Asking God To Search Our Hearts

In this episode of the Marriage After God Podcast we discuss the importance of asking God to search our hearts. We share how some messiness from relationships became the motivator for us to ask this question ourselves.

We also talk about unity and the importance of being united in our marriages and in the body of Christ. We take a look at Psalm 139 and talk about how God desires us to invite Him to search us and to point out the things that keep us from being united.

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– [Aaron] Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.

– [Jennifer] Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

– [Aaron] And today, we’re gonna talk about asking God to search our hearts. ♪ Whoo ♪ ♪ Hey, hey, hey ♪

– [Aaron] Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.

– [Jennifer] I’m Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife.

– [Aaron] And I’m Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution.

– [Jennifer] We have been married for over a decade.

– [Aaron] And so far, we have four young children.

– [Jennifer] We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through blogging and social media.

– [Aaron] With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day.

– [Jennifer] We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one full of life–

– [Aaron] Love–

– [Jennifer] And power–

– [Aaron] That can only be found by chasing after God–

– [Jennifer] Together.

– [Aaron] Thank you for joining us in this journey as we chase boldly after God’s will for our life together.

– [Jennifer] This is Marriage After God. ♪ Hey, hey, hey ♪

– [Aaron] Welcome back to another episode of the Marriage After God podcast.

– [Jennifer] The most amazing podcast you’ve ever been listening to.

– [Aaron] Yeah, if you’re married for sure. Actually, I think we have people that are not married listening to us.

– [Jennifer] Hey, that’s good.

– Yeah.

– It’s awesome.

– [Aaron] Which is awesome. As usual, we wanna invite you to leave us a quick review. A star rating is the easiest way to do it. All you have to do is scroll to the bottom of the podcast app and hit the star. But if you have a little bit of extra time, you can leave us a text review also, and that helps lots of people see the episodes, see the podcast, because it comes up in the rankings the more reviews they have. So that’d be awesome if you can do that. If you’ve been blessed by the show, we just invite you to do that.

– [Jennifer] And thank you to everyone who has already left a review and star rating. We really appreciate that.

– [Aaron] Yeah, there’s tons of ’em. We have over 600 star ratings, and like 70 or 80 text reviews, which is amazing.

– [Jennifer] And so encouraging to us.

– [Aaron] Yeah, I go through and I read ’em, and I send ’em. I’ll text pictures of ’em to my wife so she could see what they say. They’re really encouraging. So we wanted to also invite you to check out our online store, shop.marriageaftergod.com, where my wife and I have written a 30-day devotional bundle for husbands and wives. We’ve also written a prayer book bundle for husbands and wives. And it’s also where we’re gonna be launching our new book next year, Marriage After God, which this podcast was started because of, and that comes out next year. So if you wanna support our podcast, if you love the content, just go to shop.marriageaftergod.com.

– [Jennifer] For those listening who, like you said, maybe aren’t married yet, we also have a book bundle for them.

– Oh, yeah.

– And it’s prayers for your future husband and wife, so you can check that out as well.

– [Aaron] Thank you for that reminder. So that’s how we get support for our podcast. If you love it, if you wanna support the podcast and the content, check out our store, and pick up one of our books. That’d be awesome. So before we get into the topic, I’d love to do an icebreaker. And this is something we’re gonna try doing. It’s a new part of our show. And so it actually reminds me of when we used to lead a marriage table back at our old church, babe. Do you remember how we do icebreakers in the beginning of all of the sessions?

– [Jennifer] Yeah, it was super fun. I think it was just a way for people to get to know each other on a real quick, kind of surface-level basis. And so I think it’ll be fun. I think it’ll give our listeners just a little bit more insight into us.

– [Aaron] Yeah, and sometimes it’ll be fun. There might be like a little game or something.

– I don’t know yet.

– [Aaron] So here’s the icebreaker. What is your favorite candy?

– [Jennifer] Mm, that’s a good one. I have lots of favorite candies. I tend to lean more towards the chocolate, which when I think of candy, I think of hard, sour tart things. So I don’t know how other people would answer this, but I would just say like a good Snickers bar, good chocolate bar.

