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Priscilla Part 6: Priscilla’s Exemplary Juggling Act

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Did you know that more often than not Priscilla’s name is mentioned before her husband’s name? Seems odd in such a male dominated society, right?  Might it mean she was the more prominent teacher and leader of the couple?  I think so.

I think God has always loved women and has always given women opportunities to serve in ministry, as well as the intelligence and gifts needed to do so. I don’t think it’s God who has confused positions and abilities based on gender, I think, rather, that has been the act of imperfect humans.

Some believe Priscilla may have even written the book of Hebrews, or co-authored it with her husband.  As further encouragement, it appears that Aquila supported Priscilla’s gifts of hospitality, teaching, and leading since he’s always mentioned with her, though often second to her. And I’d guess that Priscilla appreciated and welcomed his support while respecting his own gifts.

We know for sure that Priscilla was a uniquely gifted individual, who put her faith in Jesus and did all she could to teach others to know him personally.  Both Priscilla and Aquila respected one another and created a united partnership and marriage.

“As each puts the other first, both can express themselves and grow without being inhibited in any way.” (Unconventional Women, p132) How amazing is that idea? After putting Christ at the center of their marriage, they next put the other first so that they may each grow and express themselves.  No competition or jealousy regarding gifts and prominence. Instead, fulfillment and the blessing of bringing both unbelievers and believers closer to Christ.

Priscilla was half of a fab husband-wife teaching and preaching team.  “The two acted as one, traveling, evangelizing, teaching, and encouraging young believers as well as Paul, their dear friend.” (Unconventional Women, p192.) Though she was a wife, she was also an incredibly talented and intelligent individual, who willingly used her gifts and abilities for the Kingdom of God.  I’d say that’s quite an amazing and encouraging role model for the modern woman!

Thank you Lord, for the example of Priscilla as equal partner in a Christ-centered marriage and as a uniquely gifted individual who  used those abilities to share Jesus with those around her.  May we be like Priscilla who learned to put her trust in you and lean on your grace as she juggled her role as wife, co-worker in business, and co-worker in your Kingdom.

(Acts 18:1-4 & 18-28, Romans 16: 3-5)

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Priscilla Part 5: Together as One

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Priscilla and Aquila didn’t just change locations together, but every time they moved, they opened their home and invited others in to meet Christ and grow in him. Together they hosted church in their home, pastored and taught believers. Together they invited Paul to live and work with them. Together they mentored and taught Apollos, both recognizing in him the potential force he could be for Christ. Together, they even risked their lives for Paul, though we don’t know exactly what happened.  But, no matter what, they worked together, together, together.

They were of the same mind. They were a united team on life’s journey.

Before hubby and I were married, he sat me down, and I could tell by his tone it was going to be a serious conversation. He explained that he had already committed at least 10 years of his future to the Air Force.  If we married, we’d move around often and live far from family.  There would also be times of separations and plenty of them. And then, as if the conversation wasn’t cheery enough, he hit me with: So, if you’re not on board with this lifestyle, if you can’t live the Air Force life, I need to know now and we need to end things.

It was an important and necessary discussion, and I’m so grateful for his honesty.  He knew that if I wasn’t on board with a life full of constant change, separations, distance, loneliness, and other fun things, our marriage would always be pulled in two directions…we wouldn’t be a united team.

Priscilla and Aquila, a united team. You never hear them mentioned separately.  What if only one of them wanted to host church in their home, or take in Paul, or reach out to Apollo…or risk their life for their mentor? How would that have worked? “Sorry dear, I’m in the middle of stitching this tent, I can’t stop to host church right now. And don’t you dare think about risking your life for that dude, I don’t want anything to happen to you, he’ll be ok…and let’s not take in anyone else, I’m kind of tired of the ever revolving door of house guests.”  If that had happened, there would have been missed opportunities not to mention the potential for bitter feelings and resentment to arise between the two.

“Priscilla would have missed her claim to greatness had she refused to leave Rome.  She would have missed going down in history as a great force in the early church.” (Unconventional Women, p127.)  Or imagine if she had allowed her culture’s norms to deter her from using her intelligence and gift of teaching. Priscilla courageously used the gifts God gave her, trusting that these abilities were for God’s kingdom.  And Aquila supported his wife’s ministry and talents, and encouraged her to fulfill her purpose and be used as an instrument for God.

