a poor husband?

I've been noticing that Heather's family doesn't seem too excited about me (as a possible husband for her). Not surprisingly, the main objections seem to be that I don't have a career or income (or home, savings, etc., and intend to keep living that way). Her aunt phrased it this way: "I question whether his vocation is compatible with marriage."

Their worries make me think of this Cornered, a favorite of mine:

Pondering this, I remind myself that all the teachings (and example) of Jesus that I've followed to come to my present way of life were offered for all of his disciples, not just for Jesus alone (or celibates alone). There's evidence that many of his disciples married. And Jesus never discouraged them from doing so (while teaching them his Way). So it seems to me that Jesus did not see a conflict between marriage and the radical way of life he taught his disciples. Such as in Lk 12.29-34:

"Do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.

"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Obviously I can see why people would question whether a person that seriously followed such teachings could be an effective "breadwinner." But I'm saddened that Christians would see this wonderful guidance in conflict with (or even ruling out) being a husband and father. Because for most people that would mean setting aside these teachings as impossible for them as spouses or parents.

I think Jesus' teaching alone is clear (and convincing) enough on this, but it's also nice to have examples of people actually following this teaching and experiencing God's overwhelmingly generous support ("all these things will be yours as well"). Such as George Muller of Bristol, England, who died in 1898. Here's a passage about him from The Varieties of Religious Experience (by William James):

...Early in life he resolved on taking certain Bible promises in literal sincerity, and on letting himself be fed, not by his own worldly foresight, but by the Lord's hand. He had an extraordinarily active and successful career, among the fruits of which were the distribution of over two million copies of the Scripture text, in different languages; the equipment of several hundred missionaries; the circulation of more than a hundred and eleven million of scriptural books, pamphlets, and tracts; the building of five large orphanages, and the keeping and educating of thousands of orphans; finally, the establishment of schools in which over a hundred and twenty-one thousand youthful and adult pupils were taught. In the course of this work Mr. Muller received and administered nearly a million and a half of pounds sterling, and traveled over two hundred thousand miles of sea and land. During the sixty-eight years of his ministry, he never owned any property except his clothes and furniture, and cash in hand; and he left, at the age of eighty-six, an estate worth only a hundred and sixty pounds.

Further research on Muller revealed: He would not accept a salary for his ministry (no secure income). He refused to borrow money (no debts), and paid in full for every purchase (no credit). He believed that "to lay up stores or hoard money was inconsistent with a life of faith" (no investments or endowment funds). And while the general needs of his ministry were known, as a rule neither he nor his co-workers asked people for money (no fund-raisers). Yet for years God fed, sheltered, and clothed him and his family... plus teachers, and missionaries, and thousands of orphans! He writes: "In all my experience I have found... that if I could only settle a certain thing to be done was according to the will of God, that means were soon obtained to carry it into effect."

Very encouraging. Thanks, George.