It’s all too easy to pay lip service to Jesus in life and marriage, but live as if he’s not King. In this episode of the Fierce Marriage Podcast, we recapped lessons we’ve learned from the past few weeks since the arrival of our 3rd daughter. God graciously allowed us to realize areas of our lives that we can tend to enthrone in a place of undue authority. We talked about the (little ‘g’) gods of control/power, status/pride, and (this is a big one we tend to worship all too quickly) comfort/pleasure. We hope you learn something new!
[00:00:00] Selena: So, we are back.
Ryan: We’re back!
Selena: Post baby.
Ryan: [Laughs] Sorry, that was a little loud.
Selena: We got— I know you want energy. I was working on it and then you
Ryan: I was loud. [Laughing]
Selena: Barge right in. [Both laughing] Someone’s excited. Someone’s excited
Ryan: It’s been a while since we’ve recorded a–
Selena: Yes! [Both together] Podcast episode. [Selena resumes solo] About four
weeks [Selena chuckles] exactly.
Ryan: Yeah. Although listeners may not have known– I’m sure we did mention
it as we [Selena chuckling] had the back kind of– We recorded extra
episodes knowing that the baby was coming.
Ryan: And I think we mentioned that. But…
Selena: We did! So, we now have a baby.
Ryan: The baby was born!
Selena: Another baby. Louisa Hope Kay Frederick.
Selena: Was born 11 days early, on October 7th. [Laughs] Biggest baby!
Selena: And she’s healthy. We’re good. She is actually laying right over here—
Selena: Next to us. So, we have our one and only fan here. [Laughs]
Ryan: We are– It’s November 7th as we’re recording this.
Ryan: So, she’s a month-old today!
Selena: A month old today!
Ryan: So, where’s her name come from real quick? [Baby coos in background]
Oop! There she is.
Selena: And you’ll hear her. This is… We’re getting real life here a bit people.
Her name came from one of my favorite authors, Louisa May Alcott. It
may be pronounced “Lou-essa,” but we call our daughter “Lou-eesa.”
She wrote Little Women, Little Men, all of those things.
Selena: So, one of my favorite authors, some of my favorite stories. So!
Ryan: And Hope is just kind of a faith based. Obviously, it’s from–
Ryan: Our hope in Christ.
Selena: Yes. ‘Cause–
Ryan: And, then…
Selena: All of our girls have [Baby crying in background] grace, faith, and then
hope. Those are all their middle names.
Ryan: Like, grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Selena: There she is!
Ryan: We couldn’t name her Louisa Christ Kay [Selena laughs] Frederick. [Ryan
chuckles] Sorry. Selena’s now picking up Louisa. Anyway! So, we do have
hope in Christ. So, we’re big on by grace alone, through faith alone, in
Christ alone, being that our hope is in Christ. And then Kay is actually
your mother’s middle name.
Selena: Yeah, we do have a… family name!
Ryan: And a family name.
Selena: Family name. Sorry.
Selena: Away from the mic there.
Ryan: You got to use the microphone that we…
Selena: Family name.
Ryan: We still have to do that. Anyway. Now Louisa’s here with us. So,
anyway, listener, thank you for your patience! Today we’re going to talk
about some things we’ve been learning over the last month, namely,
what little “g” gods are you worshiping in your marriage? And this
question became painfully clear to us [Selena laughs] as we realized…
babies have a way of kind of…
Selena: Sanctifying you [Ryan laughs], bringing out the little gods in you.
Ryan: They have a way of kind of rocking the boat.
Selena: Yes! In a good way.
Ryan: Shaking things up in a really positive way.
Ryan: Anyway. It’s great to be back and we can’t for— we can’t look— we
can’t— [Ryan laughs] It’s great!
Selena: Stay with us people! Hang on.
Ryan: Yeah. We will see on the other side.
[00:02:26] *Intro Sequence*
[00:02:58] Selena: That was a long frontside.
Ryan: It was a long one!
Selena: [Laughs] It’s alright, though.
Ryan: Yeah. This episode’s going to me a little bit different. So, full disclaimer
is, again, we’re getting back in the saddle here. [Selena laughs] We
haven’t recorded for four weeks; that’s after having recorded multiple
times a week for [Selena laughs] the last almost two years.
Selena: Yes. Yes.
Ryan: So, we’re a little bit… I don’t want to say we’re rusty, but we definitely
want to, I think, take some time to kind of warm up and catch up,
because there’s been a lot that’s happened in our life. Not only the baby
being born, which has been phenomenal.
Ryan: She’s been just incredible; that’s created a whole bunch of new… things
to learn, having three daughters now. How do the other two daughters take to her? Which they’re incredible.
Selena: Mm-hm. Yeah!
Ryan: They’re great big sisters!
Selena: Yeah. They’re transitioning. We’re seeing some pains kind of here and
Ryan: They’re finding their place [Selena laughs] in the birth order. [Both
laugh] Our oldest–.
Selena: [Chuckling] Join in the team here. Yeah.
Ryan: Our oldest is definitely excited to be the oldest, but also feels the pain
of being the oldest and kind of being—
Selena: And also brings out the attitude of being the oldest. [Laughs]
Ryan: And the attitude, yes. And she’s about to be six.
Ryan: So, that’s a thing.
Selena: So, pray for us. But—
Ryan: But also, we’ve finished edits.
Ryan: So, all in that last time.
Selena: All these babies are born. [Ryan laughs and Selena chuckling] Being
Ryan: My goodness! So, our book that’s coming out in May is called See
Through Marriage. We had the edits finally submitted to our publisher.
They had been so patient and gracious with us as the baby arrived earlier than we had planned. And that’s been fun!
Selena: Yeah. If she would have came on our due date, we probably would have
been done. ‘Cause I’m sure it would have taken 11 days. [Laughing]
Ryan: That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Selena: [Chuckling] That’s my story.
Ryan: And so, we did that. I’m also currently working on finals for seminary,
which is amazing and taxing. But I also fell behind on classes and reading
and sent– What are they called? The videos!
Ryan: What are those called? I don’t know. Lectures! Yeah, there they are.
Selena: [Laughs] There’s the word.
Ryan: There’s the word. So, I’ve fallen behind, and so I had to catch up. I’m
catching up on that, and I have to submit that in the very near future.
Ryan: Also, I’ve been making a ton of bread.
Ryan: I’ve, yeah.
Selena: We’ve been watching The Great British Baking Show. [Ryan laughs]
Because our kids actually really enjoy watching it.
[00:05:01] Ryan: Yeah.
Selena: And we like watching it, and we’re learning a lot. So, he’s been making
bread, literally, for the past month. [Laughs]
Ryan: Well, okay. So, I’m not a bandwagon show watcher, right? The thing is,
Selena: It’s okay to watch a show and not be [Inaudible].
Ryan: In one of the first episodes– Well, but I’m not like, “Oh! I’m all into
baking!” Honestly, I don’t want to say could care less, but I don’t care as
much about cupcakes and sponge cakes and [Selena laughs] things like
that. The thing is, is they had a bread episode.
Ryan: And one of the guys on the episode said, “Yeah,” as he was making it,
they were kind of interviewing him and he said, “Yeah, this is just kind of
the typical loaf that I’d make for our family, and it’s just the one that I
always make.” And I thought to myself, “We need a Frederick Loaf.”
Selena: [Chuckling] Frederick family loaf.
Ryan: [Laughing] That’s–
Selena: It’s just great.
Ryan: We’ve got enough loafers [Selena laughs]; I know that! You’re a loafer.
Selena: [Laughing] Right?
Ryan: And interlopers. [Ryan snickers] But we needed a Frederick family loaf.
And so, over the last four weeks, I probably made how many loaves? I don’t want to exaggerate. I want to say in the teens.
Selena: [Laughs] That’s probably accurate.
