Hello, my name is Hunter and I’m finding out that there’s a lot of things about Jesus-focused marriage that I didn’t quite think about.
*cue sarcastic “nooooooo”*
Yes, yes. I, Hunter, know nothing. But! This is great! Why, you wonder? I shall tell you. 🙂
Jake and I have been following Jesus semi-separately for most of our lives, and now we’re trying to really figure out what it looks to follow Him together, specifically in the area of discipleship. Jake’s led Bible studies. I’ve led Bible studies. He’s sought to disciple new believers and evangelize unbelievers. I have done the same. His “ministry time” has been in the army. My “ministry time” has been among college kids and mostly civilians. God has grown us in different ways through all of these experiences.
But we’re not just doing our own thing anymore. While we were dating and engaged, we sought to do ministry together as much as possible, to serve together, to disciple and counsel and pray for others as much as possible, to feed off of each other’s knowledge and experience to add to our own ministry style so that when we got married we’d at least have gotten our feet wet…But it’s not the same as actually doing ministry as married couple.
“And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)
HOW TO SPEAK
One of the recent conversations we had was about how we even talk differently to and teach individuals about Jesus, and we’ve noticed that we sometimes insert thoughts into each other’s thoughts which interrupt the original thought and confuse or distract the person to whom we’re talking. And so working through our own styles of speaking and ministering to others, as well as overcoming walls of pride (which I have really noticed in myself lately, as we’ve invited people over to our house for fellowship and deliberate training in following Jesus and helping others follow Jesus) has been a conversation and prayer for us as of late.
HOW TO SERVE
Since coming back from block leave (that would be the time spent going to Paris and VA Beach), Jake and I have started hosting a Bible study in our house every Friday night for the guys in Jake’s unit that he’s been praying for and reaching out to over deployment. Remember my mentioning Jake leading Bible studies and my leading Bible studies, and how those practices were predominantly separate until we got married?
So, on top of talking through it with Jake, I’ve been picking the brains of all the ladies in the Navigator ministry here at Ft. Bragg who have hosted Bible studies in their homes. “What was your role in hosting the study? How did you and your husband work together on this?” Jake is the leader of our home, and therefore the teacher of any men who come into the house. My role, as I see it, is to support him in all that teaching and contributing vocally when appropriate. Which is really cool! Because Jake feels very respected and honored by this, like he can really work as God has designed him to. He does something similar for me when we invite ladies in as well.
The advice I got from the ladies to whom I spoke, however, is that I can take care of all of the behind-the-scenes details (cooking the food, cleaning the house, setting up chairs and making sure people have places to sit, taking care of any kids they might bring, etc.) so that Jake doesn’t have to think about them. My mind is bent much more towards thinking about several things all at once, so I can take care of those logistical things and be mentally and emotionally involved in the actual Bible study as well. Which is really cool 🙂
But before getting married, I didn’t have to think about any of this. It all feels very new.
AND IT’S PRETTY AWESOME 🙂
Jake and I have been sitting here at Barnes and Noble, and I’ve been reflecting on all the work that’s come about in our marriage because of our work for the kingdom, I’m really grateful for Jake…Because his focus is on how to better work together in ministering to others instead of on how I need to change, it’s made it much easier to not be consumed by emotions and woundedness, and to instead trust God to change me to better fit Jake, and Jake to fit me, as we seek to do this together out of faithfulness to Him.
Take these still-newlywed-Jesus-follower thoughts for what they’re worth. I’m sure God will continue to reveal many other layers of working together as a team for Him, and it will be very uncomfortable (that seems to be a theme lately…) and there will definitely be growing pains (there already has been), but regardless, welcome to the beginning.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)