Dating Your Spouse, Friendship, Podcast

The Immeasurable Importance of Friendship and Fun

smiling woman and man sitting on floor

Friendship always adds vitality and fun to your marriage. In this episode, we talked about what the Bible has to say about fun and looked at how that reality can transform our friendship. Enjoy… and have fun!

Transcript Shownotes

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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned

  • Referenced scripture:
    • Psalm 126:1-3

Full Episode Transcript

Ryan: Selena, my favorite thing about you is having fun with you. Our friendship goes back to… it predates-

Selena: It predates.

Ryan: It predates our romantic entanglements. [both laughs]

Selena: Great.

Ryan: It does. So we met in high school-

Selena: Yes, we had a pure relationship before. [chuckles]

Ryan: I’m talking before like we became boyfriend and girlfriend, before we went steady as some of- [both laughs]

Selena: No one says that. Yes, he was super fun to be around. He’s the one that has made me laugh the hardest ever since we met. [laughs]

Ryan: I’d say the same about you. That’s what today’s episode is all about.

Selena: I don’t that’s a good thing. “I’d say the same thing about you.”

Ryan: Mostly we laugh together. You don’t laugh at one another.

Selena: At each other, yes.

Ryan: We laugh with each other.

Selena: With each other.

Ryan: And that’s today’s topic. It’s gonna be light-hearted but that’s good because having a light-hearted, friendship-based marriage can do wonders for just the joy you experience in your… Obviously, within your covenant, within your life. It has a lot to do with the culture of your household. And so it’s important that we remember that, hey, being friends is good and having fun is good. And you can do both those things in really fierce way. [laughs] It’s kind of a lot of effort going on. Anyway, we’ll see you on the other side.

[00:01:13] <music>

Selena: Friendship based. I don’t know. I think you need to have a friendship in the foundation of your marriage. I don’t think your marriage can be based on friendship.

Ryan: Okay, I’m not going to die on that hill. It’s the same. It’s an important part of your marriage.

Selena: You said that, and I was like, “I think you can… yes, you obviously need to be friends. I think that’s where it should start.” Which is not always where people start. I mean, a lot of times it starts romantically, and then you-

Ryan: I think you might be making a distinction whether it’s like-

Selena: Maybe. Yeah.

Ryan: Can you possibly be lovers if you’re not first friends? How can we be lovers and we can’t even be friends?

Selena: We can do it.

Ryan: That’s not the right-

Selena: I know, I know. Okay, maybe I’m not maybe… Maybe I am.

Ryan: So we’re friends of God. Right? He has called us friends and He has brought us into the fold in friendship.

Selena: Sure.

Ryan: You know, if you have a relative that you don’t like-

Selena: That’s true.

Ryan: …you’re still related to them. But you want them to be your friends.

Selena: And I think that there’s nothing that can really replace friendship in your marriage, because friendship is one of those things that is just kind of your day-to-day glue, right? It’s the thing that keeps you connected, keeps you kind of laughing. It’s an indicator of whether or not you’re on the same page, or how much connection and unity you are having. Because when we’re not really friends, we’re probably not even talking to one another.

So it’s important to see friendship, I think, as a gauge as something that is indicative of our connection and our unity. We can keep talking about that a little bit.

Ryan: Yes.

Selena: Let’s start with who we are.

Ryan: So I’m Ryan and you are-

Selena: Selena.

Ryan: We’re the Fredericks. We are the authors, voices, faces, founders of all things fierce on the internet. If it’s fierce… Just kidding. Not all things fierce. Just Fierce Marriage, Fierce Parenting, and there’s a few things around that. We’re glad you’re here. Thanks for giving us your time. We hope to make it worth your time and give you a… I promise you this. We’ll always infuse it with the gospel, remind you who you are in light of Christ, and most importantly who Christ is and all that He has done and all that it means for you and me and us. So thanks for joining us.