May we not miss out on an opportunity to be used by God just because it’s unexpected, uncomfortable, or different from the norm.  And may we strive to be part of a Christ-centered marriage, heading the same direction–of one mind–supporting and encouraging each other as we seek to serve the Lord at every opportunity.

(Acts 18:1-4 & 18-28, Romans 16: 3-5)

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Priscilla Part 4: Moving Together

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We’ve met Priscilla and her husband Aquila and watched them grow in spiritual knowledge through their friendship with Paul, and we’ve seen them teaching and mentoring young believers who sought to know Jesus.

We know that Priscilla and Aquila worked well together, but let’s take a further look at their partnership in marriage as they moved from place to place during their marriage. As an Air Force wife, I can tell you, movin’ ain’t easy! In fact, it’s downright stressful!  Selling/buying/renting a house, driving across the country, selling/buying renting a new house…ugh! Not to mention, it’s hard to say goodbye to friends who have become like family, but with each move, we grow closer as a family and we draw close to our heavenly Father.

Priscilla and Aquila may have felt much the same way.  Every time they moved, they’d settle into their new city, work side by side making tents, hosting church in their home, teaching and mentoring believers, investing in friendships only to pick up and move again.  Being secure in their love for each other would also have helped every time they moved at the Lord’s prompting.  But more importantly, they learned an important lesson, one which has also been a blessing to us time and time again: they put down roots not in a location, but in Christ. No matter where they went, Christ was their foundation.

Every time we move, it’s a chance to start fresh. New house, new friends, new sights to see, new everything. As rough as a life of moving may be, it’s exciting to get new opportunities. And, in a life where we change cities, states, coasts every few years, I’ve learned that it’s a choice whether or not the move and experience will be a positive or negative. It’s a choice to say, “Lord, you’ve put me in the middle of Oklahoma, 60 minutes away from the nearest “big” town, 90 minutes away from the closest Target, 2 hours from an actual city…but this is going to be a great time because I trust You’ve brought us here to bless us.”  And He did.

Perhaps that’s how Priscilla and Aquila looked at their life of constant change in the same way, from Rome to Corinth to Ephesus to Rome to Ephesus etc.  Each change was a fresh opportunity to serve, to bless others and to be blessed by the Lord, but it was a choice of attitude as well.  And every move brought them closer together as a couple and to Jesus, trusting him to provide for them with each new start. Moving is hard but, “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Whether or not your in a life of constantly changing locations or constant change, root yourself in Jesus.  Cling to each other and to Him.

(Acts 18:1-4 & 18-28, Romans 16: 3-5)

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Priscilla Part 3: The Students Become Teachers

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Can you imagine being personally trained by Paul? Well, our Priscilla and her husband Aquila had that distinct honor. They were able to chat with him, listen to him, learn from him, work beside him and watch him do his thing every Sabbath at the synagogue, “trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 18:4) What a blessing of friendship and training!

The three of them left Rome and traveled to Ephesus together but Paul continued on to different destinations to preach the Gospel. While saying goodbye to Paul must have been hard, they had work to be do — both with their tent business and their ministry.

Priscilla and Aquila heard a man named Apollos speaking boldly in the synagogue, teaching about Jesus with great enthusiasm. “He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.” (Acts 18:25)  He was a gifted and eloquent speaker, persuasive and charismatic.  He was also an educated historian who could understand and accurately teach the events of the Scriptures, and had some knowledge of the gospel, though it was not a thorough understanding.

Priscilla and Aquila recognized the natural gift he had for public speaking and his earnest desire to preach the Word, but they also recognized there were gaps in his knowledge.  But, they accepted Apollos where he was in his walk with God and nurtured his faith.  They “invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.” (Acts 18:26) What a blessing to this young man! Priscilla and Aquila, neither of whom were teachers by profession, instructed him because they knew the Savior.  Together, they taught this man more about Jesus, using the training they’d received from Paul so that Apollos could grow and use his gifts for the Lord.

Apollos went on to Achaia and was a great help to believers, “For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.” (Acts18:28)  Priscilla and Aquila, though poor tent makers, discipled and taught the scholar and preacher, Apollos, in the way of Jesus because they knew Jesus personally as their Savior.

