Calling and Marriage

I just read this article: and one of the things mentioned by the questioner stood out to me:
She says that marrying someone who doesn't share the same heart for missions isn't a deal-breaker. But it gives me pause. I support missions, but it's largely in a financial capacity. A number of missionaries say it's important that both the husband and wife have that calling to work overseas because of the extraordinarily difficult and demanding lifestyle. The last thing you want said during an argument is, "I never wanted to be here in the first place."
Scott Croft's view on this matter aside, I began to reflect on the above quoted conversation and indeed, the last thing that a married couple wants to hear from one another is "I never wanted to be here in the first place." I am not a married man yet, to be honest, but the issue of calling in a marriage relationship is something that I have been thinking for a very long time. Theologically speaking, I lean towards complementarianism, similar to Scott Croft. But to be fair in the whole issue, I think the good starting point is always Genesis. I have mentioned in my blog about this, but one thing I note from Genesis 1-2 is this:
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
This implies to me that when a couple gets married, they become a unit and hence their calling becomes intertwined with one another. Therefore, I was just thinking, if in an argument, one side happens to say, "I never wanted to be here in the first place," it is technically a wrong statement because when they married each other, they essentially said that they wanted to be where each other is, whether to serve alongside or to support one another.

I have also given some thoughts to this issue of intertwined callings between couples. Firstly, if God calls the couple to come together, then surely His individual calling to the individuals will become intertwined. This is more based on logical reasoning, based on the implication suggested by the Scripture. I have not come across any Scripture that directly addresses this. But if the two are to become one, we have to assume that two callings will synthesize into one as well. This brings me to the next thought, which is how the callings can be synthesized? Do the two callings have to be the same?

Now based on observations on the married couples in my church, they need not be the same and the married couples can still function as a unit serving God together as one. But this is rare. I have more commonly seen how couples have sat down and discussed their callings in their respective lives and reached a common consensus on where God is bringing them towards. The reason perhaps why this is so possible in my observations is probably because the filtering process before marriage has already taken the individual callings into account. Nonetheless, it does not mean that the two have totally similar callings but I think they are able to figure how their callings can be synthesize into one as God calls them to become one flesh.

Now, to a more controversial point (but one which I believe is grounded in what I studied in Scripture). If the couple really believes that God has called them to come together to become one flesh and that they have disagreements over their calling in their lives, it is my conviction that the woman should choose to follow the man, rather than the man choosing to follow the woman, unless the man is convicted in where God is supposedly calling the woman to. I have seen many guys in my church who have chosen to follow the woman to another church because the girl is worshiping there and refuse to move out of their church. I sometimes wonder if this is really the right thing to do. The inability for the woman to follow the man could be a sign to come, that the woman wants the man to follow her decision and refuse to submit to the leadership of the man. After all, the man is called by God to exercise leadership in the relationship. Therefore, I would think that it might be a more reasonable approach for the woman to follow the man. The logical implication of this is that it may end up that the woman's calling may not matter in the end but this is not what I advocate as well (see earlier thoughts). Of course, another factor which complicates things is that there may be other issues in consideration for the couples that influence those decisions, which means that I am not in the position to dictate but merely to state my preference in how things should turn out.


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