6 Tips For Building A Strong Marriage

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In this episode, we share 6 ways to help you build a stronger and more vibrant marriage. One that is able to withstand the schemes of the enemy and is useful in building the Kingdom of God together.

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[Jennifer] Welcome to the Marriage After God Podcast.

[Aaron] We’re your hosts, I’m Aaron.

[Jennifer] And I’m Jennifer.

[Aaron] We’ve been married for 14 years.

[Jennifer] And we have five young children.

[Aaron] We started blogging over 10 years ago, sharing our marriage story in hopes of encouraging other husbands and wives to draw closer to God and closer to each other.

[Jennifer] We have authored over 10 books together, including our newest book, “Marriage After God,” the book that inspired us to start this podcast.

[Aaron] “Marriage After God” has a message to remind all of us that God designed marriage with a purpose.

[Jennifer] To reflect his love.

[Aaron] To be a light in this world

[Jennifer] To work together as a team.

[Aaron] Using what He has given us.

[Jennifer] To build His kingdom.

[Aaron] Our hope is to encourage you along your marriage journey.

[Jennifer] As you boldly chase after God together.

[Aaron] This is Marriage After God. Hey everyone, welcome back to the Marriage After God podcast. We’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith.

[Jennifer] Your hosts, hi.

[Aaron] And we’re glad to have you, yeah, hi. Jennifer, what’s going on in our world right now? Not the world, our world.

[Jennifer] We don’t have enough time to cover all of that.

[Aaron] Exactly, very true.

[Jennifer] But our world, meaning you and I.

[Aaron] Yes.

[Jennifer] What is going on? It’s good to be recording again with you.

[Aaron] Yes, it is actually. What are you drinking? What did I make you?

[Aaron] You made me chai, thank you.

[Aaron] It’s like the world’s best chai.

[Jennifer] It’s really good.

[Aaron] It’s Metolius chai.

[Jennifer] But when you asked me if I wanted, when I was saying yes, ’cause I thought you were making yourself one and you didn’t.

[Aaron] No, I made myself a coffee. The chais are good, but the milk messes with my stomach. I can’t do it, it’s like too much. But I sprinkled some cardamom on the top of there. A little bit of vanilla bean sugar.

[Jennifer] It’s fancy.

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Jennifer] Thank you.

[Aaron] You’re welcome. So I just got a quick question for you before we move on, as usual. What’s something that has brought you joy this week?

[Jennifer] Something that’s brought me joy. Well, okay, this was actually really funny. So much joy, I was like, I was laughing about it. I was in the score room with the kids and you know that song ♪ Come thou fount of every blessing ♪ Okay? You know which one I’m talking about?

[Aaron] “Come Thou Fount.” Is that what it is?

[Jennifer] I was just letting you know what song it was, ’cause usually, I’ll say a name of a song and you don’t know unless I’m singing, you know?

[Aaron] Yeah, I know, and you sung it really well.

[Jennifer] Thank you. Poor everybody else right now. Anyways, Olive loves to sing and hum and do all of that and so she was, I think she was trying to sing this song, and I could hear her as she’s like playing with math tiles and she was saying& ♪ Come old faithful ♪ And I think, ’cause I don’t know.

[Aaron] That’s a good version.

[Jennifer] This is so cute. And it made me think of our trip to Yellowstone and seeing Old Faithful, which the kids still bring up that story of being able to see it, you know, shoot out and everything, but she thinks he lyrics are come old faithful.

[Aaron] Does she let you correct her? And that like with the character

[Jennifer] I didn’t, it was too cute. I was just laughing about it.

[Aaron] Yeah, she loves to sing and she makes up her own songs. She’s like more interested in making up her own songs than she is learning real songs which is great because she’s probably been a songwriter.

[Jennifer] Yeah. It was really cute. I tried recording it and then I got caught and she didn’t like that very much. She said I had to ask her if I was gonna record her.

[Aaron] You know, it’s funny speaking about that. Our kids are like that from like day one, like Edith, all of our kids.

[Jennifer] Are we trying to record something?

[Aaron] They’re like saying their first words and I’m sneaking the phone up so she doesn’t see it. And then she like looks right over at me at the phone and she knows I’m recording and she just won’t do it. She just sits there and then like strides to smack the phone out of my hands. It’s like our kids now we don’t wanna be on social media. Even though we don’t ever post these things.

[Jennifer] Yeah, it wasn’t even for social media. I was just doing it because it was so cute. I thought one day I’ll show her show, you know her future husband or someone this, but it’s all right, I’ll get it one day.

[Aaron] You know what? Jesus is our Old Faithful, anyway.

[Jennifer] That’s true. I should tell her that.

[Aaron] It’s an accurate portrayal of the son.

[Jennifer] When I do correct her I will be sure to add that in.

[Aaron] Hey, we just, we love that you’re all here. We’re excited to be talking about this topic today. Before we move on to the topic I’d like to invite you, if you haven’t yet to leave us a review today or a star rating, you could choose whatever amount of stars you want to give us. I often prefer five stars, but that’s okay. If you want to do something less, that’s fine. But we would love to invite you to give us a star rating and a review. Those are awesome. It helps people find the podcast. It also helps people know what people think of the podcast. And so with that being said, I’d love to read one of the reviews that someone left us and it goes like this. Oh, so I read before I read this, remember how when we first launched this season we talked about the new podcasts the new song we have the interest on. What’s funny is this person mentions it. We talked about how catchy it is. He says this podcast has been amazing and highly influential in both my wife and my walk in honoring God with our marriage. Each episode is brought food for thought and encouragement to surrender our pride and give glory to God with our words, actions and thought life. There is humor as well as which is a plus, because some topics can be challenging and a laugh here and there helps lighten hearts while not taking away from the lessons learned or to be learned. Okay, if you’re read this much, please help me out. I’ve been looking for this song “Can’t Be Bothered” And only Miranda Lambert song “I Can’t Be Bothered” It’s coming up. I’m on the edge of going crazy. Who is the artist of this song? He keeps whistling inside of his head, it won’t stop. So it worked and that’s M Matthew’s 51317 that wrote that review. And what’s funny is it’s not actually a song that’s on any like album I think. It’s from this like stock music site.

[Jennifer] So how does he find it?

[Aaron] They can go to artlist.com and look for “Can’t Be Bothered”

[Jennifer] Okay, hopefully he finds it.

[Aaron] Yeah, but it’s funny ’cause the song is really catchy,

[Jennifer] I didn’t know you’re going to share this this review that someone left. And I was just thinking, I’m really encouraged to hear that. He says that we, you know spread in a laugh here and there and that it lightens the topic that we’re talking about which is good because the topics can be challenging. And I always wondered how people viewed that because I get really insecure or like, I think are they gonna think that I’m taking this too lightly? If I laugh right here.

[Aaron] They are not taking this serious enough.

[Jennifer] No, but like, I never want to offend anyone that I’m not taking it more seriously than I should especially depending on what we’re talking about. So this is encouraging. Thanks for sharing it.

[Aaron] All right, so today we’ll talk… All right, so today we’re–

[Jennifer] I was gonna say, I think you just need a drum roll, hold on.

[Aaron] Okay. So today we’re talking about six things to build a strong marriage. We haven’t done a list post, list podcast in a long time

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] That I know of.

