In this episode, we explore the topic of new year resolutions and how being people of our word is so much more important. Jesus tells us that we must be people who mean what we say. Our YES must be our yes and our NO must be our NO.
We also give simple tips and ideas on how to be better at keeping our word this year and how not being people of our word can hurt not only ourselves and our relationship with our spouse but also with our kids and others.
Aaron: Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.
Jennifer: Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.
Aaron: And today we’re going to talk about how to be people of our word. 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 the Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life.
Jennifer: And power.
Aaron: That can only be found by chasing after God.
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. Well, happy 2020, everyone.
Aaron: I was wondering if you’re going to say 2020 or 2,020.
Jennifer: I’m a 2,020 er. I guess.
Aaron: Yeah, I’m a 2020 er. I think.
Jennifer: I don’t think I’ve said it before.
Aaron: Or 2,020? 2020. It’s the first time we’re saying it.
Jennifer: It’s the 20s.
Aaron: It’s the 20… We’re in the 20s. I did see a meme that said… It said, “Everyone be aware the 20s is starting in a couple days.” And it showed this picture of all these really dapper men wearing the 20s suits, and it looked really cool. I was like, “I wish. I wish it was that 20s.” Now, we’re in 2020.
Jennifer: If they were here. This is crazy if you think about it.
Aaron: We’re in a new decade. I don’t know if everyone’s thought about that. But we’re literally in a new decade. That’s insane. So this is the first episode of the year for us. If you’re noticing it’s launching on a Monday, that’s a new thing for us.
Aaron: We usually launch on Wednesdays, but now we’re going to try launching on Mondays and see if we like that timeframe of launching episodes.
Jennifer: Hopefully, you guys like it too. If you want to give us some feedback, just head on over to Instagram at marriageaftergod and let us know what you think.
Aaron: Yeah. We had a… Man, I feel like we had an awesome 2019.
Jennifer: I liked it.
Aaron: 2019? 2,019.
Aaron: And I just wanted to do a quick recap of just what 2,019 looked like for us as a family. And we’re going to talk about things that we’re excited about for 2020.
Aaron: And then we’re going to talk about the topic. So, the first thing I can think of from 2019.
Jennifer: Even though it happened mid-year.
Aaron: It’s like mid-year.
Jennifer: It was a lot of work in preparation leading up to it.
Aaron: Our book, Marriage After God.
Aaron: Launched June 2019.
Jennifer: June 4th.
Aaron: June 4th, yeah. And man, thousands and thousands of you guys have gotten a copy of this book. And we’ve had such good feedback from it. And we just love seeing what the Lord’s doing in and through this book. Not in the book, I guess. Through the book in marriages. And so if you haven’t gotten a copy of the Marriage After God book, you can head over to Amazon, you can head over to our store, shop.marriageaftergod.com and pick up a copy today. You get a bunch of free resources with it when you do. But that was a huge thing.
Aaron: That’s like a lot of time, a lot of work writing, the publishing process.
Jennifer: Like two years worth [crosstalk 00:03:02]
Aaron: The waiting, then the marketing and then all of that stuff. I feel like we just wanted to take a ton of break off, like after that. A ton of time off because it was exhausting. And what else happened in 2019?
Jennifer: Well, shortly after the launch of Marriage After God, we found out we were expecting again.
Aaron: Yeah, we’re pregnant with number five.
Jennifer: Number five. So most of my summer was sitting on the back porch just not feeling well. But the kids played and it was great. And it was beautiful. And I think a lot of that hopefulness of this pregnancy and meeting our daughter, [crosstalk 00:03:35] Edith.
Jennifer: Yeah, I’m just sat with us the rest of the year.
Aaron: Yeah, and this has been a difficult pregnancy, but it’s been teaching us a lot, which is really cool. Number five [crosstalk 00:03:46]
Jennifer: Not difficulty because I’ve had, like health issues or anything like that, but just feeling nauseous and already having little kids that we’re helping nurture.
Aaron: Yeah, there’s been no complications just it’s been a rough physically.
Jennifer: It’s been harder than the other ones, for sure.
Jennifer: I just wanted to clarify.
Aaron: But you’re on the other side of that. Yes, you have a little bit of hard time sleeping sometimes. But this has been… We’re excited to meet Edith.
Aaron: In March.
Jennifer: I felt like getting through the holidays and focusing on Christmas was like my goal, because I knew once the new year came, my next thing [crosstalk 00:04:21]
Aaron: You’re like, “This is coming.”
Jennifer: Welcoming this baby. And so I’m just so excited to be kicking off this new year with that in my heart and getting ready to meet her.
Aaron: Another big thing that happened in 2019 for us was we branched off from our home church and planted a home church with a few couples.
Jennifer: So we’ve been doing home church since Olive was about three months old.
Aaron: Oh, wow.
Jennifer: Yeah. So it’s been a few years and it grew. And the point of branching off and planting a new home church was for growth.
Aaron: Yeah. Instead of just the mentality that we have with our home churches, instead of growing and staying together and buying a building and expanding that way, we just plant churches in homes. So there’s been two other churches planted from that one home church over the last couple years. And so we’ve been doing it for eight months now. And it’s incredible. The families that have come, the people that God’s brought in, and the relationships that we’re building.
Aaron: It’s teaching us new levels of love for one another. It’s teaching us how to grow in our giftings. I’ve been teaching a lot more in our home church. It’s just so cool. And so that’s been a huge thing. It really exciting. Probably one of my… Other than having another baby coming, it’s probably one of my favorite things that happened last year was planting that home church.
Jennifer: Another thing that stands out to me is, I’ve been homeschooling the kids. I feel like since they were born just because of the nature of who I am and what I love [crosstalk 00:05:47]
Aaron: The way we worked out.
Jennifer: The way we work.
Aaron: We don’t talk to them like babies.
Jennifer: well, and not just that, but I was in the Christian preschool education system for so long. And so I had this background to know just how to incorporate teaching and learning with young kids throughout the preschool years. And so I’ve always just naturally done it with my kids. But this was the first year that we officially started Grade One. And it was a big deal to me because [crosstalk 00:06:13]
Aaron: It’s like a real grade.
Jennifer: Well, it’s a grade, right? I was nervous. I’ve never done it before. Aaron and I both have been public schooled. And so we didn’t have you know, a lot of background with homeschooling, we have a great community that encourages it and has support where if I have a question I can go talk to my friends.
Aaron: Lots of homeschoolers.
