I Don’t Think You Heard That Right
By Carlos Santiago
One day, I told my wife I felt God calling me to quit my job and go into full-time ministry.
“I don’t think you heard that right,” she said.
I was confused. I tried to explain, but the more I did, the more she dug in.
“If you want to do ministry, go ahead, but leave me out of it. And don’t quit your job—we have a mortgage.”
I’ve been a Christian for a long time, so I know the drill. As the husband, the spiritual leadership is my responsibility.
Was I supposed to “assert my spiritual authority” and quit without her blessing? What would that do to her? Our marriage? What others see about Christ through us?
As I struggled to lead my wife in a direction she didn’t want to go, I decided to look closer at the leadership style of Jesus.
Jesus faced resistance, and even though “all authority on heaven and earth” (Matthew 28:18) was given to Him, He never ordered us to follow. Instead, He was patient and kind. He didn’t brag about His special calling or coerce us in any way. He put our needs first.
What my wife needed most was to hear from God, not me.
So I tried to make it easy for her to do that. I encouraged her to make friendships with mature Christian women, attend Bible studies, and go on women’s retreats.
In the meantime, I did ministry work on the weekends while making preparations to one day leave my job.
It took a few years, but my wife eventually heard God’s call, too.
We were then able to enter ministry the same way we started marriage—as partners.
The good stuff: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Action points: How can you help your spouse hear more clearly from God? Do they need encouragement? Help with chores? A night without kids? Ask them. Then pick one thing you can do this week and do it.
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