– [Aaron] Do you like the nougaty center? What’s in a Snickers bar, peanuts? I don’t even know.

– Yeah, there’s like caramel, nuts, the nugget, all of it.

– [Aaron] Mm.

– [Jennifer] Or is it nigget? I don’t know.

– Nigget?

– [Jennifer] I don’t know what it’s called.

– [Aaron] I think it’s nougat. Noo-jit. Okay, so now you ask me an icebreaker question.

– [Jennifer] All right, so you’re drinking a cup of coffee right now.

– Yes.

– What do you like in your coffee? How do you take it? Let everyone know.

– [Aaron] Black, nothing. I don’t put anything in my coffee. ♪ Boring ♪ Just kidding.

– I like it that way. Just espresso and water. Hot water, of course. So that’s… I don’t know if anyone knew that about me. I just like black coffee. Yeah, it is boring. I don’t put any sugar, no cream. I don’t even like eggnog in my coffee even though I love eggnog.

– [Jennifer] I’ve never even heard of someone putting eggnog in coffee. Why would you even say that?

– [Aaron] Like an eggnog latte.

– [Jennifer] Oh. I’m not really a coffee drinker, so I don’t know what’s available. I don’t know what’s out there.

– [Aaron] Yeah. It’s the season for eggnog, that’s why I brought it up. I’d rather just have a cup of eggnog with a cup of coffee next to it. Okay, so icebreaker done. But another thing we’re gonna add toour podcast is I’m reading a book right now, and I’m gonna read a quote from it. And so I think what we’re gonna try and do is just take little quotes as we’re reading through books and materials that we are checking out and going through. And the one I’m currently reading is Letters to the Church by Francis Chan. And the quote is on page 78. And it’s this. Scripture is clear. There is a real connection between our unity and the believability of our message. If we are serious about winning the lost, we must be serious about pursuing unity. And I just love that, because we’ve been talking a lot about unity in our church lately. A theme in our life lately over the last few years has been unity, just learning to fall in love with the body of Christ and fall in love with other believers in the way the Bible has called us to. So that just really spoke to me last night when I read it.

– [Jennifer] So I love that quote, and I think it’s pertinent to what we’re gonna be talking about today, specifically just introducing what we wanna talk about today ’cause it kind of started out with a little messiness in a relationship that contributed to what we’re gonna share today. Do you wanna–

– Yeah.

– Share a little bit more about that?

– So in our, in our small home church, we have a handful of families. And when you walk so closely with people, there’s just going to be some messiness sometimes. There’s gonna be stickiness. There’s gonna be hard things. It’s why the Bible talks a lot about our relationships with each other. The majority of the Bible is not just our relationship with God, but how he desires us to walk with one another.

– [Jennifer] Right, which I really appreciate that about the Bible. I think that it gives us all the tools, and encouragement, and guidance on navigating the messy parts of relationships.

– [Aaron] Yeah, and–

– [Jennifer] For the purpose of unity, which is what you just shared on.

– [Aaron] Exactly. And we’re not gonna talk about the specific situation. We’re not gonna talk about the specific people.

– [Jennifer] Well, here’s the thing, is everybody listening right now can relate to this. No matter what relationship that you’re a part of, there’s gonna be messiness.

– [Aaron] So what all of our listeners can do is as they hear what we’re talking about, they can superimpose their own experiences to fill in the blank, because we don’t need to give those details. Because what we wanna talk about is what happened–

– [Jennifer] After.

– [Aaron] Because–

– Yeah.

– Of that situation.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] So maybe you can give a little bit of synopsis of what happened over the last few days, and maybe what led up to this. And we can talk about our conversation we had.

– [Jennifer] Okay, so there was this relational messiness that was going on. And you were sharing with me late Saturday night that on your way home God had used that situation to prompt your own heart to kinda confront some things.

– [Aaron] Yeah. I took what was going on, and in the midst of what was going on immediately began to internalize and look inward and say, okay, who am I in this scenario? Who am I at home? And I felt like God started just really pointing out in me things, and calling out in me things, which is I believe is what we should be doing. Whenever we confront hard things, whenever we walk in trials with our brothers and sisters, I feel like the fleshly response is to look outward and say, oh, look at this, look who’s at fault. This happened, they did this. But the spiritual response should be to look internally, and say, who am I?

