What comes to mind when you think of a vocation?
How about vocation in the context of a marriage?
If you are like most people, and especially if you happen to share my status as a member of the Catholic Church, you probably think of a priest (or possibly a nun).
When you add marriage into the mix, your thoughts may shift slightly to the particular clergy that performed your wedding ceremony or your current pastor.
In church, we often hear about the need for additional vocations or calls to the religious life. It seems that “vocation” is basically synonymous with “calling” which again leads us to the idea of a young man or woman being called by God to a life of religious service.
If you read about career coaching or seek guidance in this area, you may come across a slightly different idea.
Many career coaches like to break down the approach to work into three areas from broadest to most specific: vocation, career and job, where vocation is your overall “calling” or purpose for working.
Well, if you look up “vocation” on dictionary.com, here is what you’ll find:
|1.||a particular occupation, business, or profession; calling.|
|2.||a strong impulse or inclination to follow a particular activity or career.|
|3.||a divine call to God’s service or to the Christian life.|
|4.||a function or station in life to which one is called by God: the religious vocation; the vocation of marriage.|
I was actually a bit surprised by this result as I expected only the first 3 1/2 definitions to show up. The last half of the fourth definition was a pleasant surprise, as this was my point in creating this post!
If you are married (or engaged to be married), you need to start viewing your marriage as your vocation.
Regardless of your religious beliefs, I think it is helpful to understand that your marriage is the central function of your life (see #4) and your most important calling (see #1).
Your marriage must come above all things including your career, your friends and even yourself.
That is unless you do share my belief in God. In that case, marriage must be your second priority behind only He who created marriage.
After all, it was God who brought you together with your spouse and formed a divine Trinity.
Yes, a Trinity. He invited you to a sacrament that permanently transformed you from two individuals into an inseparable loving relationship that includes you, your spouse and the Big Guy.
I know that’s some heavy stuff, but I personally believe that is where marriage fits into a Christian life (see #3).
So, I hope next time you hear someone use the word “vocation” it reminds you of your own calling from God.
Don’t ever forget where your marriage belongs in your long list of priorities in life. And strive everyday to treat your spouse like a true member of the Trinity that has been created just for you.Photo by YourDreamTouch Photography