MAG 016: Chasing After God Together


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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 in Part 16 of the Marriage of the Marriage after God series, and we’re gonna be talking with Kyler and Kayla Christiansen about chasing after God together.

[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 on this journey as we chase boldly after God’s will for our life together.

[Jennifer] This is Marriage After God.

[Aaron] So, before we get into the interview, we always want to invite you to leave a review for the podcast, and we love reading those. So if you want to leave a star rating, or a text review, or both, that would be awesome, we’d really appreciate that.

[Jennifer] Also, we want to encourage you guys to check out our store, shopmarriageafterGod.com. The series today is based off of our book, Marriage After God, so go grab your copy today.

[Aaron] So, this is the last episode in this series, and if you haven’t been excited yet to get the book, please get it today. This is our newest book, we’re super excited about it, we wrote it for you, so go to shop.marriageafterGod.com and pick up a copy of Marriage After God.

[Jennifer] Okay, so today we have Kyler and Kayla, good friends of ours, and we just wanna give you a minute to introduce yourselves, let everyone know who you are, how long you’ve been married,

[Aaron] How we know you.

[Jennifer] How we know you, how many kids you have.

[Kyler] Yeah, so I’m Kyler, and this is my wife–

[Kayla] And I’m Kayla.

[Kyler] Yeah, we’ve been married for just under four years, will be four years in… July. We have two kids. Our son, Luke, will be three soon. And our daughter, Ella, is one and a half, and we have a baby on the way–

[Aaron] Woo!

[Kyler] –in April. Yeah.

[Kayla] Too many.

[Aaron] Number three!

[Kyler] Yeah. And so, yeah. Well, three kids under three. I’m a firefighter paramedic. My wife…

[Kayla] I stay at home. I’m a stay-at-home mama.

[Aaron] Big job.

[Kayla] I get to be home with the babies. Yes.

[Aaron] You put out fires at home. Yes.

[Kayla] Hopefully there’s no fires.

[Jennifer] No.

[Aaron] Good point.

[Kyler] Yeah. So we met you guys, you can tell the first time we met them.

[Kayla] Yeah, do you want us to tell–how we met you guys?

[Jennifer] Yeah, it’s a fun story.

[Kayla] This was when we were just married for I think, just a couple years.

[Jennifer] And Luke was a baby.

[Kayla] And Luke was a baby, yeah, he was only six months old. And we had been following you guys, I had been following you for quite a long time, even before I’d gotten married, but Kyler had just started following you, Aaron.

[Kyler] Yeah, on Husband Revolution.

[Kayla] And then we were out at breakfast one morning, and we saw you guys walking, and I was like, “Hey, there’s Jen Smith!” and, like. “There’s Jen and Aaron Smith.”

[Kyler] I was like, “Who’s that?”

[Kayla] “Who’s that?” And he wasn’t quite sure who you guys were. And then I was like, “It’s Husband Revolution from… “Instagram, and it’s the Unveiled Wife,” and he was like,

[Kyler And Kayla] “Ohhh!”

[Kyler] “Them! Let’s go say hi!” Yeah. I was really nervous.

[Aaron] I know, we were with our kids, I don’t remember if we were fighting, or something.

[Jennifer] Oh, gosh, I hope not.

[Aaron] I know, I just remember, like, when we left, I was like, “I hope we weren’t fighting or something.”

[Jennifer] Well, I think that always goes through our head when we meet people we don’t know in public.

[Aaron] That’s true.

[Jennifer] And they stop to say hi. It makes me even more nervous when people don’t stop to say hi, and we hear them after the fact, “Hey, I saw you at this place,” ’cause I just go, “Oh, no, were we acting up?”

[Aaron] Yeah, “How were we?”

[Kayla] You were really pregnant with Wyatt.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Kayla] I want to say you might have even been overdue.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] Oh, I think you were.

[Kayla] Mhmm. So we decided to go–

[Kyler] Well, we already had read your books, 31 More Prayers for my Wife and 31 Prayers for my Husband. And we, I wanted to just thank you guys for–

[Jennifer] Aww!

