We've all known the proverbial pastor who seems content in the ministry but the next time you run into him, he's selling real estate. A mutual friend explains, "His wife just wouldn't support him. She said his call was hijacking her future."

Then there's the wife who is willing to support her husband's call, as long as it doesn't affect her preferred way of life. So she constructs boundaries that look more like the Great Wall of China than a pleasant white picket fence.

Yes, a married couple is called to love one another, and marriage vows are at least as important as ordination vows. Most of us in church leadership believe that God calls couples together into ministry, and God's true call is considerate of each partner's needs, fears, and aspirations. How this works itself out at home and at church is as individual as the couple. There are many lifestyle options that successfully answer that call without trampling on one partner's needs.

The following stories of called husbands and hesitant ...

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