Is My Spouse On Board with This?
Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him . . . “Whatever God has said to you, do.” Genesis 31:14-16
A couple of years ago, when approached about working in jail medicine, I was hesitant. I had a good job, and this new job represented a financial step backwards. It was a unique opportunity though and I felt that if I truly wanted to follow God’s will, then it was the right thing to do. In recovery now, I’ve had to learn that all my decisions affect my wife and so, I needed to ask how she felt about it. She was also hesitant. So, I prayed. God, if you really want me to do this, you’ve got to get my wife on board. The next Sunday was one of those times when the pastor spoke directly to my wife and I as he said something like this – Don’t let money prevent you from doing what God wants you to do. My wife turned to me and said – You need to take the job. I was grateful. If I was going to do jail medicine, I needed my wife to be on board.
This is similar to what happened in today’s passage. In the story, God told Jacob to leave his uncle Laban and return home, but Jacob knew this meant that his wives, Leah and Rachel, would have to leave their home. So, he approached them, explaining the situation. To their credit, Leah and Rachel were supportive – You need to do what God told you to do. They could have objected. They could have made it difficult to follow God, but they didn’t. They recognized God’s will, and they made a unified decision to obey.
What’s the application for us? First, we must daily work at abandoning our will as we seek God’s will. That jail medicine opportunity would never have come along while I was using drugs, and even if it had, I’d have said no. I was simply incapable of serving God at the time. Second, we must pray that if God wants us to do something, that our spouses would be on board with that thing. If we have spouses that don’t attempt to follow God’s will, we can’t just change them, but we can encourage our spouses to seek God and we can pray for our spouses. Finally, we must emulate Leah and Rachel, recognizing God’s will, and following our spouses when God is leading them.
It can be difficult sometimes to follow God’s plan. Having a spouse that is supportive of it though, means that we don’t do that difficult thing alone. God, if you want me to do this, you’ve got to get my spouse on board.