Challenges, Podcast, Purpose

Calling Us Out to Draw Us In

God calls us out of our hiding, not for our shame, but so that we may flourish in fulfilling our ultimate purpose: to glorify him. This description is short, because I’m writing it as we wait for Selena to have our third daughter! Carry on… we hope this episode blesses you!

Transcript Shownotes

Subscribe to the Fierce Marriage Podcast on iTunes
Subscribe to the Fierce Marriage Podcast on Google Play
Subscribe to the Fierce Marriage Podcast on Spotify
Subscribe to the Fierce Marriage Podcast via RSS

Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned

  • [00:05:02]
    • Scripture reference:
      • Genesis 3:8-12, paraphrase, ESV
  • [00:09:59]
  • [00:15:01]
    • Scripture references:
      • John 11:27 quote taken from the ESV.
      • John 11:41 reference point:
        • Scripture paraphrased from John 11:38-39, ESV.
      • John 11:41-44, ESV.
        • Selena quotes a paraphrase when she refers back to the original scripture, starting at John 11:42 with the word, “but.”
      • John 11:14, paraphrase, ESV.
  • [00:24:57]
    • Scripture references:
      • 1 John 1:7
      • Mark 5:35-43, paraphrase, ESV
      • Luke 8, ESV
  • [00:40:03]
    • Scripture reference:
      • 1 John 1:7
  • [00:44:58]
    • Parks & Rec information:
      • https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1266020/

Full Episode Transcript

Selena:
Alright! Today we are talking about [Pauses] being called out so you can be drawn in.

Ryan:
Ooh. Ooh, I like that. Dichotomy of phrase!

Selena:
That was me.

Ryan:
Calling us out—

Selena:
That was me.

Ryan:
That can be one of those phrases that feels like an outrage culture.

Selena:
Yes!

Ryan:
Right? It’s like, “I’m calling you out!”

Selena:
Calling you out!

Ryan:
That’s not what we’re talking about.

Selena:
Nope! We’re going to—Well, we’ll define the terms here.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
We’ll talk about this and dissect what it means to be called out in order to be drawn in. [Breathes in] But first, we have to see you on the other side.

[00:00:27]

<Intro Sequence>

[00:00:57]
Ryan:
Alright, well done. Okay, I’ll give you a B on that— [Both chuckle] on that—

Selena:
We’ll see you on the other side— We’re already—

Ryan:
There ya go!

Selena:
On the other—

Ryan:
Uup! Too late.

Selena:
Side, though.

Ryan:
Too late.

Selena:
I just can’t—Yeah.

Ryan:
No redemption. Not here! [Both laugh]

Selena:
Not on a podcast.

Ryan:
[Laughing] Not today!

Selena:
You can—Cut! [Laughing]

Ryan:
Yeah. [Selena laughing] Yeah. So… But this conversation comes from a place in our own marriage where we’ve really experienced the graciousness. I mean I’m sure you have too, listener—

Selena:
Mm. [Sniffles]

Ryan:
As well. But God calls us [Pauses] out of places of darkness into living in the light.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
And we’ll talk exactly through the scri—We’re going to go through, what? Is it John 11?

Selena:
Yep.

Ryan:
Today we’re going to through—

Selena:
John 11, Mark 5.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And…

Ryan:
And specifically look at how God has, through Christ, has called people out in stories in the New Testament, but also what that could mean for us as people now reading—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
God’s word, and what it should mean, how we can read into it. And it’s been so transformational for us.

Selena:
Absolutely.

Ryan:
I think that’s why we want to share it. And actually, it comes from our latest book that we’re currently editing which will be released next year. It’s called See Through Marriage. So…

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
We’re talking through some of that as well. So… Yeah! Let’s do some housekeeping first.

Selena:
Housekeeping!

Ryan:
Make this one fast. Hey! Our Patreon-supporters, as we call them, thank you for your patronage. We actually have [Selena chuckles] transcriptions coming!

Selena:
Patronage… Woo!

Ryan:
We have transcriptions—

Selena:
That’s awesome!

Ryan:
Coming, and we have an amazing—

Selena:
Transcriber?

Ryan:
Transcriber. She—We’re kind of in a trial run right now, but she is doing a phenomenal job from what—from the examples we’ve already gotten. So, we’re getting ready to figure out how to release those in a way that is most useful to you. But that is possible because of our generous patreons—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Who are on mission with us. So, if you want to be on mission with Fierce Marriage and what we’re doing, we’re basically making God’s plan and design for marriage loud and clear, as much as people will listen. We’re going to put it out there on the interwebs… [Selena chuckles] for people to hear it, and to see it, and to experience God’s plan for marriage.

Now, if you want to be a part of that mission, you can do so at patreon.com/fiercemarriage. P-A-T-R-E-O-N.com/fiercemarriage. We just ask that you pray about it! You ask God to lead you in that, and if He leads you, just to act on His leadership.

Secondly, thank you if you’ve left a rating and review. If you haven’t done so yet on iTunes, please do so! It helps us tremendously. Blesses us, but it also blesses other listeners who are maybe thinking about listening to this podcast. [Ryan inhales] Write a little comment. Just say what is one thing—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
That you’ve gotten out of this.

Selena:
It’s a little thing that really goes a long way.

Ryan:
It goes—It does really go a long way, and it lives online for a long time, and it helps lots of people.

Selena:
A big bang for the little buck!

Ryan:
Ooh! I like that! [Selena laughs] That’s a deal! Real steal of a deal!

And then the final one is if you have a question, we’re actually going to answer two questions today…

Selena:
Oh!

Ryan:
A light-hearted one and then a deep-hearted, a heavy hearted one. I don’t know. [Ryan laughs] Funny one and a serious one! I’ll put it that way. [Selena laughs] But you can ask questions at fiercemarriage.com/podcast. There’s a button there, or you can call or text this number: 971-333-1120.

Okay! What do you got?

Selena:
So, going into our discussion, again, it stemmed out of what Ryan said. We, in our new book that’s coming out in a few months called See Through Marriage, we are talking about how God calls us out, right? And how He is not—It’s not… This whole “calling out” phrase, it sounds really harsh, like you’re being caught doing something wrong!

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
You’re sinning in your marriage. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about—We envision we all have these “sin caves,” we call them.

Ryan:
Or shame, or fear…

Selena:
Or sh— Yeah!

Ryan:
Or doubt.

Selena:
Yeah. There’s something that we’re dealing with, and we’re not really allowing God’s word—

Ryan:
We’re hiding.

Selena:
We’re hiding! Okay. That’s good.

Ryan:
Yeah. We’re being called out of our hiding [Inaudible].

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
So, when we’re in this cave, God’s word, who He is, is calling us out of it and into the light, and into His presence. And we see this happen throughout the Bible. There’s a ton of stories, obviously—

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
But we’re, of course, if you start with Genesis 3, the first calling out… We have to remember that when God calls us out, it’s an act of love.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
This is not this public flogging of your sin.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
This is God calling me out because He loves me the most, He cares about me, and He wants me to be brought into the light, and He wants us to be reconciled and healed. Anyways. We’ll get there fir—Let’s—

[00:05:02]
Ryan:
And it’s always into a place of healing [Selena clears her throat] and a place of holiness, righteousness, for our good, for God’s glory.

