1. Serving God as a couple
I work in the State Library. One of the things we do is send out books to all the public libraries in Western Australia. We send them to Perth libraries like Bullcreek and Willeton. But we also send them to tiny libraries in Aboriginal communities where there might only be a hundred or two hundred people and a small library in a shed.
We have Outreach officers whose job it is to find out what books these tiny libraries need. Sometimes they visit them and actually ask. When one of our Outreach officers came back from way up north recently, she said that the Aboriginal people at one of the tiny libraries wanted more children’s picture books. But not the picture books we were sending them. They wanted picture books which didn’t have white kids in them.
The problem was that the Aboriginal kids had trouble relating to these white kids in the picture books we were sending them. These white kids seemed too different to them. They wanted some kids more like themselves so they could feel like it was them in the stories and not someone else.
At the State Library, we listened hard to what they said and dug through piles of books, carefully picking out the few we had which showed Aboriginal kids or had animal characters in them and we sent these.
When we read the New Testament, those of us who are married might feel like those Aboriginal kids. Jesus and Paul are the two main characters in the New Testament, and yet neither of them married. We know that Peter was married, but we never learn anything about his wife. We don’t even know if any of the other disciples were married.
Perhaps because of this, we might feel that in marriage we can’t serve God as effectively as if we’re single. I don’t think this is true. I think God uses us both as couples and individuals to serve him and his church. Some people are specially called to remain single so they can devote all their energies to serving God. But this isn’t the way God usually works.
Instead, God gives many of us the chance to serve him as married couples. And if we dig hard enough and long enough through the New Testament, we can even find one married couple who give us a glimpse of how well we can serve God as a married couple.
That couple is Priscilla and Aquila. (more…)