Communication, Love, Podcast

5 Hurtful Phrases to Delete From Your Marriage Vocabulary

It’s impossible to define everything everyone should or shouldn’t say in every situation. However, there are some phrases that are usually unhelpful for marriage. Join us as we explore each one!

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Transcript Shownotes

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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned

  • [00:07:28]
    • Scripture references: 
      • Proverbs 18:21, ESV
      •  Proverbs 18:22
  • [00:32:21]
    • Scripture references: 
      • Matthew 12:36, ESV
      • Matthew 12:34
      • Matthew 15
      • Proverbs 12:36
      • Proverbs 18:21
      • James 3:8
      • Ephesians 4:29
      • James 4:11-12

Full Episode Transcript

Ryan: Hey, everyone. Thanks for joining us for the Fierce Marriage podcast. This week, we are pulling an episode out of the archives, which happens to be one of my absolute all-time favorite podcast episodes, mainly because I think the material is really helpful. But you get to see a side of Selena, and that is her saltiness, that I absolutely love. We like to joke and have a good time. But in this episode, I noticed there were a few times that she was taking little jabs that they just went over my head. She is just so smart. Sometimes I just miss how fun she is.

So anyway, we are talking about phrases to remove from your marriage vocabulary. And even though this is our podcast, and even though I know this material, I found it helpful as I re-listened to it. So even if you’ve heard this episode, I trust that it will be a timely reminder for you as well. So with that said, here we go.

Selena: We’ve been talking about habits and rhythms and all kinds of things around cultivating good soil in your marriage. And I feel like this is a real tangible episode that we’re calling Five Hurtful Phrases to Remove From Your Marriage. These are basically weeds I would say that are in the soil of your marriage. And they’re all rooted in the Bible. We have verses that have illuminated these truths, and we’re excited to dive into each of these with you.

Ryan: I kind of see these phrases as almost like red flags. So whenever these phrases kind of cross our path, or they kind of come into our marriage again, it’s an opportunity to say, okay, something is going on under underneath the surface and it’s an indicator.

Selena: So these are five phrases that we are going to dive into tangibly speaking to help build unity in our marriage, to cultivate the soil, and to build habits that are God-honoring. So we will see you on the other side.

[00:01:47] <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.

[00:02:18] <podcast begins>

Selena: All right! So we are getting into the five phrases to get rid of in your marriage. [both laughs]

Ryan: Nailed it.

Selena: To get rid of your marriage. [laughs]

Ryan: Five phrases to remind yourself of marriage. [Selena laughs] Here is it.

Selena: This is wrong podcasts.

Ryan: Like Harry Potter spell. Poof! It’s gone!

Selena: Anyways, we’re going to get into those in a few minutes. But we’ve also got a question about a previous episode, a couple’s conversation challenge. And before we go there, we’re going to let you do the housekeeping because this is the keeping that you do well.

Ryan: Yeah, really quickly. If you’ve gotten something out of this podcast, we would be honored and just so thankful if you would leave a rating and a review in whatever podcast app you use. It helps us and helps others. Secondly, if you want to lock arms with us, we would be honored if you would pray about maybe supporting us via our website It’s not our website, but it’s our page on that website. There’s links in the show notes. But that’s just a place where we can connect directly with listeners to keep this podcast sustainable.

We’re just so thankful for all our amazing patreons that are there right now. We have about 210, 215. We’re trying to get 250 so we can start doing transcriptions which cost money to have those done.

Selena: It’s be awesome.

Ryan: That would be awesome for people that can’t listen or just prefer to read. So help us out if you feel lead, but pray about it first. Thirdly, if you have any questions, go to There are various ways to ask questions there. You can leave a note online or you can call or text this number 971-333-1120. Call or text that. Just don’t do it while you’re driving.

Selena: Be smart, folks.

Ryan: Be smart.

Selena: Be smart. So last week, we kind of talked about habits and we’re kind of piggybacking off of that a little bit and getting into the very tangible ways of how we can communicate better because communication is a habit, right?

Ryan: Can I say that I’ve learned, though, before…?

Selena: How to be the best communicator?

Ryan: No, about habbits. Because last week I was a hot mess. I’m still a hot mess in a lot of ways. I’m just a big, beautiful mess.

Selena: It’s Ryan’s favorite.

Ryan: Just a beautiful, messy mess.

Selena: Ryan favorite. [Ryan laughs]

Ryan: Oh, got to love that. Anyway, I’ve started counting calories.

Selena: Good for you. [both laughing] So the pregnant lady.

Ryan: Go you! Anyway.

Selena: No, I’m encouraging.

Ryan: I’ve been eating way better. And you know what this app is? Noticing positive patterns in my life.

Selena: Good. Is that exciting to you?

Ryan: It says, when you eat eggs in the morning, you don’t eat as much terrible food the rest of the day. Stuff like that. [chuckles] [00:05:00]

Selena: Imagine that protein. Anyway. So Ryan is winning on a caloric level.

Ryan: #Winning. Lost two pounds. [Selena laughs] Well, so far I probably gained it back last night because I had a big, old cheeseburger. [both laughs] Got to live your life.

Selena: Moderation and habits, right?

Ryan: It was so good.

Selena: I’m glad it was so good.

Ryan: It was so good. Yeah. But I didn’t have French fries. I had the salad instead. So, you know.

Selena: Good for you. [laughs] Sweet Potato fries. In your face! [both laughs]

Ryan: And I’ve been to the gym twice. I’m just going to say…

Selena: Okay, no one cares about your life. [both laughs]

Ryan: “No one cares about you. Just quiet.” Anyway.

Selena: In the words of Mr. Stein, I don’t need your life story. Okay?

Ryan: Hello, hello.

Selena: I don’t need your life story.

Ryan: Okay. You obviously want to talk about these phrases.

Selena: I’m part of your life.

Ryan: You know what? I’m going to go. [both chuckles] I’m going to go. You just have fun. See yah.

Selena: Finally. We’re going to talk about how to basically communicate better. [both laughs] Because in our 15 plus years of marriage, it’s taught us that it’s not a matter of if we disagree, but when we disagree and how we handle it. is one of our favorite websites. Gosh, type in any biblical question, and it’ll just blow your mind.

