Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.
Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.
And today we’re gonna inspire you with some unlikely people from the Bible. Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.
I’m Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife.
And I’m Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution.
We have been married for over 13 years.
And so far we have five children under eight.
We have been doing marriage ministry online for over nine years through blogging, social media and writing over 10 books.
With a desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day.
We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life,
that can only be found by chasing after God.
Thank you for joining us in this journey as we chase boldly after God’s will for our life together.
This is Marriage After God. Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of Marriage After God, we are so thankful and excited that you guys are here, joining us and when Aaron and I were talking about kicking off this episode, we just felt like the Lord wanted us to pray for you. So before we start anything, we just wanted to cover you guys in prayer and lift you up before the Lord today. So, Aaron, would you pray for us?
Father, I just thank You so much for all those that are listening right now. And I pray for them, Father. I don’t know their personal situation, I don’t know the things they’ve been going through, if they’ve been going through trials or hardships. Father God, I pray that, Lord, You would be their Peace, I pray that You would be with them right now, that You would speak your truth to them. I pray that they would be running to You in this time and in this season, more than they ever have, Father God. That they wouldn’t look at the world and the chaos, but they would look at You and find peace in You alone, Lord. And I pray that we, as believers, Father God, would stand strong together, that we would walk in unity, that we would walk in your Word and in truth. And I pray, Father, that we would stand strong in your spirit, Lord. I pray for these husbands and wives that are listening today that you, God, would just bless them, pour your Spirit into their home. Draw them closer to you than ever before. Draw them closer to each other that they would stand so strong together. And, Father, that they would just know and trust your plan for their life, Lord. We love You, we thank You for these listeners and in Jesus’ Name, Amen. So, yeah, on top of that, we love you, of course and we are praying for you. But we also wanted to encourage you, ’cause I know that restaurants are opening back up and people are probably thinking about date nights again, hopefully. And if you are, we have this awesome free resource for you, called Date Night Conversation Starters. It’s 52 conversation starters that you can download and print out and you can actually use these conversation starters to help start a conversation on your next date night. The reason there’s 52 is so that encourages you to try and have a date a week and if you can’t go out, do it in your bed, do it, you know, during dinner. You can do it when you’re going for a walk. Have these conversations. And the point of these conversations is to draw you to a deeper level with each other, of talking about what God’s plan is for your marriage. Maybe what gifts He’s given you and how He wants to use your marriage to build his kingdom. And so that’s completely free and you can get it at datenightconversations.com. Datenightconversations.com, all one word. And you just fill out the form, completely free and that’s a little gift for you guys.
So, speaking of conversations, Aaron and I thought it would be really cool to have a conversation today about unlikely people in the Bible who have inspired us. And we hope that it inspires you guys, the content that we have. But also, I hope that they way that we communicate, you know, throughout this episode today, inspires you and your spouse to be having conversations like this about the Bible, because what we’re talking about today, it’s not like this big theology debate, it’s just characters and stories and testimonies that took place that, you know, is recorded in the Scripture and then we dialogue about it and we say, how can we glean from this? ‘Cause there’s a lot to glean in the Bible. Right, Aaron?
Yeah and we wanna encourage you to do the same, to have this kind of, you know, we don’t, it’s not like we talk 24/7 about this stuff, but things come up and Jennifer be like, yeah, I just read this thing, it was so interesting, what do you think about this? Or I’ll talk about this unique thing that I just saw and never saw it before and it opens up this relationship with the Word of God in your marriage, where it’s safe and it’s comfortable and it’s exciting to talk about the Bible.
And you learn from each other, right?
Yeah, and the point’s not always to be like, hey, look at this thing I learned, it’s like, hey, here’s this thing I found.
‘Cause that’s really what the Bible’s about. It’s like, we’re finding-
Yeah, that is. So, in this episode, we’re gonna share some of these treasures that we’ve found from some unlikely places. They’re like, not the main characters of the stories. But they’re, you know, not any less important. And I saw a meme the other day, Jennifer, that said, The Bible’s the only book that you can never finish reading. Right, and it said every time you come back to, you find something new. ‘Cause the thing about normal books, like, it’s got a beginning and an end, it’s got the good storyline. It might be something to reference, but usually it’s a once and done, I know there’s some people out there that love reading books over and over again but the Bible, it’s not like that you finish it. You can’t finish it.
I think everyone else is doing what I’m doing and I’m just shaking my head yes. Because that’s what I’ve experienced. So, every time I open up the Bible and I’ve read things over and over and over again, you do gain new things, you uncover new things.
Well, and you’re reading and you’re like, I don’t remember reading this at all. And you’re like, where is this at? Hebrew 4:12-13 says “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any two edge sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow. And discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature’s hidden from His sight but are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him, to whom we must give account.” So it’s alive.
