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Marriage After God

Marriage After God

Author: Aaron & Jennifer Smith

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Marriage After God is a weekly marriage focused podcast hosted by Aaron and Jennifer Smith, authors of Husband After God and Wife After God and their newest book titled Marriage After God: Chasing Boldly After God's Purpose For Your Life Together. Marriage After God is intended to encourage, inspire and challenge marriages to chase boldly after God together and to cultivate an extraordinary marriage with each other. Stay tuned each week for awesome marriage encouragement. We hope that we can shine a light on why God has brought you and your spouse together and how you can pursue His purpose for your life and family with joy and excitement.
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With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to share some gift ideas to help inspire you. All of the gifts we share in this episode are things that we love and use often.ONE QUICK NOTE: If you are trying to get out of debt we suggest skipping gifts for a while. Instead, find free ways to bless each other and show your spouse your are thinking of them. We never want to promote spending when we can't or shouldn't. PRAYER:Dear Lord,Thank you for being the ultimate gift giver. Thank You for the gift of marriage. We pray our hearts would be pure in the way we give gifts to each other. We pray we would be thoughtful in the ways we give to each other. Help us to study and know our spouse well enough to give them gifts we know they will love. More than giving good gifts, we pray our love would be genuine and deep and extraordinary as we pursue intimacy with each other. Grow our love for one another….In Jesus’ name, amen! READ THE TRANSCRIPT- [Aaron] Hey, we're Aaron and Jennifer Smith with "Marriage After God." - [Jennifer] Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage. - [Aaron] And today we're gonna share some unique Valentine's Day gift ideas for your spouse. Welcome to the "Marriage After God" podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after. - [Jennifer] I'm Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife. - [Aaron] And I'm Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution. - [Jennifer] We have been married for over a decade. - [Aaron] And so far we have four young children. - [Jennifer] We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through blogging and social media. - [Aaron] With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day. - [Jennifer] We believe the Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life-- - [Aaron] Love-- - [Jennifer] And power-- - [Aaron] That can only be found by chasing after God. - [Jennifer] Together. - [Aaron] Thank you for joining us on this journey as we chase boldly after God's will for our life together. - [Jennifer] This is "Marriage After God." - [Aaron] Hey, welcome back to another episode of the "Marriage After God" podcast. This is the second episode in season three of the "Marriage After God" podcast, and it's gonna be a fun one. We're gonna talk about gift ideas and Valentine's Day, and these are fun episodes that we get to do. It's just to become a resource for you to help you in stuff that you guys are trying to pursue with each other. But before we begin today, I just wanna check in with my wife. How are you doing? - [Jennifer] I'm doing good, I'm doing better, I should say. - [Aaron] Yeah. - [Jennifer] I don't know if people can hear it in my voice, I-- - [Aaron] She hasn't stopped laughing for 15 minutes. - [Jennifer] It's been really hard, guys. We went to go record this episode and I could not stop laughing. Something was hysterical but really it was nothing, and that made it even funnier. - [Aaron] And I'm sitting over here not laughing. - [Jennifer] Though I think it's spiritual because we're trying to record. I couldn't stop, but I finally got my bearings and I'm here, and I'm excited to do this with you, Aaron. - [Aaron] Yeah, so, me too, now. It's the second week of the year, 2020, new decade. How do you think things are going? I know it's new, but. - [Jennifer] Yes, I would say so far, so good. I mean, I'm still looking forward to this year. I think one thing that I've already been noticing is that I have this hopefulness to savor this year so that it doesn't feel like it flies by super fast. - [Aaron] Yeah, 2019 felt like it went really fast. - [Jennifer] Really fast. - [Aaron] Every time I looked at the calendar, I was like, wait a minute, we're in the third quarter. What's going on? - [Jennifer] Yeah, how is this already possible? So I'm hoping that this year just is a slow year for us and for our family. - [Aaron] Yeah. Well, seeing our kids grow up also. - [Jennifer] It breaks my heart, really. - [Aaron] It feels like it's going way too fast. - [Jennifer] Why do they have to grow up every year? If they skipped a year, it'd be cool. - [Aaron] I actually think time is going by faster 'cause when I was kid, I remember time feeling like it was going so slow. - [Jennifer] Playing in the backyard for hours. - [Aaron] And then people say when you get older, time flies or goes faster. But we even asked our kids, and my son Elliott, he was like, "Dad, why does it feel like every day goes by so fast?" So my son-- - [Jennifer] Even feels that. - [Aaron] Is even feeling time go by fast, so I'm wondering if there's something to that. Maybe the earth is spinning faster or something like that, I don't know. - [Jennifer] There's still 24 hours in a day. - [Aaron] Yeah, just real quick, what is something you're looking forward to in 2020? I know that there's stuff around our house that you like to do. - [Jennifer] Yeah, so specifically this week, I'm really excited to prune our trees. When we moved into this house, it was kind of bare ground in the sense that we got to do whatever we wanted with it and we decided, on the side of our house, we had this space. I really wanted to plant a little mini orchard. So if you follow me on Instagram, you'll see pictures of it throughout the seasons. - [Aaron] We've got some apples, we've got some peaches. - [Jennifer] Yeah, and I've never been able, I've never really had the opportunity to cultivate fruit trees before. I really don't know what I'm doing, thank you YouTube and friends who share their information with me. But I've just learned kind of the art of pruning and I practice it, and January's my time to practice. And so this week I'm gonna get out there. I use pruning to shape the trees and also to keep them, to keep their form small because our backyard is small. - [Aaron] Yeah, we don't want them to get huge. We wanna keep them small trees. - [Jennifer] But also, though, pruning stimulates growth which is exciting, so it's kind of like-- - [Aaron] It's almost biblical. - [Jennifer] It is biblical, which I also love that whole thing about that. - [Aaron] Yeah, and you've been loving doing it. It's therapeutic for you. - [Jennifer] Yeah, so even in the summertime, I'm actually looking forward to January 'cause I think, oh I get to prune my trees again. - [Aaron] Yeah, and we also get to see the fruit that comes from it, literally. Like literally fruit grow on these trees. Something that I'm looking forward to doing this year, and I'm trying to do, I've already implemented it already. I bought a journal for each one of my kids and I'm gonna, we did this parenting class a couple months ago and I felt convicted that I'm not taking time to study my children. And that sounds intense, but I'm not taking time to just evaluate the things that they like, the things that they say, how they act. - [Jennifer] What they're going through. - [Aaron] What they're going through, yeah. Evaluating their spiritual, where they're at spiritually, where they're at in their heart and emotionally, and even physically. So I'm just, I don't know how exactly I'm gonna do it. I started doing it, I'm just writing notes down in a journal about each kid. - [Jennifer] But I have to, I was gonna say, I have to explain this whole, what happened, because you didn't tell me that you were gonna be doing this and he's unboxing these journals on the bed. And I didn't know they were journals at first. I just saw these different colors. - [Aaron] She's like, "What are you doing?" - [Jennifer] I'm all, "Are those Christmas presents?" 'cause this was just a couple weeks ago. And I thought they were a part of all the other gifts that were coming in from Amazon. And he goes, "Oh, they're journals for the kids "and each one," and he holds up the yellow one. And I'm like, "Is that for Wyatt?" and he goes, "Yup," 'cause yellow, Wyatt calls himself the yellow boy, yeah he likes yellow. And you got a pinkish purple one for Olive. - [Aaron] A blue one for Elliott. - [Jennifer] And I think a gray one for Truett. - [Aaron] Yeah, oh I think that's backwards. I think the gray one's for Elliott and blue one's for Truett. - [Jennifer] Okay. And so he's putting them on his shelf and he's like, "You know, I just, I really feel "like I need to study my kids," and my heart sank in a good way. It was such a beautiful picture of a dad's heart for his children and something I never even thought to do myself. - [Aaron] You do have a journal for the kids, though. - [Jennifer] I write to them, though. - [Aaron] You write them letters. - [Jennifer] I write them letters and prayers, and it's quarterly, so I don't do it all the time. But this is different. This is a way for you to get to know them in a very deep and personal way, and to keep your eyes on them. And I just, I was blown away by that. And so I'm really excited for you and jumping into this, even though I know you're still figuring out what it's gonna look like. - [Aaron] Yeah, and I'm not doing it every day. My intention originally was to do it every day. And I'm like, okay, I can't do that. - [Jennifer] We got a lot of kids. - [Aaron] Yeah, but when I think about it, I'm gonna pull them out and I'm gonna write down observations of my children in it. And so it's not necessarily for them, it's for me. But one day they'll probably read it and they'll learn a little bit about themselves, probably. Okay, cool. So I just wanna encourage everyone that's listening to download a free thing that we came up with for you guys. It's called "52 Date Night Conversation Starters". It's an e-book that we made for you. And the point of it was to inspire your date life. We have a whole episode talking about date nights and putting it on the calendar, and you should go check that out. We're real huge advocates for having a scheduled date night. - [Jennifer] We're also huge advocates for conversations and communicating well with your spouse, which is why we've combined these two. And we wanted to give you something that would stimulate those really good conversations during date night. - [Aaron] Yeah, so you go to DateNightConversations.com, all one word. And you can download it for free, just give us your email address and boom, you'll have that PDF. And what you do is you can print it out. And there's one for every week of the year. And so the encouragement is, hey go on a date every week. And what's awesome is that you're gonna have a conversation about something deep. Why don't you give some examples? - [Jennifer] I was gonna say, so that's your freebie. But here's your freebie. This is for everyone listening. We're gonna give you three sample questions that you could ask on the date night. This is what you would get if you were to sign up for this. So the first one is, I thank God for our life together because. - [Aaron] Dot, dot, dot. - [Jennifer] So you get to answer that. - [Aaron] Yeah, and then you spend the time, while you're eating or getting a dessert, or going for a walk or whatever, and talk about that question. - [Jennifer] So the next one is, is there any part of my work routine that is negatively impacting our marriage or our family? So I feel like this is a really good one to kind of evaluate, where are we at, what's going on, and what can I contribute to this by sharing my heart with you? - [Aaron] Right, and if work routine doesn't work in both roles, you could say routine. Is there anything during my day that I do regularly that maybe needs to be massaged, moved around, cut out all together? - [Jennifer] Yeah, and the recommendation is that you guys ask each other the same question. - [Aaron] Exactly. Number three is, if we envision ourselves in our 90s, sitting on the porch in matching rocking chairs, if you would look over at me and say, "I wish we," - [Jennifer] Dot, dot, dot. - [Aaron] Yeah, so it's this idea that, why don't you transport yourself to 90 years from now, or when you're 90, and then ask yourself what you would have been doing today. That's kind of the idea. But these are fun, creative, there's 52 of them. This is just three of the 52. So we wanna encourage you to go get that DateNightConversations.com. Completely free, go download that. - [Jennifer] All right, today's topic is unique gift ideas for him and her on Valentine's Day. And the reason we wanted to bring this up is 'cause in just a few weeks, everyone around the world is gonna be celebrating Valentine's Day. Not everyone, but you know, a lot of people. - [Aaron] Not in some countries. I don't even know who celebrates it, but, lots of people. - [Jennifer] My point is this, it's gonna be in our faces. It's gonna be everywhere. And we just thought we'd give it some thought beforehand because if you're like Aaron and I, getting inspired is key for gift giving in marriage. - [Aaron] Yeah, and can I be a little honest about my disposition towards Valentine's Day? - [Jennifer] Quickly, go. - [Aaron] Okay, I'm just gonna be quick. - [Jennifer] Hold on, let me cover my ears. - [Aaron] I'm not a huge fan of feeling obligated to give gifts, and I feel like sometimes certain holidays do that. That's not to say if you love doing this, and you love the holiday, don't listen to me. But if you're kinda like me, then don't feel like this podcast is for you, necessarily. Or maybe it might inspire you and you won't feel like I feel sometimes. I'm just being honest, sometimes I feel. But I've had to, I've been challenged by people in my life to not take it as an obligation, but take it as an opportunity. - [Jennifer] Opportunity, I like that. Also, I just wanna encourage those of you who are listening and maybe you're not married yet, that you can use these gift ideas for a significant other in your life. Maybe you're dating or-- - [Aaron] Or a family member, maybe. - [Jennifer] Or a fiance. - [Aaron] Or a friend that's also single with you. That's a good idea. - [Jennifer] Okay, so gift giving is actually an art. I think it is. I don't think I'm very good at it. - [Aaron] Some people are gifted at it, for sure. - [Jennifer] When I think about how I give gifts, sometimes I'm so embarrassed because my wrapping skills are off the charts terrible. - [Aaron] Your rapping skills, like rhymes, or wrapping? - [Jennifer] No, like wrapping paper. - [Aaron] But that sometimes makes the gift even better, the way you wrap it. - [Jennifer] I always opt for the bag and tissue 'cause I don't like, I can make it look cool without having to do much work. - [Aaron] Yeah, and it is an art form. Some people are really gifted at it naturally. They're just so thoughtful in the way that they give gifts. And some of us aren't that way. So sometimes we just need to be inspired with ideas. That's kinda the point of this podcast. - [Jennifer] Yeah, so Aaron and I, why don't we just share a little bit of our experience of giving gifts in marriage and what that journey's been like. - [Aaron] I've tried to be really creative over the years, and some of them hit big, some of them flopped. And it's not necessarily that you didn't like the gifts, they're just, they're different, the way that they are received and the intention behind it versus how it actually turns out. - [Jennifer] Yeah, I'd also say it depends on what's going on in that season of life that that gift is given because one of the things I'm gonna share later, I'll point it out later 'cause I don't wanna give it away yet, but it was very significant to the season of life I was in. It stood out to me more. - [Aaron] And we've done all sorts of things. Sometimes we don't give gifts on certain days. Sometimes we do experiences, we do things together. - [Jennifer] Sometimes we just look over at each other when the time is coming and we go, "We're not doing gifts, right?" - [Aaron] And we're like, "No, no gifts. "Promise me you're not gonna." - [Jennifer] If we're on the same page, it's good. If we're not on the same page or haven't talked about it, then feelings-- - [Aaron] Remember, conversations. We talk about these things. - [Jennifer] I was gonna say, there have been times where I've felt a little neglected or left out. I don't know if you ever have, but sometimes you look at an opportunity and maybe you didn't get something you expected to get or desired to get. - [Aaron] Yeah, and we weren't gonna talk about this, but I do wanna just encourage anyone that, a day like Valentine's Day shouldn't be an opportunity for us to feel neglected. - [Jennifer] Or hurt. - [Aaron] Or hurt. Let's not let it turn into that. If it goes the other way and it's an opportunity to bless and love, and to enjoy a moment together and time together, but let's not let it do the other thing. Let's be above that as Christians. - [Jennifer] 'Cause it comes out in our responses. - [Aaron] It does. And we make expectations and criteria that don't necessarily need to be there and we can put burdens and obligations on our spouse or on our fiance that doesn't need to be there. So let's be above that. Let's take the opportunity to maybe use it as an opportunity to bless and love your spouse. But let's not let it do the opposite. - [Jennifer] That's good. And I just wanna make a note that our ability, Aaron, to give gifts to each other has really grown over time because as we get to know each other more, 'cause we're always getting to know each other. And we recognize the things that inspire us or things that we're learning about and we give gifts based off of those things. It's been really thoughtful. - [Aaron] Thank you. - [Jennifer] And then other times, just the thoughtfulness of bringing your spouse their favorite candy. Sometimes even those moments can stand out because they're like, "They know me." That feels good to be known in that way. - [Aaron] And you've done that, you know I like candy. I don't eat it all the time, but. - [Jennifer] Aaron's an easy gift receiver. - [Aaron] I'm easy to shop for, I would say. 