Podcast, Priorities, Purpose

Purposeful Sendoffs (The Home, 4 of 4)

two girls walking on street

What an opportunity we have, as Christians, to view our days as more than simply coming and going to/from work, activities, church, the store, and wherever else daily life takes you. What if every exit from the home was a strategic send-off of an ambassador out into the world? God has provided opportunities for us to live out the Great Commission uniquely and purposefully within our day. In today’s episode, we discussed just that. Enjoy!

Transcript Shownotes

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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned

  • [00:08:50]
    • Scripture references: 
      • Matthew 28:16-20 
  • [00:31:59]
    • Scripture references: 
      • John 13:34-35
  • [00:33:23]
    • Scripture references: 
      • Luke 10:3

Full Episode Transcript

Selena: What an opportunity we have as Christians to view our days as more than simply going to work, from home from work, family time, etc. It’s not just a checklist. If we take the time to see the opportunity that God has given to us, we really can live out the Great Commission uniquely and purposefully within our days.

So that is the topic of our conversation today is how we can send each other out and send each other off on our days in a meaningful and purposeful way. We’ll see you on the other side.

[00:00:37] <intro>

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

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

Selena: Sex—

Ryan: Communication—

Selena: Finances—

Ryan: Priorities—

Selena: Purpose—

Ryan: And everything in between.

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

[00:01:10] <podcast begins>

Ryan: So we’re wrapping up this month where we’ve talked about the home. I’ve enjoyed it because it’s really forced me to think through the places and the spaces that we create as Christian households that we occupy, that we use as kind of a home base.

Selena, this is something that you’ve been kind of mulling over. This particular topic for today is the idea that we’re not just going about our day. When you go to work, or when you send the kids wherever you’re going to send them. [both laughs] Who knows.

Selena: You just send them out!

Ryan: But it’s, hey, we’re a family, we are on mission together. And it’s not just dad or mom going off to work. It’s the family sending dad or mom to do the work that God has placed before them, which includes the missional work of the gospel, of creating disciples, of doing that actual work. Right?

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: So I think that’s profound. So that’s what we’re going to be talking through today is kind of the details around that, right?

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: Okay. Perfect! As usual, subscribe, follow, like, click, whatever, I don’t know- [laughs]

Selena: Share, rate, review. Do all the things that help get this podcast out, that help others know what it’s about.

Ryan: Thank you very much for those who have done that so far. If you would like to be on mission with us, go to fiercemarriage.com/partner. We were just so encouraged by the people there, our patrons. Thank you to all of you patrons who have already jumped on board.

And hello to all our new patrons. Welcome to the club. It’s awesome having you. I’m looking forward to getting to know you in there. So if you want to be part of that community, go to fiercemarriage.com/partner. Okay, that’s all we have for today.

Selena: All right. Well, as Ryan said, we’re wrapping up this series about the home and the importance of it. We talked about missional moments the first week. We talked about the makeup of a home, not just the structure but the space.

And then last week, we talked about how to bring people into your home and filling their bellies and their souls. And I really enjoyed that episode. I think you guys should go back and take a listen. And now we’re ending this with, and I think it’s just perfect, of how we can send each other out and the purpose behind that.

I think how we send each other out has so many purposes. One being that we can, you know, honor God in how we live. The daily grind of work, church involvement, you know, we can easily just feel disconnected as a couple and then we just begin to kind of drift away from each other, which then we’re breaking down in our communication, our intimacy life is failing, there’s bitterness that can start to take root towards whatever is kind of causing this drift.

But today we want to really discuss why we send each other out and how we can send each other out that are unique to the marriage and unique to a Christian household. Because again, it is important for us to see this and identify the opportunity that it is to send each other out.

And what I mean by sending each other out, right, it’s, I think, just augmenting the daily transitions of life, and not just “Oh, he’s going to work. I’ve got to go to work. Kids are going to school.” I just think, again, there’s these spaces in between that we might not be identifying.

So a caveat for today’s conversation is that some seasons come and go. And we think it’s important to make sure you mark kind of the ends and beginnings of each season, [00:05:00] celebrate them, remind each other in the middle of it that it’s just a season.

And do your best to kind of keep those timelines pretty firm. Because not taking time in your marriage for unity and building relationship is inevitably going to lead to some conflict. But praise God, that conflict can also lead to intimacy. But that’s a whole nother podcast episode and series. [Ryan chuckles]

Let’s jump into a conversation and start with the Great Commission in Matthew 28. And I wanted to start here because this is where Jesus… it’s the great send out I feel like.