The Word of God, it’s not a dead book. It’s not just words on a page. It’s a living document. And what that means is that it’s actually the words of God. And the same words that God used to create the world, God used to create his Word, the Bible, right? And so, the more we read it, the more we love it. The more we know it, the more we’re changed. The more we are transformed. The more we are new. And so, our encouragement is just like, let’s love the Bible. Because it’s God’s way of showing his character to us, and it’s our way of discovering who He is and knowing Him better and it transforms us, it makes us actually new people. There’s another quote, this isn’t the exact quote, but I originally got it in a book, called “The Bible in English.”
The Word of God.
Oh, “The Word of God in English” thanks. “The Word of God in English” and it’s a book about the Bible being translated into English. It’s actually a really incredible book. This quote isn’t the exact one, but it’s very similar. This is by saint Jerome, saying “The Scriptures are shallow enough for a babe to come and drink, without fear of drowning. And deep enough for a theologian to swim in, without ever touching the bottom.” And you see this actually, you can read right on the surface of the pages and then you can dive down all the way to, you know, you can’t even get to the bottom of it.
I think I’ve seen that quote too, but they used the analogy of a lamb trotting through a brook and an elephant, swimming in the depths of an ocean.
Yeah, that’s more like the quote from my book.
But I couldn’t find the exact quote.
That’s okay. So good, I think you get the picture.
That’s exactly what the Word of God is. I mean, it’s a spiritual document. And think about it, we’re like fleshly creatures, trying to scratch the surface of who God is. And He’s given us His Word so, I know the idea that we’re talking about today is, we’re pulling out these like, kind of like, small stories from the Bible and showing the immense power that’s in them. And so, when the Bible says something, it’s for heavenly reason, right? When someone is mentioned, when a detail is given, when a specific word is used, it’s for a reason. And we can put that in our minds, I think like, Oh, I wonder why it says that? You know, if you’re like me, I love watching movies. And I can point out like, Oh see how it emphasize that one thing, right? That’s probably because there’s something that has to do with that.
So we’re gonna talk about a couple of people and some of those details. We hope you enjoy this following conversation.
Awesome. Well, let’s dig in. So, Aaron, why don’t you start with the first person in the Bible that stood out for you more recently?
Yeah, I did a little teaching on Col 1, the first portion, the first few verses. And in it Paul mentions a man named Epaphras. And he’s only, I believe, mentioned a hand full of times, maybe three times in the Bible. And that’s not a lot of times. But the fact that he’s mentioned in the Bible is pretty incredible, ’cause, like, how awesome would it be if your name was written in the Word of God. There’s a reason he’s in here.
I wish Jennifer was.
I wish it was.
But here’s what’s awesome, our names get to be in the Book of Life.
Yeah, more important.
Which is way more important. So, if you’re a believer of Jesus Christ your name’s in that book and that’s the book I wanna be in. But, hey, Epaphras is in this book and his name’s also in the Book of Life, you’ll see that.
Raise your hand if you remember Epaphras.
Well, because when we’re reading and you’re talking about Scripture, you hear words like Paul and you’re like, yeah, Paul.
Peter, James, John.
But you just don’t hear Epaphras at all and I can’t barely just say his name, so.
Epaphras, yeah. But here’s what Col 1:7-8 says. It says: “just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.” And so, what I thought was awesome about this, first of all, that is an amazing couple of sentences to be said about someone. So, I feel like, wouldn’t it be awesome if someone was able to say this about us?
Like, man, he’s a beloved, he’s a fellow servant, he is a faithful minister on your behalf.
Right, not even for himself, this is for you.
Yeah, those are, like, all the words used about this man are, like, just beautiful. So, without ever meeting Epaphras, I love this guy, right? I think I wanna be like this guy and there’s a few things that stood out to me in the handful of verses that talk about this man. First, and I think most importantly, he preach the Gospel. ‘Cause the reason this church in Colossi existed, was because Epaphras preached the Gospel and the church was created in Colossi.
Powerful, like what a legacy, right?
Yeah, he planted one of these powerful churches. It wasn’t Paul, it wasn’t anyone else, it was Epaphras. Because he preached the Gospel. He was bold enough to open his mouth and speak the truth about Jesus Christ to these people. I just think that’s awesome. Are we preaching the Gospel? You know, with our lives, with our gifts, with our neighbors?
What I love at the end of this verse, it says, “has made known to us your love in the Spirit.” and, like, you have to be intentional to have a testimony like that. You have to be able to show love to others and to preach the Gospel, you have to truly care enough to do that.
Yeah, and that’s one of the things that, I mean, this guy loved those people. He loved them so much he even showed and explained their love to Paul. Which made, Paul’s like, I’m gonna write a letter to this church. I wanna encourage these brothers and sisters. The next thing we see about this man, from such a few verses, is that he’s a beloved fellow servant. He’s loved not only by Paul, but by all the believers that he ministered to. That’s another, like, should be a check for us. Like a challenge to us. Do all the people that know us that we minister to or serve, do they love us?
Well, it says a lot about his reputation.