If this is helping you, if our ministry is helping you, please let us know. Like, subscribe to the channel on YouTube or on the podcast if you’re listening. You can also be a partner with us. Go to fiercemarriage.com/partner. You’ll find all the information there. I will tell you this, I think it’s well worth it to partner with this ministry. God is allowing us to be fruitful, reaching lots of people. And you can be a part of that. So thanks for joining us.

All right. Friendship.

Selena: Last few weeks. Well, just… I feel like each week has kind of built off the past one. We were talking a couple weeks ago about lies and deception in marriage, the lies of – what was it? Loneliness. No.

Ryan: Of isolation.

Selena: Isolation. Lies of isolation, then some lies that we dealt with… how to deal with lying and deception in your marriage. And then last week was about transparency. And I think once you’re starting to one way to also build transparency and to kind of, you know, leap off of that is through developing your friendship and feeding your friendship and giving yourself time to maybe re-establish a friendship if it’s been kind of cold in your marriage.

Ryan: So love without fear is what we talked about. And this is kind of just how that fearless love can be worked out and can be maintained is through just actively building, remembering at some point… I mean, given our modern context, you viewer, listener, you probably were good friends with your spouse before you said I do at the altar, right?

And so at one point you were laughing together, you would stare dreamily into one another’s eyes, you would go on dates together, and it was all very fun. And then the busyness of life, the circumstances we deal with [00:05:00] they can cloud that. And so we’re here to remind you: remember those times. Remember that you do actually like one another.

And many listening to this would probably say, “Yeah, I know. I know.” But when it’s hard, I’m saying when maybe life feels like drudgery or maybe you’re going through a tough season, or you’re just the general climate of your household has been kind of gray-

Selena: Well, it’s important to remember and reminisce, right?

Ryan: Reminisce.

Selena: It’s important to do those things. I mean, God talks about… in the Bible, He’s always saying like…He. He is. He’s always saying like, “Remember my commandments. Remember this. Remember what the Lord did in Old Testament.”

Like they would tell of what God did, how He brought them out of Egypt. There’s a constant remembering because we are so quick a) to forget, and b) to set our eyes on something else. And then we suddenly want this thing when really we are so blessed, like richly blessed to be in the covenant marriage and relationship that we’re already in. Right.

And so we see this theme of remembrance and coming back to and seeing God at work in the lives of the Israelites. And that I think can be just a theme reflecting on our marriage.

Ryan: In the name of remembering, Selena, what’s your favorite memory of us—I’m putting you on the spot here—as friends?

Selena: As friends. I think-

Ryan: Or just our friendship moment. I mean, it could be-

Selena: It was so different because we were so young when we met. So the moments that I remember, of course, our first date was really crazy and fun. I don’t know. We’ll share that one day.

Ryan: Why not share it now?

Selena: Because I want to share something else.

Ryan: Okay, go ahead. Sorry. [chuckles]

Selena: He was a total like 90s grunge skater boy/guy-

Ryan: I didn’t skate at all.

Selena: …I was not.

Ryan: I snowboarded and I was in the guitar.

Selena: I was like-

Ryan: Just to show you were a preppy girl. [laughs]

Selena: Yes. And so all the girls were like, “Oh, Ryan’s so nice. He’s so sweet.” And I was like, “Okay, well, I don’t know.” Somehow our paths crossed in high school and we were talking and you were kind of into me, I was kind of into you. And you like gave me a CD mix. Oh, no, you first gave me a CD of some ska music. And then I think he did give me a mix though. And I was like, “I like Cherish Day.” It was like, Oh-

Ryan: You took my mixtape? [both laughs]

Selena: That’s kind of where friendship started. I remember listening to music and I was like, “That is not music I listened to before.” And then when we went on dates, he started showing me like, I don’t know, what can I say? Metallica and Nirvana like all these and I was just like, “Oh, this is what he listened to.”

Ryan: If you’re in Christian metal listening to this, watching this, it’s a mortification. I think the right classification for that particular metal is death metal, which is ironic because it’s Christian metal. We’re talking about mortification of sin. Anyway. And I’m surprised it didn’t scare you off. I mean, this is like legitimate-

Selena: He was like, “Oh, listen to this drum beat or something.”