Selena:
And purpose! Which, again—

Ryan:
And for His purpose.

Selena:
We’ll— Yeah.

Ryan:
Are we gonna read this? Genesis 3.

Selena:
Yes! I think it’s good to re—We got a lot of scripture here, but I think it’s good because there’s some key phrases in here.

So, Genesis 3:8-12. “And they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife—”

Ryan:
So, let’s lay the groundwork here.

Selena:
“Hid themselves…”

Ryan:
They had sinned. They had committed original sin.

Selena:
Yep.

Ryan:
This was in the garden—

Selena:
They ate the apple.

Ryan:
Of Eden. It was all perfect. There’s—Not an apple. It was the “fruit.”

Selena:
“Fruit.”

Ryan:
[Chuckles]It wasn’t an apple tree of good and evil!

Selena:
Alright.

Ryan:
Or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
So, whatever the fruit was… Sorry, I just, I’m—

Selena:
I like apples.

Ryan:
I’m very specific.

Selena:
How do you like them apples? [Ryan laughs and Selena chuckles] Yes!

Ryan:
So, that’s what’s happening—

Selena:
Fruit.

Ryan:
And they had just fallen. Humankind had just fallen to sin.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
And now God is pursuing them and calling them out.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And here’s what He says…

Selena:
I like to make big assumptions here, people. [Laughs]

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
[Selena laughs] Everybody knows Genesis 3, right? [Both chuckling] I’m just kidding. Sorry. Thank you for sharing that. So..

Ryan:
Start at the beginning again. Yeah.

Selena:
Start at the beginning again? “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. And the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.’” Verse 11, “He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you—’”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
“’Eaten of the trees of which I commanded you not to eat?’”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
“The man said, ‘The woman who you gave to me to be with, she gave me fruit of the tree and I ate.’”

Ryan:
“It was her fault!” [Selena chuckles] “It was her fault.” [Ryan chuckles] You like how he’s just passing the buck there, like completely [Selena chuckles] exonerating himself, and…

Selena:
The Lord calls the husband, [Chuckles] the man—

Ryan:
Relegating responsibility. [Laughs]

Selena:
[Chuckling] Yes, and she was just like, he’s like—

Ryan:
So, he’s asking her, and he just—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Says, “Oop. Nope.” God’s asking him—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And Adam say, “Welp, look at her! She—”

Selena:
Let me clarify, God. [Ryan laughs] Let me just clarify [Selena laughs] what happened here in this situation.

Ryan:
We do that a lot in marriage.

Selena:
The key phrase here, I think, again, is “Where are you?” It’s not because God didn’t know where they were.

Ryan:
[Chuckles] Right! He wasn’t wondering. He wasn’t like, “Oh no!”

Selena:
“I lost’em!” [Laughs]

Ryan:
“I lost’em. Where’d they go?” [Ryan chuckles and Selena laughs] I had one job—”

Selena:
I just created them! [Laughing]

Ryan:
“To do!” [Both laughing] “And they died on me.” No, He knew they were—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
He knew what had happened. He had seen it all.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
He had watched them run and hide, and here, instead of just saying, and just smiting them—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Right? Or just bearing His wrath on them…

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
He is—What? He’s walking… It sounds like a very serene—

Selena:
Well, it’s…

Ryan:
Kind of still before the storm.

Selena:
It’s—Yeah. He’s the perfect parent right here! Right? He’s just the perfect parent who is walking towards his children, knowing that they have sinned, knowing that they have disobeyed and broken His trust, broken what He’s called them to, and He’s questioning them. He’s not just, and this is part of the calling out, He’s questioning them because He wants them to see…

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
He wants them to know; He wants them to understand and experience the depth, I think, of the decisions that they made in their disobedience.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
So, He’s not just like, “Adam and Eve, get out here right now! I’ve got to talk to you!” Right? He’s saying, “Where are you?” And then He wants them to acknowledge their fear and their nakedness; He wants them to acknowledge and see their need for Him.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
When we tell our kids things, I don’t feel like it always hits them the same way as when we ask them questions—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
In order for them to understand and gain knowledge, and “Okay. I made this wrong decision, and this is what happens because I made this wrong decision.” And it sticks more! Right?

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
You internalize it deeper.

Ryan:
[Inhales] Right. So, He’s lovingly parenting them in this—

Selena:
By calling them out.

Ryan:
In calling them out, and saying, “Where are you?” And their response, again, “I was afraid because I was naked.” Now, if you go back to Genesis 2, it says the man and wife were together. They were naked and unashamed.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And this was a beautiful picture of the consummation of their marriage, and the freedom and the innocence present in the Garden before the fall. And then now, Adam is admitting… I mean, imagine this! Had never felt fear, had never felt shame.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
And now he’s saying, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid. And so, I was naked, and so I hid myself.” Never before had he felt fear or shame, and now, all the sudden, it’s there. And then God lovingly asks, “Who told you you were naked?”

Selena:
And, “Have you eaten of the fruit?” He’s asking these questions. The questions are the calling out.

Ryan:
[Clears throat] Yeah. And so, the parallel here is in marriage, many times, we feel the Holy Spirit calling us out of this place of dark—and again, it’s not calling out, like, “I’m calling out your sin!” It’s He’s calling us out of a hiding place, and saying, “I know what you’ve done. Just own it, tell it, and confess it, and repent from it. Turn from it, because that’s the path of health for you.

Selena:
Well, and He’s calling us to know Him more. Right?

Ryan:
Yeah.

[00:09:59]
Selena:
‘Cause a lot of times, we might get into these situations because we are believing lies or believing a wrong perception of the character of God, or we just don’t know it, right?

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And God is saying, “Who told you these things? The sin that you’re engaging in, the darkness, the things that are binding you up, so to speak, in your marriage, who told you that you had to be under the control of these things? Who told you that you had to succumb and give in to this addiction, or talk to your wife that way, or be marri—Who told you that this was the way that marriage was supposed to be?”

Ryan:
Hm.

Selena:
You know? And so—

Ryan:
Yeah. Who’s lie are you believing?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Yeah. Can we—We have two more key passages we want to look through.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
To kind of display this characteristic, or how God calls us lovingly out of our hiding.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
But first, I want to kind of look at how we might do this in marriage.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Okay? So, how do we do this—How do we hide in marriage, in our shame? Okay. The clear example is any sort of infidelity or maybe pornography addiction. A lot of husbands and wives have dealt with or are actively dealing with the shame and the fear surrounding that. The fear of rejection if they come clean with their sin, that the doubt that if they come clean, it will be for their health.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
They think that if they don’t confess the sin, it’s better if I don’t tell you that I’ve been watching porn for the last ten years, because it will just hurt you too much.

Selena:
Right. It’s sure to hurt you. Yeah.

Ryan:
So, I’m just going to bury it; I know it’s wrong, but I’m going to try to deal with it on my own. And as I deal with it, I’m going to continually stumble; I’m going to continually feel alienated from you, alienated from God—

Selena:
Your—And me as a wife, I’m going to feel alienated—

Ryan:
You’re going to feel it anyways!

Selena:
From you. Yeah!

