Together Is…

As church leaders, it’s not uncommon for us to “divide and conquer” in different ministries and departments within the church.

Brian and I have been on multiple mission trips in our single and married lives. But until two weeks ago, we have never been on a mission trip TOGETHER.

geography-of-moldovaOn February 10th, Brian and I (with a team of others from our church as well as all over the United States) travelled to Chisinau, Moldova. Most don’t know that Moldova is the epicenter of human trafficking in Eastern Europe. In fact, most people don’t even know where Moldova is… or that it’s even an existing country (that happens to be nicely nestled between Romania & Ukraine). However… this is not what this post is about. If you’d like to read more about our purpose in going there, you can CLICK HERE.

I want to focus more about how Brian and I have NEVER been on a mission trip together till now.

It’s the “divide and conquer” mentality we all have. Our efforts are duplicated if we can separate and work in different areas. While I agree there is a time and purpose of that… I’ve come to realize that it can be quite detrimental to our marriage and our families when we don’t take the time to do life and ministry TOGETHER.

Brandi, just went on a mission trip with her husband, Pete. In fact, they took the whole family. Lori and Jud also just went to visit one of their campuses in Australia together. I LOVE how intentional they were about being together in these seasons. Do they go on these trips together all the time? No. That’s just not real life. But they made the decision to make this a priority at some point.

I made a decision 5 years ago to never go on a mixed gender mission trip without Brian ever again. Some of you know, my affair sprouted out of a mission trip. I’m not saying that the mission trip caused my affair. It was simply a vehicle for inappropriate behavior to happen. We all get that “camp high” from life changing experiences when we are taken out of our “normal life”. And when we experience that with friends of the opposite gender, it can sometimes change your heart in an instant. I am obviously not immune.

The consequences of my choices and my new boundaries was I didn’t go on any mission trips for 5 years. Last year was my first Moldova mission trip since THAT last one and it was with ALL WOMEN. It was beautiful… but that can’t always happen. So this year, Brian and I journeyed out together.

Clayville's MissionIt wasn’t easy. We had to work out a lot of details with our kids, their schedules, finances, and time… but in the end, it was all SO worth it.

My husband and I got to experience something beautiful and hopeful together. He got to see a piece of my heart and experience my deep, deep love for the people of Moldova with his very own being. I didn’t have to find the words to explain what I experienced because he was there too. We even got to take a quick jaunt through the UK together. If that’s not romantic, I don’t know what is.

I’m not implying that you have to take every single mission trip with your spouse. All I’m saying is BE INTENTIONAL with ministering TOGETHER. Duplication and growing a ministry is NEVER more important that the health of your marriage. NEVER. Because together is…

How are you intentional about your marriage when it comes to ministry?

4 thoughts on “Together Is…

  1. Megan Tappan

    Thank you for this!! My husband are getting ready for a trip to Nairobi together in July! Honestly, I’m scared to death! I’ve only ever gone to Mexico outside of the US and flying for 20+ hours freaks me out! So reading this, helped out yet another spin on how many aspects of my life could be affected by this trip! Leaving an 9yr old and 6yr old behind isn’t easy either but I know God will work in that as well! Thanks again, this was really good for me!:)

  2. Stephanie Shouse

    My husband and I are taking a mission trip to Russia together this summer! I’m so excited! We took one together about 10 years but since then all our missions have been separate. Thanks for the reminder to be intentional!

  3. Angela

    I love so much about this post. The missions trips, the being intentional, the gut wrenching downside to missions trips…

    Thank you.

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