3 Questions to Ask Often With Two Callings Under One Roof
“We are learning to make space for two callings in one home, in one marriage.”
– Shauna Niequist
When two people get married, God says the two become one. Two people are profoundly joined together. They now bend their wills for one another. They now put the others needs above their own. They now share everything: bank accounts, responsibilities, grocery bills, hopes, fears, dreams. They now have one dance partner for the rest of their lives.
But figuring out how to dance together, to stay eye to eye, toe to toe, and hand in hand when they each have separate hopes, dreams, and wills is one of the hardest things two humans will do together.
There have been many times I have taken my hand out of my husband’s and left the dance floor. I didn’t like what was said to me or I said something hurtful as we danced. So I let go, found some boxing gloves, and came back swinging. Quicker than we expected, the romantic dance turned into an ugly fight. And soon our marriage took a back seat to our personal agendas, plans, and purposes.
We both have things we want to accomplish, my husband I. We are achievers, dreamers, artists. Add amazing little children into the mix, and now all kinds of values need to be ranked and ordered. If we’re not extremely careful, we will sacrifice the well-being of our marriage and family on the alter of a lesser value.
If you are This Is Us fans, Beth and Randal run headlong into this. They are both amazingly talented and successful individuals. But their kids need them home. They each look at one another and ask the other to lay down their career and be home for their girls.
So whose job trumps whose? Whose dream gets first precedent? Who wins? These questions leave so much room for frustration, hurt, and anger.
But these questions also leave room to do something extraordinary, counter-culture, and Jesus-like in your marriage: sacrifice for one another. Notice I didn’t say run each other over. Quite the opposite. We can willingly lay down our life for another. And believe it or not, when we lay down our life like Jesus, Jesus fills us back up with life.
If both of us are willing to sacrifice our lives because we have committed to one another above all other values, we can ask each other a new set of questions. These three questions have helped us navigate and sort through our two callings under one roof.
- “In this season, what can I lay down and what can I pick up for the greater good of our marriage?”
- “How can I tend to our marriage instead of trump his/her job?”
- “Can I trust God to take care of my personal dreams, career, and hopes?”
Each question is a soul-searching one. But if we have the mind of Christ, which followers of Jesus do, we have a freedom that comes with any soul-searching we do, with any sacrifice we make.
Richard Foster says when we lay down our lives, “we are free from the terrible burden of always needing to get our own way. The obsession to demand that things go the way we want them to go is one of the greatest bondages in human society today.” (Foster, Celebration of Discipline, pg 111)
Let’s fight for freedom from the terrible burden of always needing to get our own way. Let’s fight for our marriage, not against it.
Let’s look to lay it all down, and trust God for resurrections.
Let’s prioritize the call of marriage above our personal dreams, career and hopes.
Wife Step: Consider this verse, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34 Then choose one of the three questions and journal your answer out today. See how God meets you in your honesty, fears, hopes, and dreams.
Amy graduated from BGSU in 2001 and married her college sweetheart, Rob, one week later. Amy worked in the college ministry of Cru from 2003 to 2015–8 of those years she served as Team Leader. Since 2003 she has regularly blessed the Cru staff, students, and BGSU Greek life with her exceptional speaking, teaching, leading, and mentoring abilities. In June of 2015, Amy brought her experience to the Brookside Staff Team as Director of Outward Movement. In November of 2017, Amy wrote her first book on motherhood titled “Chin Up: Wearing Grace, Strength, and Dignity When Motherhood Unravels Our Souls.” Amy loves anything athletic and competitive, especially tennis and Spikeball, and in her words she “really tries to believe that winning isn’t everything. But, that’s hard.” Amy also enjoys creating things, decorating, and helping others make beautiful spaces. Amy and Rob have three amazing kids ranging from 3 to 10 years old.