[Jennifer] I don’t know.

[Aaron] Maybe we have.

[Jennifer] I feel like we have.

[Aaron] It’s possible. We like our lists, but this is a good one. It’s a good reminder. We all need reminders and we all need encouragement and we all need just a little pep talk sometimes. ‘Cause we’re all building something pretty amazing. Well, we do specifically.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] So that’s what we’re going to talk about today is this idea of building a strong marriage and just some of the aspects that we can focus on to do that.

[Jennifer] Cool. So we’re going to take it way back to a few years ago. I guess that’s not like way back.

[Aaron] It almost been six years now.

[Jennifer] Just a little bit. Oh yeah

[Aaron] Yeah, In April will be four.

[Jennifer] Well, I was pregnant with Wyatt and he just turned four 2016, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, five years.

[Aaron] Five years in April.

[Jennifer] Yeah. So we were both right. ‘Cause I said four, you said six.

[Aaron] We’re like, we’re in the middle, perfect.

[Jennifer] Guys, this is where we’re starting off on building a strong marriage

[Aaron] Communication is one of the topics.

[Jennifer] So we bought our first home. We had been married for nine years and we found this old and decrepit falling apart home. It had been abandoned for like three years and there’s a big sticker in the window saying, you know gonna be online auction in a couple of days. And it just really, it was like a glowing opportunity for us and our family. Although we didn’t know if we could actually pull off the remodel.

[Aaron] It was pretty bad.

[Jennifer] It was bad, but this is the house we’re currently living in. And it felt really good to have a home that was ours. Even though, I mean from day one, it was work. We had to put the work in to build it to make it even something that we could move into because do you remember the electricity and everything was–

[Aaron] Yeah the wiring had to be pretty much re-done, the entire house. The plumbing had to be pretty much redone.

[Jennifer] And then as we started taking stuff off like the roof, we’ll talk about, we found more. So we’re going to start here.

[Aaron] Yeah, every bandage we pulled off there was another bandage that needed to be pulled off. But it was awesome. One of the first things I remember doing this project and there was a lot that went into this but this most memorable moment was when we started ripping off the old roof. Because you can, when we looked at the roof you could see just the roof, the tiles were old we need to replace it. And we’re like, okay, we’ll just scrape the tiles off and we’ll put new tiles up.

[Jennifer] Wasn’t there like a layer. Like I remember looking at the edge where the gutter was and there was like a layer of different decades of tile.

[Aaron] Yeah there was like three layers of tile. They didn’t just, whenever they did new tile they just put it over the old which is what a lot of people do. And so were we start pulling the tile off and we realized that all of the sub floor, all the wood the sub wood underneath the tile was also bad. Like we were like falling through the wood. And so we can just tile right over it. So we’re like, okay, great. And so we start ripping all of the wood off.

[Jennifer] And when you say we, he’s not talking about we ’cause I was not up there ripping anything off of it.

[Aaron] There was people that helped. But one day I was up there by myself just like with a big old crowbar ripping up big old. And what was hard was every time I tried ripping it up all the wood would break, but where the nails were stayed. So I had to like pry off just the little strip of wood that was on the trusses by itself every single time. So we rip all that off and it was a lot of hard work. And so essentially for a while, all of the walls in the house were just open. There was no doors, there was no windows. It was just, you see through the whole house from the street.

[Jennifer] But I mean, we didn’t start this in the middle of winter or anything.

[Aaron] It was the middle of summer. It was hot–

[Jennifer] Well, not middle of summer, it was end of spring, early summer because we closed in the end of March. So April, May, June, yeah.

[Aaron] It was ideal time to do it. And it was, you know really nice weather and it was perfect. So the whole house is open and now we rip the roof off and there’s, you literally could see through the roof you could see through the walls, like just nothing. It’s just sticks, standing up and we’re doing all this. And we’re at a rental ’cause we were renting a house and it just starts pouring rain. We wake up in the morning, I’m like, oh, it’s raining. So I run, I rush over to the house knowing that it’s all open. And I’m like, oh gosh, this is not gonna be good. And I walk in and I go through the there’s no door. So I just walk in and right in the dining room kitchen area is just a waterfall of water just pouring into the house and flooding in the house. And I’m like, this is like our first house we owning. All I’m thinking is ’cause all the wood floors in there we’re trying to keep original. And I’m like, oh my gosh, everything’s ruined. And so I called Jennifer and I’m like, yep there’s a waterfall in the house. And we’re freaking out. I’m freaking out my friend that helped me do it. Couldn’t, wasn’t available to come help. And I’m like, I don’t what to do. So I just run to Costco. I bought a bunch of big old tiles, threw them on the ground. I run to home depot. I pick up a hundred foot tarp which is a huge tarp, by the way I’ve never held a hundred feet tarp until this time. And then I climbed up on the roof by myself. Jennifer was down watching me.

[Jennifer] I was there to cheer you on.

[Aaron] But she couldn’t get up there.

[Jennifer] I actually was really scared for you because of how windy it was, like I remember your jacket blowing over and like, you couldn’t keep your footing.

[Aaron] Yeah. And does anyone know what happens when you have a hundred foot tarp in wind? It turns into–

[Jennifer] Mass of balloon.

[Aaron] It turns into like a.

[Jennifer] A kite.

[Aaron] Yeah. And so this thing’s flopping around. I use the wind to my advantage ’cause I let it open up the tarp as much as possible. But without pulling me off the roof

[Jennifer] Parts that were sagging down, I tried pulling over but I like was pregnant and holding all of them, my hips. So it was useless really.

[Aaron] So we got this tarp pretty much to cover most of the roof of the house to keep the water out. It was like crazy, but we got it. And then I got the wood down. We put some dehumidifiers in the house all over the place and it definitely wasn’t as bad as it I thought it was gonna be, but man, that was frustrating, scary. I was cold and it was hard and oh that was a big deal.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] And it’s so far behind us, which is crazy.

[Jennifer] I know i&t is. I think in the midst of it though why it feels so frustrating is because you don’t know the outcome you don’t know how is this gonna how is this gonna damage the thing that we’re working towards, you know.

[Aaron] They just ruin everything.

[Jennifer] What kind of impact is it going to have? So we’re going to sprinkle in these stories today and I think it’s good to relate it back right away to marriage to try and get this idea of what we’re talking about when we talk about building a strong marriage. So like our marriage, when we realize, you know what it is, the value of marriage and how much it’s worth, when those hard times come, I mean we’re called to endure, we’re called to persevere. But that doesn’t mean we’re not gonna be frustrated or scared or fearful of the unknown impacts of the choices that we make or the circumstances that come against us. Right? That’s kind of like one of the things we want to share here.

[Aaron] Yeah and then in the like manner being vigilant to do what it takes to mitigate and to take care of that issue so that it doesn’t cause further damage which is kind of like getting the tarp and do getting the tiles and like, hey, let’s fix this together.

[Jennifer] Yeah, and even if the circumstance or the thing that you’re facing seems impossible or even impossible for you as a couple and as a team to work together on we still need to do what we can to make it work. Right? I mean, that’s what I felt like seeing you up there on the roof and about to be blown off. I’m like, I just got to grab this end of the tarp and like, act like I’m helping–

[Aaron] I’m cold and like frustrated, but we’re going to do this and then we’ve got to get it done.

