We are so excited to get the conversation going on this topic! Let’s start here… Think of all the platforms we use as believers to share the good news of the greatest story ever told. God’s love for us demonstrated through the sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Why not missions through marriage?
Let’s understand the terms:
Missions – “The divine activity of sending intermediaries, whether supernatural or human, to speak or do God's will so that his purposes for judgment or redemption are furthered. The biblical concept is expressed using verbs meaning "to send, " normally with God as the expressed subject. The biblical concept of "mission" comprehends the authority of the one who sends; the obedience of the one sent; a task to be accomplished; the power to accomplish the task; and a purpose within the moral framework of God's covenantal working of judgment or redemption.” –Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary
Marriage – “An intimate and complementing union between a man and a woman in which the two become one physically, in the whole of life. The purpose of marriage is to reflect the relationship of the Godhead and to serve him. Although the fall has marred the divine purpose and function of marriage, this definition reflects the God-ordained ideal for marriage from the beginning.” –Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary
Marriage is a great platform to fulfill the great commission work of evangelism and discipleship. Hence the description, missions through marriage.
So, what is Missions through Marriage?
Consider what Paul writes to the church in Ephesus. “This mystery is profound, and I am saying it refers to Christ and the church.” This is written in the context of providing a visual description of the way a husband and wife interact. While at first blush we may be quick to break down the specific instructions to the wife and then the husband, if you take a step back and consider the whole, we see that our marriage and the unity it should reflect was created for mission.
Yes, our marriages are made for mission!
Remember, whether single, married, divorced, blended family, or whatever state you find yourself, you are on mission. Our focus here is marriage.
The profound mystery is that our earthly union as a married couple gives us a glimpse of our union with God himself. We are unconditionally loved and freely forgiven. Jesus’ work of restoration, reconciliation, and redemption should be clearly seen in the way a man and woman in covenant relationship love, forgive, and accept each other.
Missions through marriage simply put is seeing your marriage relationship as a way to share God’s love with those who have yet to experience it, and lead those who have received God’s love to a deeper walk with Him.
When you consider the many ways the work of evangelism and discipleship are accomplished, let’s put a spotlight on marriage as well. Whether you travel all over the world, or never leave your community, your marriage can fulfill God’s ultimate call on your life.
What does this look like practically?
My (Roland) father-in-law Ricardo, married my mother-in-law, Sharon back in the mid 60’s. I remember he shared with me that he and Sharon were not believers when they met and married. But, Sharon’s brother and his wife were. It was during their many interactions that Ricardo saw something very different about Don and Janet’s marriage. He told me, “I wanted what they had". He wasn’t referring to the perfect marriage they had, but rather a deep love and forgiveness for one another that only God can provide. The testimony of their marriage was a clear picture of what the Lord can do. The Lord revealed to Ricardo that the only way to experience that was to turn to Christ. The marriage of Uncle Don and Aunt Janet being on mission (though they didn’t know it then) has profoundly impacted future generations. Missions through marriage, locally!
Back in 2009 I was able to travel on a mission trip. Before this trip, I had been to several other countries doing mission work. We did VBS, sports camps, provided for the physical needs of the people, and held orphans. This was all in an effort to build bridges that would give us a platform to share Jesus. But this time was different. We were on mission to invest in the married couples of the country we were visiting. Though many of those couples were in vocational ministry, about 30% were ready to call it quits in their marriage. We shared the FAITH principles found in 2B1 and spent time cultivating relationship with each of those couples. Now, more than 12 years later the testimony of people coming to Christ and others growing in their relationship with Lord is in the thousands. Missions through marriage, globally!
Join Christian Family Life in missions through marriage!
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”Matthew 9:36-38