Many of us have heard the term “marriage mentor” before, but today we want to introduce another, perhaps less intimidating way to receive relational guidance in your marriage.
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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned
- Referenced scripture:
- Titus 2:1-8
- Recommended resource:
Full Episode Transcript
Selena: Ryan Frederick, do we need marriage mentors?
Ryan: I don’t know, Selena. Marriage mentors are good but guide couples are bigger. [both laughs] Better. Yeah, you know what? Marriage mentors, okay, it’s this idea that a young couple or a couple who just wants to stay sharp, wants to actually just grow in the Christian walk realizes, “Hey, we need wisdom around us.” Sometimes the vernacular that we see thrown around in the church is you need a marriage mentor.
And what we found is actually there’s some, I think, better ways to frame what that relationship can and should look like. And I would even say, based on sound wisdom, I think, that we’ve received from other wiser mentors—actually, John [McGhee?] shout out—is that that term “mentor” is actually kind of intimidating for people.
So today we’re gonna talk about this phenomenon of guide couples. And it’s one of the things that we use within our ministry kind of ecosystem, people go through our courses. So we’re gonna talk about guide couples today. Thank you for joining us. We’ll see you on the other side.
Selena: So today we are going to endeavor with you on what a guide couple is, what they are not, kind of the role and responsibilities of a guide couple, and then how to find one. Because I think it is important for us to find those people that we can have this just clear, open communication with, that we can trust, that when they tell us something we don’t want to hear, that it is actually not them trying to beat us or be better than us [Ryan laughs] or put us in our place, but it’s actually them loving us and showing us and pointing us back to Jesus, back to the gospel. So…
Ryan: Very important topic today. So thank you for joining us. My name is Ryan. This is my lovely wife Selena. We are the Fredericks. This is what we do. We spend time thinking up, creating, writing content. We’ve written a number of books on the marriage side, but also now on the parenting side
So if you’re looking for marriage resources, we recommend, (a) stick around right here, you’re in the right place, or you go to fiercemarriage.com. There’s all kinds of stuff there: videos, podcasts episodes from the past that aren’t video, also blog posts, and books, and all kinds of stuff, free eBooks, all that.
Anyway, thanks for joining us. We’ve been doing this for a number of years, God is gracious, and we’re gonna continue as long as He allows it.
So, yeah, in our experience, and all the years that we have done ministry, I think this is one of the linchpin issues for a lot of young couples, right?
Ryan: Because one of the worst things we can do in the Christian walk, in general, in life, we are designed for community and for deep community, not just acquaintance level relationships, but relationships between people that actually know us. That’s on the individual level. And then as you go through life, you have, you know, people that are coming alongside you kind of the apprentice, so to speak, not just in like a craft or in a trade but in life itself. And then at some point or another, we become kind of the master craftsman and we have apprentices underneath us in life.
Marriage is no exception. So that’s our encouragement for today is to urge you if you don’t have a guide couple… We’re gonna tell you exactly what that is. It’s not just an older couple. It’s not just-
Selena: It kind of sounds like you’re saying guy couple. Guide couple. [chuckles]
Selena: Just in case we’re not clear.
Ryan: Oh, yeah. Guide couple. Guys or gals.
Selena: We are Christians.
Ryan: Guy and girls.
Selena: Yes, one of each. [chuckles]
Ryan: So we’re gonna say what that is, what it isn’t. Let’s go ahead and dive into that. So, Selena, what is a guide? Guide couple. [chuckles]
Selena: Guide couple. [chuckles]
Ryan: Give it to me straight.
Selena: Well, we have done this online course. Right?
Selena: I think we wanted to kind of share. It’s kind of where this term originated for our ecosystem.
Ryan: And can I share the background?
Ryan: So we have people in the marriage space that kind of we go to when we have questions. And when we were building out our online course, it’s called Gospel Centered Marriage… You can learn more. Go to gospelcenteredmarriage.com. It’s a six-week kind of marriage core material. It’s like if we could sit down and have six weeks with you, you know, once a week, these are the things we would talk about. There’s all kinds of… we have discussion guides, and it’s the whole experience. With it, we also have these mini-courses.
