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Are similar callings required for marriage?

Weekly Q&A

Are similar callings required for marriage?
Posted on December 21, 2021  - By Thomson B Thomas

Is it necessary or important for me and my would-be wife to have the same calling in ministry?

There is nothing like being in the ministry of the Lord. But no one can enter ministry without a calling from God. This call involves God’s choice for ministry, endowment with appropriate spiritual gifts, recognition by the saints, and sending out to the chosen mission field. 

The question posed has to do with a young person in ministry. When they plan to marry, should they prioritise marrying a person with a similar calling? The answer to this question largely depends upon the kind of ministry the person is involved in. 

A similar calling is helpful 

There is nothing like being in the ministry of the Lord

Just think about a person called to serve among orphans or in an old age home. These ministries involve the whole family. For such ministries, the husband and wife must have a similar calling. 

But take the case of the teaching ministry. If the husband has the calling for this ministry it is not necessary that his wife should also have the gift of teaching. But it is necessary that all family members—especially the spouse—should have a burden for the husband’s ministry. She has a supporting role to fill with her prayers. She may not have the same gifts as her husband, but she considers herself a part of the calling. 

Similarly, the spouse of someone with a children’s ministry should have some ability to manage and instruct children, especially if they are or will be working among children in their community. Even if they do lack a special endowment to minister among children, God can help if they humbly submit to Him. 

What matters is the burden 

A soldier fighting for the nation at the frontier may be alone at the place of his posting. But many people support him. Some communicate sensitive information, others make his uniform, weapons, food and more. Similarly, no ministry is accomplished by just one person. Many people labour to help a person in ministry. All are not similarly equipped but all are variously gifted. 

Take the example of an itinerant preacher. He travels and shares the Word. Many are blessed, some come to the Lord, and others find edification through his ministry. Though only that brother is visible, he is not alone in the labour. His wife and children may not be gifted like him but their prayers and participation are with him. When he is on stage, she may be on her knees. The local assembly and many others that he may not even know may be interceding for him. There are also people supporting him materially. 

Behind a minister, many support him in various ways and help keep him going forward. When all these are put together the ministry happens and people find help and blessing. The spouse of a minister has an important part in supporting the ministry. Thus the important matter is not whether both have similar spiritual gifts and calling, but whether they love the ministry and labour with a burden for it. According to biblical principles, those who go for warfare and those who stay with the supplies are equally valuable.

Beauty is in diversity

Diversities in calling can be complementary and result in more effective ministries

We cannot imagine a world without variety. A garden with just one kind of plant is not attractive. Beauty lies in variety, and this truth may be applied in ministry. If a couple’s gift and calling are different, they have more opportunities. For example, if the husband is gifted in personal evangelism and the wife has a gift for children’s ministry, the childrens’ homes become open for ministry. Their gifts and callings become complementary.

When the husband has an itinerant ministry, it is good for wives to manage the home—especially when their children are young. If the husband has a preaching and teaching ministry it would be helpful if the wife has a flair for writing. Thus diversities in calling can be complementary and result in more effective ministries.

Thomson B Thomas

About Thomson B Thomas

Thomson B Thomas is an evangelist and Bible teacher based in Mumbai, India. He has authored many books (mostly Christo-centric) and contributes regularly to Christian periodicals. He holds a Masters degree in philosophy and religion, and is keenly involved in ministering at conferences and churches, both in India and abroad.



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