How To Affirm Your Wife And Why Daily Affirmations Are So Important

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This world is full fo discouragement, and we personally are really good at feeling shameful, weak, useless, and unworthy. Fill in the blank with all the negative things we think and say about ourselves daily. We all can use more words of encouragement and affirmation. So let this episode be an encouragement and reminder for you to practice finding things to affirm your spouse with on a daily basis.

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Jennifer (00:09):
Hi, and welcome to the Marriage After God podcast.

Aaron (00:12):
We’re your hosts Aaron, Jennifer Smith. We

Jennifer (00:14):
Have been married 15 years and have five sweet children who are growing up way too fast.

Aaron (00:18):
We love God and we love marriage

Jennifer (00:20):
And we love to be honest about it all.

Aaron (00:22):
Marriage is not always a walk in the park, but we do believe it has a powerful purpose.

Jennifer (00:25):
So our goal here is to open up the conversation to talk about our faith and our marriage,

Aaron (00:30):
Especially in light of the gospel.

Jennifer (00:32):
We certainly don’t have all the answers, but if you stick around, we may just make you

Aaron (00:35):
Laugh. But our hope is to encourage you to chase boldly after God’s purpose for your life together.

Jennifer (00:39):
This is after God. Hi, and welcome back to another episode of Marriage After God. We’re back Warrior Host. I’m Jennifer.

Aaron (00:54):
I’m Aaron.

Jennifer (00:54):
And we’re happy to be here. We took another little break, unexpected, spontaneous break. We

Aaron (01:00):
Did not do it on purpose.

Jennifer (01:01):
<laugh> life happens and for getting back into podcasting this season, I felt like we did really great. We were really strong. And then we had the break cuz you left. And then we came back and then we had to take another break because we were working on edits of the book and which

Aaron (01:19):
Turned out really well.

Jennifer (01:20):
And then there was Thanksgiving and then we got hit with sickness like bad

Aaron (01:25):
For over a week.

Jennifer (01:26):
It was rough.

Aaron (01:27):
It was like we had Thanksgiving and then boom, we’re sick. So we had to take the time out. We couldn’t do anything. Yeah, it was, we were, oh man, it was horrible. But we are back and we’re going to do, we have two more episodes

Jennifer (01:38):
In this season. This is number 11. And then we have one more. So

Aaron (01:41):
We’re going

Jennifer (01:42):
To do this. That wraps up the season crazy.

Aaron (01:44):
And then we get to practice and be better at next season because we have time

Jennifer (01:50):
To plan. <laugh> excited about it. But in today’s episode, I actually don’t know what we’re going to talk about cuz for some reason Aaron wanted it to be a surprise secret or maybe, I don’t know why

Aaron (02:01):
I’m surprised that you’re letting me do this <laugh>, because you don’t like to be surprised. That’s true. And you don’t like to not know what’s going on. But this episode you listening, you know what the episode’s about because the title, Jennifer hasn’t seen the title yet.

Jennifer (02:17):
He’s kept everything

Aaron (02:17):
From me so she doesn’t know what it’s about. And so we’ll get to that soon and I hope it’s good help. See. So before we get into that, this episode is sponsored by our newest book. When I say newest book, this book came out in 2020.

Jennifer (02:34):
2019 I think. 19. Yeah. 2019.

Aaron (02:37):
Oh, I think you’re right. Okay. It’s still our news book. We have one coming out next year, which will be our newest, newest book. But this one, marriage After God. This is one of the pinnacle works that we’ve done. It doesn’t just incorporate our life, but it incorporates so much of what God has shown us and taught us about the purpose in marriage and why he created it. In this book we’ve laid out for you a treasure map that leads you your marriage to the greatest treasure of all, which is to know beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly why God has brought you and your spouse together. This book is meant to take you on a journey of discovering the unique, deep and powerful powerful purpose God has for your marriage. The world in your flesh will tell you that the greatest end to be reached is happily ever after. But we believe that this is in fact not at all the end to which we are to pursue. Instead, God intends for you to pursue his end and for your marriage to be a powerful tool in his mighty hand to bring about glory for His son and to grow his kingdom. If you’re ready to say yes to this journey, then please head over to shop dot marriage after god.com or amazon.com and grab your copy today.

Jennifer (03:43):
Well babe, that was a really great ad for our book. I feel like you could just read a snippet from the book and then wrap it. Wrap it up. Call it an episode.

Aaron (03:52):
I could. I was going to do that actually. I was actually going to read some of the book, but I didn’t. You gotta go get the book yourself.