Ryan: Yeah. I want to say in the teens, and you know what? I think I found it! I
think I found the Frederick family loaf. It’s a five seated– I want to call it
the Five Sola bread, ’cause, you know, we’re good formed people.
Selena: Five Sola. [Laughing]
Ryan: Sola, you know, the Five Solas.
Ryan: But there’s five different seeds in it. It’s super seedy and semi-sweet, a
lot like my wife. [Laughs]
Selena: It’s, “Oh, what a treat!”.
Ryan: [Ryan laughs] It’s, “Oh, what a treat.” [Selena laughs] But it’s good! You
know what? Write in. Write in if you’re a bread fan [Selena laughs], and
leave a question, and if you feel so inclined maybe put your address and
I might send a loaf of bread your way. [Laughs]
Selena: Which leads us to our [Chuckling] housekeeping.
Ryan: Oh, yeah.
Selena: We might need more patrons to…
Selena: Patrons. [Both laughing] To help us supply the bread needs here. But…
Ryan: Okay. Yeah. So, I’ll make it really fast. By the way, thank you Patreon
supporters. You guys have just really been such a blessing. We’ve shared
a lot more, the baby happenings, on our patreon page.
Ryan: Which is patreon.com/fiercemarriage. And, basically, we just kind of
asking for prayer as we went into labor. Also shared pictures [Chuckles],
like the day after…
Selena: Not like birth story pictures.
Ryan: Well, of course.
Selena: These are just, like…
Selena: “Oh, here’s a baby!”
Ryan: I was wearing a GoPro. [Selena chuckles] And here’s what happened.
Selena: [Both laughing] No! [Ryan laughing] Nope, sorry.
Ryan: “It was a war zone!”
Selena: We are not those people.
Ryan: It was intense. But anyway, I didn’t share those pictures. But anyway! A
lot of prayers through that. And so, it’s been a blessing to us, not just on the financial side, but on the co-traveling side of it.
Selena: Mm-hm. Mm-hm!
Ryan: So, if you want to be a part of that community, and really it is becoming
a community and it’s on its own.
Ryan: And be on mission with Fierce Marriage, with Ryan and Selena
Frederick, with the people that we’ve partnered with here.
Ryan: In terms of Carrie and all the lovely people that work with us.
Ryan: Carrie does all the shipping. If you’ve ever gotten books, Carrie’s the one
shipping that out.
Ryan: She’s incredible! You can be a part of that! And the way you do that is
you go to patreon.com/fiercemarriage. We just ask two things. The first
thing is that we ask that you pray about it. We don’t want you just to
make a knee-jerk decision or anything that’s— We want you to pray
about it and be on a mission, heart and soul, husband and wife unified
together in that. And if you pray about it and God leads you to it, then
we just ask the second thing is that you just act on it, and you can act $2
a month, $5 a month on up.
Ryan: Whatever you can do, it’s a blessing. However God leads you, it’s a
Selena: Thank you to all our listeners, our raters and reviewers. If you have not
left a rating or review, take a few seconds to do that, ‘cause it does not
take long! And it makes a huge difference, and we appreciate it. And I
Selena: Potential listeners appreciate it as well!
Selena: Also, if you hear anything that prompts a question, please ask. And you
can do that by calling or texting 971-333-1120. There’s also a form, I
believe, on our website: Fiercemarriage.com/podcasts. There’s a—
Ryan: There’s a button there. Yep!
Selena: A button there to ask a question. So, do that!
Ryan: If you’re a button person.
Selena: If you’re a button person. [Both chuckle] And… Yeah. I guess, thanks to
our community for supporting us. We actually got a gift in the mail from
Ryan: Yeah! Oh, my word.
Selena: From the Holvick family. They’re from Newberg, Oregon, and they gave
us— I believe she made these blankets.
Ryan: They’re phenomenal.
Selena: Some beautiful baby blankets. And we love them! They’re soft and I like
the patterns! It’s great! It was so thoughtful! They sent us a card.
They’re always praying for us. And so, we’re super grateful.
Ryan: Can I just say, I have felt more loved by the body of Christ, our local
church body, but also the body global…
Ryan: Through this last four or five weeks of our lives. I’ve never felt more
loved, more tangibly loved.
Ryan: I’ve always kind of known that we’re loved.
Ryan: Just because by virtue of being brothers and sisters in Christ…
Selena: But I think when we stop doing something, we can feel our love…
Ryan: Like it wanes. [Laughs]
Selena: Yes! [Both laughing] That people that love us might not love us as much.
Ryan: Out of sight, out of mind.
Selena: ‘Cause we had so linked to that doing verses being.
Ryan: But, like the meal train, right? So, we’re members at a church and they
sent out a member email. They’re like, “Hey! Welcome baby Louisa
Frederick into the family. Here’s a meal train link if you want to be part
Ryan: We ate amazing meals that we didn’t have to make.
[00:10:01] Selena: Apparently, still there’s more coming, so…
Ryan: Yes! [Selena chuckles] Alright.
Selena: They were counting on her being a little bit later baby. So, we’ll see!
Ryan: And you know what? We haven’t gotten any spaghetti. [Both chuckle]
Ryan: Usually you get so much spaghetti on those things.
Selena: Right. But one friend makes really good spaghetti meatballs, and that’s…
all I got to say about it. So…
Ryan: Alright. Well…
Selena: Anyways. Moving on!
Ryan: So, today’s topic. [Selena laughs] Thank you so much already, if you’ve
made it this far. [Selena laughs] Thank you, awesome listeners.
Selena: We’re excited to be here! I think we’re indulging a little bit here.
Ryan: We are. We are! We’re being selfish.
Selena: But yes!
Ryan: Speaking of being selfish… [Laughing] That’s what we’re talking about
Selena: Yes! That’s kind of, basically, what we’re talking about today. So, we
were sitting there talking to each other about what is something that is
relevant in our hearts and what’s God been teaching us through these
last couple weeks. And, basically, we’ve titled this thing, “What Little
Gods Are You Worshipping?” “What Little ‘g’ Gods Are You
Selena: So… I don’t think we’ve, you know, we’re not bowing down to comfort
and pleasure, but in other ways we functionally are bowing to things.
We’re giving them power, we’re sacrificing for them, we are looking at
them and idolizing them versus God and His ways in our lives. So… Yeah.
Ryan: I want to take a moment. And so, this idea of a little “g” god…
Selena: Right. Right.
Ryan: It has some different contexts for us in our culture versus when we see,
“You shall have no other gods before me.”
Ryan: We see that an Exodus, when the Ten Commandments and those sorts
of things. And so, we’re making a correlation there that I think is, on its
surface, it’s very obvious, but, I think, below the surface it’s even more
deeply [Baby begins cooing in background] connected than we often
There she is. By the way, she’s been really grunty.
Selena: She baby squeaks here. Sorry.
Ryan: She’s a squeaker. [Selena laughs] So, what do we mean by that, these
little “g” gods? So, one story that came to mind as we were thinking
through this is in Exodus 32, the golden calf, right?
Ryan: There’s something in us, as people, as fallen human beings who have
this sense of the divine, this sense that we need God in our lives, that
God is alive, that God is real. There’s something in us that rails against
That, right? So, in Exodus 32, that’s where Moses is up on Mount Sinai.
He’s getting commands from God, and all the Israelites are— Not very
long, I don’t know how many days exactly, but not very long—
Selena: Mm. Yeah.
Ryan: Went by, not very many days went by, and they were just like, “Oh, no!
We need a god to serve,” like, “We need another god!” And so, they all
start talking to Aaron, and they’re like, “Aaron, we need a god to serve.”
He says, “Alright! Well give me all your bracelets and the earrings out of
your wives’ ears, and…”
Selena: Which, if there’s any indicator for us being created to worship,
[Chuckles] I think that’s…
Ryan: Yeah! And so, he takes all this gold…
Ryan: And then he crafts this golden calf, and they start worshipping it. And
what does it say? [Laughs quietly] I had it up; I got to pull it up again.
