Podcast, Priorities, Purpose

Why Your Family NEEDS a Mission

couple holding hand front of body of calm water with mountain distance

A marriage on mission fulfills the Great Commission in ways specific to how God designed marriage to flourish and function. In today’s episode, we are unpacking Genesis 1:28 and seeing all God intends for our mission field.

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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned

  • Referenced scripture:
    • Genesis 1:20

Full Episode Transcript

Ryan: Selena, if I can get this fierce couple, this fierce husband or wife, mother or father to watch or listen to one episode for the rest of the year, it would be this one. [Both laughs]

Selena: The rest of the year. And next week.

Ryan: Yes, we have one more in this year. But I would still say for the entire year, this one to me is one of the most foundational topics. And it has to do with being a family that is living on mission. This is going to be a special kind of year-end. Fierce Marriage, Fierce parenting mashup episode. We actually have another one coming out after this, that will be a mashup as well. And it’ll be a continuation of this series of what does it mean to be a family, a marriage, parents on mission? What is the urgency there? Why is it important? What does it mean?

And then next episode we’re going to cover how to actually turn that into a tangible statement, the document, what we call the family vision statement. So we’re going to walk you through the first half today, and then the next half next week. So thank you for joining us, and we’ll see you on the other side.


Selena: So Ryan Frederick-

Ryan: Yes, ma’am.

Selena: He’s Ryan Frederick, I’m Selena Frederick, if you don’t know who we are.

Ryan: Good to have you.

Selena: We’re all things fierce. Welcome, welcome. I have a question for you.

Ryan: Okay. [both laughs] Selena is supposed ask question.

Selena: How would you define a marriage on mission? What does that look like to you? What does that mean? I know we’re gonna go through that but just in your own words. We’re talking about living on mission. Because it’s important, not just because it’s important, but because we want to be obedient to God, obedient to His Word, faithful to His word. So why do I have to live as a married couple on mission? Why can I just be married and that’s good?

Ryan: Well, because we don’t live in a vacuum. We live in a universe that is governed by our good God, and He has saved us into something. So He has saved us into not just our salvation, thank God. In Christ we are saved, we are called righteous because of what He’s done.

But He’s also saved us into and commissioned us into His cause. That when we say to Jesus, “I trust You to be my righteousness, to call me good before the living God,” we also say, “You’re not just my Savior, Christ, you are my Lord.”

So for Christians, we don’t really have an option. We don’t say, I’m going to be on mission versus I’m not… We are called to live on mission. Another way to put that is, we’re called to live in light of who God is and what He’s done. That’s what it means to be on mission.

So if you call yourself a Christian, if you would say, “We are a Christian household,” then you are being called then to live in light of who God is. And that’s what we’re going to hash out today is what does that mean, ahy is that so important, and why do we oftentimes bungle it? [both laughs]

Selena: Nice. Well, because there are some distinctives, and I think they’ve become… This is not a new conversation for us at Fierce Marriage. But I think that it’s become more radical over the last year or so just because of what is happening in culture and the contrast and what the… I don’t want to say barriers, but just the sin and the brokenness that is happening in our world today. To live in a Christian household with one man, one woman on mission for Christ is become so much more radical in the last few years. So we just want to hit that nail hard on the head.

Ryan: If I were to summarize the last three years in human civilization, I would put it in three words: Christ or chaos. Choose Christ or choose chaos. And I feel like our society time and time again is choosing chaos over Christ. Because we cannot have Christ at any cost. We must have something else in that case. We will gladly choose chaos over as a society.

As Christians, of course we choose Christ. But oftentimes, in this area of life, of family life, we can be like rafts floating down a river, and we just go wherever the river takes us. We figure, I’m in this river, the river has got a current, there’s motion here, and here we go.

And I’m saying no, if we’re going to be choosing Christ and living on mission, we need to take our vessel, our family, we need to give it a direction, which takes careful thought, intentional effort, give it a direction, turn it to face somewhere, now give it propulsion to go there.

So we are not called to just be drifters. We need to be builders. We need to be fighters. We need to be ministers of the… disciplers. We need to be actively out in this world living in light of who God is and what He’s done.