Yeah, that’s what I’m getting at, reputation’s a good word. Now, of course, I’m sure he had people that were bothered by him at some point, but it doesn’t say anything about that. It says that he is a beloved fellow servant. The believers that he served, first of all, he uses the word servant, so he was a servant to them.
You can only serve by action, right? So he’s doing stuff for others.
Yeah and he was an example to them and he was beloved because of it. And he was loved by those he served. And so, are we beloved fellow servants of Christ? It isn’t that we can make everyone love us, but when we serve people, when we love people, do they know it? And that what I, personally, don’t you want that?
I do, I do.
For people to see that in us? So, it says he’s a faithful minister of Christ on their behalf. So for them and not for himself. ‘Cause sometimes I feel like we might do things for our own interests. Even ministry, even. Like, that’s something that we should always be aware of. Like, am I doing this for my own name, my own gain?
My own gain, yeah.
‘Cause there’s a lot of things we can do for ourselves and this means bad to have interests and it says to look to not only your own interest but also the interest of others.
But he was a faithful minister on their behalf. He served them, preached to them, taught them, encouraged them, loved them for their sake.
I like that word faithful too, ’cause it shows longevity, this guy didn’t just go and book it a couple of weeks later, like, he was faithful, which means he remained and he stayed and he endured alongside them. He was faithful.
And I wanna be that.
I don’t wanna be someone that’s flaky. You know, like, we’ve all known someone that’s come and gone. And you don’t know where you’re at with them really, what was that about? But we can be faithful and I think that’s something to strive for. How can I remain faithful with my relationships, with the people I fellowship with.
But more importantly, faithful to God, right? Like not being flaky with your relationship with God.
Yeah, as he was a faithful minister of Christ.
Right, but not checking in and out as a man in your relationship with God. Like this guys was faithful to Him, first and foremost.
I love that.
A few more things. He says he made known the love of others. So, like, how well do we speak of others? This man spoke of their love in the Spirit to Paul. Like they’re sitting in prison together and I would imagine he’s sitting there saying, Oh and these believers, man, they were like changing the city and like, oh they were going and loving people and they’re hugging people and encouraging people, preaching the Gospel and the kinds of words he was using about these people, it probably wasn’t, yeah, they were kind of annoying and there’s this one guy that really bothered me and, like. No, he talked of their love.
That’s really cool. I was just sitting here thinking, like, in a marriage relationship, so like in our relationship, how do I speak of you to others? Am I making known the good, the positive, the righteous or am I complaining and being negative. You can break this down to even just the smallest of relationships.
And when I was thinking about this, he wasn’t proclaiming their weaknesses and shortcomings, which we all have.
He was proclaiming who they are in Christ.
And how they are striving to be in the Spirit. And who they are walking in as new creations. And so, are we doing that for others? Other believers.
Even if that brother or sister wronged us somehow, do we speak well of them? Or do we tear them down when we’re around people? Epaphras spoke well of them.
And you know what that does? It produces unity. It stimulates unity, it creates unity.
It makes you feel safe around people, like, oh, these people actually love me. Like, yes, I’ve made mistakes, but they have forgiven me and when they speak of me, they speak of who I am in Christ, not who I have been in the past.
I definitely don’t wanna be known for my past. I have a past and I want to be known for what Christ changed in my past.
So, knowing that, so to treat others as you’d like to be treated, right? So I’m gonna, how do I talk about people? Last two things. In Col 4:12 it says ” always struggling on your behalf in his prayers” and this is speaking of Epaphras. He was always struggling on their behalf in his prayers. He bore their burdens in his prayers, he fought for them in his prayers. That word struggling, that’s a serious word, not like can’t get the lid of the jar kind of struggling, that’s like struggling, I would imagine, the first thing I thought of was when Jesus was praying in the garden, you know, for what He was about to do on the cross. Imagine He’s on his knees, you know, weeping and praying that they would stand strong, that they wouldn’t be deceived, that they wouldn’t give in to temptation, that they would be used, that they wouldn’t have fears, that they would believe the truth and remain in it and run the race. And having these prayers for his brothers and sisters in this church that he had the blessing of starting.
Yeah and it reminds me of a spiritual warrior. Like a spiritual warrior man who’s going before the Lord for others in prayer. Like just aching in his heart for them to be faithful.
And to serve and to love and to know God.
And stand strong.
Again, the encouragement is, we should be doing that, you know.
Praying for others.
For others, yeah. Philemon 23, this is one of the other references, says “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you” So he did all these things, the persecution and imprisonment, so his faithfulness was even to chains. You know, sitting next to Paul. And so, I just think, you know, do we have that kind of resolve in our heart to love the body of Christ to that level? To be a faithful servant to that level? So, I wanna be more like Epaphras, he’s pretty awesome. And the fact that he’s only spoken of very little, but how much was spoken about him in those few sentences, is more than the many words that may be spoken about any of us in our lifetime, right?