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] What does God wanna do in me? How does God wanna use this situation to change me, transform me, make me more like him?

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm. Yeah, so we were sitting on the couch that night after the kids went to bed, and you started sharing this with me, kinda like as if this situation pulled up a mirror to your own life. And what was the specific thing that God revealed to you?

– [Aaron] He revealed to me a few things. He revealed to me, specifically, my harshness at times with my children.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] Although I’ve been growing a lot, and we’re trying really hard to disciple our children well, and be consistent with them, and discipline them well, and train them well, and raise them well, and love them well, I have some areas of my heart and areas of my character that need to be changed. And he used this hard situation in other relationships in our fellowship to show me this.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm. So what you didn’t know going into this conversation with me was that I had also been wrestling with some similar thoughts just about the way that I sometimes react or respond to the kids. And earlier that day was just a struggle for me. And I just was short with the kids, a little negative in my responses toward them, and I felt really bad about that. And we sat there for about an hour and 1/2 weeping over these types of responses, because our kids don’t deserve that. Our kids don’t deserve us to be short-tempered, or quick in our responses, or what are some of the other things?

– [Aaron] Harsh stares, the way we look at them.

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] The words we choose to use. The way we word our messages to them.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm. And it’s not that we’re like this all the time, but there are specific situations or circumstances that happen that we respond to in this way.

– Fleshly, yeah.

– Fleshly. Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.

– [Aaron] And what’s funny about this in how God works is our conversation on the couch that night started out as a debrief of what we’ve been dealing with outside of this conversation. This wasn’t even a conversation we were having. And then it just mutated very quickly into a very internally focused, intrinsically-focused conversation about our own, we should call it sin.

– Mm-hmm, yeah.

– ‘Cause that’s what it is. Us not walking rightly, and us walking in the flesh is sin.

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] The first thing I think of is the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience. Us not being peaceful with our children, us not being patient with our children, us not being kind or gentle, it’s sin. ‘Cause right before that statement about the fruits of the Spirit is the fruit of the flesh.

– Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] And although we were going through something very hard, and what I think happened is we were already spiritually sensitive because of the things we were going through in the other relationships.

– [Jennifer] Well, and we were kind of talking, the conversation started out with the different perspectives of that situation and kind of going to God and saying, what’s going on, what’s happening, and what needs to happen for reconciliation or unity within the body, within these other relationships? And then, like you said, it kind of just internalized. And I feel like what happened sitting on the couch with you that night is it was almost like God had a bucket going down into a well and he was drawing it up. And it was like the bucket was pouring over.

– That’s a good illustration, yeah.

– [Jennifer] And I felt like he was pulling it out of me, all these things that I wasn’t really struggling with in that moment until all of sudden, the light shined on my heart.

– [Aaron] I think I said one phrase and it just triggered this whole conversation, and softening of our hearts, and a revealing of our sin, and a conversation that led us to just dive in of who we are, what we do, are these things gonna remain, or are we gonna change them and remove them?

– [Jennifer] Well, I remember, too, a few days before this was happening, I remember driving down the street, and I had the same conviction about my role and relationship with my kids. And I brushed it off with the justification of, well, I’m not as bad as some people, or I don’t do it that often. And I had these justifications that made me just kind of push it aside. And we should never push aside convictions like that. And I was realizing that–

– But it’s so easy to.

– [Jennifer] I know.

-Sometimes.

– I know, it really is.

– [Aaron] ‘Cause confronting those things makes us feel ugly.

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] And that’s not fun.

– [Jennifer] Yeah, so all a sudden, my flesh goes, well, you’re not that terrible, you know?

– Mm-hmm.

– [Jennifer] When really, the things that I was doing, I should definitely stop and recognize. And so, man, that was a good conversation sitting with you on the couch that night.

– [Aaron] It was a necessary one. And so why are we bringing this up to our audience? Are we talking about parenting right now?

– No.

– [Aaron] No.

– [Jennifer] No, it actually has nothing to do with parenting.

– [Aaron] No. In our case, it had to do with parenting. It also had to do with we had some conversations about our marital relationship.

