Being Faithful In The Little Things Will Prepare Us For The Big Things

God does not just want us to make sacrifices for big endeavors that spread His name, rather He desires us to be obedient, even in the smallest of things. Obedience in the small things will prepare our hearts and bodies for the bigger things.

In this episode of Marriage After God we talk about what it looks like to be faithful in the little things and we challenge Christians to be obedient and faithful to what God has already called us to do.

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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 how being faithful in the little things will prepare us for the big things.

– [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.

– [Jennifer] Thank you guys so much for joining us on today’s episode. We just wanna take a minute to just encourage you to leave a star rating review, this just helps other listeners find our podcast. And we’re just eager to get this message out. So please take a minute just to leave that star rating, and also if you have time and some extra love, you can leave a written review. That also just really encourages our hearts, lets people know what this podcast is about, and again just spreads that love out into the internet.

– [Aaron] Also if you’ve been really loving the podcast and the content, one way you can support this podcast is by purchasing one of our books. You know my wife and I, we’ve written 11 books now, going on 12. Our twelfth one comes out next year in June. And you can just head over to shop.marriageaftergod.com, and pick up our prayer books, our 30 day marriage devotionals. You can look at all the products we have. And we even have prayer books for children, too. You pray for your son, pray for your daughter. They’ve been a really popular book. So if you wanna support our podcast please consider going over to shop.marriageaftergod.com when you’re done with this podcast.

– [Jennifer] Okay, so we are going to start off with an icebreaker, we did this last week, it was fun. So Aaron, I’m gonna ask you the first question, and then I guess we’ll just tag team it, and then I can answer after you. So it is, what is one habit that you would like to create in your life right now?

– [Aaron] I would like to get better at reading the Bible more consistently. I’m just gonna be honest.

– [Jennifer] Okay.

– [Aaron] I used to be, have it at a specific time every day and I’ve just kind of gotten out of sync with that. So I’d like to get into a better habit of digging into the word of God.

– [Jennifer] Okay. And I would answer that by just saying working out. I feel like after I had Truett, you know you wait that kind of post-partum period, six weeks or so out. And then I started feeling really good and I added in one day a week. And now I’m looking for more. So just finding a consistent schedule for that would be really awesome.

– [Aaron] That’s a good habit, yeah.

– [Jennifer] Well you encourage me.

– [Aaron] Thank you.

– [Jennifer] We’re gonna share a little more about that later, but you’ve been in a good habit of that.

– [Aaron] Okay, so before I move onto the main topic I just wanna read a quote from a book I’m reading right now called the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. Habits are powerful but delicate, they can emerge outside our consciousness or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize. They are so strong in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.

– [Jennifer] That’s good.

– [Aaron] Yeah, really powerful quote. The whole book just being about habits and how we form them and how we can change them. It’s a really good book.

– [Jennifer] Yeah I wonder if anyone else listening as you read that quote can already just think about a handful of habits in their own lives that do this very thing.

– [Aaron] Yeah, it’s amazing. Most of our habits we form without even thinking about them. It’s not like we try to form the habit we just, they form out of our everyday rituals and routines,

– Choices.

– [Aaron] And choices, yeah. So it’s kind of, it leads into what we’re gonna be talking about today a little bit. We’re not gonna be talking about just habits.

– [Jennifer] A little bit bigger of a concept.

– [Aaron] Yeah.

– [Jennifer] Of being faithful in the little things, and why.

– [Aaron] So, why don’t we start off with the conversation that we had in the car the other day which lead us to wanting to talk about this

– [Jennifer] So, yeah we were driving in the car and you brought up that morning’s workout, and you just wanted to share about it with me and how excited you were about something specific that you accomplished.

