One day in Argentina we decided to go to the Rio de La Plata (La Plata River) and just have a relaxing day with our kids. But on the dirt road to get there we came upon a roadblock! Of course our girls loved the “roadblock” and we had a great time watching it get out of our way.
As my husband and I travel around to different churches presenting missions I often run into young wives who tell me that their husband has considered missions before but it is something that scares them half to death. I fear that many times they are a roadblock. I wonder how many more missionaries would be out there sharing the Gospel and starting churches in foreign countries if their wives had had a different reaction to their husband’s call to missions.
Can you think back to a time when you stood in the way of something that would have ended up being the better decision? Or you have you ever pushed him into a decision that you now regret? Our most popular roadblock strategy is nagging. Please excuse me, we women don’t like THAT word, AKA persistent persuading, constantly talking about the matter! Maybe it was a large purchase. Maybe it was a move or a new job. God has given us influence in our husband’s life (we are his helpmeet!), but He hasn’t given us the authority.
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
If your husband is thinking about becoming a missionary, what would be your stance — be a roadblock (even for just a few years) or encourage him to go forward with it? According to these Scriptures, you are to submit yourself (it doesn’t say that your husband is to demand submission of you or extract submission out of you). A wife submits herself. Another way to understand submission is to simply be agreeable. It is more of an attitude than an action. A lack of submission in my own life is more obvious to me than the presence of submission. When I realize that I am being critical, impatient, or controlling towards my husband (and it happends more often than I would like to admit) then I know that submission is definitely lacking.
So when your husband tells you that he is seriously considering going to the mission field, what will your reaction be? Will you be a roadblock? Oh, yes, you can shame him into thinking that he is not a good provider or that he couldn’t possibly take you away from your family and friends. You can be snarky and disagreeable with him, allowing him to see all the “cons” of his choice to serve the Lord in missions. Or…. you could realize that God has put the desire in his heart, and that God has great plans for your life. Submission is being “leadable”. Your husband is to submit to God and you are to submit to him as unto the Lord. If he is “leadable” to God’s direction, but you are not “leadable” to his direction….you become a roadblock in the plan God has for your family. Do you really want to stand in God’s way?
Here are some helpful steps to take if your husband gives you the grand announcement!
Pray, pray and pray some more! Pray that God softens your heart towards His will. I have heard many wives tell me that they never felt God’s call to missions, but when their husband told them they were going to be missionaries, they had peace because God had been subtly working in their hearts. By the way, God has called you — to be a helpmeet to your husband. You just help your husband realize the call God has given him.
Read up on missions. There are great books and blogs out there about missions. Read through all the posts on this blog that are written by young missionary wives on the field or headed there. You will see how God is using young wives in missions TODAY! They are also REAL people who would love to connect with you and help you in a very tangible way! Ask them questions! Learn from them!
Study the country. The more you know, the less helpless you will feel. There is always a fear of the unknown, so try to get that out of the way by learning about your new home. Talk to missionaries there. You may be surprised that they don’t live in a grass-thatched roof and eat a diet of fried ants and rice! And for the record, doesn’t it look like our girls are having a great time on that island? 🙂
Trust your Father. Realize that he has wonderful thoughts about you! Psalm 40:5 says “Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” He loves you more than anyone else could possibly love you! He is going to take care of you! Yes, there will be hard days. But everyone has hard days – on and off the mission field. But isn’t it great to know that even in the roughest of da
ys that you are doing what He wants you to do? And besides all that……is He not worthy of our service? We say we love Him, but are we willing to SHOW Him our love?
I would love to hear how you came to the point of surrender to serving God with your husband in missions. Comment below and share your story with someone who may be in the midst of this struggle.