Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Priscilla and Aquila - The Ideal Couple

~The first thing that stood out to me about Priscilla, or rather about this couple, is that their names were ALWAYS mentioned together, and never in a particular order. Never once was one name said that you didn’t immediately read the other. What does this say about their relationship? What does this say about their ministry?~

We have a little book that has been sitting on our shelf for… well, not too long seeing as how we’ve only been living here for about 2 years, but I had never read it. It’s called “Two Shall Be One” By C.M. Ward, randomly a few weeks ago while on my way up the stairs, I grabbed it off the shelf and stuck it in the bathroom, thinking it may be a good read while Gideon was in the bath. (Oh, you didn’t think I was going to say so I could read it while I was using the toilet, right? I can’t read more than a sentence while I’m in the bathroom. Like all my other personal time, it’s pretty much nonexistent… Anyway…) I was casually making my way through the little book of 146 pages, when lo and behold, he begins to speak about couples in the Bible, at the end of chapter 2 (entitled, One plus One) who do you think got the “Ideal couple award?” You guessed it, Aquila and Priscilla.

I’ll try not to type out the entire excerpt from this chapter, it’s a bit wordy, I’ll aim to stick to key points. (No promises though, I always failed in school when I was supposed to write a paragraph using 400-500 words, I’d have too many words, whittle it down to the bare minimum and still, I’d have a 700 word paragraph… I like words.)

“In the ideal marriage, the husbands loving leadership is supported by a wife who respects his position as head of the home. Within their respective roles, husband and wife share family responsibilities. He takes pride in his work and is a good provider. As manager of the household, the wife uses her talents to meet the needs of the family. Husband and wife exchange views and respect each others opinions. At the heart of this sharing relationship is a deep spiritual oneness that brings stability and unity to their home and marriage.
Aquila and Priscilla had this kind of give-and-take marriage. (See Acts 18:1-3,26; Romans 16:3- 5.) Lets take a closer look at this… couple and see why their marriage was such a success.”

He goes on to talk about their individual backgrounds, of Priscilla’s high social standing, and obvious clash of cultures you find within this couple.

“We read of him [Aquila] first at Pontus, then at Rome, later at Corinth and Ephesus, then back to Rome and at Ephesus again.
In spite of their gypsy-like lifestyle, Priscilla always followed her husband… Priscilla… must have faced many situations with a stiff upper lip.
During one of the first Jewish persecutions, Aquila was expelled from Rome. At this point, Priscilla’s loyalty to her husband may have been tested, but she was determined to follow him, if need be, the ends of the earth.”

Ward spends some time talking about the business they set up in Corinth, and of how Paul began to refer to them as “my helpers in Christ.” When Paul decided to go to Ephesus, they liquidated their assets, and moved with him.

“With their assets, they invested in a spacious home and began a “church… in their house” (Romans 16:5). They unselfishly opened their home to neighbors and started having services. Think of the sacrifice involved as Priscilla put the cause of Jesus Christ ahead of her furniture, her privacy and her security. She wanted her home to be used for the work of the gospel.
Paul pays high tribute to Aquila and Priscilla saying that they were willing to lay down their… necks” to save his life (Romans 16:4). Ten years later, some of Paul’s fellow-workers had fallen away, but not these two. In his final letter the apostle bids farewell to his friends, “Salute Prisca and Aquila” (2 Timothy 4:19)
Their witness for Jesus remained firm, and their marriage testified to the strong bond of love and always together: “Aquila and Priscilla,” or “Priscilla and Aquila.”

Imagine all that, imagine you were her, imagine you were him. Imagine the extreme relationship functionality required to lead a life such as that.

My prayer is that Mark and I will continue to grow toward God, together, so that we can walk in the fullness of what God has for our lives. So that we can step into the fullness of our destiny. So that we can further His kingdom, even through small ways, such as opening our home to whomever needs a place.

Perhaps someday we’ll reach a point that we could be used as an example in a book as “the ideal couple.”

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