Podcast, Priorities

Designing Higher Quality Time

man and woman facing

Distractions abound, and if we’re not careful, they can steal or contaminate the quality time we spend with each other in marriage. This episode is all about ways to fight distraction and design your quality time. Enjoy!

Transcript Shownotes

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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned

  • Referenced scripture:
    • Haggai 1:4-7
    • Ephesians 5:15-17
    • Nahum 6:8
    • Psalm 90:12

Full Episode Transcript

Selena: I know we’re not the only ones that struggle with having quality time together. There’s so many distractions out there. You hear that all the time. But distractions are a big deal. And honestly, I think they creep into the area of sin if they are keeping us from one another if we are not stewarding our time and our covenant well.

So we’re here to talk about how to have intentional… He loves that word. How to have quality time how to design and create that time together and the importance of it, looking at it through a biblical worldview, through the lens of Scripture.

Ryan: Amen.

Selena: And yeah, we’ll see you on the other side.

[00:00:34] <music>

Selena: So this conversation today, again, comes from one of our oldie but a goodie, I think. It’s called Two as One. And it is a devotional. I probably shouldn’t have done that, huh?

Ryan: [inaudible] [chuckles]

Selena: I know. Shoot!

Ryan: That’s our first book we ever wrote.

Selena: That was our first book, yes. And I would say he took most of the credit. I think I was having a baby or-

Ryan: Or something like that.

Selena: Or something like that. [chuckles] But I said, “Good job, these are good ideas. Here’s some ideas.” So we’re taking this topic out of that book. It’s a really great devotional. It’s short. It gets to the heart of things, scripture, all the things.

So before we do that, what’s-

Ryan: If you’ve just started following Fierce Marriage, the Fierce Family, welcome, first and foremost. My name is Ryan. This is my lovely wife Selena. We’re the Fredericks. We have three daughters. We love them dearly… Eight years old on down.

Our whole mission in life apparently, [Selena chuckles] and this is by the grace of God, is to just encourage couples, encourage parents on the parenting side of what we do to live in full light of the gospel and to, in some sense, commission you to then go out into the discipleship relationships that you have, namely with one another, with your kids, to live that out. So welcome.

If you want to be part of this, just leave a rating leave a review if you’re listening to the podcast, leave a comment for the YouTube videos, leave a question there.

Selena: Subscribe.

Ryan: Subscribe, for sure. Smash the button as the kids say. What else was I gonna say? If you want to be a partner with us and actually help kind of keep the sustainability of the ministry intact… We don’t do ads except on YouTube. That’s a thing on YouTube, but-

Selena: We don’t have control of that one though.

Ryan: Yeah. So go to fiercemarriage.com/partner. That’s how you can join arms with us. We’d love to have you. You know, you made a little comment I don’t like the word “intentional.”

Selena: Because it’s redundant.

Ryan: I feel like it’s redundant. Because if you’re gonna do something, the fact that you’re doing it is intentional.

Selena: How is it without intention if you’re doing it? Yes.

Ryan: But I think what you mean… I think the meaning is still good. And that’s just me. I can go get over it. Now, everyone who’s watching this or hearing this is going to question and they say, “Let’s just be intentional about this.” You’re gonna question it, I’m sorry.

Selena: So am I living my life without intention all the other time?

Ryan: You have Jen Wilkin to thank for that. I listened to her podcast and she’s the one that incepted that idea into my brain.

Selena: Incepted. [chuckles]

Ryan: But it’s very true. We have to be mindful, thoughtful about quality time, because what can happen is we can say, “Great family night, we’re all home together.” And the default can so easily be we drift apart as a family, as a couple. You know, maybe we-

Selena: No actual interaction in conversations. We’re like, “Yeah, let’s watch a movie,” which is fine. We’re totally great. We love watching movies. But we’re not gonna watch movies at the sake of like, Okay, we’re not connected. We need to first connect. Our kids are out of hand, we need to bring them, you know-

Ryan: Reel them in.

Selena: Reel them in.

Ryan: Bring them in.