– [Jennifer] Yup, and how we treat each other in certain circumstances.

– Yeah, the words we use. Are we walking in the roles God’s called us to? Or are we going outside those? Are we fighting against them? Because we’ve grown so much in those areas, but at the same time, we can’t forget that we aren’t perfect yet.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] That God’s still sanctifying us, and he’s changing us, and he does it in specific ways. And so I just wanted to bring up a scripture that illustrates just really well. It’s Proverbs 17:3, and it says the crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts. And Proverbs uses this illustration several times. And a crucible is a big, ole hot pot that you would throw metal into, and it melts it down. And you melt it, and melt it, and melt it, especially with precious metals like silver and gold. And what happens is the more you heat it up, the more you boil it, the dross, the impurities, float to the top, and then you can scrape it off the top. And then you keep heating it, and then more impurities come up to the top, and you scrape it. That’s what a crucible on a furnace is for, for gold and silver. And I believe God was using this situation in our church with some of these relationship that we were having that we were navigating issues with as a crucible for our hearts. It was a spiritually-sensitive situation. We’re being required to be in the spirit, and being praying and asking for the Lord’s will, and seeking after his answer for what’s going on. Which then brought to the surface in our hearts some thingsthat he wanted to scrape away from us.

– [Jennifer] Yeah. That’s definitely what it felt like sitting on the couch with you that night. I just felt like he was–

– It was kinda painful.

– Like drawing it up, yeah. But it was good.

– [Aaron] Mm-hmm.

– [Jennifer] And I remember at the end of it, you said, “Well, we need to change.” And then I cried some more, and said, “It’s so hard, I don’t know how to.” And you’re like–

– Yeah, you’re like, “What do I do? “I feel like I wanna change, “and what?” And you weren’t saying just you. It’s us.

– Us. Yeah.

– [Aaron] But you’re like, “I feel like I want to, “but I don’t know how to.”

– [Jennifer] And you said, “We just do. “God’s already given us the Holy Spirit that empowers us, “and we just need to.”

– [Aaron] Yeah. And for those that are listening, I’m sure they can think, remember we talked about the filling in the blanks? They can think of a situation or something in their life where they’re like, I just don’t know how to change. Like what do I do? And what’s amazing is, and it sounds too easy, and I’m not trying to downplay the difficulty and the struggle that our spirit and flesh have with each other at times, but we can just change because we are empowered by the Holy Spirit. Do you remember the illustration I gave Eliott this morning during Bible time? We were talking about the Holy Spirit empowering us, and I used his–

– [Jennifer] Oh, yeah, Tony Stark.

– Yeah.

– [Jennifer] Our son’s obsessed a little bit with Iron Man. He thinks he’s the coolest guy ever.

– [Aaron] Yeah, so I was reading in Galatians, and it was talking about being empowered. And I told Eliott, I said, “Eliott, do you think Tony Stark “would be powerful without his suit?” And he’s like, “Well, no, he’s just a man.” And I said, “Well, but his suit gives him power. “He can fly, and shoot blasters.” And I was giving all these little illustrations. And I said, “That’s what the Holy Spirit is.”

– [Jennifer] You could see kind of a light bulb go on in his head like, oh, yeah.

– [Aaron] I said, “Without the Holy Spirit, “we can’t do anything.” Which the Bible tells us, we can do nothing to please God without the Spirit of God. We can’t do anything apart from the Spirit. But with the Spirit of God, we can do everything. Everything that God wills for our lives, we could actually accomplish through the power of the Holy Spirit. And yeah, his eyes did light up, because I equated the Holy Spirit to Iron Man’s suit. It’s much more powerful than Iron Man’s suit.

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] We have the living God inside of us. We have the power that resurrected Christ from the dead in us.

– Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] And so on the couch, I was like, “I’m not trying to be harsh, “but I think we just have to change today. “We cannot continue in what we were walking in. “We cannot continue to give ourselves excuses. “We cannot continue operating the way we’ve been operating.” I said, “We just have to change.”

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm. And then you also said, you said, “We need to ask God to search our hearts, “and in humility, confront the things that he brings up.”