'Cause I don't ask for much, just candy. - [Jennifer] Just candy. - [Aaron] Good & Plentys, to be specific, so if anyone out there wants to get me candy, or Hot Tamales. Okay, I just wanna do one quick note before another quick note. - [Jennifer] How many quick notes do we got? - [Aaron] Lots of quick notes. We don't want this to, we're not gonna try to over spiritualize this. We didn't grab a bunch of scriptures to be like, "See how powerful gift giving can be?" To be honest, we just wanted to have fun with this and give you some gift ideas. And I think it'd be wrong of us to try and turn this into a overly spiritual, here's the rules on how to give gifts. We just wanted to give you some ideas, things that we've loved, things that we've used. And you can take them or leave them. I think it'll just be a simple fun episode. - [Jennifer] Another quick note is that if you're trying to get out of debt, we suggest skipping gifts for a while. Instead, find free ways to bless each other and show your spouse you're thinking of them. And I'll just give you a handful right here. DIY gifts with materials you already have. Using a talent like drawing, I did this before. I think it was for Christmas. I drew you a picture of us kissing. And it was a really small five by seven, I framed it, it was cute. - [Aaron] I think we have it somewhere still. - [Jennifer] Yeah, I do, it's in the mudroom. - [Aaron] Oh yeah, oh yeah. - [Jennifer] I cherish it. - [Aaron] No it's just somewhere I don't ever see. But I like it. Yeah, writing a note, a song, a poem. Those things have deep meaning. But again, the reason I wanted to bring this up is because I don't want anyone to think that we're advocating you should go spend money you don't have. Or that you should spend money when you're trying to get out of debt. Valentine's Day is just another day. It might be an opportunity to give a gift, but you don't have to. - [Jennifer] We're actually bigger advocates for getting out debt than we are to give gifts. - [Aaron] That's the best gift. - [Jennifer] Get out of debt. - [Aaron] Spouses get out of debt, yeah. So yeah, and real quick, some of our favorite gifts we've received, my favorite thing that I pretty much received is whenever Jennifer has done some sort of special event with me. Either planning a birthday party, which she's done a couple times, or planned a guy's hangout time. She's like, "Hey, I've already set it up. "Here's your friends. "You guys are going here, go hang out, go have fun." Those kinds of things have been really special for me. She knows that I love being around people. - [Jennifer] He's so social, you guys. - [Aaron] And Jennifer would love to sit on the couch with me and not do anything. So for her to set something up like that, which makes her not be with me, and gives me time to go be with friends is a huge thing for me. And so those have always been really special to me. And what's been special to you, gifts that we've given? - [Jennifer] Well the first thing that comes to my mind is all my children, each one of them are a gift. - [Aaron] You're right. - [Jennifer] Do you love me for that? - [Aaron] Couldn't have done it without me. - [Jennifer] Okay, so the gift that I was thinking about earlier that was very significant to my season of life and it just stands out to me, was Mother's Day 2015. It was just a couple, maybe a week and a half after I had Olive, and there was a little bag sitting on the table for me for Mother's Day. And I opened it up and it was a pendant with an O on it for Olive to match my E that I had for Elliott. So it was one of those-- - [Aaron] You have a necklace that has, you put little letter pendants on it. - [Jennifer] And it was so thoughtful. It was something I hadn't asked for, which I think that would be my big thing. Is when you give me a surprise or a gift of something that I never requested or asked for, but you know me and you did it because you love me. Those are the kinds of gifts that really stand out to me. Those are my favorite. - [Aaron] And I know that about you. - [Jennifer] That's good. - [Aaron] That you, here's a little quick tip for all the husbands. Just listen to your wife and she'll tell you what she wants throughout the year and you just write them all down and then pick one of them. And they'll be surprised 'cause they'll forget that they said it, but you won't. - [Jennifer] But it won't sound like a request. It'll just be like a nonchalant, "Oh I really like this." Or, "I really love that." - [Aaron] "And I wish I had a--" Or, "I've always wanted one of those." That's how they come out. - [Jennifer] We try and be subtle. - [Aaron] All right, hey let's just get into some of these gift ideas. We're first gonna give ideas for the men. - [Jennifer] So all the men have to close their ears, right? - [Aaron] No. Or they could listen. - [Jennifer] Sorry guys, this is kinda like giving it away but not. - [Aaron] So these are all things that I use and have really enjoyed. They're not necessarily gifts that Jennifer's gotten for me, but I'm putting them out there as, hey this would be great because I've loved them and I think other men would love them. I'm gonna start off with my ESV Heirloom Study Bible. It's made out of goat skin, it's all black, it's huge. I love it, I never thought I'd love this big of a bible, but I really love it. And it's pricey, right now it's on Amazon for 217 bucks, where it's usually $375, so it's actually like a hundred bucks off, over a hundred bucks off. - [Jennifer] Also just a quick side note that these prices could change, depending on when you're listening to this episode. If you're not listening to it at the weekly launch, prices can change. - [Aaron] Yeah, we have no clue. I have no control over the price. - [Jennifer] Yeah, and this goes for everything that we list. - [Aaron] Yeah, I also wanna give a note, we're not being sponsored by any of these people. These are things that we actually have used and loved and enjoyed. I love this bible. It's got 20,000 plus study notes in it. It's got 80,000 plus cross references. Over 200 charts, 50 plus articles, and 240 full color maps and illustrations which I really love because they'll show you an illustration of the temple right in the middle of a chapter when it's talking about a temple. So you get this picture, and you're like whoa, and you see the temple, and it visualizes what you're reading. - [Jennifer] There's something else it has that you've left off and I just know this because I like this feature about your bible. The different ribbon. - [Aaron] It's got four ribbons. - [Jennifer] Instead of just one. - [Aaron] And I use them, actually. When I teach at church, I have all the ribbons in the spots that I'm trying to jump to. - [Jennifer] And it's really great because sometimes I don't want to move my ribbon because I want it there for a reason, but I wish I had another one, so I end up sticking a napkin or something. - [Aaron] Yeah, something in there. - [Jennifer] Something, whatever's closest to me, a business card, so I like that feature. - [Aaron] Yeah, it's ESV, I love the ESV translation. It's an amazing bible, it's beautiful too, when you look at it. I know it's expensive, but I wanted to put a note out there. We spend money on lots of other less important things. Why not spend some money on an heirloom family bible that you're gonna hand down to your kids? Just a thought. The second thing is a wallet. Not any wallet, this is a special wallet. It's by a company called Saddleback Leather. And it's awesome. I've had this wallet since 2014. - [Jennifer] Just to clarify, it's not a dad wallet. So a dad wallet is about five-- - [Aaron] It's not this 14 inch dad wallet. - [Jennifer] That has everything. But it's more compact and it's simple, and it's perfect. - [Aaron] It's made out of genuine leather. It's hand stitched. This thing's beautiful. Saddleback Leather has what they call a hundred year warranty. It's like a lifetime warranty, but it's way better 'cause it's called a hundred year warranty. If anything happens, if the threading comes off, if the leather starts to tear, they'll replace it, no questions asked. - [Jennifer] And it's not the kind that folds open. What you have is just a single kind of billfold. - [Aaron] Yeah, they call it a front pocket wallet. It's a single thing and it's got these slots. And it's got an open pocket for the ID. And so it doesn't fold open. It literally just stays really compact, really small. And it lasts forever. I've had this since 2014. It's got a few, it's really worn down, really nice and soft. I love this wallet. It keeps me from having too much stuff in my wallet, as well because it only can hold so much. I wish you could see it. I'm holding it right now in my hands. Go check it out though, go to SaddlebackLeather.com, SaddlebackLeather.com, and check it out. It's 49 bucks, it's super cheap actually, 'cause I've seen prices on other wallets and they're really expensive. But for how long this lasts, for the quality of it, for how it feels, for how small it is, I think it's an awesome gift idea for any guy. Unless you're the kind of guy that loves their super thick wallet. Number three, and this goes back to, remember we were talking about the journals I bought to write in for my kids. This is by a company called Baron Fig. Baron, B-A-R-O-N F-I-G, Baron Fig. And they're called the confident hardcover notebook. And these notebooks, they did a lot of research on what people are looking for in a notebook. It lays flat, the way the paper feels, the thickness of the paper, the way the pens write on the paper. Everything about it has been manufactured to fit perfectly what you would want in a journal. - [Jennifer] And you've been using them for years. - [Aaron] For years, when I buy a journal, I buy one of theirs. They range from $12 to 22 bucks. Their standard size one, I think it's like $17 or $14. It's not expensive at all. And they ship really fast. They've got 100 and something pages in it. They're just great journals. I use them all the time, I have a couple in my desk right here. Their largest one, I use as my bible study journal and they lay perfectly flat. You just open it up, it lays flat on the table. It doesn't have to, the pages don't bend or anything like that. It's called Baron Fig confident hardcover notebook. Those are awesome. And those are all the journals I bought to write for my kids in it. Number four, this is a little bit more pricey of an item, but-- - [Jennifer] Like much more pricier. - [Aaron] It's much more pricey, but man, this has got some major benefits to your wife. - [Jennifer] It's true. - [Aaron] So wives that are listening, it's not just a gift for your husband. This is a gift for you and you'll see why. It's my Traeger smoker, it's a grill where you can smoke pretty much anything you want on it. And how often do you think I use my smoker? - [Jennifer] At least once, but even sometimes up to three times a week. It just depends on what it's for, what's going on. - [Aaron] Pretty much every Sunday, I bring something smoked to church. I smoke a tri tip, or a brisket. That's kind of something I love to bring to church for our after church potluck. And so my church benefits from it even, too. I'm selling this pretty hard. I love my smoker. But they range from anywhere from 400 to $900, a smoker grill. - [Jennifer] And Traeger's just one brand. - [Aaron] Trager's one brand, they're not the cheapest brand but they're super high quality. It's the one I have. But there's tons of other brands. There's one called Green Mountain. They have pretty affordable models. They're a great brand. Another one is Pit Boss. Camp Chef is one of the top of the line brands that are out there. And then while doing my research on this, there's a really affordable brand called Z Grills and yeah, you should expect to pay between 400 and $900. But man, we get a lot of use out of this thing. I use it all the time. There's nights that Jennifer's like, "Are you gonna be--" - [Jennifer] What sides should I make? - [Aaron] Yeah, "What sides am I making, "'cause you're smoking some pork." Or we're smoking some chicken, we use it all the time. And the flavor you get in the meat is just so good. Anyways, I love my smoker. I couldn't not bring it up because of how much I love it. And how useful it's been to the family, to the church, to giving you breaks for dinners. It's just been amazing. - [Jennifer] Would you recommend a wife just picking one out for her husband, or more of like a certificate of I wanna get this for you, let's talk about it. - [Aaron] That's a good point. To be honest, I think they should just, when it comes to these kinds of purchases, you absolutely should discuss it. - [Jennifer] That's what I was thinking. - [Aaron] That's a big purchase. 'Cause either he's gonna have a preference for the kind, the brand. - [Jennifer] But you can still do something cute like put a little note or certificate in a box and say this is for you. - [Aaron] Buy him some tongs, like a-- - [Jennifer] Oh, a barbecue kit. - [Aaron] That way he's like, "Wait, what's this for?" And you're like, "For the smoker you're gonna get. "We have to talk about it 'cause it's expensive." But yeah, you should always talk about a purchase like this, just with how expensive it is. Never just do it. - [Jennifer] And get them what they want and not just pick something because of the expense. - [Aaron] And then the last gift idea. It's a new thing that I've-- - [Jennifer] This was a gift to yourself, actually. - [Aaron] I did give this to myself this year. It's called the Ember self-heating coffee mug. And I drink coffee every day, I love coffee. - [Jennifer] Multiple times a day. - [Aaron] Multiple times a day. Well that's often because my coffee goes cold and I have to go in and get a new cup. This coffee mug, it's got a heating plate built into it. And it has an iPhone app. It literally keeps the coffee at the exact temperature you want until you're done drinking the coffee. - [Jennifer] This is for all those coffee lovers out there. - [Aaron] Oh yeah. - [Jennifer] I guess tea would work, too. - [Aaron] Yeah, and these range from 75 to a hundred bucks. They have different sizes. They have an older model that you can get that's even cheaper. You can probably even find them used on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. But it comes with a little charging plate. They can last up to 80 minutes, a charge, which is like an hour and some. And if you have it on the charging plate, it lasts all day. - [Jennifer] I feel like this would be a great gift for moms too, 'cause I feel like moms are probably constantly reheating their coffee. - [Aaron] Well, there's a ton wives out there that love coffee and they'd probably really enjoy one of these. - [Jennifer] Maybe like a matching set? - [Aaron] Yeah, they have a gold one, a white one, a black one, they have all these different colors. But I've really loved it. Keeps my coffee hot. It's super practical. I love gifts that are useful. That it's not just a trinket. - [Jennifer] It's gonna make my life better. - [Aaron] It's gonna make my life better. I'm gonna use it on a daily basis. At the end of the day, if it every breaks or falls apart, or I lose it, I'm gonna miss it. I'm gonna be like, where's that thing at? I want that back in my life. So my Traeger, my coffee mug, these kinds of things. My wallet, when I was writing this list down, I was like, "What things do I use all the time?" And these are all those, so. - [Jennifer] All right, my turn. Women close your ears, no just kidding. I just have to make a note that we just hope that this episode brings inspiration to the way you give gifts and especially if you're just in a place where you want to give a gift, especially for Valentine's Day, but maybe you don't know what to give. So hopefully this is sparking some creative juices flowing. - [Aaron] Yeah, the two words I would think of is meaningful and useful. Is that right? That's kinda what these are. - [Jennifer] All right, so for her, gentlemen. The first thing that I wanted to share was something called a growth book. And it's similar to the journal that Aaron mentioned, the Baron Fig journal. I would say-- - [Aaron] But way more useful. - [Jennifer] Well I would say the quality is up there with it. It also is, it's like a journal. But, instead of lines, it's dots. And so it's actually really useful because you can use it for multiple things. - [Aaron] You can draw in it. - [Jennifer] You can draw in it. You can do calendar stuff or scheduling. You can journal in it. I use it for journaling my time with the Lord. I use it for taking notes during the parenting class that we took. I take it for goal setting, things that Aaron and I are aiming for. - [Aaron] You keep yourself on track, too, with a little bit of homeschool stuff, don't you? - [Jennifer] Yep. So, it's just a really, really awesome way to kind of detail your life and what you're working on. - [Aaron] I wanna note, one of the coolest things I thought about these is, doesn't it come with a sticker pack for you to label things? - [Jennifer] So it comes separately. So the growth book itself, which you can find at GrowthRootsCo.com, the book itself is $32. The stickers that accompany it is $2 extra. So all together, you're talking about $34. And honestly, I've never liked something so much that I use on a daily basis. - [Aaron] She's holding it right now and it's full. - [Jennifer] And it's beautiful. They come in different colors. It's got the cloth feature for the cover. And then you open it up and the first thing you'll notice is it says volume, with a line and a date. - [Aaron] So when did you start this and what volume is it. - [Jennifer] Yeah, so this is my, my growth book is volume one from 2019. - [Aaron] You started in September, looks like. - [Jennifer] And I started in September. But I've been using and I'm about three quarters of the way through it. So it's got a lot of pages, and it has other special features. So, in the very back, which I love, it has all the books of the bible with all the chapters and you can cross them off as you read them. So if you're doing a bible plan. - [Aaron] Yeah, keep track of where you are in the bible. - [Jennifer] It has a spot for prayers that you're praying through and ways that God has answered and when. Books that you're currently reading, or a list that you can put together. So it just has a lot of features to it that I really love and I think it would be a great, a great gift but also it's a growth gift. It's like you're encouraging your wife in something that she's probably either already doing or working on, and you're just saying, "Here, why don't you record it?" - [Aaron] Yeah, I wanna support you in this. - [Jennifer] So along with that is my number two, and it's these colored pens that I got that a friend recommended. And they're just on Amazon. They're by Tao Tree, T-A-O T-R-E-E. But they're fine liner color pens and they come with 24 different colors. They're super fun. I use them specifically for journaling in my journal. They're 11.99, so a super cheap gift if you wanna combine those two, it'd be a fun little. - [Aaron] And you use those a lot. You use the different colors for different types of notes. It helps you organize what you're writing. - [Jennifer] Yeah, so that's my number one gift right now, is that-- - [Aaron] Growth book. - [Jennifer] And that's by GrowthRootsCo.com, so you can get that there. And then the colored pens are at Amazon. Okay, now my number three. Aaron mentioned his favorite ESV bible. I'm gonna share mine. It's the journal bible that is about eight and a half inches tall and it's almost square, it's not quite