– [Aaron] Yeah, I was really proud of myself actually because I learned that I had a skill I didn’t know I had. The workout involved rope climbing which we don’t do very often. We do them maybe once every other month. And this workout had two rope climbs every so many movements, and before the workout started we were just getting ready, warming up and I thought, “Hey, I’m just gonna try a rope climb real quick, “see how it feels, “’cause I haven’t done it in awhile.” And I did a rope climb without my legs. So they call it a legless rope climb

– [Jennifer] Sounds torturous.

– [Aaron] Yeah, but I was really surprised at myself ’cause I’ve never been able to do a legless rope climb. And so I was sharing, I was like, “Babe, I did all these legless rope climbs today, “I didn’t use my legs at all, “I just used my arms to go up and down.”

– [Jennifer] And I just mentioned how I feel like that, like there’s so much of it that’s mental.

– [Aaron] Yeah, ’cause I didn’t even know I could do it. And I was telling her, I was like, “Yeah, it’s amazing how much “all of the stuff we do is mental “because I may be able to do it physically, “but I may not be able to do it mentally.” There’s many times I have to force myself to keep going. With this workout specifically, I told myself, I was able to do a legless rope climb, I’m just gonna do the whole workout doing only legless rope climbs. Which meant I had to slow down. I couldn’t do as many rounds as everyone else did. But I was able to accomplish my little goal. And I was super proud of myself. It was a really good feeling.

– [Jennifer] You should be, that’s awesome.

– [Aaron] I didn’t realize I could do it. And we started talking about how not only is it a balance of mental and physical, but it’s something that all these things that people learn, when you see people you’re like, oh I can’t believe they can do that. They didn’t just start doing it. At the crossfit gym that we do, that I go to, there’s a progression to things. Like I didn’t just start doing legless rope climbs. I could not even do it, I wasn’t strong enough, nor did I know how to. So we, there’s this term called scaling. So we scale down the workout to what we can do. So even though, you know, I can’t do what the main workout is I can still do the workout at a different level.

– [Jennifer] It seems like that’s the key is scaling.

– [Aaron] Well it is the only way to do it, ’cause you can’t just come in and expect someone to do this part of the workout if they’ve never done it before. You know, some people might be strong like that but usually you just can’t. And so we were just discussing how you know, it starts off really small. You know, like, for the rope climb specifically. One of the ways that you can scale that down is instead of climbing the rope you just lay on the floor. And you pull yourself up.

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] The rope to where you’re standing.

– [Jennifer] Which when I do crossfit, I had to do that and it was not easy. Even for me.

– [Aaron] That’s even still really hard, yeah. So you’re just laying on the floor.

– [Jennifer] You have to start somewhere.

– [Aaron] And you walk your arms up the rope and you just pull yourself until you’re standing up. And that’s one of the first steps of learning how to climb a rope. There’s other ways to do it where they bring the rope real low so it’s not a very tall one, and you just try and do like a few feet, you know, instead of trying to do 15 feet up in the air, or 25 feet up in the air, you’re just, you know, you’re going up a couple inches or a couple feet. But that’s what spurned this conversation with us about wanting to talk about not just habits, but–

– [Jennifer] Spiritual growth, maturity. Just all kinds of hard things in life that you have to be able to start somewhere and experience that progression and balance of growing. And yeah, so when we were talking about scaling we were looking at life and saying that’s still required.

– [Aaron] Well, and what happens is if we do this all in our own hearts, we look at something, or we look where someone’s at, and we say, “Oh, well I could never do that, “therefore I’m not gonna try.” Like I could never do a legless rope climb so I’m not gonna try. I could never run a marathon so I’m not gonna try. And that’s, like no one just goes and runs a marathon.

– [Jennifer] But we don’t see the work that they put into practicing and trying and even failing at times and feeling defeated.

– [Aaron] And where they started.

– [Jennifer] Where they started, yeah.