So we must choose Christ. And as families, we must actively avoid chaos because we know… Again, this is a mash-up episode. We’re talking about marriage, we’re talking about parenting, everything. So a family unit, we just often just go after whatever the next like- [00:05:00]

Selena: The next stage is in life or whatever. You know, you have any baby, which we’re on the verge of doing that, you can kind of go into survival mode for a bit. But at some point, you have to step out of survival mode and start living on purpose and on mission. Not that having a baby’s living off mission-

Ryan: Well, you need to be in whatever that season is knowing full well that season has context.

Selena: Right. Right.

Ryan: So like when we were in the early years of starting Fierce Marriage, we knew this wasn’t going to look like what we hoped it would look like over the next few years. But you have a context. You say, “We’re going to do this hard thing. We don’t have any proof or evidence that it’s going to be fruitful. But we do believe that it’s useful based on what we believe God is leading us to do.” So I think our mission is willing to make those choices and take those risks and make those decisions. As you can tell, we’re really passionate about, I would say. So let’s start with scripture.

Well, first, let me give you an idea where we’re headed. We’re gonna just show you a picture of what it could look like, we’re gonna prove to you what the problem is within most families, we would contend, and then we’re going to provide a solution. And then like we said in the intro, the next episode will be tangibly walking through what we call a family vision statement. Selena, if you could, would you read from Matthew 28, starting in verse 18?

Selena: Yeah. “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”

Ryan: This is a great commission, right?

Selena: Yes.

Ryan: This goes out to all believers. I got in a Twitter battle once with a woman who said, “You’re not allowed to tell people the gospel.” And this woman claimed to be a Christian.

Selena: You’re not supposed to tell if you’re a Christian?

Ryan: And I was like, “Well, I read the Bible and the Bible tells me what to tell people, and so I’m going to share the gospel and you can’t stop me.” [both laughs] This goes out to anyone who says they’re a Christian. This is the command. It’s not specific to disciples in that time. It’s specific to all future disciples of Christ. “…make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

So where does this fit in marriage, Selena? How does the Great Commission fit into the larger picture of a marriage? What would you say?

Selena: Well, it’s caspe… A caspel. [Ryan laughs] It’s a gospel couple right there. [laughs] Caspel.

Ryan: Just making stuff up.

Selena: A couple on mission they live this out with unity and joy. It’s fueled by the gospel. They are understanding the Great Commission, just the depths of it. So go and make disciples. Okay, so we talk about who are some of our first disciples. You know, it’s each other, and then our children. And if you don’t have children, maybe their spiritual children or maybe there’s a community that you’re supposed to be in and discipling one another.

So it’s something that radiates out. So it’s like you threw a stone in the water. And those rings that are radiating out, the stone is the gospel, all the rings coming out is your relationship with the Lord, your relationship with your spouse, your children, the people in your community, your church. So it just kind of radiates out.

I feel like you have to go through each of those circles, which I don’t know, we might do. But what does that actually look like when you’re taking those steps? I mean, it’s understanding things like your finitude. We are not infinite people. I cannot do all the things, see all the people, know everything that’s going on in everybody’s life as much as I want to. Because we all have a kind of a savior God Complex, where we want to fix people, we want to save people, we want to bring them all to Christ. And yes, we shouldn’t stop striving for that. We definitely should be sharing the Word of the Lord and the gospel. But I’m not the savior. I can’t change hearts.

Ryan: And recognizing that we have limits that forces us to make decisions and say yes to some things and no to other things. And that’s the essence of what mission is with. If you’re living on mission you have a purpose behind the yeses in the nos. If you’re floating down the river, you are taking the yeses and the nos based on whatever’s in the air that day. So this is an encouragement to not do that.

What I hear you say is there is a larger context of the Great Commission. Now within married life we are living out certain married things. And as a marriage we have kind of a different, I’ll say, potency, right?

Selena: Right.

Ryan: Whether you’re married or not, you’re called into the Great Commission. But as a married couple, you have a unique, I don’t want to say call. I think that’s too strong because single people are very much called.

Selena: There’s some distinctives I think maybe.

Ryan: There’s some distinctives. Yeah. I want to go to the garden for this one. Because this is where you get what’s called the cultural mandate. You see a version of this… I think it’s in Genesis… I think, honestly Genesis 6 but it might be later. It’s probably later on. There’s a cultural mandate there as well that kind of [00:10:00] echoes this garden mandate.

