Challenges, Podcast

Unpopular Opinions About Marriage and Family

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Recently, Ryan made a Facebook post asking people, “What is one unpopular opinion you have?” Today, we’re putting Selena on the spot to see what she thinks of all these hot takes… Join us for this fun and candid episode talking about all things marriage and family!

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Full Episode Transcript

Ryan: All right, Fierce Marriage Podcast listeners and viewers, we have a treat for you today. We’re gonna go through and get Selena’s unscripted reactions to some of the most unpopular opinions that we have. And we’ve received them on… So I was actually on Facebook. I have a Facebook page. Just Ryan Frederick on Facebook. It’s not a profile, it’s a page. So I have a lot of fun with it. We have some good- [chuckles]

Selena: He sets a lot of fires on the internet.

Ryan: People love it, people hate it. I happen to have a good deal of fun with it. But we have some good conversations. And this is what I said, and we’re gonna go through this. But I asked you, What is one unpopular opinion you have, and then I shared unpopular opinion of my own, which I might just throw out there on the podcast. We’ll see what people think. But I want to go through those. We got over 375 comments.

Selena: So we’re gonna sit here and go through each of those-

Ryan: No, we’re gonna go through and find some of the highlights. [Selena laughs] We’re gonna go through and find some of the ones that pertain to marriage and family and we’re just going to talk through those. We’re gonna get Selena’s salty and sweet, O what a treat, ad hoc responses.

Selena: You’re lucky.

Ryan: We’ll do that on the other side. [chuckles]


Ryan: Truth be told, we are recording this episode in a batch-

Selena: In a batch.

Ryan: …because Selena is almost 39-

Selena: Thirty weeks and four days. So we’re almost 39 weeks. and I have delivered most of my children at this time, except for one. She was on her due date, and that is just so like her. [chuckles]

Ryan: So we woke up this morning and Selena was feeling good and we said, Let’s try to cram four episodes in one day. Now there’s two parenting, two marriage episodes. So you’ll notice she’s wearing the same Woman By Design sweatshirt, which by the way is available.

Selena: Yeah. They’re made big and fun and comfy.

Ryan: Woman By Design. Perfect for the wintertime. We’re still in the winter so go check it out. Go to Unexpected plug but there you go.

Selena: There you go.

Ryan: So we’re just kind of having some fun today. Unpopular opinions. So should I share my unpopular opinion?

Selena: I guess.

Ryan: Do you agree with me on my unpopular opinion?

Selena: I kind of feel like this is the “you’re the head of the household” so I just get to follow you on it because I don’t know that I have an opinion.

Ryan: I am pretty sure if I laid my case out for you that you would be bored.

Selena: Yes, of course. I don’t know that I need a case. You just don’t want to. And there’s so few things that we like to do together that I’m just like, “I don’t care. Whatever you say I will follow you.” [chuckles]

Ryan: Okay. Just we don’t like to hang out. [chuckles]

Selena: Sorry. No, we like to hang out but there’s not as much time.

Ryan: We don’t watch shows together and this has to do with the show.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: We watch The Office together. In fact, we got The Office trivia game. That’s fun.

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: Which some of it is pretty bush league though—easy stuff. Anyway. So here’s what I said in my Facebook post. You can check it out if you go to my Facebook page. I said, “Curious: what’s one unpopular opinion that you have? It could be serious or funny. I’ll start.” I said, “I have very close friends who disagree and contend with me on this…” Cliff. “But I think-

Selena: John.

Ryan: Oh, yeah, and John and Becca. “But I think The Chosen has done way more harm than good.” And if you don’t know what The Chosen is, it’s this popular, dramatic series that depicts the life of the disciples of Christ and Christ is in there. So I don’t know, I take issue with that.

People asked me why and I said, “I don’t want this to be a thing about The Chosen. So we’re not gonna talk about it today. But I’ll give you at least some rationale so you can say, oh. But this is where I land on it.”

