Three years ago, my husband and I took a course at church that can help you figure out your purpose in life. I was a bit nervous about getting the results. What if our missions in life look completely different and don’t collide at all? When my husband and I met and got married we were both “baby Christians”. We believed in God, but we didn’t know him very well. We weren’t exactly living life with God and for God. We had no idea what we were created for. We chose each other simply because we liked each other, not necessarily because our passions and purposes in life were the same.
I’ve heard many couples who got divorced say something like this: “We just realized that we want entirely different things in life, so we couldn’t continue to be married.” It’s always very sad when a couple who has built a life together and had children conclude that they want to separate. Imagine how much pain that could be avoided if each couple found out that they want different things in life prior to getting married and having kids. What often happens when a couple wants different things in life is that one person gives up their own dreams and passions to fit their spouse’s life better. This strategy will only work for awhile, in the beginning when our romantic feelings are strong we don’t mind giving up our dreams for our spouse. Ten years later when we have been married for a long time we will start to resent the fact that we had to give up our own dreams when we got married.
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When my husband and I got our results from the course about finding our purpose I was both relieved and excited. Our passions and purposes in life collide beautifully. We were told that it’s helpful to narrow down our passions in life to 1-2 different people groups that we are passionate about serving for the rest of our lives.
My two people groups were:
1.) Serving Young Women through the Women’s Ministry and Care ministry at Church.
2.) Serving kids in poverty
My husband’s two people groups were:
1.) Serving Young men/adolescents through mentorship
2.) Serving people in poverty (the homeless and others)
It was so funny to see the results that we came to on our own. We were clearly made for each other. The thing is, marriage is about so much more than enjoying the love, sex and romance that marriage involves. God created each one of us for a specific purpose, a mission to accomplish in this life. The point of romance isn’t to meet “the one” and then focus on ourselves for the rest of our lives. We were all meant to do something with our lives, to serve other people. The more obvious part of the purpose for each married couple is to have children and raise them up to become healthy and responsible adults one day, but that’s not all. Yes, having children is a huge part of our purpose for most married people, but we are also called to love people outside of our own family. Marriage is all about the mission that God has put on our lives. My husband is someone who God sent to help me accomplish the calling that He put on my life even before I was born. It’s not a coincidence that I have some specific strengths, gifts, skills and life experiences that other people don’t have. It’s all meant to help me accomplish my mission in life, to live out my purpose.
Not all people will be called to marriage in this life, Mother Teresa was single. She didn’t need a husband to accomplish a lot of good during her lifetime on Earth. Paul in the Bible was single, and Jesus was single also. Getting married or having children isn’t the point of this life, the mission is the point. Sadly, we live in a culture that attaches status to being married and having kids. Some people get married and have children because they are passionate about marriage and raising children, others do it to look good in a culture that equates marriage and kids with a successful life.
|Teamwork. Serving is so much more fun when we do it together.|
Singleness is viewed as being “less than” in our culture, but not in God’s eyes. Mother Teresa and Paul were definitely not “less than” in God’s eyes because they were single, rather the opposite. Paul became one of the apostles and how many different churches are named after Paul all around the world today? You can find “St. Paul’s Cathedral” everywhere around the world. Mother Teresa has been sanctified and is called “Saint Teresa” today. Let’s just say God probably called these two people to singleness for a reason, it was on purpose.
When Katie Davis Majors was 18-years old she moved to Jinja,Uganda to serve the poor. She didn't know if she was ever going to be called to marriage, but she knew for sure that God had called her to serve the poor. Today Katie still lives in Jinja and God sent her a husband who is also passionate about serving the poor. Katie and her husband Benji have a biological son today, plus 13 adopted daughters, most of them teenagers. God sent Katie a husband that fit into her mission in life perfectly and beautifully.
Joanna was in her forties and single when God called her to move to Africa and start an orphanage. Today she is still single and has 50 foster children that she lives with. I assume Joanna probably doesn't feel lonely just because she isn't called to marriage, she has 50 foster kids to love. We don’t need a spouse to be able to accomplish our mission in life but if God calls us to marriage we can be sure that He will match us up with someone who will be the fuel for our dreams, not someone who hinders them from coming true.