[Jennifer] And we did. And we were able to protect a lot of the house during that time. And thank goodness. It was only one like day and night of that kind of rain. We were able to fix the roof and finish what needed to be done in order to close everything up and protect what was on the inside.

[Aaron] Because–

[Jennifer] From the elements.

[Aaron] To equate it to marriage, it’s something that we’re investing in. It’s a valuable thing. It’s not just an asset. It’s one of the most valuable things we have in our life is our marriages. And we have to build them strong which is what we’re talking about today and take care of them and protect them and be aware of the dangers of the weather of the things from within all those things that we, you know, we’re gonna bring up some of it today, but that’s kind of what we’re talking about is, we have, we bought this house and it was something that needed to be built and taken care of and protected. And we did so and now we get to enjoy it.

[Jennifer] Another thing I’d like to say is you as you’re telling that story, you know, you said your friend who was helping us, couldn’t make it at that time, in that moment to help you with the tarp. And that’s okay. And that happens. And I just want to add that we can’t rely on others to do the hard work of marriage. Like we can’t like having friends, having family, even having pastors and therapists and people who are play really important roles in our lives. That’s great. And that’s so good in an impactful but ultimately it requires the husband and wife to put the work in to build that strong marriage.

[Aaron] Yeah. That’s good. Cause no one else can build that marriage for us. They can definitely help, they can participate.

But when it comes to it like we’re the ones that are going to protect it. We’re the ones that sees the value. Right?

[Aaron] Yeah, and we’re the ones that have to make the choices.

The choice to do it.

To do it. That’s good. Another story about our house, which all of this builds into this idea of building a strong marriage. Is something that we wrote about in our book, Marriage After God. And it’s about a foundational thing that we had to do. We added an addition to the front of our house so that our living room will be bigger. And so we had to do a new footing and new foundation for that area that we’re adding on. And so we had a foundation company come out and they framed it out. They poured the concrete and they did this whole thing.

[Jennifer] And just getting to that point, sorry to cut you off. But just getting to that point took so long because we had to wait on permit. Then you know, waiting on the people that come and do that kind of work.

[Aaron] The schedule yeah.

[Jennifer] The weather, everything had to be.

[Aaron] Just right.

[Jennifer] Yeah. It took a while.

[Aaron] And so they did it, they pulled the forms off and we go over it and we inspect and my friend who’s helped me do this said that it was fine. But when I look at it and I saw there was like holes in it and it looked crumbly and there was like crack. Yeah, there was cracks in it and it just didn’t look good.

[Jennifer] It didn’t feel perfect.

[Aaron] It didn’t feel right, for what I was the money was spending on it. And for what I’m thinking like, is this gonna like last 50 years, is this going to last 20 years? And so it wasn’t quite done right. And so the company did come back& they ripped the whole thing out and they repoed the whole thing and then it looks perfect. And the reason we did that is ’cause I’m thinking long-term I’m thinking, is this going to last a lifetime?

[Jennifer] Well, I remember you the value we were putting into the rest of the house. And you’re like I don’t want to be sitting in here, you know, 10, 15 years from now and then fall through the front living room because the foundation wasn’t done right.

[Aaron] Yeah, or the front corner of our house is sinking. And we see the cracks the walls because that foundation is important. If the foundation isn’t firm, if it isn’t strong. If it isn’t structural, it’s not gonna hold, all the weight that’s going to be put on it. Everything that you build on top of it it’s not gonna be there. And that’s one of the things we’re going to talk about today is our foundation. And we talk about that in our book how important our foundation is to build a strong marriage because without the foundation, doesn’t matter what you put on top of it, it’s gonna fall apart.

[Jennifer] Or if it’s slightly off kilter, it’s the whole thing. It’ll be noticeable, right?

[Aaron] Especially as you build and build and build like none of the lines are gonna line up. The walls aren’t gonna be straight.

[Jennifer] You run into more problems.

[Aaron] Yeah you run into more problems.

[Jennifer] Well, after all was said and done, we did move into the house and we started to enjoy this labor of love that we kind of I don’t know, it was an adventure for us. Right?

[Aaron] Yeah and we enjoy it even to this day.

[Jennifer] And what I loved was being able to make it our own especially coming out of rentals. ‘Cause you try and do what you can around rentals to make them feel like your own. But that’s just not the same. I don’t know if other people have a hard time with that or not. Some people are, I’ve seen some people make rentals look like, you know it’s so them, but just from what I experienced, when we were able to move into this house and seeing all the white walls, it was like, oh, clean you know, canvas for us to be able to then–

[Aaron] And our landlords didn’t like it, when we knocked walls out and tried to make bigger rooms, they did not like that.

[Jennifer] So anyways, it was fun to be able to look at it and go, okay, so how do we express ourselves? You know. And I love that. And just being able to hang pictures on the wall, you know this process didn’t take one day. It didn’t take two weeks. It was kind of something that we waited on and did as we went

[Aaron] It’s still not even finished. We’re still always looking at different things wanting to paint walls, wanting to redo rooms. But it’s been a fun process of making this house that we built into a home that we love. And we live in, which again is another analogy for our marriage that we were once two individuals and that we’ve come together. We’ve started something. And then there’s this process this lifetime process of what is our marriage.

[Jennifer] Yeah. It’s kind of like the, the correlation here would be how do we express ourselves through marriage by the way we love each other, the way we interact with each other

[Jennifer] What we build with each other the work we do with each other, our family, our children how we raise them, all of those things.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] They have long lasting effects but it’s something that we could do together. Choose to walk in together and we decide how we’re going to do it.

[Jennifer] Yeah. Okay, so this would actually be fun to ask you what does this look like in our marriage? So how have you or I decorated our relationship? I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but why not.

[Aaron] Really tapping into my sensitive emotional side here. I have to dig deep.

[Jennifer] I’ll say this, we choose to be generous. And I think that’s a mark of our marriage.

[Aaron] It’s true

[Jennifer] That we know each other to be generous to one another to our children and to others.

[Aaron] I agree with that. That’s something that is a mark of our marriage specifically, that’s something that we strive for is how can our family be generous? Something I also think about is going back to when I proposed you, saying that I want to do whatever we did. I wanted to do it for God and I want to do it together.

[Jennifer] That’s true.

[Aaron] And I believe that for the most part we’ve done that.

[Jennifer] I was gonna say are our choices have been aligned with that sediment.

[Aaron] Yeah. It was never, it wasn’t perfect right away. But even what we get to do now was there was a bunch of stepping sets leading to this. And they were very in some intentional, some serendipitous but we are, our heart was always in this direction of like, well, how are we going to do this together?

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] What does that look like? And so I think that’s one way we’ve decorated our home of our marriage.

[Jennifer] That was cool. I just wanted to see what you think. All right. So I have another story. Do you remember? It was probably only a couple of weeks after we moved in and you were a little particular about the floor because you spent some money re-finishing

[Aaron] It’s the original floor. And we had to get it like, like laced in wherever the walls went away. We had to get new wood put in and I just was really happy about it.

[Jennifer] We had this nice thing.

[Aaron] It turned out really nice.