Selena: Bring them in. I don’t know. Bring them in, bring them close. So, again, we don’t want this to just be the norm and our default of like, “Okay, well, we’re all tired, so let’s just sit down and do this like we do every night.” I mean, there’s just a lot of richness I think to be had in relationship, especially with our marriage.

So last week, we talked about laugh, listen, and love and how friendship and-

Ryan: That wasn’t the title though.

Selena: No.

Ryan: It was like fierce fun or something like that.

Selena: Did you actually name that? [chuckles]

Ryan: Remember to have fun, I think it’s what it’s called.

Selena: We’re joking about fierce fun, and I was like-

Ryan: Don’t go looking for laugh, listen, and love on the podcast.

Selena: Oh, dear. Sorry.

Ryan: It’s okay.

Selena: And it was a good time. We were laughing a lot. That’s what we like to do. So-

Ryan: Pretty fun. Pretty fun to laugh. It’s okay. [chuckles]

Selena: Oh, Lord, help me. So laughter is important. Friendship is important in your marriage. But how can we even have friendship, how can we laugh together if we aren’t actually spending any time together?

And part of this conversation I think it really hits home for us because quality time is how I feel loved. I mean, I like acts of service. I’ve grown into loving that. And gifts. [both laughs] I mean, the gifts mean nothing if we haven’t spent any time together. Right? So we just want to talk about that.

And I think that scripture always makes the case. It doesn’t say like, How do you spend quality time together with your spouse? How do you spend quality time as a family? No. But the Bible talks about time [00:05:00] and what it is and how it’s tool and how, yes, it shows us I think how finite we are, it shows us our limits, which is good because we need to be limited. God is the only one who can handle the ability of being unlimited, omnipotent, omniscient, all the omnis. So…

Ryan: I think we’re gonna get into some really cool scriptures here that you’ve mined out of the Bible. But I think in terms of the call to discipleship, what does that imply, to say, as a couple we are to have a certain level of oneness and unity that are scripturally founded, you know, two become one flesh, that whole thing, and then the mandate into discipleship?

That implies and includes and comes along with the baggage of you can’t disciple somebody superficially, you can’t be discipled superficially. You can’t disciple somebody in just a few moments a day and be discipled. Look at Jesus’ disciples. They were with Him 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Being away was the exception.

So I think there is something to be had in just looking at discipleship and saying, “If I am called to become one flesh… You know, we are one flesh as a couple, but I’m called to sharpen and serve you as a fellow heir with Christ,” then there’s implications to that mandate.

Selena: Absolutely.

Ryan: I find that helpful to think of it in those terms. Like I’m not just doing it because I just… You know, I do want to get along with you, I do want to have a friendship with you, I do want to show you that I love you. I do want those things, but I also want to do those things in light of this eternal calling that I have as a husband to be a disciple and a disciple of you.

Selena: So having that quality time I think feeds into that ability or that openness and the margin for discipleship. So talking about, how can we design our time, how can we make each other a priority, more often than not, I think now more than ever we’re struggling… That sentence… That was a lot of words. We struggle with distractions. We are going this way, we’re going that way. We get on Instagram to look up something and then, oh, we’re lost. Like that happened just- [chuckles]

Ryan: Happened five minutes ago. [chuckles]

Selena: Five minutes ago, right? We’re like, “Oh, something is just…” We’re just like scroll, scroll, scroll. And I think that the Lord has always called us back to say, “Okay, focus. Remember. You don’t have to look all these different ways.” We go to Scripture to inform, to instruct, to give us boundaries, to teach us how to love God well, how to know Him, to know who we are in Him. We’re limited beings.

So we don’t, again, see the Bible saying, “Okay, here’s how you spend quality time with your spouse.” But we do see the Bible talking about time and priorities and how priorities are an indicator of what you value in your time spent.

So I have been going through a Bible reading plan. I was Hagga… Haggai? I was gonna say Heggiai.

Ryan: No one knows. I think it’s Haggai.