Yeah, I love that. I actually, I love that, you know, makes me think of a couple of episodes ago we talked about our testimonies and Aaron, you shared those conversation you’re having with God in your car of how, you know, what’s gonna be said at my funeral? Type thing.
I was just thinking that.
Yeah, I was just thinking, like, this story, this testimony of this man. It reminds me of that same kind of conversation that you’re having with God. It’s like, this is what you want.
Yeah, if at my funeral all the people said was, man, he loved, he preached the Gospel, he prayed for people and he served Christ and others. Like that’s what we want to be said about us. And it’s what this guy got.
Jennifer, why don’t you go to the next person?
Okay, so the next one. This one is one of those ones where it stands out to you but you kind off just slide right pass it. And it’s in Ex 18:13-27. But it’s Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. And it’s about his wise advice. And so I’m just gonna go ahead and read the Scripture for you guys. It says “The next day Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood around Moses from morning till evening. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone, and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God, when they have a dispute, they come to me and I decide between one person and another, and I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.” Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. Now obey my voice. I will give you advice, and God will be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace.” So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And they judged the people at all times. Any hard case they brought to Moses, and any small matter they decided themselves. Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went away to his own country.” So, I know that was a lot, a big chunk of verses, but this is just to get the idea of the picture of what we’re talking about. So, how many people are we talking about here? That Moses was over?
Over a million, easily. I don’t know exactly, but that’s a lot.
Okay, so I pulled this scripture from Ex 12:37 and it says, “And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.”
So, if there’s equal amount of women, that’s 1,2 million.
Okay, well over a million people.
And who know how many children.
We’re talking about a lot of people and one man, Moses. To decide between all of their matters, so from morning to evening, he’s just a busy guy.
And when you read that, the first thing I though of was when God said it’s not good that man should be alone. Right and He was talking about a woman, but Moses is literarily sitting here, trying to judge all these people by himself. First of all, this man ain’t gonna get nothing done in his life.
Well, he’s not even gonna get through all of the disputes ’cause there’s just too many of them.
Right? So, in steps the father-in-law. Which, first of all, I just love their relationship. I think that, you know, since we’re marriage podcasting, we have to deal with in-laws. I think this is a good beginning point that we should just be encouraged to have a good relationship with our in-laws. And our parents. And to the best that we can.
And be willing to hear sound advice.
‘Cause like, not all in-laws are gonna give sound advice.
But some might.
And we shouldn’t just have walls up, we should be like, hey, I’m gonna get sound, Godly wisdom wherever I can get it.
Okay, so Moses is in this and his father-in-law speaks to him about how what you’re doing is not good. You need to change this radically. So, again, this is a set of scriptures that can easily be read through or even really overlooked, but what does Jethro bring out in his area that we can-
Well, what I see is, he says, “What is this that you’re doing for the people, why do you sit alone and all the people stand around you from morning till evening?” So, first of all, Moses is, like, the leader, right? And all of the people are coming to him and Jethro’s not coming out a place of pride or like, I’m gonna be better than you or anything like that. He’s coming out of a place of actually deep concern, not just for Moses for for all the people.
‘Cause what he’s seeing is like, this is not a good thing. He even says it. This what you’re doing is not good, right? And so he has the boldness to go to the leader of these people, all these people, right? And be strong with him. And we can’t tell the tone, we can kind of, infer the tone, but-
I mean, he sounds confident.
He’s sounds like, hey, what you’re doing is, this is chaos. This is craziness. You’re not gonna be able to bear this. So he’s going in firming and saying no, no. Do exactly as I say and things will be better. Right? So he has a boldness about himself but it’s not a cockiness, it’s not an arrogance, it’s an actual concern and that love for his son-in-law and for his people, causes him to stand boldly and speak truth. And I think that’s something we can learn. Like there’s gonna be times that we need to go, in love, and be bold. And say, what I’m seeing is not good. And I’m telling you this for your sake and for everyone else’s sake.
And so, he’s doing it. He could have sat back and be like, whoa, you know, it’s not my place or what are the people gonna say or what if I hurt his feelings because he thinks he’s doing it right? No, he’s like, this is crazy. This is not gonna work, this isn’t good for you, this is gonna destroy you and then what? Then where are you gonna be?
If you’re just gone, out of the picture?
Yes, so really he’s saying, Moses, we need you. But we need you to do this a better way. And his way is actually implemented in government, business, a lot of places, because it’s wise.
Yeah, this is used everywhere.
So we wanna point out the fact that Jethro’s wise and that’s something to be inspired by. That we should be wise people. And this comes from a place of, like, what you say, ingenuity, like he had a plan. He had this thing-
Knowledge and understanding of people.
So, there’s another thing we can think of is, there’s gonna be times that, even if we’re walking with the Lord and we’re trying to obey Him and do what He’s called us to do and we’re trying to do all of the right things, we may not be seeing something clearly. Moses wasn’t. He couldn’t see it, ’cause he has a million people trying to talk to him.
