Everybody has a vocation. Vocation is a really just a fancy way of saying a “calling.” Our vocations are the way that God works in the world serving the world through us as we fulfill our vocations. And we all have these callings. God serves our schools as teachers teach, principals lead, and as students obey. God serves in our families as husbands love their wives, as wives love their husbands, and so on. Our callings extend into our workplaces, our neighborhoods, our churches, and into our homes.
One of the fascinating things about family, however, is that it is the first place that we all experience calling. Because we are all born into the vocation of a son or daughter. Families are full of different callings - each of which have different unique characteristics, responsibilities, and value.
Note: This list is really simplified and meant to scratch the surface. We could spend a lot of time on each of these individual vocations, so if you feel like one doesn’t say all that it should… it probably doesn’t.
The husband is the leader of the home. Ephesians calls the husband to love his wife the way that Christ loved the Church. This is a high calling, to be the sacrificial, loving leader of the home. Service and sacrificing for the benefit of the one he loves.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” - Ephesians 5:25
The wife has been called to her husband and to love her husband as the Church loves Christ. The calling of a wife is a distinct calling from her husband, yet equally sacred and important.
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” - Ephesians 5:21-22
A wife is called to submit to her husband.
Now this word can cause a lot of trouble, but it doesn’t need to. Because this is about mutual submission. She is not called to submit to him for the sake of him “lording it over her” but to submit to and serve her husband as he has also done for her.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” - Proverbs 31:10-12
A man, if he has kids, not only has the responsibility to lead his wife but to also lead his kids. The father provides for his family, protects his family, and also pastors his family. The calling of fatherhood is a call to disciple your children - to make sure they know they are loved by God and by their parents.
"You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." - Deuteronomy 6:7 ESV
Moms have one of the most difficult callings there is. It’s one of the most important, yet it is also one of the most under-appreciated and exhausting callings there is. The most important work that any mom does is the work she does as a mother; and it is an exhausting, unpaid, holy calling to love, care for, and disciple her children.
"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed.” - Proverbs 31:26
The first vocation that we all have in life is the same. It’s the vocation of being a son or a daughter. This might be unusual, especially because we primarily begin to think of callings as what happens when we become adults. But this isn’t true, callings extend into childhood as - son/daughter, brother/sister, student, and friend.
"My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching.” - Proverbs 6:20 ESV
We could also add to this list things like brother and sister, grandparents, godparents, aunts and uncles, cousins. All of these are unique relationships that God has placed you in. And since God has placed you in those relationships, this also means that he has called you to love him and love others in those relationships that he has called you to.
What are some of the other unique callings within a family that you could describe?