And here’s what I wrote. I was gonna read it verbatim. I said, “Adding cultural context to biblical accounts is crucial for exegesis, preaching, discipleship, and application of Scripture, but The Chosen goes beyond context-bringing and goes deep into content-creating or content adding. The writers put words in Jesus’ mouth.” This is by far the most troubling thing to me. They’re showing Jesus saying things Jesus never said.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: They putting words in Jesus’s mouth and ultimately, which I think and I know, actually, I don’t think it, I know it’s true, that it leads to some… You have a vision, non-biblical vision of who Jesus is. And it ultimately gives you a distorted view of Christ.

Now, I know I’m probably gonna lose some people there. But I’m just saying that if Jesus gave us His words in Scripture, and God said, This is the way I’m gonna reveal my plan for salvation, I’m gonna reveal my very Son through the written in Scripture and then we have the things that Jesus said. And then you’re watching you reading that, and then all sudden you’re watching this, and you’re thinking, “Oh, Jesus used some words that I really liked and are familiar with and He said some things and He laughed, and He did this, and oh, He’s so friendly. And I’m saying that’s fine that you think Jesus is friendly because He is friendly. But I’m just saying that those are not biblical things.

Selena: And it’s hard to say it’s not biblical when it’s a Bible story and it’s based on it.

Ryan: It depicts events that just frankly didn’t happen. Now, you can say historically, this could have happened and it’s likely that this happened, but I’m saying that we have Scripture…

Selena: Dare I say isn’t it written or produced by-

Ryan: Yeah. Oh, but it’s believed… We’re going down that rabbit hole. Yeah, many say that it’s produced by… I think the producers are warming something up. [00:05:00]

Selena: Okay, back to our script. [laughs]

Ryan: You can go down that rabbit hole on the internet yourself. I apologize. We want to stay on topic in terms of marriage. [Selena laughs] Okay, now we need to be on this post because-

Selena: I didn’t know which ones you have and which one you…

Ryan: So we’re just gonna go through some of these. One of them that I had is this, okay? Selena, what do you think of this? Again, unpopular opinions. You might, listener, viewer think they’re popular and you might like them but I’m just telling you, let’s talk about them.

“Headship and submission is biblical and good for marriage. It causes husbands wives and children to thrive, it needs to be taught not apologized for.”

Selena: Oh, I 100% agree.

Ryan: Now, where do you think this comes from? This is John Michael Clark, which by the way, he has, I think, a dad’s ministry or husband’s ministry or family leadership ministry, and he had a lot of good things to say. Why do you think he said this. I think it’s because in the church we feel like we can’t talk about… and there’s a patriarchal-ness to this. And that is like-

Selena: That’s bats against society and culture and everything and every voice that is basically outside a reformed Church.

Ryan: And to say that it’s good for wives to submit to their husbands is like kkhhh, nails on the chalkboard

Selena: Right.

Ryan: And he’s saying that this is good, we’ve been taught to apologize for it. We need to stop apologizing for it.

Selena: We need to learn how to teach it. [chuckles]

Ryan: Yes, we need to learn how to teach it. And why is it good? And that’s the thing I want to maybe just pick apart very briefly. Why is it good? Well, it’s good because God said so. Now, there’s a lot of gymnastics around the idea of Kephale, which is the Greek word for headship, and what Paul meant in Ephesians 5 starting in verse 22. What he meant for husbands are the head, the Kephale of the wives and how… The bottom line is it meant that they are the responsible party-

Selena: Right.

Ryan: …and they’re the accountable party-

Selena: They’re gonna take the blows.

Ryan: …and they have a leadership role in that household. Now, in a biblical household, the Kephale, the head will serve in a way that is self-sacrificing. Now, we have distorted versions of that where men will sin in their headship. And I think that’s where all the pushback is coming from. So you just want women to have to submit to tyrannical husbands. It’s like, well, no, I don’t what that.

Selena: No, God doesn’t want that. That’s not God’s asking or instructing. Not asking, but He’s teaching. So yeah, absolutely. It’s distorted versions and the exceptions, I think, that people try to use as proof for why complementarianism is not a good idea. And if you understand scripture rightly then you would not agree with that. You would agree with the fact that God has an order and it is beautiful and it does cause husbands wives and children and families to thrive.

If you are not experiencing thriving in that area, and you are trying to live out the complementarianism, live out the headship, then I would say go to your pastors and ask them to examine your own marriage, I guess. Pray to the Lord, ask Him to show you why you’re not thriving in this area and why it is so offensive to you because I think that God is faithful to bring clarity to those areas.