– [Aaron] Yeah, like the dross.

– Mm-hmm. And deal with it.

– [Aaron] Allow him to search us. And that actually came, so right at the end of the night, I made a phone call to a friend, and I told that friend. I said, “Let God search your heart.”

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] And I get off the phone, and immediately this conversation broke out with us. And it’s like, not to be a hypocrite, I must take my own advice.

– Yeah, yeah.

– You know?

– Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] And I was like, well, am I allowing God to search my heart? So I just said, “We need to let God search our hearts, “search within us, “and show us the things he wants to cut out of us, “he wants to change in us.” And I wanna read all of Psalm 139. It’s Psalm of David, a man after God’s own heart. The Bible calls him that. God calls him a man after his heart. And as I brought up on Sunday when I was talking about this topic and what God was doing in us, I asked everyone, I said, “Do you want to be, “do you wanna be people that are after God’s heart?” And everyone raised their hands.

– Yes. And said, “Yes,” yeah.

– [Aaron] And said, “Yes.” And I was like, “Well, we have a template for that. “We know someone who when they sinned against God “and were confronted by God with it, “confessed, and repented, and turned that moment.” There was still consequences in life, but he was a man that showed us like, oh, when we walk this way, we can turn and walk the other way, and we can please God with our life. And so Psalm 139 says this. Oh, Lord, you have searched me and know me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up. You discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, oh Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in behind before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. It is high, I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to Heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me and the light about me be night, even the darkness is not dark to you. The night is bright as day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret intricately woven in the debts of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed substance. In your book were written every one of them the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, oh God. How vast is the sum of them. If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake and I am still with you. Oh, that you would slay the wicked, oh God. Oh men of blood, depart from me. They speak against you with malicious intent. Your enemies take your name in vain. Do I not hate those who hate you, oh Lord? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? I hate them with complete hatred. I count them my enemies. Search me, oh God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. And what’s so powerful about this scripture, first of all, it’s beautiful.

– Mm-hmm.

– Just David’s ability to write poetry and song. He’s very talented. But also his ability to show us the vastness of God’s knowledge of us.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] That he knows us better than we know ourselves, better than anyone knows us. He was there before we were formed, had thoughts about us before we were formed, knew the days of our lives before they existed. And yet at the very end of this, he still asks this all-knowing God that knows everything about him to search him, and to know him, and to know his thoughts, and for the purpose of finding any grievous way in him. And I just think if David did that, as people with the Holy Spirit in us who searches our hearts would sit down and say, Lord, is there anything in me you want out of me? I think it’s important for us as believers to do that.

– [Jennifer] Yeah, I know. It’s just so beautiful. And I love how you brought up that God already knows us inside and out, every which way before we were even born. He’s the one that knit us together. He is the one who made us in the secret place. And I think that that helps us trust him when we cry out to him and say, search me, oh Lord. We can trust God.

– Right.

– [Jennifer] Because he’s the one that created us, and he already knows us.

– [Aaron] Yeah, and he desires us of our own will to invite him to search us.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] Because we can be oblivious.

– [Jennifer] Yeah, we can.

– [Aaron] It’s not an excuse, but often we use it, the ignorance and obliviousness, as an excuse of like, well, I didn’t know, or well, how am I supposed to, I’m not perfect. We use all these words, like you said, “Well, I’m not that bad.”

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] And I’ve done the same thing. When I come to these thoughts that the Holy Spirit’s prompting my heart, I say, well, I’ve changed a lot, and I used to be much worse, and therefore, I’ll get better eventually, and it’s not that bad.

– [Jennifer] Well, we can’t be blindsided if we are growing in spiritual maturity to think that we’ve ever reached the pivotal place at the top where we’re just like perfect.

– Yeah, we’re there.

– [Jennifer] We’re not there yet. We’ll never be there until we’re in the presence of God, and we have to stand before him.

– [Aaron] It’s a great point is we’re not there yet.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] And so, A, can we humble ourselves enough to recognize that we’re not there yet?

– [Jennifer] Well, we have to.

-Yeah.

– We need to.