Jennifer: Lots of homeschoolers around here, which has been great, but just starting off with Grade One and it feeling so official. I don’t know. It just freaked me out a little bit.
Aaron: Do you feel like it felt like diving into a pool without knowing how to swim?
Jennifer: Yeah, I mean, I guess. Yeah.
Aaron: Well, we spent months considering all the options.
Jennifer: Well, and I spent a long time preparing what we were going to teach him and how we were going to teach him and you know what, you guys? I don’t [crosstalk 00:07:01]
Aaron: I’m going to say this before you finish.
Jennifer: Okay, what?
Aaron: You’re crushing it.
Jennifer: You’re sweet.
Aaron: She has a student binder, she has this program she’s doing, she’s scheduled in the breaks that we’re going to take. She’s like [crosstalk 00:07:10]
Jennifer: I was just going to say this [crosstalk 00:07:11]
Aaron: She’s crushing it, guys.
Jennifer: We’re both really enjoying it. Me and Elliott. We are really enjoying it.
Aaron: Well, and it’s not just like Elliott, you’re bringing all the kids along. They’re all at different stages, but, man, you’re doing a really good job.
Jennifer: Thank you.
Aaron: Yeah. So how excited are you for 2020?
Jennifer: Okay, I already mentioned this, but I’m so excited for 2020 because I get to meet my second daughter. I can’t get over that. I can’t believe it.
Aaron: Olive’s super excited. She just cannot wait. She’s like, “I’m going to have a sister.” So yeah, 2020’s got a lot of potential. And that’s what’s awesome about New Year’s is there’s so much potential because it hasn’t happened yet.
Jennifer: Yeah, we’ve shared about this in our book. But Aaron and I love to dream together and vision cast and every end of the year season, we do this together, but this last year, we did a little bit earlier in December and it was so refreshing just to… We went on a date but we spent like three and a half hours just sitting there writing down notes and talking and getting out of our hearts what we had been thinking about and dreaming about and just asking each other some hard questions about our relationship, about our relationship with the kids.
Aaron: About work, about books.
Jennifer: It felt so good.
Aaron: About lots of things.
Jennifer: Yeah, where we’re headed for this new year. And then my birthday was a couple days ago, and we got another date night in where we just got to just go over a little bit of those things that we had talked about, and set our sights on them and aim for some goals this next year.
Aaron: Yeah, just so everyone knows that… Maybe don’t know Jennifer’s birthday is on the 31st. December 31st. So she’s a New Year’s Eve baby. And then our wedding anniversary [crosstalk 00:08:47]
Jennifer: Is today.
Aaron: Is today.
Jennifer: Happy anniversary.
Aaron: Yeah, we’ve been married [crosstalk 00:08:52]
Jennifer: 13 years.
Aaron: I almost messed it up. 13 years. I was going to say 12 but we’re done with 12 now we’re in the 13. Yeah. 13 years, we’ve been married. So that’s our… We’re launching on our anniversary.
Aaron: Our marriage birth day. Is that how that works?
Jennifer: Launching the podcast’s new season.
Aaron: Yeah, this is a new season. This is season three, I think of the Marriage After God podcast. And this is our 13th anniversary today.
Aaron: Yeah. So we have a lot that happens in the end of the year, in the beginning of the year, which is why we get to talk about a lot of things. And we always encourage, you can go back and listen to our episode on dreaming together on our podcast, episodes and episodes ago, but you should go check it out. But it just talks about what we do, and why we do it, and how powerful it is to set goals and dreams and writing them down and talking about them together and how unifying it is. And it’s something we try and do. And what are some of the things that we’ve talked about? What things are we looking forward to this year that they may or may not happen? But the goal is we’re going to [inaudible 00:09:54]
Jennifer: Yeah, we’ve submitted these things before the Lord and we just really… We hope to see them come to be. And I’m really excited about the first one, I’m going to share it with you guys. It’s been one of our biggest goals. Like it’s been on the table for some time, but we haven’t actively pursued it. And it’s children’s books.
Aaron: Yeah, Jennifer’s written two amazing children’s books.
Jennifer: You’re being so nice to me.
Aaron: I know. We’re not going to tell you what the names of them are, because they’re special. But you’ll find out when they launch, whenever they launch because we don’t have a publisher yet. But we’re looking for one. And they’re going to be incredible. You’re going to love them.
Jennifer: I hope so.
Aaron: So we’re going to be pursuing that this year, we’re going to try and find a publisher. We’re going to try and get those children’s books published this… Either this year or next year. I don’t know how long it takes to get a children’s book published but we’re going to try.
Jennifer: Yeah, because there’s art involved. But one reason why I’m so excited about this, you guys, is having young kids and having this message that we want to share with them. It just feels like a gift. It feels like something that we can create for them, right now, in their season of life that they’ll get and that would inspire them and hopefully, a lot of others kids.
Aaron: Yeah. And a little secret about it is they’re going to have a marriage focus.
Aaron: Which is interesting, because you’re like, “How do you do a children’s book but have a marriage focus?” Well, you’ll have to find out. Another goal that we have this year is to try and do more giveaways. We want to give away… We’ve been doing these giveaways with Bibles. And we’ve been partnering with a couple companies that sell Bibles and have these really incredible Bibles. And I’ve been really enjoying it. And there’s something special about giving away a Bible, getting Bibles into people’s hands.
Aaron: And so we’re going to try and do that more when trying to partner with some companies that have some awesome Bibles, which Jennifer just did a giveaway. And we’re actually going to ship those books out soon with a really beautiful Bible for women. It’s got this fabric cover and it’s ESV, which we love, and I give away a Bible. I actually have the Bible, I use it. I’ve given a couple of them why now, but we just… I think we want to do a little bit more of those Bible giveaways this year.
Aaron: More often.
Jennifer: It’s a fun way to spread the gospel.
Aaron: Yeah, I know right now I have three Bibles sitting on my desk that I want to give away. So we’re going to do that soon. So in order to be a part of those giveaways, by the way, follow us on Instagram at marriageaftergod and unveiledwife and husbandrevolution. So those are other ways to find out about the giveaways because we post about them. But that’s one of our goals this year is to give away more Bibles.
Jennifer: Yep. The last one that we’re going to share with you guys is just that we love the Marriage After God community we love being able to host this podcast for you and our hearts in talking about the podcast was just that this is going to be a year of intentionality where we are going to put so much thoughtfulness into the content, not that we haven’t in the past, but we just really [crosstalk 00:12:44]
Aaron: We want to put more.
