February 14, 2018
So I Married An Evangelist
Written By: Joan Cook
Often on the NGA blog, we hear from evangelists all about evangelism. Joan Cook with On the Go Ministries is an evangelist in her own right, but in this post, she focuses on the unique role of women who are married to an evangelist. What does life look like for wives when their husband is an evangelist? How can they support him in that calling? Now, of course, the calling may also be flip-flopped, with husbands supporting their evangelist wives, but we are excited to have Joan’s perspective for this post.
Young evangelists have often asked Luis Palau, “What is the secret to becoming a successful evangelist?” Luis has been known to respond with a smile on his face, “Marry the right woman!” It is no exaggeration to say that the supporting spouse of an evangelist is one of the most critical components behind a successful evangelistic ministry.
I remember, very clearly, the day my husband, Keith, and I were married. Our wedding day was perfect and the vows we recited were so precious and meaningful. All we knew was that God had joined us together and love would keep us together, right? Isn't that how the song goes? Little did we know at the time, it would require much more than words and even love to fulfill our solemn vows. But, 38 years later, and a whole lot of life in between, I believe I have found some of the secrets to a long, lasting, and fulfilled marriage.
There is a familiar chapter in the Bible that gives us a wonderful example of a Godly wife, Proverbs 31: 10-31. Most of us would agree that it seems like an unrealistic view of a perfect wife and something we think impossible to accomplish. I mean, it's exhausting to read, much less try and do everything this woman does! But, there is good news! It's not impossible! You see, it has very little to do with us and everything to do with Christ!
In order to be like the Proverbs 31 woman, we must first know how valuable we are. It all begins here! As we believe the truth found in this passage, we begin to realize, not only how much God loves us, but how much worth He places on being an excellent wife. Believing the lies and the accusations that the enemy constantly puts in our minds will bring us to a dark place of unworthiness. Living with those lies day after day will bring a sense of discouragement, which leads to defeat, which leads to depression, which leads to spiritual death. It is almost impossible to have a fulfilled marriage when you're in a constant battle about your own worth! This is one of the devil's best lies - keeping us from knowing just how much God loves us and values us. So, right now, stop believing that lie! The Scripture is true, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. Choosing to believe the truth about yourself is one of the first secrets I have found to a successful marriage.
In marriage and in life, we are continually making choices. That is why it is so important for us to choose God's will over our will. The enemy wants to turn our mind, our will, and our emotions upside down so we begin to live by what we feel. Our emotions are not reliable and they tell us ways to feel based on our circumstances or conditions that may or may not be true. Living by emotions will wreck a marriage quicker than anything. Defeating the battle of wills is not only a key to living a life of victory, but one of the keys to a fulfilled marriage, as well. Dying to self and serving each other is the exact opposite of what the world tells us to do. But, God has made it very clear that when we die to self, Jesus is allowed to live in us! I can't think of a happier, more joyful, fulfilled marriage than two people who are allowing Jesus to dominate their lives. They love their spouse unconditionally, give sacrificially, serve ungrudgingly, live unselfishly! Is this possible? Absolutely! Secret number two - choose God's will over your will!
As women, we have thousands of little chores and thousands of big chores to accomplish each day. As we read about the Proverbs 31 woman, we see that she willingly works with her hands. The time for idleness is over! The excuse of laziness no longer works!
She wants to do everything she can to better her household. She wants to do everything she can to help her husband. Not only does her husband trust her to take care of things in the home, she does all those things WITHOUT COMPLAINING OR FEELING SELF-PITY about them! She DELIGHTS in taking care of her husband, her children, and herself. She is not idle - she doesn't take the time to scroll facebook every 10 minutes to see what everyone else is doing. She has a job to do, one that brings her great joy and pleasure, and one that she wants to do well. She is living life in the NOW and working to fulfill the function of her calling.
If you are thinking that this is way too much for you to handle, you are choosing to believe only a portion of Scripture! The passage in Proverbs 31 is not to bring condemnation or to overwhelm us, but to bring freedom and strength! God has designed women in such a fabulous way that makes us capable of handling many things at one time! God does not give us so many responsibilities to put us in bondage, but to show us once again how much worth He places on us by giving us the responsibility of something that is so very dear to His heart - THE HOME. Secret number three - Do your work willingly!
As we realize our value, choose His will, and roll up our sleeves and do the work, we will begin to see God move in our lives, in our marriages and homes and bring the fulfillment that only comes through Jesus. Remember, it has very little to do with us and everything to do with Him!