– [Aaron] Actually, today our coach at the gym was just mentioning how when he first started it took him like two years to do double unders, which is jump rope, you know where you spin it really fast. I can barely do ’em. But when I look at him I’m like, “Wow, it took you that long?” That’s how my progression is going, it’s been, I can’t do ’em yet. I’ve been going for about two years and I’ve almost got ’em. But when you hear that you’re like, “Oh, well, okay that’s normal. “I guess I didn’t realize that everyone “starts in the same place.”

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] Like everyone starts somewhere. We all start as babies. And then we get stronger and we grow. And so that’s kind of what we wanted to discuss today. We’re discussing it in our own lives. What are things that we can start today that we’re gonna get stronger in and stronger in and better in later? You know, is it health? Spiritually, being in the Word.

– [Jennifer] Leading our children.

– [Aaron] Prayer. Leading our children. And how the incremental growth comes from the beginning of starting somewhere and moving forward and getting better at it.

– [Jennifer] Taking those steps. When we were kind of walking through the notes for today’s episode, you mentioned, you know, everybody wants to be at the 1,000 mile mark without ever having to start with the first step.

– [Aaron] Yeah, what’s that quote? A journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.

– [Jennifer] But yeah, everybody wants the reward, and everybody wants to experience the high of maturity or spiritual growth.

– [Aaron] And the blessings that come with it.

– [Jennifer] The blessings of leading your children and all these things, whatever the things may be. But there’s a lot of work that’s required of it. And sometimes we look at that work load and we say, “I can’t do that.” We don’t believe that we’re capable. But we wanna remind people that it’s a matter of growing incrementally. It’s making those daily choices, those individual steps toward those things.

– [Aaron] Yeah, being faithful.

– [Jennifer] Being faithful with them.

– [Aaron] In the very little things on a regular basis. You said something a second ago about not realizing, or not thinking we can handle stuff, or what we’re capable of. I think the number one thing I’ve learned from my fitness journey, and we’re not gonna keep talking about fitness by the way, this has been our template for why we were talking about this ’cause of what we’ve been seeing in me. Is that I’m surprised at what I am capable of. And every single time I go to the gym I’m like, “I can’t believe I was able to do that.” And I’m not tooting my own horn, it’s just the nature of not telling myself I can’t. And not giving up on myself and not giving into when it’s difficult, and realizing what I’m capable of. There’s, I was just thinking about this, what was the movie where the guy’s escaped from the prison and they go across the Sahara Desert or whatever? And like it’s just thousands and thousands of miles and they just survive. No one would think they could have gotten across the desert but they did. But that’s how it is in life. We don’t think we can accomplish things or make things happen in our lives, or learn something in the Bible that we see other people know or understand. And we’re like, “Oh, we’re not capable of that.” I can’t do that, you know, I can’t go speak on stage, I can’t go witness to someone, I can’t, you know, spiritually lead my family. These are legitimate things that people see other people do, but then inside are like, “Oh, I don’t have “it in me to do that.”

– [Jennifer] Yeah, and I don’t feel like people are walking around saying I can’t do that, I can’t do that, I think that it’s kind of just something that we accept without even giving it a second thought sometimes.

– [Aaron] Well I know in my life that’s happened a lot. There’s things I’ve just said I couldn’t do. But why? Who told me I couldn’t do it? You know, doesn’t mean I do everything. We wanna talk about the spiritual things in our lives that we can be implementing, walking in, that we can be building on. Becoming faithful in the little things because when we are faithful in these little things over time they compile into bigger things. You know I think spiritually when I think about being faithful in little being faithful in the big, and I think of that scripture where Jesus says, “If you deny me before man, “I will deny you before my Father in Heaven.” And I think, you know, we don’t as Christians just say, “Oh, one day if I’m persecuted “and put in this situation where “people are gonna threaten my life, “I’m just gonna stand for God.” And then, in a very simple situation where someone asks me about my faith and I ignore the question or I avoid the answer. Like can I say that if I can’t be faithful in that very little, safe, non life threatening situation.

– [Jennifer] How would you ever do it?