Jennifer (03:58):
I’m also just nervous about today’s topic cuz I don’t know what it is so well

Aaron (04:02):
Here. Before we

Jennifer (04:03):
Just giving you another idea,

Aaron (04:04):
Get you warmed up. Before we get into today’s secret topic why don’t we talk about a little bit, I know we kind of went into it just a second ago, but what’s been going on the last couple weeks? We had a few big things. One was a sad wound. We lost one of our chickens. I mean, we have a lot of chickens and so it’s kind of makes sense that there’s so much nutrition,

Jennifer (04:26):
Very new at this. And so everything’s a learning curve. Everything’s a process of trying to understand what it means to be a chicken mama and

Aaron (04:34):
Papa <laugh>. And we have 20 plus chickens. Yeah, I think we’re down to 20 now. Yeah. But we, so we tried everything we could actually with this little girl. And I even took her to the vet just cause I wanted to learn. I was like, okay, what? What’s going on? What can I look for? It was too late. But you did learn tis. I did. And I got some useful tidbits that now I can go actually check all of our other chickens and be like, oh, these ones are healthy. This one’s not healthy. Yeah, I know it looks like now. So that was actually really valuable for me. But sad. Sad nonetheless. But we’re learning and it’s actually been fun having chickens. Our kids are going out there feeding ’em, taking care of

Jennifer (05:09):
’em. Lots of

Aaron (05:09):
Responsibility. We’re sitting down as family guys, we have animals we’re responsible for, we need to make sure they stay alive so they have to have water and food and lots of other things. So that’s actually been really good for our family.

Jennifer (05:22):
On top of that, we had family out, which was really great for Thanksgiving. It was such a joy just to see them. That was nice. And then we got sick, which we already mentioned that was not nice. I mean, hammered sick. I was usually,

Aaron (05:34):
I you’re in bed for a whole

Jennifer (05:35):
Week, four or five days. Usually I don’t get sick. Usually I help everybody else while they’re sick.

Aaron (05:40):
Well and all more usually we, if we do get sick, we’ll get it lightly.

Jennifer (05:45):
Or a tag team where I get sick first and then you get sick.

Aaron (05:48):
But this one you got sick and then I was sick and then the kids were sick and we were all sick at the same time. I don’t think we’ve ever experienced that before. It was miserable. That was hard. Just doing anything. But

Jennifer (05:57):
We survived it. But we survived it because we had help too. That’s true. We had friends nonstop. Hey, can I pick anything up from the store? Hey, how are you guys feeling? How can we come for you? Can I drop dinner off several times? We got dinners that

Aaron (06:11):
Week. We have lots of dinners, lots of

Jennifer (06:12):
Leftovers. So thank you everybody who helped. We love you.

Aaron (06:15):
And we were just so blessed and I all that to be said, there’s huge power in close Christian community. And this has been true from Pentecost till today, that this is how God intends it. He intends the people of God to be in unity and together and helping each other.

Jennifer (06:35):
Plus it just feels good to be used too. I’ve been on the other end where someone’s sick and I get to bring their family a meal. And I love being utilized in that way. I feel like it’s me.

Aaron (06:45):
So quick off the topic encouragement for you for listening. If you don’t have close Christian friends, we just wanna encourage you to go get some <laugh>. And we know that could be hard for some people, but pray, ask God, say God, bring us some Christian relationships, Christian friends that we can get close to. You have to be in community. What God has for us. I think it’s his God. It is God’s plan for his people that we’re all in community together. So I mean, we’re going to be in eternity forever each other. That’s true. So might as well practice it now. <laugh>. Okay. That’s all we have.

Jennifer (07:19):
Come on, tell me what it is.

Aaron (07:21):
Intro. Intro. Intro. So I have my phone here because I have my own private notes.

Jennifer (07:26):
I know I was really confused,

Aaron (07:27):
But she was looking through these. She was like, so did you write anything down? I’m like, yes. Where I’m like, I’m not telling you. Right. And if you would’ve looked just one filter back, you probably would’ve found it. Ah. Did you find an action? No. Okay. Just checking. <laugh>. All right. So I’m going to share with you some statements,

Jennifer (07:48):
Oh gosh.

Aaron (07:49):
Okay. Statements that I’ve written down. And I want you to let us know me and the listeners, your honest thoughts and feelings about it.

Jennifer (07:59):
Can I just say true or false?

Aaron (08:02):
You might wanna say that but I want you to be real and honest. And the reason I didn’t want you to know

Jennifer (08:08):
Is because you’re mean. I’m just kidding.

Aaron (08:11):
Yes. Conniving and no, I think this is hard for a lot of people and it’s hard for me, but it’s hard to like, okay, you’re going to get it

Jennifer (08:24):
Extra hard on me.

Aaron (08:25):
Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe. Okay. So first of all, what are you thinking about before I go into this?

Jennifer (08:31):
The first thing that popped in my head was ice cream. Cuz I think it would make me feel better right now.

Aaron (08:36):
This is not an episode about ice cream and I think we have some, so if you do good, let you have a cup. Ice cream. Yeah. Do you surprises like this?