[Jennifer] Super nice polish. It was almost like so beautiful. You’re like, well, I don’t want to walk on it. You know? And then here we have these kids that are like trying to ride their tricycles all over it. Sorry, we love them.

[Aaron] They are the best.

[Jennifer] Yeah. So this though was, it was hard, but–

[Aaron] God did invent humor. God, it was God. Humor was God’s idea, right? So I have to just I have to know that God loves to laugh.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] He loves humor. He also loves to challenge us in our flesh.

[Jennifer] I don’t see challenges that he gives us opportunities to grow. And this is an opportunity for you.

[Aaron] This is a great opportunity.

[Jennifer] Our daughter, Olive who, you know, she was about a year and a half found like the brightest pink nail polish that one could–

[Aaron] It’s still her favorite color.

[Jennifer] Hot pink.

[Aaron] Hot pink, bright neon, glowing pink.

[Jennifer] And she came running down the hall, so excited and eager to paint her nails and dropped it all over the hallway for.

[Aaron] All over and that stuff dries really fast, I don’t know why.

[Jennifer] By the time you got to it, it was like, you wiped up maybe a dot of it. But the rest of it was kind of stuck. And you were down there on your hands and knees with like Q tips and nail polish remover and anything you could find. But then that actually did lift up some of the stain. And so there’s a couple of white spots, that we don’t talk about in the hallway.

[Aaron] Now it’s a memory.

[Jennifer] So what’s my point with that hot nail Polish

[Aaron] I wasn’t frustrated or anything. I was so calm. No, that was a little, yeah. It was definitely a challenge for my flesh because–

[Jennifer] I got to encourage you there. That was, it was accident. And you know, it’s fine.

[Aaron] It’s totally fine. Now when I look at these things, I think it’s like part of our house, I was like, oh, look at that. Oh, look at that. I remember that. I see that scratch

[Jennifer] But okay, so my point is this, even after building a home and making it what we want it like, it’s perfect. Right?

[Aaron] Wrong but I see what your saying.

[Jennifer] Like a marriage having a great season or rhythm, you know and then all of a sudden you experience a really hard thing and it like bumps into it and you didn’t expect it. You’re like what just happened

[Aaron] Or your flesh shows its face and you bump into your sin with each other and then.

[Jennifer] Its gonna happen.

[Aaron] Yeah, It should happen. If it’s not happening. There’s something I think wrong. Maybe not talking enough.

[Jennifer] Life would be boring if everything was just super perfect and easy but we have these opportunities, like I said to grow from, to learn from, to identify and see, okay how’s the Lord gonna use this one? So we need to keep our eyes open and out for that

[Aaron] One, I think this is a good encouragement before we get into these six things, that, I mean we’ve thought this way, if only X, Y, Z changed or was different, man we would just be good to go. Like life would be peachy. And I think there’s this, there could be a life is better or greener on the other side type thing. Like once we get here or if this change happens or if we can have this or we can attain this everything will be good. But the point is as the Bible talks about everything’s in, we have seasons. Like we can have really good seasons. And then there could be really hard seasons like sickness can come in, we get confronted with our sins. Uncontrollable events could happen. There’s lots of things are gonna happen. So if we get out of the mindset of one day, we’ll be there and we get into a mindset of right now, we’re here. What’s the way to walk, where we’re at. It changes everything

[Jennifer] Perspective.

[Aaron] Yep.

[Jennifer] That’s good. Another thing that I want to share is just that while I love that the Lord has led us to share about our marriage and create this place to encourage other marriages. And we’ve had to work on our marriage and we’re still working on our marriage. I don’t want anyone to think that we have built this strong marriage in that it’s always strong. Like we have to maintain it. We have to keep it guarded. We have to protect it. We have–

[Aaron] We go through struggles.

[Jennifer] You go through struggles.

[Aaron] That’s a light way of saying it.

[Jennifer] Yeah, but today we wanted to remind you that much like building a home, marriage requires us to build and make it strong. So not a day goes by that. Aaron, you and I don’t have to put that work in. And those listening, not a day goes by that you don’t get to put that work in.

[Aaron] And some days , it’s like every minute it feels like we have to like focus on it.

[Jennifer] Yeah, and our foundation is not like a home. Our foundation is not concrete. Our foundation is the word of God. So that daily work has to be laid on the foundation of God’s word. We have to be in his word

[Aaron] Which we’ll talk about.

[Jennifer] It’s so important. I just want to just start that upfront ’cause it’s really important.

[Aaron] Yeah, so here are six things to do to make your marriage strong.

[Jennifer] Right, let’s do it.

[Aaron] Number one and most importantly, working on making your marriage Christ centric

[Jennifer] Keeping him in the middle, at the center.

[Aaron] Yeah, It’s not just in the middle of your marriage, but he’s central to everything. Like what we do, how we talk, how we think how we raise our family, how we do church. Well, you know, all of it, he is central to all of it. It’s not just like we have our marriage here. We have Christ over here. We have our parents over here. We have our friends over here. We have our church over here.

[Jennifer] Got it.

[Aaron] No, it’s all centered on Christ. When you read that verse, 1st Corinthians 3:11

[Jennifer] For no one can lay a foundation, other than that, which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now, if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay straw each one’s work will become manifest for the day will disclose it because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.

[Aaron] And so this this scripture is not specifically talking about marriage. This is talking about the work that Christ has done in that our walks and in our Christianity.

[Jennifer] Like everything we do.

[Aaron] Everything

[Jennifer] But marriage is a part of that.

[Aaron] It’s founded on Christ. And so he’s warning against what we, how we build on that foundation. And that also there is no other foundation. Like he is the foundation and everything we do, our walk with him, our walking in the spirit our building for him, our working for him. Our marriages, our raising of children is built upon him. And that’s what this is talking about. Are you building with, you know things that are going to burn up and fall apart? Are you building the things that are precious and won’t get made more pure? And so starting there, this is the most important thing, it’s central to our faith is building on top of Christ and our faith in him and our salvation in him.

[Jennifer] So how do we do that?

[Aaron] Well, that’s a good question. First and foremost, we listen and obey what God has said through his son and his word. So Matthew 7:24 to 27 says everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat on that house. But it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock. This is exactly talking about the same thing. Who’s the rock?

[Jennifer] Christ.

[Aaron] And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house. And it fell and great was its fall. And this is exactly this dichotomy of being a fool or a wise man and is based on whether we listen and do what God says in his word.

[Jennifer] Be doers of the word, not just hearers.

[Aaron] Or not.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] And so if we think we can build our marriage on something else, we think we can walk a certain way and put Christ in the background. Great is that fall that’s coming. But if we listen and do what he says and one of the things that his word tells us to do is husbands love your wives, as Christ loved the church, wives submit to your husbands as to Christ as the church does to Christ. These things are, they’re there for a reason.

[Jennifer] So here’s another one, Psalm 127:1 says, Unless the Lord builds the house those who build it labor in vain, unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. So my question is, are we supposed to build or is the Lord?

[Aaron] I think both. So we are, yes we build our house ’cause we’re called to be obedient, like we just read. Listen to his words, do what he says. But when you do that, think about what happens when you’re

[Jennifer] He’s working through you.