[Kyler] –how we were walking through that, and how much that helped us.

[Kayla] Yeah.

[Kyler] And Kayla was super nervous, and I was like, “Well, let’s just go tell ’em thank you, “’cause it’s been so good,” and so, Kayla was nervous, and I was way excited, and we went up and said hi, and… just normal people.

[Jennifer] You guys were so sweet. It was so fun to meet you. We walked away just encouraged that day, I remember.

[Aaron] We always get encouraged when we meet new people, ’cause we do a lot of things online, actually, everything we do’s online, essentially.

[Jennifer] But it’s basically just Aaron and I, we get to see each other in our bedroom, doing it.

[Aaron] And people message us, but it’s not the same when we meet people in person. We’re like, “Oh! There’s real people on the other side “of the social media stuff.”

[Kyler] Yeah.

[Aaron] So that was encouraging, and, look at us, we’re, like, friends now.

[Kyler] I know, I never thought we’d be going to church and walking in fellowship like we are now.

[Aaron] Yeah, for those that are listening, they also, they’re a part of our fellowship. That came later, and we’ll get into some of that, and how we got connected like that. But now we get to fellowship with them weekly, and we get to walk with them as we raise our kids, as they raise their kids. And it’s just such awesome stuff. So, thanks for introducing yourselves, we’re gonna get in some questions.

[Jennifer] But first and most important–

[Aaron] Yeah, but before any of those, we’re gonna do the icebreaker. We always do an icebreaker question. They’re always, like, fun, lighthearted. Why don’t you read it?

[Jennifer] So it’s, “How would you describe your spouse in the morning, using only one word?”

[Kayla] I would say Kyler is “snuggly.”

[Jennifer] Aww!

[Aaron] Oh, I like that.

[Kayla] So, he’s either snuggling me when I wake up, or after we wake up and we let the kids come out of their room, we’re snuggling them, and it’s always him that initiates it. He’s just snuggly. I think he could stay in bed and just snuggle–

[Aaron] Snuggle all day?

[Kayla] Yeah. Uh-huh!

[Kayla] It’s really sweet! He just wakes up snuggly.

[Aaron] And for those of you who don’t know what Kyler looks like, he’s a big, strong guy. And I love that she’s using the word “snuggly” for him.

[Kyler] Yeah.

[Kayla] It’s so true, though, he’s snuggly.

[Kyler] Yeah, well, being a firefighter, like, I’ve really cherished being at home, so, times I do get home, I wanna snuggle.

[Jennifer] That’s cute. So, Kyler, how would you describe Kayla in the morning?

[Kyler] So the word I came up with is, “driven.”

[Jennifer] Oh!

[Kyler] ‘Cause Kayla will let me snuggle her, but when it’s time to get up, she’s like–

[Aaron] “Let’s go!”

[Kyler] –ready to get up, making the bed, making food, and I’m just kind of–

[Kayla] Slower in the morning.

[Kyler] I wanna snuggle!

[Jennifer] So, it sounds like early in the morning, right from the start, you guys are learning how to compromise and complement each other.

[Kyler] Yeah!

[Kayla] I think so, mhmm.

[Aaron] Kayla, learning when to slow down, Kyler learning how to speed up.

[Kyler] Yeah, no, it’s good, because I need to get out of bed. If Kayla didn’t drag me, I’d just be, like, in bed until, like, ten or something.

[Aaron] Just relaxing? Yeah.

[Jennifer] Awesome! Well, thank you guys so much for sharing that. Okay, so, moving on, we’re gonna share a quote from this chapter of Marriage After God–

[Aaron] Which is the last chapter of the book.

