Love, Podcast, Unity

5 Habits to Consistently Feel Joy Together (Joy, 4 of 4)

man kissing on woman's head on the green grassy field

In past episodes we’ve looked at why joy is rightfully attached to our emotions. But, we don’t have to wait until we feel joy to stir it up in ourselves! In this week’s episode we talked about 5 very tangible things couples can do to have consistent joy together. We hope it blesses you!



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Full Episode Transcript

Selena: So you know how we like habits in our marriage? We’re going to talk about five habits for cultivating joy in your marriage today. And I like the word “habits.” We have habits for what? Family vision, five habits for… What’s the other habits that we do?

Ryan: They’re so habitual…

Selena: That you wrote that I forgot. They’re just so naturally ingrained in you.

Ryan: I love habits.

Selena: I don’t title them.

Ryan: I can’t remember ours. [Selena laughing]. But I love them. I love my kids, what’s their faces? Love them. [both laughs]

Selena: What is the name? What’s the name of that…?

Ryan: Family worship? Family vision?

Selena: No, the eBook.

Ryan: Family vision.

Selena: Five habits for a healthy marriage.

Ryan: Oh.

Selena: Oh, even I got that. Anyways. We’re excited to laugh with you guys today a little bit, and share five habits that will hopefully help cultivate joy in your marriage. This is the last part of the end of our series. So we look forward to jumping into those on the other side.

[00:00:55] <intro>

Selena: Welcome to the Fierce Marriage podcast where we believe that marriage takes a fierce tenacity that never gives up and refuses to give in.

Ryan: Here we’ll share openly and honestly about all things marriage—

Selena: Sex—

Ryan: Communication—

Selena: Finances—

Ryan: Priorities—

Selena: Purpose—

Ryan: And everything in between.

Selena: Laugh, ponder, and join in our candid, gospel-centered conversations. This is Fierce Marriage.

[00:01:29] <Podcast begins>

Selena: Splash! We’re on the other side. [laughs] We jumped in. He love [inaudible]. [laughing]

Ryan: Oh, my goodness. I love how you said that.

Selena: And don’t you dare edit that out? [Ryan laughing] Don’t you dare.

Ryan: [laughs] Okay.

Selena: He tried to edit out the “splash.” There, you can’t now.

Ryan: I was fully going to edit that.

Selena: Don’t.

Ryan: You said we’re at the last part of the final day. [both chuckles] Whatever you like-

Selena: You know what? It’s been hot. I’m tired.

Ryan: It’s the department of redundancy department. [Selena chuckles] Welcome.

Selena: Okay. Just move on here, sir.

Ryan: Fierce marriage podcast…

Selena: Move on.

Ryan: …for fierce marriage. [both chuckles] All right. So we’re going to get into some habits. We’ve talked at length the last few weeks about kind of the deep abiding opportunities for joy. And I use that phrasing intentionally because, you know, there are times we don’t have joy. But we always have opportunities for joy. And what I mean by that is we can look to Christ, we can turn our gaze toward our Savior and toward the promises we have in Him, the very vast and great promises.

Ephesians I think, chapter 1, he talks about all the promises that are available to us. We have opportunities to acknowledge those. And from that place of knowing who whose we are, we can then take joy that is ours. So we’ve talked about that at length.

Now today the hope is to take that foundation and turn into really practical ways that you as a married couple, as a husband, as a wife, whether or not you’re unified in this, because a lot of couples don’t necessarily have the same… they’re not equally yoked in every way. And unfortunately, and I mean this with all love, guys, it tends to be men who are just lumps on logs in marriages. And I mean that an encouraging, loving way. But you got to kind of get off your butt, and lead in these areas. If you’re trying that and your wife’s not responding, then you can still start to apply these habits. And the same thing goes for wives who their husbands aren’t responding. So we hope to be very practical today.