Ryan: At one point when we were—I can’t believe I’m gonna say this—when we were engaged, do you remember you asked me-

Selena: [chuckles] One time I was like-

Ryan: Oh, my word.

Selena: “What do you think about hyphenating my name?”

Ryan: Even now I feel so just insulted.

Selena: Well, there was a few reasons but we don’t need to get into that.

Ryan: How dare you? I’m kidding.

Selena: [both laughs] I felt your response was pretty misogynistic, though, that you were just like, “Are you serious?” [both laughs]

Ryan: What do you feel now?

Selena: A tiny bit but not-

Ryan: What? [Selena laughs]

Selena: I would never-

Ryan: All right, stop the camera.

Selena: It’s only because of just your response. Just the fact that you’re so disgusted by it, I’m like, “You should be disgusted at that level with other things like kittens getting run over by cars not like…” [laughs]-

Ryan: This is why we have some kittens getting run over by cars.

Selena: Fine.

Ryan: For all the kittens run over by cars. [laughs] I get it.

Selena: Okay, I would not hyphenate my name.

Ryan: As my wife, I want nothing more than to-

Selena: For me to bear your name?

Ryan: …love you and have us be one together-

Selena: Agreed.

Ryan: …and let there be no hyphens between us.

Selena: No hyphens between us. [chuckles]

Ryan: Goodness!

Selena: I just kind of thought I think that I was the last [romento?]. So I was like, Well, man, we should try to make this-

Ryan: What about your brother? He’s a romento? Anyway.

Selena: Again, reasons. [chuckles]

Ryan: Okay.

Selena: Okay, what’s another one?

Ryan: This is a funny one. It says, “Every time someone says “partner” instead “husband” or “wife” a puppy dies. What do you think of that? The usage of the word “partner” if I’m talking about you, you’re my partner at home, instead of saying “my wife”?

Selena: I must be oblivious. Because if somebody said that and they were married, like it was husband and wife, it wasn’t a gay couples, let’s go there, because that’s usually what partner is used for, I would ask them, I’d be like, “Are you guys engaged, straight married, or…? What do you mean?” I would probably just ask them straight up. And I think it is true, a puppy dies. [Ryan laughs] [00:10:00] Just call it what it is.

Ryan: I think it is true. A puppy does actually die. That is true. A lot of dead puppies are thanks to these people.

Selena: Thanks to these “partner” people.

Ryan: If someone say that to me, I think (a) you’re cohabiting or (b) you’re gay. That’s what I would think. Or… I don’t know. That’s weird. Anyway, it’s…

Selena: Define your terms, okay? Just use what-

Ryan: A husband is a husband and a wife is a wife. A partner is somebody you’re in business with. A partner is somebody that you’re like playing tennis with. [both laughs] These are controversial opinions. Okay, that’s what we’re here to do today.

Selena: These are not scripted. So…

Ryan: You know, if we could have dinner with every one of our listeners, viewers, it would be a blast. They would see the true… Actually we’re pretty honest. We don’t pull any punches here some.

Okay, this one I think was great and convicting. This is, again, John Michael Clark. I hope that’s okay, John, I’m saying your name. But you’re on the internet so here we are. “Most Christian marriages are functionally matriarchal, parentheses, wife as the head, but cleverly call themselves the egalitarian, two heads.” Matriarchal marriage.

Selena: Why don’t you define some of those terms, egalitarian and matriarchal? They are functioning as basically the wife’s in charge and the man is just along for the ride, but they go to church, and they’re Christians.

Ryan: I think what John is saying here is that-

Selena: You know him more than I do.

Ryan: Well, I don’t know him well. I just know that he’s commented here three or four times. He’s saying here that men who relegate their role as head of the home inevitably end up not being the head.

Selena: Right.

Ryan: Even if they say they’re an egalitarian… well, egalitarian is a view is that you’re both co-heading the household. So egalitarian is the case some will make—and you can’t make it biblically—that husband and wife are completely the same. Now, here’s the difference, the nuance, and this is where the terms really matter.