[Jennifer] Yes, and we’re super excited to, kind of wrap up this series, but I’m going to share that, and then we’ll kind of get into some more questions. So, Chapter 16, which is “Chasing After God Together,” it says, “As men and women, husbands and wives, “marriages that claim the name of Christ “and desire to walk in His will and His ways, “we must never forget that our Lord and Savior “is coming back for us, His bride, “and He will do so in a miraculous way. “While we are waiting for His return, “we must let this knowledge “of His testimony and second coming “be the fuel that ignites in us an unquenchable fire “to boldly chase after God’s will for our marriages. “The beautiful and imminent return of our King “is the very thing that motivates us “to move beyond our comfort into the amazing, “extraordinary, powerful, world-changing ‘good works’ “that God has prepared for us… “that God has prepared for each one of us “since before time began.”

[Aaron] So cool.

[Jennifer] Is everybody ready? Like, I’m so excited, I cannot wait for Jesus to return.

[Aaron] Yeah, well, and it’s, this is why we wrote the book, is to just ignite in all of us this idea that we have a mission in this world, and God’s coming back for His church, us. And so that’s what we’re doin’, we’re trying to inspire Christians, say, “Hey, guys, let’s get off our bottoms, “and let’s go chase after God together, “let’s go chase after His will in this world.” I’m so excited. So, Kyler, Kayla, you guys, after we met that afternoon, or that morning, for breakfast, a few weeks later, we launched our Gathering, where we were inviting 12, 13 couples to come and gather, here in Sisters, Oregon, and you guys actually signed up for that–

[Kyler] Yeah.

[Aaron] right after we met, and I was like, “Hey, that was the couple that we just met! “They signed up for The Gathering.” And so, you got to participate in that. That was the catalyst for this book, was that Gathering, and all the stuff we talked about there, and the fruit we saw in that, and the testimonies we got out of the marriages that gathered there that weekend. And so, why don’t you share a little bit of perspective and how that was, being a part of that Gathering?

[Kyler] Well, starting off, it was just being completely obedient to God, because… I remember, when we saw on Instagram, you guys posting and advertising for the retreat, or the Gathering, and Kayla and I both like, “Wow, that’s so cool, that’s the people we met, “that would be really awesome.”

[Kayla] Mhmm.

[Kyler] And, but we were planning on going to Hawaii that summer.

[Aaron] Oh, really?

[Kyler] Yeah.

[Kayla] We were.

[Jennifer] Hawaii was your other choice, and you chose us? [Kyler And Kayla] Yeah!

[Aaron] That makes me feel so good!

[Kyler] Well, we definitely had to resist our flesh on it, because, at first, we’re like, “Oh man, let’s go to Hawaii, “or, you know, this retreat.” Not that it was, like, the price of Hawaii or anything, but we had to choose one or the other. And so we thought about it for a couple days, and then, I remember we both got into bed one night, and were like, “I just feel like “we need to go to that retreat,” and you said the same thing.

[Kayla] We knew that we needed to go, and it was–

[Aaron] Wow.

[Kayla] –regardless of, if it was going to be worth it or not, or comparable to Hawaii, we knew it wasn’t going to be comparable, but we knew that we needed to go and just were called to it.

[Kyler] Yeah, and my flesh, after we decided, my flesh was like, “Well, it better be like Hawaii.”

[Aaron] This better be better!

[Kyler] It’s gotta be better, or, you know, setting the expectations in my mind of what it was going to look like, instead of just being obedient to seeing whatever God wants to teach us. Which, little did we know at that time, it was going to be the most pivotal, life-changing thing we had ever gone to.

[Aaron] Wow.

[Jennifer] Okay, share that, why would you say that?

[Kyler] We learned a lot.

[Kayla] We did.

[Kyler] And learned a lot that I think we came from both backgrounds where… We believed the Bible… The checkbox of, “Do you believe in the Bible?” We both would say, “True, that’s true,” and we’d believe it, but we both didn’t know how little we knew about it. And knew… what we needed to do, how we needed to live our life from it, or just let it have authority over our life. And I feel like that was one of the biggest things we got from the retreat, was submitting ourselves to God’s Word. ‘Cause that’s, during the retreat, there’s a lot, it was a really good experience. It was fun, there was good food, and…

[Kayla] Fellowship.