Jennifer (08:45):
I like some surprises sometimes.

Aaron (08:48):
Not

Jennifer (08:49):
Always this one. No. Because we’re podcasting and recording and I just wanna You feel unprepared. I feel like I’m going to trip over my words or say something not so well.

Aaron (08:58):
To be honest, most of it’s probably going to be me, but I do want to hear to engage with you on these things. Okay? Okay. All right. Okay. You don’t know what I’m going to say. We’re going to start, I think you’ll get this after the first or second one. Listening’s. Like just do it.

Jennifer (09:15):
Seriously. Stop

Aaron (09:16):
Smelling. All right. Okay. Jennifer,

Jennifer (09:20):
What?

Aaron (09:21):
You are one of the most thoughtful

Jennifer (09:23):
<laugh>

Aaron (09:24):
In caring people. I know you are always considering how other people feel and what they might be going through. Your heart is always to comfort and include, your heart is easily burdened for those of our friends who are burdened. These traits that God has given you are a powerful spiritual gift that our church friends and anyone else that comes into our life get to be blessed by. That’s the first one.

Jennifer (09:50):
Did you copy and paste that from somewhere? You get

Aaron (09:52):
That from? I wrote all of these.

Jennifer (09:55):
That was really beautiful.

Aaron (09:57):
Oh, is that’s your natural first gut response.

Jennifer (10:01):
Yeah. Was it made me

Aaron (10:02):
Feel good? Did it? What else do you think about that? Oh, let’s go. True or false?

Jennifer (10:09):
<laugh>. True. I think that I would also pick it apart to show, but that’s a challenge for me. It’s hard for me. That’s not in my nature.

Aaron (10:21):
What part of it?

Jennifer (10:23):
You would have to read it back to me.

Aaron (10:25):
<laugh>, most thoughtful, caring people I know considering how people feel and what they might be going through.

Jennifer (10:32):
So even sometimes I think too much about myself and what I’m going through that I do feel like I miss what others are going through. But then there’s times that I actually overthink how people might be feeling to where I start answering for them. Or I overthink what I said to them and it just gets really messy from there. So <laugh>.

Aaron (10:55):
Okay, but what about your heart is always to comfort and include?

Jennifer (11:01):
I think that’s true. And I think it comes from a place of always wanting to be included.

Aaron (11:06):
Love how you wanna be loved type thing. Your heart is easily burdened for those that our friends, the burdens that our friends have.

Jennifer (11:16):
That’s true. And I think it’s going back to what you said earlier about being in community. We’ve lived this way pretty much our whole marriage, where wherever we’re at, we immerse ourselves into that community and we build friendships. And we’re so close with people that I feel like they’re family and I feel like if they’re going through a hard time, I don’t want them to be suffering. I don’t want them to be uncomfortable. And so I do feel that weight. Mm-hmm. True.

Aaron (11:43):
<laugh>, the last piece of this anyone who comes into our life is blessed by this from you.

Jennifer (11:54):
I don’t know.

Aaron (11:55):
What do you think others would say?

Jennifer (11:59):
Do Jen <laugh>? Of course. I don’t know.

Aaron (12:03):
Do you think that they actually feel blessed by you?

Jennifer (12:06):
I think that I have a handful of friends that I would believe them saying that. Okay, that’s hard. Thinking about myself in that way. I don’t

Aaron (12:18):
Know. Okay. Onto number two. You ready? Okay.

Jennifer (12:25):
<laugh>,

Aaron (12:26):
You These might be harder.

Jennifer (12:28):
I don’t know.

Aaron (12:30):
Okay. You are an incredible mother who desires to be the best mother she can be. You teach our children diligently and with determination. You are creative with them and desire that they have many different outlets for growing in knowledge and skill and giftings. You are consistently, you’re constantly growing in your patience and love for our children. And you desire to be the best you can before them.

Jennifer (12:54):
Who told you all that? So as you’re reading it,

Aaron (13:02):
What was your first thought you had when I said, you are an incredible mother.

Jennifer (13:07):
No, no, no, no. And then I heard God say, yes you are. Yes you are. Yes you are <laugh>. But it’s weird, the tension I have to battle in my own mind and heart because no matter how good of a day we have, no matter how much I try and pour into my children or being a mom, a good mom, I wrestle with doubt and failure and insecurities and wondering if I’m doing it right or when I’m doing it wrong, how to fix it. Being a mother is pain painful in a way, an emotional way because you just never know. I do. I don’t know. Well,

Aaron (13:52):
True or false,

Jennifer (13:55):
I’m not going to Sure. False that I think that my heart and my heart intention is to be a good mom. I don’t think I’m perfect. I think I struggle a lot.

Aaron (14:08):
Yeah. I don’t think I use the word perfect in any of these by way.

