How many times have you heard the statement, "If God calls the husband into ministry, he will call the wife, too"? There are some remarkable and beautiful examples of this statement at work. The lives of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards are a testimony to God's call on a couple.
But there are also some rather glaring examples of couples who did not share the same opinion of God's call on their family. The situation with William Carey and his wife comes first to mind for many people.
It sounds good and proper and politically correct to make a statement like "God calls the wife, too", but is it biblical? Was William Carey out of line when he initially decided to leave his wife behind while he sailed for India? Was he disobeying the will of God for staying while his wife went insane? What does the Bible have to say?
The answer to that question is 'little, but enough'. As far as I can tell, the Bible says that wives are to submit to their husbands as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22), and that would include submission to calling. In fact, I would say that God has placed a call on the wife if he has called the husband, but that such a call will come through the husband. In that way, it's similar to the Garden of Eden, where God gave Adam the command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but (this is inference - but it is strong inference) Eve heard the command only through Adam.
The man who receives the call of God should not have to wait for a mystical call to come for his wife also. He should inform his family of God's direction and they should follow. Any disagreement with this policy would seem to be completely out of sync with the Word of God. That is not to say that such issues should be handled in an unkind way. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church, but remember that Jesus commands his church and directs it as he loves it.
In Exodus chapter 4, after Moses has received his calling from God at the burning bush, an interesting thing happens. He returns home to get his father-in-law's permission to leave, but he simply rounds up his wife and children and tells them what they are doing. I think that if the same call were to come in 21st century America, the man would return home to try to persuade his wife and would simply inform his employer that he would be leaving.
We have our hierarchy of authority all screwed up. We spend a lot of time bribing, sweet-talking, and arguing with those who are supposedly under our authority and we pay almost no heed to those whom God has placed in authority over us. This is not progress, this is sin.