledge the importance of these facts and to actively and intentionally participate in moving our family in a direction of our (that includes God) choosing. I say that includes God and our choice, because regardless of God's desire for our lives, it is ultimately our choice to follow His will or not.

Now to put these beliefs into action, that is the true challenge, but we're in this together, to face all of the challenges that life contains.

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