– [Aaron] Yeah, how could I possibly imagine that when my life’s on the line, or someone else’s life on the line, I’m gonna stand for my faith? And I think that’s what we’re getting at today is practicing walking in these little things.

– [Jennifer] Yeah, and I think that what I see beneficial about being faithful in the little stuff is in your relationship with God, and our relationship with God, we’re actually building trust with Him. He’s able to trust us.

– [Aaron] With more. Yeah so, I wanna read a couple scriptures here. In Luke chapter 16, Jesus is giving a parable. It’s about a dishonest manager, and how he was taking advantage of his master’s finances and bills and things that he was in charge of. And at the end of it Jesus says, he says this, it’s in Luke 16:10. “One who is faithful in very little “is also faithful in much. “And one who is dishonest in very little “is also dishonest in much. “If then you have not been faithful “in the unrighteous wealth, “who will entrust to you the true riches? “And if you have not been faithful in that “which is another’s, “who will give you that which is your own? “No servant can serve two masters “for either he will hate the one “and love the other, “or he will be devoted to the one “and despise the other. “You cannot serve God and money.” So the direct context of this of course is finances, is money, is the things that we have, and it says unrighteous wealth. And what it’s talking about is earthly gain, earthly money, earthly finances, earthly wealth. ‘Cause He says if you can’t be faithful on Earth with the money that you have that’s not Heavenly, not eternal, how can you be entrusted with true riches? Which are Heavenly things. Which are eternal things. And so, the question out of this parable, even though this is specifically talking about money, is what earthly things do we have that we’re being faithful with now? You know, I remember thinking when we first started our ministries, you know we launched our social media pages, and we were thinking like, “Man, that’d be so awesome. “What if we can get to a million followers?”

– [Jennifer] Oh yeah, I remember that.

– [Aaron] It was like our first year. And we had just started this thing.

– [Jennifer] We didn’t know what we were doing. I mean we were just trying to, we knew our hearts were to encourage people and to utilize the tool of social media. But it was so new back then, too. It was all just, it was all new to us.

– [Aaron] Yeah, we hadn’t even had it long enough to even be called faithful with it.

– [Jennifer] Yeah.

– [Aaron] You know. And we would’ve totally mismanaged a platform like that if it grew that fast without us being faithful with the little thing that we had.

– [Jennifer] So yeah, even though we wanted a large following and people that were part of our audience that we could speak into their lives and encourage, I wouldn’t say that we were ready for that, especially when we first started.

– [Aaron] Of course not. That would be ridiculous. You know, in Timothy we learn about eldership and deaconship and that position it says they must not be a new convert. And the point is that they’re not ready. They haven’t been proven yet. And so there’s lots of things in our life that we should be proven in, and we should walk in consistently to show that we’re faithful in those areas. So I just wanna read one more scripture about the same subject. It’s in Matthew 25:23. And it’s in the same kind of parable. It’s a parable of the Talents, you know, the master goes away, leaves three of his servants with a certain amount of Talents, and he expects return from them. And then he says this to one of them. His master said to him, “Well done good and faithful servant. “You have been faithful over little. “I will set you over much. “Enter into the joy of your master.” That’s what I want God to say to me.

– [Jennifer] Me too.

– [Aaron] That God’s given me certain things. He’s given me my marriage, my children, my job, our relationships, our home, our money, our car, all of these things. And there’s much more, right. And I want Him to say that I was faithful with the things that He’s given me. That I was faithful in investing them for the kingdom. You know, I wanna ask us, not just me and you Jennifer, but our listeners, what areas of our life, whatever areas of the things God’s given us are we being faithful in? And what areas can we be more faithful in? Whether we thing they’re big things or small things. We just have to recognize that the things that we currently have, the life that He’s given us, He wants us to be faithful with. So, we’re talking about, you know, being faithful to the things that God’s given us. But I think on top of that, it’s really good, we need to be good stewards, we need to be faithful with the things God’s given us. But what about our spirit? What are some things that we can be faithful in in the little ways on the spiritual side of things in our life?

