MAG 00: Kicking Off The 16 Week Marriage After God Series

We thought it would AWESOME to use the Marriage After God Podcast to do a series leading up to the Marriage After God Book Release which is June 4th! So for the next 16 weeks we will be interviewing couples about different themes from Marriage After God, specifically asking each couple to define in their own words what it means to be a marriage after God!

In this episode Aaron and I kick off the series by sharing with you the Introduction to the book and a prayer for you! You can listen below!

Quote from the Introduction of Marriage After God,

“Belief propels people from a place of dreaming, to a place of doing.” – Jennifer Smith, Marriage After God Book

You can Pre-order Marriage After God Now Just Click Here!

Our friend Lara Casey, Author of Cultivate and Make it Happen said this about Marriage After God:

There is a short list of books I’m stashing away for my three small kiddos to read when they are older—Marriage After God is one of them.”

A Prayer For Your Marriage

Dear Lord,

We pray for the husband and wife reading this book. May Your Holy Spirit use this book to inspire their hearts to boldly chase after You and say yes to the extraordinary invitations You have prepared for them. We pray this couple will grow in their understanding of the power and purpose of their marriage. Reveal to them the specific plans You have for them. We pray You would use this marriage to do incredible work to build Your kingdom. In this dark world, may You protect this couple from the attacks of the enemy! May You cleanse them from sin and continue to shape them into the husband and wife You created them to be. May they realize they bear Your image and that they are a light in this world and a beacon of hope to the lost and lonely. We ask You to guide this couple and unite them as a team to carry out the unique purposes You have for them in Jesus’s
name.

Amen! In Jesus’ name, amen!

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

[Jennifer] Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

[Aaron] And today we’re kicking off our 16-week Marriage After God series.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jennifer] We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one. Full of life.

[Aaron] Love.

[Jennifer] And power.

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

[Jennifer] Together.

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

[Jennifer] This is Marriage After God.

[Jennifer] Guys I am so excited for this. I feel like as exciting it is to launch a new book, this podcast series is just as exciting. I feel like we need to celebrate. I feel like we need–

[Aaron] Ice cream.

[Jennifer] Ice cream and cake and confetti. Or I don’t know what to do

[Aaron] Yeah, birthday cake, cake, ice cream.

[Jennifer] I’ll take any of it.

[Aaron] On birthday cake cookies.

[Jennifer] I’m just so excited for this series and we have some really exciting stuff for you guys. Thanks for joining us.

[Aaron] Before we talk about the series and get into it. We just want to ask you if you’ve been following along in this podcast and you love the content, you love just the things that we’re bringing up. How we’re sharing the vulnerable areas of our life. And things that God’s teaching us, would you please just take a moment and leave us a review. The reviews are how podcasts get seen by new people. They get ranked based off of how many reviews we get. If you would love to, we’d love to have you write a review. And the easiest way to do that is to leave a five-star review. It can be a four-star I guess.

[Jennifer] Be honest.

[Aaron] Yeah, a star review, be honest, is easy. Just tap the star at the bottom of the podcast app. But leaving a text review is the most powerful way you can help support this podcast if you want. When it comes to iTunes and how they rank this podcast.

[Jennifer] Another way to support this podcast is to shop on our store. If you go to marriageafterGod.com, you can check out our resources and help support us through buying through our store. One of the books that we want to highlight, is our new book, which this series is based off of. And that’s Marriage After God. Go to marriageafterGod.com and go order our new book. I also want to share with you guys our friend, Lara Casey, author of Cultivate and Make It Happen, said this about Marriage After God. “There is a short list of books I’m stashing away for my three small kiddos to read when they’re older. Marriage After God is one of them.”

[Aaron] What a cool idea.

[Jennifer] I know, I love that idea, and I wanted to share that because I think it’s such a neat idea and I want to do that for my kids. I wanna have a list of books to give.

[Aaron] It’s good, because how many times you’re like, “man what books should I read, or what books are out there.” ‘Cause we can’t read every book. Having a stack of books and hey, we’ve read these.

[Jennifer] And they matter.

[Aaron] These books matter, they’ve blessed our lives. Here you go and handing that off as a wedding gift to your kids. We actually should start that.

[Jennifer] Cool, and I also want to encourage you guys to take a minute and just go follow @marriageafterGod on Instagram.

[Aaron] Yeah, that’s our new page. Jennifer has her Unveiled Wife page. I have my Husband Revolution page, but our Marriage After God Instagram account is where we both come together and we share stuff and we share stuff about our podcast and things that are coming up. And it’s a community for husbands and wives.

[Jennifer] Okay, moving on to our ice-breaker question.

[Aaron] What was the hardest part about writing our new book, Marriage After God?