But it’s saying, let’s see here, Exodus 32… Yeah. So, “When people saw
that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain,” so, he delayed,
“the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him,
‘Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man
who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has
become of him.’” So, they’re panicking. Fear has set in!
Selena: Moses didn’t text them back. [Both laugh]
Ryan: Yeah. He left them on red. [Selena laughs] And so, Aaron said to them—
Like, Aaron, I just think he’s [Ryan chuckles] just along for the ride at this
point, [Selena chuckles] which to me is hilarious. But, “So Aaron said to
them, ‘Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your
sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.’ So all the people took
off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron.
And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a
graving tool and made a golden calf.” This is the part that gets me. All
right? He said, “And they said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who
brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’ When Aaron saw this, he built
an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, ‘Tomorrow
shall be the feast to the LORD.’” [Snickers] I don’t know what is going on
Selena: Well, they’re attributing godly actions and worship to gods that they
want to make.
Selena: So, they’re creating their own worship and giving the attributes, I feel
like, to this fake god. But they’re giving attributes of the God of Israel to
Ryan: Right. And so, they—
Selena: Which is even more distressing. [Laughs]
Ryan: They had a moment of fear and panic.
Ryan: And they needed something to set their fear and panic at ease. And so,
they said, “Give us a god who can go before us. Let’s craft it with our
Ryan: And here, these are the people that have seen, that were literally part
of the exodus, right?
Ryan: The crossing of the Red Sea, the plagues, all the miracles, you know, the
Selena: The pillar of fire.
Ryan: Yeah. And the unleavened bre— or whatever, the manna from Heaven.
[00:14:40] Ryan: Their sandals and all this stuff they hadn’t worn out. They had seen so
many miracles, day in and day out, and here they are… panicking. Right?
And so, you got to wonder. What is in us, as people, that would cause us
to do this. And I think of Romans. That made me think of Romans 1,
right? Where it says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their
unrighteousness suppress the truth.” And, “What can be known about
God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his
invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have
been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the
things that have been made.” And get this, “So they are without
excuse.” So, all that to say is we, as people, have this sense of His
reality. So much so Paul says we are without excuse. And so, but we
have, in our own righteous—We can. This is talking about the wrath on
the unrighteous, so unregenerate non-believers. But we have in us this
sinful nature that wants to suppress truth and unrighteousness.
Ryan: So, any time we talk about a little “g” god, we are effectively, in fear, in
anxiety, in pain, in discomfort, turning to anything else that goes against
who the one true, real God. Like, why do they not turn away from their
golden calf at that moment?
Ryan: Why did they turn away from the one true God?
Ryan: And I think sin is the answer.
Ryan: So, we do this in our lives. [Laughs]
Selena: We do this in our lives.
Ryan: So, that’s a big—
Selena: And how does this sort of play out in our marriages I think is the biggest
thing, because having a baby definitely [Chuckles] causes some fear
Ryan: Thank you. Yes!
Selena: I think, in some ways.
Selena: And so, you know, we’ve been, Ryan and I personally, have been
confronted with our own desires, right? There’s this desire [Selena
chuckles] for sleep and rest. [Both chuckle] And those are not bad
things! Are we yelling at kids so that we can sleep? Maybe! Nah, I’m
[Selena chuckles] kidding.
Selena: But like, you know what I’m saying? There’s things that we’re
compromising sometimes to get what we think we need.
Selena: And that’s where I think it calls to question what are we worshipping,
what are we striving for, what do we want?
Ryan: And in what are—
Selena: And that we’re not having.
Ryan: In whom or in what are we placing our ultimate trust?
Selena: Our trust. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Ryan: And our ultimate affections. And our ultimate desire.
Selena: Right. So…
Selena: So, defining some of these things, these areas that we might “worship,”
or things, again, that we might sacrifice for, or that we feel like we need
instead of God. So, turning to these things. And I think the biggest one,
again, that we’re starting with, and I think for most people who can
identify with, is comfort and pleasure.
Selena: You know, we kind of do whatever it takes to maintain that level of
comfort we want. We’re not willing to compromise or serve our spouse
or our kids or our family if it infringes on our time and energy and
resources, right? We ultimately want everything for ourselves, and
we’re going to kind of rely on ourselves for that, I think, in a lot of ways.
Selena: And I think some examples of this—These are just personals [Selena
laughs]. So… Here is my life. [Ryan laughs] But Bible reading. You know,
right now, I don’t feel like I have tons of time to do that. I mean, yeah, I
do it when I’m nursing, but then that’s like in the dark at two in the
morning, and I feel like not much is being [Selena laughs] retained. But
not having time or being challenged by the messages we’re reading or
hearing if there’s scripture, that is uncomfortable to us. [Selena
chuckles] It’s not always fun to read your Bible, and exciting and
Selena: But it is necessary. Watching shows, getting on the screens, you know?
[Laughs] The screens… [Laughing]
Ryan: The screens.
Selena: [Laughing] I’m sorry!
Ryan: Well, I think… So, I want to be clear here. There’s a time, right, after
Ryan: That we were like, “Okay. We just need to hunker down.” I love that.
Ryan: The visual. Like, we’re just hunkered down as a family.
Ryan: We’re dead to the world.
Selena: Right. Not getting up and going, doing the same routine a day later.
Ryan: And that we are just, in our four walls, and only our close friends and
family are coming in to visit, and we are just in family recovery mode.
Selena: Just serve and love on us. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.
Ryan: And that means a lot of walks around the neighborhood with the girls.
Ryan: A lot of playing in their rooms.
Ryan: A lot of watching cartoons together. [Selena chuckles] A lot of making
bread in the kitchen.
Selena: Playing games.
Ryan: And letting the girls help with that.
Selena: Yes. Yes.
Ryan: And a lot of, and granted, it depends on your own life situation; not
every man can take time off. I took some time off from Fierce Marriage
and from everything else. Hopefully you can take some time off, ‘cause
it’s such a sweet time!
Selena: Right. Right.
Ryan: But, so there’s that sense of, “Okay. It’s okay to watch some things.”
Selena: Right! And, but I think…
Ryan: But there’s a moment, I think, where we know in our guts that maybe
Selena: Well, that pattern is becoming too much. And I think one of the
indicators is that when we’re living our lives just to kind of make it to
the next time we get to watch a show, that’s, you know, you’re just kind
of living for the…
Ryan: That’s an addiction!
Selena: From the moment—
Ryan: That’s classic addiction.
Selena: Right. Right. And so, I think we have to be aware of that! And we have
to bring people into our circle and say, “Hey, you know, this is what I’m
struggling with,” or, “This is what I feel like,” and I was very transparent
with Ryan about some of the feelings I was feeling when people would
send me basic texts. [Chuckles] And I’d be like, “I can’t do this. I don’t
want that. And I feel really angry.” [Laughs briefly] And I’m like, “I’m
pretty sure these are all pregnancy hormones, but can you please help
me see this more clearly?” You know? And walking through that
[00:19:59] Selena: And so, there was a lot of discomfort and things that I didn’t like, but
was it something that was real or was it something that I was
making up, and how was I dealing with it, I guess, was a bigger
Ryan: I think what really tangible way that this plays out in a husband’s life is
Ryan: In terms of comfort and pleasure.
Ryan: Right? After a woman has a child, you’re out of commission… sexually
and traditional sexual manners… [Both laugh] I’ll say that.
Ryan: There’s some healing that has to hap—
Ryan: A lot of healing has to happen. [Selena chuckles] And that takes time.
Ryan: Six weeks is the minimum.
Ryan: And so…
Selena: In other cultures, it’s longer. [Chuckles]
Ryan: Well, and it might need to be for us, too.