Ryan: Yeah, it’s all very grounded in God’s Word, which is so important.

Selena: I just want to open up here. Because although we’re talking about getting rid of phrases, we’re really talking about the power of our words in our marriage. The quote here, he writes: “Words do more than convey information. The power of our words can actually destroy one’s spirit, even stir up hatred and violence. They not only exacerbate wounds but inflict them directly. Of all the creatures on this planet, only man has the ability to communicate through the spoken word. The power to use words is a unique and powerful gift from God.” I feel like that’s just boom.

Ryan: I think it’s debatable though because I’ve talked to many [inaudible]…

Selena: I know. [both chuckles]. You would have…

Ryan: …who have wanted crackers. And I’ve given them crackers. [chuckles]

Selena: Not all of us can be with animals [inaudible].

Ryan: You guys, I don’t think we need to go. I mean, I don’t take for granted that the listeners here kind of understand the wait that God’s Word puts on words. Let’s see. Proverbs 18:21 is a very representative verse. It says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

Selena: Right. And we’re going to dive into what the Bible says about it.

Ryan: Yes, okay. But I want to start with this. Because right after that verse, Proverbs 18:22, it says, “He finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”

Selena: Lucky you.

Ryan: Hmm, I wonder if there’s some sort of progression here to like maybe…

Selena: Words in a good way?

Ryan: Yeah. I said how your words hold power of life and death. And by the way, finding a wife is a good thing. So don’t let your words ruin it. [both chuckles] I want to share a little bit about communication just principally. Is that a word?

Selena: Sure.

Ryan: Just in principle. In this idea that communication is not just speaking words. Words are the avenue by which we communicate. So even if you think about the physiology of communication, you have vocal cords, you have your tongue and your lips, and your way to articulate consonants and vowels. This goes into a little bit more than probably you expected. But you’re using energy and airflow to vibrate your vocal cords and create a sound wave, which is another form of energy, that can then pass through the matter that God has given us.

God didn’t have to give us the physical means to communicate words and to hear words. Those words travel through the air because air carry sound waves, they go into your ears, and they vibrate your eardrums, and that creates electrical impulses that go to your brain. Your brain [snap fingers].

Selena: You’re so smart.

Ryan: Your brain then translates those into actual vocabulary and words that have meaning according to the language of the culture that you live in.

Think about all of this. So when God created heaven and earth, He created matter with physical properties. He created physics. He created everything around it, how atoms work, how molecules work, how all that works. And we have the medium to express ourselves with our voices. Not only that, but there’s all kinds of other ways that can be communicated through body language, through tone, which has to do with the same principle but through context. So knowing the timing of when I say something and how it will be received because maybe something just happened or under certain situation. There’s all these different ways to communicate. [00:10:00]

So think about communication in this way. Communication is conveying ideas effectively. It’s the conveyance of ideas with integrity and fidelity from one person to another, from one soul to another. The analogy that we use in our book “Fierce Marriage” is a traffic light. So if you’re stopped at a traffic light, the traffic light is a way to communicate with other cars in that intersection. So if my lights green and yours is red, then you know and I know that I can go and you can’t.

If ever those signals are crossed, say we both have green lights, what’s the result? A collision. Catastrophe. We both have red lights, what’s the result? Nothing. Everybody’s waiting, picking their noses, waiting for this light to turn.

So the thing is with communication is we have to be aware of the signals that we’re sending and the signals we’re receiving. And we have to be very mindful of the fact that our communication are signals to convey a deeper meaning. Words are never just words is what we’re trying to say. That’s why Proverbs says, life and death are in the power of the tongue, those who love it will eat its fruit.

So we never are just communicating words; we’re conveying a meaning. And that’s why words can be so loaded. That’s why in marriage, when you have tone, and you have all these different things and timing, you have all these different aspects of the communication, big red buttons are easy to press. Because in marriage, everything’s more loaded. There’s 10 times more meaning and everything because there’s all the context that you have. So when we talk through these different phrases, just keep all that in mind.

Again, I see these in two ways. We’re saying prescriptively, this is a good idea to kind of remove these because our words in a sense do have a way of orienting our hearts in our own minds and our hearts toward each other.

Selena: Yeah, revealing what’s happening in our hearts.

Ryan: Yeah, they orient, but they also reveal. So prescriptively and descriptively. So you can see, “Oh, I’ve used this word a lot. So maybe there’s something going on in my heart,” or “Okay, I’m not going to use anymore because I realized that that pushes me to let this attitude takeover in our marriage.”

Selena: Or your spouse is saying, “You know you’ve been saying this a lot. [chuckles] What’s going on?”

Ryan: Hopefully, that’s helpful just to think about how you…

Selena: And we are going to dive into scripture about, you know, even idle words and careless words. The Bible instructs us in how we are to communicate, how we’re supposed to use our words. And we definitely have verses just outlined like crazy, but we just want to talk about the first phrase here, which is “I’m busy.” [both chuckles]

Ryan: Very practical but very common.

Selena: Very practical. I’m busy. Very common. If we’re too busy for our marriage or our spouse, then I think we’re too busy in general. [chuckles]

Ryan: Yeah. It’s usually an indication of a deeper dysfunction, right?

Selena: Right. You’re digging into your habits again and your priorities. I think something happened with us, and I was saying I was too busy and you’re like, “What are you doing?” And it was I was either on my phone or riding horses. It was before we had kids or something. We felt like we were too busy and it was like, “Okay, but what exactly are we doing?” And looking at our lives we’re like, “Well, we’re not choosing the most fulfilling things to be doing. We’re not actually busy. We’re just busying ourselves.”

Ryan: Here’s the thing is, is a lot of times we’re busy because we’re in motion and not because we’re taking action.

Selena: Exactly.

Ryan: What I mean by that is I can sit up here in our office and I can continually kind of be in motion, I’m checking things, I’m doing things, I’m planning for things, but I’m not actually executing or doing anything that moves us forward. So, Selena will be like, “Hey, it’s six o’clock. Why aren’t done?” “I’m busy.” Or “Why are you so tired?” “Because I’ve been busy.” And realizing, okay, well maybe I’m not so busy. Maybe that’s just an excuse. Maybe the being busy is just a way of avoiding the actual work of being with my family and it’s fruitful work.