[Jennifer] I felt like the thing you kept saying over and over again is, “I really just wanna quote scripture.” Throughout the whole thing.

[Aaron] That was what’s hard for me, because I kept comparing what I was writing to what the Bible already said.

[Jennifer] The Bible’s so much better. We just need to tell them–

[Aaron] I’m writing this thing, and the Bible already said this way better than I could ever say it. That’s what it felt like. But what was hard for you?

[Jennifer] I think for me it was figuring out how to write it together. We done it in the past, but–

[Aaron] Never to this extent.

[Jennifer] Not to this extent. You wrote most of this book and I just helped I feel like.

[Aaron] You wrote a lot.

[Jennifer] Oh, I know, but–

[Aaron] I feel like we actually wrote pretty equal amounts. In the beginning I did a lot of the writing for the initial draft and then you added so much more color in the edit.

[Jennifer] I feel like you did a lot of the teaching aspect. And I added the stories and things like that. But it was a really good balance I think of both of our voices. I did enjoy that about writing this book. I would say the other hardest part was, we started writing the book when we had three kiddos and I was pregnant and then we started the editing process after having four.

[Aaron] I feel like we are always writing a book while we’re pregnant or just having a baby.

[Jennifer] Yeah, we like to keep things interesting.

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Jennifer] That was, just logistical finding time to be able to do that.

[Aaron] Yeah, and the other thing for me, not just that I kept comparing what I was writing to the Bible, which is good, because the Bible is everything anyway. And all we’re trying to do it point people to the Bible. I think the hardest thing for me is this is the most I’ve ever written ever. And I’ve never written a book like this. It was challenging spiritually. It was challenging technically, ’cause I’ve never done it. But I’m really surprised at what we’re able to pull off in this book. It had to have been Holy Spirit driven.

[Jennifer] I’m excited about it.

[Aaron] I’m really excited about it. I’m glad that we’re starting this 16 week series to talk about the concepts that are in the book. The book is why the podcasts exist. The podcast came out of, we did the contract for the book, and we’re like, “hey, let’s do a podcast so we can actually start talking about it now. This idea of a Marriage After God.” And encourage marriages with all this free content leading up to the book. And we’re not gonna stop it after the books, this is our new thing. Doing a weekly podcast together, we love it. It’s kind of funny, the Marriage After God book, the podcast, and now we’re gonna be talking about the book more to pull the concepts directly out of the book and talk about them. We’ll get into a little bit more about that in a minute. But, before we start, Jennifer, would you like to share a quote from the Marriage After God book?

[Jennifer] Sure, this quote is found in the introduction, which this kind of kicking off the series is going to be centered on the introduction of Marriage After God. That’s what we have for you guys today. This is a quote from the introduction of Marriage After God. “Belief propels people from a place of dreaming to a place of doing.”

[Aaron] Yeah, if we don’t truly believe something, we’re not going to act on that belief. No one ever does that. A belief is what causes us and propels us forward to do the things that we actually believe. I love that, “belief propels people from a place of dreaming to a place of doing.” Instead of sitting back like, “oh, that’d be wonderful if it was true, or that’s be wonderful if I could, but I can’t so I’m not gonna.”

[Jennifer] Yeah, and I love that we’re starting out with this quote because I feel like it’s the whole purpose of why we wrote this book was to encourage couples to believe and do.

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Jennifer] To believe what God can do with their marriage and then do it.

[Aaron] Well and believe what God already says about us. Believe what the Bible says about us. Believe what is the truth. To open our eyes to what God has for us.

[Jennifer] Okay, as we jump into the introduction of Marriage After God, which, are we gonna read for them?

[Aaron] Yeah, I think we will read the whole introduction from the book. Not right now.

[Jennifer] Okay. We’re gonna do that in a little bit. But first we’re gonna answer some questions. These first few questions are just ones that I came up with that I think will help you guys understand where we’re coming from. From in writing Marriage After God. And then we’re gonna also, after we read the introduction, answer some questions that they had, right?

[Aaron] Yeah, I spent some time today on your Instagram. I don’t know if you knew this or not.

[Jennifer] I didn’t know that.

[Aaron] And on my Instagram doing live videos and asking our followers if they had any questions about the book.

[Jennifer] Okay.

[Aaron] Man some good questions came out of it. I wrote down as many as I could and some of them are similar so I think we complied them into a general question. And we’re gonna try and answer your questions about the book, in the hopes that you guys get so excited about this because it’s a book for you. We wrote this book for you, for all of the followers that have been following us since the beginning.

[Jennifer] Well hold on, that’s one of the questions I have.

[Aaron] Oh, okay.

[Jennifer] Let’s jump in. Why did we write the book?

[Aaron] For all of you.

[Jennifer] No, why.