Selena: Two chapters, minor prophet. It was one of those like 6 a.m. mornings, and I’m like, “Oh, Lord, can I just read like Ephesians or Galatians, or Philippians?”

Ryan: Or Psalms.

Selena: Or something like-

Ryan: That’s my go-to.

Selena: …a minor prophet. And the Lord is so good to just blow my mind. Okay, blow my mind. You’re talking about the Haggai the prophet-

Ryan: The minor prophet, yeah.

Selena: The minor prophet. There’s practical applications book. And I want to read this quote. “He draws attention to common problems most people face even today. He asks us to examine our priorities to see if we are more interested in our own pleasures than doing the work of God.” Right?

Again, if we stop and think, okay, pleasures. How would I define that? How would I define those selfish desires?” You would have to know yourself and fill that in. But then doing the work of God, well, the work of the Lord is not always out there. Yes, we are called to be missionaries. Yes, we are called to evangelize. But the work of God is discipleship in our own home. It’s like working on our covenant. It’s working on our marriage. I would argue that that is a priority, right?

The second thing in Haggai is to reject a defeatist attitude when we run into opposition or discouraging circumstances. No doubt if you guys have not been connecting and there’s been no time spent together, it’s going to feel discouraging at that first, I think, moment of trying to connect. We’ve had a lot of frustrating moments, right?

But once again, we see in Haggai… If you read chapter one, verse four through six, he says, “Consider your ways. Consider your ways. Consider your ways.” There’s this constant like, Evaluate your ways. Consider your ways.

The Israelites at this time were being called to rebuild the temple. It was after Solomon’s Temple was defeated. The Lord is calling them out. He’s saying, “Your homes are in order. Look at mine; it’s in shambles.” So it’s a call to priorities. [00:10:00] And I think there’s just a theme. I think there’s of course application right to the human heart. We want to kind of take care of our own stuff-

Ryan: Wow.

Selena: …and then we’ll take care of, you know, God’s things. But really like-

Ryan: Well, I think that comes to mind with the whole idea of like, “Look, your household and your homes are in order, but mine is in shambles,” in modern marriages, you know, we’re not necessarily going to go help build the church down the road. Maybe you are physically going to help build the church down the road.

But how this could look is, look, your career is just buzzing along, isn’t it? Like your career, everything you hope for is happening. You got the house, you know, you got your goals in line, you know, whatever that thing is, but your faith is completely on the backburner. Your relationship with God has been completely discounted to the point where, you know, it’s rare for you to get into His word. Like we’re Christian people, we should live-

Selena: In scripture.

Ryan: … in Scripture. But if that’s not the case, then this passage to me is a check in my spirit that says, if every other aspect of your life is “in order,” quote-unquote, (a) that’s by the grace of God, so you know, recognize that, (b) at what expense is that order causing disorder in another part of my life? Namely, maybe our marriage.

Selena: Time spent together.

Ryan: Maybe I’m going for that promotion, I’m going for it or whatever the thing is. And you’re saying, “Good job, I guess, but when am I going to have my husband back?”

Selena: Right. “When are we going to get time together?” It’s a question of, you know, again, whose house are you building and why? So chapter one verse seven, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD.”

God wants His glory. Ryan always says that God wants… He wants glory. That is just who He is. That can sound very selfish, right? That can sound like it’s narcissistic or self-centered. But no, God created us for His glory. And we’re benefit beneficiaries of His good because of His glory.

Ryan: The picture I love is I’m being awash in God’s sovereign quest for His own glory. Right?

Selena: Yes! Yes!

Ryan: And because of that, I get to be a participant in it. I think just on that thought, because people do bristle at the thought of God wanting His own glory, here’s the thing. Only He deserves glory. So for Him to get glory anywhere else would be for God to be adulterous. He must, by necessity, glorify Himself only.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: As a result, He loves us, but doesn’t glorify us in that sense.

Selena: Well, in one of my like journal entries here, I was just reminiscing and thinking and meditating on, Okay, God wants His own glory, He knows and created us to bring Him glory. And the best order, the most thriving and flourishing and eternal way for us to live in the here now is in a way that brings Him glory.