Before we get into that, just our housekeeping. You know we love to do this. We have to do this. If you haven’t done it yet, please like… no, no don’t do that. You can’t do that to podcasts. [both chuckles] You can rate. We hope you like it. That’s one of the goals. Rate, review, and also subscribe.

Selena: Subscribe and follow.

Ryan: Thank you very much. They changed it recently. It used to be “subscribe,” now it’s you follow a podcast, at least in the Apple podcast.

Selena: They’re trying to make it all across. Yeah, follow things and like things, and subscribe things.

Ryan: Yeah. Because I feel like subscribing is overly committal. But if you follow it-

Selena: You can unfollow.

Ryan: You can just lurk in the darkness. [Selena laughs]

Selena: I don’t like lurking. God doesn’t call us to lurk.

Ryan: I have seen you lurk.

Selena: Okay.

Ryan: If you want to be part of what we’re doing here through Fierce Marriage, actually what God is doing…

Selena: I was going to say, “Can you back yourself up a little bit?”

Ryan: I got off the rails there. I’m sorry.

Selena: It’s all right, I’m here for you. Bringing you back to Jesus.

Ryan: We’re happy to say that God is somehow working through Fierce Marriage. And if you want to be a part of that, and God is leading you to do that—that’s how we provide for our families. It’s one of the ways God is allowing us to provide for our families, and we’re so thankful for that—just pray. If God leads you, go to fierce… don’t do that. Go to There are benefits there. But we pray that the biggest benefit to you is just being part of this mission that God has laid on our hearts to keep doing as a family.

And then finally, if you want a really practical way to go deep on a regular basis, we encourage you to check out That’s our online learning ecosystem platform. [00:05:00] Whatever you want to call it. But it’s the place where you can go and have content given to you so that you have an excuse to once a month sit down with your spouse and watch a short video and do some exercises together.

Selena: And I think it’s encouraging. You can do this with friends, or maybe you know some friends that are kind of struggling or going through some hard stuff. This might be a nice either gift or just kind of a way to say, “Hey, why don’t you guys check this out? I’ve heard good things about it, or I’ve gone through it, and I think it might be an encouragement to you.” We’ve also had a couple of churches approach us about using it. And that’s awesome. We want to equip churches.

Ryan: It’s very young platform. We just started it back in January, and we’ve been trickling out content. And as the body of work kind of a masses, it’s the best that we can put out there for now. I think it’s the crown jewel of the Fierce Marriage stuff. So check out Of course, just trust that we will always point you to Christ in that.

Selena: Yes, yes. So this is the final piece to the series on joy. I think it’s probably too late to give us questions now. You might be able to take some questions in with our Q&A session we’re doing in a couple of days.

Ryan: Well, no, because this month we’re recording the episodes so far in advance that by the time these released we will already have had to record the Q&A episode. And the reason for that is we can’t share it. But there’s a lot of stuff we’re working on. So we’re kind of having a front-load thing. So hopefully you take that as a good…

Selena: So don’t send us your questions, we don’t care about… Just kidding. [laughs]

Ryan: Listen, we might do like an Instagram thing, where if you could follow us on Instagram, we usually will ask for questions there. And we might do like a call and response. Kind of like you say a question and we’ll respond in real-time.

Selena: Okay. All right. So jumping into five habits for cultivating joy in your marriage. The word “habits” was very intentional. Not five ways or five things you can do or five, you know, whatever-

Ryan: Or the attitude.

Selena: They are habits. Words have meanings, and we’re using the words how they should be.

Ryan: Okay. All right, well, bring it.

Selena: So we said habits because we hope that by cultivating these habits, over time they’ll become second nature to you and your spouse, and it’ll just be opportunity for joy to be produced. One kind of theme to remember, I think, throughout this whole episode is that joy is a fruit of the Spirit and fruit produces fruit. Hello, seeds, right?

Ryan: Mm-hmm.