Anyway, as we were kind of building all that out, I went to our friend John, he’s been in marriage ministry for many years. He’s probably I’d say the next phase of life. He has kids that are out of high school and college, getting married. And he just said, “You know what? The marriage mentor thing is a little bit…” Honestly, it’s hard for people because what happens is you call somebody up or you talk to him at church and you’re like, “Hey, you know, we’re doing this class, gospel centered marriage and it tells us we’re supposed to… they’ve told us we need to go find marriage mentors. Will you be our marriage mentor?”
And John says, “Honestly, like the turnout on those types of requests is usually pretty low. People will be nice up front, but when it comes down to it, they just don’t feel like they can commit. It feels like a big commitment.”
And so we came up with this maybe different phrasing to hopefully frame it a different way because it actually isn’t that big of a commitment. So that’s what guide couple, that’s what that phrase came out of. [00:05:00] Should we read this passage first?
Ryan: So that’s where it came out of. We’re going to read from Titus, starting in chapter 2 verse 1. Selena, do you want to read this?
Selena: Sure. I’ve always loved to read the Bible.
Ryan: All right.
Selena: Yes, thank you.
Ryan: Thank you.
Selena: “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”
Ryan: So this is instruction to Titus to instruct those who are under his shepherding.
Ryan: And he’s addressing the whole gamut here. We have old men, old ladies… old women. [both laughs] See, she loves it when I say “ladies”.
Selena: Older women.
Ryan: Yeah, older women. That’s probably way better. Older men and women, mature. And then you have younger men and younger women. So there’s this definite relationship between, hey, if you’re advanced in your walk, if you’ve seen some things, you’ve walked through the various seasons of life, you are not just free to now coast. Okay, this may be a call to the older folks that might be listening to this. Older does still feel a little bit like maybe derogatory. I don’t know. It’s not bad to be older.
Selena: It’s the Bible’s term.
Ryan: Wiser. We’ll say wiser.
Selena: Maturity… Ideally, you’re older and you’re mature.
Ryan: Presbutés is what the term is. They’re the elders.
Selena: Get your Greek out. Come on.
Ryan: I just did. There it is.
Selena: Thank you.
Ryan: So you’re not free to just coast because there are young people who are growing up, and they may be able to, say, do their work, they may be able to function as citizens of society, but they still need wisdom. They still need wisdom. And the implication here is that if you’re younger, don’t just think that you’ve got it all together and you know everything. But instead, humbly… You’re gonna add something?
Selena: Go ahead.
Ryan: Humbly kind of submit yourself to the instruction of the admonition, the training of not only your parents but also other people in the church gathering, people who share the same beliefs that we have in terms of Christ being who He is.
Selena: I would say that for sure. So maybe getting into what a guide couple is would be more helpful in explaining and illustrating because you don’t necessarily have to go to a couple that is 50 and older, right? I feel like we could be a guide couple for someone, and I’m just now 40. He will be 40 very soon.
But we’ve also been married for almost 20 years. We got married really young. We’ve been through some things. One of these qualifiers is not just based on their age, but their maturity level, their number of years being married, and then their – what did you say?
Ryan: Yeah, so they’re-
Selena: They’re not just a silver saint.
Ryan: Yeah, they’re not just a silver saint. They don’t have to just be of a certain… You don’t have to find somebody 60 years old or older. It can be somebody who is maybe the same age as you, but they are more mature in the faith or they just they’ve had a longer marriage and their marriage has fruit that is the kind of fruit you want to bear.
Ryan: That I think is really helpful because unfortunately, we have very… Our congregations in the West, there’s not a lot of congregations that I’ve experienced where you have a big variety, where you have a lot of-
Selena: Of age?
Ryan: Yeah. …we have a lot of wiser, older individuals and couples that are available enough to help the younger ones. And so it might be helpful to know that there’s not an age threshold.
Selena: So a guide couple… we said there’s a couple qualifiers here. They’re trusted, gospel-centered, Bible-believing couple. Obviously, you’re going to them, talking to them through the biblical lens. They’re churchgoers, they’re upstanding, you know, actively engaged in the faith. Those should be some obvious traits. They’ve been married for longer than you and your spouse. The maturity again, the marriage age matters.