square. But the cover of it is really beautiful. It's this linen print that is yellow, mustard yellow, and flowers, it's just so beautiful. And I use it every day. And it has, what I love about it, is it has a margin on the side, a ruled margin, so you can write notes. I use it, I love reading through the bible. And when I get to one of those notes from two years ago and it was me in labor with Wyatt, or whatever, and just looking back on prayer requests or things that I've mentioned next to whatever it was that I was reading at that moment. So it's kind of like you said, it's a heirloom, a family heirloom. - [Aaron] And it's single column, also right, so on each page is one column of text. And what's nice about that is I believe that the lines actually coincide with the lines on the text, pretty close. And so you could actually have notes that are directly, line by line if you wanted to. It's a really pretty bible. I've always liked it. - [Jennifer] And it's available, also-- - [Aaron] It's hardcover, too. - [Jennifer] On Amazon. - [Aaron] It's a hard, nice-- - [Jennifer] It's a hard, solid bible. And it's just a pretty bible, so you wanna keep it out. - [Aaron] It's really pretty. - [Jennifer] And that runs about 33.99 on Amazon. - [Aaron] Which is not expensive at all, for a bible. It's great. - [Jennifer] Okay, my number four is Made by Mary, and I talked about this stamped pendant necklace earlier. They are just a really great company, MadeByMary.com. And they have something new out, which actually I really am fascinated by. It's called a birth flower pendant. And so you can go on there, and depending on what month you were born in, or if you were gonna get one for your daughter, you just order the month, and it comes with that specific month's flower. They're beautiful. - [Aaron] Every month has its own flower? - [Jennifer] Yeah. - [Aaron] I didn't know that. - [Jennifer] Yeah, they're really cool. But they also do birthstones and you can get, you can order either a bar or a circle, or whatever shape you want, and they stamp whatever it is you want. So currently, what I have is a single circle with an initial of each of my kids, so E for Elliott, O for Olive, W for Wyatt. - [Aaron] And when you say currently, that's a hint. - [Jennifer] No. - [Aaron] At what's coming next. - [Jennifer] No, it was because the one that I mentioned earlier, I was doing individual pendents, like circles with individual letters. - [Aaron] And you were getting-- - [Jennifer] It was heavy. - [Aaron] It was 24 circles on the necklace and it's getting real heavy. - [Jennifer] It was getting heavy, so I switched to a single circle with each of them stamped on there. But Made By Mary, just really beautiful jewelry on there. And they range-- - [Aaron] Super meaningful, too. - [Jennifer] Super meaningful, but they range in price. And I'll just say it's about $38 for one of those pieces of jewelry. The last thing that I will mention and it's one of my all time favorites gifts, and it's from a local spa. And it's just going to get a massage. It's time alone. Or a couples massage. But it's that time that you get to feel rejuvenated and relax, and-- - [Aaron] And usually they're rare, so they're really special. - [Jennifer] So this would be my pricey gift. Aaron had a really pricey gift. This one would probably range between 65 and 250 to $300 because it depends on what service you get and where you're getting it done. - [Aaron] And my gift was the gift that kept giving, though. No, I think that's a great gift idea, is the occasional local spa. - [Jennifer] Yeah, just go spoil yourself. - [Aaron] Yeah, just letting your wife go and have a couple hours to herself, getting pampered and loved on, and massaged, it's nice. - [Jennifer] A great thing about that kind of gift, we talked about giving a certificate to your husband for his grill, but this would be the same kind of thing where you give a certificate and then she can make her own time to go do that and make sure that she's able to really enjoy that time. - [Aaron] Or secretly in passing be like, "Man, I wish there was really good spas around here." And then your wife would be like, "There is, the best one's down the street." And you'd be like, "Oh, that's interesting." And then just keep that note hidden away and then you just get her a little gift certificate. So we wanted to give you those five gift ideas each. We hope they inspired you and maybe even sparked another idea for you, which is awesome. But, we wanted to give you a couple bonus ideas, and these are more gifts that would bless both of you in your marriage, in your parenting. And the first one is we wanna share with you, some good friends of ours launched an online course called "Courageous Parenting" and it's an online program and you take it together. And there's videos, and there's questions, and it's a whole thing to help you grow in your godly parenting with your children. We all need this, Jennifer and I, when we talk about the parenting class, this is exactly what we did. - [Jennifer] We just got to walk through it with them in person. - [Aaron] Yeah, we're blessed to do it with them in person because they're a part of our church. But their program is called "The Courageous Parenting Program" and you can get that at CourageousParenting.com. - [Jennifer] Now it is a little bit pricey. It's 399 per couple, so that's why we're recommending it as a gift, it's a huge investment, both financially, but also mentally and spiritually. - [Aaron] It's actually cheap when you consider the lifelong lessons you're gonna learn from it based off of parenting your children. - [Jennifer] And we're saying this because we're sitting here right now, having just gone through the course and we're going, "Wow, we have some stuff ahead of us "that we're working on and working towards, "and we're so grateful for the information "that we got from them." And so this would be a really great opportunity for you guys to do something together that's going to, like Aaron said, just be an investment for your whole family. - [Aaron] Studying my children, that concept, came from "Courageous Parenting". They were teaching about that and it convicted me. I was like, I'm gonna study my kids. - [Jennifer] So another option, bonus, that would benefit both of you guys-- - [Aaron] Shameless plug, enter now. - [Jennifer] It's our devotional. So it's "Husband After God" and "Wife After God". - [Aaron] You can get those at Shop.MarriageAfterGod.com. They're 30-day devotionals and you do them together, or separately, and then you can come together and talk about them. But there's a husband one, and it walks through specific things for the husband and his role. There's a wife one, talks about specific things that a wife and her role. And then there's questions, there's journaling pages, there's scripture. Man, thousands, and thousands, and thousands of couples have gone through this devotional together. - [Jennifer] Yeah, and it's about $32 for the bundle on our site, which is a really reasonable gift, especially when you think about it being a together gift. - [Aaron] Husbands, this is a great gift to just go and get. - [Jennifer] Yeah, just go get one right now. - [Aaron] And your wife will probably hug you for it. I'm not kidding, you should do this. - [Jennifer] Okay, and this is a great way to cultivate intimacy and communication, and just invest in your marriage in this way. - [Aaron] Okay, the last one that we wanna say, this is for both of you, is Jennifer and I went to one of these years ago and we loved it. It was pretty amazing, we still advocate for them. It's called "Weekend 2 Remember" by Family Life. You can find out about it by going to FamilyLife.com/Weekend-2-Remember. You can also just go to FamilyLife.com. I'm sure they have a huge graphic for it because it's one of the biggest things they do. It's helped save countless marriages. - [Jennifer] So what they do is there events held throughout the year, nationwide. And so you have to go on their website to find out which one is nearest to you. Or if you wanna get-- - [Aaron] And there's probably gonna be one near you. - [Jennifer] I was gonna say, or if you wanna make it a road getaway and go somewhere, you could do that too. But they're hosted at hotels and it's literally a weekend. So you go and you spend the night. And they have sessions. - [Aaron] No kids allowed. - [Jennifer] It's beautiful. It's such a great time to really intentionally focus on your marriage and what God desires for your marriage, and what his purpose is for your marriage. And Aaron, we did it coming out of a season of darkness and hardship. - [Aaron] It really helped us. - [Jennifer] It was reconciling for us. I remember just sitting there, holding your hand, going, "This is exactly what we needed." So we've always been an advocate for "Weekend 2 Remembers" and chances are, there's one very close to you. So they range about 175 per person, which again, this is an investment, but you're talking about your marriage and it would be a great gift opportunity for both of you to sit down and really consider getting away for the weekend to do something like this. - [Aaron] Hey, we hope you enjoyed these ideas. And if you have more ideas, would you share them on our social media so that other people can see them? Just post about it in your stories and tag @MarriageAfterGod, or on Facebook just tag us. People are always looking for ideas. We all need some inspiration sometimes, everyone of us. Well, we thank you for joining us. We're gonna close in prayer, and then yeah. So let's pray. Dear Lord, thank you for being the ultimate gift giver. Thank you for the gift of marriage. We pray our hearts would be pure in the way we give gifts to each other. We pray we would be thoughtful in the ways we give to each other. Help us to study and know our spouse well enough to give them gifts we know they will love. More than giving good gifts, we pray our love would be genuine, and deep, and extraordinary, as we purpose intimacy with each other. Grow our love for one another. In Jesus' name, amen. We just wanna thank you for joining us this week on this episode. If you haven't left us a review yet, would you please do that? Your reviews are incredibly powerful at spreading the news about this podcast. It helps other people to find it. It encourages our hearts. And it helps other people know what to expect in the podcast. So leave us a star rating and a review today. We greatly appreciate it. See you next week. 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.
In this episode, we explore the topic of new year resolutions and how being people of our word is so much more important. Jesus tells us that we must be people who mean what we say. Our YES must be our yes and our NO must be our NO.We also give simple tips and ideas on how to be better at keeping our word this year and how not being people of our word can hurt not only ourselves and our relationship with our spouse but also with our kids and others. READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPT:Aaron:              Hey, we're Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God. Jennifer:           Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage. Aaron:              And today we're going to talk about how to be people of our word. Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after. Jennifer:           I'm Jennifer also known as unveiled wife. Aaron:              And I'm Aaron also known as husband revolution. Jennifer:           We have been married for over a decade. Aaron:              And so far we have four young children. Jennifer:           We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through blogging and social media. Aaron:              With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day. Jennifer:           We believe the Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life. 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. Well, happy 2020, everyone. Aaron:              I was wondering if you're going to say 2020 or 2,020. Jennifer:           I'm a 2,020 er. I guess. Aaron:              Yeah, I'm a 2020 er. I think. Jennifer:           I don't think I've said it before. Aaron:              Or 2,020? 2020. It's the first time we're saying it. Jennifer:           It's the 20s. Aaron:              It's the 20... We're in the 20s. I did see a meme that said... It said, "Everyone be aware the 20s is starting in a couple days." And it showed this picture of all these really dapper men wearing the 20s suits, and it looked really cool. I was like, "I wish. I wish it was that 20s." Now, we're in 2020. Jennifer:           If they were here. This is crazy if you think about it. Aaron:              We're in a new decade. I don't know if everyone's thought about that. But we're literally in a new decade. That's insane. So this is the first episode of the year for us. If you're noticing it's launching on a Monday, that's a new thing for us. Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              We usually launch on Wednesdays, but now we're going to try launching on Mondays and see if we like that timeframe of launching episodes. Jennifer:           Hopefully, you guys like it too. If you want to give us some feedback, just head on over to Instagram at marriageaftergod and let us know what you think. Aaron:              Yeah. We had a... Man, I feel like we had an awesome 2019. Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              2019. Jennifer:           I liked it. Aaron:              2019? 2,019. Jennifer:           2,019. Aaron:              And I just wanted to do a quick recap of just what 2,019 looked like for us as a family. And we're going to talk about things that we're excited about for 2020. Jennifer:           Yep. Aaron:              And then we're going to talk about the topic. So, the first thing I can think of from 2019. Jennifer:           Even though it happened mid-year. Aaron:              It's like mid-year. Jennifer:           It was a lot of work in preparation leading up to it. Aaron:              Our book, Marriage After God. Jennifer:           Yep. Aaron:              Launched June 2019. Jennifer:           June 4th. Aaron:              June 4th, yeah. And man, thousands and thousands of you guys have gotten a copy of this book. And we've had such good feedback from it. And we just love seeing what the Lord's doing in and through this book. Not in the book, I guess. Through the book in marriages. And so if you haven't gotten a copy of the Marriage After God book, you can head over to Amazon, you can head over to our store, shop.marriageaftergod.com and pick up a copy today. You get a bunch of free resources with it when you do. But that was a huge thing. Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              That's like a lot of time, a lot of work writing, the publishing process. Jennifer:           Like two years worth [crosstalk 00:03:02] Aaron:              The waiting, then the marketing and then all of that stuff. I feel like we just wanted to take a ton of break off, like after that. A ton of time off because it was exhausting. And what else happened in 2019? Jennifer:           Well, shortly after the launch of Marriage After God, we found out we were expecting again. Aaron:              Yeah, we're pregnant with number five. Jennifer:           Number five. So most of my summer was sitting on the back porch just not feeling well. But the kids played and it was great. And it was beautiful. And I think a lot of that hopefulness of this pregnancy and meeting our daughter, [crosstalk 00:03:35] Edith. Aaron:              Edith. Jennifer:           Yeah, I'm just sat with us the rest of the year. Aaron:              Yeah, and this has been a difficult pregnancy, but it's been teaching us a lot, which is really cool. Number five [crosstalk 00:03:46] Jennifer:           Not difficulty because I've had, like health issues or anything like that, but just feeling nauseous and already having little kids that we're helping nurture. Aaron:              Yeah, there's been no complications just it's been a rough physically. Jennifer:           It's been harder than the other ones, for sure. Aaron:              Yeah. Jennifer:           I just wanted to clarify. Aaron:              But you're on the other side of that. Yes, you have a little bit of hard time sleeping sometimes. But this has been... We're excited to meet Edith. Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              In March. Jennifer:           I felt like getting through the holidays and focusing on Christmas was like my goal, because I knew once the new year came, my next thing [crosstalk 00:04:21] Aaron:              You're like, "This is coming." Jennifer:           Welcoming this baby. And so I'm just so excited to be kicking off this new year with that in my heart and getting ready to meet her. Aaron:              Another big thing that happened in 2019 for us was we branched off from our home church and planted a home church with a few couples. Jennifer:           So we've been doing home church since Olive was about three months old. Aaron:              Oh, wow. Jennifer:           Yeah. So it's been a few years and it grew. And the point of branching off and planting a new home church was for growth. Aaron:              Yeah. Instead of just the mentality that we have with our home churches, instead of growing and staying together and buying a building and expanding that way, we just plant churches in homes. So there's been two other churches planted from that one home church over the last couple years. And so we've been doing it for eight months now. And it's incredible. The families that have come, the people that God's brought in, and the relationships that we're building. Aaron:              It's teaching us new levels of love for one another. It's teaching us how to grow in our giftings. I've been teaching a lot more in our home church. It's just so cool. And so that's been a huge thing. It really exciting. Probably one of my... Other than having another baby coming, it's probably one of my favorite things that happened last year was planting that home church. Jennifer:           Another thing that stands out to me is, I've been homeschooling the kids. I feel like since they were born just because of the nature of who I am and what I love [crosstalk 00:05:47] Aaron:              The way we worked out. Jennifer:           The way we work. Aaron:              We don't talk to them like babies. Jennifer:           well, and not just that, but I was in the Christian preschool education system for so long. And so I had this background to know just how to incorporate teaching and learning with young kids throughout the preschool years. And so I've always just naturally done it with my kids. But this was the first year that we officially started Grade One. And it was a big deal to me because [crosstalk 00:06:13] Aaron:              It's like a real grade. Jennifer:           Well, it's a grade, right? I was nervous. I've never done it before. Aaron and I both have been public schooled. And so we didn't have you know, a lot of background with homeschooling, we have a great community that encourages it and has support where if I have a question I can go talk to my friends. Aaron:              Lots of homeschoolers. Jennifer:           Lots of homeschoolers around here, which has been great, but just starting off with Grade One and it feeling so official. I don't know. It just freaked me out a little bit. Aaron:              Do you feel like it felt like diving into a pool without knowing how to swim? Jennifer:           Yeah, I mean, I guess. Yeah. Aaron:              Well, we spent months considering all the options. Jennifer:           Well, and I spent a long time preparing what we were going to teach him and how we were going to teach him and you know what, you guys? I don't [crosstalk 00:07:01] Aaron:              I'm going to say this before you finish. Jennifer:           Okay, what? Aaron:              You're crushing it. Jennifer:           You're sweet. Aaron:              She has a student binder, she has this program she's doing, she's scheduled in the breaks that we're going to take. She's like [crosstalk 00:07:10] Jennifer:           I was just going to say this [crosstalk 00:07:11] Aaron:              She's crushing it, guys. Jennifer:           We're both really enjoying it. Me and Elliott. We are really enjoying it. Aaron:              Well, and it's not just like Elliott, you're bringing all the kids along. They're all at different stages, but, man, you're doing a really good job. Jennifer:           Thank you. Aaron:              Yeah. So how excited are you for 2020? Jennifer:           Okay, I already mentioned this, but I'm so excited for 2020 because I get to meet my second daughter. I can't get over that. I can't believe it. Aaron:              Olive's super excited. She just cannot wait. She's like, "I'm going to have a sister." So yeah, 2020's got a lot of potential. And that's what's awesome about New Year's is there's so much potential because it hasn't happened yet. Jennifer:           Yeah, we've shared about this in our book. But Aaron and I love to dream together and vision cast and every end of the year season, we do this together, but this last year, we did a little bit earlier in December and it was so refreshing just to... We went on a date but we spent like three and a half hours just sitting there writing down notes and talking and getting out of our hearts what we had been thinking about and dreaming about and just asking each other some hard questions about our relationship, about our relationship with the kids. Aaron:              About work, about books. Jennifer:           It felt so good. Aaron:              About lots of things. Jennifer:           Yeah, where we're headed for this new year. And then my birthday was a couple days ago, and we got another date night in where we just got to just go over a little bit of those things that we had talked about, and set our sights on them and aim for some goals this next year. Aaron:              Yeah, just so everyone knows that... Maybe don't know Jennifer's birthday is on the 31st. December 31st. So she's a New Year's Eve baby. And then our wedding anniversary [crosstalk 00:08:47] Jennifer:           Is today. Aaron:              Is today. Jennifer:           Happy anniversary. Aaron:              Yeah, we've been married [crosstalk 00:08:52] Jennifer:           13 years. Aaron:              I almost messed it up. 13 years. I was going to say 12 but we're done with 12 now we're in the 13. Yeah. 13 years, we've been married. So that's our... We're launching on our anniversary. Jennifer:           Awesome. Aaron:              Our marriage birth day. Is that how that works? Jennifer:           Launching the podcast's new season. Aaron:              Yeah, this is a new season. This is season three, I think of the Marriage After God podcast. And this is our 13th anniversary today. Jennifer:           Awesome. Aaron:              Yeah. So we have a lot that happens in the end of the year, in the beginning of the year, which is why we get to talk about a lot of things. And we always encourage, you can go back and listen to our episode on dreaming together on our podcast, episodes and episodes ago, but you should go check it out. But it just talks about what we do, and why we do it, and how powerful it is to set goals and dreams and writing them down and talking about them together and how unifying it is. And it's something we try and do. And what are some of the things that we've talked about? What things are we looking forward to this year that they may or may not happen? But the goal is we're going to [inaudible 00:09:54] Jennifer:           Yeah, we've submitted these things before the Lord and we just really... We hope to see them come to be. And I'm really excited about the first one, I'm going to share it with you guys. It's been one of our biggest goals. Like it's been on the table for some time, but we haven't actively pursued it. And it's children's books. Aaron:              Yeah, Jennifer's written two amazing children's books. Jennifer:           You're being so nice to me. Aaron:              I know. We're not going to tell you what the names of them are, because they're special. But you'll find out when they launch, whenever they launch because we don't have a publisher yet. But we're looking for one. And they're going to be incredible. You're going to love them. Jennifer:           I hope so. Aaron:              So we're going to be pursuing that this year, we're going to try and find a publisher. We're going to try and get those children's books published this... Either this year or next year. I don't know how long it takes to get a children's book published but we're going to try. Jennifer:           Yeah, because there's art involved. But one reason why I'm so excited about this, you guys, is having young kids and having this message that we want to share with them. It just feels like a gift. It feels like something that we can create for them, right now, in their season of life that they'll get and that would inspire them and hopefully, a lot of others kids. Aaron:              Yeah. And a little secret about it is they're going to have a marriage focus. Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              Which is interesting, because you're like, "How do you do a children's book but have a marriage focus?" Well, you'll have to find out. Another goal that we have this year is to try and do more giveaways. We want to give away... We've been doing these giveaways with Bibles. And we've been partnering with a couple companies that sell Bibles and have these really incredible Bibles. And I've been really enjoying it. And there's something special about giving away a Bible, getting Bibles into people's hands. Aaron:              And so we're going to try and do that more when trying to partner with some companies that have some awesome Bibles, which Jennifer just did a giveaway. And we're actually going to ship those books out soon with a really beautiful Bible for women. It's got this fabric cover and it's ESV, which we love, and I give away a Bible. I actually have the Bible, I use it. I've given a couple of them why now, but we just... I think we want to do a little bit more of those Bible giveaways this year. Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              More often. Jennifer:           It's a fun way to spread the gospel. Aaron:              Yeah, I know right now I have three Bibles sitting on my desk that I want to give away. So we're going to do that soon. So in order to be a part of those giveaways, by the way, follow us on Instagram at marriageaftergod and unveiledwife and husbandrevolution. So those are other ways to find out about the giveaways because we post about them. But that's one of our goals this year is to give away more Bibles. Jennifer:           Yep. The last one that we're going to share with you guys is just that we love the Marriage After God community we love being able to host this podcast for you and our hearts in talking about the podcast was just that this is going to be a year of intentionality where we are going to put so much thoughtfulness into the content, not that we haven't in the past, but we just really [crosstalk 00:12:44] Aaron:              We want to put more. Jennifer:           We wanted to share that with you guys because we want you to know how God is stirring in our hearts to make this podcast and this content something that's really encouraging and challenging and makes you walk away really truly considering how God is moving in your life and in your marriage and in your relationships. And so I just put that out there to let you guys know that this podcast is the main priority for us. And we're excited and thrilled to... And honored to be able to do it for you. Aaron:              Yeah. So one last thing before we get into the topic, we want to invite you to join our free Marriage Prayer Challenge, we have almost 20,000 people that have already joined this challenge and are currently in it. And so if you want to join it, it's marriageprayerchallenge.com. It's completely free. You'll get a series of emails over the next 31 days, prompting you and giving you things to pray for, for your spouse, and you can choose to take the husband challenge or the wife challenge depending on who you are in the marriage. Aaron:              And it's awesome people are loving it. I get thank you emails almost every day from people thanking me for the challenge and we just want to let you know we've created these resources for you, not for us but for you to grow in your relationship with the Lord, to grow closer to your spouse and to see him move in your marriage. And so we want to invite you, marriageprayerchallenge.com. That's marriageprayerchallenge.com. All one word. And join that prayer challenge. Aaron:              So let's slide right into the topic at hand. And it seemed like a no-brainer. It's the new year, people are talking about resolutions, commitments, people want change, they're going to take this new year and say, "Okay, we're going to start today, and we're going to do this new thing. I'm going to pursue this idea. I'm going to make this change in my life." And we wanted to talk about that. But in a different way. We want to talk about in a core way, when that is deeper inside of us, at the core of who we are, rather than trying to help you figure out how to keep your resolutions this year. Jennifer:           Yeah, I feel like there's a lot of vantage points too to this conversation, a lot of layers to be peeled back on it. And so we're just going to peel back one of those layers on this discussion and talk about what it means to be specifically people of our word. Aaron:              Right, if you look at it, the resolution side of things, I set a new year's resolution. I'm going to lose five pounds. I'm going to start this business. I'm going to fill in the blank. And that's a thing that we say, a statement we make and then if we don't follow through with it, we weren't a person of our word. I said I was going to do one thing, and I did another. Or I said, I was going to do this thing, and I didn't do it. Aaron:              And so that's what I want to talk about. Are we men and women of our word? Regardless of the resolutions we set, because if you are a person of your word, if you set a resolution, you will follow through with it. If you set a commitment, you're going to follow through that commitment. So it's a important attribute of a believer's life that are our yes be yes and our no be no. Jennifer:           [inaudible 00:15:47] Aaron:              That's nothing in between that. Jennifer:           Let's read that verse. So Matthew 5:33-37. Aaron:              It says, again, you have heard it that it was said to those of old, you shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn. But I say to you, do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God or by earth, for it is the footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you can't make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply yes, or no. Anything more than this comes from evil. This is Jesus talking. Jennifer:           Okay, so before we unpack the principle here and why you chose this verse to kick this topic off. Would you just spend a little bit of time on the last part of that verse and maybe explain what it means when it says, simply, yes or no, anything more than this comes from evil? Aaron:              Well, let's think about this. If I tell someone, I'm going to do this thing for them. That's a yes, right? I'm going to do this thing for them. And I don't follow through with that. Am I a liar? Jennifer:           Mm-hmm (affirmative) Aaron:              Is lying a good thing? Now, we can come up with tons of excuses. And we can say, "Well, I mean, there's circumstances and something comes up." And yeah, that may be true. But when we tell people, when we say to ourselves, to others, to our kids, to our wife, to our friends, to our pastor, to the people that we walk in fellowship with one thing and do another, that's not good. That's an evil thing. Aaron:              And so what Jesus is saying, he's like, "Don't swear by God because... Or don't swear by heaven, because that's the throne of God, you have no control over heaven. Don't swear by earth, because you have no control of earth. It's not yours." He even says, "Don't swear by your own head." Because these are things that people will do, "I swear by the hair in my head or I swear by my own." It's like, what he's saying is, is you're trying to give authority to your word that doesn't exist. Jennifer:           So where does that authority come from? Through your actions, right? Aaron:              It comes from your actions. So what he's saying, he's like, "Let's just be people that when we say something, we do it, we mean it." And that is where your authority comes from, the action. And so if we have to... And he's saying, "Don't even give oaths." And if you read throughout the Old Testament, I'm not going to bring these stories up. If you read throughout the Old Testament, there were men who made oaths that regretted them. And they had to follow through with them because it was a law. If you made a note and you didn't follow through with it, you were breaking God's law. Aaron:              And so Jesus is taking it even further and saying, "Don't even need the oaths. The oaths don't mean anything. Because what means something is that you do what you say." And so that's what we're getting to as believers is, are we men and women who do what we say that we're men and women of action, right? There's another scripture I was just thinking about James that it says, if you hear the word and do not do, you're like a man who looks in a mirror and walks away and immediately forgets what you look like. It says, but rather, do what you hear, like be doers of the word. Jennifer:           Yeah, there's another verse that comes to my mind in talking about this and it's Ephesians 4:29. It says, "Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion that it may give grace to those who hear." And usually, we hear this verse in context. And we've shared it before in other episodes, but in context to the word choices that we use, and things that we say. Aaron:              And negative things. Jennifer:           So when you hear [crosstalk 00:19:13] Aaron:              Hateful things, hurtful things. Jennifer:           And those are very obvious. But in light of simply saying yes or no, and sticking to it with your actions, I feel like we can easily fall into this crep talk if we are saying one thing and doing another. Aaron:              Right. And a good example of this would be, as a husband, I tell my wife, "I'm going to be home at a certain time." Now, the one time it happens, and hey, I really tried there was traffic there was this, right? It's one thing, but if I'm telling my wife, I'm going to be home. And I'm just using my words to appease her or tell her one thing and make her think one thing. And then consistently [crosstalk 00:19:50] Jennifer:           Day after day, after day. Aaron:              I'm home five minutes late, 10 minutes late, 12 minutes late. Jennifer:           An hour late. Yeah. Aaron:              Right? And I'm always having an excuse. I'm not building up my wife, I'm not giving grace to her. All she hears when I say it now is like, "Yeah, right." Jennifer:           That talk is actually corrupting your marriage relationship. Aaron:              Right. So it goes back to if I can't say yes to her, I need to tell her... It's a truth thing. Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              The truth is, I won't be able to make it at that time. In reality, or the truth is if I say that, then I need to make changes in the things that I'm doing to make sure that the thing I said, it's true. Because I don't want to be a liar. We want to be men and women of light, of truth. And so, yeah, when we say things that we don't mean, which is another level of corruption, I'm just saying it. I'm giving lip service is what the Bible calls it. Aaron:              I'm telling God, I love him with my mouth, but hating with my actions. That's called lip service. I'm telling someone, I'm going to do something but in my heart, have no intention of actually following through with it. That's corrupt. And that is from evil. That's what Jesus was saying. Anything else other than your yes and your no is from evil because what you're doing is you're either making yourself look good just for the sake of showing a certain face, you're trying to intentionally deceive someone, you're trying to make someone think one thing while you're going to do another. None of those things are good. Aaron:              And so that's... When I think about that scripture of crep talk, is our words... Are we corrupt? Are we trying to walk in? I mean, and this isn't to talk about those occasions of misfortune or accidents. Jennifer:           Right. There's grace for those things. Aaron:              Right. Of course, this is the core of who we are. Jennifer:           Pattern, a belief system, a way [crosstalk 00:21:33] Aaron:              When we say something, do we mean it? Or do we just say things? Which brings me to another thought is, are we thoughtful about the words that come out of our mouth? Or do we just let things come out? Am I just making empty promises, because in the moment, it just, "Oh, yeah, everyone's... Oh, yeah, I'm going to do that too. Yeah." And so that's what we want to talk about. Because this is much deeper than just keeping resolutions. This is everything in our life. Do our kids look at us and know they can trust what we say? Jennifer:           Right. Even in the smallest of things, because I've recognized that as a parent, I've had to stop myself mid-sentence because I'm going to say something that I know I don't mean. Saying the word maybe or saying the word yes when I really mean no, or not right now. I need to be truthful to my kids if I want to build trust with them. Aaron:              But we want to be reliable. The Lord wants us to be reliable. So how could our kids feel secure if they never know? They can't. And that's a good example, I was thinking about that with my kids. They'll ask me questions and the easy response is maybe or, I'll think about it, or let's see, and I do that often, actually. But if I took a moment to think about I could either say, yes, and then my kids know, "Oh, we're going to do that thing." Or I could say, "No, we're not going to do that today." And it'd be done. Jennifer:           But what's required of us to be able to stop and be people who really, truly consider our words and think through all of that? Aaron:              Well, we have to consider... We have to understand who we are, our own limitations, our own abilities, what the day has to hold, it calls us to be more thoughtful. Jennifer:           We have to count the cost of whatever that is that thing that we're committing to. Aaron:              Yeah, which is a biblical wisdom that we are talking, counting the cost, thinking through, making our plans, not just being frivolous, not just being flippant. And actually, being thoughtful. Jennifer:           Everybody gets to answer the question, are we ready to pay the price for this? In the sense that if you are someone who doesn't follow through with your word with the commitments and the goals and the resolutions that you've made, you're either going to pay the price in your relationships, in a negative way. Or you're going to be a person who's going to count the cost ahead of time and pay the price the right way. Aaron:              Yeah, what's it worth to keep your word? Jennifer:           What sacrifice do I need to make for that to happen? Aaron:              Yeah. And all this goes back to building that trust, the reliability. And it's a name that we're building. And it's not just our name... We're going to get into this more, but there's a name that we represent as Christians. Jennifer:           Okay, so this leads me to a question what is easier to simply say yes or no? Or the following through of our yeses and our nos? Aaron:              Well, it's easier to say yes or no. But it's not right. And I would say, since it's new year, we were talking about resolutions, a perfect example of this is new year's resolutions. It's so easy to make them and we think that January 1st is going to give us something we didn't have December 31st. We think that January 1st is going to open a door that was closed on December 31st. And so what we do is we say... It's almost like making an oath on heaven or earth or on our head because we think, "Oh, New Year's has some power that's going to make my yes a yes. January 1st has this authority that I can make an oath by, that's going to give me some self-control that I did not have before." Aaron:              I'm technically making an oath on. And Jesus saying... He's like, "Don't do that. It's not yours. You can't make an oath on 2020 thinking that 2020 is going to make it come true." So, new year's resolutions is a perfect example of it's easier to say yes, than it is to follow through on that, yes, it's easier to make the resolution than it is to resolve the resolution, complete the resolution. And so, is that what we're doing when we make resolutions? When we tell someone we're going to pray for them? When we tell our kids we're going to do this thing this year? Or we're going to hit this goal this year? Or we're going to do this as a family? It's easy to say yes and make ourselves look good in the moment to someone or to [crosstalk 00:26:04] Jennifer:           Or to our ourselves. Aaron:              Or to even ourselves. Yeah. But it's much more difficult and it's much more spiritual to be able to follow through on things. Jennifer:           There's a statistic out that says that less than 10% actually follow through with their new year's resolutions. Aaron:              Yeah, and I would imagine, that's probably a high probability that it's even less than that. Jennifer:           I mean, we've experienced this before mid-spring fall out, you have all this momentum, and you're goal-oriented and you're set-up for success and then your flesh gets in the way and all of a sudden you're off the rails, you are not staying committed to what you've decided. We've experienced this in the past. And I would say in those times, it was because we weren't committed truthfully, in our hearts. We weren't committed to those yeses. Like we should have been. Aaron:              Well, and that's a good point. When we say yes, even to ourselves, let's say, it's our diet or exercise or getting in the word or how we're going to commit our self at church, whatever those things are, do we even actually believe it in our own heart? Or are we saying it hoping it's going to change? Like that fake it until you make it. Like, "I'm just going to keep saying it until it's true." Rather than actually believing it. Because the root of transformation, the root of any change in anyone's life, starts with belief. It's how the gospel works. Aaron:              It says if you believe in your heart... Our salvation is based on belief, we believe. And then the faith is the action of that belief. So, belief leads to faith. So I believe what God has said is true and my faith is the acting out of that belief. And so in our own life, we are going to do anything, we're going to say yes to anything or no to anything if we're going to make any actual transformation change in our life. Aaron:              It's got to start with belief. So if we're just saying things, but knowing it's not... Not believing it, but hoping that the belief comes someday, it won't. Because it has to start with the belief first. And we talked about this a lot with our own life and things that we have struggled with. Jennifer:           Yeah, I was just going to say, there's been times in my life where I believe that I should make this commitment. And I believe that I can do it, for a period of time. But there's also this part of my heart that I don't talk about that I believe that I'll do it for as long as I can. And then once I can, it's okay. Aaron:              It's what you believe. Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              And so you were only able to get as far as your belief brought you, what you believed was true. And so what we believe, it creates how we act because that's what faith is. It's the action of our belief. It's acting on the thing you know to be true, right? So if we believe we can't, then we won't. So no matter how many times you say you can if you believe you can't, you're not going to. Jennifer:           Yeah. One of the things that I wanted to bring up since I did already mentioned that there's been times in our past where we've experienced that fall out of not following through with commitments or goals that we've made. Something that's really helped us out is strategy. So when we actually communicate and verbalize with each other and utilizing the gift of marriage for this is so perfect, because you have someone who's on your team. When we sit down, and we talk about the things that we believe, the things that we want to change, the goals that we want to make, and we write them down, and we make a plan. We have been, what would you say 99% more successful in accomplishing those things. Because we've been actionable. Aaron:              Yeah. And then the second part of that is not just writing it down, because what that does is it makes you accountable to it out in the real world. It's this idea of if you say it in your head, but never say it out loud, then it only exists in your head and it doesn't ever have to be real. So it could be fluid, it could change. And be awry because no one knows. And I mean, yeah, it was this way, but now it's this way. But then when we say it out loud and write it down, it actually becomes a real thing. Aaron:              And you're like, "Oh, that's a commitment. That's a real thing." And in order to change that, I have to erase it, or scribble it out, which means I'm having to confront my own change. And then the other part of that is accountability, meaning if I write it down and say it out loud, but never tell anyone, then I have a backdoor to be able to make that... To change however I want. And no one will know. No one will be able to say like, "I thought you were doing x, y, z." You're like, "Oh, what are you talking about?" Jennifer:           Right. So if you tell somebody like I've told you things that I've been wrestling with that I want to change or set a goal for, and the moment I tell you, I'm held accountable, and then you think about it [crosstalk 00:30:52] Aaron:              Well, and later on when I see something, I'm like, "Hey, I thought you were... You told me we're going to do something else?" Jennifer:           Or, "How are you doing with x, y, z?" There's that accountability, and it's a beautiful thing for marriage. Aaron:              It's also really hard. Jennifer:           To see it play out. Yeah. Aaron:              But if you want to be that person, that person that is a man or woman of your word, when you say, yes, to something, yourself, another person, that yes means yes. Every time. Now, we always want to go back to this grace and mercy. And this is not about perfection. But it's about character. It's about principle. It's about value. It's about where do we get these things from? It comes from the word of God. It's the people God's called us to be, not just called us to be but empowered us to be. We have the holy spirit. Aaron:              In 2 Peter 1:3 says, we've been given all things that pertain to life and godliness, all things for those who are in Christ Jesus. If we are in Christ Jesus, we have his spirit, his power. It's not ours. And so we have to lean on that we say, "Lord, I need your help. I feel so weak in this area." Jennifer, do you ever feel like this in your life with anything like that? You've tried in your own strength, and you're like, "I don't know why it can't change or I can't do this thing." And what's my response to you? Jennifer:           Well, you're not supposed to be doing it on your own strength. Aaron:              You're right. Jennifer:           You always tell me to be praying about it, you tell me to go to the Lord, what does God's word say about me? Say about what the thing that I'm wrestling with? Aaron:              And where does the power come from? Him Jennifer:           Him. Aaron:              And so when we fail, we look to him and say, "I failed. I need more of what you have for me, I need more of you, Lord. I need to come to you." And then God says, "My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in your weakness." And so we get to be reminded of our own weakness that we're not supernaturally powerful. We have his power, which is actually supernatural. I meant to say, we're not inherently powerful. Jennifer:           We're not superheroes. Aaron:              We're not superheroes. Yeah. Jennifer:           He is. Aaron:              So I have a question for you. Why do we even make commitments? Why would someone be obligated or obliged to say yes to someone or agree to something that they may [inaudible 00:33:00] Jennifer:           Everyone that just made new year's resolutions a couple days ago is thinking, "Yeah, why did I do that?" Aaron:              "I shouldn't have done that." Jennifer:           I think it comes down to what we... We want something. There's something that we want. And if it's a commitment we're making to someone else that somebody else wants, it's to [crosstalk 00:33:17] Aaron:              Maybe make ourselves look good to them. Jennifer:           Or maybe we do want to follow through with it, but we don't actually believe we can. And so there is that wrestling. Aaron:              We don't want to let them down. Jennifer:           Yeah, but I think the question is, do we make commitments just to look good or impress or think a certain way? Or do we actually truly want to be trustworthy, reliable, full of integrity people? Aaron:              And that's a good place that we could start when we are thinking about things we're going to say yes to or no to is asking us why are we saying yes? Can we fulfill this? Will we be able to do it well? Jennifer:           It requires us to slow down a little bit because in this fast-paced world we live in, it's easy to just say yes to everyone and everything. But I think it's really important for us, especially as Christians to slow down and consider, why are we saying yes to that thing or no to that thing? Aaron:              Even with ourselves, why do I want to get healthy? Why do I want exercise? Why do I want eat better? Jennifer:           What are our motivations? Aaron:              Why do I want to get into the word more? Why do I want to... You fill in the blank of the thing that you want to commit for yourself because oftentimes resolutions or commitments, they're internal. The things that... We don't like something about ourselves, that there's something that we want to grow, and we recognize that we need to change. Aaron:              So asking yourself like, what does that mean, and why? And then asking yourself how that's going to work? And we're going to get into some practical tips in a little bit. But these are some good questions we need to be asking ourselves about these yeses and noes in our life. Jennifer:           As we're asking ourselves those questions also, we need to keep in mind why it's important to be people of our word. That was one of the reasons why we wanted to take this episode in this direction. So maybe we can just ask them some of the hard questions. Through the examples in probably all of our lives that we've experienced. Aaron:              Well, think about this, we are called Christians. What is a Christian? Jennifer:           A Christ-follower, someone who follows in his footsteps. Aaron:              Right. And so we're in the world, so, we're his followers but God calls us something else. He calls us representatives. He calls us ambassadors. So we're ambassadors and ambassadors represent a country, they represent a place, a land, they are not itself, the land or the place. They are representative of the thing, of the place. And so that's what we are. And so, going back to this idea of people of our word, it's not just for our own sake, there's something bigger involved. Aaron:              We're ambassadors for a land. We're ambassadors for a people, for each other. And we're most importantly, ambassadors for God, representing Christ on earth right now. We're his body. And so, when we're not people of our word, we end up being horrible ambassadors. There's people that aren't believers, and they always hear us say one thing and do another, "Oh, yeah, that person always or never follows through." Like at our jobs. Think about this. Aaron:              That we work for a boss, we tell him we're going to get something done, and we don't. Or we have a partner at our job, and we are supposed to get something done and we've let it fall through the cracks because of whatever. Jennifer:           Or we tell that friend, we've seen a dozen times, "Yeah, we're going to get together, we're going to get coffee." Aaron:              And never call them. Jennifer:           "We're going to have dinner, we're going to do something." And then yeah, never call them. Aaron:              We have that person. We're like, "We're going to bring them a meal or we're going to..." And we just don't, "Oh, I didn't have time." Jennifer:           Someone asked for a prayer request. Aaron:              "Oh, I'll pray for you." Jennifer:           And you don't. Aaron:              And you walk away and you never pray for them. These are real things that represent what we believe about ourselves, about God, about people. And it gets in the way of the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ that he's actually changed us. And because of what he's done for us, because of him, in his completed work on the cross, saving us, puts a deep desire in our hearts to look like him, and to be like him and to follow him and to chase him. And do we think Jesus was a man of his word? Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              Do you think Jesus ever told someone one thing and did another? Jennifer:           Mm-mm (negative) Aaron:              No, Jesus was who he said he was and he did what he said he did. And even said, at one point, he said, "I only do the things that the father tells me to do. And I only go to the places the father sends me." Right? And he's saying... He's like, "If I say it, it's what God said. If I do it, it's what's God doing. If I go there, it's where God wants me." That's what Jesus did. Aaron:              And so there's no going back and forth, there's no being wishy-washy. There's no being double-minded. There's no being double-tongued like I say one thing out of my mouth, but I mean another. I say another thing over here. And we want to be ambassadors... We're [inaudible 00:38:12] We don't want to be, we are ambassadors for Christ. And the question is, are we representing him well? Of course, in his spirit, he's empowering us to do it. But are we? Jennifer:           Yeah, when I think about the importance of keeping our word, the hard question I would ask is, how does your actions impact spreading the gospel? Because either you are or you're not, right? Aaron:              Yeah, exactly. And I'll give it a just a couple of examples. So in my own life, I do all the customer service for our store, if anyone didn't know that, that's true. So when you email me, it's me talking to you. And often, people ask for prayer, and I don't write out prayers for people. I can't... We don't give advice but I often will say, "I'm praying for you." That's all I'll say. And I actually stop for a moment and I pray for those people to the best of my ability, because I don't know all the details of their life, but the holy spirit does. Aaron:              I don't just say it just to look righteous and let people know like, "Oh, look, they pray for us." I actually do it because I want to be a man of my word. Even through an email with a couple of words to this person who doesn't know me. I want them to know that... And I want you to know, right now, if you ask for prayer and I said, "I'm praying for you." I did. And if I can't, I don't, right? And so that's just one example. Like when we talk to other people, and we say, in person, I try not to say, "I'm going to pray for you." And then go away. I try to pray for them right then. Jennifer:           Some things are a longevity game, though, and it requires that constant prayer. Aaron:              But that's one little activity. Jennifer:           No, it's good. Good example. Aaron:              In my own life, but there's lots of other things. My kids, I was thinking about, if I tell my son, I'm going to do something with him later, or "Hey, maybe I'll think about it." I do that a lot and we talked about it at the beginning. But I want to be better. I want to tell him like, "Yes, I'm going to do it, let's do it." Or [crosstalk 00:40:06] Jennifer:           "No, I can't." Aaron:              "No, I can't." Jennifer:           Yeah. And I think that if we consistently fail at keeping our word whether to ourselves in the goals that we've made, the commitments that we've made, or to others. Aaron:              Or to our kids. Jennifer:           We're creating distressed in the root of people's hearts, and in our own hearts. And so when we go to share the gospel, when we go to teach from God's word, we can't do it effectively, because people will not trust what we have to say. Aaron:              Yeah, and we want to be trustworthy. We want to be men and women who mean what we say and say what we mean. Jennifer:           And do what we say. And we want to be a foundation for people, a place of security, a place of safety and trust, not of insecurity. Aaron:              And you know what? If we are these people, when we don't follow through, when we drop the ball, when we should have said no but said yes, we will recognize it quickly. We'll be like, "Man, I was not a person of my word." And you know what we'll do? We'll go to that person, we'll go to ourselves, we'll go to our spouse, we'll go to our kids and we will apologize. We'll repent. Jennifer:           And instead of it being a confirmation for what that person believes about our character, it will actually be an opportunity for them to extend grace and love and understanding. Aaron:              Yeah. Well, and it builds trust because they know, "Oh, man, when so and so drops the ball on me, they're going to recognize it." And it's not going to be this thing where no one ever mentions it and in the back of my heart, I'm thinking, "Do they even care? Do they care that they hurt me? Or that they frustrated me, did they care?" Aaron:              Because we want to care, now, it brings us back to loving our brothers and sisters. And that's a powerful thing, going to someone and saying, "Hey, I dropped the ball on you. And I want you to forgive me. And I hope you do. And I'm going to try harder next time to not drop the ball on you." Jennifer:           So there's a big statement that I want to make. And I think it's important to just recognize because we're people of vision and future and hope and we don't just do things by the seat of our pants, we don't just keep... We know what's coming as far as [crosstalk 00:42:16] Aaron:              The Lord's return. Jennifer:           The Lord's return, right? Aaron:              Yeah. Jennifer:           And so we have work to do on this earth. And if we can keep our yes and our no in the small things, then we can do even better in the bigger things. Aaron:              Yeah, thinking about that scripture that says, if you're faithful little you will be faithful with much. And that's true. If you're faithful with the little yeses and the little nos, if you're faithful to keep those little, little commitments, you're going to be faithful to keep bigger ones. Jennifer:           Yeah. And can God look down on you and say, "I trust you." You're faithful." Aaron:              Yeah. Jennifer:           All right, so let's jump into a handful of practical ways of becoming a person of your word and also what some of the benefits are. Aaron:              Yeah, so get a pen and paper. We're not going to go deep on all these. We're just going to throw out some ideas. Say things out loud, we talked about that in the beginning, like when you say it out loud, it becomes real. And you can confront areas of weakness, and you can work on them. To make better habits. Jennifer:           You can write down your goals, which helps you strategize and aim for them because you have them written down in front of you, word for word, holding yourself accountable. And I would also say sharing those very specific goals or commitments with your spouse and communicating through them. Aaron:              And then a trick. So if you're going to just try and lose weight, this is just an example. It could be anything but writing down a strategy is infinitely more powerful than just saying, "I'm going to eat better." Jennifer:           Right. Aaron:              How? How are you going to eat better? What are you going to do when you go the grocery store? What kind of foods are you going to buy? What are you going to stop buying? What things do you currently buy that you're going to write down that we're not buying this anymore. This is no longer part of our diet? So writing down the strategy, breaking it down for little goals [inaudible 00:43:58] we are going to stop eating this thing. Jennifer:           Attainable goals. Aaron:              I'm going to stop putting cream in my coffee. I'm going to stop getting that thing. Write it down and have attainable goals and then you can know at the end of the month, you'll be like, "Wow, I actually stopped." Jennifer:           I'm doing it. Aaron:              Doing that thing. So whether you lost a pound or not, you actually reached part of your goal by making a change in your life that is actually long-term and sustainable. Jennifer:           Yeah. Here's one, make your schedule work for you in that sometimes we make commitments and we don't change anything else to make that commitment happen. Aaron:              It's just going to fit somehow. Jennifer:           It's just going to fit somehow. So take a look at your schedule and make sure that everything's conducive to that yes, you made or that no, you made. Aaron:              I think this isn't on the list. But I'm going to just point out, maybe think about over the last year, 2019, write down commitments that you dropped the ball on, and then you might be able to find a pattern of the things that you like to say yes to but you never follow through on. Maybe it's dinner dates, maybe it's having friends over, maybe it's whatever and then figure how this year you can change that, going back to your schedule thing. Maybe you leave one afternoon open a week for that thing that you said yes to and always had to say no to later. And so maybe just do a little evaluation of broken commitments, and figure out how you can fix them for this year. Jennifer:           If you're going to go that far, then I would add on a little bonus if there's ones that are leaving broken relationships to go and repent, and especially if it's with your spouse, like just say, "You know what? I just took inventory of what's going on in my life. And I'm sorry that I did this to you." Aaron:              Yeah, I promised you a date night every month, last year and we never did it once. And let's figure out a change. It's going on the calendar, like whatever it is. The other one, invite others to keep you accountable. So find someone and truly let them know say, "This is going to be hard for me. I might fight you on it. But here's something I want to change in my life. And if you see me would you just gently say, "Hey, I thought you made a commitment to that." Or "Hey, I thought you were going to..." And remind me." Invite someone. Jennifer:           And then the last one is don't go all out, up front. So you got to be realistic. And this is one thing that Aaron's actually taught me. Aaron:              I'm going to go five days a week to the gym and I'm going to do three hours of work, I'm going to lift every day, I'm going to cut everything out of my diet, I'm going to... Don't do that. Jennifer:           Make a commitment to go to the gym and hit at least once a week until you work your way up to a strength that you can maintain. Aaron:              I talked about this actually, in the episode when we talked about healthy living. One of the biggest things for me is that I didn't commit to just going to the gym every day. What I said is like, "I'm going to get up once a week at six o'clock, and I'm just going to go to the gym down my street." Jennifer:           Have those little victories in your life so that in the next year, you can look back and say, "Oh, look how much growth I've experienced." Because of those little attainable goals. Another one would be like when you think about your Bible reading with the Lord. Some people will look at the new year and go I'm going to read the Bible in a year which is great and a goal you should attain for. Aaron:              But do you realize how much reading that is? Jennifer:           Not just that, but if you're not doing it day by day, even in small chunks, there's no way you're going to fit in that kind of goal. So be realistic with yourself and what you're capable of doing. Aaron:              So to condense that the idea would be, instead of taking like, "I want to be completely like this person next week." And realize that's not possible. Jennifer:           It takes time. Aaron:              What you want to do is you want to find little things that you can change in your life that become how you are. Because right now you're not a certain way. And to be that other person takes 1000 little other things that need to change in your life. Jennifer:           Right. Okay, so what are some of the benefits of being a person of your word, Aaron? If you say you will be home at a certain time, what's the benefit? Aaron:              My wife is going to feel honored, we're going to have more stability in our home, our kids are going to know what to expect. I think you'll respect me more. I mean, you respect me, but they'll be a deep respect, they'll be like an honor. There's power and authority also. That's something we didn't talk about but there's power and authority in being a man of your word. There's people I know and when they say something, they do it every time all I think is like, "That man is so reliable. He is powerful." And I think to myself like, "I want to be more like that guy." So I think it'd be a good example my kids, they would say, "Wow, I want to be like that." Jennifer:           Okay, if I say that I'm going to do a meal plan for the week. And I do it. Our family gets blessed, food's on the table, we're going to save money. Aaron:              We'll eat better. Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              Which that meal planning just in itself helps a lot of things. You can control what's going in the pantry and in the refrigerator. Jennifer:           I won't be frustrated come 3:30, 4:00. Not having a plan. If you say you will stick to a budget. Aaron:              Save money. Get out of debt. Jennifer:           Not buy useless things. Aaron:              Yeah. And have junk that has to go in the trash someday. Those are little commitments that [crosstalk 00:49:04] Jennifer:           Not have to confess and repent to your spouse. Aaron:              About your spending, about this thing, "I shouldn't have done it." Jennifer:           These are just a handful of things that we're thinking of. Aaron:              And it really is... It's integrity and it's power. Jennifer:           Yeah. Aaron:              This is something we've been talking about lately when you do these things, which are... They all go back to self-control, which is a fruit of the spirit, right? Self-control. There's power in self-control, someone who can control themselves, that's power. And that's God's power showing like, "Look at this person who's not just walking in their flesh, not just going by every whim, not every craving, every desire. They actually control themselves. They have poise and they're distinct." Because that looks different. That is surprising to the world. How do you have that much control? Jennifer:           Yeah, faithfulness is cultivated. Integrity is cultivated. So deciding in your heart to do what you say not just say it with your mouth. Aaron:              A good example of this is we talked about not having our phones in the bathroom like having devices in the bathroom like we're trying to put in place, in our own lives, things that we're going to expect of our kids. Jennifer:           Yeah. Boundaries. Aaron:              And it can be easy to be like, "Oh, I forgot." Or I can think every single time like, "I said, I'm not going to do this." And I could put my phone somewhere. And I know a lot of people use their phones in the bathroom. So they're like, "No, that's my thing." I don't know. But that's integrity. Even when my wife doesn't know I'm doing it, am I choosing to honor what we've talked about? Jennifer:           And when I think of integrity, I think of it even having integrity with yourself. Because otherwise, you're going to be constantly in conflict with your mind, as your spirit and your flesh wrestle with the things that you know you should do that you're not doing. And there's no peace in that. So if you're a person of your word, there's going to be peace. If you're a person of your word, change can happen, goals can be met, victory can be experienced. Aaron:              All the things that people are wanting. Jennifer:           Maturity. Aaron:              To grow. Jennifer:           Growth, your spouse will respect you, people will respect you. I think you mentioned that. These are all good, good things. And when you do it, when you are a person of your word, you are showing yourself and your spouse and your children, that you are a person who can be believed. Aaron:              And trusted. Jennifer:           Trusted. Therefore, when you do go to preach the gospel or teach them from God's word, they will listen and they will trust what you have to say and belief will grow in their own hearts. Aaron:              Yeah, and what's better than being able to show your kids what they're capable of in the holy spirit, that they actually can change and make decisions and say, yes, and mean it and do it. That's teaching your kids the power that they can have in God, and that they don't have to be a slave to their lack of self-control, to be a slave to their cravings and desires, but they can have control over those. Jennifer:           Yeah, and you touched on this earlier about we're not alone in these commitments that we're making. If we're Christians, then God is with us, his holy spirit is empowering us and we need to rely on him to walk us through that. But that means we need to be open with God and share with him when we're struggling and share with him when we need his help and pray over these things and keep them submitted to him. Aaron:              And also ask him to show us as David did. Search my heart, Oh, Lord, and see if there be any wicked way in me. Ask God to show us if there's anything in us that he wants changed. Any deceit, any falsehood. Jennifer:           A verse that has become very foundational in Aaron and I's marriage that I wanted to share with you today is proverbs 16:3. And it says, "Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established." I think it's a powerful verse and a good reminder that anything that we do, anything that we say yes or no to, we need to be committing these things to the Lord, we need to be submitting them to him and knowing that we're not alone and trusting him to guide us through them. Aaron:              And committing to the Lord doesn't mean, "Here's what I'm going to do, God. Now, bless it." It means, "Lord, here's my plan. What do you say?" Jennifer:           I was just going to say, what does using this verse look like? Or holding [inaudible 00:53:00] look like in our marriage? And it's exactly that. It's saying, "God, here's what we think we should do or desire to do. But we want you to align your heart with ours." Aaron:              We want to align our heart with yours. Jennifer:           Yes. Aaron:              No, but it's usually the other way around. We want your heart [inaudible 00:53:18] Psalm 37:5 says, "Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will act." Jennifer:           So he's acting. Aaron:              Yeah. Jennifer:           It's not just us going about our day acting and trying and doing. He's with us. And I think that's empowering. Aaron:              Well, that comes at the end of... I want to say one last little quote before we close out in prayer. And it goes to this idea of often we see, like, "Oh, I'll start my diet on Monday." Or "I'm going to start reading tomorrow." Or "I'm going to make this change next week." And so I always say, if change is always tomorrow, then it's never today. And so if we get in the practice of, "Oh, I'm going to make that change right now." Like, "I'm going to make that decision now. I'm not going to save it for another day. I'm not going to say it's more convenient tomorrow." Aaron:              All that means is we're not going to do because there's always another tomorrow. But there's never another today. And so we got to be men and women of our word. And let's ask the Lord to help us be that. Jennifer:           Yeah, and with it being the new year, and you guys probably have already made commitments. We just want to encourage you, guys and say carry on. We are cheering for you, we're here for you. And we love you guys. And we hope that you are women and men of your word. Aaron:              And don't be afraid to adjust your commitments if you need to, to make it more realistic. Because what we are is that you have lifelong maturity and growth and transformation, not a short-term, exciting, burst of transformation and then you go back to your old ways. All of us, we want to be men and women who are growing and maturing and becoming more and more like what God's called us to be. And that's this lifelong sanctification process. So don't be discouraged if you can't hit that awesome resolution that you made. Let's set [crosstalk 00:55:12] Jennifer:           Attainable goals. Aaron:              Set attainable goals in your life and ask God to transform you. Jennifer:           All right at the end of every episode, we pray together, so we just want to ask that you would join us in prayer. Dear Lord, thank you for another new year. Thank you for today. We honor you, Lord, and we praise you for you are good and your love is everlasting. We submit this new year to you, we pray your will would be done in our lives and through us. We pray your will is done in our marriages and through our marriages. We lay our lives down, our hopes, goals, and desires and we ask that you, Lord, would align our hearts to yours. That everything we planned for and say yes or no to would be for your glory and not our own. Help us to be people of our word to stick to our commitments, especially when it feels hard. Remind us daily of the importance of being trustworthy and our impact for your gospel. In Jesus name, amen. Aaron:              Amen. Hey, thanks so much for listening to the first episode of the year. We want to invite you to leave us a review if you have not done so, those reviews help other people find the podcast, they bless us. And they're incredibly encouraging. So please leave us a star rating and a review today. And it'd bless us. Also, don't forget to join the prayer challenge for free. It's marriageprayerchallenge.com and you can do that anytime. See you next week. Aaron:              Did you enjoy today's show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also, if you're interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.
Answers to Your Questions