Selena: Or it could be an idol, right? Like something that gives us value and identity. And we’d rather be busy because being busy shows that we’re being productive in somewhere in our mind, we’re connecting that right?

Ryan: Hmm.

Selena: However, there’s a caveat that Ryan and I talk about a ton on this podcast is that busyness can be a season. It should be a season.

Ryan: There’s time when you get busy for sure.

Selena: Right. When work has a special project or we’re trying to write a book or things like that. But you’ve got to communicate the end from the beginning. If you are diving into a new business and your spouse is kind of like, “Yes, awesome. I want to support you in this” but is feeling left out or just alone, there needs to be a communication.

Ryan: Speaking of that, my heart goes out to all the people leading VBS. [both laughs]

Selena: Seriously, it’s happening this week. These last couple of weeks.

Ryan: We’ve talked to a lot of people who were parts of VBS and they’re just like, “Oh, I’m so busy.”

Selena: Which is good.

Ryan: And they are just overwhelmed because they got like 20,000 kids coming into their lives.

Selena: Well, and it’s not like [00:15:00] normal church kids all the time too. It’s very much a community thing, which is great.

Ryan: The point I’m trying to make is that there are seasons, and seasons have a beginning and an end.

Selena: They need to be communicated.

Ryan: The point to it is to communicate through that and say, “Hey, for the next three months we’re doing X, Y, and Z. It’s going to be like this. Let’s have check-in points every week or every month because I know it’s going to wear on us. So let’s just remember. We’re going to put this date on the calendar. Three months from now busyness stops, meaning that I’m going to be home at a normal hour, or we’re going to spend more time together. Not just what’s necessary, but more than necessary.” And agreeing on that and communicating through it.

So I think in general, we say remove this from your vocabulary because so often, the words “I’m busy” is just an excuse and it’s just a kind of a lazy way of communicating that I haven’t actually prioritized my life well.

Selena: It’s a heart indicator like you said, too.

Ryan: And as a rule of thumb in this area, I want to say this, and just to kind of put the stake in the ground here, if you’re too busy for each other, you’re too busy. If you’re too busy for your family, you’re too busy. Something needs to change. It’s not sustainable. It’s not even good stewardship. I’m just telling you it’s not wise. And I’m pleading with you, make a change so that you can be with your family in a healthy way. It doesn’t mean you quit your job, all that, and just boom. Boom. [chuckles]

Selena: So the next one is Ryan’s favorite phrase, and the one after that is mine. So I’ll let you do that one.

Ryan: The phrase that we have here is “you always dot dot dot” or “you never…”

Selena: Ryan loves absolute statements.

Ryan: I absolutely love them.

Selena: He just thrives on them.

Ryan: The irony of absolute statements is that they’re never true and they’re always hurtful. How’s that for two absolute statements? [both laughs] You can’t truly say absolute things. That’s just the world we live in. But it’s so lazy.

Selena: And I like to say that out of emotions. “You always act like this. You never hear me when I say this,” and blah, blah, blah.

Ryan: The first thing I do when you say that is I start thinking through all the times that I have done that. And I have the exceptions to what you’re saying instead of me hearing your heart.

Selena: He’s a good arguer but he’s blind to my heart.

Ryan: You’re a pretty good arguer too, friend.

Selena: I’ve become a good arguer.

Ryan: You’re a fun arguer

Selena: I’m not. From all those nights of crying myself to sleep.

Ryan: [whispering] This is a cry for help. [laughs] The thing with the absolute statements is they’re lazy and usually they are unproductive.

Selena: They’re more hurtful than anything.

Ryan: And when you’re on the receiving end of it, it doesn’t produce a reconciliation, an attitude of reconciliation. It produces an attitude of opposition. Instead of saying… It’s just not healthy or productive. “You always do this.” “That’s not true.” Instead, “Lately, I’ve felt you’ve been missing it in this way.”

Selena: Yes. A little decorum goes along.

Ryan: Or “I’m seeing a pattern here. I’m seeing a pattern arise. And here’s what the pattern is.” And here’s why it’s troubling to me.” So instead of “you always get home late…”

Selena: It still kind of makes me defensive, I’m just going to be honest. Because this calling me out, and that’s a pride thing for me, I think part of me is like, “Can you just open the door for me to say, ‘I feel like this has been happening lately. What do you think?’”

Ryan: This leads me when I’m in the mood to be lead.

Selena: That’s my own…

Ryan: “I’ve got to be honest. I’m seeing a pattern here, and you’re just the worst.”

Selena: Your friend [inaudible] too her time. [Ryan laughs] No. I know. Of course, if I’m transparent, that’s hard for me to hear. All these emotions start boiling over. But I get way less defensive when I feel like and I know that you’re not just pointing it out, but you’re trying to be loving about it. And that’s the part I think that we struggle with is that you’re seeing this and you’re trying to communicate in a loving way and I’m like, “You’re just trying to be right and you’re just trying to be in control.”

Ryan: There’s that context. That’s why communication is all about signals.

Selena: “You always do this.”

Ryan: Because you’re reading signals that I don’t even know they’re there. If we both have a green light, then we’re going to crash.

Selena: You do the same thing.

Ryan: I never do that. [both laughs]

Selena: You read signals. You’re telling me things and I’m like, “I didn’t even say that.”

Ryan: “Oh, you absolutely did.” [laughs]

Selena: Anyways.

Ryan: The key is here to think through what is actually going to be a productive way to present these frustrations.

Selena: Definitely.

Ryan: Now what happens typically is you’re angry or tired, or caught off guard, and say, “Oh, you’re always home too late,” or “you always miss time with the kids,” or “you always do that.”

Selena: I’m boiling over.

Ryan: Instead, like I said, I think it’s more productive, more helpful to say, “I’ve noticed a pattern over the last week and a half and actually try to think about what it is. Don’t just cherry-pick. And think about maybe the pattern…

Selena: Context.

Ryan: Maybe the pattern is just in your head. [both laughs]

Selena: Are you paying attention? I’m making sure you’re listening. [00:20:00]

Ryan: Let’s see. Who’s this for?

Selena: Okay. He’s made his wife cried twice this week. [both laughs]

Ryan: No, you chose to cry in those moments.