Ryan: Yeah.

Selena: This is where Christ has come, He was born, He lived the life, fulfilled the scriptures and prophecies, walked among us, died for us, and was raised again. And this is where He sends us out. And I think it’s just such a powerful example of, again, the opportunities that we have as believers to send one another out and how that can strengthen our marriage and our unity.

Ryan: More than anything, what I think this does is it places us on… how do I say this? On Christ’s timeline. On the continuum of the work of God. And this is what Jesus did is He said, you know, “Go, preach the gospel, make disciples, baptize them in the name of Father, Son, Holy Spirit.”

He took everything, the activities that we will do as believers and He’s rooting them in eternity itself and saying that You are not just to go and get the nicest things you can get, the best job you can get, the most status you can get, the power you can get, the most pleasure you can experience in this life.

Instead of saying, No, bring people into the fold of God. Proclaim this news, this good news that I’ve established here.” And Jesus is talking. Proclaim that.

So I think of the family where the… You know, I’ll just use the typical example, where you’ve got a husband who’s the breadwinner and he is going to his job. Whether that’s, you know, job somewhere, labor somewhere, or some trade, or some office building, or some service sector. Whatever that job is, the Great Commission, if we live it out and take it seriously, it places that vocation on the continuum of eternity.

It says that that job is not just about your provision here and now. It’s not just that. It can never just be that as a Christian. Wherever you go… I’m just trying to think of other scenarios. For us, Selena, you go out… On Wednesdays, we have our co-op for our homeschool. Co-op. I don’t know what else to call it.

Selena: The community.

Ryan: The community. And we’re sending you because you’re a tutor there. So you’re teaching and instructing the children there. And there’s a sense it’s not just to teach our kids. It’s a missional… So I love this because it gives your whole life context when you start thinking in these terms, that we’re not just going about our life, but instead we’re sending.

So if you have a child that’s playing a sport, we’re sending… We’ll talk about that on the parenting side. But anyway, I don’t want to get ahead of where-

Selena: Right. And this is a good time to just, I think, lay out what we’re discussing today. I think I forgot to do that. We’re talking about the Great Commission, but we’re going to discuss in light of that why we send each other out and how we can do that as a couple and that unique “how”, right? How that differs from being friends or part of a sports team. Like the family unit, again, has a unique call and a unique pathway in which they can love each other and model Christ to one another.

Why don’t you go ahead and read Matthew 28:16-20. We’ll kind of talk through the context and the message and how we can live this out. Because only by understanding the why can we then begin implementing the how.

Ryan: Okay, Matthew 28, what?

Selena: 16.

Ryan: 16. Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”

Selena: So good. So good.

Ryan: Praise God.

Selena: I mean, the context is pretty obvious. And I love what you said just a minute ago about how it really kind of places us within the timeline of where Christ is and also into, you know, our lifetime. And the authority that he’s speaking with, He’s empowering us, He’s commissioning us. And because we have Christ living in us—and we [00:10:00] talked about this on Sunday in Ray’s message—the light can shine out of us.

And what is one way that the light of Christ can be lived and shine out of us? And I think it is through sending each other out on purpose and with purpose. “All authority,” verse 18, “in heaven on earth has been given to me.” It’s Jesus.

And so what does He say? He doesn’t say, Go get for you what you deserve and make your life the happiest it can be. He says, No, go therefore and make disciples of all nations. This is the highest calling, right? “And baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I’ve commanded you.”

And not only does He leave it there. He’s not just commissioning and leaving us, but He’s reminding us that He is always with us, even to the end of the age. So we are not alone in this mission. And I think that’s a huge part that I kind of probably glossed over [chuckles] when I was writing this rundown is that when we’re sending each other out that we’re not alone.

And I think maybe that’s the piece that we’re kind of taking apart is, it’s not just dad going to work or mom going to work, kids going to school. It is us living out the gospel and the Great Commission.

So let’s take a few minutes to talk about why we send each other out. So we have Christ as our model, we have the Great Commission as our example. So why do we send each other out? And when I say send each other… I still haven’t defined it well. Again, it’s whenever we’re kind of leaving the house, or we’re transitioning, or we’re going somewhere.

Ryan: Or it’s even just the vernacular you have around it with your kids. Like if I’m gone on a work trip or something, you’re not just like, “Yeah, he’ll be home.” It’s no, “Kids remember dad is doing this important thing and as a family we are behind him even though we can’t be with him.”