Selena: So fruit produces fruit. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. Let’s just remember that as we are walking through some of these habits in the name of cultivating joy, and being the best soil that we can, I think, for the Lord.

Ryan: So before we get into the habits, this was the headspace that we’re in. And I hope that you can appreciate this, fair listener. We asked ourselves, if a couple was in a spot in their life and in their marriage where they just are not feeling it, they don’t have affection toward one another, they’re not connecting on common ground, their communication suffers for it, their intimate life suffers for it, what are the encouragement that we can give to the couples in joyless marriages?

You’re listening to this clearly because you want to see your marriage flourish, you want to experience all that God could have for you, but you’re just not feeling it. So we’re going to go back down to kind of some of the foundational habits that we know have been most joy-producing in our own lives, individually, but mostly as a married couple. Again, I just want to set that stage that we asked ourselves, how can we encourage those who are feeling joyless in this moment?

So just know that these aren’t going to be… they’re going to be, I think, very quickly applicable, but they’re not going to be trite answers. We’re not going to say, “Just go have a cookie or go get an ice cream cone.”

Selena: Cookies do make me happy, though.

Ryan: That’s true.

Selena: So does ice cream.

Ryan: But what if you’re cookie intolerant? Those people exist. They exist. [both laughs]

Selena: I don’t know those people.

Ryan: I will not tolerate bad cookies. [Selena chuckles] Life’s too short to eat bad cookies.

Selena: Oh, man.

Ryan: You can tweet that on the interwebs.

Selena: There you go. [both chuckles]

Ryan: Habit number one. Again, this is very practical-

Selena: You should tell him your acronym. [both laughs]

Ryan: Here’s the acronym. Well, you can give them away.

Selena: But it’s five.

Ryan: There’s five but we had four originally. And it was like seek God daily, and we’re talking about that habit too, laugh more, the third one was acknowledge one another. That one I made up to fit the acronym. And the final one is pray or something. And the acronym was SLAP. Just SLAP it out.

Selena: SLAP it out.

Ryan: Anyway.

Selena: It sounds like something fierce. But anyways, the first two are right. The last couple ones are a little sketchy.

Ryan: Those ones I just wanted to make the acronym work, which acronyms are supposed to work. [inaudible] what are you doing? We’re making acronyms. Anyway, you can tell we’re having fun today.

Selena: The first one is to seek God daily together and apart. So this is more call to discipleship and forming that habit. I think that’s been the greatest producer of joy no matter the season we’ve gone through. It’s just a constant communion and [00:10:00] conversations around God, His word, what He’s doing, what He’s doing in our hearts, our lives, our family, people around us, praying together. It also might look like bringing in more reading on top of reading the Bible. I’m not in replacement of, because there is no replacement of. You should be in your Bible every day. But in addition to.

Ryan: This falls in line with the frustration that I have with men that I’ll talk to and they’ll be like, “I’ve just been feeling so discouraged and so disconnected from God. It’s like I’m not hearing from Him.” And I’m like, “Well, have you been reading the Bible?” “I mean, I’ve been working, and No, I haven’t been praying.” I mean, not as much as I want to. It’s like, oh, you’re not going to hear from God if you don’t pray and you don’t read the Bible. I mean, if you’re expecting Him to come slap you on the face… Slap. There it is the acronym.

Selena: There it is.

Ryan: Maybe He’s slapping you right now. Maybe that’s what He’s doing.

Selena: Fierce slap.

Ryan: The point is this seeking God daily. We can’t emphasize enough how pivotal and how important and how foundational this is for just the life of a Christian. If you’re in Christ, you’re going to feel a lack of joy when you’re not abiding in Him. When you’re positionally in Christ, but you are behaviorally not abiding in Him, that’s going to cause a dissonance in your life.

