Summary: If you are married, my challenge is to reflect on how your spouse bears part of the burden for fulfilling your calling in ministry. Call it out. Celebrate it and bring it to the light today.
I want to speak to you about the realities of marriage and ministry. Before I do, however, I want to set the record straight. Ministry does not require that someone be married. Quite the contrary. Paul said in 1st Corinthians 7, “If you can stay single, by all means DO THIS.” Paul is clear that marriage complicates matters. You do not have to be married to be in ministry. But if you are married, or if you plan to be married, keep your ears open.
I have a calling on my life from the Lord. I am blessed to be married to someone who also has a calling. We seek to operate in spiritual oneness. We steward what I call, “Our Collective Calling.” The way our callings play out can, however, look different in different seasons of our lives and our marriages.
I was on staff at a church for over a decade. There are costs to our calling. For me, I drove to church by myself and did not get to attend our couples Sunday School class since I was working. This was a small cost to fulfill my calling, but a cost nonetheless. During that same time, my spouse was carrying out her calling in a different way. She was bearing the load of being a single parent on a Sunday, wrangling 4 kids to church. There was a cost for her to fulfill on our collective calling.
Are you married and in ministry? Do you understand that your spouse can take a beating and you do not even realize it. For those who are married and in ministry, take a moment and reflect on how your spouse helps you manage and even fulfill your calling. For us, it’s “better together.” Sarah and I are collectively called. Our calling as a couple means that we each fulfill various aspects of this calling from God. We can, however, overlook the vital role of a staff spouse and their hidden burdens.
If you are married, my challenge is to reflect on how your spouse bears part of the burden for fulfilling your calling in ministry. Call it out. Celebrate it and bring it to the light today.