Recap | One | Adventure

God’s design for all marriages is that they would be a grand adventure, working toward a shared purpose worthy of the entire lives of each spouse. The challenge for spouses is to discover what this will look like for their own marriage. What is the adventure that God is calling us to go on?

Somewhat ambitiously, we mean to seek God’s very will for our lives and our marriages. With no mountaintop to ascend to where we are assured of hearing the very voice of God, how are we to discern what He would have us devote ourselves to?

It’s complicated and requires some real work on our parts. Here are three perspectives to utilize in order to seek and eventually, by God’s grace, find what God would have us do with our marriages. We believe that these three perspectives are vital to truly identify God’s purpose for our marriages.

Common Calling

God’s purpose for our marriages will necessarily only be derived from the common calling that He has given to all of His people. The way that we work towards His calling is not so objective that it will look exactly the same for each marriage. But, His calling is not at all so subjective that the purpose of one marriage will be wildly different from another. For each marriage, the end of our efforts will be the same; the means by which we attempt to accomplish this end will likely be different.

In Genesis 1:27-28, God creates the first man in His own image and gives him purpose – He gives him an adventure. God’s design for man is for him to join with God in His purposes for the world — to work, lead, and govern the world around us; to create, produce, and be fruitful; and to exercise a dominion and authority that is derived from that of God over creation so as to make it flourish and ring with His praises.

And just as God is the Creator of the world, He is its Redeemer. Even in Genesis 3, redemption for the world at the hands of God is promised. Later, in Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gives His disciples the Great Commission. His charge for all of us is to join Him in His redemptive work in the world, to proclaim the Gospel before all men and teach them to live in a relationship with God under His lordship. God’s work in the world has not changed from the beginning — His work has always been redemptive — but it is now revealed in full to believers.

If we don’t tie the purpose of our lives to God’s purposes in the world as its Creator and Redeemer, then we cannot be on the right adventure. If His purposes do not inform our decisions each and everyday, then we can only miss the calling that He has for our lives.

Unique Individuality

While calling is common to all marriages, the uniqueness of each spouse and the way they mesh together is entirely different across marriages. The adventure that one marriage embarks on will never look the same as another.

Because we are all unique, our marriages will have unique strengths and weaknesses. The gifts that we have — both spiritual and natural — are different for everyone but allow us to be especially effective in certain areas. Some pursuits will seem right for us, and we will be able to accomplish more in these areas. Here, at this intersection of gifting and calling, God’s adventure for each marriage becomes clearer. Each adventure is unique according to the individuality of the people in it.

Season of Life

Responsibilities, challenges, and the nature of life in general vary dramatically across the many different seasons of life that we will find ourselves in. In addition to the common calling for all marriages and the individuality of each marriage, the season of life of the two people involved in a marriage is the final vital perspective by which we may discover the adventure God means us to be on.

Singles need not wait until marriage to begin figuring out the adventure that they and their potential marriages should be on. Even in youth, the time is ripe to begin engaging with the purposes of God in the world and to uncover and hone unique giftings. Alhough employing our gifts as singles to find out what it looks like be on adventure with God should not be done solely for the purpose of finding a spouse, many find that others like them are on the same journey.

Young married couples must guard against the temptation to make their adventure end with themselves. The danger for these couples is that unity is built upon themselves instead of the calling that they share. The beginnings of a marriage are a time to delight in your spouse and invest in your marriage, but it is important to create a culture of service and dream dreams that are worthy of your time and marriage.

In families with young children, spouses should aspire to replace themselves with better versions of themselves. What God intends to do in the world encompasses much more than just our own place and time; His work spans all generations, compelling us to work to lay out the purposes of God in the world as the foundation and priority of our lives. If our adventures end with our families, we will miss our calling and our families will suffer for it.

Later, the teen years are a season of reaping for spouses — of both good and ill. In this season, spouses must continue to hold to the original purpose of their families, repenting of uncovered sin and forgiving each other.

With children gone from the home, empty nesters must recalibrate their lives and devote their (now freed-up) energies to serving others. After decades of work in the marketplace and home, empty nesters are able to use their wisdom to serve others.

Regardless of the season of life we find ourselves in, God’s calling for our lives remains the same. It’s about going on the adventure God has for us, in the season of life we find ourself in, with the unique gifts God has given us.

-Brian Barbee

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Worship Songs from the Weekend

  • The Name of Jesus Christ: Philippians 2:6-11, Isaiah 45:22-23
  • Kingdom Come: Matthew 6:7-13
  • All Creatures of Our God and King: Psalm 66:1, Psalm 148, Luke 19:40
  • Man of Sorrows: Isaiah 52, 1 Timothy 2:5-6
  • Dwell: Psalm 91:1, Isaiah 54:17
  • I Will Look Up: Psalm 57:7-11, Isaiah 26: 1-8, 2 Samuel 22:26-31