[Aaron] Well, it’s his, it’s his doing. So when you walk in his spirit when you listen to what he says.

[Jennifer] When you align your heart with his, you’re actually carrying out his will.

[Aaron] Right. And so it’s just a quick funny analogy. I think about Ikea furniture. Like, yeah, you get all the stuff and you have everything you need and they give you the tools. They give you the hardware, they give you all the wood.

[Jennifer] But if you don’t follow the instructions.

[Aaron] You’re not building nothing.

[Jennifer] Or it’s like all backwards, you know.

[Aaron] Yeah, you follow those instructions and you get a chair that holds you up.

[Jennifer] I am speaking of when we did move into the house, I was looking for a dresser, I think it was for one of the kids like the boys room. And I went on Facebook, you know, the marketplace. And I went to go meet someone that was selling this dresser. And it was an Ikea dresser and they lifted up their garage for me. And I walk in.

[Aaron] I remember this

[Jennifer] Remember there was like these strange holes in the in the front of the dresser. And I’m like I just don’t remember those being there like that. There’s a couple of funky things about it. And then I told him, thank you. And I’ll let them know if it fits the space. And then I looked, when I got in the car and looked it up online, that same dresser. And I’m like, I think they put it together wrong. ‘Cause look, there’s no filter. It’s so backwards. So anyways.

[Aaron] Yeah, so when we do it his way, it is him building it.

[Jennifer] Yeah

[Aaron] Right? But through us because we’re walking in his spirit, Proverbs 3:5 to 6 says. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him. And he will make straight your paths. Again, that goes back to you walk in what he says and it’s going to produce good fruit. It’s gonna take you to where you need to go.

[Jennifer] And you guys might be wondering what does that verse have to do with marriage? But that verse has everything to do with marriage. Because well, from my own experience, it gets so easy to want to share with your spouse, your understanding what you think is right, your perception, how you view the perfect situation or that needs to be done.

[Aaron] By your spouse’s wrong and your rights. Why everything

[Jennifer] But if you both trust in the Lord with all of your heart and you don’t lean on your own understanding and you realize that you’re one.

[Aaron] And you acknowledge Christ and everything you do

[Jennifer] His way is just better.

Yeah.

Okay. All right. Here’s another one. Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me and the life I now live in the flesh. I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

[Aaron] The gospel right there.

[Jennifer] We are Christ’s. So the Bible this tells us that anything we do, we should do to his glory for him as if we’re working for him. That’s our marriage is included in that. So husbands, are you walking with your wives, loving your wives, building up your wives as unto the Lord for him, Are you realizing that you’ve been crucified with Christ and it’s no longer you who live but Christ who lives in you? Those things matter when we put our minds on that it actually changes the atmosphere completely. Changes when we have an argument and we realize, oh my goodness, I’m being a fool. And I am not. I’m walking in that dead guy, not in the new guy. So we need to keep Christ at the center as our foundation. So we just, we gotta make sure that we’re keeping Christ that he is our center, that he is our foundation and that there is no other foundation in our marriage.

[Jennifer] So real quick, just, I think that everybody understands the idea of oneness and how in marriage, a husband and wife are one and that’s beautiful, but we still operate individually. Like you can’t force me what I’m gonna do. I don’t force you, what you’re gonna do. Our days are set up a little bit differently. And then there’s times that we come together. So could you just speak to the individual, how do they prioritize and keep Christ at the center of their life? What choices are they making to do this.

[Aaron] As individuals, we need to realize that we have our faith in Christ that he loves us as individuals, that we are to seek him his face and be in the word of God and be praying for ourselves, for our family for our children and have that attitude. That Christ is our everything. And that shapes how we respond to our spouses, how we deal with our children, how we make choices in life, all of those things matter. And what’s awesome is, Christ isn’t divided, if my wife has the Holy spirit and I have the Holy spirit and even though we may be individually pursuing Christ it’s going to cause us to pursue him together. And it’s going to cause us to be more in one mind. Right? ‘Cause it’s one spirit that we’re walking in.

[Jennifer] That’s good. Would you take a moment to speak to the couple, who might be listening, who may tend to rely on their spouse for spiritual connectedness to God? So like I guess my point is let’s say your good at doing this keeping Christ at the center of your daily life. I know that you’re in the word. I know that you’re praying for me and for our family. And I just have been relying on you to do that. And so I feel connected to God but I’m actually not walking the way that I should be, speak to that person.

[Aaron] I think you, if you’re letting your spouse when you say this, I think more of a husband who’s being passive, lets his wife take the kids to church. He lets his wife read the Bible to the kids and is not interested in necessarily and–

[Jennifer] Might even be present for it, but not speaking up or.

[Aaron] Not engaging, not having their own

[Jennifer] Personal pursuit of God.

[Aaron] Yeah, I would say that needs to change for your own sake. And it’s usually important is that what usually again it’s massively important for your family but it’s more important for you as an individual.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] Like Christ loves you and wants, has a relationship for you in him and wants to know you and wants you to know him.

[Jennifer] Yeah. And today we’re talking about building a strong marriage, not an okay one not a mediocre one, a strong, powerful marriage. You both individually need to be chasing boldly after God. And then coming together to do that as one. Another scripture that we wanted to share was Philippians 4:13.

[Aaron] I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

[Jennifer] So who is doing the strengthening?

[Aaron] Christ. Christ strengthens me. And what’s interesting about that verse. Oftentimes we like to use that verse in a way of like, oh, I can do anything, but it’s in context to living through certain kinds of situations.

[Jennifer] Different seasons.

[Aaron] Different seasons, suffering, poverty, wealth, all of these things, these different life stages these different things that we could experience

[Jennifer] Tying your tarp up on the roof.

[Aaron] We can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Yeah. So dealing with the things alive it doesn’t necessarily mean like oh I can do whatever I want.

[Jennifer] Right.

[Aaron] Because Christ is gonna strengthen me to do it. It specifically talks about the heart. Normal hard things of life.

[Jennifer] Endurance.

[Aaron] Yeah, enduring.

[Jennifer] Very cool. Okay. Well that was number one. I know we kind of spent some time.

[Aaron] We only have five more.

[Jennifer] The second one is, we’ve already mentioned it several times and it’s so important but it’s read the Bible and this–

[Aaron] The word of God

[Jennifer] This is foundational to having a strong, powerful marriage, why?

[Aaron] And this is, this is a hard thing is that many Christians in the, in this world mainly in the United States don’t actually read the word enough. I don’t remember the exact stat, but they’re like very few people have ever read the whole Bible. Like very small percentage of people who claim to be Christians. And what’s crazy about that is we claim to say we believe something like the word of God because when we say we believe in Jesus and we believe in God, like as a Christian. What we’re saying is we believe what the Bible says about Jesus and God. But if we’ve never read the whole thing what are we actually believing? Like, do you know what you believe? And I just want to challenge you as a believer. If you have not read through the whole Bible this isn’t a law thing. This isn’t a working for your salvation thing. This is an encouragement as a brother to a brother or sister to a sister, read the Bible, read the whole thing front to back so that you know what you believe you know what you’re having faith in. And so building a strong marriage or building a strong faith alone, you got to read the word of God. Read it with each other, read it alone, read it with your children make it a normal facet of your life. That the word of God is read out loud and in private always.