All the time.
Right? And he’s trying to obey God, he’s trying to teach them the laws, he’s trying to do everything that God has asked him to do. So there’s gonna be times that someone else is gonna have eyes on us.
Which is a good thing.
Well, if we receive it.
Right? We could be arrogant and say no, no, no, no, you don’t know, I’m the leader. We could do that, but there’s gonna be other people that God’s using to get His will across. To get His purposes across. So Jethro’s being used this way, he’s going boldly to his son-in-law, the leader of all these people. And saying, you gotta stop and you gotta listen. What you’re doing is going to destroy you and the people.
Right? That’s essentially what he said. And I just think that’s awesome that he was willing to do that. And like you said, wisdom, it’s pretty smart what he said.
Yeah, I also think he’s a detail oriented kind of guy. Even though there’s not a whole lot of detail here, he does give very specific detail in that he didn’t just say Moses go pick out a hundred men and put them over the people. He was specific in that he said look for able men from all the people. Men who fear God, men who trustworthy and hate a bribe. And so, he was looking for specifics, because he knew what it would require.
So he gave qualifications for them. Which is another awesome thing Jethro did. So, it went from a brand new nation having a single leader to now a nation having hundreds of capable leaders leading. And this is the method of multiplication. It’s not addition. It’s not like Moses had one or two people. He multiplied. And so Jethro’s essentially saying, find men that can do what you do and put them over people. And then they will come to you. So instead of, it’s a representative democracy, essentially. Not a democracy, but it’s a representative, like they have representatives, these thousands have this one man, who can now go and speak. Like, hey, there’s this hard thing, don’t worry, I’ll take this to Moses, he’ll figure it out. And then he comes back and he delegates, figures it out. And now you just took a nation with one leader who hears from God and made it thousands of leaders who hear from God. And who are listening to the Word of God. And are teaching the Word of God. And are solving civil matters. So now you have a much more well functioning nation.
Yeah. So, another thing that I love about this, specifically these details, is that it requires something of Moses. In order for him to go search out these trustworthy, able men, Moses has to has eyes to see them. He has to have a heart that understands. He has to go pursue that, right? To get these men and to know them in a way that he can appoint them. And so, I feel like, in Jethro’s encouragement and kind of, what is it, a command? Would you call it a command?
He was pretty forceful.
He says obey me.
He says listen to my words and do it.
So in his wise advice, we’ll say advice, in his wise advice, he’s actually encouraging Moses to build up his relationship with other men and to see them in what they’re able to do. And I think that that’s something that we can be encouraged by that, we are encouraging others to see the good in others. That we, ourselves, have eyes and hearts that see good in others. And see gifts in others. And encourage people to use them. Right?
Yeah. Well and it also goes to a place of humbleness and realizing that we can’t do everything ourselves. And we need help.
It’s good to have help.
It says in verse 23, “if you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure.” And all this people also will go into their place in peace. So Jethro really had a heart for Moses enduring, the people having peace and so think about this, in your organization that has one man running the whole show, how fragile is that organization? Right? This model that Jethro gives is to encourage longevity.
He use the word endure. So, Moses eventually goes out of the picture, right? And then we have Joshua that steps in his place and is even a more able leader, who was under Moses. And think about all the men that were able to lead and able to grow and that nation didn’t just crumbled when Moses disappeared.
Out of the picture. So it gave the ability for it to be, it’s a replicatable method. Instead of just, like, I have all the answers, I’m the one person and once I’m gone, good luck. No, it’s like, hey, let’s pass on. Jethro says, it’s interesting, pass on your wisdom, your knowledge, your abilities. So that others can do what you do. Multiply yourself. And so Jethro encourage him to multiply himself. And that’s amazing.
It’s really cool. So, just to bring it back to marriage, Aaron, is there anything that what we’re saying about Jethro, something that we as husband or wife can apply to our marriage?
Well, if, first of all, we believe that the Bible calls the men to be, the husbands to be spiritual leaders in the home. But we see this, is a good spiritual leader one who takes on 100% of the responsibility of everything and does everything by themselves and doesn’t give any responsibility to his wife or to his children or to, right? Or is a good spiritual leader someone who lays down their life and says, I’m going to raise up leaders. And knows how to delegate. And realizes that they have a partner. And a team and it’s not just them, right? I want my family to succeed, I want my family to win, I want my wife to feel able and capable and strong and empowered and not, you know, useless. So if I’m leading that way and make her feel useless, I’m not leading well. But if I’m reminding my wife of her natural and God given gifts. And if I’m saying, hey, this is where God has given you strengths, let’s use those strengths, how can we increase those strengths? How can we best utilize them in our home? So now that’s what we’re seeing happening is we are seeing the same advice that Jethro gave to Moses, can be played out right in our own marriages.
Like, how are we allowing God’s giftings in our home to be used.