[Aaron] We wrote the book, we wrote the book out of a necessity that we saw in our own life. We saw what God was doing with us and we saw where God had taken us. And I think we realized that there was some people that thought that we were special or that people like us are the only ones doing something and should be doing something and not everyone has something to do that God doesn’t have a part and a role to play for everyone in the body. And our heart was like, “no, we’re just being faithful with what God’s given us, but we want you to be faithful with what God’s given you.”

[Jennifer] Um hum.

[Aaron] I think that’s where it came from. It’s why we did the Marriage After God gathering a couple years ago.

[Jennifer] Um hum.

[Aaron] Was like hey, how can we have an intimate gathering. We had 12 couples come and we’re like how can we inspire these couples to just go and just chase after God boldly. Chase after his will for their marriage and to be used as a marriage in unity to move his message in his kingdom forward.

[Jennifer] Yeah, that’s our hope and desire for this book is that people would recognize that we are all part of his body building his kingdom.

[Aaron] Yeah, there’s no one part that, oh those are the people, ’cause they have something special that God’s gonna use them. Actually the Bible tells us something very different. It says that we’re all, all parts of the body, and not one part can say to another part that you don’t belong. And that’s what it is. This Marriage After God is that we belong to the body of Christ and that there’s power in our unity. In our oneness.

[Jennifer] Another reason we wrote the book was because we were actually walking out some of the things that we share over the last decade of time being together. The things that God revealed to us, little treasures and–

[Aaron] Things we’re still learning of course.

[Jennifer] Exactly, that’s what I was getting to, is that we’re even still learning what it means to be a Marriage After God, but the things that we have learned or the things we’ve overcome, or the victories we’ve had. We wanted to share about it as a catalyst to encourage marriages out there because we all need that encouragement. We all need to be reminded that we’re here to do something and that our marriage has great purpose. We wanted to kind of come alongside them. I have this picture in my mind of holding each other, linked in arms and marching forward.

[Aaron] Yeah, Christian marriages all over the world being used to glorify God, to spread the message of his goodness and it comes down to like this one sentence. The idea of the book. God has meant for more for our marriage than just happily ever after.

[Jennifer] Um, hum.

[Aaron] That our health in our marriage, our strength in our marriage, our joy in our marriage. All of those things are not just for us to enjoy. But that they’re there to push us forward and be used for God. It’s not just so that we can be like, “oh we’re good, we reached it. Now we’re like happy and this is all we need to focus on.” We’re excited. That’s why we wrote the book. That’s the big why.

[Jennifer] Awesome. Okay, why did we title it Marriage After God?

[Aaron] Ooh. See questions that I didn’t know were coming. Why did we title it–

[Jennifer] The first thing that comes to my mind is we had originally wrote the devotionals which we shared about in the last episode, but Wife After God and Husband After God were 30-day devotionals that we really felt strongly were purpose to encourage husbands and wives to kind of chase after God in their individual role. Being a husband and wife–

[Aaron] His picture for them and what he wanted for them.

[Jennifer] Right and to draw them closer to God and closer to each other. When we thought about this book, we wanted it to be unifying. The natural progression was Marriage After God and it’s the idea and picture of a marriage chasing boldly after the purpose that he has for a marriage.

[Aaron] There’s mighty power in a husband chasing after God for their family even if his wife’s not. There’s mighty power in a wife chasing after God and serving him and loving him and being an example to her husband even if he’s not. But man, the power of a husband and a wife chasing after God together and wanting his will for their life. Right there is the depth of this book. Is what we’re trying to get at is, no no no. It’s not just be happy where we’re at, what does God have us together for? Why did he bring us to unity? Why did he make us one? ‘Cause there is a meaning. There is a purpose behind it and we talk about it in the book.

[Jennifer] Um, hum. That’s so good, okay now that all of their ears are itching and they want to get their hands on this book, who’s it for?

[Aaron] This book is specifically for Christian married couples. I would not hesitate for a second to give it to someone who’s not a believer. Because we preach the Gospel in the book quite a bit.

[Jennifer] Even marriages who feel like maybe they’re hanging on by a thread or maybe there’s just some conflict there that they can’t seem to get over. It doesn’t have to be for a marriage that is mature, or is already chasing after God together, or both are equally yoked. It literally is for every marriage.

[Aaron] Yeah, and the idea is that it’s meant to be read together. It could totally be read separately, but I would totally encourage anyone who when they get the book, to read it with their spouse. Reading out loud together, or having their own copies and then talking about it as they go. But, it’s for marriages. Also, I would see engaged couples reading this to prepare themselves where God wants their heart to be for marriage, so that they’re working toward it now and they’re praying about it now and they’re saying, “okay Lord, we’re gonna come together and we want this to be for you.” It could totally be powerful for engaged couples as well.