Selena: No, I agree. I agree that saying, lately, this is kind of what I’ve been observing. Don’t be attacking with it, I guess. Just kind of lovingly present what you’re seeing and what you’re observing instead of the “you always” or “you never” because that never goes well.

Ryan: And if you think about the fact that there is actually power in our words, that makes us think twice before we say anything and be slow to speak.

Selena: We should be specific and purposeful with our language, because you can actually move forward together instead of just accusing one another.

Ryan: Wait, because words have meaning, as it turns out.

Selena: They have meaning, they have power, they have purpose, they’re full of life or death.

Ryan: Words matter, people.

Selena: So the first one is “I’m busy.” The second phrase you should remove is “you always.” The third is my favorite response, apparently. “Whatever.”

Ryan: Whatever. Just “pfft whatever.”

Selena: I have ended many arguments with a whatever.

Ryan: I believe this happened just yesterday. [laughs]

Selena: And it is the arch-enemy of biblical reconciliation. And that’s in the notes. Part of me though, part of how I think we navigate our way through conflict is that when it gets too heated, we need to separate. We need to step away, have a timeout with the intention of we’re coming back to reconcile this. Whatever is different from like a timeout, whatever is just saying, “You know, whatever, I’m not going to deal with this anymore. And I don’t want to deal with it and don’t feel like dealing with it. So it’s just like letting it go out into the ether and all the bitterness, everything’s just going to just start settling into your soul and it’s just going to start building these layers of frustration and anger.

Ryan: I think the reason why “whatever” is so toxic and it’s the attitude behind it, not the word itself, but the attitude behind it is it’s so toxic because it’s rooted in apathy. And apathy is the opposite of love. People think anger or wrath is the opposite of love or hate is the opposite of love. I’d say that’s not true.

Selena: You’d argue this. Yeah.

Ryan: Apathy is the opposite of love. Because what is more dismissive of a person than just “I don’t care”? Like, I don’t care what you think. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what you say. I don’t care about you enough to actually speak this out. I mean, there’s a time in an argument when it’s just not productive anymore. You don’t you don’t have to be dismissive and apathetic to step away from that.

You could actually step away from that argument, that heated moment in love and wisdom. And I think this is the opposite of that and saying, “I love you so much that I am not willing to just scorch this earth with you. I want to preserve the decorum because I love you and I respect you and I value you and see you as a child of God and somebody I’m called to steward.” Okay, it’s hard to do [chuckles] that when you’re really angry, and you’re in the middle of a heated conversation.

But I think what we’re saying is guard your heart from being apathetic toward each other. And if you found yourself doing this, we’re here to warn you. To say that that is exactly what you started saying, in that you begin to kind of callus over, you begin to get those layers of bitterness in there. And then before you know it, you start getting on… I’m just going to… the writing’s on the wall here. You’re now apathetic toward each other. You’re going to bed without any communication or connection. He’s staying up late. She’s staying up late. You’re on your phones. You’re on computers or whatever. You’re watching shows. You’re basically living as roommates. Now, all of a sudden, you’re reaching out to an ex-boyfriend…

Selena: You’re looking somewhere else for it.

Ryan: …and now you’re starting to connect with so and so because you’re not connecting at home. And so now you’re going to connect with somebody. It’s essentially your covenant is turned into a contract. It’s stopped being beneficial to you so you’re going to go somewhere else. I think apathy is the start of that process. And “whatever” is an indication of an apathetic heart.

Selena: Right. Obviously, the Bible talks about how we can combat apathy and how we can combat the whole giving up and not caring by instructing us on how to love each other. In 1 Corinthians 13, we have “it never quits, it’s patient, it’s kind…

Ryan: Refuses to quit. [both chuckles]

Selena: …it’s not easily angered. I don’t know about that. It always persevere. These are reasons why God has instructed us on how to love, how to speak to each other. Saying “whatever” is not the path. It’s not the stepping stone to Biblical reconciliation, which is something we talk about a lot. So I think removing it from your marriage vocabulary, it’ll either force you to explain why you’re okay with this missing in the conversation or explain why you’re [00:25:00] truly okay with “whatever.” It’s going to force you in to explain yourself, basically.

Ryan: Yeah, yeah. There’s an episode a few weeks back about emotional maturity, emotional intelligence. I think there’s one with the Straub’s. We interviewed them. Incredible. But to be able to stop yourself, it takes a certain amount of emotional intelligence to say, “I actually don’t care about this argument as much as…” That’s what you’re saying. Like, “I actually don’t care about the outcome of this. I realize I’m just arguing because we’re heated right now.” So I’m okay with whatever. And honestly, I resign. White flag. I’m giving up in the name of love. You Too song comes to mind.

Or like you said, you have to explain why you’re okay with actually dismissing the conversation at this point, in that you don’t feel like it’s really worth the path you’re going down.

Selena: Right. Right.

Ryan: We had that moment yesterday. Do you remember that? [chuckles] We were talking about… You don’t? This is why we’re…

Selena: Last night?

Ryan: Yesterday. I was getting ready to go to the gym, you were getting ready to get the girls to the climbing thing. And we were talking about a family thing and you were just like, “Whatever.” I think I kind of knew where we were at that point.

Selena: It was a call for a timeout because I was like, “We’re not getting anywhere. We don’t have the time to get anywhere right now. We just need to basically call a timeout.” So my “whatever” was really supposed to be a timeout. But I don’t like saying that. You knew my heart was not happy about everything, though.

Ryan: Oh, for sure. But I just knew it wasn’t productive. And then you texted me I don’t know how long later. Was it like 30 minutes later or something?

Selena: Maybe. And I was really trying to keep some decorum because I really just wanted to be like…

Ryan: You’re like, “You said these things that are hurtful. You’re not being sensitive in this way. And here’s why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling.” And I was just like, “You know what? You’re right. I’m sorry. Love you. I’ll be more sensitive.” Was that surprising to you?

Selena: It is a little bit. I mean, if you would have come back angry, I would have flared up [Ryan laughs] like a dragon because I intentionally texted you the way that I did because I was trying to have…

Ryan: You tried to bait me.

Selena: No, I was trying to have more decorum than how I felt. How I felt was like, I just wanted to rage on you and be like, how dare you act like I shouldn’t say these things? You know.

Ryan: I have a question.