Answers to Your Questions

2019-11-2800:50:143

Hey Friends!In today's episode on the Marriage After God Podcast, Jennifer and I took the time to answer your questions. A question we received stirred up what we feel is a good reminder for us all as we give thanks during this Holiday season. "Keeping your faith in the hard times will produce a hopeful mindset." Aaron SmithOur faith is important to us no matter the season and it's easy to praise God when life is great. However, we can quickly forget to praise God when things aren't going great. "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds..." James 1:2. With this episode comes our sign off for the year and we hope to return sometime in January or February. Thank you so much for listening! Jennifer and I are incredibly grateful for your support and had fun answering your questions. We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. 
In Today's Episode on Marriage After God podcast, we are encouraging you to stop hiding before it's too late! This episode was inspired by our own experience of concealing our relationship issues, as well as other couple's stories we have seen unravel.Over the years, we have received countless emails and messages from couples sharing that they were on the verge of divorce. Some of whom we knew personally, and some we didn't. The ones that we knew especially hurt us, and we felt blindsided by the problems in their marriage.How can problems go unseen? You can avoid community and fellowship altogether, or you can do what Jennifer and I had done at the beginning of our marriage - hide in plain sight. Though we had close friends, we never let people truly know us or our struggles.Our hearts for this episode is that it would encourage you to stop hiding. The Devil wants us to hide in shame and be isolated, so we don't bring about change. We pray that this episode encourages you to seek true fellowship and hope it eliminates the fear of being fully known.Join the Marriage Prayer Challenge for FREE!Go to www.marriageprayerchallenge.com
The Lord's Prayer

The Lord's Prayer

2019-11-1400:50:421

Prayer is such a vital part of every Christian's life. In today's episode, we are going to be discussing the Lord's prayer. The Lord's prayer is spoken by Jesus when he gives the Sermon on the Mount. This teaching is super important because it emphasizes the importance of prayer and a personal relationship with God."And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that others may see them. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."Matthew 6:5-13 ESVOur hearts are that today's episode encourages you to build on your prayer life, not for salvation, but to build real intimacy with God. Intimacy takes intentionality; just like our marriages, we need to invest in our relationship with God. We pray this Marriage After God podcast encourages you to cling to God and deepen your relationship with him.
In today's episode on the Marriage After God podcast, our goal is to encourage you on your pursuit to chase after God. Everyone needs encouragement and to be reminded of the hope they have from time to time. We urge you to listen thoughtfully to this episode and share it with your spouse or anyone else that could use some cheering. "The first encouragement we want to give all of you on your journey is: don't be afraid! This journey can be fear-filled sometimes, and the enemy wants to make us afraid. So, I just wanted to read this verse, Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV 'Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit." - Aaron Smith We pray this message leaves you hopeful as well as excited about God's plan and purpose for you.
Today, we are entering into the second half of our topic, "Boundaries With the Opposite Sex." If you didn't listen to last week's episode, listen to it right now before jumping into today's podcast!"I want to encourage everyone out there, that maybe their spouses aren't at this place yet, and remind everyone that it's a growing process. We didn't just show up to our marriage with this way of being and understand it fully and walk in it perfectly. We are walking this out day by day. " Jennifer SmithWe pray that today's podcast would start a healthy conversation between you and your spouse and that your hearts would be submitted to God and protecting your marriage from the enemy. If your heart is already for this, we encourage you to walk out what you desire your spouse to step out and fervently pray for their heart. 
In today's episode, we're talking about hard conversations again, but this time, we're very specific. "Blessed is the one who finds wisdom and the one who gets understanding." Proverbs 3:13. As always, we hope to inspire you to be a light in this world. Our hearts desire that everyone listening, listens with a teachable heart. We pray this episode blesses you.
The word of God is sharper than any two edge sword it cuts through the bone and it pierces to the soul, it’s the thing that transforms us. Today in the Marriage After God Podcast we are going over four anchor verses to meditate on when you are trying to overcome sin.“If you’re a believer and you’re practicing sin and getting better at it, you better think long and hard of what you know of God, and to who you belong. “ Aaron SmithOur desire is that today’s podcast not only helps equip you to  overcome temptation and sin, but that it also prepares you to encourage your spouse when they are wrestling with sin.  We pray that this episode blesses you.
The word of God is sharper than any two edge sword it cuts through the bone and it pierces to the soul, it’s the thing that transforms us. Today in the Marriage After God Podcast we are going over several anchor verses to meditate on when you are trying to overcome sin.“This is not a conversation about how to be saved, that we walk perfectly and holy and that’s how God is going to receive us. No. This is a conversation that the believers are already saved, and being sanctified. But it’s through the knowledge of the word of God that we are more and more sanctified and walk in more and more holiness. The desire is that we hate our sin more and more the same way God hates our sin because our sin destroys us.” - Aaron SmithOur desire is that today’s podcast not only helps equip you to fight temptation, but that it also prepares you to encourage your spouse when they are wrestling with sin. We pray that this episode blesses you.
Encouragement for Newlyweds