[Jennifer] For any age. For any however long married.

[Aaron] Yeah, absolutely.

[Jennifer] It doesn’t matter how many kids you have. There is no prerequisite to read this book.

[Aaron] Yeah, we didn’t write it for a specific, the millennial Christian marriages. We wrote it for Christian marriages. Again, if they’re not believers, this would be a great book to put in the hands of someone who doesn’t believe yet and say, “hey, you want to see what God has for your marriage? Read this book.”

[Jennifer] Okay, so what do we hope the impact will be for the Marriage After God book?

[Aaron] I hope that it sparks power and excitement in the hearts of husbands and wives around the world.

[Jennifer] Um, hum.

[Aaron] To say, wow, wait wait. God’s good and he loves us and what he’s doing in our marriage is awesome, but he wants us to move forward. He’s got a plan for us together in how we’re gonna use our talents, resources and gifts for his kingdom. And that we actually see action come out of this book.

[Jennifer] That’s what I was gonna say is action.

[Aaron] Yeah, I think the other thing, and this is gonna go into some of the questions is, marriages leading and inspiring and encouraging other marriages.

[Jennifer] Yeah, the same hope that we desire for this book to become a catalyst in your life, our hope would also be that then you become a catalyst in someone else’s life.

[Aaron] Oh absolutely, it’s not just to point people back to us at all, actually. It’s to point people to God. To His Word and to His will for their life. There’s a few questions right around this idea and these are questions that people asked me in the live Instagram videos we did today.

[Jennifer] Cool, okay, last question before we read the introduction and then we’ll get into those questions from our listeners. It is, how can those listening right now join us in becoming a movement starter? This goes back to our hope of what we hope this book does. They might here the word movement starter and go, “what’s that?” What can we encourage them to do right now?

[Aaron] We called it a movement starter ’cause there’s people that have been following us and are excited for what God’s doing in marriages around the world and in their own marriage and for the kingdom of God. We hope that people are gonna take this book and they’re gonna be like, “hey, we wanna spread the message of what God’s doing, we wanna encourage other couples.” The first thing I’d say is start praying. If you want to be a movement starter with us, start praying for the people that God is calling. That he wants to light a fire in. That he wants to draw out. The second thing I would say is pre-order a book. It’s online right now, pretty much anywhere you buy books. Amazon, Barnes and Noble. I would suggest Amazon because they have a pre-order price guarantee where if the price lowers at any point during the next few months that you get the lowest price and they refund you the difference, which is awesome.

[Jennifer] And I just want to note for people coming back to this episode or listening to it past the date and it’s not necessarily for pre-order anymore, just ordering the book helps spread the message.

[Aaron] Yeah, thank you for the ever greenness of that. Getting the book. And then I would say the last thing, and this is something you should start praying about now, is start praying about the two or three or four couples in your life right now that God might want you to invite over to your house to do a study with. Going through this book together.

[Jennifer] That’s good.

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Jennifer] I wanna add too, one way that they can also participate in being a movement starter for this message of being a Marriage After God. Earlier we asked them to go follow us on Instagram @marriageafterGod and I wanna encourage you to post your Marriage After God story. Post a picture of you and your spouse together and share a little bit about what it means to you to be and have a Marriage After God and use the hashtag Marriage After God. Because we see those and it is such a powerful testimony of what God is doing in this world and when we share our testimony of what God’s doing, his heart is revealed to the world. And so we want to utilize the power of social media to also further this message. And so if you do that and you tag Marriage After God, we see it, we’re gonna repost as many as we can, and I just want to say thank you right now for those who already have been sharing their Marriage After God story and the ones that will.