Jennifer (14:10):
Oh,

Aaron (14:11):
<laugh>. Good,

Jennifer (14:12):
Fine, fair.

Aaron (14:15):
Okay. Constantly growing in your patience and love for our children. That’s true. And your desire to be the best you can before them.

Jennifer (14:24):
That’s true. Yeah.

Aaron (14:26):
Are you creative with them and desire that they have many different outlets for growing in knowledge?

Jennifer (14:31):
Yes, that’s true.

Aaron (14:33):
Do you teach them diligently with determination?

Jennifer (14:36):
Yes.

Aaron (14:37):
Yeah. Okay. Everyone can’t see, but she’s got a little bit of tears in her eyes. I did when

Jennifer (14:45):
You first started reading for sure.

Aaron (14:47):
Number three. I have a few of these. Okay. I have seven actually.

Jennifer (14:51):
I feel like this isn’t really fair cuz now I have nothing to offer you. And now it has nothing to do with me right now. I know. But

Aaron (14:56):
This is for you. Okay. Okay. We are going to be married for 16 years on January 6th.

Jennifer (15:02):
That’s right around the

Aaron (15:03):
Corner. That’s less than a month away. It’s actually exactly a month away. <laugh> right now know. And I want you to know that I’m thankful that I’ve had the privilege of having you as my bride, my friend, and my lover for not only the last 16 years, but also for the rest of our lives. And just like the Bible says, you are a blessing and a gift to me. And I’m excited to continue to discover who you are each and every day of our lives together.

Jennifer (15:30):
That’s beautiful. I love it. Is

Aaron (15:33):
That your only

Jennifer (15:34):
Response? Do you wanna know my honest response?

Aaron (15:36):
Yes.

Jennifer (15:38):
I immediately thought, well I’m really glad we didn’t give up.

Aaron (15:42):
True.

Jennifer (15:43):
There were several times in the beginning that we almost gave up. And to look back now after almost 16 years of marriage, it’s like, wow, what an incredible journey.

Aaron (15:54):
I know it’s weird to think that we’ve been married for 16 years.

Jennifer (15:57):
It’s a long time. And you had mentioned the other day, we were talking about something and you said, yeah we’ve, we’ve had more good years than hard years because the first beginning we thought, man, this is overtaking everything. And this is, it just felt like a lifetime already in those first four years.

Aaron (16:14):
And now we’ve had two lifetimes since then.

Jennifer (16:16):
Yeah. Crazy.

Aaron (16:17):
Yeah.

Jennifer (16:18):
Everyone’s like, what? Do your math.

Aaron (16:20):
Yeah, the math doesn’t make sense, but we’ve how you feel. We’ve had more good years now than we had bad years leading up to big changes in our marriage. But I just think it’s interesting. The reason I wanted your natural responses to these is because we’ll get there actually. Okay. Number four,

Jennifer (16:42):
Keep her in the dark.

Aaron (16:44):
You are my favorite person to spend a long time with. Going to a movie, dinner, fishing, hiking, bike ride, whatever it is, it will always be better. When you are with me, you are my best friend.

Jennifer (16:58):
Ditto.

Aaron (17:01):
Is that your first response? That’s

Jennifer (17:03):
My only response. Yeah. Dito is like, you are my best friend. And same. Well,

Aaron (17:07):
You never want me

Jennifer (17:07):
Gone. I never want you gone. Don’t ever leave my side. That’s true. But seriously, even when I’m out with a girlfriend or whatever, I always think like, oh Aaron would enjoy this. I want you to be there.

Aaron (17:19):
Yeah. We were out. We just had that men’s retreat a month or so ago and the whole time just thinking this would be so much more fun with all the wives here.

Jennifer (17:27):
It would’ve been fun with

Aaron (17:28):
All of Elvis. It would’ve been. But you know how perfect this stars have to be aligned today. I know. We get all of our friends together without kids. I know.

Jennifer (17:36):
That’s cool. We have a lot of kids. Between us all,

Aaron (17:37):
It’s like there’s 60 or so. It’s

Jennifer (17:40):
Say impossible. Many.

Aaron (17:41):
I think we’ve done it once for an evening.

Jennifer (17:43):
We’re going to do it again for an evening cuz we have a Christmas party

Aaron (17:45):
Coming up. Oh. So pray for us.

Jennifer (17:47):
Pray for, we’re going to dress up <laugh>

Aaron (17:49):
Number five. I hope these are good.

Jennifer (17:53):
These are really good.

Aaron (17:54):
Okay, Jess. As I said when I asked you to be my wife, whatever we do, I wanna do it with you. And for God, I love building our life, business and family together.

Jennifer (18:05):
Yes. Yeah. Always <laugh>.

Aaron (18:08):
Okay. See a couple of these aren’t that hard. Anything you wanna add to that?

