Marriage as a Vocation – Engaged Marriage

Marriage as a Vocation

By Dustin | Spirituality

Marriage as a Vocation

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, 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

About the Author

Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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I just got home from our Diocesan Vocations Awareness Committee meeting, and saw this link of twitter. What a coincidence!
I think its so important to remember that marriage is a calling. It felt like a calling for me, and i think that was just clarified by working with Vocations awareness. Marriage can seem like such an everyday occurence, that i think that some people forget that it is so much more than that. Its God leading you in a direction to make you a better person, even more capable of fulfilling his will.

I’m so thankful for the relationship that my husband and I have as a couple with God.

Also, don’t forget that single life is also a vocation, just like marriage, priesthood and religious life.

Its also World Day of Prayer for Consecrated life this sunday (just for an extra vocations plug)
.-= Mary´s last blog ..Comic Book Confidential =-.


    Thank you so much, Mary! You have done a wonderful job of expressing some of the reasons why marriage is a true calling and vocation on our lives (and so is single life). In case you missed it, I just posted about How Marriage Helped Make Me a Christian, and it was that story that reminded me I had written this vocation post as one of the first ones here at Engaged Marriage.


Just by way of footnoting:

1) “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.’ And God blessed them … And they [married couples following the model of the one man Adam-Eve] shall become one flesh” (Genesis 1:26a, 27, 28a, 2:24b).

Note the interplay of singular and plural in both God and man. Being an image bearer may mean more than relationship-union (e.g., “[the new self] is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator,” Colossians 3:10), but relationship-union seems the most reasonable reading in Genesis.

2) Paul uses the word “call” or “calling” more frequently in 1 Corinthians 7 than anywhere else. Here, callings considered include celibacy, widowhood, slavery, freedom, marriage to a non-believer, marriage to a believer, and something like engagement before marriage or betrothal. Whatever the “calling,” Paul’s goal is “undivided devotion to the Lord” (v. 35) as opposed to spouse-pleasing (for the married) or master pleasing (for the slave)–pleasing God necessarily considered as of first priority, since the conditions of marriage and slavery per se are not at fault, but are callings from God.

3) Full-blown revelation of God as tri-une (Trinity) does not appear in Genesis 1 and 2, but the internal conversation within the Godhead (“Let us”) and the seemingly ungrammatical interplay of singular and plural pronouns describing God and man in the above Genesis verses implies that the unity of the Godhead (the LORD is one, Deuteronomy 6:4) is not monolithic. Genesis 1 and 2 thus need not be inconsistent with the later doctrine of the Trinity.

Indeed, Jesus later prays (John 17) that His Father would keep the disciples (His then-present ones) “in your name” (v. 11–apparently meaning partly something like “in line with your moral character”) in order that the disciples might be unified after the model of Himself with His Father. And He prays that other, non-present disciples “may all be one” after the same Father-Son model (vv. 20-21).

Jesus’ language in prayer for the church in John 17 is thus arguably reminiscent of the pre-Fall creation of man account in Genesis 1:26-27. If the Imago Dei (image of God) was marred by the Fall, Jesus prays for its restoration (again, cf. Col. 3:10, also Ephesians 4:24). The church is also said to be the bride of Christ.

4) I for one do not see an exact correspondence between the individual members of the Trinity and the male or female individuals in marriage. That is, I cannot deduce that the husband is the counterpart of the Father and the wife of the Holy Spirit–or some such correspondence–except that the husband is to be as Christ to his bride (Eph. 5, cf. 1 Cor 11:3).

Nor do some disciples in the church correspond to the Son and others to the Father or Spirit–not only because the whole church is said to be “in Christ” or under His headship, but also because the language of Scripture (and church tradition so far as I am aware) does not place the analogies into those kinds of detailed pigeon holes. Rather, unity and relationship seem the face-value categories, with their attendant moral character issues (“in your name,” husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church, wives obey your husbands as the church is to obey Christ, put on the new self) and future hope of perfection at the Second Advent of the Bridegroom.
.-= Peter´s last blog ..Using Color Onsite for Greater Impact =-.


    WOW, Peter! I hope to some day have your level of knowledge and application of Scripture. Thank you for your valuable additions!


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