Jennifer: We wanted to share that with you guys because we want you to know how God is stirring in our hearts to make this podcast and this content something that’s really encouraging and challenging and makes you walk away really truly considering how God is moving in your life and in your marriage and in your relationships. And so I just put that out there to let you guys know that this podcast is the main priority for us. And we’re excited and thrilled to… And honored to be able to do it for you.
Aaron: Yeah. So one last thing before we get into the topic, we want to invite you to join our free Marriage Prayer Challenge, we have almost 20,000 people that have already joined this challenge and are currently in it. And so if you want to join it, it’s marriageprayerchallenge.com. It’s completely free. You’ll get a series of emails over the next 31 days, prompting you and giving you things to pray for, for your spouse, and you can choose to take the husband challenge or the wife challenge depending on who you are in the marriage.
Aaron: And it’s awesome people are loving it. I get thank you emails almost every day from people thanking me for the challenge and we just want to let you know we’ve created these resources for you, not for us but for you to grow in your relationship with the Lord, to grow closer to your spouse and to see him move in your marriage. And so we want to invite you, marriageprayerchallenge.com. That’s marriageprayerchallenge.com. All one word. And join that prayer challenge.
Aaron: So let’s slide right into the topic at hand. And it seemed like a no-brainer. It’s the new year, people are talking about resolutions, commitments, people want change, they’re going to take this new year and say, “Okay, we’re going to start today, and we’re going to do this new thing. I’m going to pursue this idea. I’m going to make this change in my life.” And we wanted to talk about that. But in a different way. We want to talk about in a core way, when that is deeper inside of us, at the core of who we are, rather than trying to help you figure out how to keep your resolutions this year.
Jennifer: Yeah, I feel like there’s a lot of vantage points too to this conversation, a lot of layers to be peeled back on it. And so we’re just going to peel back one of those layers on this discussion and talk about what it means to be specifically people of our word.
Aaron: Right, if you look at it, the resolution side of things, I set a new year’s resolution. I’m going to lose five pounds. I’m going to start this business. I’m going to fill in the blank. And that’s a thing that we say, a statement we make and then if we don’t follow through with it, we weren’t a person of our word. I said I was going to do one thing, and I did another. Or I said, I was going to do this thing, and I didn’t do it.
Aaron: And so that’s what I want to talk about. Are we men and women of our word? Regardless of the resolutions we set, because if you are a person of your word, if you set a resolution, you will follow through with it. If you set a commitment, you’re going to follow through that commitment. So it’s a important attribute of a believer’s life that are our yes be yes and our no be no.
Jennifer: [inaudible 00:15:47]
Aaron: That’s nothing in between that.
Jennifer: Let’s read that verse. So Matthew 5:33-37.
Aaron: It says, again, you have heard it that it was said to those of old, you shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn. But I say to you, do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God or by earth, for it is the footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you can’t make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply yes, or no. Anything more than this comes from evil. This is Jesus talking.
Jennifer: Okay, so before we unpack the principle here and why you chose this verse to kick this topic off. Would you just spend a little bit of time on the last part of that verse and maybe explain what it means when it says, simply, yes or no, anything more than this comes from evil?
Aaron: Well, let’s think about this. If I tell someone, I’m going to do this thing for them. That’s a yes, right? I’m going to do this thing for them. And I don’t follow through with that. Am I a liar?
Jennifer: Mm-hmm (affirmative)
Aaron: Is lying a good thing? Now, we can come up with tons of excuses. And we can say, “Well, I mean, there’s circumstances and something comes up.” And yeah, that may be true. But when we tell people, when we say to ourselves, to others, to our kids, to our wife, to our friends, to our pastor, to the people that we walk in fellowship with one thing and do another, that’s not good. That’s an evil thing.
Aaron: And so what Jesus is saying, he’s like, “Don’t swear by God because… Or don’t swear by heaven, because that’s the throne of God, you have no control over heaven. Don’t swear by earth, because you have no control of earth. It’s not yours.” He even says, “Don’t swear by your own head.” Because these are things that people will do, “I swear by the hair in my head or I swear by my own.” It’s like, what he’s saying is, is you’re trying to give authority to your word that doesn’t exist.
Jennifer: So where does that authority come from? Through your actions, right?
Aaron: It comes from your actions. So what he’s saying, he’s like, “Let’s just be people that when we say something, we do it, we mean it.” And that is where your authority comes from, the action. And so if we have to… And he’s saying, “Don’t even give oaths.” And if you read throughout the Old Testament, I’m not going to bring these stories up. If you read throughout the Old Testament, there were men who made oaths that regretted them. And they had to follow through with them because it was a law. If you made a note and you didn’t follow through with it, you were breaking God’s law.
Aaron: And so Jesus is taking it even further and saying, “Don’t even need the oaths. The oaths don’t mean anything. Because what means something is that you do what you say.” And so that’s what we’re getting to as believers is, are we men and women who do what we say that we’re men and women of action, right? There’s another scripture I was just thinking about James that it says, if you hear the word and do not do, you’re like a man who looks in a mirror and walks away and immediately forgets what you look like. It says, but rather, do what you hear, like be doers of the word.
Jennifer: Yeah, there’s another verse that comes to my mind in talking about this and it’s Ephesians 4:29. It says, “Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear.” And usually, we hear this verse in context. And we’ve shared it before in other episodes, but in context to the word choices that we use, and things that we say.
Aaron: And negative things.
Jennifer: So when you hear [crosstalk 00:19:13]
Aaron: Hateful things, hurtful things.
Jennifer: And those are very obvious. But in light of simply saying yes or no, and sticking to it with your actions, I feel like we can easily fall into this crep talk if we are saying one thing and doing another.
Aaron: Right. And a good example of this would be, as a husband, I tell my wife, “I’m going to be home at a certain time.” Now, the one time it happens, and hey, I really tried there was traffic there was this, right? It’s one thing, but if I’m telling my wife, I’m going to be home. And I’m just using my words to appease her or tell her one thing and make her think one thing. And then consistently [crosstalk 00:19:50]
Jennifer: Day after day, after day.
Aaron: I’m home five minutes late, 10 minutes late, 12 minutes late.
Jennifer: An hour late. Yeah.
Aaron: Right? And I’m always having an excuse. I’m not building up my wife, I’m not giving grace to her. All she hears when I say it now is like, “Yeah, right.”
Jennifer: That talk is actually corrupting your marriage relationship.