Selena: When outside of Christ in the context of eternity and God, we can’t look at our trials, we can’t look at the hardships with an eternal joy set. For the unbeliever, there’s no joy set before them. For the believer, we have that joy. But we can only know that joy through knowing Christ, knowing God, and knowing His word. And it can take lifetime upon lifetimes, I think all of eternity to try to understand every facet of His word, which I look forward to doing hopefully in heaven. But anyways, that’s a side note.

Ryan: Let’s hover on this one a little bit, because I want to get really tangible. How do we seek God together?

Selena: Well, right now we’re doing a Same Page Summer reading plan together. So we’re reading the same things. Well, ideally, sometimes I’m behind, sometimes you’re behind, but we’re basically reading the New Testament this summer.

Ryan: But here’s the caveat. We haven’t actually spent a lot of time talking about it.

Selena: Because you’ve been malfeasance. [Ryan laughs]

Ryan: So how would we go about…? Typically in the mornings, ideally we’ll have our coffee time.

Selena: If you don’t have a one-and-a-half-year-old who’s a loud tyrant at 6:30 in the morning, you can do this.

Ryan: She’s learning. She’s learning but she’s also the worst, whatever her name is. [Selena laughs]

Selena: It’s great.

Ryan: We love Louisa. She’s great. She’s also terrible.

Selena: Very loud.

Ryan: The point is, is that normally would sit down and would say, “Hey, yeah, here’s the thing that God showed me, that jumped out at me as I was reading Mark 12, or whatever.” Or you could do that. Then we’d start talking about that and connecting around the Word of God. Or how we see God daily together.

If Selena is discouraged, instead of just saying, “Okay, how can I just get through this? How can I just get her to get out of her funk?” instead, “What does God’s word have to say about the situation that she’s discouraged about or about discouragement in general? And how can I come to her as her loving husband and remind her…?”

Selena: Encourage her. Because apparently I don’t want to hear it. I mean, let’s just be honest. I’m like, “That’s not helping.” But I can allow it to sit there and grapple with it in my own heart knowing that words that were read or spoken from God, from His Word, and just allow that to filter down into my soul, get to kind of the hard emotions that I might be dealing with.

Ryan: Another way that couples can see God together is—and this is going to sound super basic—but just go to church. Be a part of-

Selena: Together.

Ryan: …a church. Together. Church is not just an optional thing. It is the bride of Christ. And it is the body of believers, and you are incomplete in a sense without being a part of a body of believers, because you don’t have every gifting. Paul talks about what if one person’s… you’re an ear and you have no legs? If you’re not a part of the body, or you might have no brain, right?

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: The point being made is that you need the body of Christ. And I’m just shocked at how many couples just have a flippant attitude toward the local gathering. And there could be reasons. You could have gotten burned. Maybe you went to a church that was heretical or had just bad teaching or was just no good.

Selena: But it’s not a reason to forever not go to church or be a part of the body of Christ.

Ryan: You know what, churches aren’t going to be perfect. So you have to be mature in a sense, and say, “This is important to me because it’s important to Christ.” Even if I don’t always enjoy it, I’m not going there for myself, I’m going there to worship God. The church is not about me. And that’s a very Western idea that church should be there to entertain and make you like it. Now, there is that sense that the word of God needs to be preached well. The point is [00:15:00] seek God together. Go to church. That’s practical way.

Selena: Tangible ways.

Ryan: All right, habit two.

Selena: Laugh and play together. We’re pretty good at this.

Ryan: I’m good at this.

Selena: You’re good at this. I think we have to define “play”, you know what that looks like for your marriage. For us, that’s usually watching a funny show together that we like, or an activity outside, typically on or near the water, constant inside jokes, eating good food together, playing games. I think we need to do more of that. Whatever that looks like for your marriage, just find it, go do it, enjoy it together, take the initiative, make it a habit.

Because the more you start doing it, the more you enjoy it and the more you start looking forward to it. You also have kind of this constant connection. Whenever you’re out and about, you can, “Hey, game night is in like three days.” Maybe that’s not you. I mean, like board games, not like video games. Or it could be.

