By Anna Radchenko, Contributing Writer
When I was in college, I always thought I would end up working with teenagers. I loved that age group and thought my future would include serving in a youth group. This vision could only mean one thing: I had to marry a man who wanted to be a youth pastor. So when seeking out potential suitors, that was what I looked for: how are they with teenagers, and is that part of their future plan?
Isn’t it funny how God’s plans aren’t always what you’ve planned for yourself? During my last year of college, I met a man who wasn’t very outgoing, didn’t spend much time with teenagers, and was going to school for computer science. This man is now my husband. Despite my vision for the future, it never once stopped me from continuing in a relationship with someone who wasn’t interested in being a youth pastor. Why? Because despite our different passions, I learned that we had one passion that was the only one that mattered: we loved Jesus, we would go wherever He wanted us to go and do whatever He wanted us to do.
Having flexibility, compromise, and a desire to merely be used by God (in whatever way possible) is so important if you’re going to serve in a ministry with your husband. My husband works with computers, and our church can benefit from his knowledge. Although we don’t work with youth together, God is revealing to me that I can also be used in other ways. My passions are changing, and that’s okay – that is what happens in life! There is even an opportunity in the near future we may have to serve together in a way we didn’t think was possible. We are willing, and that’s all that matters.
So you may be outgoing, and your husband quiet. You may love singing, but your wife doesn’t quite have the ear for it. If you’re together in marriage, God has a plan for you and is preparing you both to serve in ways you may not have even considered an option. Keep praying for ways God can use you both in service (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Maybe that doesn’t mean in a “front position” at church, but it could mean cleaning, hospitality, giving.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 1:10, ESV)
If you’re not yet married and are seeking certain qualities in a spouse, rather than looking for specific passions that match up with your own, perhaps consider the more important passion: do they love Jesus with reckless abandon? Are they willing to go wherever Christ would lead them? Are they willing to do whatever God wants for their life?
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11, NIV)
When spouses share different passions and talents, variety is added, and more opportunities to serve are created. If you both seek God and desire to serve Him above all else, He will create ways that you both can serve together. When you work through the differences and show a united marriage in service, God is glorified, and people see Him above all else.