Ryan: And I think that’s something that, you know, we joke. Like, it’s been…
what? It’s been 20… 30 days. 30, 31 days and seven hours [Selena
chuckles and Ryan laughs] since the last time you and I were able to be
intimate in that way, and we joke and be like, “Alright! Well, six weeks is
coming up, so I hope you’re ready!” You know? But I have to reassure
you, like, “Hey, [Both laugh] we’ll take this step by step. Don’t feel
Selena: Right. Right.
Ryan: But that’s been a great opportunity where, as a husband, to serve you
and not pressure you or make you feel guilty or in any way make you
feel that pain, in a way that is—
Ryan: That you don’t already feel. As my wife, you already take that on.
Ryan: And there’s a sense that we want to connect, and there are other ways
to connect sexually during this time.
Selena: Right. Right.
Ryan: And I do mean sexually; it’s not like you just all the sudden ignore each
Ryan: Physical affection is completely dead for six weeks.
Selena: Right. It’s not an excuse to just be like, “Well, we’re not going to do
Ryan: But if a husband is selfish in this time, it can…
Selena: There’s ways you can make your wife pay for feeling that.
Ryan: And so, and I just want to bring it back to the whole Aaron thing, the
golden calf thing, and the Romans 1 thing, meaning that if I take my
own desire, my fear of not being fulfilled, my comfort being sacrificed,
and I take that and that’s the god that I’m serving, that’s my golden calf,
and I’ve already forgotten this miracle that is my wife, okay? The
miracle that is our new baby, the miracle that it is this life that God has
given us, the salvation he’s given us in Christ—
Ryan: First and foremost. I forget all that stuff.
Ryan: I forget all the things that God has done.
Ryan: And now, all the sudden, I’m worshipping this small “g” god of my
own comfort, my own pleasure.
Ryan: Then there’s going to be sacrifices that are going to be made.
Ryan: And those sacrifices—
Selena: Are usually like… [Chuckles]
Ryan: Are usually your wife.
Selena: At the expense of the wife in there.
Ryan: Your kids.
Ryan: All the sudden, you’re now yelling at your kids because your selfishness
is welling up into bitterness in your own heart.
Selena: Yeah. Yeah.
Ryan: And anger and impatience, and you’re not living by the spirit. In
Galatians 5, you’re not living by the spirit—
Ryan: You’re living by the fruits of the flesh.
Selena: And not to say that you haven’t already done this, but bringing in God’s
word, I think, is really one of the big ways we can combat and the big
ways we can be aware, And Hebrews 4:12 is just, “For the word of God
is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the
division of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and discerning the
thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Selena: And then it also says, “And no creature,” verse 13, “is hidden from his
sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we
must give an account.”
Selena: And reading that verse knowing who our God is—If you don’t know who
God is, that could be very scary thing, right? But if we know who God is,
if we know His nature, He’s a good God full of mercy and grace, again,
we can’t always know these things without being in His word, you
know? Spurgeon says, “It’s good to visit other books, but live in your
Ryan: Love that.
Selena: And that’s been very convicting to me, and also very encouraging, right?
It’s not just, “Oh, you haven’t been reading your Bible,” but, “Here’s the
clearway of how you should live.”
Selena: And being in God’s word, all our motives are brought to light and
challenged. Our hearts are lovingly called back to repent, to turn back to
God, away from our motivation that might be sinful or selfish. We’re
given instruction and hope on how to live in obedience and the benefits
of it because of Jesus.
Selena: It’s transformational for us to be in God’s word; it allows the Holy Spirit
to be at work in us during these times where we might be struggling
with… wanting things that we can’t have. And why would we want those
things? And God’s words like, “Here’s why you might want these things,
and here’s why they might be bad. But look! My word will help you
through this. I am here with you. I’m not leaving you. I’m giving you
instruction. There’s hope because of Jesus.”
Ryan: I want to pause there a minute, because you hit every main thing that is
just like these deep—As I’m going through seminary, right?
Ryan: It’s been incredible to learn about the doctrine of God’s word, the
doctrine of scripture, the doctrine of God.
[00:24:44] Ryan: Theology proper, as they would say [Selena laughs muffled], where it’s
actual study of God. God’s word is the Bible. That’s what we usually,
typically, mean by that. But remember, right, it’s John 1:1. “In the
beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word was
with God.” And he sent forth the Word. So, we have the Word
incarnate, in Jesus, being sent forth. We have God, the God of the Bible,
bending low, giving us His special revelation in His word that we have
now. We have access to the thoughts of God, to the commands of God,
the way He thinks, the way the way He is. He’s given us that access to
Him in His word. We see that in the second person of the Trinity, the
Son, who is the Word incarnate. But then we also see the ministry of the
Word going forward, and He said this through the Holy Spirit. So, we
have not only the revelation of God, we have the power of God.
Ryan: And we have the person of God himself in Christ, and so many other
different, rich ways to look at the doc— You know, what this word
Selena: I only write these things and say these things because of our
Selena: And listening to you talking about seminary. [Both chuckle] So, it’s really
helpful that you’re going to seminary. But it’s not that I just hear that—
Ryan: But these truths are deep.
Selena: They’re deep! Yep. And I think they’re articulating things that I’ve
always known and believed, but being able to say them clearly in a way
that is helpful to us and hopefully our listeners is a whole ‘nother
Ryan: Well, and so the rubber kind of meets the road or so— Okay. So what?
Ryan: Okay. So, the thing is, is we can’t discount the fact that we have God’s
word in our hands.
Ryan: We can’t discount the fact that we are covered by the blood of Christ.
Ryan: God’s word incarnate, in a way that actually enables us to live under
freedom, and the Holy Spirit illumines it in our hearts and makes it come
to life so that we can actually live by it. So, we have the instruction, but
we also have the fuel by which to live it out!
Ryan: And so, when we see these small “g” gods crop up their ugly heads in
our lives, we can say to God, “Hey.” We can go to Him by the by the
prompting of the Holy Spirit when we’re filling convicted.
Ryan: “God, I have not loved your wor— I have not gotten into Your—I’m not
submitting myself to Your word in a way that it’s actually
transformational in my heart, and it’s showing!”
Ryan: “I’m lashing out against my kids. I’m being selfish with my wife. I’m
being impatient, I’m being bitter, I’m being all these things. Help me
desire Your word.”
Ryan: And that is an amazing prompting of the Holy Spirit, to pray that. And
you know what? Anytime I’ve prayed for God to make me hungry or
thirsty for His word, He fulfills it almost instantaneously.
Ryan: I want to say instantaneously, because it’s almost like saying that
prayer, in itself, is a submission.
Ryan: And in your own heart, saying, “God, help me love You better!”
Ryan: “I’m sorry I haven’t loved You well.”
Ryan: “You deserve all the love, all the glory, but I’ve taken love for myself.”
Ryan: “I’ve taken glory for myself—”
Selena: Well, and, “I’m sorry for not wanting those, wanting You.”
Ryan: “In these various ways.”
Selena: You know?
Selena: I’m sorry for wanting— I’m so bent, God, on wanting what I want for
Ryan: Right. And that goes to the next one, which you have listed down as the
“God of control.”
Selena: Right. So, we have—
Ryan: And power. [Laughs]
Selena: Just a quick recap. We have the god of comfort/pleasure, ‘cause we felt
like those two go hand in hand. And then the God of control and power. And typically, you know, this comes from a place of fear in us, right? There might be some lies we’re believing, or we’re afraid that something might happen, so this just typically produces a lot of anxiety and frustration. And so, we’re trying to control things so that we can maybe avoid that type of anxiety, avoid that frustration, when sometimes God, you know, doesn’t want us to be in [Chuckling] control of everything because we just can’t handle it. I feel like that, to me, trying to control everything produces more [Chuckles] anxiety and frustration, than trying to avoid something, which God’s worked that in my heart, because now I feel like He’s given me more confidence to just face things instead of— It’s like your little toddler, right? You want to make everything nice and happy for them so that they’re nice and happy, but, literally, you can’t control everything. And so, when that object of [Chuckles] something comes against them and they don’t like it, you either can try to appease them or you can try to teach them and walk them through it, right?