[Kyler] Fellowship.

[Aaron] Yeah, there’s cool people. [Everyone] It’s beautiful, it’s really beautiful.

[Kayla] It was really pretty.

[Jennifer] Different from Hawaii, but–

[Aaron] Yeah, still.

[Jennifer] But it was beautiful.

[Kayla] So beautiful.

[Kyler] Yeah. And so–

[Kayla] Well, it just challenged us to look at our lives through the lens of the Word. Our marriage, everything. We realized how much we weren’t basing our lives off of the Word, and just on our own opinion, or what felt right, and what little we truly actually knew about the Bible.

[Aaron] So, you had this picture of your marriage, like, “Oh, we understand certain things, this is how things go, “and so we’re going to do it over here, “and then our faith in Christianity “and the Bible’s over here,” but then you realized, like, “Wait, there’s a disconnect, actually.”

[Kyler] Mhmm.

[Kayla] Totally.

[Aaron] So, you’re at the retreat, you’re kind of being challenged with all of these things, you were supposed to be in Hawaii on a vacation. And, you know… What kind of chain reaction did that start in you guys, in your marriage, in how viewed what God was doing in you and through you?

[Kyler] Reeling back to that, my other thought, was just that going to the retreat, it was good because it wasn’t just what your guys’s opinion was. Everything was a lot more scriptural-based than I thought it was gonna be. And it wasn’t what you guys thought a good marriage should look like, it was what the Bible said a good marriage should be, and so we wanted to, you know, everything’s subjective. And, “Oh, this is a good marriage, “this is what it should look like,” versus what God thinks it should look like. And so that really challenged us and convicted us in wanting to have a marriage after God, not our own, what people want, you know.

[Aaron] Wow. And so, did you guys leave from there with, like, “Oh, this is some things we’re gonna “start chasing after today”? ‘Cause we’re talking about chasing after God, this idea of, before you were chasing after whatever your opinion was of life and marriage, and now you’re, “Welp, now here’s our direction.” What did that start out like?

[Kyler] Started off, first, reading the Word.

[Kayla] We needed to read our Bibles.

[Kyler] It’s so funny how I could go back and look, like, “Oh, yeah, I believe in the Bible, I think I know what it says,” but actually, I have no idea what it says. And so, living out, to actually do what God says, we have to know what it says. So, practically, that looked like reading our Bibles.

[Kayla] Just as simple as that.

[Kyler] Daily, regularly, and seeing what God has to say for that. Unity was a big thing that you took from it.

[Kayla] Yeah, we learned to become unified in all areas, and that it is a conscious choice to choose to be unified as one in His Word and everything that He calls us to do. I think it also encouraged us to remember that our marriage is our first ministry. That was huge, that was a really big takeaway. Where we knew that we didn’t need to focus on these big dreams that we had, or different ministries that we thought we needed to be involved in. We needed to focus our hearts on each other, being good husbands and wives. And moms and dads, too. Our marriage and our family is our first ministry.

[Kyler] Yes, that was super convicting, was that our marriage is our first ministry. I think, going to the big church, we were going to a megachurch at that time, and, you know, they define ministry as, “You can be a parking lot attendant,” or, you know, one of the things I was looking into was being like a, helping with the medical side of, you know, being there on a medical response team if someone had a medical event. But that separated marriage from ministry, instead of realizing that the Bible says marriage is your first ministry, and that all authority comes from your example. And like, I thought, “We have a horrible marriage, “and I’m trying to go do a different ministry in some other aspect, but my marriage is failing?” Like, that’s just a testimony that something’s not right, that we’re not operating how God calls us to be. So that was really good for us, to be able to say, “This is our first ministry, let’s focus on each other. “Let’s focus on what God wants for us “and pursue him together.”

[Jennifer] That’s so awesome. And, you know, we touch a little bit about exactly what you’re saying, about the ministries within a church, in Marriage After God, and we kind of, we wanted to bring it up to encourage couples to understand that those positions and those…

[Aaron] Those categorical ministries that you would find in most churches.