Aaron: Right. So it goes back to if I can’t say yes to her, I need to tell her… It’s a truth thing.
Aaron: The truth is, I won’t be able to make it at that time. In reality, or the truth is if I say that, then I need to make changes in the things that I’m doing to make sure that the thing I said, it’s true. Because I don’t want to be a liar. We want to be men and women of light, of truth. And so, yeah, when we say things that we don’t mean, which is another level of corruption, I’m just saying it. I’m giving lip service is what the Bible calls it.
Aaron: I’m telling God, I love him with my mouth, but hating with my actions. That’s called lip service. I’m telling someone, I’m going to do something but in my heart, have no intention of actually following through with it. That’s corrupt. And that is from evil. That’s what Jesus was saying. Anything else other than your yes and your no is from evil because what you’re doing is you’re either making yourself look good just for the sake of showing a certain face, you’re trying to intentionally deceive someone, you’re trying to make someone think one thing while you’re going to do another. None of those things are good.
Aaron: And so that’s… When I think about that scripture of crep talk, is our words… Are we corrupt? Are we trying to walk in? I mean, and this isn’t to talk about those occasions of misfortune or accidents.
Jennifer: Right. There’s grace for those things.
Aaron: Right. Of course, this is the core of who we are.
Jennifer: Pattern, a belief system, a way [crosstalk 00:21:33]
Aaron: When we say something, do we mean it? Or do we just say things? Which brings me to another thought is, are we thoughtful about the words that come out of our mouth? Or do we just let things come out? Am I just making empty promises, because in the moment, it just, “Oh, yeah, everyone’s… Oh, yeah, I’m going to do that too. Yeah.” And so that’s what we want to talk about. Because this is much deeper than just keeping resolutions. This is everything in our life. Do our kids look at us and know they can trust what we say?
Jennifer: Right. Even in the smallest of things, because I’ve recognized that as a parent, I’ve had to stop myself mid-sentence because I’m going to say something that I know I don’t mean. Saying the word maybe or saying the word yes when I really mean no, or not right now. I need to be truthful to my kids if I want to build trust with them.
Aaron: But we want to be reliable. The Lord wants us to be reliable. So how could our kids feel secure if they never know? They can’t. And that’s a good example, I was thinking about that with my kids. They’ll ask me questions and the easy response is maybe or, I’ll think about it, or let’s see, and I do that often, actually. But if I took a moment to think about I could either say, yes, and then my kids know, “Oh, we’re going to do that thing.” Or I could say, “No, we’re not going to do that today.” And it’d be done.
Jennifer: But what’s required of us to be able to stop and be people who really, truly consider our words and think through all of that?
Aaron: Well, we have to consider… We have to understand who we are, our own limitations, our own abilities, what the day has to hold, it calls us to be more thoughtful.
Jennifer: We have to count the cost of whatever that is that thing that we’re committing to.
Aaron: Yeah, which is a biblical wisdom that we are talking, counting the cost, thinking through, making our plans, not just being frivolous, not just being flippant. And actually, being thoughtful.
Jennifer: Everybody gets to answer the question, are we ready to pay the price for this? In the sense that if you are someone who doesn’t follow through with your word with the commitments and the goals and the resolutions that you’ve made, you’re either going to pay the price in your relationships, in a negative way. Or you’re going to be a person who’s going to count the cost ahead of time and pay the price the right way.
Aaron: Yeah, what’s it worth to keep your word?
Jennifer: What sacrifice do I need to make for that to happen?
Aaron: Yeah. And all this goes back to building that trust, the reliability. And it’s a name that we’re building. And it’s not just our name… We’re going to get into this more, but there’s a name that we represent as Christians.
Jennifer: Okay, so this leads me to a question what is easier to simply say yes or no? Or the following through of our yeses and our nos?
Aaron: Well, it’s easier to say yes or no. But it’s not right. And I would say, since it’s new year, we were talking about resolutions, a perfect example of this is new year’s resolutions. It’s so easy to make them and we think that January 1st is going to give us something we didn’t have December 31st. We think that January 1st is going to open a door that was closed on December 31st. And so what we do is we say… It’s almost like making an oath on heaven or earth or on our head because we think, “Oh, New Year’s has some power that’s going to make my yes a yes. January 1st has this authority that I can make an oath by, that’s going to give me some self-control that I did not have before.”
Aaron: I’m technically making an oath on. And Jesus saying… He’s like, “Don’t do that. It’s not yours. You can’t make an oath on 2020 thinking that 2020 is going to make it come true.” So, new year’s resolutions is a perfect example of it’s easier to say yes, than it is to follow through on that, yes, it’s easier to make the resolution than it is to resolve the resolution, complete the resolution. And so, is that what we’re doing when we make resolutions? When we tell someone we’re going to pray for them? When we tell our kids we’re going to do this thing this year? Or we’re going to hit this goal this year? Or we’re going to do this as a family? It’s easy to say yes and make ourselves look good in the moment to someone or to [crosstalk 00:26:04]
Jennifer: Or to our ourselves.
Aaron: Or to even ourselves. Yeah. But it’s much more difficult and it’s much more spiritual to be able to follow through on things.
Jennifer: There’s a statistic out that says that less than 10% actually follow through with their new year’s resolutions.
Aaron: Yeah, and I would imagine, that’s probably a high probability that it’s even less than that.
Jennifer: I mean, we’ve experienced this before mid-spring fall out, you have all this momentum, and you’re goal-oriented and you’re set-up for success and then your flesh gets in the way and all of a sudden you’re off the rails, you are not staying committed to what you’ve decided. We’ve experienced this in the past. And I would say in those times, it was because we weren’t committed truthfully, in our hearts. We weren’t committed to those yeses. Like we should have been.
Aaron: Well, and that’s a good point. When we say yes, even to ourselves, let’s say, it’s our diet or exercise or getting in the word or how we’re going to commit our self at church, whatever those things are, do we even actually believe it in our own heart? Or are we saying it hoping it’s going to change? Like that fake it until you make it. Like, “I’m just going to keep saying it until it’s true.” Rather than actually believing it. Because the root of transformation, the root of any change in anyone’s life, starts with belief. It’s how the gospel works.
Aaron: It says if you believe in your heart… Our salvation is based on belief, we believe. And then the faith is the action of that belief. So, belief leads to faith. So I believe what God has said is true and my faith is the acting out of that belief. And so in our own life, we are going to do anything, we’re going to say yes to anything or no to anything if we’re going to make any actual transformation change in our life.