Ryan: Teardrop?

Selena: “Teardrop right here. Watch it.”

Ryan: I still do that. [laughs]

Selena: He still does that. And I still try to be impressed because I have come to appreciate it a lot more.

Ryan: Wait a second. Try?

Selena: I am very impressed.

Ryan: Have I been living a lie for the last 20 years?

Selena: No. No. [Ryan laughs]

Ryan: She’s not actually impressed?

Selena: I’m very impressed. I’ve come to appreciate it because I can’t hit drums that fast.

Ryan: I discipled you well. [both chuckles]

Selena: What are some of your favorites? What’s one of your favorite memories?

Ryan: Oh, man.

Selena: We’re going down memory lane here.

Ryan: You know what? We took a trip. I think we were married at this point. We took a trip up to… We must have. [Selena laughs] Victoria, Vancouver. Was it Victoria? Canada. So we’re just in Washington State just south of Canada and-

Selena: We did.

Ryan: …we took a trip up there.

Selena: Yeah, we were married, I think.

Ryan: I just remember going through some of these. You see? We have been married 18 years.

Selena: I don’t think we stayed overnight.

Ryan: Anyway, that was fun because it was just the two of us. I remember just thinking like, “We’re on this adventure and we just are kind of spreading our wings as young adults.” I think we were married at that point.

Selena: I think we were too.

Ryan: And you know, crossing borders, international borders. [both chuckles] That was fun.

Selena: I remember the ice cream. [chuckles]

Ryan: Those moments are so foundational because it cements you in. And it’s that shared experience that… I think we can be so quick to forget like we share experiences together that are later foundational and even they define us in a lot of ways.

Selena: They’re pillars. They’re kind of anchors that we can say, you know, “Oh, man, we share those memories together. Like we have kids together. We have done these things together.” That’s a bond that’s going to be really hard to break at least for… I would hope, for the believer, right, that you have done all these… God has allowed you to do and experience all of these… creating life and building a marriage together through memories, through doing the hard things and you know, living on TV dinners and no power because you’re just trying to make ends meet. And it’s just a memory that you remember.

I think that God is just so good to remind us of those things and to say, “Hey, that’s your glue, remember? [00:10:00] Yes, I’m at the center, I am the reason that you’re together. But I’m giving you things to look back at and to embrace and to remember and remind you of the friendship, the connection that you have.” It’s unique.

Ryan: And it’s by remembering that we remember all that’s at stake. Because it’s when you get into the muck in the mire of a hard situation or maybe a prolonged season of dryness, whether it’s in life in general, struggling, or sickness or whatever that looks like, or a season of dryness between the two of you. It’s so easy to forget and throw out all that good memory, all those good memories-

Selena: Yeah, you’re so busy trying to fight one another that you’re forgetting that you actually have a history and a past and a lot of shared-

Ryan: And you actually do like this person and you want to be around them. You might be going through a hard time, but essentially, they’re the same person. And people do change-

Selena: Yes, by God’s grace.

Ryan: So by doing this, we’re gonna get into the fun stuff, but by remembering and intentionally looking back, you remember all that’s at stake. And it has a two-fold kind of cause. It makes you kind of rejoice where God has brought you from. And we see all that, like you said, throughout Israel. They would look back and remember all that God had done. And we can do the same thing.

But also it begins to clear that fog and you start to see the essence of this person once again. And that sounds a little bit weird, but you start to see this is actually my friend.

Selena: You’re kind of reminded of why you love one another and the things that brought you together. And again, the glue, I think that history you only share it with that person. Again, that’s so unique, right?

So ask and consider. I would say ask your spouse, ask yourselves, how can we laugh more? Right? How can we laugh more? He always does this when I get too serious, because that’s our tendency. So he’ll just like do something goofy or he’ll just lean into the awkward and it makes me laugh even though I don’t want to laugh in the moment-

Ryan: Or I’ll pressure Selena into doing something that I know she-

Selena: That I don’t want to do.