Selena: And I think we have a unique call as to be doing Fierce Marriage. We get to… I mean, I think you could phrase it, no matter what your job is.

Ryan: no, for sure.

Selena: But we uniquely get to say like we get to help other people in their marriages and help them know Jesus. You kind of just simplify it for the ages and stages, but I think painting that bigger picture of how you’re providing for the family, because God’s given you this work, and you want to be a good steward. There’s always verbiage, the holy words that you can say, to paint the picture for your children. And knowing that it’s not just a disconnect, it’s not just a leaving behind. It’s a go forth. And we’re together in this as a family.

So when we’re sending each other out, there’s, I think, four things that I want to talk about that illustrate the why.

Ryan: Can I add one quick piece to what you just said before we do the four things?

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: I’ll make this really fast. It’s calibrating in the sense that dad or mom or child, they’re not just leaving something behind, but they’re going out to accomplish something. And this is why it’s so important for our family to be on mission.

This is why we wrote a book around it. It’s an eBook. It’s How to Craft a Family Vision Statement. It’s available on our parenting website, Fierceparenting.com. And the whole reason is that’s calibrating. I’m not just going away, I’m not just leaving the family I love and hold dear. It’s I’m being sent to go accomplish something for the Savior I love and hold dear.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: And by His grace, of course, not on my own strength. But anyway.

Selena: And how much of that creates conflict if we’re not acknowledging the purpose within our marriage? If I feel like you’re always leaving, if I feel like I’m always being abandoned, I’m always the one that’s taking care of the kids or always doing the mundane day-to-day, you know, whatever, that can so quickly take root in our heart and create bitterness towards each other.

Ryan: And here’s the thing is it’s not just whatever you choose to do, that’s just the thing you’re called to do for the Lord that day.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: Because as a husband I am called to love my wife more than I’m called to do any sort of vocation, right? That call to love my wife as Christ loved the church is over in Scripture. And so if I can’t go and do the thing that I’m setting out to do and say that I’m, a, loving my wife well, loving my family well, honoring God, and now living on mission, then that thing doesn’t automatically just get a rubber stamp of approval.

Selena: So good.

Ryan: That thing needs to be on the chopping block at that point. And this is how it’s calibrating and it helps contextualize every aspect of extra home life. Right?

Selena: Right.

Ryan: Outside of the home.

Selena: So just like what you said, sending each other out really is an act of obedience. If the order is right, if we’re loving each other well as husband and wife, then this sending out really is saying, God, I love you and I love how you provided for us, and I want to walk in this obedience of making disciples. [00:15:00]

You and I, Ryan and Selena, husband and wife, we are making disciples by spending time in those missional moments that we talked about a few weeks ago, of knowing God better together, but also making disciples, you know, within the workplace.

And that may not be an overt making of disciples at that moment. But how many people from work have come to church? Or how many people from work had outside conversations with you about “Hey, I always see you like texting your wife, or you guys are always so happy around each other. What makes you tick?” You know, those kinds of questions.

Ryan: Or “I hear how you talk about your spouse even when you’re fighting or when other… Like you don’t speak ill of your spouse.” That in itself is almost like an evangelistic sort of tool.

I contend that there is always gospel work to be done. Even if you’re not standing on a soapbox during your lunch hour and literally preaching the gospel, there’s always work to be done. And that work to be done could be fervent, dedicated prayer for the whoever God puts on your heart in the workplace.

And if I’m doing that, because I know I’m providing for my family, but I know that I’m on mission that day as I’ve been sent by my family, by my wife, then I can be a man on mission. Praying is… I think sometimes we discount this. That’s why I’m kind of harping on it. If you can just count prayer-

Selena: Yeah, we’ll talk about that for sure.

Ryan: …as a missional endeavor…

Selena: Absolutely. So this first piece of is it’s an act of obedience. Sending each other out is an act of obedience to the Great Commission. Also sending each other out can be an act of worship, obedience to God to a higher authority, and how we love and how you carry yourself ultimately overflows into worship, right?

So worshiping God through how we love each other, through how we transition, how we come and go from different places, different tasks can really augment the work of God in our own lives, and therefore be a witness to others, which is the fourth one.

But the third one—and we’ve kind of been saying this—is that it does give you a deeper meaning of what it means to kind of live on purpose. We talk in Colossians 3 while… We talk. Paul talks about, you know, if you’ve been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, set your mind on things that are above. The part that I want-

Ryan: The Christ who sits at the throne. Yeah.

