Barbara Ann Derksen, United but Distinct

At a missionary appreciation luncheon at church, the wife of a couple on furlough introduced herself as just his wife. She has been part of this missionary team for many years and yet she referred to herself as ‘just his wife.’ It was as if she was not a contributing member of the team – just support for the one who was called.

I had to really think about that for a while. Does God never call women to ministry? Is God in the habit of gifting one partner but never the other? In the context of marriage, does God call the husband into ministry but not the wife? I think if we really knew God, His purpose for marriage, and what He wants from each of us, we’d have to say ‘NO’ to all these questions.

When God calls a husband to ministry, he also calls the wife.

A wife’s gifts and talents may augment her husband’s but they are also gifts and talents that she can use to touch the people in her life no matter where God asks them to live. Her husband’s gifts and talents also compliment hers.

Each person has a sphere of influence, people they touch either on a regular basis or from time to time. My husband sees people who I do not, and I connect with people he does not. God expects each of us, according to the Great Commission, to share our faith, make disciples, and build His Kingdom. His call is on us as individuals. This missionary wife probably doesn’t realize how many people she has touched with a quiet word, a hug when they needed it the most, or a thought-provoking statement.

Working Partnership in Marriage

In no way do I believe that God expects me to use my gifts in one direction, whether for ministry or not, and my husband to use his in the opposite direction. That would tend to place a large wedge in the middle of us, one that would tear us asunder.

For those of you who are on the threshold of life and just beginning to explore a working partnership in marriage, be patient. Take one step at a time. Be faithful in the little things. Sometimes it is through the mundane that God teaches and directs.

The very make-up of a woman offers a whole sphere of how she ministers and to who she ministers. When women walk closely with the Lord, they exude His principles to men and women alike. They can make the difference in someone’s life without saying a word. Women can walk softly but they carry a big stick when they accept God’s call on their lives and see themselves as God sees them…His Masterpiece.

After spending a number of years as a journalist Barbara Ann Derksen has published 12 books. Her mysteries are available at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format.  Her novels and devotionals are  also available on her website along with sample chapters.

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