Ryan: …could do but doesn’t really… Like the swing. We have this big swing in our backyard. [Selena chuckles]

Selena: I don’t like this.

Ryan: Selena loves the swing.

Selena: It was fine.

Ryan: But you know, stuff like that. Or, you know, we’ll be out on the boat or something with the inner tube and I’ll say, “You get in with the girl. I’ll drive you get in with them and you know…” It’s kind of I’ll peer pressure you. [chuckles]

Selena: He does. And I don’t want to let him down.

Ryan: And I’ll have the girls go, “Who wants Selena to…” I don’t call you Selena in front of our daughters. “Hey girls who wants mom to ride the swing?” Is that how we say? Ride the swing? Sit on the swing. I don’t know.

Selena: Go on the swing?

Ryan: Go on the swing. [both laughs] Anyway.

Selena: So how can we laugh more? I mean, just be thinking about ways… I mean, inside jokes can thrive here. How can we encourage each other more consistently? These are just questions to be thinking about. And how can I listen more intently? How can we listen more intently to one another? How can we share more transparently with one another?

I think we can so quickly fall into those ruts and the gutters of just, “Yeah, hey, I’m good. Can you do this with the kids? Can you do that? I’ve got to go do this. Let’s do this. We’ll meet up here.” Just kind of this coordination of things. But how can we carve out that time to really connect and to really just hang out as friends? Like we are married, you’re my best friend, I want to be your friend, let’s continue this friendship. [chuckles]

Ryan: Yeah. And then one that just came to mind is how can you recall your milestones and moments, kind of those milestones along the path of your relationship? I’m thinking of the first time we ever held hands.

Selena: Oh, yeah, I remember that place.

Ryan: We were dating, and I was kind of, I don’t know… I really wanted… Selena was so far out of my league and I wanted so badly to obey God and I wanted so badly to impress this girl. And I just remember thinking I wanted to honor you and everywhere. And so we went for a walk. We hadn’t held hands yet. We were probably dating a couple weeks at that point.

Selena: Yeah. And he asked me, “Can I hold your hands?”

Ryan: I said, “Can I hold your hand?”

Selena: Aww.

Ryan: And we were at the beach. We were down-

Selena: We were not at the beach.

Ryan: We were on the waterfront.

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: …in the Puget Sound. It was just like the sweetest moment. It’s like remember your version of that moment, whatever. I remember the first time we kissed which was I think it’s pretty awkward because if you’re asking her to hold your hold her hand, the kiss is gonna be pretty awkward. That was a few months later.

Selena: We moved slowly.

Ryan: And then I’m trying to think of… You know, your engagement. Maybe the first time you went camping together. Try to recall like what are those special moments-

Selena: Some of those first.

Ryan: Yeah, some of those first together and reminisce with one another. I would say consider that, ask each other that question and see what happens. Psalm 126:1-3. To be honest, this comes so… We’re getting a lot of this episode’s content from this book that we wrote. It’s called Two as One. It’s the first book that we released. And it’s actually a compilation and modified… [00:15:00] It’s a really short kind of one page entries.

Selena: It’s a devotional.

Ryan: It’s a devotional for couples.

Selena: It’s awesome. I love it.

Ryan: What is it called?

Selena: Thirty day devotional.

Ryan: No. Connecting Daily with Christ and Your Spouse. It’s Two as One. But anyway, in that I wrote about Psalm 126:1-3. And here it is. So I’m wondering, what’s the model we have in Scripture to be people that have fun? That’s not really a word that people will oftentimes kind of put in the same category. When you think Scripture, you don’t think, yeah, fun is something that scripture talks about a lot. You’ll-

Selena: But joy is-

Ryan: You’ll think it talks about repentance, it talks about salvation, it talks about joy. But does it talk about fun? So I didn’t want to prove texts. So I went and found this in Psalm 126. And he says this, “When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.”

So I thought of all scripture, you know, this is a pretty fun scene what’s happening here.

