And now for part two of the missional marriages posts: Andrew & Mandy Araujo. These guys are full of life and love. And if you have any doubts about whether these guys are the real deal or not, listen to this: while putting together the Araujo post, I got a call at the church front desk, the caller began asking me about our service times and information about visiting the church. Then she stopped and said, “I’m not too familiar with churches and I want to make sure I called the right place. Does this happen to be where Mandy and Andrew go to church, they are my neighbors and they have been inviting me to come to their church.” I was so excited this woman had called and I truly hope she comes to church this weekend. Jesus has sent Andrew and Mandy out on mission together and they are being obedient. What better way to have the adventure, intimacy, and purpose we all crave in life than to be on mission together with your spouse. I hope this peek into their love and life together inspires us to invest a little more in the Kingdom of God at work around us.
Do the two of you share in a joint mission in God’s story?
Mandy: Our mission in God’s story is to share the gospel whenever we can, and to live as examples to our two children so that they can become gospel sharing world changers!
Andrew: I feel our joint mission is raising godly children and using everyday encounters to further God’s work. We spend a lot of time teaching our kids God’s word and teaching life lessons.
How would you define that mission?
We define our mission as a lifelong commitment to share God’s love and the good news with as many people as possible.
How do the two of you collaborate to live out your mission?
Mandy: We help each other out, tag each other in, and become each other’s sidekick as its needed to accomplish our mission. I keep thinking of Hebrews 12:1-3, just running this race before us with our eyes fixed on God!
Andrew: We talk about our achievements and defeats for God’s kingdom often. We are very honest with each other. Unfortunately, we sometimes find out that one of us handled a situation wrong and will have to rectify it in hopes of bringing glory to God.
When in is this difficult?
Mandy: Sometimes this means sacrifice or even sitting out. For example, if one of us has an opportunity to help someone or minister to someone, this might mean that we skip out on plans or family time, maybe a date night. Recently we had family plans, but Andrew had the opportunity to serve the homeless, so I took the kids home and made different plans while Andrew was able to go minister and share God’s love and grace with the community. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if what we want to do is what God wants us to do or if we should change our plans for Him and His glory. Sometimes it’s also difficult when we are pushing each other out of our comfort zones, with the idea to never become complacent or stay in our little bubble, but to instead branch out and reach as many people for God’s purpose as possible.
Andrew: It is very difficult to go to someone and explain that after analyzing the situation you have realized that you were wrong, and of course ask for forgiveness
What does that look like?
Mandy: It’s always messy because we are flawed, but it’s a beautiful mess that’s worth it to us and God.
Andrew: It’s a humbling experience especially for when you struggle with pride issues.
When is it really good?
When we are maintaining church attendance, that’s super important and keeps us focused and connected. Also when we are keeping everything in perspective, God, spouse, kids, etc. In that order. It’s also really good when we are realistic, we aren’t perfect, and everyone falls short. Accepting that and just having God fill in those gaps is huge. Also staying out of our comfort zones and trusting God. Getting too comfortable can sometimes make us forget that we are meant to share and reach out to others.
What does that look like?
We can experience the most productive missional Marriage when we are focused and realistic, and when we trust God. He always makes a way for things to workout how He wants them to for His glory when we turn everything over to Him.
How have you experienced God at work through your marriage?
Mandy: Through our experiences in our marriage we have been able to be an example (sometimes of what not to do, people can learn from our mistakes!), and other times we are examples of God’s work, accepting that not everything is perfect, but it is a beautiful and amazing experience when you are aligned with what God is wanting for you. Our purpose is to minister to others, to offer support and be lights. Being a part of a community group and building relationships with other couples and being able to be a part of their lives, offering prayer and support has been a way God has worked through our marriage also.
Andrew: I have experienced God through a very humble and loving spouse. She encourages me daily and always puts her needs aside for mine. We struggled in the beginning and we still struggle today but when we starting put God in the center of our marriage and our own needs second we began to grow closer to God and deeper in love.
God in Our Marriage: Final Thoughts
We mission to our children. In our marriage one of our most important duties is to teach and model a Godly lifestyle so that our two beautiful children can grow into Gospel sharing world changers in their own lives. We read the Bible together, we share about what Jesus has done in our lives openly, we pray together. We are on mission in our neighborhood. Sometimes it’s just service. We serve our neighbors around us in a variety of ways, trying to meet needs or just pick people up. A meal for the neighbor that lost someone close to them, raking leaves for the elderly, taking food and necessities to a sick neighbor, pulling in trash cans for people, etc.
Photography by Sarah Sotro Torres