[Aaron] Now, whether we’re allowed to or not, I don’t know. We’re gonna read the entire introduction. It’s a few pages, it’s not very long. And this is from the book, Marriage After God. What if I told you that your marriage has a purpose far beyond happily ever after? What if I told you that the unity between you and your spouse was created for something extraordinary? God, your Creator and your Savior, has created you and your spouse with complete and perfect thoughtfulness. God, your provider and your heavenly Father has unlimited resources in immeasurable creativity. God, who is patient and loving, is pursuing you and your spouse every single day. Inviting you to participate in the extraordinary things He is already doing. Do you believe God wants more for your marriage than for you to just make each other happy? Do you believe God can do anything? Move mountains, open doors and part seas to get you to the place where he wants you the most? Belief is powerful. Belief propels people from a place of dreaming to a place of doing. Belief in God is confidence and trust in Him. Believing God made you and your marriage with great purpose is the beginning of an incredible adventure you will never regret. When Jennifer and I consider what spurred us toward a desire to serve God together, we agreed that it was our belief that God could and would use us as team for His glory. And that belief gave us the courage to say yes to Him over and over and over again. Even and especially during the hard times of our story. We said yes to God when we decided to stay together when it felt easier to walk away. We said yes to God when we chose to love each other even when we didn’t feel so in love. We said yes to obeying His word when we did everything we could to get out of debt. We said yes to God when he showed us ways we could serve His body. And we said yes to God when he invited us to share our story. Not all of our yes’ to God were easy, however, our mutual desire to please God is what helped us to say yes and to persevere. When Jennifer and I got married, we had a united desire to serve God together. We didn’t know exactly what it would look like, but we were willing to explore the opportunities He had for us as a married couple. Throughout our time of dating and being engaged we prayed we would have an extraordinary marriage. However, we didn’t stop there. We didn’t only ask God for an extraordinary marriage, we also prayed God would use our marriage to do extraordinary things to build His kingdom. Since we said, “I do.” And committed our marriage to the Lord, we have been on a journey of saying yes to God. A journey we both agree has been quite extraordinary. Not only because of the experiences we have had, or the accomplishments we have reached, but because God is extraordinary. And he longs to bring his extraordinary into our lives. He is the reason we have been able to endure this journey together. We have experienced both poverty and abundance. We have traveled to different parts of the world as missionaries motivated to share the Gospel with others. We have started businesses and ministries. We have overcome destructive sin patterns. We have grown our family size intentionally striving to leave a legacy with our children. And we continue to participate in God’s plan for our lives as He invites us to do all that He prepared for us to do together. But it is all because of God. He gets the glory in our lives.

[Jennifer] Our journey has not been void of the enemies attacks to thwart God’s purpose for our marriage. In fact, the enemies flaming arrows in combination with our own sin almost destroyed our marriage. Pornography addiction, emotional eating, irrational jealousy, foolishness and constant battles of selfishness and pride have all been difficult areas of our marriage that we have had to battle. The hardships we have encountered in marriage have been painful. We have often wrestled with doubt and insecurities about our relationship with each other and with God. Yet no matter what we faced, and no matter what we will face in the future, we continue to pray that God will give us an extraordinary marriage and that He will use our marriage for his extraordinary purposes.

[Aaron] In 2011, Jennifer and I launched our online marriage ministries, husbandrevolution.com and unvieledwife.com. To share with husbands and wives what God was teaching us about marriage. When we began these ministries, we had no idea what they would become. Motivated by a perspective that our lives are a ministry for God to work through. We said yes to God when he invited us to share our story with the world. In a way we were already familiar with, blogging.

[Jennifer] Through these two sites we share daily marriage prayers, encouragement, biblical teaching on faith and marriage, date night ideas and reviews of Christian books and movies. We share personal stories of what we have experienced in our own marriage and how God continues to transform us into the husband and wife he created us to be. Since the first day we created these ministries, our desire has been to encourage married couples to turn their hearts toward God and trust in Him with their marriage. With the few tools we had in our tool belt we got started and this adventure quickly grew into an unimaginable reach into the hearts and homes of couples all around the world. With the influence we were gaining in the lives of other married couples, we asked the Lord to use us to encourage them to be biblical men and women. We were confident that if we could inspire them and challenge them to be people who read God’s Word and desire His will for their lives, that God would move in these marriages and use them for the marvelous work He desires His people to do. We imagined hundreds of thousands of strong, thriving marriages reflecting God’s love story and impacting the lives of others as they faithfully live out all that God has called them to. We envisioned husbands and wives being unified in their relationship and in their parenting, full of joy and contentment. We could see communities being blessed by the lives and examples of these couples. We could see relationships being healed. Needs being met. Talents being used. Businesses and ministries being started. And the lost being saved. Because husbands and wives said yes to God. Working together to build his kingdom.

[Aaron] Eager to see husbands and wives embrace what God has for them, we wondered how we could inspire them to start considering the purpose of their marriage and help guide them to set the foundation necessary to fulfill that purpose. We wanted to point them to the Word of God and prompt them to answer some challenging questions. We felt led to write two devotionals that would lead a husband and wife through God’s Word and invite them to consider how they can actively pursue an extraordinary God-centered marriage. We co-authored and self-published Husband After God and Wife After God. 30-day devotionals that have been read by 1000’s of men and women. Not long after publishing our devotionals, we began to receive messages from couples asking what they could read next to encourage them on their marriage journey. So we began to consider what resource we could provide next to inspire husbands and wives to consider chasing after God. This is the seed that would grow into the message of Marriage After God. We knew God wanted more couples to pray the same prayer we have been praying and to experience his extraordinary purpose for their lives. Yet, we believed it was also a message God wanted us to experience in our marriage for ourselves. He wanted us to mature in our relationship with each other and with Him. We wouldn’t say we are done experiencing what it means to have a Marriage After God. In reality, this will be a message we will continue to live out and pursue until Christ returns or we are called home. However, God has given us an incredible opportunity to present this message to others through this book. To inspire husbands and wives who want to chase after Him. And to do His will together. And we are eager to see how God uses this book to do His work in all of our lives.