Selena: Yeah. I would say fun in Scripture means laughter.

Ryan: Laughter and joy. And you see it demonstrated more than you see it talked about. Also, David danced before the Lord. He’s doing it because it’s fun. He’s not doing it because he’s trying to be a wild man. He’s rejoicing.

Selena: So good.

Ryan: There’s an enlivening of his heart and a quickening of his feet and laughter that goes along with it. And I love that in this psalm he’s saying, they’re reflecting and said, “Look at all the Lord has done. He has done great things for us. And therefore, we are glad.”

That’s exactly what we’re talking about is that we have cause to celebrate. If you’re listening to this, watching this, I can confidently say that God is doing something right now. That is a cause to celebrate, that your God has not forsaken you. He’s not-

Selena: He’s not abandoned us.

Ryan: He’s not abandoned you.

Selena: Yes, He came and died for you. [chuckles]

Ryan: We’re here to remind you that. And that is the most foundational cause for fun. And if we live our marriage and our friendship in light of that, everything then becomes better. So when you watch your children play in the yard, or when you are going about your whatever the daily business of life is, you can realize, “Hey, I get to do this with my spouse. We’re doing this because God has allowed us another breath another day, another day of health in our marriage-

Selena: For His glory.

Ryan: And that kind of lightens your spirit a little bit.

Selena: Yeah. Yeah. So our eternity is secure with Him if you are a believer because of Jesus. So our lives are given purpose. I mean, I’m just kind of reiterating what you said. It’s from this place of understanding that we experienced Christ’s goodness. And it’s the underlying reason for us to have this culture of friendship in our marriage.

We’ve talked about like friendship in marriage. What do you mean by culture and friendship in marriage? I get it but I want to define it just a little bit more.

Ryan: Well, I mean, think about like the contrast. What would the contrast look like if you’ve got a culture of-

Selena: Because you can have a marriage without friendship.

Ryan: If you have a family culture that’s adversarial or argumentative, sarcastic, or-

Selena: Complainy.

Ryan: …complainy or naggy, what’s the contrast there?

Selena: Yeah, sure.

Ryan: Are we stepping into each day with the joy of the Lord in our hearts? Or are we stepping into each day with the fear of man or the fear of circumstance or the fear of whatever in our heart.

Selena: Which I do have to say, you can step out and… You know, step out into the joy of the Lord. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your day will be full of all the good things and problem-free, right? But I think our friendship can be one of those sources of joy that we experience through the day. I imagine it’s like this fountain that just kind of can constantly bubble up water, right? You’re always gonna be thirsty all day long, and this fresh spring of water is just for you.

Ryan: Well, I want to just for a moment more talking about this culture of friendship idea because if you think about friendship, what is a good friend? Somebody who listens. Husband, are you listening to your wife? Wife, are you listening to your husband? Somebody who communicates with charity and communicates with a bit of decorum? Like it’s lazy in how we communicate to one another. But I’m saying like, you are worth my effort in communicating this idea, you’re worth my effort and listening to you communicate your ideas-

Selena: Right. I’m not just going to ignore you.

Ryan: And I’m not going to be lazy. I’m not going to be on my phone watching the TV or doing whatever. I’m going to be giving you my attention. That’s a culture of friendship.

Selena: So good.

Ryan: A culture of friendship says, “Hey, you know what? Don’t worry about dinner. Let’s go grab food tonight.” It’s a spontaneous… You know, it says, “Hey, let’s go do something fun. I will take you out. Let’s go out on…” You know, now that things are opening back up. “Let’s go-

Selena: Spontaneous generosity.

Ryan: “Let’s go a jazz concert.” [both laughs] That’s something we do.

Selena: Do you still though? [00:20:00]

Ryan: We’ve been to a few jazz-

Selena: We’ve been to a share of live jazz concerts.

Ryan: Selena is a big fan of slam poetry. [chuckles]

Selena: Oh my goodness.

Ryan: I’m kidding.