Ryan:
And so, that’s a lie that we tend to believe.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And that’s how we tend to hide—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
In that area. Or, I made a huge mistake maybe recently or in the past, where I have been unfaithful to you. Obviously, these are all theoreticals for us, but—

Selena:
Well, and I think that for us it may come down to, “Why did you avoid this conversation?” or “Why did you get so angry and defensive when I asked you about something?” or “Why did you feel like we needed to spend money here and we didn’t talk about it?” or I think there’s always big and small ways we hide.

Ryan:
Here’s a really big one. Okay. And we’re going to talk about Jairus’ daughter. This morning we talked for I don’t know how long, 40 minutes, a half hour, before we got on here.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
I think we’ve mentioned it in the past, but there’s an account on Instagram. It’s kind of blown up, but it’s LindsayLetters.co, I think is the—or LindsayLettersCo, and her husband, I think, Dugan “Sherbondy” I think is how you say it. Their daughter has fell and had injured her head and had suffered severe brain damage as a result. And so, for about the last, well, 40 days… So, almost eight—What’s it? Yeah. So, it’s been… My math is way off. Six weeks! Okay? So, it’s been six weeks since this happened, and I’ve wept over this story. I do not know why. You and I have talked about this. I don’t know. We’ve talked about it a lot. Our girls are praying for her name’s Ava Love. We’ve been praying for her; I fasted to be on board with asking God to heal weeks ago. And, this recently, Dugan was praying and felt in his spirit that God was going to heal her in this, the 40th day of her injury, because the number 40 is significant in scripture. Anyway! God hasn’t healed her the way that he wanted him to heal her. And so, I’ve been struggling with that a lot. Okay? And that doubt. Okay. And I say all that because it’s really good for my heart to struggle with, “Why isn’t God called her out of that place?” and “Why isn’t God using the faith of her dad, the faith of the community around them?” Hundreds of thousands of people are surrounding them.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And praying. It’s really an amazing testimony of the church rallying.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And a unifying qualities of our faith, right? But He hasn’t healed in the way that we all want.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
So, I’ve been struggling with that doubt a lot, and so it’s really easy for me to kind of hide and suppress that, and not actually face it, but instead, today, we talked through that. And it was, I think it was a way of you calling me out of my doubt into a place of faith, into a place of trust. And that’s exactly what it is! It’s bitter. It’s not bittersweet; it’s just bitter. I just want it to stop; I just want this situation to be fixed. I just want God to heal this little girl.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And He hasn’t. So, it tastes very bitter and you say, “No, it doesn’t. ‘Cause your God is good.” And I’m saying, “No. It doesn’t taste good.” And you’re saying, “You have to trust that He is good.” [Laughs]

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
And [Sniffles] that, I think, you’re calling me out of a place of doubt into a place of faith, and so, I think that’s a really kind of, I don’t know, it feels more abstract way of being called out, but I think a lot of times, we talk about this conversation. This conversation usually surrounds sin and shame, but really there’s a doubt component of it as well.

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
And there’s a faith and a discipleship component of it as well.

[00:15:01]
Selena:
Absolutely! Absolutely! And we are going to talk about Jairus’ daughter in just a minute, but we did want to talk about the death of Lazarus.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
And definitely read John 11, all the verses leading up to it, like 1-40. They’re packed full of good stuff because it’s talking about the death of Lazarus and Jesus is coming, and He talks about His death—

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
And the people don’t understand, and they’re trying to understand. So, again, you see this struggle of doubt and understanding and human rationalization with God, right? [Laughs]

Ryan:
Mm. Yeah.

Selena:
Literally, with Jesus. And so, Jesus is on His way to the tomb; he’s talking to Mary and Martha. He is asking, “Do you believe this?” Like, “Do you believe that I am?” And she says in verse 27, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” And then it talks about Jesus weeping, and people trying to rationalize and understand His response to Lazarus’ death, because we know that Mary and Martha He loved, and Lazarus He loved. And so, there’s obviously a deep relationship there, and in verse, I think, 41 is where it starts. So, Jesus was deeply moved again, and He says, “Take away the stone,” and verse 40, “Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?’ So,” verse 41, “they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that You sent me.’ When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The man who had died came out, his hands and feet were bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
There’s a lot of parallels, a lot of metaphors, a lot of things to draw out. And I think, again, the key here for us… There’s two keys. I would say that Jesus is saying, “I knew,” in verse 42, “that you always hear me.” He’s talking to God. He knows God [Ryan clears his throat] hears him. He knows that this moment was already planned and ordained and He is walking through this. “…But I said this on the account of the people standing around, that they may believe that You sent me.” And then the last part is—Maybe I’m brushing over that too fast. I think that [Selena pauses] God doesn’t just use our calling out for our good, but He can use it for those—

Ryan:
Wow!

Selena:
Around us as well.

Ryan:
I mean, that goes all the way back to verse 14.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
So, this is John 11:14, “Then Jesus told them plainly.” [Ryan chuckles] Love that [Selena chuckles] adverb. Plainly he said, “’Lazarus has died, and for your sake I’m glad I was not there—’”

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
“’So that you may believe. But let us go to him.’”

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
So, here, that’s exactly what He said, is that our God calling us out of these darker places in our marriage, and life in general, is not just—

Selena:
It’s not about us. [Laughs]

Ryan:
It’s not just about us. [Selena laughing] First and foremost, it’s about God’s glory.

Selena:
Always.

Ryan:
It’s about His purposes is what we’ve talked about there.

Selena:
We’ve touched on. Yeah.

Ryan:
He’s not calling us out just to shame us.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
But it’s to greater magnify His own glory, then it’s about our good, our sanctification—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Because we’re always going to be at our best when we are most reliant on Him, and most glorifying Him.

Selena:
Did you hear what you just said there?

Ryan:
[Ryan inhales deeply] Uhh… [Selena laughs] I don’t like it when you do that. [Ryan laughs]

Selena:
Sorry! [Both laughing]

Ryan:
Yeah. And so, we’re at our healthiest [Selena chuckles] when we are most trusting Him, even though it doesn’t always feel good. [Ryan chuckles]

Selena:
Maybe our health might not be good, but our spirit is being renewed. And the key phrase here, too, I think—

Ryan:
I wanted to finish.

Selena:
Oh, I’m sorry.

Ryan:
And then—

Selena:
I won’t cut you off. Go ahead.

Ryan:
So, it’s God’s glory, it’s our own good ‘cause we’re giving Him glory, but then it’s also so that others might have faith and experience His goodness and, in turn, turn and give Him glory. So…

Selena:
Right. And, experience this, when Jesus said to Lazarus, to the people around him, “Unbind him, and let him go.” That’s huge! That’s huge!

Ryan:
Mm. Yeah

Selena:
He’s literally bound, was in death, bound with the burial clothes, all of that, around his body, and Jesus says, “Unbind him, and let him go. He is no longer in that place of death. He is no longer in that dark tomb. I have called him out, let him go!”

Ryan:
“Be free!” in other words.

Selena:
And I think, be—Yeah! He’s calling him to freedom.

Ryan:
Live as you are, free.

Selena:
Right. And we’re going to unpack that a little more.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
But I think, just to hear the words of Jesus, “Just unbind him, and let him go.” That is why we’re being called out.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
There’s so much underneath that, that Jesus is calling us to. Right?

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
He’s calling us out of the tomb to draw us into the freedom that He has, and especially and most importantly was the relationship with our spouse and in our marriage.