[Jennifer] A Marriage After God is an extraordinary journey of making ourselves known to God, knowing God and being willing to let Him use our marriages for His purposes. And Marriage After God is one that can faithfully say what the people of Israel said in Exodus 19:8. “All that the Lord has spoken, we will do.” Happily ever after is a nice thought and a good thing to hope for. But it should not be your end goal. There’s an amazing purpose for your marriage. More than just making each other happy. We desire you to pursue kingdom purposes with your marriage. To be a testimony to others of God’s love and amazing grace. This world we live in has been tainted by darkness, but you are called to be the light of the world. It is you and your marriage that should be the light people long to experience. But you cannot be a light for others if you are allowing your marriage to be overrun by darkness. Those who belong to God have been created for so much more. You have been created for so much more. And your spouse has been created for so much more. Our vision for this book is to get you and your spouse excited about using your marriage for God. We desire that you two experience the incredible intimacy of unity as you boldly chase after God’s will and purpose for your marriage.

[Aaron] This book is for the marriages who are ready to finally see what God brought them together for. Maybe you and your spouse have been having conversation about what is next. What you should be investing in, or how you can be used by God to effectively fulfill the purpose he created you for. The purpose he brought you together for. You have been in a great place in your marriage and with God, but there is a tugging on your heart to do something more. You picked up this book because you don’t want to be stagnant. You want to experience this extraordinary. Our hope and prayer is that this book takes you on a journey of discovery, inspiration and affirmation as God invites you to work together as a team for His glory.

[Jennifer] If you and your spouse are in a different place, a broken place where you are barely hanging on, our hope is that this book will be the very thing to convince you to turn your heart back toward God and have the courage to change your perspective of your spouse and your marriage. Maybe it’ll be the very thing your marriage needs to push you closer to the only one who can help you put it back in order.

[Aaron] So we welcome you. No matter what condition your marriage is currently in and we challenge you to take this adventure with us to commit your marriage to God. And see how he moves in your life, your spouses life, and the many other lives he will impact because you were willing to say yes to Him. Everything begins with a first step. Reading this book is your first step. We pray it won’t be long before you and your spouse are running with your hearts aligned with God’s toward the extraordinary good work God has already prepared for you to do.

[Jennifer] You were created for this. Ephesians 2:10 confirms this declaring. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” You and our spouse were made by God and your marriage relationship was designed by Him to do good works for His name sake. Works that he had in mind long before you were created. You can believe this truth and so be empowered to walk in the extraordinary purpose you have been uniquely created by God to do.

[Aaron] So that was the introduction to Marriage After God.

[Jennifer] Who’s read to jump in?

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Aaron] Yeah, it’s convicting reading our own books sometimes.

[Jennifer] Yeah, we have tears in our eyes every time we have the chance to read it, which has been several times now. We get this stirring in our hearts and this question of what do we do next? What are we gonna do for Him?

[Aaron] What we’re gonna answer some questions that people from the community have given us about the book. And then we’re gonna close with the prayer that was at the end of the introduction. It’s actually in the book. There’s a prayer that we put in there. The first question is, will there be questions in the book, journal or discussion questions?

[Jennifer] Yeah, at the end of every chapter, there are a set of one to three questions that have to do with that chapters topic.

[Aaron] There’s another question that goes along with this. Is it a book or is it a devotional? A devotional is smaller chunks of content with questions to discuss. But we wanted to clarify that this is a 16 chapter, 50 plus 1000 word book with questions at the end. It can be used like a devotional, but it is definitely a book. It’s a hard cover book with a jacket. It’s definitely distinct from a devotional. Especially like our Husband and Wife After God devotionals. Which are like a hundred pages. This is significantly

[Jennifer] Larger.

[Aaron] Larger, yeah.

[Jennifer] Okay, so the next question is, can the questions be done as a couple?

[Aaron] Oh, absolutely. Our hope is that this book is done–

[Jennifer] Together.

[Aaron] With your spouse.

[Jennifer] Our recommendation is that you actually use the questions in the back as discussion questions going into a date night, or maybe you guys have time set aside to read the book together. Maybe you read that chapter and then you use the questions to stimulate that conversation.

[Aaron] Yeah, maybe it’s like a nightly routine. You guys read a chapter together. Discuss the questions together and that was the intention of them. But yes, there’ll be questions at the end of each chapter. Yes, you can do them separately and then maybe talk about them together. But we totally always encourage couples to do them together.