[Jennifer] Are necessary and good, and Christians have been helping churches thrive because of those, and so those are good things. But, just like you’re saying, if your marriage is not working, if your marriage is in contention and conflict and you guys aren’t reading the Bible, and you’re not walking together in unity, how that will actually affect those other ministries that you are a part of. So I’m glad that you brought that up and touched on it. So, I wanna go back really quick, ’cause you had mentioned being a part of this retreat, Gathering, that you walked away saying, “We gotta get in the Word of God.” How does that look for you now, practically? So give our listeners some… ideas on… your schedule and, you know, how you incorporate–

[Aaron] Yeah, how do you guys stay in the Word of God now?

[Kyler] Yeah, so, I work a rotating schedule, so every day, every week looks different, I work 24 hours on, 48 hours off. Sometimes I have overtime where I work extra days. So prioritizing the Word looks, when I am home, we do family Bible time with our kids. So we’ll read one chapter a day.

[Aaron] Hashtag: #familyBibletime!

[Jennifer] Yeah!

[Kyler] Yeah, we’re workin’ through Genesis right now, and we prioritize whether, it’s during breakfast time, normally, whether we’re eating breakfast, or just after, we do that as a family. And then we also prioritize in our works, by ourselfs, so, during naptime, when I’m away, Kayla will be in her Word when the kids are sleeping, and when I’m at work. I read my Word right before I go to bed, because that’s normally the time that I’m not super busy with lots of things. But then, also, we’ve just started getting into the habit of washing Kayla over in the Word at nighttime, also. So, when we’re going to bed, I just let her close her eyes, and I just read from the Word, and just read to her.

[Aaron] That’s so cool. And romantic.

[Jennifer] That’s beautiful!

[Kyler] Yeah, and so, like, we’ve been going through First John. I’ve probably read First John to her, like, probably 50 times, honestly.

[Kayla] Well, I’ve gone through the Bible study with you guys, too, so.

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Kayla] It’s good to go over.

[Kyler] Yeah, but each night, we’ll just go, I’ll go through the whole book of First John, or I’ll just go through a chapter and read it a couple times. And just let her listen to it. And so, that’s been really beneficial.

[Jennifer] Awesome, and Kayla-Awesome, could you share a little bit about what your routine with the Bible looks like?

[Kayla] Yeah, so I definitely try and prioritize naptime. Naptime, when the kids go down, I try to make sure that I’m not on my phone, first, I don’t look at it, and I try to stay off of it until I’ve actually read my Word. It’s had to be a discipline that I’ve–

[Aaron] I know, it’s always like–

[Kayla] It’s hard not to grab your phone, and be like, “Oh, I’ll just scroll for a second!” No. I have to put it down and choose to read His Word first.

[Jennifer] Okay, so, being mom at home with littles, and being a firefighter, Kyler, how do you guys prioritize each other and cultivating that friendship, that intimacy, that relationship that you guys have?

[Kyler] Yeah, so, before we got married, we were in a long-distance relationship. Starting off, when we first met, six months, we lived 20 miles away from each other. Then Kayla moved and lived in Boise, which is 360 miles away, so we’re used to, when we were together, being really intentional with the time that we had, which, I’m glad we went thought that, because that’s exactly how we are now. So, the times that I am home, I’m just really intentional and prioritizing the time that we do have. And then we also have a date night that we schedule, regularly.

[Aaron] So it’s on the calendar.

[Kyler And Kayla] Yes.

[Aaron] And whether or not you can make it happen that week, it’s still on the calendar so that it’s visible.

[Kyler] It’s there, yeah, and so we make sure that, we’re lucky to have family in town that can watch our kids, and we prioritize being together and going out for the night.

[Kayla] Yeah, and when it doesn’t happen, we definitely feel the need to get back to it. We need to have a date night.

[Kyler] Yeah, it’s like, “It’s been a week and a half!” We gotta do something!

[Kayla] Have a date night. We also do Jeremy and Audrey Roloff’s Navigator’s Council.