Aaron: It’s got to start with belief. So if we’re just saying things, but knowing it’s not… Not believing it, but hoping that the belief comes someday, it won’t. Because it has to start with the belief first. And we talked about this a lot with our own life and things that we have struggled with.
Jennifer: Yeah, I was just going to say, there’s been times in my life where I believe that I should make this commitment. And I believe that I can do it, for a period of time. But there’s also this part of my heart that I don’t talk about that I believe that I’ll do it for as long as I can. And then once I can, it’s okay.
Aaron: It’s what you believe.
Aaron: And so you were only able to get as far as your belief brought you, what you believed was true. And so what we believe, it creates how we act because that’s what faith is. It’s the action of our belief. It’s acting on the thing you know to be true, right? So if we believe we can’t, then we won’t. So no matter how many times you say you can if you believe you can’t, you’re not going to.
Jennifer: Yeah. One of the things that I wanted to bring up since I did already mentioned that there’s been times in our past where we’ve experienced that fall out of not following through with commitments or goals that we’ve made. Something that’s really helped us out is strategy. So when we actually communicate and verbalize with each other and utilizing the gift of marriage for this is so perfect, because you have someone who’s on your team. When we sit down, and we talk about the things that we believe, the things that we want to change, the goals that we want to make, and we write them down, and we make a plan. We have been, what would you say 99% more successful in accomplishing those things. Because we’ve been actionable.
Aaron: Yeah. And then the second part of that is not just writing it down, because what that does is it makes you accountable to it out in the real world. It’s this idea of if you say it in your head, but never say it out loud, then it only exists in your head and it doesn’t ever have to be real. So it could be fluid, it could change. And be awry because no one knows. And I mean, yeah, it was this way, but now it’s this way. But then when we say it out loud and write it down, it actually becomes a real thing.
Aaron: And you’re like, “Oh, that’s a commitment. That’s a real thing.” And in order to change that, I have to erase it, or scribble it out, which means I’m having to confront my own change. And then the other part of that is accountability, meaning if I write it down and say it out loud, but never tell anyone, then I have a backdoor to be able to make that… To change however I want. And no one will know. No one will be able to say like, “I thought you were doing x, y, z.” You’re like, “Oh, what are you talking about?”
Jennifer: Right. So if you tell somebody like I’ve told you things that I’ve been wrestling with that I want to change or set a goal for, and the moment I tell you, I’m held accountable, and then you think about it [crosstalk 00:30:52]
Aaron: Well, and later on when I see something, I’m like, “Hey, I thought you were… You told me we’re going to do something else?”
Jennifer: Or, “How are you doing with x, y, z?” There’s that accountability, and it’s a beautiful thing for marriage.
Aaron: It’s also really hard.
Jennifer: To see it play out. Yeah.
Aaron: But if you want to be that person, that person that is a man or woman of your word, when you say, yes, to something, yourself, another person, that yes means yes. Every time. Now, we always want to go back to this grace and mercy. And this is not about perfection. But it’s about character. It’s about principle. It’s about value. It’s about where do we get these things from? It comes from the word of God. It’s the people God’s called us to be, not just called us to be but empowered us to be. We have the holy spirit.
Aaron: In 2 Peter 1:3 says, we’ve been given all things that pertain to life and godliness, all things for those who are in Christ Jesus. If we are in Christ Jesus, we have his spirit, his power. It’s not ours. And so we have to lean on that we say, “Lord, I need your help. I feel so weak in this area.” Jennifer, do you ever feel like this in your life with anything like that? You’ve tried in your own strength, and you’re like, “I don’t know why it can’t change or I can’t do this thing.” And what’s my response to you?
Jennifer: Well, you’re not supposed to be doing it on your own strength.
Aaron: You’re right.
Jennifer: You always tell me to be praying about it, you tell me to go to the Lord, what does God’s word say about me? Say about what the thing that I’m wrestling with?
Aaron: And where does the power come from? Him
Aaron: And so when we fail, we look to him and say, “I failed. I need more of what you have for me, I need more of you, Lord. I need to come to you.” And then God says, “My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in your weakness.” And so we get to be reminded of our own weakness that we’re not supernaturally powerful. We have his power, which is actually supernatural. I meant to say, we’re not inherently powerful.
Jennifer: We’re not superheroes.
Aaron: We’re not superheroes. Yeah.
Jennifer: He is.
Aaron: So I have a question for you. Why do we even make commitments? Why would someone be obligated or obliged to say yes to someone or agree to something that they may [inaudible 00:33:00]
Jennifer: Everyone that just made new year’s resolutions a couple days ago is thinking, “Yeah, why did I do that?”
Aaron: “I shouldn’t have done that.”
Jennifer: I think it comes down to what we… We want something. There’s something that we want. And if it’s a commitment we’re making to someone else that somebody else wants, it’s to [crosstalk 00:33:17]
Aaron: Maybe make ourselves look good to them.
Jennifer: Or maybe we do want to follow through with it, but we don’t actually believe we can. And so there is that wrestling.
Aaron: We don’t want to let them down.
Jennifer: Yeah, but I think the question is, do we make commitments just to look good or impress or think a certain way? Or do we actually truly want to be trustworthy, reliable, full of integrity people?
Aaron: And that’s a good place that we could start when we are thinking about things we’re going to say yes to or no to is asking us why are we saying yes? Can we fulfill this? Will we be able to do it well?
Jennifer: It requires us to slow down a little bit because in this fast-paced world we live in, it’s easy to just say yes to everyone and everything. But I think it’s really important for us, especially as Christians to slow down and consider, why are we saying yes to that thing or no to that thing?
Aaron: Even with ourselves, why do I want to get healthy? Why do I want exercise? Why do I want eat better?
Jennifer: What are our motivations?
Aaron: Why do I want to get into the word more? Why do I want to… You fill in the blank of the thing that you want to commit for yourself because oftentimes resolutions or commitments, they’re internal. The things that… We don’t like something about ourselves, that there’s something that we want to grow, and we recognize that we need to change.
Aaron: So asking yourself like, what does that mean, and why? And then asking yourself how that’s going to work? And we’re going to get into some practical tips in a little bit. But these are some good questions we need to be asking ourselves about these yeses and noes in our life.
Jennifer: As we’re asking ourselves those questions also, we need to keep in mind why it’s important to be people of our word. That was one of the reasons why we wanted to take this episode in this direction. So maybe we can just ask them some of the hard questions. Through the examples in probably all of our lives that we’ve experienced.