Selena: Yeah. The part that I wanted to kind of talk about was verse 17. It kind of starts in verse 16. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

That’s one of the verses I think that always goes through my head, when we’re talking about work, we’re talking about anything that we’re putting our hands to as a task. And so I think it’s just important for us to understand that there’s purpose in our work, there’s purpose in us, you know, leaving our families of certain time and coming home.

And again, that’s all calibrated, again, to what you were saying, Ryan, is, how are we loving each other well in those spaces in between? And how you view work is, I think, really important and reflects kind of your relationship with God and your… I hate to say ability to submit to His authority. But I do think that there is a harmony within obedience to God in this area.

Ryan: I just want to make observation on that. Can you look up real fast Ecclesiastes 9, I believe, I think starting in verse 9. While you’re doing that, I’m thinking about this letter to the Colossians and then Paul’s other letter.

I think, if I’m not mistaken, both Ephesians and Colossians are among the prison epistles that Paul wrote while he was imprisoned I believe in Rome. And it’s just interesting to me that what you just read in Colossians 3 is immediately preceding instructions for Christian household.

And then what we see in Ephesians 5 is almost the same, but the instruction, the rules for the Christian household as laid out in Ephesians 5 are directly preceding then the armor of God. And I’m wondering, okay, I’m just trying to think, what headspace was Paul in as he’s writing these letters, again, prison epistles, like [00:20:00] a long time in prison?

He spent a ton of time with the Ephesians prior to this. So he knew them really well. I don’t know how much time he spent with the Colossians but… there’s probably some overlap in there.

The point is, is he is in a certain headspace in prison and he’s saying, like, “I am stuck behind these bars and here are the most tangible thing that you can do as families is to do what you do unto the glory of God. And conform your very family structure into how God designed it.

Husbands love your wives, wives submit to your husbands.” We see that in both Ephesians and Colossians. “Children obey your parents. Parents, be kind to your children, don’t be harsh with them.” There’s these rules.

And then especially in Ephesians 5 after laying this all out, what does he do then? He says, “Walk in love, look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time.” That’s not day to day time. That’s seasonal time. So the season of life that you’re in is what-

Selena: So good.

Ryan: The word there is kairos, which is the Greek word for kind of seasons and almost like… it’s not like seconds and minutes of the chronos, right?

Selena: Right. [laughs] Taking Greek here.

Ryan: So walk in love, you know, wives and husbands. And that’s Ephesians 5. Then children and parents. And then Ephesians 6, “Finally be strong in the Lord and His strength, His might, put on the…” It’s as if the family has a purpose that’s beyond just the four walls of the home. And that’s what we’re getting at today.

And it’s not a revelation by any means. This is what exactly what we’ve been saying. But I just love how Paul is so overt about this, both in Colossians and Ephesians and other places as well.

Selena: When you’re talking about putting on the armor of Christ, he also talks about putting on the new self, right? And so this whole putting on I think it’s obviously an active word. And so how are we doing this with each other? And how are we living and loving each other in these transitions?

This is why we’re kind of bringing to light this purposeful send offs. And this is not our idea. And we’ll talk about this in a minute. But I think it’s just a way for us to really experience kind of the richness of each day and each moment as well as walking in obedience and worship to God and submitting ourselves to His Word, putting on that new self.

Because it’s not easy to always encourage and be thankful for a spouse that’s always leaving. And I don’t mean it like that. You have to pick that apart because I can be encouraging and loving to a spouse who is leaving because I know the purpose for why and I know the depth and the reasons and I’m thankful. And I can worship God for that.

Ryan: Or you can do a hard thing if you know that the hard thing is worth it.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: The problem is many people are doing hard things for trivial reasons. And that immediately negates the worth of the hard thing.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: And so yeah

Selena: If we don’t understand that there’s a deeper meaning and a level of purpose to our going out, then, like you said, as a married couple, we’re probably going to drift apart, there’s going to be some bitterness that we’re going to have to deal with, some frustration, and some lack of communication, which again attacks our intimacy. So there’s a lot there.

Ryan: Do we want to read Ecclesiastes verse?

Selena: Sure, if you want to.

Ryan: This is just an example of it. Obviously, if I have the right one. I love Ecclesiastes. You’ve heard me say this in the past listener, maybe not. But if you haven’t heard me say that, I love this book because it feeds the melancholy side. [both chuckles]

Selena: Of all of us.