Complementarians, which that’s what we are, we believe that husband and wife are unequivocally both made in the image of God complete, valued, they are of equal value, worth, and importance. However, we are not the same. We do not have the same job to do. Now we need-

Selena: God’s not going to come to me asking if I fulfill the responsibilities that He’s ultimately asked you to fulfill. He’s going to come to me with responsibilities that I have been asked to fill according to His Word.

Ryan: And a lot of times—we’re not going to stay on this whole time—but we bristle against the idea that wives are supposed to submit. That’s the whole issue is that wives do not want to submit. Now, this is the remnant. This is because of feminism.

Selena: But do men want to lead? I mean, I feel man has been-

Ryan: Do you have a problem with men dying to themselves in the name of loving their wife? No.

Selena: No. [chuckles]

Ryan: No one would ever say that’s bad, that’s against men, that’s unkind to men. No. There’s something in us that says, “A man should serve and love by serving and lead by serving. And whenever you say that, people will say, yes and amen. And they say, yes, and the wife should love by submitting. They say, “Nope, I’m out.” That’s because they don’t understand the terms. Like submission is not a four-letter word, submission is a beautiful thing. It’s an invitation.

Selena: Right. And we’ve talked about this in the past so we will leave it there. We know we’ve already set enough internet fires for today. I guess I was addressing weak men, because-

Ryan: I think he’s addressing weak men too.

Selena: Yeah, okay.

Ryan: So I think what he’s saying is that men will relegate responsibility, they’ll follow their wife around like a lost puppy. And then when you talk about, How do you view your marriage? “Well, we’re a egalitarian.” Well, okay, you’re saying that but you’re functionally matriarchal.

Selena: Okay.

Ryan: We got some more in here. We got some more. Someone said, “I hate the new Top Gun and I hate Yellowstone.

Selena: I’ve been crucified twice for posting my unpopular opinions. That’s really funny. Because those are probably the two that people are gonna be like, “Oh, man, they’re so good.” I did hear though that Yellowstone has quite the vocabulary-

Ryan: We’ve not watched that show.

Selena: We’ve not watched it, but it’s obviously got some bad language in it.

Ryan: We enjoyed Top Gun: Maverick. I really enjoyed it.

Selena: It was-

Ryan: The fighter jet scene, I mean, come on.

Selena: They’re always so exciting to watch.

Ryan: I will never-

Selena: I remember as a kid watching the original Top Gun and being like, Those are my favorite scenes.

Ryan: Unless the Lord does a miracle, I will never get to ride in a fighter jet. So Top Gun: Maverick to me is like the next best thing. I will say this. That I’ve heard it said that you can basically do parallel beat-by-beat with like Star Wars, A New Hope in terms of the plot and how they have this insurmountable task. They have to drop these bombs into this little tiny hole, and like blow the whole thing up and then they have to escape and there’s all this… Anyway. So by the way, Carrie the one who left that comment, she actually went to the same elementary school. Hello.

Selena: How funny!

Ryan: All right. Let’s see. What are some other ones? “Crocs are not that great.” Is that a hot take?

Selena: I mean, they’re great for kids in the summer. [00:15:00] I love that my kids can just throw them on. And right now my feet are pretty swollen so I’m kind of like, Man, maybe crocs would be a good investment right now.

Ryan: This one really hurt me at the heart. This hurt me in ways that I can’t describe.

Selena: Oh, here it comes.

Ryan: Jimmy. Jimmy, you should be ashamed of yourself. Repent, brother. He said, “If I never go to the beach again, or eat bacon, or have coffee, I’m totally okay with it.”

Selena: Is he even human?

Ryan: I did bacon and coffee on the beach. That’s my favorite thing to do. [both laughs]

Selena: No. Although I will say it’s probably in that order that you love those things.

Ryan: Oh, my goodness!

Selena: It’s funny.

Ryan: How? [Selena laughs] How is this possible? Okay. Other people said they didn’t like bacon. I said, You might as well say you love to kick puppies. This is not the place to say those sorts of things. Okay, it’s a little too unpopular for my opinion.