– [Aaron] Yeah, the Bible tells us that if we don’t humble ourselves, we’re gonna fall. And I don’t wanna fall. I don’t wanna, in our scenario, lose our kids. I don’t wanna just continue in these every once in a while or every so often things that we deal with, and then embitter our kids to us.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm. Or set the example so that when they’re parents, they respond in this way. Let’s just end it. Let’s stop that, and show ’em the right way.

– [Aaron] And ask God on our knees, change us. Make us better. Show us how you want us to be the way everlasting, right?

– Yeah, ’cause who benefits from when we cry out and say, search me, oh God, of course we benefit from that if we walk out and pursue what he has for us in purifying our hearts and purifying our lives, but who else benefits?

– [Aaron] The body, others, our children, our spouse, our neighbors. It increases unity in the body of Christ with other Christians. Other people benefit from us inviting God to search us, and change us, and draw things out of us. And what’s awesome is the Holy Spirit’s already doing this. His desire is to sanctify us and transform us from the inside out. But there’s something powerful about acknowledging and recognizing that he wants to do that.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] And then it’s almost like opening the curtains or taking the glasses off, you’re like, oh, like yes. I’m gonna look for the things you wanna show me, so when you show me, I’m not gonna slough ’em off. I’m not gonna justify them away. I’m gonna say, that’s something you’re showing me. Okay, I’m gonna change it. I’m gonna walk in your spirit you’re giving me, good Lord, to help me change it. We woke up that next morning, how did you feel?

– [Jennifer] Lighter and braver.

– [Aaron] Braver? Brave’s a good word.

– [Jennifer] Yeah, I just felt like we could do this. And the coolest part is that we’re doing it together. You could’ve had that revelation from the Lord and just continued on and maybe ask God to search your heart without ever having that conversation with me. But because you entered into that conversation with me, we’re able to not just have had an awesome conversation where intimacy took place in that moment, especially–

– I was just thinking the word intimacy, yeah.

– Over our children. That was so beautiful to me. But that we get to keep each other accountable and walk through it together. Day-to-day, we’re asking each other, “Hey, how’ve you been? “How’ve you been with your attitude? “How you’ve been with your responses?” That is what marriage is, that’s a part of what marriage is for, why God created two becoming one.

– [Aaron] Yeah, to help sanctify us, to transform us.

– Yeah, so it’s not just your journey with God, although, that’s important. It’s our journey together, and how God can move through our marriage.

– [Aaron] Yeah, and the next day, man, it did feel lighter. It did feel like we can accomplish anything with God. It also empowered us. It made us ready for what God had next for us. And I don’t know, I just wanna encourage everyone listening to consider the things we’re saying. I asked everyone on Sunday. I said, “Go this weekend, ask God to search you.” And it is scary, and I’m pretty sure there are people that haven’t done it yet, because they’re like, okay, am I ready for this? Am I, you know?

– [Jennifer] What’s God gonna show me, even though you probably already know.

– [Aaron] Yeah. What’s funny is just me even mentioning it, I bet you anything, things just immediately came to people’s hearts.

– Well, what did I keep saying on the couch that night when I was crying? Do you remember?

– [Aaron] Um, we said a lot of things. You kept saying you can’t, or–

– I kept saying, “Why did you even say anything?”

– [Aaron] Oh, yeah.

– [Jennifer] Like three different times, I’m like–

– And oh, yeah.

– “Why did you even say anything, why did you bring this up?”

– [Aaron] Yeah, “I don’t even like that you brought it up.”

– [Jennifer]But I didn’t mean it. It was just my flesh–

– No, it was out of your heart, yeah.

– Yep. Not wanting to confront certain things, but I know it needed to happen. And I’m so thankful.

– And I remember telling you, “I didn’t bring it up. “God brought it up.”

– Yeah, the Lord did. Which I’m grateful for, I really am.

– [Aaron] Well, yeah, and–

– [Jennifer] And don’t you feel unified in our marriage that we know that we’re trying to tackle hard things with parenting?

– Together, yeah.

– [Jennifer] Together, yeah, I just love that.

– [Aaron] And what’s funny is the more you’re with someone, the more you’re one with someone, the more your issues are the same. I think when we–

– [Jennifer] We start copying each other.