Selena: Maybe.

Ryan: Some couples do enjoy it.

Selena: Some couple do that. As long as you enjoy it together and it’s not terrible for you.

Ryan: Here’s the thing with this piece is that it can take some rewiring of some of your habits.

Selena: For sure. For sure.

Ryan: Because if you’re not laughing and playing together, it might be because all of your discretionary time is being soaked up by other things. And that could be you’re overcommitted or you have too much going on and you just don’t have the time. And by the time you’re home together, you’re just too tired to engage emotionally or engage in play. Unless it’s like really low-hanging fruit. For us, that’s why you said funny show first, because so often, we’re very, very tired.

Selena: Kids are tiring.

Ryan: And watching a show together…

Selena: Those little blessings, my goodness, they have a way of [inaudible 00:16:39].

Ryan: …is a way to kind of break the ice. And now we can laugh and now we’re teasing each other, we’re playing. A few nights ago, I don’t know how many nights ago, we had a tickle fight in the bed. [both laughs] Tickle fight.

Ryan: It really was though. I can get him to like laugh like a girl. It’s so funny. He thinks he can beat me. I like ticklish neck. And you’re cruel for exploiting me. Don’t exploit me. But I’m stronger.

Selena: I [inaudible] make you stronger.

Ryan: Mostly. Leverage is real though.

Selena: Leverage is real. [laughs]

Ryan: Just some leverage. That’s kind of the reminder is you may need to rewire some of your habits, some of the things that you think are fun.

Selena: Yeah, because it may not be very easy to laugh together to be honest. We’ve had seasons where we had to overcome some of that and kind of stick it out. Because for whatever reason, you just don’t want to laugh or let them know that you want to have a good time with them because you’re enemies.

Ryan: Because you are acting completely messed up towards me.

Selena: Yes.

Ryan: Also, in this space I would say there’s room for laughter and play when it comes to your intimate life together. And you don’t have to take it so seriously that it has to be this really intense, passionate moment. Every time you’re in bed together you can have fun. Like I think if someone said, “Hey, describe sex,” one of the top descriptor words that I would use would be “fun.” It’s a fun thing to do. [chuckles] I think it can be.

Selena: I don’t know. We have a series on sex coming up and I’m not looking forward to it. [laughs]

Ryan: I am. It’s fun.

Selena: Exactly. That’s what I’m saying.

Ryan: I’m a big fan is what I’m saying. [both laughs]

Selena: It’s not that I’m not, I just don’t like talking about it.

Ryan: I know. Because you kind of feel like-

Selena: Violated, exposed.

Ryan: Well, it’s a very personal thing, but we can talk about what does God’s word say about it. It’s not about Ryan Selena, but what does God’s word say about-

Selena: I’m going to let you lead that one. Anyways.

Ryan: That’s precisely why I should lead because I’m just dragging you along. This is why you can lead the chat.

Selena: Mmmm, yeah.

Ryan: The point is laugh, have fun, play together.

Selena: It’s an inside joke.

Ryan: Habit number two. You said habit. So building habits around this are very important. And that’s part of re-wiring thing. But think in those terms. How can we build habits and margin for actually laughing and having fun as a couple? Number three, be a giver to your spouse? What did you mean by that?

Selena: Be a giver of joy to your spouse?

Ryan: Oh, I missed the joy part. Sorry. I just glossed right over it.

Selena: The whole joy series we’ve been doing for the last couple weeks. Be a giver of joy to your spouse. How? Knowing how your spouse receives love and what brings them joy. Questions you might ask yourself is how can I be selfless? How can I be more patient and connect with my spouse? or How can I love my spouse well? What brings them joy and how can I initiate that or be a part of that?