And for the benefit of everyone for peace.
And endurance. So we can endure, not just putting the whole responsibility of something on my wife or not just putting the whole responsibility on myself or even on my children. But realizing that, hey, we’re a team. We have gifts, we have talents, we have responsibilities. How can we operate those well? How can we help each other in those responsibilities?
Yeah, that’s a good question, Jennifer.
Cool. Okay, so we have two more. The next one’s brief, but so so good and important to tune into. And it’s found in 2 Tim 1:1-7. And this is the legacy of Timothy’s mother and grandmother.
So, 2 Tim 1:1-7 is, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Okay, I really like this testimony.
Yeah, well, it ends really good with this, we’ve got the Spirit that God’s given us. I mean, He gave it to Timothy, not a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control, which is awesome.
Yeah and this is the same, that’s the same thing he saw in grandmother Lois and Eunice.
Yeah, so the faith that’s in Timothy, he knows it didn’t start in Timothy. So his grandmother and his mother both had this faith in Jesus. So we don’t know if it was from when he was a child, because we don’t know how old his grandmother and mother, so they might have been new to the faith as well.
Yeah, we don’t know how long their testimony of life was going for.
But they had a faith in Jesus Christ. And taught it to their son, Timothy and grandson, Timothy and showed and exemplified it to him and so, their name’s here for a reason. I talked about it in the beginning, why are they named? Because God wants to give recognition to these women who-
And showed their faith. And taught their faith to Timothy. Who became a man who planted churches and raised up leaders and was an example and we have two letters written to him, for the churches that he was planting and working in. So they have a legacy in the Word of God. They’re named here, but the work that they did in their life is displayed in their grandson and son, Timothy.
Which, how powerful, the work that Timothy did. So that legacy that you just mentioned is continuing, even so.
Yeah and so, for us, as parents, for you listening, if you have children or thinking about or getting ready to have children.
Especially you moms, listen up!
Yeah, this is a powerful thing that we get to display and walk in and hand to our children. We can’t save our children. That’s not our responsibility but we can show them and exemplify them and teach them of the faith that dwells in us. It says that first dwelled in your grandmother, Lois, and in your mother, Eunice, right? So, the legacy that you can build with your children might be infinitely more powerful than the one that you have yourself. Right, so even though we just hear, we don’t know what else they did, but if all they did was be faithful and show their son and grandson who Christ was and taught him that. Boom, like, that is the incredibly story of Timothy, right?
That’s awesome, but here’s the thing. If they’re walking out a sincere faith and it didn’t impact Timothy, chances are, they impacted a lot of other people too, even if they were neighbors or their family members. And I think that’s incredible.
Yeah, so they’re named here. God found it important to make them known to the world. And I think that’s awesome.
All right, we’re gonna move on to the last one. And this one is about the Ethiopian eunuch that’s mentioned in Acts. And I really love this story. I’m gonna have Aaron read the scripture, but we’re gonna dig in.
This is one of those interesting stories. It’s kind of like a blip in Acts, but it’s powerful. Acts 8:26-40. “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the city, or go south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.” And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.”
I love that. Philip’s just on fire, couldn’t be stopped.
He’s kind of like being swept around by the Spirit of God.
Whip lashed. Okay, so I just love this and I kinda wanted to start again from the beginning and just show who this character is.
Yeah, he’s an Ethiopian eunuch, he’s a servant in the house of Candace.
Yeah, so right away we know that he’s responsible. He’s this responsible guy who is trustworthy, obviously. But you know, looking over the, in charge of all the treasure. And we also know that he came to Jerusalem to worship and he didn’t just worship, but as he was returning, he’s seated in his chariot, he was reading the Scriptures. And, so you get this picture of a faithful man, someone who is reading the Word of God and worshiping Him.
So it’s like he’s searching for God and he’s worshiping, but he doesn’t know this God and guess what? God sent Philip to show him who He was.
So, we see that he had come to Jerusalem to worship and not only that, but as he was returning he was sitting in his chariot, reading the Word of God.
He’s reading from the scrolls.
Yeah, so you get this picture of a man who’s searching to know God, right? He’s got this desire to know Him. And it wasn’t like he was just in, you know, up in his room studying the Scripture, he was like, it’s like a random time of the day where he’s sitting in his chariot, traveling, right? How often are you just on your way to Target and you just have your Bible open on your seat?
Yeah, I’m just saying, he desired. He had this desire to know God.
Right, well, I think of that verse that says “he who knocks, the door will be opened.” Right, and he was knocking. He had a genuine desire to know God. I mean, even coming to Jerusalem, even coming to worship and having the scrolls means he’s wanting it.
He doesn’t know exactly, I mean, he has all these questions. He’s like, what is this talking about? Who is this person? Right? And praise God that He loves to go to those who are seeking. And He, so he can be found.
