Every moment in life can serve as a bridge to sharing the gospel. My husband was gifted at drawing any situation into a conversation about Jesus — even marriage.
We were in Cyprus, taking care of business with our mission organization. Colleagues shared with us about a young Iraqi couple who were wanting to get married. They asked Raouf to do some pre-marriage counseling.
Of course, more important than the desire to spend the rest of their earthly life together as husband and wife, was for Raouf to be assured where they would spend their eternal lives. He shared the gospel with Robert and Ilene, and they both accepted Christ. They later visited our apartment and asked about baptism.
They were baptized and married on the same day! It doesn’t get much better than that for a day of celebration!
Being a match-maker at heart, this would not be the last time couples were challenged with the gospel during counseling sessions.
Several years later, a new believer brought her intended to meet us. He did not know the Lord, but the bride-to-be knew Raouf would never agree to marry her, if he was not also a follower of Christ. Raouf shared the gospel, and the young man accepted.
Their romance and desire to be married was a whirlwind affair, but Raouf issued caution. He told them to wait three months, and if they still wanted to get married after such a time, then he would agree.
The caution wasn’t just about the marriage but about the decision the man had taken. The added time would reveal if he had made his decision to follow Christ sincerely or just to marry the girl he love.
Time proved the case. They were married and are still married and following Christ today.
Does this mean the marriages are easy? Far from it. Marriage is a test of faith in the best of times, much less when couples are following Christ in opposition to cultural or family norms. What we have learned, however, is that those marriages with foundations built on Christ and the Word of God are able to withstand the storms much more effectively than those built on the shifting sand of society and worldly expectations.
Ministering among the nations provides unique opportunities to witness for Christ. Don’t forget the couples who are struggling whether married or hoping to be — the root of the problem may be their need for Christ. Get that settled and many of the other issues will work themselves out.
Grace and Peace