Ryan: Or in marriage, when your spouse is not responding in the way that you
think they should. Right? You’ve done all—
Selena: [Sighs] Finally. I’m glad you’re finally hearing this. [Laughs]
Ryan: [Chuckles] You’ve stepped through the right hoops, right?
Selena: Right. You say the right things. Do the—
Ryan: You’re like, “I gave you this! I gave you that! We went on a date. What
else do you want from me?!” [Selena laughs] Like, “Give me what I think
Ryan: And now, see, that’s the thing is—
Selena: Well, it can make marriage feel so lonely. It’s transactional, right? It’s
Ryan: Yeah. Well, and I’m trying to exercise a certain level of control and
Ryan: Over your heart. We talked about this a few episodes back; we talked
about what is in the scope of our own…
Ryan: How has God commissioned us? He’s commissioned us into sharing the
gospel. He’s not commissioned us into the business of changing hearts.
Ryan: He’s commissioned us into discipling each other, and watching as the
Holy Spirit changes hearts. So, when I do that, and I’m upset because
you’re not transforming in the way that— “Hey! Get over that
friendship! We’ve talked about it. Get over it! Why are you still
agonizing over it?”
Ryan: Or some spouses, they’re upset because their spouse is not responding
to the gospel.
[00:30:01] Selena: Right.
Ryan: Right? What do I do? We get a lot of messages in that say, “What do I
do if I’m a believer, but my spouse is not?”
Ryan: “They don’t care about the Bible. They don’t care about church. What
do I do?”
Ryan: That can kind of well up in us in this way of control and power.
Selena: Right. Right.
Ryan: Like, really, you want to control the outcome.
Selena: “How do I make them believe in Jesus?” [Both chuckle] “How do I make
them love God?”
Ryan: But it’s a beautiful thing when we have to surrender ourselves to God
and say, “God, You are in control. You are powerful. I am not. I can trust
You. I can take joy in that. And I can trust that You’re going to do what’s
most glorious for You, God.”
Ryan: “And I can watch, and I can be a part of it. And I pray, as your child, as
your son, as your daughter, I pray that You would do X, Y and Z.”
Selena: Right. Right!
Ryan: As your son.
Ryan: As your daughter.
Selena: And another way that, personally, I think control and power plays out as
a wife, and this is maybe, again, just me and a personal problem…
Ryan: Oh! Yeah.
Selena: But how we look. Right? We’re obsessing over our appearance, our
weight, what we look like, what we’re wearing, how are we appearing?
Because we’re aiming, essentially, to control what people think about
us, right? Especially, you see that on social media, and… Yeah! Totally
guilty of it. Not trying to be. Sometimes… I have this [Chuckles]
conviction of, like, “I should just take a video of my whole house right
now [Laughs] and post it. That would be very humbling for me…”
Ryan: Because it’s clean?
Selena: ‘Cause it’s awfully dirty! [Laughs]
Selena: And show the real-life side of things. [Laughs]
Ryan: That could go either way.
Selena: [Laughing] Sorry!
Ryan: I feel like I’ve lost—
Selena: I was getting there! I was getting there.
Ryan: I’ve lost control over my body, given the number [Selena laughs] of
bread loaves I’ve eaten over the last four weeks. [Both laughing] Carbs
are real, folks!
Selena: They really are.
Ryan: Those calories really do pack on fast!
Selena: Right. Right. So, I think that, again, trying to control what people think
about us is just a game of death [Laughs], really, of your spirit.
Selena: Like, we can’t control what people think about us, and we don’t have to
because God is good, and our identity is secure in Him! And that is a
hard bridge to cross sometimes, I think. And I feel like it’s a challenge
daily, for at least me as a wife. It’s always a question of identity, you
know? Am I making the right decision as a mom homeschooling our
kids? Am I making the right decision as a woman and a wife?
Selena: Am I loving my family well enough by making certain decisions, by not
making certain decisions? Those kinds of things… And…
Selena: It also, I think this control and power— and maybe I talked about this in
the beginning, is just this fear of what if this happens or what if that
happens? What if my husband doesn’t love me anymore because my… body’s changed? [Laughs] I haven’t actually felt that fear, but I’ve seen it and heard it in other spaces. But what if he doesn’t love me anymore? What if I can’t be the wife that I was? What if my sex drive is down because I’m just— Post-pregnancy hormones are just flailing everywhere.
Ryan: Okay. Yeah. I remember having a conversation before the baby was
Selena: ‘Cause I was afraid! I was afraid.
Ryan: Well, and I was afraid!
Selena: The conversation of—
Ryan: I’m like, “What is going to happen to our sex life?” and just being really
Selena: Right. We both were, like…
Ryan: It’s like, “When are we going to find time? Are you going to even want
Ryan: This, pointing to— [Both laughing] Say good-bye to this.
Selena: We are bread-loved body. [Both laughing] Just kidding!
Ryan: My bread body! [Both chuckle]
Selena: I like bread.
Ryan: [Inaudible] a new dieting program.
Selena: I love bread!
Ryan: Instead of Beachbody, it’s going to be Breadbody. [Both laugh] And
everyone’s going to get onboard, ‘cause you know what? The bar’s
super low. [Selena laughs] It’s super easy. You just eat bread whenever
Selena: [Laughing] And bread is awesome.
Ryan: And… the butter bread body! [Both laugh]
Selena: That’s the next level. That’s the deluxe package there. [Laughs]
Ryan: It’s the deluxe pac— You gotta pay; it’s $19.99 a month [Selena laughs]
for that subscription. Anyway. Don’t pay for it. It’s not worth it.
Selena: We’re getting off topic. [Both laugh]
Ryan: The advice is really clear: eat buttered bread! [Both laugh] Anyway! So,
yeah! I mean, we had this conversation, like what is going to happen to
our sex life, and I really wanted to wrap my arms around it and say, or
my head around it, and say, “Okay, I need you to—”
Selena: “At this point, we’ll do this. This is the plan. Blah, blah, blah.”
Selena: And it’s like…
Ryan: And some of that’s, like, you need to talk through it.
Ryan: You need to have those conversations.
Selena: But again, you can’t control how you’re going to feel after everything.
Ryan: Mm. And well, and it’s at that moment of fear that you can choose to
Selena: Or build, yeah.
Ryan: That when that moment comes, you’ll be able to work it out together
because God is in you and God is working through you.
Ryan: And His desire is for you to flourish!
Ryan: And so, instead of crafting a golden calf at that moment and trying to
figure it out myself, and saying, “Well, fine! I’m just going to do
whatever I want, and I’m going to look online and I’m going to satisfy
my sexual needs some other way!” That’s crafting a golden calf.
Ryan: And, basically, taking it into your own hands. Sorry for the pun. [Laughs]
Selena: Oh, my.
Ryan: It was taking it— controlling it [Laughing] yourself! Argh! I’m just going
to stop! [Selena chuckles] But the point I’m trying to make is that you
have to trust. Instead, you have to trust in this God that has proven
Ryan: Time and time again.
Ryan: And that your marriage is not going to fall apart as you… as you entrust
it into His hands.
[00:34:58] Selena: You can’t anticipate every moment afterwards, right? And that’s my
biggest fault. Ryan’ll tell you that I try to anticipate way too much
because I want to control. Why? Because I’m afraid, because I don’t
want to deal with… the frustration or the anxiety of my kid screaming,
or us being disconnected sexually.
