Do You Want a Marriage or a Ministry?
As I pose the question in the title of this article, I know that many of you feel you already know the answer. And you could be right. . .but perhaps, just maybe, if you give this article a chance you might get a new perspective or way to think about it!
Let’s first establish one simple fact –
every person on the face of the earth was created with an innate desire to find a companion.
This was created all the way back in the garden of Eden, when God looked down and realized that it was not good for Adam to be alone. And so, all at once, God became the first wedding planner in history, the first wedding decorator (it was an outdoor event), the first wedding caterer (it was a vegetarian menu), and the first wedding minister. So I believe that I can say, without any question, that God is very much for you getting married. We were created with the desire to have a companion and to be married.
The problem, as always, is we have allowed sin and the world to shape our thoughts when it comes to marriage. We are using their criteria to choose our future mate and missing the most important part of the process, allowing God to form and choose our future mate for us.
Look at how crazy the desire for marriage (companionship) has risen in the last few years. There are over 3,900 companies that run dating websites and the industry has expanded at a rate of 3.5% EACH YEAR since 2008. This industry continued to grow through the worst crash of our financial markets and a recessed economy. Economists forecast that this trend will continue, at this rate of growth, for the next 5 years with this industry continuing to make over 2.1 billion dollars per year. Obviously, people are extremely interested in finding someone to marry.
But we were not just created for earthly companionship. In our very DNA resides a calling, anointing and ministry. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. . .”
God has a ministry calling for every person. There is something special that only you can bring to the Kingdom! The perfect plan is that you would find that exact, right person that compliments your ministry first!
Do I believe in soulmates? No! I believe in ministrymates. How do I go about finding this special person who completes the other half of my ministry? It is not by filling out a questionnaire detailing what I want in looks or money or hobbies in another person. Remember that is how the world looks for someone.
The best way for a Christian to find that ministrymate is to be actively seeking, working and growing in your own ministry.
Learn about yourself! Know what God designed and planned for you to do. Be consistently and enthusiastically exercising your God-given talents. If you are a teacher, find a Sunday School class or give a Bible Study. If you are a singer or musician, work in whatever capacity is needed in music. If you are given to hospitality, work in the Ushers & Greeters ministry. Like Ecclesiastes 9:10 says,
“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. . .”
As you do this God begins to sort through all the applications to find that right person for you.
Keep your focus on seeking your ministry and not looking for a mate.
Remember, in the garden Adam didn’t seek for Eve. God saw what was missing in his life and designed and presented Eve to him. Allow God to find your companion. Even as Christian, we can make our choice of spouse based on all the wrong things. Maybe the world can recover from a bad choice in mates, but so many ministries have been destroyed throughout the years because someone looked for a mate first instead of seeking a ministry! Seek and focus on strengthening your ministry and at the same time pray for God to connect you to the perfect ministrymate! Give Him the ability to create a ministry connection that will revolutionize not only your ministry but your life!
If you were one of those at the beginning of this article raising your hand because you knew the answer, then you were probably right. Each of us wants both a ministry and a mate, because we were designed to desire both of these.
The problem comes when we are waiting around for a mate before we do ministry.
You see “finding” someone to be with is not that hard. The media is proudly pushing the 15th season of The Bachelor. Finding anyone is easy but when you find “the one” it is different. When you realize that you are connected to that person for a higher purpose and calling than just to have companionship and children, you will truly understand the power of love and commitment.
I remember while in Bible College during the 80’s I watched as friend after friend of mine walked down the aisle. I kept thinking that something was wrong with me, but I also knew deep down inside that I wouldn’t be content with just anyone in my life. During this time as I waited on God to send me someone, I was involved in two choirs, two girls singing groups, two chorales. I taught my teen Sunday School class, I worked in the school office and I worked with the children’s choir at my local church. In fact, when my future husband and I started dating, he told me that I was going to have to let go of some things so we could actually have some time to spend together. It wasn’t until many years later and being involved in ministry along side my husband that I realized how God had kept me and provided my perfect ministrymate.
So my challenge to you is to seek a ministry and let God worry about providing the mate! Because when we do it for ourselves we may find that we lose both our ministry and mate.
Quit looking for your soulmate and instead focus on discovering your personal ministry and committing to it with all your heart.
I am a living testimony that when you do, God will design, create and oversee the most amazing marriage you could ever experience.