If you’re married or been dating for a while, we can often find ourselves thinking about where God fits in. Specifically, how we can use our relationship to serve Him. Some couples are still working out what that looks like, but we need to avoid the idea that it needs to be something big and grand to matter.
I went to a friend’s wedding recently. I really enjoy weddings, seeing the vows being made, celebrating marriage, catching up with friends. I think it’s always great to be part of someone’s big day.
When the couple are Christians, they’ve often spent lots of time thinking about how they’re going to serve God together or do it in new ways once they’re married. It’s great to see them getting excited about it.
At this same wedding, I was talking to a friend, who was saying that he and his wife were about to take a year out from work to go travelling and serve with some Christian charities overseas.
It sounded very amazing and it’s great they have the time and space to do it. But what about couples who are still trying to figure out how to serve God together? And what about those who can’t take a year off and jet around the world? How do you serve God in the day to day?
For those of us who are married, or been dating a while, this is an important question. Ephesians 5 makes it clear that marriage isn’t just for the benefit of the couple, but it’s used by God to demonstrate his love to the world. (Eph 5:21-33)
Thinking about how to serve God together may be something you’ve thought about before, but in the busyness of life, or stresses along the way, we may feel like we’ve shelved it. Or maybe our original plans didn’t materialise and a bit of focus and hope has dwindled.
We need to re-think what mission could look like for us
It’s in the mundane daily bits of life where it can get hard. To juggle your own calling, along with work, life admin, friends, family, and doing mission together.
We need to re-think what mission could look like for us, in a way that avoids making us feel scared that we haven’t got it all sorted right now. Often the answer isn’t in starting a big new thing but in the small daily decisions and actions.
I think there are three things that can help us
- Small Support Is Better Than No Support
- Carve Out Time To Do Something As Equals
- It’s Okay To Want To Do More
Small Support Is Better Than No Support
My wife runs a kids club in the local area. Now, I’m not good with kids. I don’t find it easy or natural engaging with them, and I wouldn’t say I see it as a calling.
But my wife is amazing at it. She is really creative, enthusiastic, positive, and makes it very fun.
So I pray for her, let her bounce ideas off me, we buy stuff for the kids club, and I go and help and do what I can to make it fun and safe for the kids.
This is how I can support her.
She is definitely taking the lead and I’m just helping, but this is the support I can give. I know friends in similar situations who just ignore what their partners are doing because they don’t naturally fit in. (Read 2 Questions Every Married Couple Should Ask).
Maybe, instead of worrying about what new thing you can do together, start to think about how you could start supporting each other more. Praying for good conversations at work? Asking more about their role at church? Helping out every now and then? Any support is better than no support. Why not join them on their next adventure?
Carve Out Time To Do Something As Equals
Now, finding time to do something as a couple can be really hard. I totally get that it is often easier said than done. So finding the time and committing to something has a better chance when you are on the same page.
Now I know this advice sounds like it’s contradicting the first tip, but that isn’t the case.
God has called us to do things as individuals. And that’s fine. We should celebrate and support each other in that. But it is important to commit to doing things together too. So that you can both get excited about something and seek God together.
Just do something where you are then you are both learning and getting excited together.
It doesn’t need to be big or directly linked to your calling, just do something where you can both fit in and join in with what God is doing. Like serving in a soup kitchen. Or both joining the welcome team, or helping at alpha.
It doesn’t need to be big, or a new ministry, or unique. Just do something where you are then you are both learning and getting excited together. When you are both starting from a fairly equal position you’re more likely to commit to it and make time for it. (Read Who asks ‘Have You Spent Time With The Poor?’)
It’s Okay To Want To Do More
Sometimes we can feel guilty and think we should be doing more, want to support each other more, want to be giving more to God. We will always be striving to do more.
That’s what mission does to you. It makes you want to do more and more, help more people, reach more people. Whether we’re doing next to nothing or lots of it already.
The trick is to just do something
We can easily look at what we’re not doing and be demotivated. The trick is to just do something, support each other more and try to do something together, even if it’s small. Then build on that little by little.
Imagine if we remembered in the busyness and stress of life: Small Support is Better Than No Support, Carve Out Time To Do Something As Equals, It’s Okay To Want To Do More.
Every small decision or act, to support what God is doing both individually and as a couple, is valued and important to him, no matter how small.
Which one of these tips could you start to follow today, and how? Comments welcomed below.