Ryan:
Yeah. One clear example of this is a friend couple of ours, they have been through a tremendous amount of heartache over the last two years.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Due to, really, they’re both baby Christians. Before they came to saving faith in Christ, they were living as people who are unregenerate, and he had an affair on her, and then there was all kinds of pornography, all kinds of brokenness, all kinds of—

[00:20:15]
Selena:
Sexual abuse.

Ryan:
Sexual abuse, even to the point where she was having lots of identity problems with career and all that kind of stuff, and really it was just a big kind of mess. Right? And they would be the first ones to tell you that. And we’ve been able to see because God has called them out of that place of hiddenness, because they initially respond to the Gospel. They know that they’re new, but there’s still this unbinding—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And this, that is happening to them as a result of being called out of their death.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
They’ve been called to new life; they got baptized, which was unbelievably amazing to watch.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And now they’re living as people regenerate, already, but not yet; the unbinding is still happening.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And as witnesses, we are exactly what Jesus was talking about. He didn’t just immediately heal them and fix them, but instead, for our sake, He’s glad He was not there so that we may believe. So that we can see God actually moving and we are then—Like, oftentimes, I’ll be talking to the husband of this couple, and I talk to him and I’m just marveling at what God has done.

Selena:
Same with his wife.

Ryan:
How He has pulled out his heart of stone and replaced it with a heart of flesh, and to see his heart of flesh now thumping with the heartbeat of God…

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And I’m just amazed, and it moves me to tears.

Selena:
Yeah. Well, and how—

Ryan:
I don’t ever cry in front of him because then he…

Selena:
He’ll make fun of you.

Ryan:
[Laughs] Yeah, he’ll make fun of me. But I want to—

Selena:
But—Yeah. The way that they articulate how their faith and what God has brought them through is not what a baby Christian, I feel like, would be saying. The things that they say are very articulate. They’re very obvious that the Spirit is at work and alive in them.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
And I think that, again, that’s just a testimony to the unbinding happening, and I think that—And I just like that Jesus, this is another thing that was not in our notes, but Jesus said to them, so, the people around him, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
The community that was watching this happen, they’re telling them, “Unbind him. Unbind him. Unbind him and let him go.” And so, how true is that?

Ryan:
Wow. The more I think about this, the more profound it gets.

Selena:
Right. [Chuckles]

Ryan:
Because… You have Lazarus dead.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Dead. Complete—

Selena:
For four days, and—

Ryan:
Like, stinking…

Selena:
They’re telling Jesus, “He’s going to stink.” So, [Laughing] please don’t open the tomb.

Ryan:
Yeah. And it’s going to be offensive. And so, there’s a process of things that happens.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
There’s a… from death to life; there’s the actual resurrection…

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
That happened. And then there’s the calling out.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Calling out of that place of darkness, calling out of that place of death.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
You are no longer in this state, so get out of the place.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
You’re no longer dead, so get out of death itself. [Chuckles] Right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And so, as married couples, as believers, I just want to bring this back around… Jesus is calling us to new life, but He’s calling us out, right? We’ve heard that there’s always the popular phrase, “Come as you are,” right? I’m a Nirvana fan; the band [Selena chuckles], not the place. [Ryan laughs] And that’s, you know, I need to be sanctified maybe a little bit more [Selena laughs], but… Aberdeen’s a town that’s close to us, and their motto for the town is, “Come as you are,” [Selena chuckles] ‘cause that’s where they came from; that’s one of their songs.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
But people say God calls you to come as you are, but it starts to grate on us when we realize that He doesn’t let us stay that way.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Come as you are, but don’t stay that way.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And that’s where He’s calling us out of the places of darkness in our sanctification. So—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Again, I want to route this in marriage. We talked about the infidelity piece, the pornography piece, how we can be called out of a place of death into a place of light; and what does a place of light look like? Confessing the sin to each other.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Getting help.

Selena:
Well, including getting community around you.

Ryan:
Getting community.

Selena:
And being transparent.

Ryan:
Getting people to help unbind you.

Selena:
Exactly.

Ryan:
‘Cause there’s these neuro—You know, from—

Selena:
Lazarus couldn’t—I mean, maybe he could have shaken out of the… [Both laughing] the bindings, you know? I just imagine, like… But he’s just being—

Ryan:
Selena’s doing a little shimmy right now. [Chuckles]

Selena:
He’s just been resurrected from four days of death.

Ryan:
He’s probably a little, yeah…

Selena:
He might be a little stiff [Ryan chuckles], and [Selena chuckles]— That maybe came out wrong. [Ryan laughs] But that… You know what I mean!

Ryan:
Yeah. No. Yeah

Selena:
Physically! Like, just the pure physiology of it all—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Is a huge aspect, and then to be bound up, right? Your body is bound up with the way that they buried people back then. And he needs people around him to unbind him, and to let him go, and to help him walk in that freedom, and to take care of him until he’s able to…

Ryan:
Right. So, what are some other examples within a marriage? I’m thinking of if you’ve got a family of origin… A family story that—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
You were abused in your past.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Kay? It’s not necessarily you sinned, but you were sinned against.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And there is shame that’s associated with that.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And fear of intimacy.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And not just physical, but emotional intimacy—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Spiritual intimacy. Maybe there was abuse. Emotional, physical, spiritual abuse that’s happened.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
How is God calling us out of that death—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Into the light?

Selena:
Right.

[00:24:57]
Ryan:
Out of the—Yeah. How has He brought new life in that area, and how is He asking us to actively walk out and be unbound?

Selena:
Mm…

Ryan:
So, there’s three parts to this. There’s the call, like the life-giving call…

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Then there’s the walking out.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And it’s the walking in faith. Walking in the light, as 1 John talks about. We’re called to walk in the light, not sit in the light or look at the light but walk in it.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Walk in light of who Christ is, and walk in His way, the way of Christ. [Inhales] And then there’s the community aspect of unbinding.

Selena:
Mm…

Ryan:
Right? Without any one of those things, the story of Lazarus would not really be a thing.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Well, there’s all those things that all of those parts of it are happening.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
[Inhales] And so, in the case of maybe you have a past that you’re having to work through…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
[Deeply inhales] God’s called you out of that, but then there’s an act of walking in faith and trusting.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Maybe that means getting help from a counselor.

Selena:
[Inhales] Right. [Exhales]

Ryan:
Getting help from whatever, and community.

Selena:
Well, and I think that there’s a continual unbinding of our sin and darkness, right? ‘Cause we are marred by sin. We are broken on this side of eternity, and God is continually using, I think, community to unbind us. Using community to call us out in our anger, maybe, or our belief of lies, or our bad theology [Laughs]. Maybe there’s things we’re just believing that just aren’t true about God and about His character, and about how He wants His church to operate or whatever. [Inhales] So, the unbinding, I think, it’s so beautiful in that it can start so deeply, and it can start with something so raw and so dark as death…

Ryan:
Mm…

Selena:
Like, death even of a marriage that feels like it’s dead. You’re married, technically, but there’s been a huge death of trust. And then there’s also these other layers of… Okay, now maybe we’re not dealing with that, but we’re dealing with some real anger issues, some real frustrating deception that we can’t understand, we can’t overcome, and God is allowing and saying to our community, “This is how we love each other. Unbind each other and let each other go!” Like, shisp!