Jen Wilkin had a really great quote. She said, “The heart cannot love what the mind does not know.” So the key here is really knowing your spouse. And if you guys have been strangers for a while or felt kind of distant, like you said, rewiring or coming back into reincorporating, that knowledge of each other and getting to know one another and spending time together is just kind of that first step of being able to be a giver of joy.

I think you [00:20:00] giving somebody a gift in some way can be an icebreaker. It can really I think just warm the water a little bit more when it’s cold and chilly. You gave me a kiss the other morning and we’ve kind of been fighting or just disconnected and you just kiss me in the morning and I was like, “Thank you for that.” It just felt like we were…

Ryan: I gave you coffee and a kiss.

Selena: Yeah, we were connecting. And that was good for my heart and good for my mind.

Ryan: I going to say I’m a super generous person of joy.

Selena: And I think this is the perfect part to remember and identify that theme of how fruit produces fruit, the seeds of fruit produce more fruit. So being a giver of joy, that fruit that the Lord is ideally producing inside of you, giving that to your spouse, and sharing that is as one habit that I think will continue to be fruitful.

Ryan: So as with these types of things, I think it’s really helpful to just ask questions. You had mentioned like it breaks the ice or perhaps even warms the water. If you’re having a hard time connecting with your spouse, one of the best things you can say to him or her is just “Hey, how can I serve you right now? What can I do for you that will add value to your day, or that would make you feel really good right now?” And Selena might say something like, “I just need you to take the youngest one and go find dinner, figure out dinner.”

Selena: Go find the dinner. [Selena chuckles]

Ryan: Make the dinner. And you know what? That gives me a chance to lighten her load and then it opens up an opportunity to now be generous to her in other joy-filled ways, right? Because you got to remember, you’re husband and wife. You’re on the same team. And if you’re treating your marriage as if you’re on the same team, then you’re going to want to help your teammate out, say, “How can I help you?” And it’s not just me versus her but us versus-

Selena: Them. [both laughing]

Ryan: Us versus them. It’s us versus the Joneses. And we’re totally going to beat them. Keeping up with them.

Selena: My husband is not competitive at all.

Ryan: Keeping up with the Joneses is about beating the Joneses versus them, baby.

Selena: The abundance of the heart. [both chuckles] The fourth one-

Ryan: Is that an indictment. [Selena laughs] I won’t take it.

Selena: Okay.

Ryan: False, false accusation. You lost it. Habit four, gratitude. What are you grateful for about your spouse now? What did you mean by that?

Selena: Well, what are some ways that I can appreciate you? Because I think when you feel appreciated, that definitely brings you joy. How can I show that gratitude to you in a way that brings you joy?

Ryan: This is twofold I feel like. Because when I…

Selena: Uuuh.

Ryan: Uuuh. …when I express appreciation gratitude towards you, it also reminds me “Oh, wow, I have an awesome wife. Here are the reasons you’re awesome.” And then you’re like, “Wow, I’m an awesome wife.” So you’re feeling joy, I’m feeling joy, let’s go on the bedroom.

Selena: And feel joy together? [laughs] Oh, my goodness.

Ryan: You weren’t expecting.

Selena: No, I was. I was like, “I think I know where you’re going. You’re never that surprising.

Ryan: You did, though?

Selena: Yeah, I did.

Ryan: What? Okay, she said I’m never that surprising. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to up my game. Selena is going to get… she’s going to get pranked.

Selena: Why does it have to be prank when it’s a surprise?

Ryan: Because there’s a little bit of bitterness. [both laughs] Okay. All right. Are you moving on on number five?

Selena: He’s mad now. [laughing]

Ryan: All right, number five. Habit number five is rest. Selena will not have any rest for at least a few weeks. Well, she’s wondering. [inaudible] Now this is a serious habit though—rest. This comes into the margin piece. Right? We’re in a season where we have a one-and-a-half-year-old. We mentioned her earlier. We love her. She is the most incessant little child.

Selena: Very active, very loud, very… not rebellious, but she’s learning how to communicate.