Selena: Just one last thought. There really is not a shortcut to developing and having a deep friendship within your marriage. It takes time. And it’s worth the time. We talked about, I think last week, how being transparent it’s a pathway to a promise. Or maybe that was… Nope, that was something else.

Ryan: It has been said though.

Selena: It has been said.

Ryan: And it’s still true.

Selena: When we were talking about transparency. I think we were talking about intimacy, too. Or maybe it was with the cohort. We were just reminding ourselves that the promises of God, the pathways, these things that we’re being asked to do, the hard things, the Holy Spirit is saying, “You can do this. You can be better at being friends with your spouse. You can have fun with them. You can enjoy them. I know it feels hard right now, but it’s not going to always be this way.”

There’s no shortcuts to that. But remembering there’s a promise, remembering that there is hope for the effort that is put forth. So we just want to share real quick four ways to build your friendship. And we’ve kind of been sprinkling these all around in the conversation, but we’ll just make them real clear for you real quick.

Ryan: The first one is obviously make time. So if you’re always distracted, always busy, always working, always whatever else, deep, sweet friendship isn’t going to grow from no investment. It’s not going to happen automatically.

I think it’s well known that we tend to drift away and not toward one another, right? I tend to drift inward into myself, you drift inward into yourself and we are isolated. So we have to take time and make time to actually have fun together. I’m trying to think of how-

Selena: Well, sometimes having fun creates the connection, and sometimes creating the connection lets you have fun. So you just kind of got to do some spontaneous. I mean, even if it’s just getting out for a walk together.

Ryan: If you hear bell ringing it’s because our children are ringing our bell door. [Selena chuckles] We’re not trying to promo our books but we have two other books. They’re called together The 31 Day Pursuit Challenge. In the back of those, there’s 50 creative date ideas. We tried to do things that were pretty inexpensive. Like going for a bike ride together. Like that’s a lot of fun. You can joke around.

Selena: You can bike dance as Ryan likes to do-

Ryan: I like the bike. [both laughs]

Selena: …with the girls. I’m going to leave that up to your imagination.

Ryan: It doesn’t involve any skills. [Selena laughs] But it’s beautiful and graceful.

Selena: Nonetheless. Yes.

Ryan: So you have to make time. And it doesn’t have to be hours and hours and hours. We can say, “Hey, tonight before dinner, let’s go for a walk around the block. Let’s talk.” And I’m a poet apparently. I can rhyme words well.

Selena: That’s the first one. Make time.

Ryan: The second one. This is gonna sound super obvious. I’ll let you say it.

Selena: Oh, thanks. [Ryan laughs] Have fun. Have fun through doing some activities that maybe you haven’t done in a while or something that… Like we love to watch The Office. That’s been a part of our marriage for a long time. Like just old shows. That’s not old show, but it’s an older show.

Ryan: It makes us laugh.

Selena: Yeah, it makes you laugh. Recreate an old date or food that you guys like to eat. I mean, that’s always something you can connect around. This is a place where inside jokes can thrive. Okay, so if you’ve got inside jokes, like just bring them out, bring them out, bring them out. You want to Mr. Obvious, he’s like, “I have a fifth one?” And I was like, Well, put it under here.” Have fun during sex.

Ryan: Yeah. I mean, I would argue that sex is pretty fun. [laughs]

Selena: Right. Okay, so what are you saying? [chuckles]

Ryan: I’m saying that sometimes there’s a lot of pressure to make it this kind of rapturous, passionate experience.

Selena: Tell me about it. [both chuckles] Just kidding.

Ryan: Tell me about it. [Selena laughs] There’s a lot of pressure to, you know, I don’t know, just make it intense. And I think there’s a time and a place for that. We have talked about that at length in past episodes. But you can also just have fun with one another. Like you are-

Selena: It’s okay to laugh and giggle.

Ryan: You’re the only people that get to experience one another in that way. And so you get to decide what that looks like. So I just want to say that this can be part of having fun.