Selena: Do you? [both chuckles] And not to be manipulative, I just knew it would cause you to be defensive and that’s not where I’m trying to go with it. I really was trying to reconcile this.

Ryan: Ladies and gentlemen, a gentle answer turns away wrath.

Selena: It does.

Ryan: Life and death is in the power of the tongue. At that moment, I got to be honest, I think I probably could have come back with a, “here’s why I’m right and you’re wrong.”

Selena: For sure you do.

Ryan: But I told you this last night when we finally got back home, I was just like, “I didn’t care at that point. I just wanted you to feel loved and I want it to be connected back to you in that way. It was not worth it to me. You were worth more to me than being right.”

Selena: So I win. [laughs] Just kidding.

Ryan: Okay, you won. [Selena laughs]

Selena: No.

Ryan: Just take one for the team here.

Selena: It was good to just come back together and just hug it out really. We felt a disconnect, and that whole “whatever” kind of came back around and we talked about those pressure points that we were feeling. I think we both responded pretty well. I feel like you responded well, which is really assuring to my heart.

Ryan: That’s good to know. It’s not always the case.

Selena: No.

Ryan: We don’t always respond well. I don’t know. The Holy Spirit is good, and I think humbled me in that moment and maybe care more about you than, like I said, being right. So I think just be careful with language that’s dismissive with a heart of apathy toward each other. Because to be honest, marriage is hard.

Selena: It’s easy to be harsh with each other.

Ryan: It’s easy. It’s super easy to be harsh. And what happens is, as our level of respect for each other falls, then the level of vitriol rises and we continue to have these toxic conversations. And as humans, we kind of have a way to respond. We either have to figure out a way through it together or it’s the fight or flight thing. And flight looks like saying, “Whatever.” You’re not going to see it, so whatever. I’m just saying…

Selena: There is the fierce tenacity, people.

Ryan: And if you’re constantly in this place, it might be time to get help from a counselor, a pastor, a biblical counselor.

Selena: Someone who can speak into the situation and see what you guys might not be seeing or what we’re not seeing.

Selena: And of course, on both sides, you have to have humble hearts and willing to hear and understand what’s on the other side of this. And that’s a deeper intimacy, a more God-honoring, God-glorifying marriage, and a deeper union.

Selena: Absolutely. We’ve spent a lot of time on “whatever,” [00:30:00] which is good.

Ryan: Number four.

Selena: Number four.

Ryan: This one is a big one, and it’s probably something you don’t say a lot. But it’s just plainly the word “divorce.” Remove the word “divorce” from your marriage, from the vocabulary.

Selena: I would say this is probably an absolute in our marriage. We never have and we never will use that word as a threat or any sort for any reason.

Ryan: Obviously, you know, as you’re saying, don’t use it as a threat or just, “You know what? We might as well get a divorce?” Or “I’d be way happier outside of this marriage,” or “I should have married so and so.” Anything that really chips at the foundational commitment covenant of your marriage, I think is going to be always, always, always counterproductive.

Selena: Right. Right.

Ryan: There’s no healthy way forward that’s out of your marriage. I’m telling you that. People will find ways to justify it and you can make biblical cases to justify the act of divorce. Okay, there are biblical cases. Now, remarriage is a big thing that’s under a lot of question. We’re not going to get into that. But will find a way. But I’m going to tell you that it’s never going to be the best way. It’s always best to find a way to reconcile. And always that means that takes two people. That takes two people that are willing. Anyway, I think that chips away at that.

Selena: It kind of opens that back door. I mean, if you’re already getting to that point of using the word divorce, you know, flippantly for comedic relief—that was terrible—but no matter how you’re using it, it’s cracking that door a little bit. It’s saying, “Well, I’m bringing this word into our vocabulary.”

And the power of that word and the weight of the word, I don’t think we always see that. But it feels like saying that word liberates the other partner to be able to start bringing that word up. And there’s just going to be this building until everybody’s checked out mentally, emotionally, spiritually. They stopped tilling the soil, they stopped watering, they don’t plant seeds. They just say, “Hey, this is the path we’re headed to. We’re going to give up on our marriage. It’s just harmful no matter how you slice it out.

Again, if you’re using it just flippantly, Matthew 12:36 talks about idle words. It says, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.

Ryan: Wow.

Selena: So convicting.

Ryan: Especially about this very important… God didn’t just arbitrarily designed marriage as a covenant. He didn’t just arbitrarily say that sex is only within the marital bond, because there’s a lot more to your marriage than your present happiness.

Selena: Right. Purpose and mission.

Ryan: We probably haven’t said that enough recently.

Selena: So good.

Ryan: But your marriage is not about your happiness. It’s about God’s glory. It’s about your sanctification, as Gary Thomas would say. It’s about your holiness. We’re going to have him on in a few weeks by the way. It’ll be awesome. We have it scheduled.

Selena: Wow.

Ryan: He’s an amazing man. Both of them are awesome. But anyway. So God didn’t design marriage in those ways just so we can be so quick to throw it away and say, “I might as well just get a divorce.” So we just implore you. Remove divorce from your vocabulary. It’s never productive. It’s the equivalent of checking out, just throwing in the towel. Especially I want to say if you’re in the newer years of your marriage, the first year or the first five years of your marriage, guys, your marriage is solid because it’s a covenant. But it’s also fragile because you don’t know what the heck you’re doing.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: So I’m here to put a line in the sand and say, this is off-limits. That is off-limits. That is not a route you can go. The ships have been burned, you are on the shore together, figure it out. And you know what? When you have no backup plan… We talked about this in our book “Fierce Marriage” to the nth degree. But when you burn those ships, you have no backup plan, there’s nowhere else to go. And a lot of times your hardened heart is because you’ve just you’ve… Your heart is not hardened circum…

Selena: Just hasn’t been softened because you’re hard, you just ran away from everything.

Ryan: But I’m saying that it’s not hardened all the way around it. It’s hardened toward your spouse because you found another way to be soft. Something or someone else. And if you have nowhere else to go, the only opportunity you have to be softened is to look to each other and to say, you’re it for me. So we got to figure this out because this is not sustainable. I want to live a happy life. I want to live a life that’s filled with joy. I know I’m not guaranteed that but I want that. So I’m going to look to you and say, “Divorce is not an option. Let’s work through this.”