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Bring them to Jesus! You know? [Chuckles] So…

Ryan:
Wow.

Selena:
I think there’s just a lot there to be unpacked in terms of marriage, community, and our sin and the death…

Ryan:
Mm. And trying to hit the pool.

Selena:
That we experience.

Ryan:
I just want to hit the full spectrum here, because finally if you are—maybe you just have terrible communication [Selena chuckles] as a couple…

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Or maybe you’ve neglected caring for your sex life. Okay.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
That’s a really weird way to put that, maybe, but you’ve—

Selena:
You mean intentional, yeah.

Ryan:
Neglected nurturing a health sex life and a healthy communication around it. And maybe calling you out of the darkness is to say…

Selena:
Maybe you’re blinded to here it is!

Ryan:
Walk in a place of health in this. And maybe have conversations that you’ve been maybe too lazy to have, or you’ve just not taken the [Inhales] time—

Selena:
Or ask those hard questions.

Ryan:
To think through.

Selena:
“Are there some areas in my life that I’m just not seeing?” Ask those trusted community friends of—[Inhales]

Ryan:
Yeah! “Where are my blind spots?”

Selena:
Yeah!

Ryan:
“Am I kind to my wife when you see me interact with my wife?”

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
“Am I speaking to her in a way that’s loving and not condescending?”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“Or dismissive?”

Selena:
Yeah. “How am I talking about my husband when we’re— “

Ryan:
“Am I too passive with her?”

Selena:
“In a group of ladies?” Yeah.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
“Am I throwing him under the bus, or am I really, like…” [Ryan chuckles] “how am I talking about my husband in a group of ladies?”

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
You know, “What’s my overall tone and approach when talking about the man that God has given me?”

Ryan:
Right. [Selena inhales] Yeah, that’s good!

Selena:
So, I think we’ll move on to this last story, because we do have a lot of other things to unpack and another, I think, a question from some of our listeners. So, or two. You had two. But just talking about Jairus’ daughter; there’s two accounts: Mark 5 and Luke 8. We’re going to read Mark 5:35-43.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
And there’s a phrase in there that we want to talk about, of course.

Ryan:
Want me to read it?

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
I’ll read it. So, “While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’ But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ And He allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why are you making this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha cumi,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them give her something to eat.”

Selena:
Mm. So, I think—

Ryan:
That’s funny.

Selena:
The phrase that—

Ryan:
It’s the “Do not fear.”

Selena:
Has really stuck out—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Is verse 36, when Jesus said to the ruler of the Synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
So, this is the father of the daughter. “Do not fear, only believe.” “Do not fear, only believe.” So—

Ryan:
Yeah. Which is so hard. That’s exactly why I’ve been struggling with that story, and what we talked about earlier…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

[00:29:58]
Ryan:
Is that [Scoffs]—To be honest, I don’t want to just not fear. I want Jesus to say, “Do not fear. Understand this. Get it!”

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
“And also believe.” [Laughs]

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
[Laughing] He’s not saying—He says—

Selena:
No.

Ryan:
“Do not fear, only believe.”

Selena:
Mm…

Ryan:
And he calls her out of this place of death, and does something that we absolutely couldn’t have, you know…

Selena:
You can’t rationalize and make happen.

Ryan:
Can’t rationalize it!

Selena:
And, I think just the progression—[Clears throat] Excuse me!—in the scriptures that we’re reading of just Genesis 3, where are [Someone clears throat in the background] you seeing God, again, calling us out, asking us questions, coming to us and not allowing us to just live in this place. And then we see the death of Lazarus and how God is calling us out and asking us and the people around us to unbind him and let him go. [Inhales] And in these next steps of being unbound and being called out, there’s this “do not fear, only believe,” right? Because when bombs get dropped in marriage, [Inhales] there’s going to be a lot of fall out, there’s going to be a lot of hurt and pain and hard conversations, tears, and probably a lot of yelling.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
I mean, let’s just be honest. [Inhales] People are going—If there’s infidelity or any type of major trust issues that have happened, addictions, whatever, there’s going to be fall-out. We can’t deny that. We can’t live like there will be a few tears and it’s fine, right?

Ryan:
Any time there’s a damage of trust, it’s—

Selena:
You have to expect a bomb. [Laughs]

Ryan:
It’s exactly that! I mean, when someone pulls the carpet out from underneath you, whether it’s infidelity or something maybe less severe, you’re still going to feel betrayed.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
You’re going to still feel like they’ve broken your trust.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And there’s going to be damage there.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
So, I think havi—

Selena:
And there’s this—Yeah! And so, then there’s this, again, this calling out, this unbinding process. This is—I’m talking over long spans of time. And then there’s this next step, I feel like, of do not fear, only believe.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Like, do not fear. Yes, this fall out looks bad. Yes, this is hard. Yes, you’re hurting. Yes, there’s betrayal. Yes, you don’t understand all the reasons why these things happened. [Inhales] But, I’m telling you, don’t—Jesus is saying, “Don’t fear.”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
He says, “Only believe.” Don’t fear! So, where—how am I not believing? How am I—God, help my unbelief.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
How am I being afraid? How am I allowing fear to rule the day, sort of?

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Jesus is literally calling all of these people out of death: Lazarus, the little girl. Which is a powerful message to us.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
He’s literally saying, again, “Unbind. Let him go. Don’t fear, only believe.” [Inhales] This is our Savior calling us in our marriage out of a place of death.

Ryan:
Right. So, you said something that I don’t want to gloss over. And you said it’s over a long period of time—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Where we can see this calling out and this transformation’s unbinding happen.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
I want to—So, in both of these miracles, okay, they weren’t over time; they were instant!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Okay. But, here’s the thing. And so, we a lot of times we want our miracle, we require, rather—

Selena:
Mm…

Ryan:
Our miracle to also be instant. But you have to take all of what Jesus did, and who He was, into account, right? Jesus… Yes! A lot of the miracles He did were very fast, meaning that they happened within minutes and hours. [Sniffs in] But, look at the history of Israel.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Thousands and thousands of years, they were waiting for this Messiah, this long-awaited Messiah. Jesus arrived on the scene after 450-ish years of what they call the “Silence of Heaven.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Where the prophets, all their mouths were shut. [Selena chuckles] God was not speaking. So, we’re looking at 450 years, that’s older than our nation by a lot, okay? So, they are wondering where is this God, who people say walked us through the desert, out of Egypt, and across the Red Sea. Where’s this “God”? They’re all doubting ‘cause, you know what? There miracle’s not just taking a few months, a few years; it’s taking a few hundred years. [Ryan inhales]

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Right?

Selena:
A few decades, right? [Chuckles briefly]

Ryan:
Yeah. A long, long time. And so, finally, Jesus lands on the scene and He’s basically saying, “I’m here to fulfill this prophecy.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
So now the miracle’s there. [Inhales] And it’s the Messiah Himself. So, I just want to put that out there because I feel like so often we expect instant—Like, time is the enemy. Time is essentially cultural sin.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
We talked about this last night in our group. It’s like a cultural sin. If it takes longer than it should, you are sinning against me, [Chuckles] right?

Selena:
[Chuckling] Right.