So time spent together, time spent connecting, time spent building our friendship, laughing together, working through the hard things, that has been bringing glory to God. That is showing the world that I value and prioritize my husband over whatever else might be pulling up my time. That I value this covenant that we’re in.

And yes, everything’s gonna pull it that priority, everything’s gonna want to take that place. I mean, there’s a thousand things waiting to get into that position of value and of who He is, but-

Ryan: So can I ask you this?

Selena: Yes.

Ryan: At what point does that scale tip too far to where now we maybe have unhealthy codependence on one another? At what point? There’s no hard and fast rule like, “You know, spend five hours a week quality time with your spouse. Anything more is you’re idolizing your spouse. Anything less, you’re neglecting your spouse?”

I think the point I’m trying to draw out here is it takes discernment and correct ordering of our love. And only you can know at what point you’ve fallen off the rails. And the near duty of believer is to recognize it, repent of it, turn from it and then look to Christ and ask the Holy Spirit to help you with that. So there’s two sides to that.

Selena: Yeah, absolutely.

Ryan: I could, as a husband, be in an unhealthy place, right? I’m just so needy that now you’re having to neglect potentially other things that God’s calling you to do because I’m being high maintenance for lack of a better term. So there’s a healthy interdependence. And if you get too far on the independent side, that’s a red flag. If you get too far on the codependent side, that’s a red flag. It’s interdependence.

Selena: Right. And we need the Holy Spirit. We need to walk in the Spirit, right? The Holy Spirit has got to lead and discern and counsel and teach us.

There’s a few more ways I think that it might take too much time to go into. The big thing I think that I wanted us to see in Haggai was God was saying, [00:15:01] “Examine your ways. Look at my house. How am I being pushed to the side in how you live? My house is in shambles. I need glory…” No, He doesn’t need glory. He deserves glory. But when we live in a way that glorifies Him, we benefit from-

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely.

Selena: …that ordering of living.

Ryan: Absolutely.

Selena: I think we can move on to the next point of this. It’s also a warning to the people to heed God’s Word. We see that all throughout Scripture.

Ryan: I bet you didn’t expect this in a quality time episode. [laughs]

Selena: You did not, yeah.

Ryan: Listener-

Selena: Scripture, man. Yeah, it gets ya.

Ryan: It’s a warning to heed God’s words. And how what does that have to do with quality time? Well, there’s a good passage here. Ephesians 5:15-17. “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” That’s an interesting passage. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it.

Selena: The will of the Lord?

Ryan: No. I mean, making the best use of the time.

Selena: Oh, right.

Ryan: I mean, that’s what we’re talking about your quality time. Now, the word behind that is Chronos. I believe it’s the Greek word Chronos, which has to do with incremental time. So like seconds, minutes, hours, that sort of thing. Sorry, Chronos is incremental time. But the word behind this is kairos.

Selena: Kairos.

Ryan: Kairos is more of a broader breadth of time. Like an age. So make the best use of this present kind of cultural moment that we’re in.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: COVID comes to mind with that. And I already started talking about that. But we had a two-hour kairos moment of-

Selena: Two hours or two years?

Ryan: Two years, excuse me. We had a two-year cultural moment where we had a lot of time together. So did we make good use of that? Or did it make good use of us?

Selena: Yes, yes. And then when he says, “But understand what the will of the Lord is,” is like what we’re supposed to do. So Nahum 6:8, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” He’s asking the people like, “This is what you’re supposed to do. This is God’s will for us, right?” I mean, it was for the Israelites. Again, we can glean having Jesus come-

Ryan: We can safely apply that to our lives.

Selena: Yes, thank you.

Ryan: So now help me connect the lines here because… this is Selena’s master rundown here. What does it have to do with quality time? And how does that mean that I’m going to be more intentional with my time [Selena chuckles] and I’m going to design my time with you? So how do I connect that passage to our marriage?