Selena: We’re going to work this out within the boundaries of these things. [00:35:00] And one of those is never saying we’re going to get divorced.

Ryan: Okay.

Selena: Moving on to number five.

Ryan: Just a quick recap.

Selena: Okay, go ahead.

Ryan: Sorry, real quick recap just because we’ve spent a lot of time on the last two. These are all kind of language to be aware of and remove from your marriage. The first one is “I’m busy.” The second one is “you always.” Any sort of absolute statement because basically, they are lazy. The language of “whatever” or apathetic language that kind of goes against the heart of biblical reconciliation. The fourth one we’ve talked about is the word “divorce,” because it’s just completely unproductive and unhelpful, and it goes against the spirit of marriage in general.

So the fifth one, the final one we’re going to talk about today is kind of category of phrases.

Selena: Yes.

Ryan: It’s “I wish you were more like” or “you’re just like your parent” or (insert parent name). Your mom or your dad.

Selena: All falling under comparison. The comparison game is what we’re talking about here.

Ryan: Yeah. We actually had a podcast a couple of weeks ago called crushing comparison. And it’s generally talking about how our tendency as humans is to compare to each other and to use each other as our standard of whatever thing we value. And essentially, we’re doing that in these phrases and we’re saying, “I wish you were more like so and so.”

A lot of guys will say this about their wives when it comes to sex, especially young guys in a young marriage. They won’t necessarily say it outright, but they’ll think in their hearts and say, “Man, I wish you would just do that thing that I saw in pornography.” That’s a dark example, but it’s so true. There’s a lot of married guys who are frustrated because they’ve had these expectations built up by basically sinful desire and sinful habits and this whole sinful industry. So there’s that “I wish you were more like.”

Or wives will say, “Man, I wish you were more like so and so’s husband. Look how he’s around” or “he’s a good father” or “he has this high paying job or this high profile job” or “they do more fun things together. They have a better house. They have a better car. They go camping more often.” Like, “I wish you were more like so and so.”

Selena: Right. Right. Nobody likes to be compared to anybody, whether it’s a friend a stranger. Ryan loves to be compared to a celebrity though.

Ryan: Oh, really? Who did you compare me to?

Selena: You know who you are.

Ryan: Who am I?

Selena: Liam Neeson.

Ryan: Oh, yes. People might ride in on this one. At least once a month, I’ll be like checking out at the grocery store or somewhere and they’ll be like, “Has anyone ever told you look like Liam Neeson?” [both laughs] And I think I’ve gotten more cheeky with them.

Selena: Yeah, you are funny.

Ryan: Last time I was like, “Yeah, actually, he’s my dad.” Just completely deadpan. Like, “Yeah, he’s actually my dad. My name is Ryan Neeson.” [both laughs]

Selena: The problem with comparison.

Ryan: And the guy was like, “Wait, what? Really?” [laughs]

Selena: You’re terrible.

Ryan: That was in Arkansas. That was in a theater.

Selena: You’re so terrible. The problem with comparing our spouses, it just becomes dehumanizing to them and us. Like we start dehumanizing who they are as a person versus…

Ryan: Whoa.

Selena: What?

Ryan: No, that’s good.

Selena: Oh, sorry. [both chuckles] People are not things. They’re like cars. They’re not like cars. [both chuckles] Sorry, this is going wrong way. People are not things, they’re not like cars. You can’t compare them. They’re features. Like one has GPS. One goes, you know, 60 miles an hour and two seconds flat. That’s probably not fast anymore.

Ryan: Dehumanizing is stepping outside of the actual human steak that I have. I mean, we used this example a few weeks back, where all of sudden, Selena is talking on the podcast and I’m not talking to her any longer. And I step back and say, “All right. Now Selena is recording the podcast. Selena is pressing record. Selena is talking to the microphone.”

Selena: Yeah, with your Uber voice.

Ryan: I’ve dehumanized her. She is now an object of my observation. And now I can be a critic or I can just add features to her or I can observe things about her and say, “Hey, I like that. I don’t like that. If she fix this, it’d be better.” That’s insane. In marriage, that’s insanity. Never going to be helpful.

Selena: I will say I think we all have desires for our spouse, though, that we would like them to listen more or we would like them to have a softer heart, or “could we be open to talking about these things?” There’s that side of the coin of saying, “Man, you’re always like this, but…” I don’t know. I don’t know. Because I feel like it falls on the spectrum of heart transformation and some behavioral stuff. Right? Can I even make that happen? But again, questioning the desire of like, why am I comparing my husband to so and so? Why am I comparing or desiring or calling them out on these things? I think it’s more of like, okay, “God, [00:40:00] examine my heart and know my ways. Help me to understand why I’m choosing to respond like this and say, ‘I wish you are more…’”

Again, the flip side is like, okay, are these things that I’m desiring of my husband, are they godly things that I want to pray into his heart if I can, or pray for him and ask God to surround him with men of God that will help him maybe, I don’t know, in his walk with the Lord, or praying for his heart to be protected, and his mind. I just want to make that clear that I think it’s okay to pray for things, and to ask God, and to want things for your spouse. But just flippantly just comparing them and saying, “I wish you were more” or “you’re just like…” again, it’s another heart orientation.

Ryan: I think, at the core of just the cold comparisons versus the warm calling someone to a higher standard has to do with your stake in them as a person. If I actually love you and care for you, I’m going to want you to take more showers. [both laughs] No. As a husband, I could say, “Hey, you know what, I feel like we could go deeper in our conversations together.” I feel like we talked about a lot of just how to get the kids from A to B all the time. But I really want to go deeper, and I want to talk about maybe a book together or talk about scripture together. I want to talk about our relationship with God together. It’s not, “Man, I wish you were like Karen.” [both chuckles] Thanks for snacks, Karen. Or “I wish that about you.” That’s not productive. That just makes you feel like you’ve been…

Selena: Yes, it’s being purposeful with our words. It’s being intentional. It’s being loving and kind and not being just idle and saying whatever we feel and what we think. And jumping off from there, what does the Bible say about our words? Obviously, it says a lot.