– [Jennifer] Well I definitely, like everyone would agree with me that reading His word and prayer are probably the top two things, right off the bat that we could look at our lives and evaluate whether we’re doing that or not. Do we have a good, healthy habit? A daily routine of that?

– [Aaron] Yeah, being regular in the word and growing in that area.

– [Jennifer] I think some things that stop people from doing that is feeling like they don’t know how to pray. Feeling like they don’t understand God’s word. And I think I would just encourage them that even if you don’t understand it just keep reading it. Eventually God will help your heart to understand it, or maybe you’ll have questions, and then you can go seek out answers to those questions. But it’s a process. And I think that if we could just start with the simple, you know, just be active in reading, be active in sharing your heart with God, I think those are simple habits to start.

– [Aaron] Yeah, we’re never gonna get better knowing the word of God without reading it.

– [Jennifer] It’s true.

– [Aaron] And it is daunting, it’s like whoa where do I start? And there’s so much stuff, what’s prophecy? How do I understand it? And there’s just so much in the Bible, it’s so rich, right? But, what we’re getting at with all of this is we just start. You aren’t going to get to the finish line without starting the race. And so this is kind of like our, you know, our call to action for the community, for those listening is if there’s areas in your life that you know that you haven’t been faithful in the little? Like you haven’t been in the word of God regularly, haven’t been praying, that today you start.

– [Jennifer] And it’s not necessarily a chore either, like I just wanna encourage those listening that sometimes we can see the mountain ahead of us, and just like I said, be daunted by it, and think that’s too hard. Or not enjoyable. Or see it as a chore to get to the top. But if you think of a mountain, and having a trail leading up to the top, you’re gonna have, you’re gonna go through probably tall trees or meadows or flowers or rocks and things to look at. And I think that it can be an enjoyable thing to pursue. It is an enjoyable thing to pursue. But we have to have the right perspective in order to see it that way.

– [Aaron] And it may not feel enjoyable at first because we’re stretching muscles we’ve never used before. We’re practicing something we haven’t practiced before, so it is hard. It can be painful. Like, you know, going to bed later, so you can get in the word. Waking up earlier. Those aren’t easy things in the beginning, but what happens is you build a craving for it and you start seeing the fruit from it.

– [Jennifer] And you enjoy that.

– [Aaron] And that’s what you start enjoying. You’re like, “Man, I enjoy the spiritual growth I’m seeing. “I enjoy the perspective I’m gaining. “I’m enjoying seeing my life change and transformed “by these new habits I’m forming. “By the word of God, by prayer, “by fellowship.” You know, the things that the Bible’s called us to. Walking in those things aren’t always easy right in the beginning. But there’s a quote that just says nothing worth doing’s ever easy. You know. And these little things are worth doing. And we have a little note here, it just says incremental growth. The point is are we growing or are we stalled? Are we just staying in one place? Are we stagnant? The Bible uses that term lukewarm. We’re neither hot nor cold, we’re not going backwards or forwards. We’re just remaining. And we don’t wanna, a Marriage After God doesn’t just remain.

– [Jennifer] Yeah, we wanna inspire you guys to take those steps forward.

– [Aaron] Yeah, we chase, we boldly chase after God’s will for our lives. And there’s only one way to know God’s will. It’s to dig into His word. And it’s to dig into prayer. And it’s to participate in the communion of the fellowship of being around believers and walking with one another, and accountability, and iron sharpening iron. But it starts somewhere.

– [Jennifer] And practically speaking how do you start building these habits or these routines, these things that we know we should be doing when we’re not doing ’em. How do we start?

– [Aaron] Yeah, and it’s not going straight to the end. Like okay, I’m gonna read three chapters a night, I’m gonna read through the whole Bible in a month and I’m gonna, it starts with I’m going to set a time every day that I’m gonna open the Bible.