One of the big things I think, that we kind of mentioned earlier is having these open lines of communication. So maybe it is somebody that you’re same age but they’re older than you, they’ve had a lot more years of marriage on them, right?
And so yes, you might have an affinity for maybe the season you’re in but for the marriage side, like you need to be able to look up to them and you need to be able to hold everything open-handed so that if they call you out on something or if they, again, see something that seem… a way that you’re communicating to one another or some sort of habits that don’t seem healthy, that you can hear what they’re saying and thank them for it afterwards and not just get hard-hearted [00:10:00] and selfish I think and prideful about it.
You know, sometimes that’s just our initial response. But again, know yourself. If that’s your initial response, just button your lip, ask the Lord to help you see what they’re seeing and you know, deal with it with your spouse.
Ryan: This is why it’s so important that they’re trustworthy and they’re gospel-centered-
Ryan: …because they’re not going to be coming at you with stuff that is arbitrary or just kind of personality maybe. But it’s actually stuff that’s rooted in-
Selena: Right. It’s spiritually weighty.
Ryan: And we will talk about the expectations of a guide couple. That’ll be toward the end. But yeah, the open lines communication are huge. But it doesn’t mean that you have just unfettered access to them.
Ryan: That’s a huge boundary you need to have in place. Because you can’t expect someone just to always be… They are not your counselor necessarily, not your pastor even.
Selena: Even then, yeah, I mean, there’s no one on this Earth really that you should be depending on 24/7 like that.
Selena: God is our only-
Ryan: That’s called codependency or dependency and it’s unhealthy marriage.
Selena: Look that up on Fierce Marriage. [chuckles]
Ryan: The other thing is that, still knowing that, they are going to be committed to you, like you said.
Ryan: That if you do text, you’re not gonna get blown off. If you do make a call, at least they’ll pick up the phone or they’ll call you back.
Selena: And they’re committed to you kind of in and out of season too.
Selena: We encourage couples seeing guide couples through this core Gospel Centered Marriage course. But I think having a guide couple no matter what, you know, in the good seasons, you’re celebrating with them, they’re part of your kids’ birthdays, that kind of thing. But then in the hard times, you know that you can depend on them for sound advice.
Ryan: And the final thing is… Oh, we already mentioned this, but it’s somebody that you admire. So it’s another thing to say, “Oh, I objectively see that you’re a person that’s been married longer, I objectively see that you aren’t off the rails spiritually.” But if you don’t have an affinity for them, there shouldn’t be a level of admiration, respect that is healthy. I think that just helps to work better.
Selena: I guess I want to say don’t be so quick to blow people off, too. Because I think in my own experience, I have met someone and thought, “Why does she have so many women that look up to her? I don’t get it.” [Ryan chuckles] And I’m not trying to be mean, I’m just trying to be real. And then I’m like, “Well, it says something if there are women that are looking up to her. So how about I take the time to get to know her and pray about that sort of relationship.” So again, don’t just be so quick to write people off. But take the time, pray, invest in a relationship, even if it’s just a coffee date or two to get to know them.
Ryan: So we did touch on this quite a bit already but we do want to be, I guess, really intentional about saying what a guide couple is not.
Selena: Being clear, yeah.
Ryan: So we’re talking about somebody who is… You basically as a couple, you are relatively in a place of strength, you’re moving forward, you’re not perfect, but you don’t have any major crises unfolding in your life. So like, say, God forbid, you are experiencing some infidelity and you’re trying to repair after that. I was just gonna say this: you probably need more than just a guide couple.
