Growing up in the church and having attended youth camps and conferences my entire childhood, I often heard phrases like, “God has a huge calling on your life!” or “You are called to greatness!” Calling seemed like such a big, grandiose word and to be honest, I had a hard time connecting with it.
It was something ambiguous and out there. I figured I’d know it eventually when I found it…
The messages I heard (and believed) about my calling seemed harmless and encouraging, but in hindsight, they did more damage than good. They put a lot of pressure on me (what I do, how I think, how hard I work) rather than Jesus. The intent of the message may have been to encourage me in my faith, but it promoted more fear than faith because I was afraid of missing this “great” calling that God apparently had on my life.
Your Calling Isn’t “Out There”
Our kiddos love the Disney movie Moana—up until Tekah (the firey, scary monster) arrives. At that point, we must promptly turn it off. Ryan and I also enjoy the movie and our favorite song on the soundtrack is I Am Moana (The Song of the Ancestors). In the song, Moana recalls the words of her grandmother about who she is and how her call isn’t out there at all, but it’s inside her. This got me thinking… (bear with me).
I’m definitely not saying that our calling is buried deep in our hearts and we can find it if only we access it and believe it. That would be the exact same message I heard countless times growing up. Instead, Moana’s words reminded me that our call is closer and more tangible—more practical—than we often realize. It is not some pressure-filled, grandiose thing that requires our perfect performance. Calling is much more average than that, and that’s an incredible, liberating realization.
As women who trust Jesus, we can rest in the soft, cushy pillow of God’s sovereignty. It’s all about him, not us. Our roles or callings—whatever they may be—are only significant because we are included in God’s story and not limited to the finitude of our own. The pressure is off, Jesus made the way, our calling is clear, and in him, we can rest assured that we aren’t missing it!
Given the above, our callings as wives and otherwise is greatly simplified: to follow Jesus and be his disciples.
Life as a Disciple Wife
Being disciple wives means Jesus is the authority in our lives and specifically, our marriages. It means we are driven to the cross at every turn because the only qualifier for us to be able to answer His non-mysterious calling is for us to be broken and wanting—to be in complete need of him. When we recognize our brokenness and need for a Savior, we receive all hope from him. From there we share that same hope with our husbands, kids, and the world around us and in doing so, we are answering God’s call.
Simply put, when our hearts are set on things above (Colossians 3:2), our lives bear clear witness to that truth. Simple as that. Regardless of your job, popularity, success, or accomplishments, you are 100% fulfilling your calling as a person and as a wife when you simply delight in Christ.
Let that sink in… and may it relieve your tired heart and revive your weary soul.
The Cross. Nothing more, nothing less.
Here’s the thing: we’re forgetful. It’s our human tendency to want to move past the cross. We tend to feel like there is more to the message of the gospel and to our calling and our personal importance in accomplishing its purpose. At least that’s where I tend to land.
We must not lose our awe of the gospel. If ever we grow complacent in our understanding of exactly what Christ accomplished on the cross, we risk believing the lie that somehow it’s up to us… that somehow our callings hinge on our ability to go further than Christ himself went and carry a disproportionate part of the burden only he can carry.
The Bible reminds us that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). He was willing to pay the high price by coming to come to earth, defeating death, and providing the way for you and me to be reconciled to God. On top of that, he gave us the hope of all eternity with him. This life is but a shadow of the glory and joy we will experience with when our time on earth is complete! This is good news!
When Jesus renews, transforms, sanctifies, and gets a hold of our souls in a radical way, the only thing we can do is embrace the cross and worship him. The cost to us comes when we respond to our spouses the way Christ leads us to rather than how the world thinks we should respond. The cost comes to us when we, by God’s grace, die to our fleshly desires and respond to the convictions of the Holy Spirit.
We may not feel like extending grace and forgiveness to our spouse in the moment, but as disciples living under the authority of Jesus, we must embrace and understand the cost Jesus paid for us. When we do this, we can’t help but extend forgiveness and speak words of grace, love, patience, and kindness towards our husband. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) begins to produce and bear fruit in us, which becomes evident to our husband. There’s a shift in our prayers for our husband; instead of angrily demanding for God to change him, we begin to ask, “Jesus, how can I respond in a way that puts you on display?”
Dying to our own desires and responding out of submission to God and deep gratefulness for his grace in Christ is what leads a disciple toward fulfilling their call—their magnificent, average, divine, day-to-day, and utterly fulfilling call.
Calling and Marriage
I’m sure you’re starting to connect the dots to how we are called to live as disciple wives in our marriages, and what it means to live a life worthy of that calling (Ephesians 4:1-7).
As a wife who is first a disciple of Christ, responding to my calling means honoring my husband, respecting him, loving him, and trusting Jesus to work in him and through him as he leads our family (which is not easy for me). It means responding to tough situations with grace and selflessness because Jesus responded that way to me.
Calling is much less mysterious and far less grandiose than I heard preached to me at younger ages. Or, maybe your calling is grandiose. Either way, the point is this: following Christ is your first mandate as his disciple. Wherever he leads, you go—not out of obligation, but out of joy. Whatever he asks, you do—not out of duty, but out of desire. And however he accomplishes his purposes in and through you is inconsequential; it’s up to him. He is the hero, our greatest treasure, and the only worthy pursuit.
Where Calling Begins
The enemy would love for us to doubt our callings as wives. He’d prefer that we live in fear of what others think, in envy over what others have, and ungrateful for our situation. (Sound like a certain serpent in a certain garden?).
Friends, God’s Word is alive! It’s powerful and sharp (Hebrews 4:12). Cling to it when it comes time to answer your call through decisions big and small.
If you’re unsure about what Jesus is calling you to do in your marriage, run to the cross. Dive into scripture and sit at God’s feet. Pray, spend undistracted intentional time in his presence and submit your heart to his authority. When all else fails or nothing makes sense, simply trust him.
Fierce wife, you are called. Exist right where you are, cherish Jesus, and rest in him.