Encouragement for Newlyweds

2019-10-0200:44:161

Everyone can use a little encouragement now and then so whether you just got married (congrats!) or you've been married for a long time stay tuned for today's episode! After all, don't we all want to have the newlywed exuberance, excitement, and love?1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away."Our desire is that today's Marriage After God podcast helps you quickly realize what your marriage is actually about so you can start your marriage off with an eternal perspective. If you know any newlyweds or soon to be newlyweds please share this episode with them so that they might be encouraged and blessed! 
The Return Of Christ

The Return Of Christ

2019-09-2500:37:46

In this episode, we discuss the return of Christ and how it is to encourage us as believers.
The Gospel

The Gospel

2019-09-1800:42:311

Take our FREE 31-Day Marriage Prayer Challenge now. Go deeper with prayer today at http://www.marriageprayerchallenge.com The gospel is the foundation of everything us Christians believe, and the reason we started our Marriage After God ministry. In this week's episode of The Marriage After God podcast, we are discussing the singular most important topic we will ever discuss on this podcast - The Gospel. There is both infinite simplicity and complexity in the gospel, but today our goal is to simplify the gospel."There's a reason why we want to simplify it, I don't know about you, but I'm going to be a little bit vulnerable here. I have been a Christian for a very long time... I became a Christian at 17, and now I'm 35. I was raised in a Christian home, so I knew God, but it wasn't until maybe three years ago that I could actually fully verbalize the gospel." - Aaron SmithOur goal is that today's podcast will clarify the gospel message for our listeners and get them comfortable with expressing it to others. We pray this episode blesses you. Thanks for Listening,Aaron & Jennifer Smith@marriageaftergod
What Does God Love?

What Does God Love?

2019-09-1100:38:12

Sign up for the 31-day marriage prayer challenge for FREEhttps://marriageprayerchallenge.com I was reading in Psalms 37, and there was a line that says “For the Lord loves justice”… and I thought how cool is it that the word directly told us what God loves.I thought it would be fun and instructive for us to find out if there are any more places in the bible that tell us directly what God loves.If God loves it, maybe we should too. And we know from Psalm 107 that God's steadfast love endures forever. It never ends or changes so he must still love today those things he said he loves back then.Psalm 36:7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God!THE WORLD John 3:1616 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.The world, meaning the people he created in His image. Mankind1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.If God loves the people he created, then I think we must do the same.Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.CHEERFUL GIVER 2 Corinthians 9:7Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.JUSTICE Psalm 37:28For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.It was God’s justice that put Jesus to death. Because the only way we could be Justified is if the penalty for our transgressions were paid for. The requirement of the law must be fulfilled. And it was in Jesus.Listen to what we will pay if we do not receive this amazing free gift from God.2 Thessalonians 1:8-9dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,So we should love that God is just. He doesn't just let the sin go undealt with. If he did he would be unjust. He is even going to justly deal with all the wicked things of this world.Revelation 21:4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”RIGHTEOUSNESS Psalm 11:7For the Lord is righteous; he loves righteous deeds; the upright shall behold his face.Ephesians 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves him who pursues righteousness.Psalm 146:8 “The Lord loves the righteous”The Jewish Nation Hosea 3:1And the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by another man and is an adulteress, even as the Lord loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love cakes of raisins.”We should love the jews. God chose them to be the people to receive the Law and to bring us the messiah.Jesus was a jew.All of the apostles where jews.Let’s be praying for those who have not received Jesus as their messiah. Let’s pray for revival.The disciples John 16:27for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.God loved the disciples.God Loves Jesus John 10:17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.God loves His Son He always has and He always will john 15:9As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.God loves Jesus PrayerDear Lord,Thank you for your steadfast love. Thank you for loving us even yet while we were sinners. Thank you for showing us in your word what you love. We pray that we would abide in your love every day. We pray your love would manifest in our hearts and pour out into our relationships with others. May your love change us and transform us. May your love radically impact our marriages by the way we love our spouse. Help us to understand even more deeply your love for us and receive it with a humble heart. We pray we would show you our love by obeying your word and keeping it.In Jesus’ name, amen!
Here We Go Again!

Here We Go Again!

2019-09-0400:56:02

Take the 31-Day Marriage Prayer Challenge Completely Free. Join Here -> http://marriageprayerchallenge.com The truth is we have some exciting news! Must listen to find out what :)
There comes a moment in every marriage, if not many moments in marriage, that a couple needs to have a hard conversation with each other. This is one of those conversations that require a bit more than just chatting over dinner. Confronting sin Parenting differences Inlaw relationship conflict Big decisions Areas of growth or change We have had our share of these. We thought we would use this time today to share with you how we have experienced these types of conversations in our marriage and what we have learned, in hopes of encouraging you when these moments come up in your marriage. The wrong way Emotionally charged - No properly dealing with emotions - Stuffing down until the conversation With generalities - You always - You never On different sides - viewing your spouse as an enemy rather than partner Personal agenda or wrong motives Not specific and focused Drawing up other issues and mixing with current issue To be right - I don’t care how I get here just must end our right Being hard & Prideful Right before a date or romantic experience….Bad Timing Discerning how important the thing is can it wait Is it sabotaging Our responses The Biblical Way Timing is kind. - If you have something important to discuss, consider the timing. Being considerate Discerning Not avoiding. - Go to brother in private to win your brother, not the issue. Pray about it. Pray they receive. Pray about what you want to say Make plans for undistracted time to talk. - This includes putting the phones away. Make/Take Notes. - To keep you on point or to help you hear your spouse. Be specific avoid generalities Know your end result. - Always Reconciliation. Don't avoid the conversation. - If you feel like you should say something, you probably should. Prayer Dear Lord, Thank You for the intimacy of marriage. Marriage can me messy and challenging at times, but it is such an incredible place for deep love to exist. Please help us to be transparent in marriage. Help us to walk in light, as well as grace. Lord, please help us to confront the issues that need to be confronted and to say the hard things in love. We pray we would be courageous and humble, willing to make time for each other, to share and to listen. We pray we would have hearts that truly desire reconciliation. May You go before us and with us as we share these moments in marriage and may these moments be growth opportunities that make us stronger and that help us to love deeper. In Jesus’ name, amen!
In this episode, we discuss a powerful and edifying way to interpret The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Also, We would like to invite you to take the 31-day marriage prayer challenge completely free. Please click here to join in with thousands of couples. https://marriageprayerchallenge.com
In this episode, we share a very fun, engaging and easy resource to help you start a family bible time in your home. Also, We would like to invite you to take the 31-day marriage prayer challenge completely free. Please click here to join in with thousands of couples. https://marriageprayerchallenge.com
God is so good!!! Jennifer and I are so excited that our newest book, Marriage After God, is now available at your local Hobby Lobby! How incredible is that! PS. Hobby Lobby is the cheapest place to find our book. It's only $14.99, which is a whopping 40% OFF. But instead of just announcing it to you, we wanted to launch a fun giveaway instead to see if we could encourage you to go to your Hobby Lobby. Since there isnt enough reasons already ;) First, let's talk about what we are giving away. 1 winner to receive a $250 Hobby Lobby Gift card!😃 10 winners will receive a $25 Gift Card to our online store. 🤗 Now for the fun part! Here is how you enter. Visit your local Hobby Lobby Find the Marriage After God book in the book rack Take a picture of the book on the shelf and post it to Instagram or Facebook Tag the photo with #hobbylobbyfinds & @marriageaftergod (Optional) Bonus entry, Buy a copy :) We will pick and announce the winners on Friday, Aug 16th!
There are many reasons why you might want to make some side money. Getting out of debt was the reason we did. In this episode, we share with you some very unique and creative ways to make some extra cash today. We start off the episode with how the Bible teaches us to view money to get our minds and hearts in the right place. PRAYER Dear Lord, Thank You for providing scripture about money, about how we should view it and how we should steward it. We pray we never have a love of money. We pray we would be wise in how we make our money, how we spend it and save it. We pray our finances would honor You. Help us to be united in marriage when it comes to money. Help us to communicate respectfully about money. In times that we are striving to make extra cash, we pray that You would guide us and show us what we should do. If any of the striving is in vain, please convict our hearts and redirect us. May the pursuit of money never be at the cost of our relationship with You, Lord, or with our families. Thank You for your provision, thank You for the opportunities we have to grow and thank You for the moments we get to share Your Gospel with others. We pray we would be a light in this world. In Jesus’ name, amen!
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Comments (49)

T. K. Bennett

Happy Anniversary

Jan 8th
Reply (1)

Dzeivid EM

Really amazing content on your podcast, my wife and I came across this recently and its been of great help. We are going through episode by episode, it's funny that it's 2020 but we just start 2019 on the podcast...🤣🤣

Jan 7th
Reply

Lisa N

this was such an encouraging episode as we are looking forward to number three. Thank you Jennifer for being honest with your fears and concerns.

Nov 17th
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Clara Van Camp

I am a newlywed (second marriage for us both). I appreciate this message as this is my first marriage as a believer so it's totally different this time around. The only thing that bothered me was your perspective on having children. What if someone cannot have children? You make it sound like if you don't have children you are not obeying God. I've heard teachings that God's command to multiply did not mean to have children, but to go make more believers. Some people face infertility or choose not to have children, I think you just need to be sensitive to that.

Oct 3rd
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Kyle Becerra

great episode

Sep 11th
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Shannon Jerrett

great perception on getting healthy and for what.

Aug 27th
Reply (1)

Shannon Jerrett

great bases and things we need to reminded of! thank you for the bases list and sharing your own story.

Aug 16th
Reply

Shannon Jerrett

great ideas and biblical purpose for your $$

Aug 8th
Reply (1)

Kimberley Godes

i disagree to a point about how nothing your spouse does is as bad as what we have done to God. in an abusive relationship for 3.5 years. there are somethings that are not ok.

Aug 5th
Reply (1)

Brittany Schultz

I sobbed while listening to this podcast. Thank you so much for sharing your story and what got us die you are going to make marriages that you probably won't ever even know about by using this platform. My husband and I have experienced extraordinary things in our marriage we know we're only possible because if God we feel that same desire and Passion to be vulnerable and open with couples as they walk their marriage journey. So thank you for paving the way for so many to come out of the darkness.

Jul 14th
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Chae Marie Boyt

I don't how many times I have listened to this particular episode but you guys have no idea how much it helps and encourages me everytime I do. I can honestly say if it weren't for this and the Word, I would have already thrown in the towel with my marriage. THANK YOU.

Jul 14th
Reply

Cherie Maguire

This podcast has been such an inspiration and has affirmed my mission in my marriage. Thank you for your ministry... you are such a blessing and encouragement to me.

May 30th
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Erik Brendeland

great stuff.

Mar 6th
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Gen Smyth

I love listening to this podcast. I have listened to some of the podcasts a few times. I really want to get my husband listening to Aaron & Jennifer. So much of what they have to say resonates with me. After 2 failed marriages I know having God and other Godly people in our lives is very important. I just have to say your new book comes out on my birthday and I so want to get it.

Feb 19th
Reply

Alyssa Arends

SO GOOD. 🙌 Best marriage podcast out there. (seriously, I've listened to the others) My fiance and I have been listening to prepare our hearts and lives for our upcoming marriage and it has radically changed our relationship for the better in communication, prayer, and placing God above all else in every area of our lives. Thank you Aaron and Jennifer. Keep the episodes coming!

Jan 26th
Reply (1)

Natalie Quinn

our goal as a couple to become debt free. thank you for this.

Jan 18th
Reply

Natalie Quinn

I love you guys and your podcast.

Jan 18th
Reply

Shannon Sadecki

my two favorite couples!!! can't wait!!!

Jan 15th
Reply

Kamile Serstkova

I binge-listened to all episodes in a week! It’s so encouraging and you provide sound biblical teaching and experience. Very very grateful to God for your ministry!

Dec 18th
Reply (1)

Jalina King

My story is exactly the same except replace "4-year intimacy struggle" with "3-year infertility/miscarriage struggle." Super grateful for the way God worked through those years. We replaced all our food household products starting January 2015. Our miracle babies were born August 2016 and May 2018. Two under two! Praise God! Hubby and I were also baptized together April 2017.

Dec 6th
Reply (1)
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