Ryan: You need a pastor, first and foremost, a pastor who is gonna be able to counsel you biblically. And I don’t want to throw counselors under the bus but it needs to start with the pastoral counseling, the pastoral care. That Pastor then may work alongside a Christian counselor to help you work through and untangle some of that stuff. If you’re dealing with stuff like trauma or there’s just an ongoing… kind of if you have any ongoing issues, that’s not what a guide couple is there for. At least not the way we’re-
Selena: I would say that they’re under that. Once you kind of are getting into the maintenance level and you’re still maybe struggling with some of the things day to day outside of the heavier conversations with a pastor or a counselor, I would say underneath that it’s kind of your support. If they’ve been there, they know some of the traps or they know some of the triggers and things they’re more familiar with, then they can be able to kind of, again, come alongside you and say, yes, your counselor is right when they talk about these things. I know you’re having trouble with that, but just trust me-
Ryan: Or just to be the additional sounding board or the additional level of accountability. “Hey, did you go to your counseling appointment? Did you talk to the pastor or the elder? Did you have that hard conversation with your spouse?” I mean, God’s been so gracious that we’ve been able to walk alongside some very tough situations. People, I should say, going through tough situations. And almost always we were playing that kind of support role to them, but also to the work that they’re doing with pastors and with a counselor.
And so we’re the ones that are having them over for dinner, and saying, “Hey, how’s this going? I know you guys been working through this? How are you doing?” We’re not working through it and on the spot. Maybe on some levels you are but not intensely.
Selena: Sometimes, you know, you’re just not equipped to do the work that pastors and counselors are to do. You can love them and feed their souls and feed their bellies.
Ryan: So guide couple is not a pastor, not a counselor. I want to add this. I want to see how this lands with you. They are not your buddy.
Selena: Oh, 100%.
Selena: Again, you have that friendship and affinity, but a buddy- [00:15:00]
Ryan: You may have a level of friendship but they’re not-
Selena: A buddy would probably not push back as much I think.
Ryan: So there’s a level of challenge, there’s a level of “I’m here to do work with you.” I know there’s a few men in my life. If I go and meet with that man, it’s not because he’s my friend, it’s because I’m looking for him to push back on me in the decisions I’m making, the thinking that’s going through my head, the way I’m applying or misapplying scripture. I’m looking for him to play a role in my life where I show up and I’m ready to take notes, to write stuff down. He’s not my friend, we’re not getting a drink, you know, we’re not just gonna have-
Selena: You’re not shooting wind.
Ryan: We’re not shooting the breeze or shooting the wind, if that’s your thing. [Selena laughs] So they’re not your buddy. There’s a level of decorum there that is unique to that relationship… to the dynamic, excuse me.
And finally, and this is, again, off script, but Selena, what do you think? A guide couple relationship is not necessarily indefinite. It doesn’t have to go on forever. And I think that’s helpful for guide couples to know this. If you can say, “Hey, we’re newlyweds. For the next year, would you be willing to be a guide couple to us, where if I have a question, man to man, I can text you and call you? Would you be willing to just to commit to the first year?” And then after the first year, listen, we can just-
Selena: Or the next few months. Give it three to six months. That’s a little less intimidating.
Ryan: I’m just saying the first year of marriage.
Selena: Right, right. I think that’s okay to ask if they feel comfortable. Good guide couples will be like, “I’ll tell you what, this is what we’re gonna do.” They are able to kind of walk through.
Ryan: They’ll say, “I tell you what? Once you get to cruising altitude, then we’ll reassess, but obviously you’re not there yet. So let’s just be in relationship, let’s meet, let’s at least talk via text or phone.” Commit to once every two weeks minimum.
If someone’s asking me to be their guide couple, I’d say, You initiate, you reach out to me. Don’t expect me to babysit you, no offense. But that’s not the goal here. You need to reach out to me, and you need to have intentional questions. If you can’t think of a question, think harder. [Selena chuckles] Because that keeps us in relationship.”
Ryan: “And then I’ll tell you what? After I figure that you have kind of hit a maturity level and the conversations have turned a corner, then we’ll reassess.” Nathan’s dad did this with me. He was a mentor to me. For a year, he was meeting with me once a month, once every two months, and we got to a point he was like, “Ryan, I think you’re done. I don’t have anything else to add to you, to add to this conversation.”
And so now we were at the mountain the other day and we got to see Greg again. And it was really good to catch up. And he was giving me a little bit of advice but it wasn’t anything formal. It was just now we have this kind of bedrock of our relationship. I always see him as a mentor. He knows he can say stuff and I’ll listen. But he also knows that I got my head screwed on kind of straight at this point, so we can just talk. At least that’s what I think he would say.