And I love that in the midst of this man’s seeking after Him, He sends in Philip. Like, what a beautiful picture of like, people mentioned divine appointment, it’s like this thing that happened that you know it’s definitely God. That’s just a side note but I just love that God’s heart for us is like, wow, He is faithful. So you get this picture of a responsible, trustworthy-
Desiring, he’s seeking, desiring to know the Lord.
Yeah, this guy who’s just, I mean, he’s humble too, right? So if you go, let me see, it says in verse 31 after he already meets Philip and he says, Philip asks him, do you understand what you are reading? He responded with “How can I, unless someone guides me?” So there’s this softness of heart of like, I want to understand, but I need help.
Well, imagine he’s in charge of all this treasure, he’s probably affluent, like I know he’s a servant, but he’s on his own trip. So he’s somebody of importance, at least in this, to Candace, right?
And Philip, who knows what he looks like.
I have no idea.
Walking besides the chariot, he’s like, hey, do you know what you’re reading? Do you get that? I gotta imagine, like, if he was arrogant, he’d be like, get out of here! You don’t know what you’re talking about or don’t tell me what. No, but instead he’s like, I don’t know.
So he’s humble.
Yeah, he is. And he’s also, it sounds like he’s deeply-
Moved by what he’s reading.
And so the fact that someone’s calling out to him, he’s like, yes I’m, what, tell me! I’m ready for it, what is it? So there’s something here and I don’t know what it is.
Yip and then if you continue right on in 31, it says “And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” So, again, talking about humility, but also there’s this sense of, he’s welcoming Philip and he’s inviting Philip.
He’s welcoming the truth.
And to be able to receive that, like your heart has to be in a, just in a softened place to be able to receive in that way. But also to receive another person who’s actually, in this case, a complete stranger. And how often do we, in our lives welcome these types of moments? These appointments that God has for us or do we push them away? Because I’m sure it happens.
Well, just think about, in our own lives, when we’re going through something, right? Like, we may be believers already, this is about a man coming to know Christ. But we don’t understand something. Like why is this happening or I’m trying to make a decision in my life or just, fill in the blank about something that you are confused about. And a Christian brother or sister comes to you and says, hey, can I share how I would deal with that? No, no, no, I’ll figure it out, thanks.
Hold on, what if it comes through a text, like, hey, you wanna grab coffee? How are you responding? Are you welcoming? Are you going to sit with them or are you gonna say I’m busy, yeah. ‘Cause it happens you guys, we know this.
Yeah, so we can have the same posture.
Oh, posture’s a good word.
Hey, I’m in need of answers.
Right? So, guidance, says unless someone guides me.
So I also would say that he’s teachable. Because he is asking for someone to guide him, so he’s willing to receive in that way. And I like that word, teachable and I think it’s one that we’ve used for along time, Aaron and just, are we teachable people? Are we gonna learn from each other? Do I allow you to speak into my life and can I speak into yours in encouragement, inspiration, knowledge, wisdom and are we gonna receive from each other? Are we gonna be teachable in that way? We tell our kids that. You gotta be teachable.
And not being teachable is a form of pride, meaning, no, I actually already have all the answers, which is ridiculous. Because no one has all the answers.
To any thing. Let alone the depths of the Word of God.
We may have some, we may have a lot, but no one has all. So, yeah, we should all be teachable. And we should be teachable by the lowliest of people.
Or by the most affluent people that we know. We should be able to receive. We should never see ourselves as in a position above or below someone, where, like, I’m not gonna let that person teach me anything.
Well, like you said, who knows what Philip looked like but it’s not like he came in with this title or anything, he was just a man.
Wasn’t he a fisherman, like, I don’t know what was his occupation, it’s not like he, he wasn’t rich.
But this eunuch, he did have an official title. He worked for Candace, the Queen and so-
He was important. And not just that, but physically, one was in a chariot, which was lifted off the ground
So he’s up high, yeah.
And the other one was not. And then he invited him up, and so, when we have a teachable heart, not matter what position, title or anything we have, when we’re humble and we’re teachable we’re gonna lift each other up, inviting that knowledge, truth, wisdom in. Which I love. And God does use everyone to do that, anyone to do that.
Amen to that, Amen.
Okay, so what do you think about these set of Scriptures that this guy was reading?
Well, he’s clearly reading about, I mean, this is prophetic scripture’s about the Christ, right? Which is amazing because it was perfect timing.
It’s almost like someone organized it. And he’s reading this scripture and then God sends Philip by the Holy Spirit to answer the question. Who’s he talking about? Jesus! And he explains to him and he opens up, it says: “Philip opened his mouth.” Which is I think a awesome thing, because there’s times that we should open our mouths and we keep them closed. You know, like I had this opportunity to share.
I think sometimes we get caught up in our minds, like, I don’t even know what I’m gonna say, but if we just go to open our mouths, the Lord’s faithful. What I love about verse 35 is if you keep reading, it says he told him the good news about Jesus.
