Week 4 – Strong Mission, Strong Marriage
You and Me Forever
Chapter 4: Don’t Waste Your Marriage
If there’s anything worthwhile I have to say about You And Me Forever, it’s this: Buy the book. Seriously, you guys. It’s way more than a book about marriage – way more than improving your communication and resolving conflict and experiencing more fulfilling sex with your spouse.
This is a book about the gospel and God’s mission to redeem the world and how your marriage is a part of that divine plan.
On a way less serious note, is it just me, or does the cover of this book remind anyone else of the movie Castaway? Every time I look at it I think, “Wilsooooooooooooooon!”
I loved chapter 4, Don’t Waste Your Marriage, because it made me really uncomfortable. But not in a shameful way. In more of an eager, inspired, I-want-God-to-use-my-marriage-for-his-purposes kind of way, and consequently that involves a bit of discomfort. Living out my marriage in light of the gospel and eternity will require a certain level of risk and an absolute dependency on Jesus.
Francis Chan repeatedly emphasizes that we are in the middle of a battle and God has given us a clear mission to make disciples – to point people to Jesus. And yet sadly, he states:
“Christian couples can most typically be found holding hands and skipping through life, ignoring the battle that rages around them. We have made happy families our mission. That is not the mission that Jesus gave us…You exist to make disciples. Your marriage exists to make disciples. You don’t want to stand before God at the end of your life with no disciples. Restructure your life. Re-prioritize. You exist to influence others.”
While reading this chapter, I would often pause and read snippets out loud to my husband. It’s giving us a lot to talk about and pray about and seek God about. Does our marriage currently reflect God’s mission? Yeah, in some ways. Are there other ways we can continue to sacrifice and take risks? Absolutely.
My husband is in the middle of building our new house on 5.5 acres of land. How can we use our home for God’s purposes?
I stay at home with our children. How can my days and our play dates and our errands reflect God’s purposes?
We’ve recently been through devastating loss. How can we allow God to use our heartache to show the world about hope and redemption in Jesus?
There is truly nothing more exciting, fulfilling, exhausting, and worthy of our time than living a life for God and his mission. God has invited us to be a part of it alongside our spouse. Each one of us has been given a calling – a gifting from God – to reach the world around us with his message of the gospel.
And weirdly enough, when we stop making our marriage the focus of our lives and make the gospel the focus, our marriages become stronger and more unified. Francis Chan says,
“Unity is the natural result of two people following one Spirit in a life devoted to the mission.”
It doesn’t mean disagreements and conflict will cease or that you’ll all of a sudden become perfect spouses. But what it does mean is that trivial things don’t matter anymore because you’re focused on what really matters.
So start a conversation with your spouse today. Pray together. And be ready for God to empower you to impact the world together. If you want, please share how the Lord is leading you and your spouse to live on mission together.
Sarah stays at home during the day amidst the peaceful chaos of raising two boys. Wearing a couple different hats, she helps her husband run his construction business and serves on staff at church as the college ministry coordinator. In her free time she enjoys going grocery shopping alone or watching Blue Bloods on Netflix with her husband. Her heart finds great joy and healing when blogging about grief, loss, adoption and how Jesus weaves his perfect plan through it all.
Sarah would love to connect with you through her blog.