Selena: For now.
Ryan: [laughing] For now.
Selena: Just kidding. No, I fully agree. I fully agree. So let’s get into some of the just the nitty gritties of what a guide couple would do, kind of their role and responsibility as we’ve outlined it in our course. Again, we would encourage you to check that out. That’s gospelcenteredmarriage.com. Always getting these things wrong.
Ryan: [inaudible] [laughs]
Selena: I know you. And then how to find one, we’ll give you a few little tidbits there.
Ryan: And this is for you to take to the guide couple and say, “This is what I’m supposed to ask you to do.” [both chuckles] So these are-
Selena: Take pictures. Screenshot it.
Ryan: Well, if it’s up there, we’ll see what Adam does.
Selena: I’m saying if they’re taking the course,.
Ryan: Yes, if you’re taking the course, you’ll have this in a document. So you take this to them and say, “This is what I need you to do for the next…” The course is six weeks long. You can stretch it out to eight weeks. We would say, ask them to participate for maybe twice that. So maybe 16 weeks—four months. It’s not a long commitment in the grand scheme of things, especially if they’re advanced in age.
Selena: That was like a big number for me. But everything feels big to me right now.
Ryan: In 16 weeks, we’ll have another little baby, God willing. So here’s the first thing is give them permission to ask you hard questions. “So guide couple, here we are, we want to grow in our marriage, we would love for you to ask us hard questions.” And so within the curriculum, we have question prompts. You’re reaching out to the guide couple with this sort of, you know, to frame the conversation.
Selena: So you don’t always have to think about it.
Ryan: Right. So in giving them permission to ask the hard questions, then you commit to them, “We will answer you honestly.” It may not be pretty every time.
Selena: For sure-
Ryan: And they know. They know.
Selena: They know.
Ryan: “But we’re not going to just sugarcoat it, we’re not going to dance around it. We’re going to bring it to you honestly.”
Selena: It’s important for you to do that. And that’s how you grow as a couple. Secondly, they commit to praying for you and your marriage regularly over that time period.
Ryan: That’s huge.
Selena: So just knowing that somebody is praying for you, that you can shoot them a text say, “Hey, we’re having a hard time with this conversation. Could you please pray for us and then we’ll catch up at the time that we’ve already scheduled or something like that.” You know, just a quick. It’s so just wonderful and comforting to be able to shoot those prayer requests to people and know that [00:20:00] you’re being heard and you’re being prayed for.
Ryan: Amen. The next one is you ask them, “Guide couple, will you be available to us by text or phone one to two times per week?” Now, this is during the course. Depending on where you’re at, I would probably dial that back to one or two times per month.
Selena: Right. And I would say, you know, if you want, and you can negotiate that… not negotiate. But you talk to them. I would encourage a meal once a month probably. Like a phone check in of some sort, but also like one meal once a month. And you guys can host that and invite them over. Right?
Ryan: That would work, I feel like, for maybe if you’re a younger couple in early season of life and your early season of marriage, you haven’t had kids yet and they’re further along, their kids are maybe not in the house any longer or their kids or at least out of the younger years.
Selena: Yes, more independent for sure.
Ryan: Then I feel like those monthly dinners are probably more feasible. Otherwise, it might… That feels overwhelming to me right now.
Selena: Well, I just think that being around a guide couple you get to watch them do life, you get to watch how they interact with one another, how they might interact with their children, how they interact with others at church. You did say this at the end, which I missed, of course, after the course. So after the six weeks of the course or whatever, the GCM course, have dinner and discuss kind of the highlights. Which I think is something you should do anyways. That would make a lot of sense.
Ryan: Yeah. And I would add to that… So what I would recommend is if you’re a younger couple or whatever stage, and you’re trying to make this relationship valuable, bring prepared-
Selena: Come prepared. Yeah.
Ryan: …a list of goals that you have for your marriage. “We want to communicate like this.” And even get into the nitty-gritty, depending on who this couple is, you can say, “We would love to buy a house within this period of time. Career wise, this is where we feel like God’s leading us.”