Selena: I think that, again, am I seeking my own time, my own pleasures, things that are going to make me feel good, look good, do good, be good? Is this going to elevate me and puff me up? And is it all about me? Or am I actually walking humbly underneath the authority of Scripture, understanding the order of priority of how I’m supposed to love who I’m supposed to love first and who I’m supposed to be serving, loving, giving humbly, and connecting with?

I mean, designing time to connect with you, creating that… We call that creating margin. But I think it also serves the purpose of designing time.

Ryan: Well done. Good answer. I wouldn’t have been able to answer that articulately. But while you were talking, I thought of this. [Selena laughs] Just, again, I add to what you’re saying.

Selena: I was listening to what you were saying.

Ryan: I couldn’t have said the way you said it. Think of it like this. It says to do justice, right? Is it justice for a husband to neglect his wife of the love that he’s commanded to give her? That’s an injustice to you if I don’t love you well. So I don’t know. We don’t often think of love in those terms. Like I am being unjust to you. When I’m stacking the deck in my own favorites, I’m being selfish or I’m just being whatever.

Selena: Words have taken on new meanings. Words like “justice.” The very definition… I mean, if you look up… I always ask him now like, “What is this in Greek? What does this actually mean?” Because when I read it, I can’t read what my modern-day idea of justice might be. Maybe part of it is biblical, but I can guarantee it’s probably very tainted with, you know, the year 2022 and whatever what culture narrative I’m in right now. You got to filter through some of that stuff.

Psalm 90:12 is one of our most favorite verses that we really do live by. “Teach us to number our days, so that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Ryan: Amen. Amen. Yeah, well, numbering our days. I mean, no one knows you’re gonna die, but you know that not every day is guaranteed and you know you’re called to live today in full obedience and reverence for God. [00:20:00]

Selena: As believers, what do we know? We know that we’re finite human beings, we know that we have a limited time, energy, resources. We are married, if you’re married, right,-

Ryan: We know that for a fact.

Selena: …we’re in covenant that reflects God and Christ and His bride, the church. We know that we are supposed to prioritize the time and steward the time well as if we’re cultivating, as if we are farmers cultivating this land. Or gardeners. I mean, the Bible often likens the relationship of marriage to cultivating a garden.

So we got to evaluate our relationship. Again, we don’t think distractions are bad. We don’t think movies are bad or entertainment. Again, filter through what you watch. We are questioning two hours spent watching a movie or two hours connecting with your spouse because you guys have not connected in a long, long, long time.

Ryan: Yeah, that’s good. It shouldn’t substitute… Those sorts of things should never be a substitute for connection. They should supplement the connection.

Selena: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Ryan: So if you’re in a bad spot, do the adult thing, frankly, and recognize you’re in a bad spot and find the time to address it lovingly and carefully and so on and so forth.

Selena: We have four… we should have come out of the gate with this. But here we are again. Four ways to eliminate distractions to help you design your intentional time together. So the first one is… tatada. [laughs]This needs some updating, I think.

Ryan: Yeah. It’s gonna be… Anyway, schedule distraction-free time. That was a big buildup.

Selena: That was a big one. Well, scheduling. Okay, I think of either like once a day or once a week or once a month. Those will probably look different.

Ryan: I think the scheduling piece speaks to the prioritizing. Because you just kind of think it’s gonna happen by default-

Selena: It doesn’t.

Ryan: …and then two weeks have gone by and you’ve not-

Selena: A month goes by.

Ryan: …really had a conversation beyond logistics of your life and maybe a few passing, you know, encouragement here there. But like scheduling that distraction-free time to (a) connect, to minister to one another.

I think husbands and wives forget that you can be your husband’s, your wife’s biggest encourager. You can encourage them in the Lord and say, “I see God doing this in you. God’s at work, isn’t He? Tell me about that. What’s He doing? I have really seen this improvement in you. I’ve noticed that you’ve been carrying yourself with more confidence when you discipline the girls or when you go throughout your day.” We have daughters in case you didn’t know what that references to.