Jennifer (18:14):
Well, we’ve been talking a lot lately about what’s next? What’s in the coming year going to look like? What are we moving towards? What are we going to mm-hmm. Trying to accomplish? What do we wanna build next? What do we wanna build or be a part of? What our legacy or what direction are we going? What we always have these at the end of the year where we talk about what the following year, gold casting. Gold casting, which

Aaron (18:34):
We talked about

Jennifer (18:34):
Mary God, I think it’s chapter 13, dreaming together. Which I love doing with you by the way. It’s one of my favorite. Is it a pastime? I don’t know. F favorite things to do with you. And so as you’re saying that I thought you were going to lead up to and what I wanna do with you this next year, <laugh>. Nope. But it’s more like a dot, dot dot. It’s just always

Aaron (18:54):
Because we haven’t figured it out yet. But yeah, you can’t write that good. Number six, you are a godly woman who desires to grow and mature in your walk with Christ and your love for God as an inspiration, not only to me but also to our children and to all our friends.

Jennifer (19:12):
All I heard in the back of my head is I can do better. I can do better. I can.

Aaron (19:19):
Makes sense. Why does it feel like you have to? Why not have to? But why is that your first response?

Jennifer (19:30):
I think I go through seasons where I fit seasons where I feel closer to God, chasing after him. Getting in the word constantly and having a very strong prayer life. And then there’s other seasons where I’m, I feel farther. I haven’t picked up the Bible in a couple of days. And things just feel a little bit more uncertain is not the word, but distant, so to speak. And then there’s all the seasons in between that where you’re fluctuating back and forth between those. So I think just right now in my current state of life, the things that we’ve been walking through and life just has felt kind of busy. And I think I’ve been more sporadic in spending time with the Lord and really chasing after him.

Aaron (20:20):
Do you believe that all the people in your life see that? Or do you think that they see something else?

Jennifer (20:30):
I think that, I don’t know. It’d be a good question to ask and maybe get feedback on maybe. But I think that they probably just see me and my love for the Lord.

Aaron (20:45):
So

Jennifer (20:46):
Do you believe as a general? Yeah.

Aaron (20:47):
Do you believe though that your relationship and your walk is an inspiration to be able to know you?

Jennifer (20:57):
I don’t know. I hope so, but I don’t know.

Aaron (21:00):
Do you really not know?

Jennifer (21:02):
I don’t know. Or do you just I don’t like talking about me.

Aaron (21:03):
I know. I just wanna know. Do you really not know? You have no idea.

Jennifer (21:08):
I think that I’m an encouragement to others. I think.

Aaron (21:12):
Have people told you that they look to you and they they’re inspired by you? Yeah. Yeah. So it’s not that you don’t know <laugh>. Okay.

Jennifer (21:22):
I think it, yeah,

Aaron (21:25):
Say it.

Jennifer (21:26):
I don’t know. I think it’s digested <laugh>,

Aaron (21:30):
Unwrap it. Peel

Jennifer (21:31):
Back the onion layers. I was just going to say, going back to how I feel in and out of seasons where I feel either really close to God or a little bit more distant. But when I’m more consistent in the word, it comes out in my responses towards others. Whether it’s a girlfriend or a text. And so I get more, get more inspired by the Lord’s word being drawn out of me in those ways more frequently when I’m more consistent. And I just feel like lately, maybe it’s cuz we were sick, I don’t know. But lately it’s just felt like off. Yeah.

Aaron (22:08):
But do you think that offness changes everyone’s perspective?

Jennifer (22:13):
Maybe not. Maybe just mine. Okay.

Speaker 3 (22:16):
Okay.

Aaron (22:17):
All right. You ready for the last one?

Jennifer (22:19):
Maybe?

Aaron (22:22):
What do you think so far,

Jennifer (22:24):
The parenting one was probably the hardest, more, most emotional one.

Aaron (22:28):
And how do you feel overall? Do you feel?

Jennifer (22:32):
I feel really encouraged. And I don’t know why you picked on me for this.

Aaron (22:36):
Well, you’re my closest neighbor, so yeah, I just, yeah, this is the last one. You ready? Yep. Okay. You may not believe me, but I think you’re one of the bravest and strongest women I know. Following me to Africa, starting businesses with me doing our own marriage retreat. Remember that? That was crazy. Writing. Not just one but 12 books. Having five children with me and doing any of the countless other things we have done in our life together. You are brave and strong and I admire you for that bravery and strength.

Jennifer (23:23):
Why are you crying?

Aaron (23:24):
I’m not. What are you talking about?

Jennifer (23:27):
I don’t know if

Aaron (23:28):
He’s, I’m still getting over my cold.

Jennifer (23:30):
Yeah. I don’t know if you’ve ever told me I was brave before.

Aaron (23:38):
Well that’s a shame. Oh, sorry.