Ryan: I’m going to read on this one all the verses, right? [laughs]

Selena: Oh, I’m sorry. I know. Sometimes I do these outlines in my head. But scripture is always there. And I think we just want to paint the picture of, you know, these are heart orientations, these are indicators of things that are happening in our heart that we need to see them as indicators and see how they function. So what does the Bible say about our words? Again, we talked about Matthew 12:36-37. And the whole theme of that section of scripture is a tree is known by its fruit.

“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:34, a few verses before that, it talks about how out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Again, we’re seeing the words that we’re speaking are producing the fruit in our life.

Ryan: Again, in Matthew 15 where he’s talking to the Pharisees, he’s basically saying, how can a rotten tree bring forth good fruit? Your words are important, people. We talked about the physics of words and communication. God did not give us those things by default, or by accident, or just kind of haphazardly. He gave us these words to do something, to accomplish something, to build each other up. Did you mention Proverbs 12:6 already? “The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them.” Was it Proverbs 18:21? I said this earlier. “The tongue has the power of life and death and those who love it will eat of its fruit.” So taming the tongue is a very…

Selena: It’s a very hard thing.

Ryan: Very hard thing.

Selena: James talks about that a lot.

Ryan: He does. He talks about it and he compares it to the rudder of a ship and being the way to kind of direct the entire ship by this tiny rudder. Or it can set a whole forest ablaze—the power of the tongue. It says, “No human being can contain the tongue. It a just restless evil, full of deadly poison.”

Selena: James 3:8.

Ryan: Of course, he’s talking about outside of identity in Christ, knowledge of the gospel. Again, the Holy Spirit. We can’t tame this. That’s I think the call here is if you’re listening to this and just… Here’s what I don’t want to happen, is you walk away without a Holy Spirit empowered kind of personal conviction.

Selena: Right. Right.

Ryan: We don’t want you to walk away with the resolution that says, “I want to have a healthier whatever marriage, so I’m going to bring these five things to my wife or to my husband. And we’re just not going to say these things anymore. If he does, I’m going to smack him across the face.” [Selena chuckles] Or some equivalent to that.

Selena: That’s a terrible smacking.

Ryan: The thing is we cannot tame the tongue. We can’t. Here’s the thing, and this is the gospel call here is that we cannot tame the tongue but we know the one who can. We know the one who is sinless. We have the Holy Spirit, the helper, God Himself in us. We’ve been called sons and daughters of God. We’ve been called co-heirs with Christ. We’ve been commissioned into his mission. So we are not alone in this battle.

And yes, it is a restless evil full of deadly poison as James 3:8 says, but we have the Holy Spirit now who has made us new from the inside out, who has taken our heart of stone and replaced it with a heart of flesh so that we can now see each other not with apathetic eyes, angry eye, or any sort of flippancy or dehumanizing speech, dehumanizing thoughts. Instead, we see each other as a brother and sister in Christ. You are God’s daughter, and I’m entrusted with caring for your heart. And men, I’m scared of that father-in-law.

Selena: As such, what does the Bible tell us about how we can use our words? Ephesians 4, “Let no corrupting 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.” James 4:11-12. “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.” There’s a lot of judge and laws. [Ryan chuckles] “There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”

Colossians 4:6. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each other.” I like Colossians 3:16. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” This, again, like you’re saying should be an overflow and should also be, I think, something we do fight for in our marriage, right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Selena: We are maybe striving a little bit because the Holy Spirit is saying, “I’m doing the work in you. Therefore, don’t let this type of talk come out of your mouth. Therefore let Christ dwell in you richly. Let his teaching and everything admonish and dwell within you. Let wisdom flow out. Sing the spiritual songs. Be thankful.”

Ryan: That’s good. Like we talked about in the last episode with habits, God has graciously given us the ability to apply wisdom to this world around us. He’s given us the ability to form our actions in a way that is informed by wisdom. So speech is the same way. We’re not just passive observers in the things we say and how our brains work. We can actually be a part of that process. And we can choose the words we say. We don’t have to always say things when we’re angry.

We can have emotional intelligence, emotional maturity to see how our words are going to affect somebody. And to let someone’s words affect us in a way that is maybe not just what they say, when they say it, how they say it. It’s knowing the heart behind it. Like Selena, some of the things you said that we got in a fight over yesterday, you were saying things that I did not like, but I was failing to see your heart behind it. And had I seen your heart, I would have been driven to compassion and I would have been more likely to do what Colossians 3 says. His teaching admonishing in all wisdom and singing psalms. Break out in psalm.

But I love how that verse ends in Colossians 3:16. “…with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” That revelation of the gospel is what births that thankfulness. “God, I’m a sinner. I need you terribly, and I have you.” I was destined for death. This happened to me when I had to have open-heart surgery. I thought it was a good chance I would die.

Waking up four hours later having had successful surgery, opening my eyes, it was like a new life. I can’t describe that moment. I thought I was once dead and now I am made alive. I was once headed to death. “Selena, I’m sorry, I’m not going to have babies with you. I’m sorry our marriage can’t even make it to the second anniversary. I love you. If I don’t make it through this, I want you to get married to someone else. That’s what I told you.”

Selena: Hmm.

Ryan: Waking up, all that was gone.

Selena: Jokes on you.

Ryan: Joke’s on me. [both chuckles] But all that was gone. Suddenly, I had life. I had life again. What did that birth in me? Thankfulness for you, thankfulness for God, the sense that I’m never going to take this life for granted again, never going to take these babies for granted again. All that stuff. That’s kind of a tangent, but…

Selena: But understanding that our days are numbered. We are not given… No, you don’t have to face heart surgery to not take your days for granted. You can be thankful for every single day you’re given by the grace of God and use them. Our couples conversation challenge is kind of a… I’m going to go off-script here, as Ryan says.

Ryan: Okay.

Selena: I guess looking at your words and your vocabulary, how do you talk to your spouse on a general day-to-day basis? Are you using them to build your spouse up or are we using them to destroy them? What’s the tone in the theme there? And maybe it’s not removing these phrases, [00:50:00] the exact phrases, but how are you comparing your spouse in an ungodly way or dehumanizing them? How are you dismissing them and not responding to them? How are you sort of giving up and resigning…

Ryan: Or using the absolutes lazily.

Selena: Right. And how are you using absolutes lazily? I think these are places that we can look at our marriage and question…

Ryan: Maybe take a quick inventory.