And bring those goals to them in terms of your life and in terms of your marriage, and then say, “How does this sit with you?” And that is an amazing conversation starter because it’s not about them. It’s not even really about you necessarily. It’s about the goals. It’s not about what are you dealing with in your heart. That comes out. But it gives you something kind of objectively to tackle together.
So now let’s talk about how to find a guide couple.
Selena: And again, some of this might be intuitive, but hopefully, there’s some variations that will be beneficial to you.
Ryan: And I want to address real quick because I know this can make me feel a little bit intimidating, especially if you would consider yourself to be introvert and the thought of reaching out to somebody who you haven’t established a rapport with, that may seem insane. So let’s just reassure you… I think our defaults, you and I, are probably introverted. That’s kind of what I think our defaults are. Here we are on the video screen doing the video thing.
Selena: But we’re all by herself. [laughs]
Ryan: It’s true. No one else is here. And I know her and I like her, so this is easy. [both laughs] So put all those concerns aside. And I want to reassure you with this: this is how the community of Christ works. Look at Titus 2, read it again. This is how it works. And so to not do this, to not intentionally pursue these types of relationships is far more risky and frankly, more disobedient-
Selena: And costly too.
Ryan: …and more costly than whatever discomfort it might cost. And with that said, the discomfort to me is a little bit maybe unwarranted because people are I think eager to help when they sense a real need.
Selena: The other thing too is… I forget what passage it is, but one of the markers or distinctions of Christians is how we love one another. And how can we love one another without actually going through conflicts and problems together?
Selena: How do we actually show the love of Christ saying, Hey, we worked through some of these hard things because we had this guide couple and they brought us back to Jesus and they prayed for us and they walked through, you know, all of these things with us. That is the love of Jesus. It’s not just, “Oh, hey, buddy, love you. Praying for you,” like on a Sunday. Everybody and anybody can say that.
But when you’re actually in the muck and the mire of your day-to-day struggles in your marriage, this is where it really comes to light, whether or not you love one another and that you are allowing yourself to be loved by someone else. We all know the definition of love and that speaking the truth in love doesn’t always make you feel warm and fuzzy. It will probably offend you and make you really angry. But again how you love one another. There’s relationship there, there’s commitment there. There’s the love of Christ, right and the blood of Him is bonding. You’re in the same body of Christ. So…
Ryan: I want to take that because you said one thing that… because that grates on me so much when you see somebody at church like, “Hey, buddy, how are you doing? All right, that’s it, see you later.” Now imagine that same interaction but with somebody who actually knows what’s going on in your life. Somebody you know they know and they know you know, and you’ve talked about this outside of the sanctuary, outside of the lobby, [00:25:00] outside of the church grounds. And so they say, “Hey, buddy, how are you? I’m praying for you. How are you doing? Talk to me.”
Selena: So mature.
Ryan: You may not have time to give him the full rundown, but you can at least say, you know, “We’re still working on it.”
Selena: Or “this week was better than last.”
Ryan: “So I’ll connect with you again.”
Selena: Report back.
Ryan: “Report back in three days,” or whatever. But that is a vastly different interaction in the lobby, given this context that we’re talking about.
Okay, so how to find one. With all that said, start here. Write down some names, people that might work, pray about those with your spouse. If you don’t have any names, and that’s a very real possibility, write down who you will talk to to get some names. So you got to know somebody in your community, somebody in your life-
Selena: Or a family pastor.
Ryan: You might know somebody who would fall within these… Yeah, pastor is a perfect place to start.
Selena: Family and life. Yeah, youth pastor.
Ryan: Like, if you have a father or a father-in-law or somebody, or a brother or a sister, somebody, say, “Hey, they would know someone.” Because you have to know somebody like that. So this is, again, how to find one.
One of the criteria we have here is both of you need to feel comfortable with who these people are and they need to feel comfortable with you.
Selena: So like if I find somebody that I love their wife but he doesn’t have a lot of relationship, and it’s just really hard to connect with the husband, then that’s probably a no-go, you know?
Ryan: Right. Because it always feels unbalanced and it won’t bear the fruit you’re hoping it’ll bear. Let’s see. We have trusted Christian couples who share your Biblical faith. How does that factor into how to find someone?