Ryan: She has the gift of gab…

Selena: [inaudible] her lack of desire?

Ryan: She feels like she’s talking when she’s just making noise. And it’s the loudest noise. And so we’ll be having a conversation and she starts parroting out.

Selena: She’s wanting to be a part of it.

Ryan: So we’re having to teach her through that and instruct her. But there are seasons where you have more rest and seasons where you have less rest. Some of that is in our control. And so the thought here is create habits of rest where insofar as you can so that you have margin now to appreciate to do these other four habits.

Selena: I don’t think you can really enjoy anything when you’re maxed out on every level. I think that’s just something that we, as a society, are learning. It continue to fall on our face and learn. I think I will raise my hand first for that because we can easily just over-pack the schedule, [00:25:00] not honor those rhythms that we’ve established and those habits that we’ve wanted to put in place because those are decisions that should be made in a place of rest.

If you look at the theme of the Bible in rest… theme of rest in the Bible, there it is, we’re called to live out of the rest that we have because of Jesus. Rest is the whole idea. I’m listening to this podcast on the Sabbath, and what it means and the theme of it throughout the Bible, I’m just in the first episode, and I think there’s going to be like 20 of them. But it’s so much greater than… yes, we say margin, but it’s a reorienting and understanding of who God is and who we are, and that we are called to stop.

And if we stop, it’s not going to be the end of our careers, it’s not going to be the end of our ways of parenting, like our kids are going to run wild if we are stopping and resting, but remembering who is in charge, who is the creator of all things, sovereign over all things, the giver of joy, the creator of joy. Again, resting our bodies, physical rest, emotional rest, taking breaks. And even I think sabbaticals from social media is one tangible way we can emotionally I think just rest from all of the hubbubs around us.

And then spiritually, you know, remembering Christ, remembering the gospel, engaging in a Sunday or engaging in that Saturday that. Whatever that Sabbath day is for you, being intentional about that and figuring out what does that mean? How can we develop habits around this to really honor and protect that sacred time?

Ryan: Well said. Well said. A quote came to mind. It was a quote by Martin Luther. He at one point was recorded saying, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” The reason I love that is because it’s kind of what the Sabbath is all about, is that I need so much provision in my life that I need to trust God even more, that I need to just stop trying to provide for myself so that I can press into that Sabbath rest, that promised rest that was fulfilled by Christ on the cross. And now we’re looking forward to that promised to rest. And so, yeah, rest is a very interesting thing, because you can tell kind of the state of a person’s heart based on their restfulness.

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: And there’s a lot of research that staying busy is a way of just avoiding things. And rest forces us to go to God and to-

Selena: True rest.

Ryan: True rest.

Selena: We’re restless in our rest. There’s a lot there. I’m not going to do a study on that one. But there’s lots of other…

Ryan: Was that Augustine our said hearts are restless until they find the rest in the… I think that was Augustine. I don’t remember who said that.

Selena: It sounds good. All right.

Ryan: This has a direct correlation to the level of joy in your marriage. And without having that habit of rest, then it’s going to be hard to come by. So recap. Do you want to do recap? Habit number one is seek God daily together. We talked through some tangible ways to do that. Maybe we’ll interlace the couple’s challenge with these five habits.

Selena: I said, “Just do the five habits,” at the end of it. [chuckles]

Ryan: As a recap, I’ll walk through how you might do them as a challenge. So sit down and talk about how you can see God daily together. And what that would look like, and I would put it in these three terms, doctrine, doxology, and discipleship.

Doctrine being How are you looking at God’s word and understanding what God’s word implies and how it’s applied to your life. That would be the doctrine piece. Doxology is a $20 word for the word “worship.” How are you responding to what you’re learning in worship? Now, worship has a few different ways that it’s played out. You have your secret worship, which is between you and God alone, your private worship, which is your family worship piece. We’re very passionate about that. It’s the most neglected form of worship in the world today. And you have corporate worship, which is your commitment to your local body of believers. So think in those terms of how can you see God together as a couple and find unity and rhythms and habits around that?

