If you were looking for a model Christian couple to talk with about their marriage and what made it work so well and you could interview anyone whether alive or dead, whether you know them from history, from Scripture or from life, who would you choose? I usually, in doing pre-marital counseling will ask couples to find someone who has been married for at least 30 years who isn’t in their family and talk with them about their marriage and any suggestions they have. I think if I could visit with any couple from any time, I would love to spend a day with Aquila and Priscilla to talk about their marriage. There is no evidence that they ever had any children, but if that was ever a source of conflict or problem we aren’t told about it. What we know about them is that they were a Jewish couple who had lived in Rome but were natives of Pontus. During the reign of Claudius they along with all other Jews were commanded to leave Rome and they settled for a time in Corinth. It was there they came into contact with the apostle Paul. Paul stayed with them for a time and worked with them as fellow tentmakers. Most likely it was during that time they came to know Christ and committed their lives to him.
From that time forward every time we hear of Aquila and Priscilla, they are together and they are using their home in the work of God. They left Corinth at the same time Paul did, but they settled in Ephesus for a time. It was there they met Apollos who was mighty in the Scriptures and preached Jesus with power. Many were being reached by the preaching of Apollos, but he had one significant problem. He only knew of the baptism of John. When they heard him they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. When he wished to cross over to Achaea, the church encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. At this point they were still rather young in the faith. But they were committed to the degree they were ready to help one who had more general knowledge of the Scriptures than they did and had much more ability in proclaiming the word than them. But they longed to help him, not embarrass him in any way. So they took him aside in a private meeting to explain some things to him more clearly. It has been pointed out that in this effort Luke puts Priscilla’s name first and then Aquila, which likely means she was the one who led in the discussion and correction of Apollos. But there was no question it was a partnership in all they did.
When Paul wrote the church in Rome, Priscilla and Aquila were there again. Notice how he writes of them, “Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house.” Prisca is likely a shortened version of Priscilla and shows the familiarity Paul felt for both of them. This godly couple had become known and appreciated throughout the Gentile churches for their good work. Their home became the meeting place for the church wherever they traveled. Later when Paul wrote the church in Corinth he said of Priscilla and Aquila “The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila And Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.” Later when he wrote to Timothy in his second and final letter to him, before his execution he mentioned Aquila and Priscilla one more time.
What made this couple stand out so much in Paul and Luke’s minds as they wrote about them? They were in many ways it seems an ordinary working couple who committed their lives to Jesus. So far as we know Aquila never preached and nothing is ever said of Priscilla prophesying like the daughters of Phillip or some of the women in Corinth. But they made a difference for the cause of Christ wherever they went. There is no evidence that they ever sought the spotlight. Instead the way they handled the correction of Apollos indicates they avoided the spotlight. Instead they wanted to help him in the quietest way they possibly could and still accomplish the task of helping him know the truth of God’s word.
This couple stands out as a tremendous example of a great marriage committed to God. Instead of majoring in what they didn’t have or what they couldn’t do, they focused on what they could do in service to God. They could turn their home into a place where people could come to worship and praise God. Long before church buildings were ever thought of, they house was a worshiping place. It just seems that wherever they lived, they quickly turned their home into a place for the church to meet. They stand out as a powerful missionary couple for the Lord long before there were churches sending people out. They didn’t need a missionary society to send them. They earned their living wherever they went as tentmakers and used their contacts with people to tell them about Jesus.
This was a time when a couple who didn’t have children were often seen as not being blessed by God. But they seemed to simply be drawn closer to God the whole time and closer to each other. It seems that they worked together each day as tentmakers and then shared their life of faith with the world.
What a powerful lesson for every person. We can either major in the things that don’t seem to work out for us and all the abilities we don’t have or we can major in the blessings God has given us. We can look for the good things that are part of life and we can use our work, our home and our lives as a means of serving and worshiping God. I would love to have a day to just visit in their home and watch their actions and pray with them around their table. I believe it would be an inspiring day.