Enjoying the Journey
God’s design is for families to serve Christ together in a New Testament church. As we find our place in the Lord’s work, every member of the family is blessed and the local church is strengthened.
Aquila and Priscilla demonstrate what a married couple should be in a New Testament church. We are first introduced to this family during Paul’s ministry in Corinth (Acts 18:1-3). It is clear that Aquila was not a pastor. Tentmakers by trade, this husband and wife lived for Christ in one of the most worldly cities of the Roman empire. As they were faithful to the Lord Jesus, God gave them the opportunity to be a blessing to others.
God used this couple to encourage a young preacher named Apollos (Acts 18:24-28). There can be no doubt that Apollos was a mighty preacher; yet much of his effectiveness can be attributed to the influence of Aquila and Priscilla. We are told “they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly”. Imagine the good that could be accomplished for the cause of Christ if every Christian couple felt the responsibility to help a young preacher. Most believers will never have the eloquence or education of an Apollos, but they could encourage the man of God. When we minister to the preacher, we share in the fruit of those to whom he ministers.
Paul gave repeated testimony to the influence of this couple in his own life and ministry. In Romans 16:3-4 we read, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” By encouraging the apostle Paul, they helped all of the churches where he ministered. The story of Aquila and Priscilla is the story of influence, influence given to God and used for His glory.
The very next verse in Romans 16 says, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house.” In 1 Corinthians 16:19 Paul writes, “Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.” Not only had they encouraged the man of God, but they were also encouraging the people of God. Because of intense persecution, local churches were forced to meet privately in homes. This is the record of a couple that had the work of God so deeply in their hearts that believers actually assembled in their house. If they had children, this must have made a lasting impression on those young people. One couple can be used to influence not only their own family but others in the family of God.
The parting reference we have to this couple is found at the end of Paul’s ministry in II Timothy 4:19, “Salute Prisca and Aquila…” Many years after we are first acquainted with them Aquila and Priscilla are faithfully serving the Lord Jesus. This Christian couple did not start strong and get weaker; they kept their testimony for Christ to the very end. May God help us to see, in this record inspired by the Holy Spirit, a pattern that may be followed.
Every married couple will give their attention and resources to something. Another couple is introduced in the book of Acts, their names are Ananias and Sapphira. They went through the public motions of serving God, yet we are told plainly in Acts chapter 5 that they “kept back part”. Aquila and Priscilla kept back nothing. All was yielded to God in their family.
What is the difference? Ananias and Sapphira lived only for themselves. Aquila and Priscilla lived to serve God and encourage others. The way of Ananias and Sapphira is the way of death. The way of Aquila and Priscilla is the way of life – a life invested in eternity.
WAYS TO ENCOURAGE OTHERS
- Pray for God’s blessing on your pastor and his family every day.
- Invite a family into your home for a meal and Christian fellowship.
- Write your pastor and his wife a note of encouragement.
- Visit another couple that is experiencing trouble and pray with them.
- Call someone who has made a great difference in your life and let them know that you are grateful to God for them.
- Befriend an unsaved or unchurched couple and seek to reach them for Christ.
- Attend faithfully the services of your local church and encourage others to do the same.
- Teach another younger couple truths from God’s Word which have been a great help to you and your family.
- Think of specific ways to involve your children in the local church.
- Seek to build up others as you speak to them. Avoid the temptation to be critical and negative in your conversations.