Selena: I don’t want to deal with that. So, I want to have a plan, I want to get it
taken care of. But it comes from this underlying sense, which if I’m
reading the Bible, right, and it’s looking at my heart, it’s helping me
discern through things. It’s because I’m afraid. It’s because I’m afraid of
the disconnection, I’m afraid of the arguments, I’m afraid of our
relationship being changed and altered. And I don’t want that. Like, I
love what we have, but God’s like, “That’s great! But I have more for
you,” right? And the more, it’s going to take some stretching.
Selena: It’s going to take some discomfort, and it’s good! It’s okay. It’s just going
against some of your sin nature. And in a sense, there is some stuff
that’s not of God and He’s calling us out of that.
Ryan: Yeah, and that’s trust, right? And any time you’re heading around a
bend where you don’t know what’s going to be there—
Ryan: You have to really trust that God is guiding you.
Ryan: And, actually, is there. I think one area where control really shows up as
a small “g” god is in, like you mentioned earlier, but the order of our
Ryan: With two little ones running around, five and three, they love making
messes. They love playing. They don’t love picking up messes. They
don’t love working. [Selena giggles] And so, as a dad, I’m like…
Selena: Mm. Just like us, huh? Pleasure and comfort. [Both laugh]
Ryan: The little hedonists! They just want to do what’s fun all the time. They
want to eat only things that tastes good all the time.
Selena: Of course. Of course.
Ryan: And of course, that’s just sugar, basically. And so, I want to control
Ryan: I want to control their hearts. I want to control their behavior.
Ryan: And what happens if we do that without the gospel at the center?
Selena: Yeah! Our discipline is not…
Ryan: Our discipline is heavy-handed.
Ryan: We rule with an iron fist.
Selena: You’re not teaching; you’re telling.
Ryan: We break the spirit.
Ryan: We end up being strict and not just loving.
Ryan: Lovingly correcting them, but just being strict. And so, we’re getting
outside of the purview of marriage here, but I’m just saying as a couple
dealing with that has really exposed in us this desire for control and for
Selena: Because we want things to be a certain way.
Selena: Yeah! I agree. So!
Ryan: Alright. There’s a good verse that you brought up.
Ryan: Was Psalm 147.
Selena: Yeah. Psalm 147 is just, “His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in
those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” And I
feel like that just brings some assurance.
Selena: You know? He’s not impressed by what we can do, but He really takes
pleasure in those that fear Him, so, that acknowledge who He is, that
are in wonder, not afraid of God, but this respect! This awe of who He
is, and they hope in His love, His steadfast love.
Selena: This love that never gets tired of our questions, of our own hedonism, of
our own failure to realize who He is and what He wants for us.
Selena: But He delights in those who fear Him.
Ryan: This reminded me of a verse that I have on the wall here.
Selena: Don’t take control.
Ryan: Sorry. Did I just take control?
Selena: Sorry. It’s ok. No. [Both chuckle] Go for it!
Ryan: I thought you were saying I took control, and you’re—
Selena: No. [Laughs]
Ryan: [Laughing] And you were calling me out. Jeremiah 9:23, 24. “Thus says
the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty
man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches.’” I
wanted to boast in all three of those things [Selena laughs], by the way!
I’m just going to say it.
Selena: Thanks. I’m glad you’re saying that.
Ryan: My own brain, my own brawn, and my own bank account. [Both laugh] I
Selena: Your bread brawn? [Both laugh]
Ryan: My bready body, people! [Selena laughing] Go breadbody.com! [Ryan
laughs briefly] But, “‘Let not the rich man boast in his riches, but,’”
here’s the “but” statement, okay? “‘But let him who boasts boast in this,
that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who prac—’”
And that “LORD” is the Tetragrammaton, which is the YHWH—
Ryan: Which is His actual name. Right?
Selena: Tip: the capital, all caps LORD.
Ryan: Which is His most proper name. Right?
Selena: L-O-R-D, capital L-O-R-D.
Ryan: Yeah. “‘Who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the
earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.’” So, let us boast
in knowing Him!
Selena: That would have been a good one, because the next God is the God of
pride and status. So…
Ryan: Hilarious. [Exhales]
Selena: Both seen, there it is. That was a good transition, babe. Way to go!
Ryan: You know what?
Selena: Way to go! [Laughs]
Ryan: I’m very wise. [Ryan chuckles and Selena laughs] I’m very wise.
Ryan: Oh, shoot! [Laughs]
Selena: Just boasting! That was…
Ryan: [Laughing] Just kidding.
Selena: Yes. But the god of status/pride, we feel like there’s a lot of overlap, and
it’s an easy progression from control, right, to pride? We got the right
house, we got the right car, we got our kids in the right school, or we’re
doing the right thing home-schooling, whatever; there can be a lot of
pride in all of those areas. It really is just questioning our identity. Like,
Selena: What are we putting our identity in? Who are we putting it in?
Ryan: When are we putting it in? Because—
Selena: [Chuckles] Exactly! There it is.
Ryan: It’s here and now is what we want—
Selena: There it is!
Ryan: We want to see it play out here and now.
[00:39:55] Ryan: I want to see the status here and now, when our status when we’re not
primarily American citizens, we’re not primarily Australian citizens,
we’re not a citizen of some worldly power.
Ryan: We’re citizens of a heavenly kingdom.
Ryan: And so, if our status is in that, and our identity is heavenly kingdom
Ryan: Of people adopted into God’s family, that’s a there and then thing.
Ryan: That’s a, “Already, but not yet.”
Ryan: Well, I had this came up in my own heart today as I was thinking
through some of the family stuff we’re going through. We haven’t
shared that, but there’s some family stuff going on; we had a meeting
earlier this week that was to that end. And I got to thinking… It made
me really realize that I can’t want things to be resolved in a way that
gives me benefits here and now; I need to be thinking about there and
then in terms of already, but not yet.
Ryan: God’s plan, God’s goodness and His name.
Ryan: And let us boast in this! Right?
Ryan: That same thing that…
Selena: Jeremiah [Inaudible]. Yeah.
Ryan: That we understand and know God.
Ryan: So, we— Sorry. I want to flesh this out a little bit more, that we
understand that we have been made privy to the person of God, and
what He wills here on earth. That’s an amazing thing! He loves with
steadfast love and wisdom and all these things. But we understand Him,
but we also know Him in that we just don’t know Him in our heads, but
we know Him personally.
Ryan: There is, in the Spanish language, there’s two verbs for “to know.”
There’s “saber” and “conocer,” I think.
Ryan: Sorry! I’m not trying to be like Beto, whatever, but that guy who would
speak in Spanish in the debates. But one is to know a fact; the other is
to know relationally a person.
Ryan: And I feel like that’s a distinction that can be made here.
Ryan: That I know God in my head, I know His ways, but I also know Him
personally. Let us boast in that, and let the status and all those things
that we want, let those fall at the feet of knowing God.
Selena: Right. And how does this area affect our marriage? Because I feel like He
can very much be—
Selena: Just a status and pride, like a personal thing. Which it can be!
Ryan: Good question.
Selena: And it can definitely clash within our marriage, if we want different
things and we desire, and we want to take pride in having certain things,
you know? If a wife wants a— [Exhales] Argh. I hate to bash wives.
