What God has joined shouldn't be separated
Erik Fish, director, Midwest Student Ministries, an affiliate of Lawrence's Morning Star Christian Church:
"A man shall leave his mother, and a woman leave her home. And they shall travel on to where/the two shall be as one."
So write Peter, Paul and Mary in what I'm guessing single men were getting pretty sick of hearing as they endured this most popular "Wedding Song" sung through the 1970s. (Yes, my parents were hippies, and I revel at any opportunity to shout out my hippie folk rock knowledge).
This song references one of the earliest foundational truths about marriage in the Bible written in Genesis 2:24: "For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."
Later in the Christian Scriptures, a group of religious teachers asked Jesus, "Can a person divorce their spouse for just any reason?" Jesus referred to the Scripture in Genesis and elaborated, "What God has joined together, let no man separate" (Matthew 19:6).
The point of all this is to say that literally when a man and a woman become married, God sees them as being in a covenant that should not be broken. Though they are separate people, their marriage is literally a joining together of their callings. No calling from God is ever going to conflict with that wedding covenant.
The marriage covenant is even an expression of the faithful, covenantal character of God. God may call couples to do things that are challenging, but God's intention is for a married couple to seek him together and be in agreement about the direction God is calling them to go.
- Send e-mail to Erik Fish at email@example.com.
Your relationship with Christ must come first
The Rev. Dave Davis, director of church outreach, Ottawa University:
For me, the answer is no. Jesus taught that he must be first in every aspect of life. If my relationship with Christ is not primary, then no other relationship will be what it is supposed to be.
Jesus must be not only Savior but also Lord of life. The Lord will never give a calling that conflicts with his word of Scripture or that will not glorify him. So we must test with these two items to verify that the calling is truly of God.
When the calling is verified, we then must be sure that our spouse is also on board. He/she may have received the same calling, or at least is sure that the calling is of God and is supportive 100 percent.
God is a God of order and will not cause disarray. Many times it is a spouse who causes the conflict concerning a call because of his or her own selfishness in not wanting to alter his or her life to mesh with God's plan. Marriage is not a duel but a beautiful trio of Jesus, husband and wife working together.
Colossians 3:15 tells us to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts since that is to what we are called. Peace is also part of the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) that we are to be showing. As a pastor, one must also look at I Timothy 3 for character and the understanding of how to manage our own household well so that we are able to take care of God's church and other concerns.
- Send e-mail to Dave Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.