Carrie, the same gal, she said she never liked Easter or Christmas. And I asked her, “Do you like the resurrection and the incarnation? And she quickly said yes. But I think all the festivities and stuff, I think, she like, as an adult finds them overwhelming. What do you think, as a mother, as a wife?

Selena: I think they can be. But you have to be intentional about what you give your time to. You know, we try to avoid some of the frivolous activities. Although, yes, I post about our kids, they go to this thing called the North Pole and they see Santa even though they know more of the story of St. Nicholas and they don’t believe in like Santa Santa.

So it’s just a fun activity we do that’s probably the only one we do besides maybe get a tree. Otherwise, it’s mostly centered around Advent as much as we can and obviously Christmas but Advent leading up to Christmas. And with Easter… I don’t know that we’ve… I’ve done some lent readings. We’ve kind of started having those conversations with our kids.

But again, like what is the focus of this time, what is it leading up to, and why is it important? Because it’s not just about Easter bunnies and chocolate and getting gifts in a basket and going on Easter egg hunt. Yeah, fun activities but are they actually contributing to our children’s understanding of the meaning of each of these holidays?

Ryan: Totally endorse? Well said. I agree. Okay, here’s some other ones. This has to do with how we think about things as a couple. Someone said, “I think that is dumb.” She quoted up-

Selena: “I believe debt is dumb.”

Ryan: “I believe debt is dumb.” That’s a little different than I think. And Christie, she said this, or she quoted Proverbs 27, “The borrower is the slave to the lender.” And I asked her, “Interesting, would you say that about mortgage debt? What do you think about that?” So we have a revolving credit card we use for work stuff and it’s paid off every month by God’s grace. We don’t have-

Selena: And partners like you… No, I’m kidding.

Ryan: We do it for the points because that’s how we get cheap flights and stuff. Also, it’s just good to have anyway… We don’t have a personal credit card. We’ve paid off our cars, although we probably need to buy another one. And the question is… Gosh, cars are so expensive right now. Are we going to try to pay cash for the car.

Selena: The question of debt.

Ryan: Yeah, I’m asking you.

Selena: It’s a little bit of debt versus a lot of debt.

Ryan: Well, in this passage, Proverbs, is the borrower is a slave to the lender. Is the Proverbs saying that it is a sin? Now, she didn’t say it’s a sin, she said, it’s dumb. But is it a sin to borrow money? And I don’t think you can make that case. What do you think?

Selena: No.

Ryan: As a couple should we be…? Now if we are wanting to borrow for any reason-

Selena: It’s motivation. I think it’s a question of the heart and the motivation. Again, we’ve done many episodes on this. If you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses, you’re living beyond your means, then yes. You are going to be enslaved by that debt. If you are living beneath-

Ryan: That’s good. Can I-

Selena: I knew you have something to say. Go ahead.

Ryan: Because we talk a lot about-

Selena: I don’t know, margin.

Ryan: …being a family on mission. And we talked about this recently, I think two or three episodes back, how to craft a vision statement. And if you are feeling the Lord pulling you toward a mission or He’s given you a vision for the future, whether it’s how you build a household, whether it’s how you educate your kids, whether it’s how you get into the ministry, or whatever the ministry God has put on you to do but you are unable to do that because of the cars you have, because of the house you have, because of the boat you have, because of the lifestyle you’ve created, because basically, your monthly liabilities are too great, I think this illustrates that.

Selena: Well, and I want to say something. She did say that she recently got married, they have a mortgage and they both agree to pay it off as soon as possible. I would say, awesome, way to go. However, that can also be seen as an obsession and possibly enslaved to that even more, right? So getting into debt is one thing, but then if you’re constantly thinking about paying it off [00:20:00] and you’re neglecting… It’s just like a neglect. You’re enslaved, you’re neglecting everything else that’s on the… You should be paying attention too.

Ryan: I think ideally you would avoid debt. There is a version of debt that is more toxic than another. And like a mortgage is generally attached to a very tangible asset. A lot can be said around that. But generally, that’s how people are building wealth these days.

Selena: Right. But what type of mortgage? You know, I mean, we bought our first house at a time when our real estate agent was saying, “Go two or three times beyond your means because you can. You qualify for it. You have all these this ability.”

