10 Tips for Picking a Spouse for Ministry
After the decision to trust Jesus as your Savior, no other decision in life so radically affects your future as the spouse you choose – and this is especially true if you feel called to Christian ministry. I remember waking up the morning after my wedding day, holding my left hand up, and seeing the reflection of two people in my shiny wedding band. The sobering thought occurred to me: “This ring is never coming off!” Thankfully, my wife is absolutely amazing, and I am in awe that God blessed me with such an amazing ministry partner. But marriage can go both ways, either good or bad, and we’ve all seen some really bad ones. So how does someone who has ambitions for future Christian ministry pick the right spouse?
Here are 10 Tips for Picking a Spouse for Ministry
1. Gospel Doctrine
This is the BIG ONE! You are going into ministry together, so you want to make sure your core beliefs are compatible. The Gospel is the absolute core of all Christian doctrines, so definitely make sure your prospect hits the bull’s eye on this one.
2. Track Record of Faith
The person you choose must have a significant history of serving the Lord long before you got involved with them. You are called to ministry, and you must know without a doubt that this person would serve the Lord with or without you.
3. Talk to Their Pastor
People often put on a show for someone they want to hook up with – and there are some awfully good actors out there! Do your due diligence by grabbing coffee with your prospect’s pastor and leaders and ask them their thoughts about the person. Make a long list of relevant questions to ask, and let them know that you’re called into ministry.
4. Track Record for Ministry
Just because someone is a believer doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to be doing ministry. You know your calling, and you don’t want a ball and chain following you around for the rest of your life. It’s a great sign if they were doing ministry before you came around.
5. The Least of These
Watch how your prospect treats the people that nobody else cares about – the social outcasts. This is a sign of inner beauty, and this inner beauty will be incredibly important once the blissful infatuation state ends.
6. For Men Only
Guys, you want a girl that gets along with other girls. While in ministry, you won’t be able to minister one-on-one with the ladies, so you’ll need a wife can do that. This is an invaluable asset!
7. For Women Only
Girls, you want a guy that knows how to lead. He doesn’t have to be a John Wayne, but he has to know his responsibility as the head of the family, and he has to be fully committed to spiritually lead his family by example.
8. No Compromise
You want a person who wouldn’t compromise their convictions if you offered them the world. This is a strong clue of commitment to the Lord that goes far beyond their desire to please others or themselves. If you are a person of integrity, you definitely want to see this one.
Wisdom is the ability to make the right decisions in many different contexts. This is certainly desirable in a spouse. Unfortunately, it takes wisdom to know wisdom, so let’s just hope you’ve got some. (If you doubt your ability to assess wisdom or just want some additional help, ask a pastor or other respected leader in your church to assist.)
Do you and your prospect have similar interests? Remember, if you do marriage right, this person will be your closest friend and main conversation partner for life. Cuteness isn’t worth a nickel once you’ve been married two months, so it’s beneficial (although not essential) that they are conversant in the areas of your greatest interests.
If you’re planning on going into ministry and are looking for a spouse, the ten items listed above should make up your non-negotiable checklist. If you look at this list and realize that you yourself are missing a few of these key features, get to work! The more you prepare yourself for your spouse, the better the prospect you’ll be compatible with. When it’s all said and done, bring the issue to your Heavenly Father. He cares about your situation, and if there ever was a decision He was interested in helping with, it’s definitely this one.
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