[Jennifer] A few episodes ago, we talked about delighting in the Lord and delighting in each other. And it makes me think of reading through the Bible. And you know, some people, depending on the size of their Bible might feel like that’s too daunting or that feels like a lot or I don’t understand. But if we take it from an approach of delight in the Lord in this way, get to know him, you know, through his word, it’s not daunting. It’s not overwhelming. It’s just an experience.

[Aaron] Yeah. So I read this book a while back just about different translations and how they are translated. But the author said this thing that really changed the way I look at the Bible because we can look at the Bible and be like, oh there’s stuff that I don’t understand. Or you know, how am I supposed to study it? I’m not, I don’t know how to study the Bible. And we look at it as this as like homework but he said have you ever just read the Bible to enjoy reading it? Cause he he’s a literary major. He’s a teacher of literature. And so he loves literature. And so he’s, he encouraged the reader to read the Bible and just enjoy reading it. There’s time to study and that’s good and it needs to happen. But just reading it, reading straight through and enjoying the language, enjoying the flow enjoying the storyline and enjoying it like you would a good book. I thought that was just an a good encouragement.

[Jennifer] So good. That’s awesome. Deuteronomy 6:7 says, 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 up, so what are we teaching them?

[Aaron] Yeah, this is specifically talking about God’s laws, his precepts and it’s this encouragement to the fathers and saying make every moment of your day habit that your children would know my words. Would know my commands. Joshua 1:8 says, the book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it, for then you will make your ways. Then you will make your way prosperous. And then you will have good success. Who doesn’t want to be prosperous and have good success? Right? And he’s saying, the way you do this is put my law in your mouth, meditate on it. And this word meditate is to chew. Like you repeat it and you remember it and you sing it and you hum it. And you think about it and you over and over and over again.

[Jennifer] So I think we’re mostly familiar with Ephesians 6 about the armor of God, but it talks about the word of God and the sword of the spirit. And that’s how we wage wage war. Right?

[Aaron] Exactly, when we think about defending our home, defending our minds, defending our hearts defending our wives,

[Jennifer] Defending against what?

[Aaron] The enemy his schemes that, that we have, we have an enemy his name is the devil and he hates us as believers.

[Jennifer] So he can’t wield that sword. We can’t use it correctly if we don’t know it.

[Aaron] And so we have to pick it up and practice it and read it and know it.

[Jennifer] Okay, so why be in the word every day?

[Aaron] Well, Hebrews 4:12 says, for the word of God is living and active. It’s a living being, it’s an entity. It’s not a stale book that only makes sense in the past. It makes sense every day. It’s sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. The Bible knows us. It’s God’s word and God knows us. And so when we read it, whatever we think about ourselves, we’ll either align with it or contradict it. And so when we read and we say, oh, my life doesn’t line up with that. Oh, I’m wrong. So we look at it and it reflects us and it shows a true reflection of who we are. And so the more we read it, the more we see who we are, who God made us to be, what we believe, what we have faith in. And it changes us the word about changes us.

[Jennifer] There’s also been so many times where a certain part of scripture that I read that day speaks to a specific circumstance or thing that I’m you know, struggling with or facing in that moment. And I’m not going to say that it’s just a coincidence that those things line up like that. I believe that God knows exactly how his words gonna speak to us and that he leads us to those things–

[Aaron] By his spirit.

[Jennifer] By his spirit to be reminded of them and to flip to them and read them or just, he’s just a good father. And he wants to use his word to encourage us. And I think that you guys listening may have had experiences like that before. And I just wanted to encourage you. You know, that’s part of why we read the Bible every day is because it’s relevant.

[Aaron] That’s good. I just want to read one more scripture. I just thought it was a powerful image of this idea. And Ezekiel actually, there’s a few more scriptures, they all go together. Ezekiel 3:3, when Ezekiel’s an angel visits Ezekiel to give him this prophecy, to give him this vision. And he said to me, son of man Ezekiel 3:3 feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. Then I ate it and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. And I just thought that was beautiful. It gets this picture of he’s given this scroll. That’s written on the front and the back. And he tells him to eat it. And it’s this picture of the word and he eats this scroll, which is a funny statement but it’s kind of what we’re supposed to do. In John 6:35 Jesus said, I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger. Isn’t Jesus sweet to our taste. Like he is a sweet aroma of salvation of life. And then John 1:1-2 says this about Jesus in the beginning was the word. And the word was with God. And the word was God, he was in the beginning with God. And then down in verse 14, it says and the word became flesh and dwelt among us. So Jesus is the bread of life. His word is him. So when we consume his word, when we eat the bread of life, when we eat the word, it’s sweet and it and it changes us. And it fills us.

[Jennifer] Taking on this idea of eating and hunger. You know, some people fast, like, you’re you intermittent fast. So your morning you go without food. But there always comes a point in the day where you’re like so hungry. You’re so hungry. And then you carry on with eating today. And then there’s some people that fast, you know maybe a few days, but then there comes a point where they know they need to eat. But spiritually, I think, I don’t think people are thinking this way, but we’re when you’re not in the word every day, you’re fasting from it. And you can only go so long until you need it. You need that nutrients. You need the bread of life to sustain you. Otherwise you’re not being sustained. Right?

[Aaron] That’s exactly right.

[Jennifer] I was just kind of flip-flopping that in my mind. But anyways.

[Aaron] So you don’t eat the word?

[Jennifer] Eat it.

[Aaron] Number three, humility. So someone once said to me you can’t fight with a humble person.

[Jennifer] Honestly, it makes me more mad because like I started to internally wrestle because I’m not getting the same response to justify why I’m upset

[Aaron] But it’s true. You, if there’s two people that, you know like the whole same, it takes two to tango. If one’s not going to tango, there isn’t a tango happening. And so humility, which is, it’s a mark of a Christian like we’re to be human, we’re to I was gonna say humiliated, but where to be humble.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] I&n marriage, without humility you’d have two prideful people and that doesn’t work.

[Jennifer] I was going to say, if you want to see your foundation in marriage start to crack all it takes is a little unrepentant pride.

[Aaron] And you, and you got it. And so that’s just the best tactic for any fight is, is to be humble.

[Jennifer] Real quick, going back to this idea, I get these pictures in my head and then I can’t not share them. So imagine your spouse just staring at you wondering why you’re hammering up the floorboards or the concrete patio.

[Aaron] Right, cause one’s humble and you’re, and you’re like, no I’m going to rip it up.

[Jennifer] Yeah, you’re just staring at them like, what are you doing? Why are you doing this right now? Knowing that you’re gonna have to fix and repair it later. Anyways, that’s just like a heart check, a visual for us to pay attention to in marriage.

[Aaron] That was a good one. And referring back to number one, which is Christ centric. Humility is an example we’re given in Christ and he’s who we follow. So if we’re Christ centric we’re going to say, man, like Christ was meek. He was gentle, he was humble.

[Jennifer] Psalm 25:9 says, he leads the humble in what is right. And teaches the humble his way.

[Aaron] And that’s what we want. We want to be led in the right path. This strong marriage we’re trying to build. It’s taking us somewhere. James 4:1-2 says, what causes quarrels? And what causes fights among you? I have, this is the answer to why this is going back to the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword. It discerns the hearts of men. This is why we fight, every single fight you ever have with your spouse is this, is it not this, that your passions are at war within you.