Ryan: And I just like, “You say we qualify. We do not qualify for that.” [Selena laughs]

Selena: So thank the Lord that we didn’t, right, that we used wisdom. We would have foreclosed. We got a small house that we could afford, that we loved. And it was right where the Lord had led us.

Ryan: I didn’t love that house.

Selena: Well, it was our first house so it was sweet.

Ryan: I got under the crawlspace and there was a possum under there with me.

Selena: Was it alive?

Ryan: Yes. And it hissed at me.

Selena: That’s right.

Ryan: And I’m in this crawlspace, I got… Anyway, it was terrifying. And that made me, you know-

Selena: You’re such a stronger man for it.

Ryan: Because our pipes were freezing. Anyway. Victor said this. Victor, hello. Good buddy. Victor was actually the guy that I worked with our first two years of marriage. He was the maintenance man, I was the janitor. We were partners in crime. He was Batman, I was Robin. I was more of a Batman though. He got paid more than me. So anyway, Victor said this-

Selena: His very unpopular opinion. I kind of might be on board a little bit with him.

Ryan: Okay. He said, “Candy corn is good.” Aw.

Selena: I don’t even eat candy corn but I was like, “Oh, that’s good.”

Ryan: I just told him to get out. I said, “Get out.” Candy corn are many things, good is not one of them. You might be able to use it to plug a hole or something. I don’t know. Okay. This one I think is going to sit on the same note as the previous one but it goes a step further in terms of the roles in the household.

Julie said this. Julie said, “Women are meant to be at home raising children, taking care of the home and helping their husbands. Married women in the workforce should be rare.” Definitely an unpopular opinion amongst them.

Selena: Young Selena in college would very much disagree with this. I remember taking feminist classes and being like, so we’re married and you want me to what? Like, am I supposed to make you dinner all the time?

Ryan: I was so stupid. I was like, “I don’t know.”

Selena: You were stupid. We had no idea of our own theology and our own-

Ryan: We didn’t have a theology.

Selena: We didn’t. Now, by God’s grace, I wholeheartedly agree. And if you can be at home, that is the ideal. If you can be raising your children, awesome, praise God, taking care of your home, making it a place that is safe, that is a place where kids can thrive, where your husband can come home to, and grow and be encouraged, and you guys can work through the hardships of life together, absolutely. But yeah, I do agree. I think that women in the workforce should be rare. That’s very unpopular because there are many women who are teachers in schools and their kids go to school. I don’t look down on them for that.

Ryan: You can’t tax a housewife. The government discovered that about 60 years ago. You’ll be taxed if she’s in the work place though.

Selena: I know. I have a lot of close friends that work and raise children. You know, I don’t sit in judgment of them. I’m very grateful for them because they’ve been such a blessing to my own life. If I could say the ideal I think it is so great for parents to be able to be home, a woman, a mom to be home with their kids.

Ryan: I will let Selena’s words lie where they sit.

Selena: I’m getting in trouble for these. So go ahead.

Ryan: This is a good one. I loved it. This is Stacy. So Stacy thank you for this. “I think people use devotionals as a substitute for reading the Bible.”

Selena: I think they do. And I think it’s not good for their hearts or souls or their long-term spiritual health. You cannot live on the words of man. You can only live… What does Jesus say? Man cannot live by bread alone but by the very Word of God. So like if I can’t sustain myself on just actual food, how can I think to sustain myself on something that is not the very words of God?

Ryan: When you’re reading a scripture in translation, you’re reading it already on second hand.

Selena: Right. Right.

Ryan: You’re not reading in Hebrew or Greek. You’re reading it in English. And then when you rely on a devotional, you’re not just reading it in English, you’re reading it now through the interpretive lens of whoever this author is. And oftentimes [00:25:00] a devotional will just use… It’s not a commentary. It’s not a critical commentary, They will just use one or two or three verses and they’ll use that as a jumping-off point for some other idea and encouragement. Devotionals are fine. We’ve written devotionals. But in every intro to the devotions, we say this, “Don’t let this be your Bible studies.”

Selena: This is not a replacement.

Ryan: It is a supplement. This needs to supplement you digging into the scriptures for yourself, and then let this find whatever extra space there is for it to have. Right?

Selena: Right.