Jennifer (23:42):
You’ve encouraged me a lot in that direction. I’m just saying using the word brave. I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve ever seen myself as someone that’s brave. Maybe I am.

Aaron (23:54):
Do you feel like you might be brave more now than you did a moment ago?

Jennifer (24:04):
It makes me wanna be brave.

Aaron (24:06):
Well, like you said, you’ve never heard that. You wouldn’t think of yourself that way. But now that it’s been said, does it it give a leg to that thought?

Jennifer (24:20):
Yeah. Yeah. And you giving examples of the things that I’ve walked with you in, it’s almost like in the moment they’re easy yeses. Cause I trust you and I am like all

Aaron (24:37):
Four. They were not easy yeses.

Jennifer (24:38):
Yeses. They weren’t easy yeses and they weren’t easy to walk through. But I’m just saying, it’s interesting looking at them in hindsight and saying, I was brave. But because in the midst of it I wasn’t thinking, oh, I’m so brave, I’m going to do this thing. I was actually terrified and I was nervous and I, but I was with you. And so there was a comfortability in an element of believing that we could,

Aaron (25:08):
What’s that song? You make me brave that. How does

Jennifer (25:13):
Yes. I just feel encouraged. And I think if we were able to do all of that, what could we do next?

Aaron (25:21):
What could we, I mean crazy. Almost anything. I think <laugh>, what else?

Jennifer (25:31):
I don’t know. My heart just feels light. I didn’t expect that. Any of it.

Aaron (25:38):
Well you are pretty brave for having five kids.

Jennifer (25:42):
I do feel brave for that. Or crazy Both. I’m really, really happy that we had kids early in our marriage. I wasn’t like eager to even think about kids. And I didn’t know how to wrap my brain around it. Even when we found out we were pregnant with the first one. So to now look back and say, man, we have five kids. And that they’re all growing up. They’re getting old

Aaron (26:07):
People with ideas.

Jennifer (26:09):
It’s wild stuff. It’s so crazy.

Aaron (26:12):
It is. They can

Jennifer (26:15):
Do things, talk back.

Speaker 3 (26:16):
Yeah,

Jennifer (26:17):
That’s true.

Aaron (26:22):
So I wanted to affirm you first and foremost cuz you deserve it. You’re my wife and I love you. And

(26:33):
Telling you these things are not fake. They’re not to embellish. They’re purely to say what’s fact and truth, which is what an affirmation should be. True, good things like that. Verse, whatever is good. Whatever is noble. Noble. And so I also wanted to do it for the listeners to hear what it sounds like to affirm your spouse. And also I wanted them to hear your responses to the affirmations because I think they’re natural for us. It’s hard for us to receive things like this because we have all sorts of thoughts for about ourselves. And rarely are those thoughts affirming. That’s why there’s this huge self-love movement of self-care and take care of yourself and speak good things to yourself and all these things. Because we don’t naturally do that because we see ourselves, we think the clearest like, oh, look at that other thing I messed up on. I’ll look at that. How I just did that. Oh, I yelled at the crazy critical I did. Oh, I was angry over here. Oh, I dropped the ball on this plan. I

Jennifer (27:52):
Feel like we never forget, either we’re friends or spouse, they could easily forget that you said that thing or did something that you shouldn’t have, but we never forget. And so we carry that around with us.

Aaron (28:07):
And so what do you think happens when we go out throughout our lives and the affirmations are far and fewer between? Yeah, we say we love each other, we enjoy company. We are nice to each other. All the things that you should be, but you don’t intentionally go out of your way. I don’t intentionally go out of my way to say and call out the good things in you. What do you end up hearing the most in your life?

Jennifer (28:43):
My own voice,

Aaron (28:46):
Which again, are rarely the good things. I have my own voices. I have my own sins that I know full well and the things that come up in my head and the things I say about myself and believe about myself. And then on top of that, we have an enemy who proclaims lies to us and points out things to us. And then we have not just that, but we also have all of the other things that we see in life that we can quickly, instantly compare ourselves to. None of those things affirm us. And so not that it needs to be what I just did. And I just went through seven things with you. We could be that. But if what would happen if everyone listening, every spouse just tried to make it a point to affirm their spouse every day in something. Say, man, you’re such a good mom man. I love how you take care of the kids. Oh I love seeing you play and rolling around on the floor with the kids like it. What would happen if we began to speak better words out loud intentionally in front of our kids, in front of our spouse more regularly? What do you think would happen?

Jennifer (30:05):
I think it would positively reinforce the things that we do and will make us wanna keep doing those

Aaron (30:14):
Things well. And the true things that actually are there that we may be thinking lies about. Think about, I said you were brave and you’re like, I don’t think you’ve ever said that before. And then you said, I wouldn’t see myself as brave. But now that you said it, now that you said all the things that I was brave in, I could see it just that one thing, that one phrase can give life to a part of you that you never had life before. And how powerful it is to speak these good words. Affirming words, encouraging words.

