Since I posted on building a lasting marraige yesterday, I thought I’d continue in that vein and talk about how a missions calling and finding a marraige partner go hand and hand. Speaking to single people, missions mobilizer, Oswald J. Smith once wrote about the many ways the enemy of God may work to keep you from fulfilling your calling. If you sense a calling to be a missionary and are still single, you need to listen carefully to his warning.
“If he cannot succeed in any other way, he will do what he has done in hundreds of cases. He will get you young women interested in some young man who has no idea of ever becoming a missionary, and if you marry him, you will never be a missionary. He will get you young men interested in some young woman who is not planning upon going to the foreign field, and if you marry her that will be the end of your missionary work forever.
I cannot tell you how many have come to me in the middle age and have said, “Dr. Smith, God called me to be a missionary, but I married a man who was not going, and now we have a family. We are in middle life and it is too late. I have missed God’s best and now I must take His second best.” And I have had them break down and weep. Listen, young people, if God has called you and you have become an active volunteer, then you have no right to even keep company with anyone except someone who is traveling in your direction, and if you do that you will both reach the same destination.”
A calling to serve God as a “sent one” or missionary is a serious calling. It demands a radical tenacity to move from that calling to the place God has for you. It takes faith and patience as God works in your life. That work may include stripping away relationships that will work to pull you further away from that calling and not closer to it. If you are single and called, you would do well to hear this warning and be willing to let go of any relationship that would oppose that calling.
I am thankful that I married a woman who is was willing to “go where I go.” She knew of my calling before we met. She listened to my wild dreams and they didn’t scare her away! I hope that you will find someone that you can dream together with too. In my next post I will be talking about managing your missions calling and the issues that are raised once you are already married.