As my wife Karla and I have had the opportunity for informal premarital counseling experiences with several young couples, our own marriage has been strengthened as we have helped guide others through the process of answering some important questions: “Where will we live?” “How will we raise our children?” “How will we handle our finances?” I believe that a continual open dialogue about these questions and others are essential for the unity of husband and wife as well as enjoyment of the marriage relationship. For Christians, however, there is one question that precedes all of these important marriage questions. I find, though, that this one gets much less attention than it deserves.
“How are we, as a couple/family, going to actively participate in the Great Commission?”
Even more specifically, I like to ask the question like this: “How are we going to actively participate in the Great Commission in a way that is as close to Jesus’ approach as possible.” Before I go on, I acknowledge that by making this suggestion, I am also inferring some assumptions that I can note:
1) Christians should desire and want to take part in the Great Commission (GC).
2) Jesus’ approach or way of fulfilling the GC is ideal and should be emulated as best as possible.
3) Married couples, as “one flesh,” will be involved in the GC together at some level.
4) Thus, married couples will need to communicate with each other about how they sense God is leading them to be involved in His GC.
If you do not agree with these assumptions then this blog post is not for you. However, if you have no problem with these then I want to issue you a challenge: Begin this conversation with your spouse tonight! You can use this blog as an excuse. Perhaps you can say, “Honey, I read this blog today and it challenged every Christian to talk with his/her spouse about this question…”
Why is this so urgent? I am afraid that many married couples will go years or perhaps even a lifetime without every talking about this crucial question. Karla and I didn’t for many years. Life gets busy. Communication is hard. We may not think we will like the answers we find or if we find any at all. Many times we can even be convinced that by virtue of going to a church we have this Great Commission thing covered (“We give to the annual Great Commission offering,” “Our church has a discipleship director that does this,”etc). However, I am convinced that if we do not actively engage mission laid out by our Master and follow his example as we go, then our marriages will miss out on one of the key purposes for its invention…fulfilling the Great Commission! Not only that, but failure to consider and pursue answers to this question in our marriages very well may lead us to incorrect answers to many other important marriage questions.
So begin the discussion tonight. Do not delay! Let reading this be the open door to a conversation. May you walk through it with your teammate today!
“…Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”