(30:49):
And what’s interesting is it hard for us to hear our flesh is against it because we have a hard time believing them because of what we hear most of the time. We hear all the other things, I’m not brave, I’m not strong, I’m not a good mom, I’m not a good dad. So that’s where our baseline is. So when we hear the affirm affirmation, which contradicts what we believe in our heads that we’ve heard and operated in, it stops us. And we’re like, wait, what? And so what could happen if we just keep doing it and keep pushing through that? And will the voices in our heads change? Will the words that we hear in our heads change? I could do this. I messed up. I’m going to come back and I’m going to do it better. I’m going to change how I respond. I’m going to actually go and cuz I can do this. That’s not who I am.

Jennifer (31:47):
I know we’re recording this episode for our listeners, but I just feel really encouraged and inspired myself to wanna try this. And I’m thinking about our relationship, which I wanna share about in a second, but also just how important and vital this is to bring it to our children. And it makes me think, we just did something kind of similar with Wyatt for his birthday where we all went around and said one thing we love about Wyatt, and I love that kind of exercise or experience. And I think it really does pump them up in an encouraging way. But I’m thinking even just what you did with seven affirmations, but for each child, just making sure that they know without a shadow of a doubt, my love for them and what I think of them and what I perceive to be true in their life and their abilities.

(32:42):
I just think that’s really powerful. And then on the note about our relationship, again, I know we’re recording this so that those listening are encouraged, but I just wanna apologize to you for not being one who chooses to affirm as often as I choose to critique or call out things that I justify in my heart as well. This thing needs to be said. He needs to know he will be better. He will grow. If I tell him this thing he’s messing up on or doing wrong and I’m very quick to point out the negative instead of saying the positive. And I’m sorry for that.

Aaron (33:30):
I

Jennifer (33:30):
Forgive you. And I wanna work on being an affirming wife. I do struggle with

Aaron (33:34):
That. And that’s a good opposite to point out is the opposite of affirmations as critique is just constantly pointing out how we fail or how we didn’t line up just right or how we didn’t live up to an expectation. And that does the very opposite. That reinforces the negative thoughts, the mm-hmm. <affirmative> damaging thoughts. The lies. Which leads me to my final thought on this world is full of discouragement and we were just talking about we know full well, how shall I say crappy? We are right? Yeah. We know it really well. Mm-hmm. Better than most. We know we’re really good at feeling shameful. We’re really good at feeling weak. We’re really good at believing we’re useless or unworthy. These are we. This is not the hard stuff. This is the easy stuff. You fill in the blank of negative things that we think and say about ourselves daily or that other people say to us. Or like you said, that we say to each other when we are critical, overly critical when we’re negative.

(34:49):
And so we have a lot of it like an abundance of accusations against us. It’s literally what the devil does. He’s the accuser. He accuses us of our failings and weaknesses. And that’s that in reality, that is who we are with a sin nature that we have. But Christ has done something different. Christ has given us something more. Christ has made us one with himself. I was reading that devotional from Spurgeon this morning to the kids and it says that the body and the members are of the same substance as the head. And he brought up Nene’s dream of the statue where there’s the head of gold and then the silver and the bronze and the clay and the iron and all these different parts. And he is, none of those were the same. They were all mixed. The head was the best part and everything else below it was worse. And Spurgeon was saying, but not so with Christ. We are the same as the head. So if the head be righteous, we are righteous. If the had be pure, we are pure. If they had be gold, we are gold. And so that’s the difference is there’s, there’s plenty of the hurtful, hateful, negative lies and destructive words in the world that we say to ourselves, that we hear from others, that we hear from every media outlet everywhere all the time nonstop. And the enemy himself, we can use a little bit more encouragement. Amen.

Jennifer (36:22):
Yep. Feels really good too.

Aaron (36:24):
It feels way better than critique. I can tell you that much. Yeah. And so I just, there’s a couple of verses. Do you wanna add anything to that by the way? Yeah, it was really good. Okay. Philippians four, eight. It’s very well known finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there’s any excellence, if there’s anything worthy of praise, think about these things. It’s easy to see all the other things. It actually takes spiritual work to see these things. To look at someone and be like, well, where’s their praiseworthy things in this person’s life even though they’ve done this, this and this and this. How can I praise this person? How, what’s honorable about this person even though they have failed here and have been honorable in this area.

(37:15):
Ephesians 4 29, let no crypting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear, did you feel like you were giving grace tonight? Because that’s what words of affirmation do they build up. The Bible tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue. It just is. We can bring life with our words or we can bring death with our words. And I wanted to bring you life tonight. I appreciate it. And I want everyone listening to practice this week and moving forward that they would see where areas in their spouse’s life that they could just speak life like, man, I love how you said that to our son. That was so beautiful. I love how you just calling out the things that we love in someone.

