Happy day after Easter! How was your Resurrection celebration? Did you spend the day with family, maybe watching little legs run towards brightly colored eggs? Did you meet with your church community and take communion in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice (and in the joy of His imminent return)? Maybe you simply spent the day with your sweetheart enjoying beautiful Spring weather.
Last week, someone mentioned how often she eagerly waits for the marked down Easter candy (as I am sure she does for every holiday – and we sugar enthusiasts appreciate it); but, this year, a dear friend helped her slow down and remember the weekend before the half-priced Easter candy – that is, the real celebration and the weight of the day. There is literally nothing in this world more important than what Christ accomplished on the cross.
Remembering that in Christ we live, and move, and have our being (cf. Acts 17:28), I think we can agree that talking about Christ’s death and resurrection the day after, the week after, and every day after Resurrection Sunday is not only appropriate, but even a command given to us by Christ.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, ESV)
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18, ESV)
How Can We Serve God Better Together than Apart?
For all couples who wish to honor God with their marriage, this is a primary question to consider. It is a question which could potentially cause some dating couples to part ways – especially if one is planning to devote his or her life to overseas missions and the other is determined to build a local ministry in his or her current community.
For a lot of couples, it is a question which helps them focus their attention on a similar path. If we love God and want to serve Him with our lives, how can we serve Him more effectively as a combined unit than as individuals?
(Another difficult but important question to ask is this: Can I serve God better with this person; or is he or she (subtly or obviously) trying to pull me away from serving the Lord wholeheartedly?)
For starters, you can share your faith with the closest people in your lives together…
- … with your Families. Have you ever tried to convince someone in your family of a fact and them not believe you… only to have them believe that fact from someone outside of the family? Sometimes our families will listen to others more than they listen to us. But, even if you have talked to your family a hundred times about the law and the gospel, repentance, and putting their faith in Christ, the Lord may use another person to reach them. And that other person may just be your partner.
- … with your Friends. There is great power in the testimony of a godly couple. The husband-and-wife team across the street from me growing up was a tremendous example. She was more verbal, and he was more jovial, but together you saw Christ glorified in how they loved each other and the people around them. Inviting friends into your relationship and ministering to them through fellowship, hospitality, advice, and plain fun is a way to show Christ’s love to your friends (and may open the door for gospel sharing and discipleship).
- … with your Co-Workers. Your co-workers may rarely see you and your partner together, but your relationship or marriage can still be a beacon of light to them. A happy husband or a happy wife leads onlookers to wonder, “What is different about him? Why does she seem so peaceful in this crazy office?” If possible, spend a little time with co-workers outside of work. Invite them out to eat or for an activity. Be interested in them and their lives.
- … with your Neighbors. Sometimes our most obvious mission field is overlooked – the men, women, and children living feet away from us. Last summer, our new neighbors hosted a cookout for everyone on our block. For the first time since we moved into our home (seventeen years ago), our street-mates got together for burgers and fellowship. In addition to meeting the neighbors, this couple chose to organize this gathering as a practical way to bless people and share Christ’s love with the neighborhood.
- … with your Community. Before she passed away, my favorite humorist, Jeanne Robertson, spread the message that humor is everywhere. “All you have to do is look for it,” and she was right. When I have my antenna up, there is never a shortage of funny observations (especially since my work desk is next to my front window). The same is true for ministry opportunities. In your community, whether it comprises five people or five thousand, there will always be a need – physical, spiritual, emotional – someone needs you. As a team, you can be a huge source of hope to your corner of the world.
- … with your Children. Your ministry to your children will not only be one of your most important, but one of your most challenging. Children know how to push buttons and try to pit Mom against Dad (even cherubs like little Heather ~smile~). Before your 2.0s arrive on the scene, prayerfully determine that you both will remain a team. It is Mom and Dad – not Mom versus Dad. And prioritize family worship, even when the children are tiny. A friend said her infant son’s babysitter would read him the ten commandments, and later when they read him the ten commandments, his face lit up in recognition. Read to them and pray with them from birth (or, even while pregnant!).
- … with Each Other. One of your greatest ministries will be to your spouse. We all go through seasons of doubt and exhaustion. Grief and hopelessness. Sharing your faith is not only applicable when speaking to unbelievers about salvation, but also when your spouse needs you to encourage him or her in the faith. Your partner will need reminders of God’s goodness and faithfulness.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, ESV)
We are all equipped with a mission field, and one of the greatest blessings in having a believing spouse is having a ministry partner. In Easter, we just celebrated the greatest victory this world has ever seen; and, we look forward to (and should be preparing for) Christ’s return. But, there is still a world of lost souls and you can bring the gospel to them together.
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:15, ESV)
How will you and your significant other share your faith this week?