Ryan: It’s almost like Solomon here is… Most people believe Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes. Some don’t. But I think it sounds a lot like Solomon. It’s almost like he’s got this nihilistic streak. It’s all meaningless, it’s all pointless, it’s all just…

And there’s some wisdom in that because life is a breath. Like grass withers, the flower fades away. That includes us. We will fade away. But… what’s the but? The word of the Lord endures forever. I love that.

So Ecclesiastes here we have in the middle of it… you know, the title given to this chapter by the translators is “Death comes to all.” [chuckles] “But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him.”

So again, he’s kind of just lamenting and being kind of melancholy. But the part I love about this is all down in chapter 7. He’s saying like, “It can’t be known the purpose of it all.” Not chapter 7, sorry. In chapter 9 verse 7, he says, “Go, eat your bread with joy, [00:25:00] and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.”

Again, that says a lot about the sovereignty of God. It says a lot about how God allows us to do certain things. And by virtue of us being able to do any sort of work unto His glory, unto our own good, the good of others is going to be ordained by him on some level.

And so God has already approved of what you do, otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing it. Okay? “Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.” There’s a lot of symbolism there. But this part, verse of chapter 9. “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your life…” It doesn’t just say life. It says, “…your vain life that He has given you under the sun.”

Can you see the irony there? He’s saying, all the days of your vain life, meaningless vapor of life, what? That he has given you. So it’s both a vein and it’s given by God. How is that possible? And I think it helps us to see the fleeting nature of it and take joy and rest in the fact that I can just enjoy today and enjoy it unto the glory of God today.

And that sometimes is enough just to say, like, “Wife, send me to do this work and enjoy it.” It says, “…all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do…” There’s that verbiage again. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” I love it.

Selena: So good.

Ryan: It’s very calibrating.

Selena: [chuckling] I was going to say it’s very calibrating. I think, as a couple, you know, it can kind of remind us that it’s not really about us all the time. Right?

Ryan: Yeah.

Selena: And this is the fourth point that I want to talk about. And this is we are witnesses to others around us. We work and the attitude of our heart towards the tasks, towards leaving our home and doing what we’re supposed to be doing at that moment is reflected in why and how we send each other.

And so if you’re always coming into work grumbling about your spouse, or your kids, or whatever, what does that reflecting to other people? I think that’s been a struggle when I was working more. And even now. I mean, there’s this tendency to be on the level playing field with everybody and always have something to kind of complain about. And that’s kind of like where everybody meets each other.

And I would challenge you, listener, as well as I would just challenge myself to figure out that way forward of “Hey, yeah, the days are dark, it’s been rough, but God is so good to me. And I’m so grateful for my spouse. Yeah, we’re working through some hard stuff, but…” And it’s not a glossing over either. I think that verbiage can only come from a true work of God in your heart. And nobody can gloss over the big challenges that some marriages are enduring in this moment.

Ryan: And the only way we can get through those moments is when we take Christ at His Word. Right? That He is king, He is seated at the throne reigning. His second coming is imminent. If we actually believe that, then we can do the things that we’re talking about. But if we kind of only sort of believe it, that’s when we start to despair.

We have to place our faith in God in those moments. I forget. There’s a quote somewhere. It was in our Sunday bulletin. I don’t have it in front of me. I wish I did. But there’s a really good quote about basically faith is we have hope in this life because of a faith that we have in the future type of thing.

And we have to believe Christ is who He says He is and He did what He said He did, and He’s going to do what He said He’s going to do. If we can say yes to all three of those things, yes and amen, then we can begin to have what we’re talking about here. And we can begin to fight for what we’re talking about here. Without those three things, we can’t even begin to fight for these things.

Selena: Moving on. I’ll recap real quick the four reasons why we can send each other out. I hope we hear that why we can send each other out is because Christ has empowered us through the Great Commission. So therefore we are able to be obedient. The Holy Spirit helps us in this obedience, this act of obedience of sending each other out.

We send each other out as an act of worship. Again, obedience on display is worship to God. We can send each other out because we know and believe there’s a deeper meaning there’s a deeper purpose for why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s not about the what. It’s about the why.

And lastly, it is a witness to others around us, as well as to each other. I get so blessed when Ryan feels enlivened by the work that he’s doing [00:30:00] or the people that he gets to connect with. That’s very bolstering, I think, to my own heart as a wife to know that God is growing him and blessing him through the people he’s interacting with.