Selena: Yes.

Ryan: They kind of turned into categories. So, how are we being lazy? How are we comparing each other? How are we being apathetic toward each other? Those sorts of things.

Selena: Absolutely.

Ryan: In our language, specifically. What’s the antithesis of that? Instead of apathetic, how can you choose to be extra empathetic? Instead of being lazy, how can you be really diligent with your words? Instead of being dismissive, how can you implant value into one another? Say, “Listen, I hear what you’re saying, but you’re an idiot.” I’m kidding. [both laughs]

Selena: There it is.

Ryan: There it is. We’ve never actually said that. I never called you an idiot. I don’t think. If I did, I’m sorry. I don’t think I have. I can’t imagine doing that. I feel like my face hurts to saying that because I’d be slapped. [laughs]

Selena: Good. I’m glad you feel that.

Ryan: Little Pavlov’s dog. You say…

Selena: But if you’ve never said it…[both laughs]

Ryan: We’re going to answer a question real fast. We got about five minutes to do this. But I want to make sure we’re going to make a habit of doing answering these questions. I’m just going to read the whole thing. It’s long.

Selena: Okay.

Ryan: She says, “Back in Episode 23, you touched briefly on how to respect your spouse when you don’t see eye to eye on something that you feel is a moral issue. My husband and I run a business and have very different views when it comes to finances and what is biblically right and wrong. Everyone we talked to seems to think it’s a gray area, and that “everyone does it,” quote-unquote, which just seems to validate his views. It has been years that we seem to compromise on the issue only to find out that he has been doing things behind my back and lying to me about them. So I guess my question is this, how can I respect my husband within this realm? Do I submit and allow him to run the business this way even though I feel that it’s wrong because this causes a lack of transparency within our marriage? Or do I continue to try and stand up for what I believe is right? All that seems to do is cause him to do things behind my back?”

Selena: Hmm, that’s a hard spot. I think there are real questions here because we aren’t given exactly where they’re…

Ryan: We don’t know exactly what’s going on.

Selena: Right. Sorry.

Ryan: So we can’t speak to…

Selena: …the issues. But we can speak to the red flags and what it’s indicating. She’s asking the question: how do I respect my husband when he’s doing things that I feel don’t deserve respect?

Ryan: That are against her conscience?

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: Right. And that’s a huge thing. What comes to mind for me is 1 Corinthians when Paul talks about things being permissible, but not beneficial. So this is what I think that when I think in terms of gray areas. We have a sense of conscience in us and we are taught not to do things that would put a stumbling block in front of other people or to go against… You know, for love of each other, we don’t do things that are going to cause each other to stumble.

Paul says, “All things are lawful to me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be enslaved by anything. Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food and God will destroy both one and the other.” Anyway, he’s talking about basically using discretion in certain areas.

Another one is I think chapter 10. It says, “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” This is the example I was really thinking of. “Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. For ‘the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.’ If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. But if someone says to you, ‘This has been offered in sacrifice,’ then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience—I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

So basically, it’s saying, for the sake, right? Not for your sake, but for the good of his neighbor. Let no one seek his own good, but for the good of his neighbor. So all to say is, as a husband, if you had a yellow or a red flag in an area like that, I think it’s an opportunity to be generous. There’s a lot of these gray areas in life and in marriage. And if one of you feel strongly about it, and I’m of the school of thought… I think this is what Paul is saying is that the one who doesn’t feel strongly about it, maybe isn’t convicted by it, [00:55:00] but can out of love for the other submit in this way. I’m guessing it’s probably something to do with taxes or write-offs or expenses, or how you’re quoting jobs or how you are actually performing the work.

Selena: Right. Right.

Ryan: So there are some ethics, I think, depending on the actual situation. But in general, if there’s a gray area, I think it’s an opportunity to be generous toward each other. Now, in terms of do you submit and allow him to run the business in this way even though you feel it’s wrong…

Selena: I don’t really think it’s a question of submission, to be honest.

Ryan: Yeah, I think submissions may be the wrong word. I think do you acquiesce and do choose not to make it a big issue? The bottom line is if you feel a check in your conscience and he doesn’t feel that same check, then you probably need to talk about it more to get on the same page.

Selena: Right. Because lying and letting him just do that is not going to build any sort of real unity or reconciliation between you two.

Ryan: Honestly, just reading this not knowing the situation fully, the fact that it’s causing a lack of transparency in your marriage, to me is a huge red flag. I mean, whatever it is, it has to go. It’s non-negotiable no. Because that’s how things start. That’s how division begins. And if ever you’re not in unity or something, the thing that’s causing disunity has to go. And there’s no level of tax write-off or whatever that to me is worth sacrificing that. Or maybe you just need to get on the same page. Maybe your husband has a good point, maybe there is more reason to believe that it’s not unethical or unlawful.

Selena: But it’s worth the continued conversation. Absolutely.

Ryan: If it’s actually against the law, then that’s that. [both chuckles]

Selena: Right, that’s that. [chuckles]

Ryan: And man, I hate paying taxes, but I love driving on paved roads.

Selena: There’s that.

Ryan: Anyway, hope that’s helpful. It’s hard to speak to a situation that’s so kind of specific, but hopefully, the heart of it was conveyed there. So Selena, will you pray for us as we close out? Is that too abrupt?

Selena: No.

Ryan: Okay, go for it.

Selena: God, thank you so much for the time that we get to be just transparent and open about the struggles we face and how you’ve led us through some of these hard times, and you still continue to be faithful in showing us how to love each other through our words. I pray for every couple out there that might be dealing with struggling to communicate well to each other. God, I pray that your word would shine light on the way to go. I pray that Holy Spirit you would do a work in their heart and that you would motivate them to want to love each other through their words, to ask you for help, to examine their ways God so that they can know your way more and walk in your path. We love you, God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ryan: All right. Amen. This has been a fun episode. I’ve learned something. I hope it’s helped you, I hope it’s blessed you, and I hope it’s given you something to think about, and to hopefully make your marriage more God-honoring and healthier. Yeah. With that said, this episode is—

Selena: In the can.

Ryan: All right, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for listening to the Fierce Marriage podcast. We will see you again in seven days. And until then—

Selena: Stay fierce.

[00:58:07] <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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