Ryan: So yeah, we can’t say this loudly enough, and we’ll say it till the day we die, is there’s nothing that replaces getting in the Scripture as closely to the original text as you can. So for that, I would say, learn Greek. I would actually say, the e… what is it? The Legacy Standard Bible is a really good one. That’s a newer one. And then also the NASB is about as witness you can get and then other than that, ESV, CSV, those are good translation. Stay away from the NIV. It takes a little too much license. The message is fine so long as you know it’s a supplement, it’s not scripture. It’s a… What are they used for? Paraphrase? It’s a paraphrase.

Selena: Yeah. Gosh-

Ryan: Stay away from the Passion translation. It’s heresy. I’m serious, stay away from it.

Selena: Last one I think.

Ryan: This will be the last one. This is from our good friend, Brandon. Brandon-

Selena: In Wisconsin.

Ryan: Yeah. He said this, and I love it.

Selena: He’s a pastor.

Ryan: He said, “My unpopular opinion…” He’s a pastor. He said, “Children’s and youth ministries are at best unnecessary and unhelpful and at worst harmful.” I’m gonna ask you what you think about it. Now what you think?

Selena: Well, we have this conversation a little bit earlier.

Ryan: Yeah, what do you think?

Selena: Because I came from a single-parent home. That’s probably well-known now. I was a kid that needed the youth ministry, that needed the children’s ministry, that had Christian friends involved in those ministries that needed the pastors and the leaders there because my mom worked and she worked to take care of us and I had friends that would give us rides home. And it was very much I think, purposed for a child or for a family like ours.

However, now having my own family and having us together, married, I would have to fall in line with Brandon’s opinion that… And we had this conversation when we were looking at looking for churches too. That children’s and youth ministries are at best unnecessary, which we have families with kids that are getting older.

I think that having youth events that are not replacing a Sunday morning with your family are okay. I think it builds community. I think it’s good for other obviously, older children to be around other older kids that are Christians. But what he’s saying, I think he clarifies too, is he means to drop off your child and let someone else disciple them approach is… I think it’s just been to cultivated by our society. People are just okay with and this is just how you do church, then we’re kind of stepping back saying no, no, no, no, like, we need to gather as a family on Sunday mornings, worshiping together. Ministries can be… they need to be serving the purpose of the family, right? So like there’s a nursery ministry at our church, but three and under, and then there’s a worship training room, where-

Ryan: I think it’s a question of what’s the normalized and what is accommodated based on community need.

Selena: Right. So if you have a community that’s full of single-parent families, then there’s a very clear community need that there a way to serve your families and the way to augment what you’re teaching them to disciple their kids with. The single parent still have to disciple their kids. They’re not off the hook. But they might need a little more support. And that support may look like after-school programs or whatever the program is.

Brandon says this. On the downside, and this is… In ideal space, we have parents that can do it themselves. I think all parents are equipped to disciple their kids, but some need more logistical help. He says, “On the downside, drop off ministries only encouraged spiritual laziness on the part of parents providing them because it’s, quote, ‘what parents are looking for.’” Now it’s different from need, but it’s more of a consumer mindset. He says, “Only encourages a consumer mentality to church and it uses ministry time and resources that could have much bigger generational impact have focused on marriage, fatherhood, etc.”

Selena: I would agree.

Ryan: So Brandon, I hope it’s okay that we shared your words. We always appreciate your wisdom. Again, we’re on the internet so hopefully you’re okay with that. I didn’t ask you ahead of time. Really appreciate you, brother. That’s all good stuff. It’s all really good stuff. I love hearing your… You want to find a last one?

Selena: I think that’s a good one. Unless you have something funny that you want to talk about. But I think it’s so important that churches are beginning to build cultures that are family-oriented and that they are teaching [00:30:00] their congregation the order of like, “Hey, if you have kids that can’t sit still, and you’re training them, we have an area for you to train your kids. Again, it’s not just for you to like be social in, we’re actually trying to sit and train them and how to sit and worship the Lord, to listen to the word, to confess their sin, to hear scripture read, to read scripture in church, and all of that. I think that has been a lost thing.

Ryan: I agree with you. This will be the last one. Someone said Disneyland is thumbs down. I don’t have it in front of me. But someone just said Disneyland is the worst.