So you can be an encourager. But if you don’t ever have the bandwidth to stop and think and kind of marinate in… [chuckles] Let’s say with one another… Maybe if you’re in a hot tub, maybe you call that marinating. [Selena laughs] I don’t know.

Selena: Yeah, I think you just got to set some parameters. I was reading a book from a mom and they’re writing like, “How do I get my kids to like stay in bed at night? I just can’t.” It’s like they’re trying to tackle all these things but they’re so tired at night. They don’t want to face the problem head-on. Just how we probably get tired of like to like, “Prioritize each other one more time. How is this gonna work?”

Start with one thing for the week. Okay, just start with one thing. “Hey, every day, when the kids go to bed, before we do anything else, we’re gonna have a 10 minute conversation.” You can set a time or do whatever that helps you kind of just prepare and carve out that time. “We’re going to do a check in. We’re going to talk about what our day was like.”

And before you know it, I guarantee you an hour has gone by, you feel more connected. You might even get to have some, you know, mommy-daddy time [Ryan laughs] because usually it leads to that. Let’s just be honest. But no pressure, you know. First things first. Connect. Connect. Connect.

Ryan: No comment. [Selena laughs] No comment. Sometimes breaking the ice is helpful in those moments. I wanted to ask you this question, Selena. You’re not ready for this. But if you have to give up one of these things: flour, eggs, sugar, or… Shoot! There’s another one. What was the other one? Flour, eggs, sugar, and something else.

Selena: Salt?

Ryan: No. That was too easy. I don’t know. Of those three… Dairy. There you go. Milk. What would you give up?

Selena: Flour, egg-

Ryan: Don’t answer now.

Selena: Okay.

Ryan: Obviously, maybe answer at the end. Think about it. That’s an icebreaker. Because who thinks about these things? Maybe you can’t have any of those things? I don’t know. [Selena laughs] The point is sometimes you’re intimidated because you’re like, “We haven’t connected? I’m kind of frustrated with them.” And that kind of gets you back to your friendship.

Selena: There’s all kinds of conversation cards and tools you can look up as well to kind of get the ball rolling.

Ryan: Yeah. Number two, four ways to eliminate distraction and design your time. Number two do is share a table once a day. [00:25:01] What do you mean by that?

Selena: Eat meals together whenever possible. I think it is easy for us to just kind of grab our food and go or “Uh, the young ones eat now. You guys can eat later.” Like making it so we all sit together all at the same time. There’s not a lot of families that continue to do that without TV on, without some sort of distraction. Like sitting and having a meal together at least once a day I think will help you find time.

Ryan: We’re still going off the devotional that I wrote and I asked you what you meant by that.

Selena: It’s okay. It’s long time ago.

Ryan: I should have asked myself. Third one is get comfortable with silence.

Selena: I think silence can make us feel uneasy, but it doesn’t have to. Just learn to like it and learn to be okay with it.

Ryan: That’s good.

Selena: That sounds harsh. But get comfortable with it.

Ryan: Get over it.

Selena: Well, because some of our best moments and some of the most memorable things and greatest conversations I think have happened when we’re just kind of sitting and being together. I mean, I remember one of our anniversaries. I was super pregnant. It was our 10-year anniversary and I was like, “Oh…” I had all these exotic dreams of like let’s go travel somewhere and do all these things while I’m like super, super pregnant with our first daughter.”

We were living in Southern California at the time, and we decided to go to Santa Barbara. And it was probably one of our best anniversaries. All we did guys was sit on the beach all day. We went to the store, got snacks, had our books, sat on the beach all day. We got in the water when we got hot and we came back. We didn’t even say a lot to each other. We were just together.

Ryan: And the weather wasn’t great.

Selena: It wasn’t.

Ryan: It was pretty overcast as I recall.

Selena: Yes. But it was so wonderful to just be together. And I felt like there was just room to breathe and room to think and then room to just conversate as needed.

Ryan: It was the calm before the storm. And we’re still in it. All right, number four is get outside. Speaking of getting outside, sometimes just a quick walk will do wonders. Or, you know, a change of scenery does a lot for my heart and it does a lot for our hearts collectively as a family, as a married couple.