Ryan:
That is such a cultural construct, and we have to realize that God is not bound.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
One of my professors said that He’s not bound in any sense by succession of moments. He’s not bound by time, in a linear sense.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
He can do what He wants! [Chuckles]

Selena:
Right?

Ryan:
[Chuckling] When He wants.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And so, a lot of times when we say it takes time to heal…

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
That should be encouraging!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
To know that your God is faithful, and that even over time He won’t give up.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Even over time, He hasn’t give up. And we see that—

Selena:
Well, and I—

Ryan:
In the arrival of Christ, but also in our life.

Selena:
And I think it’s hard for us in those times of waiting, to not develop the wrong expectations, and develop the wrong desires. And I feel like that’s where God is, again, calling us out, right? With our community groups, or with people that are around us, knowing the trials we’re walking through, [Inhales] saying, “Nope. Don’t fix your eyes on that idol. Don’t go there for peace. Don’t do this!” Like, “He’s walking you down this. You’ve got to trust the journey. You’ve got to trust—”

[00:35:12]
Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
“The process, and you’ve got to walk through it,” because we so badly want to get to the good so quickly. Like you said, we want to have the quick and the fast, and we just want to move on. We just want to feel good; we want to be better; we want all the things. And God’s like, “Yes! I want you to be healed. I want there to be reconciliation, but the way you’re trying to get at it, you’re not going to achieve what you really desire, because I—”

Ryan:
Well, and that’s where the trust comes in.

Selena:
Exactly.

Ryan:
It says only believe.

Selena:
Exactly.

Ryan:
Do not fear, only believe.

Selena:
Exactly.

Ryan:
‘Cause we fear that if it’s not here today, it’s never going to be here.

Selena:
Right!

Ryan:
That’s essentially what it comes down to.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
If I don’t feel healed now, it will never be healed. I’ll never feel healed. I’ll never… And Jesus is saying the opposite. He’s saying, “Do not fear, only believe.” God has told us to, in all of the New Testament letters, it’s like we run our race with perseverance. Right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
There’s no need for perseverance if everything’s instant.

Selena:
Right. And God uses the time to, I feel like, make His message that much more potent, right? Like, the 450 years of silence. And then Jesus did come, even with the people saying, “Wait. This is our God? We did not expect this! We wanted—Like, we thought Caesar, like a big god with gold and shiny things everywhere! Right? But he was born in a manger.”

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
It was just this whole opposite way. But it’s all fulfilling a purpose, down to the crevice of God’s design, right? And His plan.

Ryan:
Yeah. What gets me, too, is if you read on in John 11, you go past the Lazarus—Or, I’m sorry—

Selena:
The plot to kill Jesus.

Ryan:
Yeah. And so, you have all these people that are witnessing this…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And some people believed, but not everyone.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And so, we seem to assume that if we just had the miracle we want, if we get called out and have the resurrection “experience” that we want, the Lazarus experience, or whatever the story is, we think that if we get that miracle, then all of the sudden everybody’s going to miraculously just believe. And you know what? This actually triggered [Laughs] the plot to kill him.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And so, people who saw this, they did not say, “Oh look! The Son of God is here! The Messiah is here. Praise God!” They said—

Selena:
Verse 46.

Ryan:
“We got to kill that guy.”

Selena:
“They went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.” [Scoffs]

Ryan:
Yeah! And so, I think the thing that that’s pointing out for me is that our belief in Jesus’ goodness in His miracle and His calling us out, that belief that He’s calling us to [Inhales]…

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
It’s a function so much more of our heart than of our eyes.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
It’s a function of what our heart’s orientation is and not what our eyes have witnessed, and what we see—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Firsthand.

Selena:
Right!

Ryan:
And so, regardless of the miracle that happens, we are still called to be people of belief.

Selena:
Right. Right!

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And He’s so, just to kind of recap and overview some of the big reasons why God calls us out from things that are not of Him within our marriage [Inhales]—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
You know, He’s calling us, again, to life. He’s calling us to freedom. He questions us because He loves us. He’s not an accuser of our sin. And He’s not surprised by it! He is calling us out because He’s created a better way. He wants us to know Him.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
He doesn’t want us to operate in fear. He wants us to live in faith.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
But those are words, right? What is that? The weight of those words is huge!

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
And He wants us to believe in Him. And one of the ways that He causes us to do this are walking through darkness sometimes.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
And being in—Again, He uses our sin. He uses those times of silence, right?

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
Not for our shame, and honestly not even for all of our—it’s not for our glory, right? It’s really all about Him! It’s all about Him. [Inhales] And when we respond and we see and experience God at work in and through us, others will see that as well.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
They’ll see that transformation. [Inhales] So, when we respond to Him calling us out, again, it leads us to the cross.

Ryan:
And the important distinction there is it’s His prerogative, not ours, right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
We don’t decide that people will—We’re going to let out light shine, and they’re going to see it. No. Jesus decides to walk us through in a way so that it will be for their good and His glory, right?

Selena:
Right!

Ryan:
And so, let’s ground this in marriage a little bit, and what does being called out look like in your marriage? I think that’s the conversation challenge.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Is ask yourselves, “How are we being called out as a couple and as individuals, called out of this place of darkness, whether it’s hiding shame, fear, regret, any sort of—”

Selena:
Just being chained up, right? ‘Cause, I mean…

Ryan:
Yeah! Any sort of lack of freedom.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Right? How is God calling us out of that, and calling us to be unbound?

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Okay. So, have an honest conversation around that.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And just be transparent. Husbands! If you’re listening to this, lead in this conversation! Be the first to admit vulnerability. So, oftentimes, as husbands, we think we have to have it together.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
We have to have all the answers. We have to have a perfect progression of thought, so that we can present and lead in the way that we believe that we should [Selena chuckles]. And I’m saying let all that go for this! And, in general—

[00:40:03]
Selena:
Be humble.

Ryan:
Let it go! [Both laugh] But just… How is God calling you [Selena clears her throat] out as a husband, as a man?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
As a Father?

Selena:
And I think as a wife, we can have this lack of peace in our hearts, because we want to control, right? The situations. We want to control the fall out. We want to—And maybe that’s not you; maybe that’s just part of me. But there’s something in us that’s like, “if we can keep the peace, if we can just have a happy life and not show any problems, and just be where we’re at and not—let’s not be called out, because I feel like if we get called out, it’s going to be hard.” [Laughs] And God’s like, “Yeah, it probably is, but guess what’s on the other side of it? And guess what I’m going to do through it, and to you through it?”

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
“Your identity is going to be re-routed back in Me, and you’re going to know this.”

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
“And this knowledge and understanding is going to bring you freedom. This knowledge and understanding is going to bring you deeper joy that just the happiness that you’re trying to pursue day-to-day.”

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
God is—There’s a bigger purpose for us as wives than just…

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
You know, for me, it’s not just taking care of the house, taking care of the kids, teaching the kids all of that stuff. There’s a deeper purpose, because God has graciously opened my eyes to that and opened my heart to that through the calling out of, “Selena, you’re doubting in this area. Selena, you’re insecure in this area. Selena, you’re not seeing—”

Ryan:
Wow.

Selena:
“The full picture in this area.”

