What if my boyfriend feels called to full-time ministry, but I don’t?

I do not share my boyfriend's giftings toward formal ministry and cannot do it well. What should we do?

Question

My boyfriend wants to work with a campus ministry. This ministry requires both the husband and wife to do campus ministry together (that is, she cannot have a secular job). I do not share my boyfriend’s giftings toward formal ministry and cannot do it well. What should we do? Can we still be married? Would it be wrong for my boyfriend to choose marriage to me over working with the ministry?

Answer

It’s hard to imagine a ministry that would formally forbid a wife from working in a non-ministry field, but assuming such a requirement exists, I’ll try to answer your question. One of the main reasons God made Eve for Adam was to provide “a helper suitable for him.” Her primary role as wife was helper. A big part of being a man’s “help meet” is to support him in his primary role as provider. That means supporting him in his work.

Specifically, if your boyfriend is pursuing campus ministry and it requires his wife’s participation and he has asked you to be his wife, part of that request, whether stated or implied, includes your participation in his work. If you’re not willing to fit in with his plans, and your goal is a godly, biblical marriage, it’s best that you not marry him.

That said, unless He’s disobeying God by choosing you over the ministry, I don’t see why he might not change his career plans to make marriage possible. As long as you’re not giving him an ultimatum — “Me or the ministry, buster” — effectively taking on the leadership of the relationship, he may indeed choose to change his plans, especially if those plans were made before he met you.

A lot of this depends on your boyfriend and his sense of professional calling. If he sees himself in ministry and you’re not willing to be a part of that, he would be wise to end the relationship now, for the benefit of both of you.

Sincerely,

CANDICE WATTERS

Copyright 2007 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Candice Watters

Candice Watters is a wife, mom, and Bible teacher. She is the author of Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help it Happen, co-founder with her husband, Steve, of Boundless.org and co-author of Start Your Family: Inspiration for Having Babies. They have four children and blog at FamilyMaking.com.

 

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