Ryan: Same toward you. Let it be known.

Selena: Let it be known. [chuckles]

Ryan: I love when you enjoy the work that God has called you to do. So even the home and in this type of ministry.

Selena: Thank you. So we talked about the Great Commission, we talked about why we can send each other out. And now we’re going to get real tangible about three ways or three hows, how we can send each other out, and why it matters.

And I think these are very unique to the marriage relationship, very unique to just the Christian household. I think we sort of stumbled across this idea from the Bethkes. They kind of first shared this idea that… You guys know they’re probably big on family teams-

Ryan: Some people don’t know the Bethke are. Jefferson and Alyssa Bethke. They’re authors. You don’t need this whole history. They’re great people.

Selena: Yeah. They are also in the family and marriage space as well.

Ryan: Weirdly enough we knew them before he had this YouTube video that blew up.

Selena: It’s very weird. We’ve known a lot of these people.

Ryan: It’s weird. It’s almost like God is sovereign.

Selena: But he shared this idea of talking a lot about family teams. When dad’s going to work, he’s not simply just leaving us. We as his family, me as the wife, kids, the children, we’re sending him off to go do the work that God has put his hands to.

So taking that idea kind of a step further and saying, how do we do that? Like, I get that you’re saying we should send each other out. What does that even look like? I don’t know.

The first one, and Ryan touched on a little bit as an evangelical tool, but I think it’s so important for us is praying over each other before you leave, maybe throughout the day while you’re gone or your spouse is gone.

And what can we be praying for? We can be praying for opportunities to share the gospel, like the Great Commission tells us to do. We can pray for opportunities for our spouse to model love for one another.

We see in John 13:35, Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” And I think that can easily extend into the marriage space [chuckles] for loving one another.

Ryan: What a tactic of the enemy though to say, “Well, we don’t need to pray over dad’s day. He’s just going to sit in meetings all day. It’s all just mundane work.” Like what a tactic of the enemy to say, “Dad doesn’t need your prayer. He doesn’t need to be sent today. This is just a basic sort of day.” Those are the exact moments that Solomon is talking about.

Anyway, I just want to encourage the people listening to this, that it doesn’t have to be like these big milestone moments that we’re praying.

Selena: No. That’s just heavy and wearisome to try to do, right?

Ryan: Yeah. And we can behold and pray. Like we talked about, I think, many weeks back this book that we were reading called “Every Moment Holy.” I’m not sure if we talked it.

Selena: About liturgies. Yeah.

Ryan: The liturgies. And they’re all about really basic things like laundry and-

Selena: Changing diapering.

Ryan: Even like meetings. I think there’s one. The point is it really helps us to think in terms that are eternal because every moment is holy when it’s given and lived unto the Lord.

Selena: So good. We can also pray for things like protection. Luke 10:3 Jesus says, “Go: Behold I send you as lambs in the midst wolves.” So praying for protection for our spouse physically, emotionally, over their mind, over their ears, what they’ll hear. I think prayer is just such a key thing to the Christian life. [chuckles] That’s such an understatement. Sorry guys. [laughs] It’s kind of big.

Ryan: So we actually wrote these books. We’ll talked about them at length. 40 Prayers for My Husband. 40 Prayers for My Wife. Of course, you wrote for the husband, I wrote the one praying for the wife.

Selena: Praying for the wife, yeah.

Ryan: And it’s really about around these sorts of moments. Like, May you guide her feet as she go, guide her words as she speaks to those within earshot. Protect her ears when people are speaking, cursing unto her. You know, not literal curses, but you know that those types of-

Selena: Conversations and things that are happening that can really deflate you as a person, let alone as a leader.

Ryan: Protect her heart. Anyway, we wrote these books. So that’s one way as a husband and a wife we can be praying very intentionally. Just as a quick kind of, I don’t know, cue for you if you’re wondering, “What should I pray about?” I like to do head-to-toe prayers.

Like start at the top of her head. You know, may she be covered today by your protection, Lord and her mind her eyes, her ears, the hands-

Selena: He’s not praying physically. He’s praying obviously. Well, hopefully you catch this. But like not that her ears- [chuckles]

Ryan: “Keep her eyes [00:35:00] on the things of you, Lord. Let her ears be filled with words, and you know… I don’t know-

Selena: Worship.

Ryan: Yeah. And let her mouth speak life and let her hands be about your work and let her feet take her to the right places.