Selena: Well, I think it’s just the given of they’re Christians. They’re not just somebody at the gym that you look up to.
Ryan: Okay, yeah.
Selena: Again, you have to kind of discern whether this will work or not. Always give them an out too. I want to say that. I think it’s important to not corner people but to genuinely seek out their wisdom, their time. Again, saying, hey, it’s not a big commitment. It is a season kind of commitment. “We admire you guys, there’s so much about your marriage that we feel like we could learn and glean from. You don’t have to say yes. We don’t know if this is a really busy season for you or something but…” That’s why we say, write down a few names and pray about them and approach them one at a time.
Ryan: I’m thinking of a scenario that this would have worked for us. Early on after we got back from Switzerland, I had a heart surgery, all that kind of stuff, I worked at the state, my boss was a wonderful man of God. It was a secular institution. His name was Dennis. Dennis Flynn. He’s incredible. And he was just so integral and fatherly for me as a young man coming into my career and just helping me do my job. But also we would have the sidebar conversations on things.
And I could see if we were in a stage in our lives, I could have gone to him and said, “Hey, I know that we have the same Savior, and we may not believe exactly the same things in terms of denominations and stuff. But I know that that we’re going basically for the same thing. We want to be more like Christ. Would you be willing for me to have a conversation with you and maybe to have us over for dinner and to talk about it.” I feel like that would have worked.
Selena: Yeah. Talk to your wife. Like, make sure they talk to their spouse and it’s not just this quick commitment thing. Obviously, just using wisdom.
Ryan: I love what you said. Give them out so it doesn’t get weird. Because it can get weird.
Selena: It can get weird real quick.
Ryan: And you know what? If it gets weird, be the first one to know that. Like, open your eyes, recognize it.
Ryan: Give them the out sooner than later. “Never mind. You know what? You’re busy. Never mind.” Anyway-
Selena: But try.
Ryan: But try.
Ryan: So hopefully this has been helpful to you. Go with God in this. We feel very strongly that this will help your marriage as you go through courses like Gospel Centered marriage, but also as you just go through life. And especially as you’re growing into whatever the new season is, be it newlyweds, or new parents, or maybe new job, new location, whatever.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention all of this is only good and right and true, it’s rooted in the God of the universe, who happens to be the God of the Bible. And namely, the work that He did in sending His own Son to die the sinner’s death, that we should have died, on our behalf and not to stay dead but to rise again out of the grave, being resurrected, conquering death. Yes. And He’s invited us into the life that He fought for, and bought and paid for on our behalf.
And the way we do that if we place our faith in Him. And we only place our faith in Him through His grace, by the enlivening of the Holy Spirit, to place our full faith and trust in Christ. I’m gonna invite you to do that because this may be the moment the Holy Spirit uses to bring you into communion with Christ.
If you have more questions about what that means to become a Christian, go to thenewsisgood.com. It’s a website we set up. It’s just very simple. It lays it all out, gives you some ways forward.
With that said, let’s pray for these wonderful folks. Jesus thank you that you have given us yourself, that you’ve given us your wisdom. And not only that. You left us and left other believers with the Holy Spirit so that we might have the helper with us through every season in life, but also we might help one another, and be the body of Christ made up of many members, building itself up in the goodness of your love and the goodness of what it means to walk alongside you, Lord, and walk alongside one another in our pursuit of what it means to become like you.
So, Jesus, I pray for these couples, that you would give them boldness as they act on this conviction if you’ve laid it upon their heart to find a guide couple. And may they succeed in that endeavor, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Ryan: Thank you for joining us for Fierce Marriage. This has been a joy. We love doing this and we would love to do it longer. And the way we do it longer is (a) by the grace of God. And He allows it. Every breath is a gift from Him.
Another way that he allows it is through people that support us monthly. And we just ask that if you want to do that, if this content has blessed you and you feel compelled to be a part of that, go to fiercemarriage.com/partner. There are some others number of ways you can do that. There’s some upside but mainly we just want you to do it because you believe God is drawing you into that. With that said, this episode of Fierce Marriage is—
Selena: In the can.
Ryan: See you again in seven days. Until next time—
Selena: Stay fierce.
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