One of the things that we’ve had to work through is the idea that sometimes you think if we’re having a great time, then you’re thinking like if it ends in the bedroom that somehow you’ve just been played. Like I’ve been kind of edging-

Selena: I’m just like, “[inaudible]. See you later.” [both laughs]

Ryan: Dumb and Dumber reference. You’re just like, “All right, that was really fun. Good night.”

Selena: “Thanks, my heart is full.” [chuckles]

Ryan: I’m just like, “Okay.”

Selena: My heart’s not full. [both chuckles]

Ryan: I’ll get her when she’s sleeping. Just attack. No-

Selena: Don’t joke about that.

Ryan: I mean, attack fun-wise.

Selena: Tickle fight.

Ryan: Tickle fight. There it is. The point is, it doesn’t have to be this heavy thing. It can be lighthearted. And that’s good. Like it’s good for the fun moments of your marriage to lead to intimacy. That’s good. Now, I’ll leave you [00:25:00] to discern what that means and looks like for you. I’m saying that for us.

Selena: Don’t just make me laugh to have me put out. That’s all I gotta say. [both chuckles]

Ryan: It’s something expensive. [both laughs]

Selena: Just The Office references.

Ryan: Okay, number three. Go ahead.

Selena: Celebrate. The word celebrate kind of goes with the conversation you were talking when you’re talking about mile… milestones. I can’t get the words out today. Milestones. Remembering your marriage, remembering where God has brought you, what He’s doing through you, what He’s doing now. I mean, maybe you are in a hard season, right?

Celebrate those triumphs, those steps forward, whatever that means. If that means rebuilding trust, if that means we haven’t fought in three days like, great, or we’ve had sex every night and we were not good at having sex often at all, and now… you know, celebrate. Have sex, right? [chuckles]

No. I’m just saying, make it fun. Make some special dessert. I don’t know. Do something that will dedicate and kind of acknowledge what is happening and what God is doing in your marriage. Just take those moments to celebrate. Like seize those moments.

Ryan: Love it. I love it. That reminds me of one of my goals for this upcoming summer is-

Selena: To celebrate me.

Ryan: Well, yeah. [both laughs] I was gonna say I wanted to try kite surfing. [both laughs] That’s what I was gonna say.

Selena: This is our marriage.

Ryan: Would you try kite surfing with me?

Selena: I feel like I would die. You mean along the edge of the shore or windsurfing out in the ocean?

Ryan: We know people that have surfboards and then they’ve got the kite that’s up on this, you know-

Selena: But I don’t want to go out in the ocean.

Ryan: I’m talking like Hood Canal. Anyway, we live in northwestern-

Selena: He wants me to get blown away on a kite.

Ryan: That’s a yes. That’s a yes. It’s on the record. [both chuckles]

Selena: This is the peer pressure, guys. This is peer pressure. All right. The last one is to talk and listen. While you’re doing whatever it is that you decide to do, although that does not facilitate talking-

Ryan: Afterwards.

Selena: Afterward, yes. Whatever you’re doing, talk and listen, repeat, talk and listen. Ask questions like, what does it mean to be a good friend?

Ryan: So these are for you to consider this. We’ll call this our couples conversation challenge.

Selena: Sure.

Ryan: So talk to your husband, your wife, go home tonight or today, what does it mean… Ask them, What does it mean to be a good friend? And then follow up with this. How can I be a good friend to you?

Selena: How can you be a good friend to me?

Ryan: How can I be a good friend to you? Yeah, you can be a good friend to me by going kite surfing. [Selena laughs] There I said it.

Selena: There it is.

Ryan: How can I be a good friend to you?

Selena: By not making me go kite surfing. [laughs]

Ryan: You mean my challenging you in healthy and amazing ways? The next question for the conversation challenge here is, what are three tangible ways you can build your friendship both today and on a regular basis?

Selena: Kite surfing every day. [Ryan chuckles]

Ryan: I’ve always watched people go kite surfing. Maybe it’s because that’s like all it’s a mainstream thing.

Selena: You just really-

Ryan: On Instagram, I get like monster trucks, pigs, for some reason. [both laughs] I followed a cute pig account because my buddy said it was really funny and I get kitesurfing.