– [Jennifer] You know when we first got married I remember your mom mentioned to me, she was just giving me tips and tricks on how to manage a home and all of that. And without saying that it was coupling she was actually teaching me the art of coupling. She would say things like, “You know, I read my Bible every morning “with a cup of coffee.” So she goes and pours herself a cup of coffee, sits at the kitchen table, and she leaves her Bible on the kitchen table so she knows that those two things go together. And it’s a way of building in that habit each and every day. Building a routine each and every day. And I never really put into practice the skill of coupling. Actually I forgot about it until a friend of ours brought it up to us a couple years ago, and kind of inspired you in the art of coupling. And do you wanna talk about that a little bit?

– [Aaron] Yeah, so, this is just a tip for anyone who wants to implement new habits and routines in their life, especially in these spiritual areas of like reading the word of God or praying, or going and being with other believers. We can couple, which is taking something you already do on a regular basis, taking a habit you already have, and adding the new habit or routine to it. So a good example would be like, if you took a shower every morning, having a note on the mirror in the bathroom to remind you to pray. Or putting your prayer notes on the mirror or somehow in the bath, in the shower when you’re in there. So what you’re doing is your coupling your daily routine of showering with a daily routine of prayer.

– [Jennifer] Yeah, so currently right now, by the way I just have to note. If they hear baby noises, coos and burps, it’s, the baby’s on my lap. But right now we’re–

– [Aaron] Real life. We’re coupling podcasting with parenting.

– [Jennifer] Yeah. We are trying to find cues within our rhythm of just managing the kids, and so after Bible time I help Elliot with piano, and so for me a signal of ending Bible time means piano time helps me remember that we have to do piano every day.

– [Aaron] Which we’ve been talking about piano, we love that our son’s learning piano, but it’s been hard to have a routine of daily practice. And so we’re like okay, what can we couple it with? What can be our cue during the day for you to just go straight to piano practice? And so we’re making it right after Bible time he’ll do piano practice. Bible time is a good example of something that we’ve been working on in our home. Forming new habits and better routines and something that’s going to spiritually benefit our home and family and children.

– [Jennifer] Which we’ve seen.

– [Aaron] Yeah, and this actually was a hard thing. I remember thinking man I wanna be leading my family spiritually, I wanna be a spiritual leader, I wanna implement things that are gonna benefit my children and myself. And I remember thinking how hard that was. I was like I don’t even know what to do, where do I start? What do I, what am I supposed to do? And I just told myself one day. I was like I’m just gonna start. So I was like okay kids, come sit down on the couch, we’re doing Bible time. And they’re like what? What is Bible time? And didn’t it start off, I think we’ve talked about it before, it started off at like a verse.

– [Jennifer] Yeah it was short.

– [Aaron] Like we just did one verse. And I would talk about it for a minute. I didn’t have like a set Bible study, I was just like, “Okay, what do you think “that verse meant? “What was your favorite word out of the verse? “What does it mean when he says this?”

– [Jennifer] Now the whole family looks forward to it.

– [Aaron] Yeah and it’s not just a verse anymore. We read up to two chapters and it will probably get more and more eventually. And that’s just an example of starting somewhere. And since we started it’s been, we started in January I think. Or February. And it’s pretty much been a whole year now. And we do it, I feel like we do it four to five times a week on average. There’s some days that we miss. I have coffees on Wednesday mornings so I don’t think I do it then. I think you’ve been doing it. So, that’s a routine we have in our home. That our children are hearing the word of God, they’re learning the word of God, I’m getting better at leading and having this routine. And what’s awesome is when you take these small steps of faithfulness, so me just sitting down for a few minutes a day, reading the Bible with the kids turns into other things. It makes it easier to now have a routine for piano practice. To have a routine for breakfast and a routine for what comes next in the day. And a routine for prayer in the car. We’ve been practicing, just, we’re driving and like hey, who could we be praying for right now, kids? It makes those muscles, those spiritual muscles easier to use. Stronger.