I just love that verse, it’s just so powerful and simple. But that Philip had the opportunity to just share the good news about who Jesus is.
I love about Philip, not about Philip, about…
The eunuch, yeah. It doesn’t give us his name.
No, that’s okay, though because there’s still a lot said about this man.
So Philip preaches to him the Gospel. And guess what he does? He doesn’t say, huh, let me think about that, that’s pretty interesting, I might have to verify some of that stuff, yeah, let me see if there’s another, better way. No, he says, see here, water. What prevents me from being baptized? Right? He’s literary sitting in his chariot, probably in his nice clothes, ’cause he’s on an official trip, you know, to worship. And I’m sure he has someone driving the chariot, he’s probably got other people with him, he’s probably got servants-
He didn’t care.
He’s like, pull this thing over, there’s a puddle of water over there, baptize me. So what’s gonna stop me?
What I noted, what I wanted to share about that verse was he’s enthusiastic.
He’s like, ready.
What in, not waiting. And to be honest, I wanna give a little encouragement. If you’re listening and you’re a new believer or you’re a believer a long time and you’ve been baptized, think about this heart. That this eunuch has.
He was quick to respond.
He heard the Gospel and said, I don’t wanna wait. I’m not gonna get back home and then go take a bath and call that a baptism. I’m not gonna wait till it’s warmer out. I’m not gonna wait till no one’s watching or that I got, like, the right clothes on. Baptize me. Because I wanna identify with that man, Jesus.
That’s what he’s saying. And so I just wanna encourage you, go get baptized. Go identify with your Savior. In his death and resurrection. That’s what a baptism is. So that enthusiasm when he received, with enthusiasm, right? And he’s like, there’s water, what’s stopping me?
I love it. Okay, so, after they go down to the water, he gets baptized, they come up out of the water and the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, this verse 39, “and the eunuch saw him no more and went on his way, rejoicing.” So now we have a joyful man and I love that. I think that’s a characteristic that we can all have. And especially those of us who do believe in God and in Christ and have been baptized and have this relationship, this on going relationship with the Lord and abiding in Him. We can go on our way, rejoicing.
And he didn’t need Philip to remain. Because guess what he had?
The Holy Spirit.
He actually had the Lord. So, not that we don’t need each other, what I’m getting at is sometimes we have surrogate faith. Our faith is as strong as those we’re around or when I’m with so and so and oh, I haven’t been around them for a long time and therefore I’m kind of like, backsliding. But the Ethiopian eunuch, he went on his way rejoicing because he now has the Spirit of God. He believed it. It was his. There was a multiplication. And we just talked about this with Moses.
So, like, Philip came, boom, new believer. Now there’s two.
And now, guess what that eunuch-
So, it says that Philip went on his way and was preaching somewhere else, but it doesn’t actually say what the eunuch was doing.
But what do you think happened?
I know what happened.
He went back to Ethiopia! And he preached.
We don’t know this for sure, but what we do know is that every time people are touched by God, what do they do? They open their mouths, right? Every single time.
He for sure went home and told his family.
And if he didn’t tell them, they were asking questions because a man doesn’t just come back changed and rejoicing in that way and nobody notice.
Yeah, we don’t know if he had a family, but-
Whoever is around him. Candace.
Candace. Hey, who knows, what if Candace, he was her eunuch.
Preaching the gospel that he just learned. I think that’s awesome. So we learned about this man, doesn’t even give his name but what we know about him is, humbled himself, wanted, sought after, received, went away joyful, was enthusiastic about just like, baptize me now, I want this. What you just told me, that’s what I want. So, man. There’s so many stories like this in the Bible.
We should do a whole other episode like this. It’s fun.
Just all of the little characters in the Bible.
There’s just so much to glean from the Bible, you guys and we wanted to bring this to yo today as an encouragement and a bit of inspiration for you to look at God’s Word and ask Him to reveal to you what you need to learn. And what you can glean from.
At minimum? Open the Bible and read it and talk about it with your spouse.
It doesn’t have to be, like we kinda got so deep into some of these thoughts, but this is ’cause we talked about them.
Like, hey, what do you think about this, what do you think about this? So don’t overthink it. Don’t think to yourself, well, we don’t know certain things. No, just open the Bible. Love the Word of God. Read it. And then talk about it. Say, I found this thing, it’s interesting. What do you think? What do you think it means? Like, dig into it. As usual, we pray at the end, so, Jennifer, would you pray for us?
Dear Lord, thank you for your holy Word that teaches us and inspires us in our maturity. We thank you for even this smallest of testimonies that have an impact on how we live our lives. We thank you for the details written about in your Word that we can glean from, that we can discuss and talk about, that we can be inspired by. We pray we would continue to understand your Word as we abide in You. May we grow in our character and may we grow closer to You. May your will be done in our lives and in our marriages. In Jesus name, Amen.
Amen. Thank you all, we love you all. Praying for you all. We pray you have a blessed week and we’ll see you next time. 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.