Selena: Is one of the biggest evils?

Ryan: No, not that. It’s something else. [Selena laughs]

Selena: Not that.

Ryan: I don’t know if that’s true or not. I could listen to their reason for that. I know they come up with a lot of media that’s garbage these days. Okay, Disneyland is down. It’s thumbs down. What say you? Would you take our kids to Disneyland?

Selena: Right now?

Ryan: It’s like $180 a person?

Selena: Probably not.

Ryan: You got be in Anaheim, which Yuck.

Selena: Stop. People live there.

Ryan: Do they?

Selena: I probably wouldn’t. With that type of money, I probably wouldn’t take them.

Ryan: I got my only car accident in Anaheim. I got rear-ended by somebody because he was on his phone.

Selena: He was on his phone.

Ryan: And he got to the car before me and I was framed. I was framed.

Selena: I think you might have been.

Ryan: Anyway, this has been a good episode. Hopefully, we didn’t push you away with our discussion of these unpopular opinions or sharing some unpopular opinions of our own. We’re thankful for you. You know, one of the things I love about thinking and talking is that as long as we’re committed to talking about the ideas and not-

Selena: Attacking the people.

Ryan: ….picking on the idea as our identity and taking the attack against the idea as an attack against me, I think we can have a lot of really beautiful conversations, and we can all update our knowledge base a little bit, update our theology a little bit, be more biblical, I think we can sharpen one another.

Selena: I mean, as Christians, we should be having those conversations and not being afraid to address hard conversations and engage in them.

Ryan: Problem is, is that happens on the internet like this. This was actually really unique in that people genuinely I feel like they were holding their opinions with open hands and they were putting them out there. And no one was getting beat up for it, which was really nice. But we were also able to kind of hash some stuff out, which was cool.

Anyway, if this was fun for you and you’re thinking about things of theology, then… I don’t know. Maybe we should do more theology. I don’t know. Or if you just want to know what Christianity is and you want to dig deep into Christian theology, we would love nothing more. So we want to invite you into that. That means that you actually… what is the word? You… I don’t want to say commit your life to Christ, because that’s like a 1995 thing to say. But you submit to Christ’s Lordship and you say, “God, You are God, I am not Jesus, I am lost and dead in my sin if it weren’t for you.”

If none of that makes sense to you, we have a website for you that will hopefully make it clear. Just go to, and that should help you out. We pray that if you’re not a Christian, that you would become one. We want you to become a Christian. We want you to trust Jesus, because we want to call you brother, we want to call you sister, we want to see you one day, if not in this life, then in the next, as we praise God in glory together.

Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, thank You for Your word that guides us. Forgive us for times when we misunderstand your word, we misapply, misinterpret it. Lord forgive us for times when we’re prideful in doing so, forgive us for thinking more of ourselves than we should. Lord, Humble us as we think through these issues of faith and marriage and doctrine and theology and how they apply to our marriage and our family.

Lord, I just thank You that You also have grace for us as we’re working that stuff out and that Holy Spirit you’re here illuminating your word in our hearts so that we’re not groping around in the darkness but we have a guide, you’re light unto our feet and our lamp unto our path. We love you, Jesus. Thank You for Your Word. In Your precious name we pray. Amen.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: All right, this episode-

Selena: Well, if you don’t know Jesus, did you talk about that?

Ryan: I did. I said if you want to become a Christian.

Selena: You talked about The News is Good?

Ryan: I did.

Selena: Okay.

Ryan: Pregnancy brain. It’s okay. It’s okay.

Selena: You’re welcome.

Ryan: You’re forgiven. Maybe the next time they see us we’ll have a little baby, we’ll introduce the baby.

Selena: We don’t know if it’s a boy or girl.

Ryan: We don’t. We’ll find out.

Selena: We’ll find out.

Ryan: So until next time, until that time, this episode of Fierce Marriage is—

Selena: In the can.

Ryan: We’ll see you again in seven days. Or maybe longer-

Selena: Just keep staying fierce.

Ryan: Stay fierce.

Selena: Stay fierce.

Ryan: Just indefinitely. See you then. [both laughs]


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