– [Jennifer] I just keep thinking how much stronger our kids are gonna be.

– [Aaron] Yeah, because we’re practicing habits and spiritual skills now. They’re gonna benefit from them. And that’s the whole point is we want them to benefit from them. And we’re benefiting from ’em. I find myself wanting to read more, which I’ve always told myself I’m not a reader. And then the other day I was like I’m just gonna read books. So I have like three open books right now in my nightstand. I haven’t read through all of them yet, but I’m reading through all of them currently. And I have this audiobook I’m listening to so I’m just trying to walk in new things. I just don’t wanna be the same person all the time. I wanna be moving forward. I wanna be growing in life. And I know you feel the same way. It’s things that we’ve been seeing and know that God wants from us is just maturity and growth. So what areas in our life are you seeing that we may need a break? Like habits we may need to break or replace with other habits?

– [Jennifer] Well I know for myself, we were just talking about this the other day, but when I feel overwhelmed, or even if I feel like I just accomplished something really hard, I treat myself. And it’s like that’s my cue for a bad habit. Or like I said when I feel overwhelmed.

– [Aaron] Like you’ve earned it. Like oh I’ve earned to go splurge.

– [Jennifer] Yeah, or if I feel overwhelmed and I just wanna feel better, those are just some simple cues that give me a very bad habit of you know, filling that with sugar or whatever the treat is.

– [Aaron] Yeah, fill in the blank.

– [Jennifer] Fill in the blank. So I think that’s one thing that I am looking forward to breaking.

– [Aaron] So replacing that supposed reward you wanna give yourself with something more healthy.

– [Jennifer] Another one would be going to bed late because I wanna build a habit of getting up early and getting in the word before I get going with the kids. But I know in order to do that I need to go to bed earlier.

– [Aaron] Yeah, and these are again, these are little things. So just trying to be on the same page, and say hey, what will it take to get to bed 30 minutes earlier tonight? It’s setting for ourselves some goals maybe. Little goals like hey, if we’re gonna be praying with each other at night let’s make sure that we have the kids in bed on time, let’s make sure that we’re efficient, let’s crawl into bed and let’s spend time in prayer together.

– [Jennifer] And I do feel like we are getting stronger and better, more obedient, more faithful in these small things. And sometimes it can feel defeating when we think about we’ve already come so far, or we’ve already stretched that muscle so much. We’ve already changed.

– [Aaron] Yeah, do I need to do more? Gosh.

– [Jennifer] Yeah, we’ve already changed so much and then it hurts when God, or you, or someone reveals that there’s more to go. Or even just like, there’s another step to take. It can feel really defeating. But that’s what faithfulness is all about is just being willing to take that next step forward. Yeah, and I wanna encourage those listening. We’ve mentioned quite a few things in our life that God might be wanting to change in us and grow in us, and give us more diligence and more faithfulness in, because He’s just building and building on us. And again like we said in the beginning, they could be listening to all of this and be like well that’s so much, where am I supposed to start with all of that? And my encouragement is just start. God’s probably revealing right now to you one area that He would love to see you grow in and change in. Is it just spending some time while you’re driving to work praying instead of listening to the radio? And not thinking like oh, I have these 50 things I need to do today, ’cause you will fail. We’ve experienced that in our lives. We have this grandeur idea like oh I wanna be this person, this is what I’m gonna do, I’m gonna implement these 12 things and I’m gonna be that person tomorrow. And then it’s like that’s too hard, I can’t do it. But what we found is it’s real easy to do something small. But then when you do 1,000 small things, right? It becomes a very big thing. I wouldn’t have imagined that we would have written 12 books eight years ago. We didn’t write ’em all in the same day.

– [Jennifer] That would have been really hard. I’m glad God didn’t ask us to.