Selena: This is how he makes me laugh, guys. [chuckles]

Ryan: I don’t know. I don’t understand Instagram anymore. So anyway, that’s all I do. I just go on I look at Monster Trucks pigs and kitesurfing.

Anyway, yeah. So what are three tangible ways you can build your friendship today and moving forward into the future? One idea that we had, and this is just to share an example, so we started dating on July 24th, 1999-

Selena: Really?

Ryan: I think so. We actually got married in ’03. So we dated for four years. 1999. So we’re coming up on 23 years. Like my math is… Yeah, 23 years this July we’ve been together.

Selena: Aw.

Ryan: Married for minus four years, whatever that is. 19 years. So for a while there, every 24th of every month, that was like my Selena’s gift day. I probably only hit it like three times. But it was like a way for me to be reminded like the 24th was the day that this girl became my… I don’t know, my pursuit. You’re my pursuit.

Selena: Pursuit.

Ryan: My muse. Anyway, so find those moments, celebrate those ongoing but also on a day-to-day basis. If you’re watching this, listening to this and you’re thinking, “Man, that sounds like a lot of fun. I want to be friends with my spouse on a deep level,” we’re here to tell you and show you hopefully that that’s possible.

Selena: I think I want to share a part of our friendship and what really I think connected us. It was our love for Jesus and for understanding the things of the gospel. That was one of the things that instantly attracted me to him was his passion for Christ and his passion after the things of God.

I knew that I wanted to marry a Christian man. I wanted him to love God more than he loved me. I knew that he had to obviously be smart and he was going to take care of me. And I knew all these things. [00:30:00] But that was the one thing that as teenagers we would talk about was were the things of God. Still even to this day, I mean, here we are. You’re in on the conversation now of the things that we talk about that God is doing. And so God has… I think He definitely ordained our relationship. And it began with our friendship.

Ryan: Yeah. And I will say that, you know, it’s possible. You know, people who don’t believe in God will say they have a great, healthy marriage. But we’re here to tell you that they’re still missing out. Because if we recognize the reality that we live in as something that’s been given and designed by His sovereign power, by His grace and He’s invited us into relationship with Him, we experience relationship with Him, everything tastes better, every meal tastes better, every dessert tastes sweeter, every moment with my wife just is 10 times better, because I know it’s unto His glory and for our good.

And not only that, but I’m able to serve her from a place of having been loved, and served, frankly, by God Himself and Christ on the cross. And so we’re here to invite you into that. If you want a unprecedented intimacy with your spouse, we’re going to tell you that that cannot happen outside of the sovereign love and grace of God in Christ.

And so if you want to learn more about what it means to respond to the gospel, that’s what we’re sharing with you, just go to this website. It’s thenewsisgood.com. And that’s going to explain to you what it means to become a Christian. We would love to call you brother. We’d love to call your sister in Christ. That’s one way for you to go about doing that. It’s going to get you into God’s word, but into a local church, and then into discipleship where you can learn what that actually means to walk that out. So thenewsisgood.com.

Let me pray for us. Lord, I thank you so much for this friend, this woman you’ve given me, my helper, my wife. I am forever in your debt for countless reasons. And she is one of the largest reasons I’m in your debt Lord. So I thank you for our friendship. I thank you for the grace you’ve given us to laugh together and to experience joy together, to dance together, and to do fun things together.

I pray for the couples watching this, listening to this that they would experience deeper joy in you, deeper joy with one another. That they would learn to have fun in new ways as the seasons of life roll on, Lord, so that they might stay close, they could ward off the attacks of the enemy, they could persevere through the hardships of life. All by Your Grace, God, and all for our good. You have given us the ability to enjoy one another, Lord. So help them do that in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: All right. Ladies and gentlemen, this episode of Fierce Marriage is—

Selena: In the can.

Ryan: We’ll see you again in about seven days. So let’s go kite surfing.

Selena: Stay fierce.

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