Aaron: Well, think about this, we are called Christians. What is a Christian?
Jennifer: A Christ-follower, someone who follows in his footsteps.
Aaron: Right. And so we’re in the world, so, we’re his followers but God calls us something else. He calls us representatives. He calls us ambassadors. So we’re ambassadors and ambassadors represent a country, they represent a place, a land, they are not itself, the land or the place. They are representative of the thing, of the place. And so that’s what we are. And so, going back to this idea of people of our word, it’s not just for our own sake, there’s something bigger involved.
Aaron: We’re ambassadors for a land. We’re ambassadors for a people, for each other. And we’re most importantly, ambassadors for God, representing Christ on earth right now. We’re his body. And so, when we’re not people of our word, we end up being horrible ambassadors. There’s people that aren’t believers, and they always hear us say one thing and do another, “Oh, yeah, that person always or never follows through.” Like at our jobs. Think about this.
Aaron: That we work for a boss, we tell him we’re going to get something done, and we don’t. Or we have a partner at our job, and we are supposed to get something done and we’ve let it fall through the cracks because of whatever.
Jennifer: Or we tell that friend, we’ve seen a dozen times, “Yeah, we’re going to get together, we’re going to get coffee.”
Aaron: And never call them.
Jennifer: “We’re going to have dinner, we’re going to do something.” And then yeah, never call them.
Aaron: We have that person. We’re like, “We’re going to bring them a meal or we’re going to…” And we just don’t, “Oh, I didn’t have time.”
Jennifer: Someone asked for a prayer request.
Aaron: “Oh, I’ll pray for you.”
Jennifer: And you don’t.
Aaron: And you walk away and you never pray for them. These are real things that represent what we believe about ourselves, about God, about people. And it gets in the way of the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ that he’s actually changed us. And because of what he’s done for us, because of him, in his completed work on the cross, saving us, puts a deep desire in our hearts to look like him, and to be like him and to follow him and to chase him. And do we think Jesus was a man of his word?
Aaron: Do you think Jesus ever told someone one thing and did another?
Jennifer: Mm-mm (negative)
Aaron: No, Jesus was who he said he was and he did what he said he did. And even said, at one point, he said, “I only do the things that the father tells me to do. And I only go to the places the father sends me.” Right? And he’s saying… He’s like, “If I say it, it’s what God said. If I do it, it’s what’s God doing. If I go there, it’s where God wants me.” That’s what Jesus did.
Aaron: And so there’s no going back and forth, there’s no being wishy-washy. There’s no being double-minded. There’s no being double-tongued like I say one thing out of my mouth, but I mean another. I say another thing over here. And we want to be ambassadors… We’re [inaudible 00:38:12] We don’t want to be, we are ambassadors for Christ. And the question is, are we representing him well? Of course, in his spirit, he’s empowering us to do it. But are we?
Jennifer: Yeah, when I think about the importance of keeping our word, the hard question I would ask is, how does your actions impact spreading the gospel? Because either you are or you’re not, right?
Aaron: Yeah, exactly. And I’ll give it a just a couple of examples. So in my own life, I do all the customer service for our store, if anyone didn’t know that, that’s true. So when you email me, it’s me talking to you. And often, people ask for prayer, and I don’t write out prayers for people. I can’t… We don’t give advice but I often will say, “I’m praying for you.” That’s all I’ll say. And I actually stop for a moment and I pray for those people to the best of my ability, because I don’t know all the details of their life, but the holy spirit does.
Aaron: I don’t just say it just to look righteous and let people know like, “Oh, look, they pray for us.” I actually do it because I want to be a man of my word. Even through an email with a couple of words to this person who doesn’t know me. I want them to know that… And I want you to know, right now, if you ask for prayer and I said, “I’m praying for you.” I did. And if I can’t, I don’t, right? And so that’s just one example. Like when we talk to other people, and we say, in person, I try not to say, “I’m going to pray for you.” And then go away. I try to pray for them right then.
Jennifer: Some things are a longevity game, though, and it requires that constant prayer.
Aaron: But that’s one little activity.
Jennifer: No, it’s good. Good example.
Aaron: In my own life, but there’s lots of other things. My kids, I was thinking about, if I tell my son, I’m going to do something with him later, or “Hey, maybe I’ll think about it.” I do that a lot and we talked about it at the beginning. But I want to be better. I want to tell him like, “Yes, I’m going to do it, let’s do it.” Or [crosstalk 00:40:06]
Jennifer: “No, I can’t.”
Aaron: “No, I can’t.”
Jennifer: Yeah. And I think that if we consistently fail at keeping our word whether to ourselves in the goals that we’ve made, the commitments that we’ve made, or to others.
Aaron: Or to our kids.
Jennifer: We’re creating distressed in the root of people’s hearts, and in our own hearts. And so when we go to share the gospel, when we go to teach from God’s word, we can’t do it effectively, because people will not trust what we have to say.
Aaron: Yeah, and we want to be trustworthy. We want to be men and women who mean what we say and say what we mean.
Jennifer: And do what we say. And we want to be a foundation for people, a place of security, a place of safety and trust, not of insecurity.
Aaron: And you know what? If we are these people, when we don’t follow through, when we drop the ball, when we should have said no but said yes, we will recognize it quickly. We’ll be like, “Man, I was not a person of my word.” And you know what we’ll do? We’ll go to that person, we’ll go to ourselves, we’ll go to our spouse, we’ll go to our kids and we will apologize. We’ll repent.
Jennifer: And instead of it being a confirmation for what that person believes about our character, it will actually be an opportunity for them to extend grace and love and understanding.
Aaron: Yeah. Well, and it builds trust because they know, “Oh, man, when so and so drops the ball on me, they’re going to recognize it.” And it’s not going to be this thing where no one ever mentions it and in the back of my heart, I’m thinking, “Do they even care? Do they care that they hurt me? Or that they frustrated me, did they care?”
Aaron: Because we want to care, now, it brings us back to loving our brothers and sisters. And that’s a powerful thing, going to someone and saying, “Hey, I dropped the ball on you. And I want you to forgive me. And I hope you do. And I’m going to try harder next time to not drop the ball on you.”
Jennifer: So there’s a big statement that I want to make. And I think it’s important to just recognize because we’re people of vision and future and hope and we don’t just do things by the seat of our pants, we don’t just keep… We know what’s coming as far as [crosstalk 00:42:16]
Aaron: The Lord’s return.