Selena: We contrast that with idleness or distraction or anger or letting whatever just come in to take root and take up occupancy within our hearts and our minds. You’ll understand how powerful and what a gift, and what a… I almost want to say an obligation, a joyful obligation, I think, as believers that we get to commune with the Creator of the universe.

As many of you probably know, that was not the case in the Old Testament. You would be killed for trying to go into the presence of God or talk to Him without a priest or someone in between. So what’s there?

Ryan: So these are very tangible ways to send one another out. So praying over one another. And then you have verbal appreciation. So what do you mean by that?

Selena: Verbal appreciation. Just the simple on the way out a kiss, “Thank you for working so hard for us. Thank you for enduring this hard season because I know you were up late working and now you got to go early. I know this is just a season. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for the attitude of your heart while you’re doing it. Thank you for giving and spending of yourself for us.”

I don’t know if there’s anything that fills your bucket quite so much, at least I’ve noticed, when I’m expressing that gratefulness to you. Not “Go Selena,” but just… I think it really-

Ryan: It really is profound as a husband the effect it has on my heart. And I think most husbands would agree that no other person’s words in the entire universe carry as much weight as your wife’s. And they can cut deep to the heart in the best and worst ways. And if a wife is aware of and wields her power wisely, it will bring life to her husband. Like from the depths of his heart to the tips of his fingers and tips of his toes, it will bring life to that man. And I will say that I’ve been on both sides of that where I felt both-

Selena: Never.

Ryan: …I felt the searing blade of my wife’s tongue cut right through my heart. I’ve also felt the healing that only she can provide. So I would also say too husbands verbal appreciation towards your wife. Now, I don’t mean to… lots of wives work, right? So this could go both ways.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: So a husband could say, “Hey, thank you for contributing to our household. Thank you for all the various things that I appreciate that you’re doing.” Or I think, husbands, if your wife isn’t actually working out of the home in a vocation of sorts, I think raising children is plenty vocational, it’s hard work, but you can say, “Thank you for caring for our children.”

I think one of the things I try to say to you often enough is “thank you for instructing our children well. I can trust that they’re not just getting a hack education.”

Selena: Oh, Lord, I hope not.

Ryan: And they’re learning amazing skills. And so expressing appreciation toward you. You’re being sent in a way even though we’re literally just separated by sheetrock and two by fours because we’re in the same house all day. We’re both about the work.

Selena: Yeah, the verbal appreciation can only come from a knowing of your spouse, knowing what they do. So if you’re being cold towards each other and there’s some bitterness and things that you feel like you need to work through, part of that, I mean, is having a conversation about what you’re actually doing. I think many of our conflicts have been resolved just by “This is what I’m actually doing and this is why it feels so hard. I feel like you’re against me on this.”

But how can we kind of peel the layers back and understand what’s actually happening? Because so often in our minds, if we feel like we’re being wronged, we can just vilify our spouse and what they’re doing and we don’t actually know what they might be putting their hands to.

So, again, we can only express appreciation or begin to express appreciation that will touch the hearts of our spouse if we know them and we know what is going on in their day, right? It’s a call to unity. It’s a call to oneness ultimately.

So praying for one another, verbal appreciation, which should be a natural overflow of intimacy and loving one another well. And then write it down. So kind of a see it. Post reminders for yourself and your spouse. You know, writing down why your spouse is working and the reasons for the longer hours. Maybe it’s the provision from God. He’s providing for his family, doing the ministry that God has put his hands to. Again, the Great Commission.

And this looks different [00:40:00] for each household. And whoever is working or whoever is being sent out in way… And these are not excuses for why I had to work 20 hours today. Again, there’s a caveat we set up ahead at this episode, but-

Ryan: On mission to buy that car. That’s not that we’re talking. [chuckles]

Selena: Right. When we are on mission for the gospel, these are the eternal reminders of why. And I think it’s unique. You said this a little bit. That it’s unique to the Christian couple because no one else has that direct line to our spouse’s heart.

Part of our story is Ryan had a heart surgery and his heart was kind of going on flippy floppy weird afterwards, [Ryan laughs] needless to say. And they had these lines connected to his heart. Like they were wires that went into his heart, came out underneath his sternum. So you could touch the wires on the outside, that we’re connected to his heart. Very weird. But in case right-

Ryan: It was even weird when we decided to pull him out.

Selena: Yeah, that was weird too. [blargh]

Ryan: And I was fully conscious. Zero-

Selena: Stomach is churning already. But you can see that no one has the direct line like that and the effects of that as much as your spouse. So I think it’s important and awesome that God has entrusted us as spouses to be able to speak so directly.