– [Aaron] Thank God, yeah.

– [Jennifer] He knows us better than we know ourselves.

– [Aaron] But now looking back it’s like oh, we did one book. And then we did a second book. We had 1,000 followers, and then 10,000 followers, and again, not just to talk about us. I’m just, the point is, we started somewhere. And unless we start we’re not gonna ever get anywhere.

– [Jennifer] And I think a marriage after God is willing to start, and they’re willing to embrace hard things, and they’re willing to persevere. And they’re willing to look at the future with vision and understanding and hope that they will, they will mature, and they will grow, and they will exercise those muscles for the purposes of what God has for them to glorify His name.

– [Aaron] Yeah I was gonna ask why does all this matter?

– [Jennifer] Yeah, it’s for Him.

– [Aaron] Like why are we even? It’s for Him. He’s got something for us to do. Just think of that scripture that tells us that God’s prepared beforehand, before we were even formed in the womb, He had good works for us to accomplish in this world for Him. So all of these things, they’re not so that we can feel more holy or look what we’ve done. The only goal, the only drive, the only passion that should be pushing any of these decisions forward, and giving us motivation to do these things, and grow in these areas, is to see what He’s doing in our life, and to see what He’s.

– [Jennifer] Truett agrees.

– [Aaron] Yeah, Truett agrees. So I hope this encourages those that are listening to ask God what areas they can build new habits in, and to be revealed, areas they can just start today.

– [Jennifer] I’m willing to bid they already know what that next step is.

– [Aaron] Yeah they’re thinking right now like oh, I’ve been wanting to do this.

– [Jennifer] Okay, you just need to do it.

– [Aaron] You just need to do it. So I said last night Jennifer, you were mentioning how you wanted to start something, and I was like, “Start? “Start today?” I didn’t say it harshly, but I was just like the reality is that it’s not going to start for you, like start it.

– [Jennifer] And sometimes I feel like we always wanna say like we’ll start Monday. And that never works because then Monday comes, then Tuesday comes, then Wednesday comes, and you forgot that you were supposed to start Monday. So then you have to start Monday again.

– [Aaron] That’s one of the tactics our flesh uses to keep us from moving forward, to keep us from growing up. Is as long as it’s tomorrow it’s not today. So let’s just make it today. Today’s the day of salvation. Today is the day that we make those changes. Today is the day we say yes to God. Today is the day we believe what the scriptures say about the power that’s in us, the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. And that we walk in it. We walk in the spirit, not the flesh. I just hope everyone that’s listening is encouraged, I mean it’s something that Jennifer and I are walking through and growing in and learning how to be. So a new thing that we’ve been doing is ending in prayer. And so Jennifer’s got a prayer for you all today. So would you please join us in prayer?

– [Jennifer] Dear Lord, we pray that we would be men and women who submit our lives to you. Examine our lives and show us the areas that need transformation and change. We pray we wouldn’t complain or grumble when you revealed to us bad habits that we need to break, or what the next step of growth is that we need to take. Help us not to be prideful or resistant when you use our spouse to speak a word of truth about the habits in our lives. May we receive what they have to share with a humble heart, knowing that what they share is motivated by love. We pray we would walk in righteousness. Holy Spirit help us to break the stronghold of habits that need to go, rhythms and routines that have become natural to us but don’t benefit us or our families. When you convict our hearts toward change may we boldly choose to walk out what you desire for us. May we be faithful in the little things each and every day, knowing that our faithfulness is building trust in a relationship with you. Please help us to prepare our hearts and our bodies for the work that you have for us. May we take time to encourage our spouse in building better habits, and keep each other accountable to the changes we aim to make. Lord help us to be faithful in the small things so that we are prepared for the bigger things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– [Aaron] Amen. So thanks for joining us for today’s episode. We pray that you would hear the heart of the Lord today. And that you would seek out what He has for you, and how He wants you to grow. 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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