Me: “Do you love your wife?”
Him: “Of course!”
Me: “How much?”
I asked the question of the young man after he had expressed the desire to go into full time mission.
Living in my home country I separated my time between home, church, work, and friends. I spent only a few waking hours with my wife. Most of my everyday life was spent engaged in activities separate from her, until I became a missionary.
We were going to the same school for language 4-5 days a week. We went to the store together, the market together, the restaurant together. Basically everything outside of the home was done together because of our lack of language. We needed each other as a support in ways we never had in our home country. Inside of the home, you guessed it, we were together. We found ourselves every day of the week together and no matter how much you love someone, that is hard.
I gave the young man a few points of advice:
1- Strengthen your marriage in every way possible before you get to the field because every problem you have now will be amplified when the comfort and familiarity of your home country is taken away.
2- Find enjoyable things to do with your spouse that recharge your internal batteries and find enjoyable things to do without your spouse.
3- Saved the most important point for last: Strengthen your relationship with God both as a couple but also individually. I have learned a humble dependence on God I never knew or experienced in my home country. I turn to God every day for something. You will let your spouse down. They will let you down. God never will.
– Lizzy Alexandr, Church Planter
(JiaEn Team in Liuying, South Taiwan)