Ryan:
We could go on and on, because I feel like when we, even just exposing that, where you were having called out of your doubt, a lot of times you’re doubt’s rooted in thinking that people know, or you think you know what people are thinking and judging about you—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And so, you’re living as if that’s true—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And is they’ve actually [Selena chuckles] spot and said those things—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
When nobody’s thought and said those things. You have.

Selena:
They may have thought them, but then no one said them. [Chuckles]

Ryan:
But that’s just it, [Selena laughs] is that’s not the point.

Selena:
[Laughing] I’m just kidding. I know.

Ryan:
The point is that you’re being called out of that—

Selena:
That’s true.

Ryan:
And being unbound from that.

Selena:
That’s true.

Ryan:
Because Jesus is here.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And He’s the one calling you.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And He’s the one calling you into something better and bigger. [Inhales]

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And that better and bigger is Him. [Chuckles]

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
I’m not going down that road, but it’s Him.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
He is the ultimate prize.

So, that’s a conversation challenge.

Selena:
Absolutely! Absolutely!

Ryan:
This is a big topic, [Selena clears her throat] you guys! Like I said, we talked about it in our book, See Through Marriage. It’s not out yet; it comes out next year. So, just hang in tight. We’ll have some announcements for ya on how to get your hands on that!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
But the big idea of walking in the light is just so thematic in our own marriage, and—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Within this podcast. And I think this last take away is, as 1 John says, walk in the light as He is in the light, so that we might have fellowship with one another, deeper fellowship, but also purification from sin. And so, I think we’ve hit both of those things in that we do have fellowship when we walk in the light. We’re unbound by God and by our community working as His hands and feet, but also, we’re purified from our sin as we trust Him with those enemy outposts in our hearts.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
So, just keep your ears open for more of that coming down the pipeline here.

Selena:
So, I want to start with the heavier question, just because I think we’re kind of in this headspace, and I want to—I don’t know. It feels bad to laugh and then dive into something [Both laugh] heavy.

Ryan:
The first ques—Yeah. It’s silly.

Selena:
So…

Ryan:
Go ahead!

Selena:
This first question is from a husband. He said, “Hello. My wife and I are struggling with our relationship after the birth of our daughter who’s five months old. Our lives have definitely changed much more than we both expected. We are tired and argue with each other frequently. I feel like I’m growing hardened and losing hope. If sex is an indicator of the health of a marriage, we might be in trouble. We haven’t had sex since the birth of our daughter.”

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Well, friends, we are, for the third time, about to approach this season of [Laughs] having a baby—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And what that looks like afterward.

Ryan:
You’re two weeks out!

Selena:
Afterwards. Yeah!

Ryan:
I mean, the due date is two weeks from the recording of this.

Selena:
Right. And—

Ryan:
Which, this… Wow! That’s fast. [Chuckles]

Selena:
If you’ve had children, or if you even adopted children, there’s a transition. Right? There’s a huge life transition. And… physically, our bodies, our spirits, our minds, everything is challenged. Everything is being asked of us on every level, at every hour of the day. [Laughs] You—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
You are constantly being needed, wanted, and you are dying to yourself daily—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And moment to moment, I feel like. And does it become easier with a third kid? I don’t know; we’ll tell you. But… [Laughs] With a second, it was hard.

Ryan:
Mm.

Selena:
So, I think the question here—

Ryan:
All this says we get it.

Selena:
We get it! Yes.

Ryan:
And we’ve experienced it. [Selena chuckles] And I think the hope in that is it’s a season, right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
It’s not going to last forever. It’s difficult, and I just don’t want to discount that.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
In that you’re not alone in feeling that difficulty, especially around intimacy, ‘cause a lot of times—Wives [Inhales]… I mean, you’ve experienced this with a new child. I mean, so much is happening—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Emotionally, physiologically, hormonally…

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
That in some cases, there’s post-partum’s part of it.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And there’s a lot that goes into having a new baby—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Especially with your first!

Selena:
[Inhales] Yeah.

Ryan:
And so, I think the thing to do, okay, not to be too prescriptive, but the thing to do here is to talk, talk—

Selena:
Yes!

Ryan:
Talk through it.

Selena:
Ask questions!

Ryan:
And ask questions!

[00:44:58]
Selena:
“Honey, how are you feeling? Why are you feeling this way? How can I help you?” [Selena inhales] “Do you know that it’s been this long?” Sometimes, and I’m not joking here, but sometimes… The best this that’s shaken me out of my “We’re fine, we’re fine, we’re fine!” as a wife has been Ryan saying, “You know, it’s been this long since we’ve had sex?” [Ryan chuckles] And not in a mean way! But, like, when he puts a number on something, and really labels it…

Ryan:
“It’s been, literally, two hours, since we’ve had sex. Are you aware?”

Selena:
Stop. It’s not…

Ryan:
[Chuckling] Not right now.

Selena:
Oh, my goodness…

Ryan:
[Laughing] Theoretically!

Selena:
But no, sometimes when numbers and reality is kind of just brought up in a humble and “I want you to understand the depth of this, and this is hurting and this is hard for me, and I feel unloved.” It’s not just like “I have this sexual need,” right? It’s not just the physiological need. It’s also this emotional and spiritual connection that I feel like we’re losing, and I want to fight for that. How can I help you in this? How can we be reconciled together like this? I know your body’s changed. I know that you’re going through hard things. How can we—

Ryan:
So, it’s thoughtfully articulating…

Selena:
Begin to build—Yeah! And asking questions! It’s okay to ask questions. I think asking questions is very disarming. And ask them because you want to know, not, obviously, you’re not [Inhales] trying to be a jerk about it. [Laughs]

Ryan:
Yeah. And he said one thing I [Selena clears her throat] want to make sure that we are adder—Well, two things. I feel like I’m growing hardened and losing hope; I’m saying, don’t let your heart do that. You can control that. And God is not wanting to let your heart be hardened in this area, so, ask for His help. But, have those conversations and that will soften your heart. Try to see through your wife’s perspective, but ask, like she said, ask those hard questions.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Have the conversations.

Selena:
Have the conversations about, I want to say expectations, because sex life before kids and after kids can look different. And so, again, we’ve done a few podcasts, I think, like there’s one about having young kids in the house and how to–

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Have sex [Selena pauses] while [Ryan chuckles] they’re in the house. I always get that title wrong, and he always is just like…

Ryan:
It can sound really bad if you say it wrong.

Selena:
Really bad. But just understand that expectations have got to be calibrated and managed, but they can also be exceeded! And so, there’s different seasons, different times of your life.

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
So, trying to maybe, I don’t know…

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Provide some light and freedom in that.

Ryan:
Yeah. The second thing you said that I want to talk about is, “If sex is an indication of the health of your marriage, we might be in trouble.” It’s one, I think—

Selena:
Indicator.

Ryan:
Indicator. So…

Selena:
Not the indicator.

Ryan:
Just don’t put all the weight in it. It’s important, but it’s not the most important thing.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
The most important thing is Christ at the center, and that’s where you sit down and you say, “Listen. If we want to have a loving marriage, we need to both be engaged and loving each other.”

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Sex is a gift, sex if something that we’re called to enjoy!

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
We’re called to not abstain from sex and withhold it from each other.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Paul talks about that! And so, if we have a Christ-like love, that’s the most important thing.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Is it’s centered on Christ. Then now you have this common foundation to say, “Okay, how can we grow?” and that, “This area is hurting me.”