[Jennifer] Duh!

[Aaron] Seriously, you desire and do not have. So you miss word murder. Jesus said, if you hit your brother you’ve committed murder in your heart. So if you fight and quarrel because your passions are waging war within you I’m not getting what I want from my wife. I’m angry, She hurt my feelings, she’s not doing this, she’s not doing that. That’s those are passions. There’s something within me in me, I’m not getting. And then it says in verse two you desire and do not have the murder. You covet and cannot obtain. So you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. And it goes into this.

[Jennifer] Sounds like the key is communication.

[Aaron] Communication, that’s true. So humility.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] Put down those passions, put them aside.

[Jennifer] Put the interest of others above yourself.

[Aaron] It’s trynna make sense. Number four.

[Jennifer] All right, number four is intimacy. We got to have intimacy. If we’re going to have a strong marriage, but not just–

[Aaron] Good.

[Jennifer] And I was just going to say, not just physical all of that’s really important connection and love come through being intimate, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

[Aaron] Yeah. We don’t want dry cold relate, you know marriages as believers.

[Jennifer] We want to go to. We want to go to those vulnerable places with each other and talk about the things that are on our hearts and minds.

[Aaron] But I want to emphasize all the men are like come on, do it. I want to emphasize the physical intimacy aspect because it truly affects marriages so much.

[Jennifer] Yeah. Like so many different areas of marriage. Yeah.

[Aaron] And the reason I say this is because the Bible talks less about like, it tells her husbands do not be harsh with our wives. So that goes into this idea of a gentleness a compassion with our spouse, with our wives. So that that intimacy matters. But it talks in a heavy handed way about physical intimacy because there’s an importance to it. And in, Song of Solomon, the Bible doesn’t shy away from this. Song of Solomon or Song of Songs in 1:2, it says, let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth for your love is better than wine. This book is prophetic and literal. It a love poem between a bright and a groom. Is there’s a whole book in the Bible dedicated to this. This idea of this romance, this physical attraction, this seeing and desiring the beauty.

[Jennifer] Lots of imagery.

[Aaron] Lots of imagery, yeah. And that’s important. 1st Corinthians 7:3 to 5.

[Jennifer] Yeah, this is another good one. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife. And likewise, the wife to her husband the wife does not have authority over her own body but the husband, likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body but the wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for time. So you may devote yourselves to prayer then come together again. So that Satan will not tempt you through your lack of self control.

[Aaron] This is a powerful verse. And I know some people have abused this verse but if you look at it in the context of two people who love Christ, you see it’s saying that your unity, remember you are not your own person. I don’t get to say like, oh no, it’s my body, don’t touch me. No, it’s your body. This is your body. Which also means I can’t just do with my body, what I want. I have a wife who gets a say in what my body does. And so if the men are listening, this is important that you don’t get to just do whatever you want with your own body. You have a wife that is one with you and that you need to honor with your body and vice versa, that your wife’s body is not her own, it’s yours. So all the more why we need to protect as the Bible says, keeping the marriage bed pure. We protect that sexual intimacy with each other in such a mighty way. And then right here, it says do not deprive each other, sex should never be a tool to get back at your spouse or do it with hold that from them.

[Jennifer] Or if you’re struggling with something and this is something that I’ve had to learn in our marriage. When you’re struggling with something that affects you wanting to be physically intimate. I struggled to communicate that. And so then there’s this like it the Bible says except by mutual consent. And that’s the part that I’ve missed is coming to you and communicating to you, what’s going on.

[Aaron] And then it says, except by mutual consent for a time. So not permanently. And that time is something that has to be discussed, like okay, when what’s a appropriate time, we need to make, let’s take this break for this reason, for this reason, for this reason. And then it says, so you may devote yourselves to prayer. So if you are gonna take that time apart physically there better be prayer. And this has to come back together, this sexual intimacy this is one of the ways that the enemy and that’s why it warns even that Satan will tempt you. This is one of the major ways that the enemy is destroying Christian marriages is this way right here. And as always say that your spouse is the only option you have. There is no other option. And so you need to keep that in mind and be aware of that. That this is one of the ways that you can be unified in a powerful way. And it’s one way that you can powerfully protect your marriage, is having that communication. Of course, that there’s no you don’t demand stuff from each other, that you walk with each other in this and you communicate about it but it should be something that you both are on the same page with and you don’t neglect it.

[Jennifer] That’s good. All right, we’re talking about the six things that we should be doing to build a strong marriage. And we are, we have two more. So number five is learn to communicate well.

[Aaron] Yeah, this is the easiest one for us, for sure.

[Jennifer] It should say always continuing and never ceasing to learn to communicate well. We’re still learning how to communicate with each other. So many ways.

Every day.

[Jennifer] I feel like we’re generally good in the majority of you know, marriage areas or I don’t know what to call them. all the categories of marriage topics that we could talk about. But I would say that our top two are intimacy, physical intimacy and the way that we talk to each other or the way that we communicate

[Aaron] There are things that we need to definitely like work at.

[Jennifer] Well we are always–

[Aaron] Pray about–

[Jennifer] Having ourselves checked on. I feel like, especially in communication, we can be abrasive or matter of fact and we lose that emotional connectivity

[Aaron] We lack compassion with each other at times.

[Jennifer] Like, we think we can handle it but then so conversation after conversation after conversation, it accumulates. And then our hearts are like, wait a minute, this isn’t working. And one of us tends to bring it back to the table. But God’s been really working on us in this area. I’d say since the beginning of our marriage and we’re getting better.

[Aaron] Yeah, he’s been pruning us a ton in the way we talk, because it’s an, it’s a witness. The way we communicate is not just a it’s a witness to the world, but it’s a witness to our kids. And so I just, we want to encourage you that learning to talk compassionately, patiently listen well, those are there. We have to do it. Proverbs 19:11 says, good sense makes one slow to anger. And in his glory to overlook an offense. So I brought this verse up, Jennifer I told you I was gonna talk about this but you didn’t know what it was. A friend encouraged me the other day ’cause I asked for prayers that I’m not communicating well with my wife. And he said, hey, maybe it was something that him and his wife were practicing. He said, next time when you’re not in the heat of the moment, when you’re in a calm time and there is no arguing, there’s nothing going on. Take your wife aside and say, hey can we talk and ask her and say, hey can we work on overlooking things more? I was, I haven’t talked to you about it yet but I wanted to bring it up.

[Jennifer] That’s good. It’s to our glory to overlook an offense and think about how many arguments we’ve gotten in. And we even say like, this is over nothing. Like, ’cause we’re like not communicating well. And we get easily offended by a little thing. And if we overlook those little things, think like, oh they didn’t mean that that’s not what they, yes they said and that kind of pricked my heart but that’s not, I know that’s not what they mean. We can overlook a lot of things that aren’t going to turn into something bigger and it’ll probably bring way more peace in our conversation. And I just thought that was a really great encouragement that he gave to me. And so I wanted to bring it up that it says good sense makes one slow to anger and is to his glory to overlook an offense. I think it’s something that all of us as believers can get better at overlooking things.