[Jennifer] Can small groups go through the book?

[Aaron] We said this in the beginning. Our heart is that

[Jennifer] You do.

[Aaron] You do. Yeah, this would be so awesome if when we started hearing testimonies of couples saying, “hey we invited two of our married friends over and we’re doing this every week now.” 16 week Bible study would be amazing and just reading a chapter kind of like a book club. Read a chapter as a group and then come together and discuss the questions maybe. Some of the questions might be too intimate to do in a group, but hey.

[Jennifer] You never know.

[Aaron] Yeah, that would be amazing. I’m excited to hear about that. This is kind of along the same lines. Someone says would you recommend a husband and wife go through the book first and then do a group?

[Jennifer] I would say yeah, just so that you can wrap your head around what the message of a Marriage After God is. And then jump into it. I feel like you would have a better experience overall facilitating a group like that.

[Aaron] Yeah, but if you are wanting to do this right away. Let’s say you have a bunch of friends or like hey let’s just do this together and get–

[Jennifer] You absolutely could do that.

[Aaron] Absolutely. Either or, but if you are the only one that got the book and your friends don’t know about it yet, maybe go through it first. And then invite them. Yeah, absolutely if you wanted to do it together right away, that should probably be really fun because you’d be experiencing the book at the same time.

[Jennifer] Cool, okay so the next question is. I can never say these two words together.

[Aaron] Will there

[Jennifer] Will there be video lessons with this book?

[Aaron] Probably eventually. Definitely not when the book launches. Unless we like hustle. But yes, there’s gonna be eventually a workbook. There’ll eventually be videos to go along with it.

[Jennifer] That was one of the questions too. Is there a study guide to go along with it?

[Aaron] Yeah, those will come later. My wife and I do all those together. And it’s pretty much just us, so we will produce stuff eventually. This was a really cool question I got. Someone said we’d love to know if there’s gonna be other groups doing it together? And they said it in a way like it’d be scary doing it on our own, like being the only group doing it. And they said it’d be awesome if we knew that hundreds of other groups were doing it at the same time. Or doing it so you’d be like, “oh, we’re not the only ones doing this together.”

[Jennifer] It’s a global community, kind of doing the same thing.

[Aaron] I don’t know how we’re gonna do this, but I think we, Jennifer, should think about how we can have some sort of sign-up where people can say, “hey, we’re doing this just so that other people know that it’s being done.”

[Jennifer] I love that and I know this. With so many people on social media, if you take a picture of your group and–

[Aaron] That’s exactly what it should be, yeah.

[Jennifer] Use the hashtag Marriage After God. When that posts and we see it, we’ll repost that and then people will start to see it happening.

[Aaron] That’s a great way of doing it. If you’re meeting with a group, every single time you meet, take a picture. And post it and we’ll post about it. And what that’ll do is, that’ll encourage other people like, “hey, we got the book, let’s do a group.” That’s a great idea.

[Jennifer] Okay, you mentioned this already, but can engaged couples get the book and read it?

[Aaron] I say yeah. I don’t feel like that there’s any content in it that’s inappropriate for an engaged couple.

[Jennifer] The only thing I will say is depending on the questions in the back of the book, if there’s intimate ones or one’s that maybe you can’t relate to because you’re not married yet, save them to discuss till after you’re married.

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Jennifer] Because if they’re engaged, they usually have a date.

[Aaron] What might also be cool, is if the couple wanna go through the book separately and then after they get married discuss the questions on how they thought they might answer or–

[Jennifer] Oh that’s cool.

[Aaron] Some sort of fun, like go through the book during the engaged season.

[Jennifer] Maybe use them as journal questions.

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Jennifer] Write about it.

[Aaron] Talk about how I might answer that after I’m married, or after I’m a wife, after I’m a husband. And then come together and go through it together again and see how your answers match up maybe. That’d be a really fun exercise. Here’s a question that someone asked. Will there be a bundle discount for churches, for groups?

[Jennifer] First of all, what is a bundle discount?

[Aaron] They buy a bunch of books, 20 books, 25 books, and they get a discount as a group discount. Yes, I don’t know what that looks like and it’s gonna definitely happen after the book launches and I don’t know when, but we will definitely let people know how that’ll work so churches can definitely get bundle discounts.

[Jennifer] Okay, the next question is. Does it have our personal testimony as a marriage in it?

[Aaron] That’s what’s cool about this book is much of the book is principles and ideas and concepts that the Lord taught us through very specific times in our life.

[Jennifer] Yep.

[Aaron] Difficulties, successes.

[Jennifer] Conversations.