– [Aaron] When we first got married, I had my issues, you had your issues, and we’ve slowly worked through a lot of them.

– Mm-hmm.

– Right? And now we’re on the couch crying about the same thing.

– The same thing.

– [Aaron]Like our horrible parenting, or our horrible attitude. I might be exaggerating a little bit, but I feel like I’m not. Like that God wants us better in these areas.

– Well, here’s the thing. I don’t think it matters what level. I think that if it needs to change, he’s gonna prick your heart about it.

– Yeah.

– And it’s our job to have the courage to face it and allow God to transform us. That’s the point. It doesn’t matter what the level of harshness is if there’s any harshness. God wants it. You know what I mean?

– [Aaron] Yeah, well, level is a good word. ‘Cause you actually mentioned a while, you’ve talked about how if something you were walking in a sin wasn’t to the same level of something I was walking in–

– [Jennifer] I disregarded it.

– [Aaron] You would be like, well, it’s not that.

– [Jennifer] It’s not as bad as that guy.

– Yeah, at least I’m not like my husband, and the things he’s walking in.

– [Jennifer] Stop justifying, Jen.

– [Aaron] We can actually, we do that.

– [Jennifer] I know.

– [Aaron] There’s things that God might wanna change in us, and what we do is we say, well, it’s not one of the major sins, so it’s not that big of a deal. And God’s like, wait, no, I’m not okay with any of it. The Bible tells us to be holy as he is holy. What that means is that we’re pursuing the holiness, which means we’re practicing it. In 1 John, it tells us, it says, he who practices righteousness is righteous.

– [Jennifer] Mm-hmm.

– [Aaron] And that’s what God wants. He wants us to practice it, and he teaches us these things. And so–

– [Jennifer] What’s the challenge for them?

– [Aaron] The challenge for them, the challenge for them is to sit down with their spouse, and ask God to search them. As David said, search me, oh Lord. Know my thoughts. See if there be any grievous ways in me.

– [Jennifer] And if there are grievous ways and he reveals them to you, which he will, he’s faithful, and he wants this for us to have the courage to change.

– [Aaron] Yeah, and to realize that you can change, and be transformed in those areas because the same Holy Spirit that just revealed those things to you lives in you empowering you to be different, to be a new kind of human.

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] As The Bible Project always says. A new kind of human that we can actually be godly people.

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] And it’s a journey.

– Yeah.

– And so that was our encouragement for everyone today is to do what we just did.

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] And then to do it often. We’re gonna do it more often. We’re gonna be kind of a constant prayer of like, okay, Lord, is there anything in me? Change me, make us new.

– [Jennifer] Yeah. Well, speaking of prayer, we ended the last episode on spiritual stamina with a time of prayer together, which I really enjoyed. That was really awesome. And we just loved that so much that we believe that there’s a necessity to be praying with you guys. So at the end of every Marriage After God episode from here on out, we’re gonna end with prayer. So you can look forward to ending each episode with us, and we just invite you to join us in prayer wherever you’re listening.

– [Aaron] All right, I’m gonna pray. Dear Lord, thank you for your holy word that guides us and challenges us to be transformed. We desire to be mature. We desire to be who you create us to be. We lay our hearts down before you. Please search our hearts, Lord, and see if there be any grievous way in us. Prune our hearts. Cut out what is sinful and unfruitful. Strip away the bad and replace it with your good. Reveal to us the areas of our lives that need to be repented of, that need to be changed, that need to be transformed. If there is anything we have been hiding, anything we have been avoiding, anything we have been unaware of, please open our eyes to it all and give us the courage to confront it. Lord, help us to deny our flesh and embrace the righteousness through your Holy Spirit living in us. May we never be prideful. May we never be convinced that we don’t have room to grow. Search our hearts, oh Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

– [Jennifer] Amen.

– [Aaron] So I hope that blessed everyone. Prayer is important. God calls us to pray without ceasing. And so have this conversation with your spouse, get in prayer, and see what the Lord reveals. So we thank you for joining us this week. And we hope it blessed you. We hope God’s working in your lives. That’s our constant prayer for you all. And we look forward to having you next week. Did you enjoy today’s show? Find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com, and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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