[Jennifer] Okay, remember at the beginning of this conversation we were talking about building an actual home and then moving in and decorating it. I feel like this would fall under that category of like you’re going to hang that big massive picture above the fireplace. It better be this like, you know just overlooking on the fence. Like it’s a centerpiece. It’s a statement

[Aaron] Yeah and it probably bring lot more beauty to the home and not being so easily bothered, offended by the little things. Now there’s going to be big things that need to be talked about.

[Jennifer] Sure.

[Aaron] And real offenses that are like, hey, that wasn’t right, we need to work on that. But I would imagine most of the things are probably things we can overlook. So just an idea, something that I need to work on ’cause I get that way. I think like, why did you do that? Or I’m now I’m rambling, okay.

[Jennifer] It’s good. All right. Should I share this Proverbs 18:21, death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruits. I just think that’s such a good one and how we talk to each other.

[Aaron] And there is different kinds of fruits. There’s life and death.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] So are we producing life in our with our words or are we presenting death with it?

[Jennifer] Yeah and then Proverbs 15:1, a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. I think this one reminds me of this one reminds me of going back to humility and how that is our example. And that’s what we should be. A soft answer is based in humility is motivated by humility where a harsh word is more out of just that personal self-preservation and anger.

[Aaron] And that’s like my that’s gotta be my theme verse for my life. And I get better at giving a soft answer. Cause I often give harsh answers. And I’m sorry for that.

[Jennifer] No, you’re forgiven, but you’re not always harsh.

[Aaron] Okay. Number six, which goes along with what you just did to me is love and forgive. They’re kind of one in the same.

[Jennifer] Look at this strong marriage being built over here.

[Aaron] Love is an obvious one. But we, we did and we just did a whole episode on this.

[Jennifer] You guys should go listen to that.

[Aaron] So we’re not going to go into all of those scriptures.

[Jennifer] Okay.

[Aaron] Yeah, they should go listen to it as that it’s the last episode, right? But what we will share is 1st Peter 4:8. Above all keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. This goes along with, I just read in Proverbs about overlooking offenses is to one’s glory. Love does cover multitude. Think about what Christ did. It covered all of my sin. And so the least I can do in my marriage is love my wife to a point where I can overlook the little things that I see.

Yeah.

You know.

[Jennifer] No, I think that’s really good. I think it’s good to be reminded that we are fleshly beings in these imperfect bodies in need of unconditional love from our savior who gives it perfectly but also from each other.

[Aaron] I’m practicing it.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] Like our savior.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] Christ centric. Okay. So that was, that was our six. And we want to be builders as couple. Like we build in our marriage, we build strong. We build strong in Christ. Not couples who tear down but build. So I wanna, we need to be willing to dive back into the process of remodeling it sometimes. If we need to fix the foundation even, like sometimes we need to dig in and be like, oh, hey we need to go back 27 steps and start back right there and figure out what we did wrong and like move forward, ’cause we want to fix that.

[Jennifer] And then I want to add, you know, there might be times when you’re building that you need to throw a big hundred foot tarp on the roof to try and protect what’s going on, ’cause it’s a mess. But there’s going to be other times where the weather’s a little sunny and you just need to enjoy each other. You need to remember that you two have been through a lot and you should enjoy yourselves delight in each other.

[Aaron] Yeah and delighting each other, which we did an episode on that too. So this is not about perfection. ‘Cause I know we can look at these and be like oh I’m not following through with all six of these. No we don’t. We’re not, this is not for perfection. This is that we would have a heart posture of moving forward.

[Jennifer] And building something great.

[Aaron] Yeah and that our eyes are like, hey, what we’ve been building, not that great. Let’s build something better and let’s run to Christ. Let’s look in his word and let’s do that together.

[Jennifer] And in his power and the Holy Spirit’s power.

[Aaron] Exactly, it’s the only way we do it actually.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] And our hardest grow and mature with our spouse. And we do this only in the power of the Holy Spirit. Like he’s brought up.

[Jennifer] Yeah. Cool. All right, hope that was encouraging to you guys. We are going to enter into one of my favorite parts of every episode, this season.

[Aaron] ♪ Gratefulness ♪

[Jennifer] Gratefulness. So our hope is just by sharing things that we’re grateful for at the end of each episode, you’re encouraged and it prompts you to consider something that you’re super grateful for and then share it with someone. It could be your spouse. You can share it with the Lord. You could share it with a friend or anyone else. Let’s spread some gratefulness. Aaron, you want to go?

[Aaron] Yeah. I’m grateful for my parents who by the way are probably listening to this episode right now. And then they’re going to share it to their Facebook. And they’re going to talk about how much they love us. They’re really awesome. My mom and dad raised me to know God. They, again not perfect, but they loved God. And they did their best to teach me who he was teach me how to pray, teach me how to read the Bible and just taught me the gospel. And they showed us their lives and they still love the Lord. And I just, I miss them actually. I want them to like move in with us. But yeah, my parents I’m grateful for them.

[Jennifer] That’s awesome. I am also grateful for my parents and I don’t feel like I can move on without saying that just because I am super grateful for my parents and that they also raised me to know God. Yeah.

We can move into.

[Jennifer] One big break. But I also want to say that I am super grateful for flowers. I got to a, I was reading some science stuff to the kids and we’re learning about botany this year. And this book was talking about how God didn’t have to make all the shades and colors that he poured into flowers and how unique each one is. It’s kind of like that idea that he didn’t have to make strawberries taste so good, which I don’t remember where he got that from but it’s so cool. Flowers are so beautiful. And we’re entering into this season where we’re going to see them popping up. And I’ve been a forced growing some tulips in the kitchen window, which I’m so excited. They’re about to burst and they’re red. And anyways, I’m just blubbering but I love and am grateful for the beauty of flowers. And it just shows God’s character that he is creative. He is thoughtful. He cares about the detail. And I was telling the kids today that he’s, it shows that he’s patient. Because he’s willing to wait all season until they bloom. So anyways.

That’s really pretty.

[Jennifer] Flowers.

[Aaron] Good answers you had two though. You’re only allowed to be grateful for one thing.

[Jennifer] You guys can have two this week, go ahead.

[Aaron] All right, so we always end in prayer. And so would you join us. Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of salvation. Thank you for the gift of your Holy word. Thank you for showing us the way and helping us along. We pray would be couples who choose to build up our marriages to be strong. We pray we’d be fortified in any areas that are weak. If hard times come or storms rain down, we pray we would stand fast in faithfulness. We pray would be secure and strong in a strong foundation in marriage. One that glorifies you, please help us to be intentional and keeping Christ at the center of our lives. Reading your word daily, walking humbly with each other initiating intimacy and being good communicators. We pray we would love unconditionally and be quick to forgive one another. Please help us to build up and maintain our marriages so that we can be a help to others and magnify your name. May your will be done in our lives in Jesus name. Amen. We love you all. And we thank you. We pray this encourages you. As usual, your share warriors and you guys have been doing an awesome job. Would you share this episode with someone that needs it? Would you share this episode with a friend with a family member, email it, text message, post it to your social media. However you want to do that. It really helps. And tons of people have been doing and it is such an encouragement and blessing when people do it. We love you and get that join that free challenge that we got. Pray challenge and that I’ll see you next week.

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