Ryan: That’s exactly why-

Selena: Affectingly. If that’s a word.

Ryan: That’s right.

Selena: Affectedly. Yeah, I teach our kids. Oh, boy! [both laughs]

Ryan: I think that’s precisely why Paul in more than one place reminds wives the way they can love their husband is through submission, through respect, and husbands the way they can love their wife is through Christ-like love. Because I think-

Selena: Which is sacrificial. It’s all a call to submission.

Ryan: It truly is.

Selena: It’s not one or the other.

Ryan: We’re not getting into the debate right now, but we think the Bible is pretty overt about these things. And I think it’s for good reason, because… I can’t remember where I heard this from, but somebody said this. And it’s kind of a broad, sweeping statement. But women are genuinely better at loving in certain ways and they’re not as good at respect. Whereas men are not very good at loving and their respect is kind of a natural language of men. Like men want to earn respect, give respect. They do-

Selena: Yeah, that’s the language. That’s the currency for sure.

Ryan: Women want to feel love and give love. That’s why women generally are way better at nurturing, and coming along somebody and helping them feel better. Men just want to fix it. Because fixing is a sign of competency, which is a sign of respect.

Selena: Or being worthy of respect.

Ryan: Yeah. And so I think that’s why Paul tells wives to give the respect and tells husbands to give love because that’s not your natural currency.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: Again, speaking with broad strokes here, but I think we would do well and we’d be wise to heed Paul’s words.

Selena: So couple’s conversation challenge. How can you as a couple begin implementing these purposeful send offs? I feel like my mic is like grabbing my lips and not letting me talk. It feels very… Sorry, guys. Let’s try that one more time. But how can you as a couple begin implementing purposeful send offs with each other?

Maybe that means grabbing the 40 prayers books for husband and wife. And you can start there if you want to work on how you can pray for each other. Maybe it’s starting with a note every day, or once a week for the next month. You know, write some stuff down. Consciously give that verbal appreciation. Take one of these ways and run with it. Always rooting it in Scripture and the Great Commission and this eternal work of knowing God and making Him known.

So I’m going to pray us out.

Ryan: All right.

Selena: God, thank you so much for marriage and the beautiful design that it is that we get to live out the Great Commission in how we send each other out for Your purpose, for Your glory, for our sanctification, for our good. Lord, help us to not lose sight of the eternal moments that each day gives us.

I pray that you would just enliven the marriages that might be feeling the weight of the daily grind for the disconnect, for the drifting apart. I ask that this would be a path forward in how they can reconnect and live within oneness and unity. Bless them, Lord. Bless them in their efforts. We love you, God. Thank you again for the ability to talk about You, the things of You. And may you be glorified [00:45:00] on this podcast. In your name, amen.

Ryan: Amen. So as a quick reminder, this whole series has been all around the home, right? The places that we occupy, the spaces we create, the ministry that happens within the home and now sending out.

And so this is just a reminder that on this theme of the home that your home, your household, no matter what physical structure you live in, no matter where you live, that your home is an outpost for the soldiers of Christ. That’s including you and your spouse, first and foremost, obviously, the children. If you want to hear more about the parenting side and the kids side, certainly go check out the Fierce Parenting Podcast. We talk about that at length, in much greater detail.

But our hope and our prayer is that you would be a family, a home, a household rooted in Christ and on mission for the gospel. And we take great joy in knowing that there are so many other families that are doing work. They may not have a podcast, they may not have a blog, they may not be doing social media ministry like Ryan and Selena Frederick. But nevertheless, we are on mission with you. And so I just want to say you’re awesome, keep going. We’re thankful for you and we celebrate you as a brother and a sister in Christ. I just felt like saying some-

Selena: You’re so sweet. I love your encouragement.

Ryan: That is the end of this- [Selena chuckles]

Selena: That is the end.

Ryan: It is over. We’re through.

Selena: So we’ll see you…

Ryan: Yes, that’s the end of this series. I will see you next week for another series.

Selena: Truth be told, we don’t know what it is but it’ll be good. We’ve thrown around a few ideas and we’re trying to pray about what the Lord would lead us in. So…

Ryan: Anyway! So we’ll see you then. And yeah, this episode of Fierce Marriage Podcast is—

Selena: In the can.

Ryan: See you in seven days. Until then—

Selena: Stay fierce.

[00:46:53] <outro>

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


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