Priscilla proves that a doctorate in theology isn’t necessary to talk to others about Christ, but knowing Jesus and constantly growing closer to him is the best way to reach out. Had Priscilla and Aquila not reached out to Apollos because he was an educated man and they lowly tentmakers, think of the people who may never have heard about Jesus’ love.

She wasn’t a teacher by trade, but Priscilla seized every opportunity the Lord gave her to share her faith, and help others grow in Christ. And I think that’s the most encouraging part — she is an ordinary woman just like me and you. She was married, she worked, had friends, and she loved Jesus with her whole heart.  But whenever she could, she shared Jesus with others and helped teach them and grow in their walk with the Lord.  So then, why can’t we?

(Acts 18:1-4 & 18-28, Romans 16: 3-5)

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Priscilla Part 2: The Three Amigos

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Got your cup? Ready for some grace?

Our dynamic duo, Priscilla and Aquila met Paul in Corinth. She and her husband were tent makers, as was Paul, so they invited Paul to stay with them and work with them. Think about the conversations they must have had together while they stitched their tents. Conversations of Jesus, his life, death, and resurrection. Maybe they discussed their struggles, dreams, and excitement of working for God’s kingdom. Priscilla and Aquila must have loved being able to listen to Paul’s spiritual wisdom, absorbing like a sponge all the knowledge he shared. They were getting a course in theology right in their living room while they worked on the tents during friendly, casual conversations. They enjoyed each others’ company, just like we do today with friends.

What a reminder of the blessings that can come from conversations between friends and how sharing faith in Jesus can produce great results.  Sometimes it brings a friend to salvation, other times it disciples and encourages a deeper knowledge of Christ. Everyday interactions with others, our daily conversations can be an amazing opportunity to share Jesus to others. It doesn’t have to be limited to Sunday mornings.

Those tent making conversations must have been an amazing blessing to Priscilla and Aquila and their walk with Christ, as well as a blessing to Paul, with whom he could share his calling. These three were friends with a shared purpose – a Christ centered life and ministry.

Good Christian friends are such a blessing.  Our purpose is the same, growing closer on our walk with Jesus, sharing Christ with our children, friends, praying for one creates a rich camaraderie.  We can rejoice with friends and cry with them. Friends lift us up when we’re struggling and encourage us.  And being a blessing to to a friend is a reward on its own.  I think that Priscilla and Aquila’s friendship with Paul is a wonderful reminder that blessing of friendship is a gift from God.

(Acts 18:1-4 & 18-28, Romans 16: 3-5)

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Priscilla Part 1: An Intro to Awesome

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It’s time for another cup of grace and caffeine! Grab your coffee and let’s get going.

Priscilla. What an amazing example God gave us–a godly wife, friend, working woman, and courageous leader in the early church. This woman, I tell ya…ah-mazing.

Priscilla and her husband, Aquila were a husband and wife team–in every sense of the word, team. They were tent makers, they moved often, they worked together in ministry as teachers, mentors, and pastors/hosts of the early church.

The couple probably met in Rome though Aquila was originally from Pontus, a province of Rome.  When Claudius ordered all the Jews out of Rome, they went to Corinth.  While living there, they met Paul and invited him to stay with them.  When he was ready to move on, they traveled with him to the city of Ephesus. Then they moved back to Rome…then back to Ephesus.  Sheesh, they move around as much as us military families!

Wherever they went, they were open to and welcomed opportunities to serve God in everyday life building friendships, through their gift of hospitality they opened their home to host and pastor churches, and shared their faith with many.  Priscilla did it all these things side by side with her hubby,  showing us that it’s quite possible to balance being a godly wife balancing a job and working for the Lord.  In fact, she is an excellent example on how to use the gifts that God gave her in ministry to Him without becoming proud or creating a disturbance in the force…I mean, in a marriage.

And, at a time when women were considered second class citizens and discouraged from learning, Priscilla soaked up knowledge of Jesus and used her gift of hospitality, teaching, and leading to encourage and instruct other believers. I love her, I think she’s just awesome and strong and super cool!

(Acts 18:1-4 & 18-28, Romans 16: 3-5)