[Aaron] Oh!

[Jennifer] Oh, awesome. So that’s a weekly thing?

[Kayla] Yeah, it’s a weekly thing. And we’ve really enjoyed that. We just started that this year, ’cause we actually got it in the gift basket that you guys put together for the Gathering.

[Jennifer] Oh, right.

[Aaron] Oh, yeah!

[Kayla] So I pulled it out, and I was like, “We could go through this.” Yeah.

[Kayla] So, we’ve been going through that, and it’s been, it’s been good for us to go through intentional questions each week.

[Kyler] Regular check-in times, yeah.

[Kayla] Mhmm. It’s been good.

[Aaron] I love that. We should do that.

[Jennifer] Okay, so, could you guys share a little bit about how you guys serve God together, as a couple?

[Kyler] Well, I know God’s placed in our heart that we do want to have our own ministry of what it looks like, just having, just testifying to what God’s doing in our own lives, where that looks like an outreach.

[Kayla] Well, yeah. I think it’s good to talk about that. We haven’t really talked about it. It’s almost like a little pipe dream of ours that we haven’t shared with anyone. Is we do want to have a marriage ministry and just testify what we’ve learned, what the Lord has grown us through from your Gathering, from the church that we’ve been a part of, everything that we’ve learned. We realize how… impactful… just good, biblical marriages and families are. Our world needs good examples like that, and we want to be that example.

[Aaron] So true.

[Kayla] Yeah.

[Kyler] And we just wanna testify because it can be intimidating, looking at these large ministries, and looking at, thinking that you have to do, accomplish so much to get there, when it all starts with just being obedient with what you already have and obedient in your marriage and obedient with what the Bible says. And to get to those larger-scale things, or even the smaller-scale things, to be obedient to what God’s calling you to, right in the moment, that’s all it takes. And God will continue to give you more and build on your obedience in the moment.

[Aaron] Yeah, in the book we call it “saying ‘yes’ to God.” And it sometimes feels like we’re waiting for the big “yes,” like, “Well, when you present me that big ministry, “or that big opportunity,” or like you’re saying, “Actually, “He wants us to say ‘yes’ to him right now.” And so you guys may not have even, you know, figured out or recognize what God is asking you to do right now, but… what are you… waiting for? ‘Cause right now, whether there’s a title to it, or a way the ministry’s gonna be done, do you have relationships in your life right now that the Lord might be wanting you guys to testify to and… encourage and walk with?

[Kayla] That’s very true.

[Kyler] Yeah, I think that’s why we’ve tried to focus so hard on managing what we have well, whether we’re parenting our kids intentionally and making sure our marriage is on point, and walking close together, managing our finances well.

[Aaron] All important things.

[Kyler] All those important things. And we are open, and being able to serve the people that are around us, too, I think that’s, it’s easy to look and think that you want this big ministry, but we also realize how important our ministry is right now, and that is with the people that we’re walking with, that’s the people you see at the grocery store, it’s the people around you.

[Kayla] It’s with you guys.

[Jennifer] I was just gonna say, it’s so true, because you’ve totally served our marriage, and our family, you know, bringing us meals after I had the baby, or, you know, there’s been a lot of opportunities. We’ve seen you guys bless other people in the fellowship just by, like what you’re saying, being faithful to what God’s already entrusted to you, building up your family faithfully, and being willing to say “yes” to God even in those very small things.

[Aaron] Well, and we have these varying degrees of weights we use, like, we say, “very small things,” but… we have no clue the kind of impact a simple encouragement can be to a brother or sister in Christ. An arm around a shoulder, an open home.

[Jennifer] A dinner to a postpartum mom.