Jennifer: The Lord’s return, right?
Jennifer: And so we have work to do on this earth. And if we can keep our yes and our no in the small things, then we can do even better in the bigger things.
Aaron: Yeah, thinking about that scripture that says, if you’re faithful little you will be faithful with much. And that’s true. If you’re faithful with the little yeses and the little nos, if you’re faithful to keep those little, little commitments, you’re going to be faithful to keep bigger ones.
Jennifer: Yeah. And can God look down on you and say, “I trust you.” You’re faithful.”
Jennifer: All right, so let’s jump into a handful of practical ways of becoming a person of your word and also what some of the benefits are.
Aaron: Yeah, so get a pen and paper. We’re not going to go deep on all these. We’re just going to throw out some ideas. Say things out loud, we talked about that in the beginning, like when you say it out loud, it becomes real. And you can confront areas of weakness, and you can work on them. To make better habits.
Jennifer: You can write down your goals, which helps you strategize and aim for them because you have them written down in front of you, word for word, holding yourself accountable. And I would also say sharing those very specific goals or commitments with your spouse and communicating through them.
Aaron: And then a trick. So if you’re going to just try and lose weight, this is just an example. It could be anything but writing down a strategy is infinitely more powerful than just saying, “I’m going to eat better.”
Aaron: How? How are you going to eat better? What are you going to do when you go the grocery store? What kind of foods are you going to buy? What are you going to stop buying? What things do you currently buy that you’re going to write down that we’re not buying this anymore. This is no longer part of our diet? So writing down the strategy, breaking it down for little goals [inaudible 00:43:58] we are going to stop eating this thing.
Jennifer: Attainable goals.
Aaron: I’m going to stop putting cream in my coffee. I’m going to stop getting that thing. Write it down and have attainable goals and then you can know at the end of the month, you’ll be like, “Wow, I actually stopped.”
Jennifer: I’m doing it.
Aaron: Doing that thing. So whether you lost a pound or not, you actually reached part of your goal by making a change in your life that is actually long-term and sustainable.
Jennifer: Yeah. Here’s one, make your schedule work for you in that sometimes we make commitments and we don’t change anything else to make that commitment happen.
Aaron: It’s just going to fit somehow.
Jennifer: It’s just going to fit somehow. So take a look at your schedule and make sure that everything’s conducive to that yes, you made or that no, you made.
Aaron: I think this isn’t on the list. But I’m going to just point out, maybe think about over the last year, 2019, write down commitments that you dropped the ball on, and then you might be able to find a pattern of the things that you like to say yes to but you never follow through on. Maybe it’s dinner dates, maybe it’s having friends over, maybe it’s whatever and then figure how this year you can change that, going back to your schedule thing. Maybe you leave one afternoon open a week for that thing that you said yes to and always had to say no to later. And so maybe just do a little evaluation of broken commitments, and figure out how you can fix them for this year.
Jennifer: If you’re going to go that far, then I would add on a little bonus if there’s ones that are leaving broken relationships to go and repent, and especially if it’s with your spouse, like just say, “You know what? I just took inventory of what’s going on in my life. And I’m sorry that I did this to you.”
Aaron: Yeah, I promised you a date night every month, last year and we never did it once. And let’s figure out a change. It’s going on the calendar, like whatever it is. The other one, invite others to keep you accountable. So find someone and truly let them know say, “This is going to be hard for me. I might fight you on it. But here’s something I want to change in my life. And if you see me would you just gently say, “Hey, I thought you made a commitment to that.” Or “Hey, I thought you were going to…” And remind me.” Invite someone.
Jennifer: And then the last one is don’t go all out, up front. So you got to be realistic. And this is one thing that Aaron’s actually taught me.
Aaron: I’m going to go five days a week to the gym and I’m going to do three hours of work, I’m going to lift every day, I’m going to cut everything out of my diet, I’m going to… Don’t do that.
Jennifer: Make a commitment to go to the gym and hit at least once a week until you work your way up to a strength that you can maintain.
Aaron: I talked about this actually, in the episode when we talked about healthy living. One of the biggest things for me is that I didn’t commit to just going to the gym every day. What I said is like, “I’m going to get up once a week at six o’clock, and I’m just going to go to the gym down my street.”
Jennifer: Have those little victories in your life so that in the next year, you can look back and say, “Oh, look how much growth I’ve experienced.” Because of those little attainable goals. Another one would be like when you think about your Bible reading with the Lord. Some people will look at the new year and go I’m going to read the Bible in a year which is great and a goal you should attain for.
Aaron: But do you realize how much reading that is?
Jennifer: Not just that, but if you’re not doing it day by day, even in small chunks, there’s no way you’re going to fit in that kind of goal. So be realistic with yourself and what you’re capable of doing.
Aaron: So to condense that the idea would be, instead of taking like, “I want to be completely like this person next week.” And realize that’s not possible.
Jennifer: It takes time.
Aaron: What you want to do is you want to find little things that you can change in your life that become how you are. Because right now you’re not a certain way. And to be that other person takes 1000 little other things that need to change in your life.
Jennifer: Right. Okay, so what are some of the benefits of being a person of your word, Aaron? If you say you will be home at a certain time, what’s the benefit?
Aaron: My wife is going to feel honored, we’re going to have more stability in our home, our kids are going to know what to expect. I think you’ll respect me more. I mean, you respect me, but they’ll be a deep respect, they’ll be like an honor. There’s power and authority also. That’s something we didn’t talk about but there’s power and authority in being a man of your word. There’s people I know and when they say something, they do it every time all I think is like, “That man is so reliable. He is powerful.” And I think to myself like, “I want to be more like that guy.” So I think it’d be a good example my kids, they would say, “Wow, I want to be like that.”
Jennifer: Okay, if I say that I’m going to do a meal plan for the week. And I do it. Our family gets blessed, food’s on the table, we’re going to save money.
Aaron: We’ll eat better.
Aaron: Which that meal planning just in itself helps a lot of things. You can control what’s going in the pantry and in the refrigerator.
Jennifer: I won’t be frustrated come 3:30, 4:00. Not having a plan. If you say you will stick to a budget.
Aaron: Save money. Get out of debt.
Jennifer: Not buy useless things.
Aaron: Yeah. And have junk that has to go in the trash someday. Those are little commitments that [crosstalk 00:49:04]
Jennifer: Not have to confess and repent to your spouse.
Aaron: About your spending, about this thing, “I shouldn’t have done it.”
