As a young girl, much of my mission in life was to get married and have kids. I was known by all my friends as the one who wanted to get married right after high school and then I joked about having 12 kids. Part of that has come true because I am married now, but I did not get married right after high school and so far I do not have 12 kids.
It wasn’t really until I was in college that I began to see that God really does have a better plan for my life and I knew that He wants us to live on mission FOR HIM in all that we do, including one day in marriage. That doesn’t mean having dreams of marriage, kids, a good job, etc. is a bad thing to have. I’m so thankful that I had those dreams, but I’m also glad God taught me the importance of living on mission to glorify Him before I even met my future husband.
Scott and I talked about ways we could live missionally together during our engagement and early in our marriage. For me I really wanted to live a life so focused on God that even our children could see that God was in every part of our lives, not just someone we talked about on Sundays.
We are definitely not perfect with this every day, but I think that is why God has created us for each other because we are able to encourage one another and pray together as we focus on ways we can live on mission together. Here are a few ideas we have that you might be able to bring into your own marriage. I hope you can think about other ideas as you focus on doing everything for the glory of God even as a couple.
1. Mission of Hospitality - (1 Peter 4:8-11)
I love having people over to my home. Being hospitable is one of the things that I got from my mom who loved having people drop by for a meal or a few hours of visiting while I was growing up. It fills me with joy to have friends or family over, serve them a meal, and be able to bless them even in a small way. Instead of thinking about how small, messy, or “far away” your home might me, try inviting people over and you might be surprised by how excited and blessed they might be to have you step out and ask them.
2. Mission to Your Community Group - (Hebrews 10:23-25)
Scott and I have been part of a small community group for the past five years with our church. Being a part of a community group or a Bible study allows you to get to know a group of people in ways that normal life doesn’t always bring about. Being able to share prayer requests and life struggles with each other has allowed us to come alongside other couples in our church to encourage them, pray for them, and build relationships, everything God wants in a group of believers.
3. Mission to Your Children - (Deut. 6:7)
Being parents gives you and your husband incredible opportunity to live on mission in your children’s lives. Praying with them, reading the Bible with them, being good examples to them as someone following after Christ, having them come along as you share the Gospel with your neighbors or someone else you meet, and talking to them about living on mission is all so important. Think of the impact you have on these little disciples God has given you.
4. Mission of Ministry to Others - (John 15:12)
Find something you and your husband would like to do together to minister to others. It is so encouraging to see couples who serve in various ways. Whether they are teaching a Sunday School class at church, volunteering to help lead the high-school youth group, coaching a sports team, or going out to share Christ’s gospel of good news with people, all of these things are just a few ways you could minister to others together. It means a lot to be able to minister to others alongside my husband because then we both know what and who to pray for which is such a great opportunity to draw us closer together as we live on mission for Christ.
There are so many other great ideas that could be shared about practical ways to live on mission in your marriage, but hopefully this gets you thinking of what you and your husband can do together. I pray that God will help us remember that wherever we are and no matter our circumstances, we are called to be lights that bring all the glory to God. I pray that we as couples don’t become so busy with our own agendas that we end up not shining the light of God through our marriages to those around us!
"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lamp stand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matt. 5:13-16
Reprinted with permission from Missional Women. Natalie Slade serves as a missionary to college students with Master Plan Ministries. She holds a degree in Elementary Education.