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
“I feel like we’re losing touch with each other.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“How can we grow?”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Then you both have to come to the table. If that doesn’t work, then I would just say—I mean, I don’t want to be too quick to say this but get counseling help.

Selena:
Absolutely!

Ryan:
Get pastoral help.

Selena:
Absolutely!

Ryan:
Get help from—Yeah.

Selena:
You’re not the first to deal with this.

Ryan:
Yep.

Selena:
And it’s good that you’re talking about it, and you’re not alone in it. So…

Ryan:
Yeah. [Clears throat]

Selena:
Bring it to the table! Have people come around you and help unbind this bound area. [Laughs] Or feeling bound area.

Ryan:
Alright. That was awkward. [Both laugh]

Selena:
[Laughing] Sorry.

Ryan:
Okay, so the next question. It’s not silly; it’s serious. Okay? [Selena exhales] It’s a serious question. [Ryan pauses] “Can you please tell my wife how great Parks and Rec is, so she will watch it with me???” Pretty please. [Ryan chuckles]

Selena:
Three question marks! [Chuckles]

Ryan:
Brad is asking, Kendall, if you’re listening to this [Selena laughs] … Just, we’re pleading with you, Kendall [Selena inhales]. Respond to your husband’s leadership!

Selena:
[Laughing] Respond to your husband!

Ryan:
[Ryan chuckling] He’s leading you into the light! [Selena laughing] Live in the light! [Both chuckling] Ron Swanson has transformed our marriage. [Ryan laughs]

Selena:
Oh, my goodness.

Ryan:
I feel like you’re Tom Haverford.

Selena:
No!

Ryan:
I feel like that’s you. [Chuckles]

Selena:
Are you serious?!

Ryan:
From Mona-Lisa. [Laughing]

Selena:
No!! How dare you! How dare you. You know that my body is a microchip.

Ryan:
Your body—? Oh, that’s right. You are. [Selena laughs] Chris Traeger is— Ladies and gentlemen, my wife is Chris Traeger. [Selena laughing] “[Ryan states with character’s accent] My body’s literally a microchip!”

Selena:
I’m—I mean, just—

Ryan:
“A single grain of sand.” [Snickers]

Selena:
With pregnancy, I’ve been like, “I’m so hungry right now, I’m going to fall over!” And he’s just like, “Your body’s literally a microchip isn’t it?” And I’m like [Ryan chuckles], “I guess so!” [Selena chuckles] Yes.

Ryan:
You’ll go like five minutes without eating or drinking water, you’re like, “[Ryan uses an exasperated voice] Ugh, I’m going to die!” [Selena laughs out loud and Ryan resumes his normal voice] Like, eat a cracker…

Selena:
Ryan’s never been pregnant, so… [Laughs]

Ryan:
[Sniffs] Mm…

Selena:
You can just eat a banana, okay?

Ryan:
You know what? Two as one, alright? [Selena laughs] We’re one flesh. I’m pregnant right now.

Selena:
Anyways. It’s a great show! [Ryan chuckles] Maybe skip season one. [Selena chuckles] I don’t know!

Ryan:
Yes.

Selena:
I feel like the first seasons of anything are not always great, but… When it comes to these types of shows…

Ryan:
Anyway. We say all of that; we joke. But really, those types of silly things have [Both chuckling quietly] really helped our friendship, ‘cause we do laugh together a lot.

Selena:
They really have! We laugh a lot.

Ryan:
And it’s bonded us, and it’s given us really quick touch points—

Selena:
Inside jokes.

Ryan:
To get close to each other emotionally.

Selena:
To be part of—Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Laughter is such an amazing gift. And so—

Selena:
Well, I think our listeners hear that when we talk about The Office, too. Just, you know.

[00:49:59]
Ryan:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, so—

Selena:
And we send Office memes to each other [Ryan laughs] late at night when we should be sleeping.

Ryan:
[Chuckling] Selena, picks the best ones!

Selena:
[Selena chuckling] On our phones. Yep! We lay in bed sometimes on our phones, people [Ryan laughs], and we send Office memes to each other when kids—

Ryan:
[Chuckling] Don’t admit that!

Selena:
[Chuckling] When kids are having hard nights and you got to be in different beds to get’em all to go to sleep, sometimes you—

Ryan:
Selena lays in bed on her phone. I am praying at night and falling asleep [Selena chuckles and then laughs as Ryan starts chuckling]. Selena, I’m calling you out of the darkness into the light.

Selena:
Okay, but you’re in—How can a person [Ryan chuckles] in darkness call me out of the darkness? That’s it.

Ryan:
[Laughing] Whatever.

Selena:
Nah. We didn’t even talk about that! Augh.

Ryan:
Oh no! [Selena laughs] Anyway. Thank you so much for listening, folks! I’ll close us in prayer today, and then we’ll call it an episode.

Selena:
‘Cause you think I pray too long.

Ryan:
Yeah…

Selena:
That’s fine.

Ryan:
Well, do you want to pray?

Selena:
No. Go ahead!

Ryan:
Alright. [Selena snickers] Oh, Lord… [Both laugh]

Lord, we thank you for this time. And thank you for calling us out of the darkness, out of our death and asking us to step out in faith in trust in you, that that calling out of darkness will lead us to a place of life and being unbound. And Lord, I just pray that you would continue that call ‘cause, Lord, we are so, so prone to hiding again, to going back into the dark places because we feel shame, or we forget who You are. We forget who we are because of what You’ve done, and we try to control things that aren’t in our ability to control, Lord. And I [Selena sniffles] pray that we would just give all of our sin and shame over to You as You call us out.

God, I pray for the husbands and the wives who may be struggling with this. They’re struggling with finding honesty, true honesty or admitting their true—showing their true selves because they’re afraid of rejection, they’re afraid of not being loved, God. Help them understand that they are loved in You, that You have called them out of a dark, stinky death [Ryan chuckles], a place of death into a place of life, God, and it is a miracle in the works.

So, Lord, we love You, we glorify You. Use our words to glorify you.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Selena:
Amen.

Ryan:
Alright, ladies and gentlemen! This episode is!

Selena:
In the can!

Ryan:
Alright, this is actually Season Two—Or, no, Season—

Selena:
Three.

Ryan:
Three, Episode Two. But, it’s episode 120-something [Laughs] total. Anyway!

Selena:
103.

Ryan:
It’s in the can. [Selena laughs] It’s done.

Selena:
All, with all 102 of them.

Ryan:
There’s way more than that; 20-something.

Selena:
Oh, you’re right.

Ryan:
Anyway. [Selena laughs] Ladies and gentlemen [Ryan chuckles and Selena laughs], thank you so much for listening. We will see you again in about seven days, and until then, stay fierce.

[00:52:29]

<Ending Sequence>

[00:52:48]

Podcast ends.

Download


We’d love your help!

If our ministry has helped you, we’d be honored if you’d pray about partnering with us. Those who do can expect unique interactions, behind-the-scenes access, and random benefits like freebies, discount codes, and exclusive content. More than anything, you become a tangible part of our mission of pointing couples to Christ and commissioning marriages for the gospel. Become a partner today.


Partner with Fierce Marriage on Patreon


You Might Also Like