(38:12):
Jor. Jordan Peterson says something recently that I was really encouraged by and it said, don’t punish an action you want repeated. And it makes so much sense. How often do we punish someone’s doing something, they’re like, oh, you’re bothering me. Stop doing that. When you’re being playful with me and I get annoyed and I shouldn’t, like I want you to be playful with me. Why would I punish you being playful with me? I shouldn’t do that. So let’s reward. Let’s reward and make known and make visible and highlight and do everything we can to elevate the things that are worthy to elevate. And what will happen, I believe will, it’ll actually minimize the things that we don’t want elevated. Like we will. We’ll see them less and they’ll probably actually happened less. So that was the super secret episode. It was to affirm you and it was,

Jennifer (39:02):
I’ll never do one of those again. Yes

Aaron (39:04):
You will. I hope you do one with me.

Jennifer (39:07):
That would be

Aaron (39:08):
Cool. Not the exact same one of course next season, but you could just trick me or

Jennifer (39:13):
Surprise me or something.

Aaron (39:13):
All right.

Jennifer (39:15):
But you like that kind of stuff?

Aaron (39:16):
Yeah, I do like the impromptu, who knows what’s going on. But I

Jennifer (39:21):
Do, go ahead. No. Oh when you were talking, I wanted to share an experience I had recently. You were talking when you were talking about the lies that we say to ourselves and the things that we hear the critiques and the criticalness that we wrestle with in our internal dialogue. And I just wanted to share, a friend of mine was having a hard day and reached out and said, would you pray for me? And then left this note of the things that she was struggling with, including lies that she was believing about just how difficult parenting is and whether or not she was failing and other areas marriage was on their friendships having a life that’s too busy and wanting to slow down and just

Aaron (40:12):
All the normal things.

Jennifer (40:13):
It was a lot. And with every word that I read I could relate to and say, yeah, me too. But I just wanna share that because one, I got to pray right away. Two, I got to send a response and encourage my friend and tell her what the truth was. And so I think to your point of we should be people who initiate affirmation. I think that’s really important and really good. And it really does feel good on the receiving end to do that. But if you’re in a place where you are suffering under the burden of thought of who you are and the things that you are trying to do day in and day out, reach out to a friend, tell your spouse, tell

Aaron (40:55):
Us. I’m giving it back to the beginning of the episode. I like it. What

Jennifer (40:58):
Community? Oh yeah, exactly. See I got this. I was just thinking how important it is to say something. Even if you don’t wanna expose those lies that you’re believing about yourself, it’s so important to you because then the truth is revealed. And your friend or your spouse or your parents, whoever you tell, can encourage you in the truth and pray for you.

Aaron (41:20):
And the truth shall set you free.

Jennifer (41:22):
Seriously. Sometimes just getting those things out of your mind and helps. And I hope my friend was encouraged by what I shared with her.

Aaron (41:32):
Well she probably was Sure

Jennifer (41:33):
I know. <laugh>, low view of

Aaron (41:35):
Self. Well I just thank you for letting me do that and indulging me. And I feel like it was really nice and I meant all of it.

Jennifer (41:43):
You almost got a tear outta me.

Aaron (41:44):
You teared up pretty good. <laugh>. Not me at all. You did though. And I just, you listeners, I want you guys to do this week. Ask God to show you. And also I want you to recognize how much you need affirmation yourself, that you need to be reminded that you are loved by God and that you have His spirit and that you you’re good. Even though we’re bad <laugh>, you’re good cuz you have Christ and he’s good. So babe, would you pray for us? Yeah.

Jennifer (42:20):
Dear Lord, thank you for giving us our spouse and for using them as a tool to grow us and mature us. Help us to encourage and affirm each other more often. Help us to be the tool you use to strengthen our spouse each day. Lord, show us how to see the good and noble and true and praiseworthy in each other every day. I pray that we would not be used by the enemy to speak destruction and death to each other, but rather we would fight against the lies of the enemy and continually believe the truth about ourselves. That you dwell in us and that you have fearfully and wonderfully made us in Christ Jesus. In Jesus name, amen. Thank you for joining us for another episode of the Marriage After God podcast.

Aaron (43:01):
If you found today’s episode fun and encouraging, please take a moment to share it on social media or in an email to some of your married friends.

Jennifer (43:07):
Also, would you please take a moment and leave us a review, reviews help to spread the word about our podcast.

Aaron (43:12):
Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode, and you can always check out more of our resources@marriageaftergod.com.

Jennifer (43:18):
You can follow us on social media from more marriage encouragement on Facebook and Instagram at marriage after God at Husband Revolution and at Unveiled Wife.

Aaron (43:26):
We hope you have an incredible week and look forward to sharing more with you next week on The Marriage After God podcast.

 

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