[Aaron] Right? Like, these are the things that we’re called to do in the Body of Christ. And chasing after God together and using what God’s given us, like you said, the obedience right now with what we have right now, is how… all ministry is done. Nothing just starts off, boom, like at this level of whatever we want to gauge it as. It’s by saying “yes” right now, and we all, you two, we all have a sphere of influence in our life that God wants us to influence for Him by being… honest and open and transparent and loving and kind, and pouring out the Word of God that we are pouring into ourselves, right? Overflowing to those people. So, an encouragement to you guys that you already minister to people, but to be thinking, like, how does God want you to minister to those around you now that you haven’t yet, or maybe there’s someone in your heart right now you’re just thinking, like, “Oh, there’s people that we should be inviting over, “calling, praying for, asking how they’re doing.” And so I love that you guys have just been, ever since we met you, like, chasing after God together, and not just trying to be something you’re not, but trying to submit to who God calls you, you are. And you’ve, getting in the Word, and being a part of our fellowship, and just the consistency and the love you have for people and your guys’s loving and kind demeanors, which is gift. ‘Cause I don’t have that, I have to work for that. I have more of a rough approach. But you guys have, like, a very soft… and gentle demeanor, just always. And I just-[Kyler And Kayla] Thank you!

[Kayla] That’s so sweet of you.

[Aaron] Yeah, well, and it’s true! And that’s a talent God’s given you guys, and he wants you to invest that talent. He wants you to invest that. And you guys are, whether you know it or not, you are. And I just want to encourage you to keep doing it, and also to ask, “God, how do you want us to invest “the things you’ve given us today?”

[Jennifer] Cool, so, we started out this episode with a quote from the book that talks about the return of the King, Jesus. And so, how does the hope of Christ returning inspire your hearts to boldly chase after God and to do all that He invites you to do today?

[Kyler] For me, I instantly think to The Parable of the Talents. Thinking that, you know, God has given us things already, talents that we have, because he’s coming back. And so, reminding myself that God is coming back and so it’s not just things and blessings he’s given us for us to just waste away on our own flesh and our own desire, but he’s coming back, so we’re held accountable of what we do with that, you know. And so we want to make sure-That’s inspiring, itself. With what we have already, I wanna manage that well. I want to manage our finances well, I want to manage my family well, because we’re going to be held accountable. Which is encouraging, too, because it’s not just… there’s no point.

[Kyler] There’s a huge meaning behind it.

[Kayla] And I would say, too, that it gives me hope that this life isn’t the end-all, be-all. That we need to be faithful here because God’s faithful to us, and that we’re not gonna be just, here on Earth, and what we do does matter, for sure. And that He is coming back, and that’s encouraging. There’s hope just in Christ.

[Kyler] Absolutely.

[Aaron] I love that. Yeah, what we do matters. All of it. The little things. That’s really good.

[Jennifer] I think it’s good, too, I like, as you were talking, I was thinking circumstances, like, everybody, everyone listening right now, you guys, us, there are so many different kinds of circumstances and so many different kinds of hard circumstances that will tempt our flesh to feel deflated or feel like we’re failing or feel afraid, and yet, we have this hope in Christ, and we have hope in Him today, and then we have hope in His return, and so I think that it’s that hope that helps us persevere and overcome those hard circumstances. And hopefully those listening will be encouraged by that today, ’cause I don’t doubt that there are a lot of people listening right now that are going through hard things, or maybe they’re being invited by God to do something and their flesh is getting in the way. You know, maybe their insecurities are getting in the way, so just to be able to rely on that hope that what we do matters, and that Christ is coming back, and that we’re held accountable. All of that is so good.

[Aaron] Yeah, I love that you brought up The Parable of the Talents. We talk about that in the book. And how… the master, Jesus, in this story, gave each one of His servants a set amount of talents, you know, or money, in that story, but it uses the word “talents.” And each one of them, doesn’t matter what they were given, they were given something. And that’s the core message of the Marriage After God book, is that none of us… can say we’re not needed in the Body of Christ. Not one Christian can say, “Well, there’s enough people doing that one thing. “There’s enough people doing that over there, “and I don’t have anything special about me, “so we’re just gonna sit back and bask.” And if we’re that person, we can be likened to that one servant that was given the one talent, and he buried it. And the master said to the servant, he’s like, “What did you do with it?” He expected the same thing from all of us. And he’s comin’ back. And, a couple of things. I want to please my Master. I don’t wanna please man, I don’t wanna please you, my wife, you know, I mean, I do please you, but-My main focus is pleasing my Master, pleasing Christ. And the way I do that… is being a good steward with the things He’s given me, the life He’s given me, the resources He’s given me, the people in my life He’s given me, my family, like you were saying, you know, I wanna steward my stuff well, because it’s the example we show the world. And we don’t wanna be the one who was given the one and buried it.