Jennifer: These are just a handful of things that we’re thinking of.
Aaron: And it really is… It’s integrity and it’s power.
Aaron: This is something we’ve been talking about lately when you do these things, which are… They all go back to self-control, which is a fruit of the spirit, right? Self-control. There’s power in self-control, someone who can control themselves, that’s power. And that’s God’s power showing like, “Look at this person who’s not just walking in their flesh, not just going by every whim, not every craving, every desire. They actually control themselves. They have poise and they’re distinct.” Because that looks different. That is surprising to the world. How do you have that much control?
Jennifer: Yeah, faithfulness is cultivated. Integrity is cultivated. So deciding in your heart to do what you say not just say it with your mouth.
Aaron: A good example of this is we talked about not having our phones in the bathroom like having devices in the bathroom like we’re trying to put in place, in our own lives, things that we’re going to expect of our kids.
Jennifer: Yeah. Boundaries.
Aaron: And it can be easy to be like, “Oh, I forgot.” Or I can think every single time like, “I said, I’m not going to do this.” And I could put my phone somewhere. And I know a lot of people use their phones in the bathroom. So they’re like, “No, that’s my thing.” I don’t know. But that’s integrity. Even when my wife doesn’t know I’m doing it, am I choosing to honor what we’ve talked about?
Jennifer: And when I think of integrity, I think of it even having integrity with yourself. Because otherwise, you’re going to be constantly in conflict with your mind, as your spirit and your flesh wrestle with the things that you know you should do that you’re not doing. And there’s no peace in that. So if you’re a person of your word, there’s going to be peace. If you’re a person of your word, change can happen, goals can be met, victory can be experienced.
Aaron: All the things that people are wanting.
Aaron: To grow.
Jennifer: Growth, your spouse will respect you, people will respect you. I think you mentioned that. These are all good, good things. And when you do it, when you are a person of your word, you are showing yourself and your spouse and your children, that you are a person who can be believed.
Aaron: And trusted.
Jennifer: Trusted. Therefore, when you do go to preach the gospel or teach them from God’s word, they will listen and they will trust what you have to say and belief will grow in their own hearts.
Aaron: Yeah, and what’s better than being able to show your kids what they’re capable of in the holy spirit, that they actually can change and make decisions and say, yes, and mean it and do it. That’s teaching your kids the power that they can have in God, and that they don’t have to be a slave to their lack of self-control, to be a slave to their cravings and desires, but they can have control over those.
Jennifer: Yeah, and you touched on this earlier about we’re not alone in these commitments that we’re making. If we’re Christians, then God is with us, his holy spirit is empowering us and we need to rely on him to walk us through that. But that means we need to be open with God and share with him when we’re struggling and share with him when we need his help and pray over these things and keep them submitted to him.
Aaron: And also ask him to show us as David did. Search my heart, Oh, Lord, and see if there be any wicked way in me. Ask God to show us if there’s anything in us that he wants changed. Any deceit, any falsehood.
Jennifer: A verse that has become very foundational in Aaron and I’s marriage that I wanted to share with you today is proverbs 16:3. And it says, “Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.” I think it’s a powerful verse and a good reminder that anything that we do, anything that we say yes or no to, we need to be committing these things to the Lord, we need to be submitting them to him and knowing that we’re not alone and trusting him to guide us through them.
Aaron: And committing to the Lord doesn’t mean, “Here’s what I’m going to do, God. Now, bless it.” It means, “Lord, here’s my plan. What do you say?”
Jennifer: I was just going to say, what does using this verse look like? Or holding [inaudible 00:53:00] look like in our marriage? And it’s exactly that. It’s saying, “God, here’s what we think we should do or desire to do. But we want you to align your heart with ours.”
Aaron: We want to align our heart with yours.
Aaron: No, but it’s usually the other way around. We want your heart [inaudible 00:53:18] Psalm 37:5 says, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will act.”
Jennifer: So he’s acting.
Jennifer: It’s not just us going about our day acting and trying and doing. He’s with us. And I think that’s empowering.
Aaron: Well, that comes at the end of… I want to say one last little quote before we close out in prayer. And it goes to this idea of often we see, like, “Oh, I’ll start my diet on Monday.” Or “I’m going to start reading tomorrow.” Or “I’m going to make this change next week.” And so I always say, if change is always tomorrow, then it’s never today. And so if we get in the practice of, “Oh, I’m going to make that change right now.” Like, “I’m going to make that decision now. I’m not going to save it for another day. I’m not going to say it’s more convenient tomorrow.”
Aaron: All that means is we’re not going to do because there’s always another tomorrow. But there’s never another today. And so we got to be men and women of our word. And let’s ask the Lord to help us be that.
Jennifer: Yeah, and with it being the new year, and you guys probably have already made commitments. We just want to encourage you, guys and say carry on. We are cheering for you, we’re here for you. And we love you guys. And we hope that you are women and men of your word.
Aaron: And don’t be afraid to adjust your commitments if you need to, to make it more realistic. Because what we are is that you have lifelong maturity and growth and transformation, not a short-term, exciting, burst of transformation and then you go back to your old ways. All of us, we want to be men and women who are growing and maturing and becoming more and more like what God’s called us to be. And that’s this lifelong sanctification process. So don’t be discouraged if you can’t hit that awesome resolution that you made. Let’s set [crosstalk 00:55:12]
Jennifer: Attainable goals.
Aaron: Set attainable goals in your life and ask God to transform you.
Jennifer: All right at the end of every episode, we pray together, so we just want to ask that you would join us in prayer. Dear Lord, thank you for another new year. Thank you for today. We honor you, Lord, and we praise you for you are good and your love is everlasting. We submit this new year to you, we pray your will would be done in our lives and through us. We pray your will is done in our marriages and through our marriages. We lay our lives down, our hopes, goals, and desires and we ask that you, Lord, would align our hearts to yours. That everything we planned for and say yes or no to would be for your glory and not our own. Help us to be people of our word to stick to our commitments, especially when it feels hard. Remind us daily of the importance of being trustworthy and our impact for your gospel. In Jesus name, amen.
Aaron: Amen. Hey, thanks so much for listening to the first episode of the year. We want to invite you to leave us a review if you have not done so, those reviews help other people find the podcast, they bless us. And they’re incredibly encouraging. So please leave us a star rating and a review today. And it’d bless us. Also, don’t forget to join the prayer challenge for free. It’s marriageprayerchallenge.com and you can do that anytime. See you next week.
Aaron: 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.