[Aaron] Conversations, relationships we’ve had. You did the chronological story thing in the Unveiled Wife.

[Jennifer] Yeah, which there’s way more detail about our marriage story in there.

[Aaron] But from your perspective.

[Jennifer] And just from my perspective.

[Aaron] Where this is the last 12 years of our marriage and it’s lots of stories, lots of relational things.

[Jennifer] And it’s both of us.

[Aaron] And it’s both of us.

[Jennifer] A lot of stories that I couldn’t have shared in the Unveiled Wife because they happen after the fact.

[Aaron] Exactly. Yes it does, but they’re used as illustrations for the ideas that we’re trying to convey, so yes and yes. What can a single person expect to get out of this book? This is kind of along the lines as the engaged thing.

[Jennifer] I think that a single person reading this book will get really fired up for the desire of marriage. Which they probably already have. But they’ll be really excited to jump into marriage with that heart of prayer to have an extraordinary marriage to use their marriage for God to build his kingdom. I think their perspective of marriage will be have a Godly and biblical foundation.

[Aaron] Yeah, singles are definitely not the intended audience for this book, but if someone read it, that’s thinking, “man, I wanna prepare for marriage, I wanna be preparing my heart and my mind.” It’ll definitely, introspectively point them to say, “wow, am I actually thinking this way?” What am I thinking marriage is gonna do for me versus what is our marriage gonna do for God? I think it’d be really powerful for someone thinking about marriage, preparing for marriage to go through it, although it’s not the intended audience. That was a handful of the questions that we got. I love the group questions that people are excited to do them in groups and I can’t wait to start seeing photos posted. I think that was a great suggestion.

[Jennifer] I know. If someone wants to be a movement starter, a Marriage After God movement starter, remind them what they can do.

[Aaron] Pray, just pray for the hearts that God’s calling that who’s gonna get this book. Pray for us.

[Jennifer] Pray for marriages, because they’re under attack just by the enemy.

[Aaron] Pray that God’s will just be done in this world through us. Get a copy of our book.

[Jennifer] Go order right now, please.

[Aaron] Amazon.com, search for Marriage After God. You’ll find that it’s a big read book.

[Jennifer] With pretty sparkles of gold.

[Aaron] Then start praying and asking what couples in your life God might want you to invite to do a home group at your house with this book. I hope that answered some questions for you guys. I hope you guys are excited like we are for the book Marriage After God. It comes out June 4th. And before we close today. Oh you know what we never told anyone?

[Jennifer] What the series–

[Aaron] What the series is gonna be like

[Jennifer] Okay, brace yourselves.

[Aaron] Okay, the next 16 episodes of the Marriage After God podcast are all gonna be geared around topics from the Marriage After God book.

[Jennifer] But how cool is this guys? We have awesome people coming on. We’re gonna interview them about being and having a marriage after God.

[Aaron] Yeah. We haven’t done any interviews on this podcast. It’s not every, actually no every–

[Jennifer] It’s every episode.

[Aaron] Is gonna be an interview. That’s so cool. The next 16 episodes are gonna be interviews with friends of ours. People that we’ve done ministry with in the past. All sorts of cool people. You should be excited about that. We are excited about it. Before we close, I’m gonna read the prayer from the end of the introduction of our book. Would you join us in prayer? Dear Lord, we pray for the husbands and wives reading this book. May your Holy Spirit use this book to inspire their hearts to boldly chase after you and to say yes to the extraordinary invitation you have prepared for them. We pray this couple will grow in their understanding of the power and purpose of their marriage. Reveal to them the specific plans you have for them. We pray you would use this marriage to do incredible work to build your kingdom. In this dark world may you protect this couple from the attacks of the enemy. May you cleanse them from sin and continue to shape them into the husband and wife you created them to be. May they realize they bear your image and that they are a light in this world and a beacon of hope to the lost and lonely. We ask you to guide this couple and unite them as a team. To carry out the unique purposes you have for them. In Jesus name, Amen.

[Jennifer] Amen.

[Aaron] Thank you for joining us on the first episode kicking off our Marriage After God series on the Marriage After God podcast.

[Jennifer] So much Marriage After God.

[Aaron] Yeah, lots of Marriage After God. We hope you’re being inspired. We hope you’re getting excited. God’s got huge plans for you. We know it. He’s got plans for us. It’s not like he’s only got plans for us, that’s why we wrote this book. He’s got plans for all of us. We’re part of his body and we just pray that you would know that. That you would know that he wants to show you why he created you and why he brought you and your spouse together. We love you. We thank you for joining us and I pray that you look forward to the next 16 episodes and we’ll see you next week.

[Aaron] Did you enjoy today’s show? Find many more encouraging stories and resources @marriageafterGod.com. And let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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