[Kyler] Well, that’s what I was going to add is, unlike that parable, they say, “Okay, go and multiply it,” but they didn’t have any real, clear instruction. We have clear instruction. We have the Bible that is clear to show and say, “Do this.” And that can seem intimidating, like, “I don’t know what to do.” Well, it’s right there. We have the Bible. We have God’s word.

[Aaron] Dude, that is good!

[Jennifer] That is really good.

[Kyler] So, do it!

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] Yeah, that it’s not just a, “Well, whatever I do is gonna, “who knows if it’s gonna work?” No, actually, just invest what you have, based off of how the Word teaches us. That’s good.

[Jennifer] That’s really good. Okay, so, we’re getting to the last question, which we’ve asked everybody in the series this question. It’s been–

[Aaron] And all the answers are unique, but so awesome.

[Jennifer] Yeah, so, there’s no right or wrong here, it’s just, in your own words, what is a marriage after God?

[Kyler] To us, marriage after God is committed faithfully to each other, serving God, and walking by His design.

[Jennifer] Mmm.

[Aaron] Love that.

[Jennifer] Concise.

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Aaron] Love that. All right. Serving God, walking by His design. Committed. That’s good. All good words, and it’s true. That’s what a marriage after God is. We chase after what God wants, for His purposes, for His Kingdom, for His glory. And our marriages are just a tool in His hands. And that’s what we want, we want to be a tool in His hands, to please him. So good. Hey, so, thank you for being with us today.

[Kyler] Oh, thank you guys.

[Kayla] Thank you guys–

[Aaron] Friends of ours…

[Kayla] Your encouragement to us. Yes, we’re so blessed by you and your ministry.

[Aaron] Thank you.

[Kyler] Absolutely. Well, and many people that are gonna be listening to this episode are gonna be blessed by your guys’s testimony and your guys’s faithfulness and your guys’s desire to serve God.

[Jennifer] So thank you for saying “yes.”

[Aaron] Thank you for saying “yes” to us, yeah! And yeah, so, before we close, we always wanna close in prayer, so Jennifer’s gonna pray for us.

[Jennifer] Dear Lord, We pray we would never stop chasing boldly after You. As husbands and wives who love You, our prayer is that we would impact this world and build Your Kingdom for Your name’s sake. Thank you for equipping us and empowering us through your Holy Spirit to do all of the wonderful works that you have for us to do so that Your will and Your purpose is fulfilled. We love You, Lord. We praise You and we glorify Your name. May our marriages reflect Your divine love, and may Your gospel be spread. We pray our hearts would be sensitive to Your leading as you show us the ministry work You have for us and for our marriages to accomplish. In Jesus name, Amen.

[Aaron, Kyler, And Kayla] Amen.

[Aaron] So, thank you everyone for listening to the last episode of our Marriage After God series. We hope you’ve been blessed by all of these interviews we’ve done, and our prayer, our hope, our desire in this book, in this series, in this podcast, is that you, the listener, and your spouse would know that God wants to use you, and he has a plan for you, and we don’t, none of us get a pass on saying we’re not valuable or needed in the Body of Christ. But that there’s a ministry to be done, there’s a mission to be accomplished, and it’s serving God, it’s preaching His gospel to this world, and we get to do that through our marriages, through our lives, and we get to use all of our resources, talents… history, everything for His glory. And so thanks for joining us, and we’ll go back to our regular programming next week, and we’ll see you then. Did you enjoy today’s show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also, if you’re interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com. And let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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