So that was kind of the early years of our marriage. That was the primary way that we connected. Before kids when we had nine to five jobs, we would, a lot of times, pick up on a Friday afternoon and just go and see where the wind took us. Remember that?

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: And we would maybe camp, we would maybe find some, you know, small-town hotel. Usually, we’d go to some body of water because we lived in the Northwest on the Puget Sound. So we loved going to the water, ocean, and whatnot. I love sleepy little ocean towns.

Obviously you can’t do that every day. But even just going on a walk at a different place, not just run in the neighborhood but a park or something can do wonders. Or, you know, go for a jog if you’re a psychopath, I don’t know. [laughs]

Selena: I kinda like jogging.

Ryan: Selena is a runner.

Selena: A jogger. I’m not a runner. Don’t say that.

Ryan: Okay. I guess I-

Selena: I like to run sometimes. [laughs]

Ryan: I’ve been known to run. So running together and even doing like, you know, picnics outside. You can maybe take a bottle of wine and just sit under a tree and just chat or I don’t know, take bottled water, if that’s your thing. Point is get outside, do something fun together.

And based on everything we’ve been talking about, you can do that unto the glory of God. Not just for the good of your marriage, but unto the glory of God. There’s purpose. It’s imbued with this purpose that is eternal in just those tiny moments. They’re eternal moments, in a sense, when we’re doing them with the idea of stewarding the way God has called us to steward and loving the way He’s called us to love and prioritizing, in a countercultural way, the way he’s called us to prioritize.

So all of this, I contend, makes very little sense outside of who God is, outside of who scripture has told us He is and who scripture told us Jesus was and what Scripture tells us Jesus did.

So if you’re watching this and you’re listening to this and you are not familiar with the story of Scripture, with the gospel, we’re going to tell you that there is an amazing story: the good news of God who condescended into flesh, became flesh for us, lived a perfect life that we couldn’t live, died the death that we should have died and didn’t stay dead. He was resurrected into new life, and He will resurrect us into new life. Friends, this is reality. It’s not fairy tale. It’s not supernat… It’s Supernatural but it’s not pretend.

Selena: It’s real.

Ryan: It’s real. There’s all sorts of evidence for it. I invite you to look that up. If you just want to know what the gospel means for you or what it could mean for you, we have a website we set up just for you. It’s thenewsisgood.com. That’s thenewsisgood.com. It lays everything out in pretty simple terms and it gives you some next steps.

So we want to invite you into that. We want to invite you into the family of God. I’m telling you, the water’s fine. The view is incredible. God is good. And all of this is possible. Our marriage is possible because Christ made it work. Without Him we would be divorced 10 times over. And not because of Selena, because of me. Probably another time because of her. [laughs] So the point is we love you in a very real sense and we want to invite you into the kingdom of God.

So with that, let’s pray and we will be done. Jesus, thank You that You’ve given us Yourself, that you’ve paid the price so that we might know You. Got, I thank you that you’ve called us into this wonderful gift of marriage. You’ve allowed us to know one another in marriage.

I pray for couples that are struggling to connect, struggling to find time, struggling to get these priorities ordered in a way that is going to be aligned with the convictions that you’ve placed in their heart. Lord, I pray that You would help them find the next step, whatever that is. Just help them to do the next right thing to get on the right path as a means of glorifying You more greatly and also connecting more deeply with their spouse.

Lord, if they’re feeling hopeless, be their hope. If they’re feeling anxious, be their peace. And if they’re feeling like there’s no way forward, Lord, faithfully lead and they will follow. In Jesus’ name. Thank you. Amen.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: All right, this episode of Fierce Marriage is—

Selena: In the can.

Ryan: That was a weird way to say it for me, but-

Selena: It’s okay.

Ryan: Thank you for listening. Again, if you want a partner with us, go to patreon.com/fiercemarriage or fiercemarriage/partner. That will get you to the same spot. We’d be honored to have your partnership there. But other than that, we will see you again in about seven days. So until next time—

Selena: Stay fierce.

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