Ed Stetzer: Today I am glad to welcome Aaron and Jennifer Smith. They have a new book that just came out called Marriage After God: Chasing Boldly After God’s Purpose for Your Life Together. You can find them on social media @MarriageAfterGod, @HusbandRevo, and @Unveiledwife.
Smiths: When we realized what Christ did for us on the cross and how much he endured for our sake and the world’s sake, we were motivated to persevere and endure with each other.
Because of our own sin, and our own broken perspectives about what our marriage was and was meant for, we were on the verge of calling it quits. God showed us that our marriage was meant for so much more than just happily ever after, which is what we were trying to chase in our own way.
He showed us that our marriage is a ministry; he showed us that our marriage had a purpose far beyond ourselves. Our marriage is his symbol, and his desire is that we use our marriage to represent him.
One of the ways this truth gets played out in our marriage is by deciding to use our unique experiences, testimonies, talents, and resources to share his message with the world. This is true for every Christian marriage, not just ours. Your marriage is God’s, and he desires it to be done his way and for his purposes. Will you say “Yes” to him as we have?
Ed: Does every marriage have its own mission and unique calling from God? What if you’re not working in professional ministry?
Smiths: Every Christian marriage is called by God to reflect the truth of the gospel by their actions, as well as with their words, toward each other and toward others.
The Bible is very clear on how a husband and wife are to relate to and love each other, and it is also clear why we are to do it this way. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5 that marriage is a mystery because our marriages are a symbol to the world of Christ and the Church.
Also, each marriage is unique in experience, testimony, talents, and resources. So every marriage can/should use what they have and steward it to further the gospel and build God’s kingdom. We are all united in the same mission, but it will look different in every marriage.
It’s okay not to work in a professional ministry because marriage itself is a ministry. Whether or not we are paid to do what God has called us to do doesn’t change the fact that our gifts and talents are to be used to honor and serve God.
Ed: There’s a tendency to think that ministry occurs far away from home, but you make the point that our marriages and families are really our first ministry. Can you talk about that?
Smiths: The Bible explains how to treat one another and how to treat your neighbor…and what closer neighbor do you have then your spouse? How you treat each other in marriage matters not only for your marriage but also for those who are looking in to see how the gospel is making you different from them.
Are you loving? Are you respectful? Is God on the throne in your marriage or are you living for yourself? If the gospel is not preached and lived in our homes, then how can we expect to faithfully and affectively preach the gospel outside of our homes?
As long as Christian husbands and wives see ministry as separate from everything else in life instead of ministry being their life, they will never be able to recognize the true value of their marriage.
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Source: Christianity Today