Habit number two, laugh and play together. Define play. That would be the discussion. Sit down and say, “What is the most fun thing that we do as a couple?” Not as a family. I want to be really overt about that because there are things you do for fun as a family that aren’t going to be as fun for you as a couple.

Selena: Word. [chuckles]

Ryan: Like playing Candyland.

Selena: A thousand times.

Ryan: I hate that game. I used to love it as a kid and then as soon as I play that as an adult, I was like, “This is the worst. This is torture.” Anyway. Candyland is not-

Selena: Eye candy. And that’s it.

Ryan: For you maybe. Watching me play.

Selena: No. [laughs]

Ryan: For me. You’re right. You’re the… I don’t know why I’m so [inaudible] today.

Selena: You’re missing it totally. Habit three. Habit three, habit three.

Ryan: Be a giver of joy to your spouse. Maybe ask your spouse, how can I be giver of joy to you? And then they’ll ask you that, and you’ll have a conversation. That’d be good. Habit number four, gratitude.

Selena: Maybe should go in the other order. You should tell them what you’re thankful for about them, and then ask them, “Are there ways that I can bring you joy?”

Ryan: Which happen number four is gratitude and thankfulness?

Selena: Yeah, maybe you’re right? Okay, I did this right the first time. Never mind.

Ryan: Maybe make it a habit of yours. Set a reminder, do whatever you got to do to express one thing a day that’s very kind of overt to your spouse. Hey, I’m thankful that you are or did or whatever that is. I’m thankful for this part of you or this relationship, this aspect of our relationship because…”

Selena: It cultivates joy within your spouse, then, therefore, between you two.

Ryan: Habit number five, rest. Talk about maybe areas that lack rest.

Selena: How can you honor and protect those areas?

Ryan: Yeah. What actions can you take in the name of cultivating rest and margin so that your joy can blossom in that margin? Right.

Selena: [singing] This is my commandment that you love one another. I was just thinking that “your joy maybe full.”

Ryan: Good, okay.

Selena: Love it. Sorry, random.

Ryan: We’ve been having some fun today. This is a shorter episode. I hope it’s been edifying to you, and some of these habits are helpful.

Selena: It really is kind of the frosting on top of the whole series, the cake series of joy. So if you haven’t listened to those other episodes, please go back and do so. I think that you’ll find this more augmenting to those. I know we just want to jump to like, how do I do it? But really, again, we’re all about beliefs. We’re all about understanding the gospel and how it applies to our marriage. And we cannot have joy without the understanding.

Ryan: Amen. Let me pray for us. Father, I thank you for the gift of joy, in that you have not called us to live joyless, ascetic lives where we are void of happiness just because we follow you. But instead, our joy is fuller, it’s bigger, it’s deeper, it’s wider. And that same joy now overlays our marriage when our marriage is devoted to you, centered on you.

I pray for the couples who are listening to this that they would feel greater joy in their marriage. I pray for the husband or the wife who is really struggling to get their spouse to engage, that you would somehow give them a break through and that they would feel new levels of joy and that you would be glorified as a result. Lord, our whole existence is centered on your glory. Whether we want to give it to you or not, God, you will have it. And may we give it to you gladly and may we give it to you joyfully. And may that joy overflow into each marriage listening to this podcast. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: All right, thanks, ladies and gentlemen. This episode of the Fierce Marriage Podcast is—

Selena: In the can.

Ryan: We will join you again in about seven days, and till then—

Selena: Stay fierce.

[00:33:20] <outro>

Ryan: Thank you for listening to the Fierce Marriage podcast. For more resources for your marriage, please visit, or you can find us with our handle @Fiercemarriage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you so much for listening. We hope this has blessed you. Take care.


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