We’re not going to—But if you have this high—
Ryan: Just put “husband” in there. [Both chuckle]
Selena: If you have a high standard of—Not high. If you want things that are out
of your price range—
Ryan: If you want a bread body. Oh, sorry! [Both laugh]
Selena: No, I’m just saying, if we’re wanting things for the wrong reasons, it’s
going to create a lot of tension within our marriage, because I feel like
you’re good at that. Early on in our marriage, I’d be like, “Wow!” Oh,
here’s a perfect example. When I was a young life leader in California,
and we got back from camp, and I was leading campaigners for the first
time, I was like, “Ryan, we’ve got to have a bigger house. I’ve got 12
girls. We are in a two-bedroom apartment. Half of these girls live in
humongous houses in gated communities, like super wealthy area of the
desert, and we have this little apartment,” which and it was a great
apartment. And I’m like, “It’s just not big enough! We need to start
looking at houses. We need to…” Like, all this fear, all of this, you know,
discomfort of what these high school girls [Giggles] were going to think
about my apartment as an adult, right, just came into play. And it was
because I felt like it was a reflection of my identity, right? We can’t
Selena: Or we can’t have the right thing. And when in all reality, when we had
campaigners and we ate dinner together, and we talked, and I made
them all put their phones face down in front of us so that nobody had
their phones on them. That relationship, those conversations, that
community was what God used to really fulfill them, and for us to know
who He was together. It wasn’t about my house. We could have met at,
which we did even sometimes, like at Starbucks, or we met at—
Ryan: They don’t care.
Selena: They don’t care!
Ryan: They don’t care…
Selena: Yeah. And even if—
Ryan: Only you cared. [Chuckles] Only we cared.
Selena: Well, only I cared, but they do care at some level outside of Christ. Like,
they were caring about the wrong things.
Selena: And I felt like God was like, “Hey, let me use this area of your life to
show them that those things don’t matter as much as I want their
hearts, I want their lives, I want to be in relationship with them, and
that is the important thing here.” It’s not about what they have,
although it’s okay to have things, but it’s not about what you have, it’s
about who you are. Right?
Ryan: Yeah. Actually, I was just reading. I’m not going to be able to find it, but I
was just reading an article. Gospel Coalition does these series. It’s called
Thorn and Thistle, I think?
Ryan: And they asked a question. I meant to share it with you. I apologize. But
they ask the question, and it’s like should I move closer to the church, or
is it okay to move further away from the church if it means I can have a
Selena: Right. Geographically. Yeah.
Ryan: Yeah. And they use an example of somebody who, you know, they had
this kind of dilemma in that they would move away, across the freeway,
but it was basically a world apart because of the way the geography
Ryan: And the questions they were asking were really positive, and they’re
saying basically re-evaluate your definition of hospitality.
Ryan: And recalibrate it with the Bible’s definition of hospitality. Because we
often think some, like what you said, is, “Well, we can’t have ministry
happen until we have this perfect arena for which the hospitality can
finally blossom into everything it should be.” No! And he’s basically
saying you don’t need—First off, he said Americans, second to
Australians, have more square footage per home than anyone else in
[00:45:08] Selena: Right.
Ryan: So, having a big house in the US is like a mansion by every other
Ryan: Whereas you might feel like it’s average.
Ryan: And so, it’s basically recalibrating that expectation of what it means to
love people and to—I want to get back to the point, status and pride, is
it comes back around to something that’s not rooted in what you think
it’s rooted in.
Ryan: You think, “Oh, we need this thing so that we can have our identity.”
Selena: Well, and basically hide, I think, was some of it.
Selena: I wanted to hide our financial status.
Ryan: Which I kid you not, we had literally hundreds [Selena chuckles], maybe
even dozens of dollars [Selena laughs] saved in the bank at any
Selena: Right. Which is why transparency is a huge thing, and we talk a lot about
that all the time [Ryan laughs], on the Fierce Marriage podcast. [Both
chuckling] We are very transparent.
Selena: But I think that is a way to combat and to live in the light, right? God
calls us to live in the light. Why? Because then it’s not about us, it’s all
about Him. And it’s all about who He is in our lives and not what we’ve
Selena: So, one of the verses that has been—One of our mentor’s kind of sent
us this and was just like congratulating us on having a baby. It was
Psalm 127. [Clears throat] Excuse me. And in particular it was the one
about children are our heritage, they’re a blessing. But if you read Psalm
127, which I encourage everyone, it’s five verses, it’s very reassuring to
me as a wife, as someone who doesn’t have to have it all together, who
doesn’t have to have the right house, the right everything, but is really
like learning; I really feel like I’m sitting at the feet of God constantly
failing and learning who God is and what He’s at work doing. And I’ll just
read the verses. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it
labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman
stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a
reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s
youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be
put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” So, there’s
a lot there.
Selena: Talking about children and being a heritage and blessings. And I guess
the first couple verses are really what have spoken to my heart in this
time of kind of feeling like our world’s being shaken in a lot of ways.
Ryan: Oh, yeah.
Selena: Just with a new baby, and finishing a book, and all of these things in our
home, I guess, for me. God’s just reminding me unless He’s building
this house, we’re doing stuff in vain. Unless He is the one that we are—
Not even we! It’s all about Him, right?
Selena: So, unless He’s watching over the city, we stay awake in vain. If I stay up
late and I wake up early to try to do all these things, if it’s not, you
know, sort of God leading this, and He’s not the head of this household,
then it’s all in vain. It’s all about—
Selena: Me and my status and my pride and the things that I want versus, you
know, this verse is saying God’s in control. He is at work.
Selena: Sleep. Rest. Enjoy your children. Teach them.
Ryan: Yeah. And that, I think, comes down to boasting in our own kind of
Ryan: As that Jeremiah passage says. Like, we think that we can just somehow
craft the house and have the house stand on its own because we are
without need of God himself.
Ryan: And this verse is basically saying no! Like, you can do whatever,
you can build a house, you can—It’s not a verse about architecture.
Ryan: It’s a verse about trusting that God is the reason that anything is
Ryan: And acknowledging that humbly.
Ryan: So, how does this work in marri—Again, bringing it back around to
marriage. We talked about sex a little bit. We talked about finance a
little bit. Talking about communication.
Ryan: A lot of times in our relationship early on, I would talk down to you in a
way that I’m very ashamed of, I think now, and I think I’ve learned to
not do it as often.
Selena: Learning. [Both laugh] Just a bit.
Ryan: So, but like—
Selena: Just kidding. That—[Chuckles]
Ryan: Talking down, and being dismissive of each other, or…
Selena: Yeah, yeah.
Ryan: And what is that, if not boasting in your own wisdom?
Ryan: What is that, if you’re thinking that if I can just use the right words, or
I’m so smart that I don’t have to really, like…
Selena: I’m better arguing, and I can…
Ryan: Yeah. And so, I think trusting in the Lord is really humbling and puts you
in a place of, like, the priority is to love my wife well, not to be right in
Ryan: Or to listen well—
Ryan: And not get to a solution.
Ryan: Or to make sure she feels loved—
Ryan: And not just give her action steps.
Ryan: Those are the roots of communication. Or flip it on the other end.
Ryan: Transparency in communication.
Ryan: That, in my grand wisdom, I won’t tell you this because I’m afraid it’ll
Ryan: Right? Every TV show you’ve ever watched always has a, “I didn’t tell
you ‘cause I wanted to protect you.”
[00:49:56] Ryan: Like how B.S. is that? [Both chuckles] Because it’s like, you think that
you can just… You know better, so why not just come out with it? Well,
of course, that would mean there’s no drama in the TV show. [Both
chuckle] But it also creates more drama in your life If you think, “I’m not
going to tell you about my addiction because, in my wisdom, I think it’ll
hurt you and It’ll hurt our marriage. And I’m ashamed, also.”
Selena: Right. And God’s saying, “Live in the light!”
Ryan: Because He is God and I am not I can live humbly before Him. And if He
if he is the goal…
Ryan: If he is my affection, that I want to get closer to Him, then that sin is
getting in the way.
Ryan: I need to get it out of my life.
Ryan: Which means, confess to Him, confess to each other. Repent.
Selena: And it’s this whole idea of trust, right? So, we’re talking about how can
we really worship God in our marriage. How can we tangibly worship
God in our marriage?
Selena: And you’ve heard these three things, they’ve just been threaded
through our conversation, is true repentance, and submission and
surrender, and then trust. Right? So, we’re trusting who God is beyond
what we think.
Ryan: That’s good.
Selena: How much the bomb is going to drop, and how big the blast is going to
be, right? We’re trusting Him.
Selena: Knowing that these things are going to happen, but trusting that He is
the God of hearts and He’s—not God of hearts. He is the God of our
Ryan: That changes hearts.
Selena: Changes hearts. He’s one that we can trust. It’s the true repentance of
coming to God, saying, “I’m sorry for not wanting You! I’m so prone to
wanting other things. Help me God! I believe You’re good and merciful.
Help my unbelief.” It’s repenting to our spouse.
Selena: It’s going to our community, saying, “Help me, help us, in
worshipping these little gods. I need your help to destroy them. I need
your help to not allow them to come back into my life.” It’s submission!
Surrendering to God in those instances, saying, “God, I want Your way. I
Selena: “I don’t know what You think about this. I need to read my Bible more,”
Ryan: Eww. [Selena laughs] Well, you’re surrendering yourself, saying, “I can’t
figure this out.”
Selena: To know His will.
Ryan: “I’m not going to boast of my wisdom. I’m going to boast in knowing
Selena: Yeah! Know Him.
Selena: And then you know where He stands on things like your pleasure, like
your riches, like your status, like your identity. He roots those all in His
Ryan: And here’s the thing is word! God wants to give you more pleasure than
you could ever imagine, and in Him.
Selena: Right. Mm-hm.
Ryan: He wants to give you more status than you could ever earn on your own
Ryan: He wants to give you more riches than you could ever earn on your own
Selena: Right. Right.
Ryan: And this is not a prosperity thing. This is, in Him, there is all these
Ryan: That everything else pales in comparison. He’s giving you Himself.
Ryan: And that comes from a place of submitting and surrendering.
Ryan: Which is why you see so many [Chuckling] submitted, surrendered, like
people in the church are not people that have it together.
Ryan: They’re people that oftentimes, they’ve just for whatever reason they’re
in a weaker status in a lot of cases.
Ryan: I don’t want to get into the nuances of that. But anyway, we need to
surrender our hearts, all that kind of stuff.
Selena: Right. And we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us. He is there! He’s our
counselor to help lead us, to help us submit, to help us know how to
walk humbly in the things of God. And then trusting him, trusting God,
trusting our Father, the Holy Spirit, trusting what Jesus did on the cross,
trusting God’s way is the better. It is the best way to live. Again, when
and if bombs need to be dropped, we’re going to trust that after the
blast, God is going to help us through those messes, through that hurt
Selena: He is the god of he—
Ryan: And then you’re talking through if there’s a confession or something.
Selena: Right! Right.
Selena: Or anything that you’re confronting, like with your pri— All of these
little gods, they come with these blugga—baggage. [Chuckles] I’m trying
to think of the word! They come with baggage! They come with things
that need to be broken and destroyed. And when those things are
broken and destroyed, no doubt, there’s going to be some aftermath. It
may be big or small, but it’s requiring confrontation with things that you
don’t want to be confronted with, I feel like, and God says don’t fear.
Confidently, and with your trust in Me, go face those things. Let’s face
Selena: “Don’t be afraid.”
Ryan: So, speaking of facing those things. Couple’s conversation challenge.
Ryan: Okay. So, these— Well, I’m going to recap these three, I think,
categories of gods that we’ve talked about, these small “g” gods in our
Ryan: Okay. We’re using that term in an analogous sort of way, right?
Ryan: They’re not literal deities, small “d” deities, but they are things that we
tend to worship. So, talk about each one of these areas. This is the
conversation challenge! Talk about each one of these areas together.
Maybe just write them down!
Ryan: As I recap here, and then you can talk about how maybe repentance
needs to play a role.
Ryan: And how surrender and trust need to play roles.
Ryan: In each area in your lives. Okay? And just be honest with each other.
Okay. So, the first category is comfort and pleasure, the god of comfort
and pleasure. The second one is the god of control and power. And the
third one is the god of status or pride. Okay. So, talk through each one
Ryan: With your husband, with your wife. Maybe write down a few things and
how can maybe you can ask God to bring you around to a more
sanctified posture in those areas.
Selena: Right. Right.
Ryan: And where you’re trusting him more often.
Ryan: So, talk about repentance, talk about surrender, talk about trust.
Ryan: Sound good?
Selena: Sounds good!
Ryan: All right. Little Louisa’s doing pretty well!
Selena: Yeah! She just starting to wriggle a little bit, so…
[00:55:00] Ryan: Okay!
Selena: We got to wrap this up!
Ryan: Why don’t you go grab her? Is she wiggling? Do you want to grab her?
Selena: No, she’s good.
Ryan: Okay. Well…
Selena: I always want to grab her! I love my baby.
Ryan: So, I want to plug this real fast, again. Patreon. If you feel called to be a
partner with us and with our family and the people that we work
alongside, we’d be honored for you to pray over that. Pray for that
together with your spouse, and if you feel led, go to
patreon.com/fiercemarriage. Thank you for all of you who are current
Ryan: It means the world. Thank you if you’re just even praying about it.
Don’t feel bad or guilty! Just know that we’re thankful for you, listener,
in general. [Selena chuckles] And if you feel called, we’re still thankful
for you in these ways.
Ryan: And then, if you’re looking for resources, we do have a bunch of books.
If you’re new to the Fierce Marriage podcast, go to
shop.fiercemarriage.com; there’s a ton of resources there.
Ryan: Well, not a ton. There’s, I think, six different books, there’s one e-
course, there’s some fierce rings!
Selena: Feels like a ton! [Both laugh] Lots of writing!
Ryan: It feels like it’s taken a lot of work to get there! [Selena laughs] Anyway!
Let me say a prayer for us. And then we’ll go on. What’s anyway?
Selena: Nothing. I’ll tell you later.
Ryan: [Laughing] Okay.
[00:56:05] Ryan: I don’t know. When you laugh, it makes me uneasy. [Both laugh]
Lord, I thank You for just the gift that it is to know You and to boast in
knowing You, and to boast in understanding You, Lord. I pray that You
would just make Your word come to life in our hearts and in our minds
and in our lives. God, may it affect our hearts, change our minds, and be
implemented faithfully in our lives.
God, I pray for the fierce husbands and the fierce wives listening to this.
I pray that if You’ve stirred something in them, I pray right now You
would stir in them hope in Your gospel, hope in the fact that You love
him or her, hope in the fact that You have not abandoned him or her.
And I pray that You’d help them with wisdom and with wise counsel and
through Your word, help them move forward. Holy Spirit, just comfort
them and guide those fierce couples, Lord.
In Jesus name, and I thank You for the ability to talk about You here on
this podcast. I thank You for the new baby in the Frederick household.
Thank You that she’s healthy and strong. And anyway! God, thank You
so much just for Your Grace.
In Jesus name, amen!
Ryan: All right! This, ladies and gentlemen, this has been a lot of fun. This
Selena: In the can!
Ryan: And we will see you in about seven days! Until then…
Selena: Stay fierce!
[00:57:25] *Ending Sequence*
[00:57:44] Podcast ends.
- Scripture reference: Exodus 20:3, ESV
- Scripture reference: Exodus 32:1, paraphrase, ESV
- Scripture reference: Exodus 32:2-5, paraphrase, ESV
- Scripture reference: Romans 1:18-20, paraphrase with added emphasis, ESV
- Scripture reference: Hebrews 4:12, paraphrase, ESV
- Scripture reference: Hebrews 4:13, paraphrase, ESV
- Information on Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
- Scripture reference: John 1:1, paraphrase, ESV
- Scripture reference: Psalm 147:10-11, ESV
- Scripture reference: Jeremiah 9:23-24, ESV
- Gospel Coalition Article:
- Should I Buy a House Near My Church?
- Scripture reference: Psalm 127:1-5, ESV