It says this is in Genesis 1:20. “And God blessed them. And God said to them…” So they had just been together. He just created male and female. “And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

In a parallel account in Genesis 2, they are one flesh. And then out of that one flesh union something unique happens. They are now married. They are now one flesh. There are a couple. Immediately they’re put to work. They didn’t have a honeymoon. I’m not saying honeymoons are bad. But in this case, it was like, “Be fruitful and multiply.”

Selena: Well, part of enjoying one another I think is being fruitful and multiplying together. Right? I’m not just talking about sex and having babies. I’m saying it was something He said to them. “And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, work together, fill the earth, subdue it, have dominion over it, steward it well.’” It hadn’t become a burden or a toil yet, as we know for the word.

Ryan: And this authentic picture of fruitfulness is so thematic in that it was the kind of model for things acting in light of how God created them to act, in full compliance with how God created them to act. A tree that is fruitful is acting as a tree should act. Just in the same way, a couple that is fruitful or a Christian who bears fruit is acting as the thing should act.

Selena: Right. Which is so interesting. A side note, I was reading in Luke today, and I think Jesus was… There’s a couple parables about fig trees, but He’s like, “If it’s not producing, you curse it and chop it down.” I mean, there is something to be said for something not bearing fruit, which we can talk about in a minute. But like you said, it’s very somatic throughout all of Scripture.

Ryan: Right. Let’s talk through that then. So what does it mean? Let’s talk about these three things: bearing fruit, multiplying, and then fill the earth and subdue it. So bearing fruit as a Christian. We actually make this case in our book, Fierce Marriage. Baker Books published it a few years back. I still stand behind it. I love the book. Go get it if you’re curious. We make this case for what bearing fruit is, the uniqueness.

Selena: Yes. In marriage.

Ryan: You need fruit bearing scope of a marriage. [Selena chuckles] And it has to do with having kids. That’s part of multiply too. But also just like operate and flourish in the ordained work that God has placed you in. So mainly the fruit of spirit. Galatians 5, we are called to bear fruit of the Spirit, not fruit of the flesh. We think about that in individual terms. But how might a couple bear fruit?

Selena: Well, I think it can be augmented in a marriage because you now have not just yourself that you’re kind of battling your own flesh, but you are also battling someone who knows your flesh, who knows your sin, knows your weaknesses, is very privy to all of your mistakes and shortcomings. [chuckles] And so now you have this great sanctifier right next to you, or mirror, that if not wielded with care, with patience, with gentleness, with love, with forbearance, I don’t know that good fruit will come from that.

But if we are both, again, submitting to the Lord, the Holy Spirit is at work in us, there’s fruit being produced, I think it’s gonna be more augmented and obvious because there is someone there. And I’m not saying that you can’t be single and not bear fruit and not have obvious fruit. I’m just saying that one of the… Marriage is great. But then when you have somebody that knows you inside and out and sees all your weaknesses, that’s a humbling thing. That’s grounds for produce I guess.

Ryan: Let’s get down to the nitty gritty then. Because if you have a couple that… This is why you see a marriage stagnate and why you see a family culture kind of go sideways.

Selena: How so?

Ryan: Well, if you have kids that are constantly out of line, they’re constantly disobeying, they’re constantly on the verge of rebellion, if not an act of rebellion, you have a couple that is not growing closer together, we don’t tend to drift closer, we tend to drift into isolation.

Selena: Absolutely.

Ryan: A couple that’s not bearing fruit is not learning to be more loving. They’re learning kind of the amount of experienced instances of loving actions in the past and maybe they’re coasting on the emotions that those begot. But at some point they stop growing. And so you have a stagnating spiritual intimacy, you have a stagnating emotional intimacy, you have a stagnating sexual intimacy.

And many times this lack of vision… Proverbs says, “For lack of vision people perish.” This lack of vision begins like rot in the core of the marriage [00:15:00] and it begins to eat away at the core and individually the shriveling begins.

I’m just gonna use a quick example. A husband and wife who, maybe they had a baby. So they had married for a couple years, we’ll say, two, three years, they have their first child, the first child was putting, you know, a grenade in the middle of their pumpkin patch. [Selena laughs] So nothing that they were used to experiencing as a couple make sense.

They didn’t go into the child with this sense of we need to continually fight to be closer or we’ll drift apart. What happen is the mother gets involved in motherhood, as she should. The child do what children do: very selfish, very needy, all these things that are good and right for a child. The husband, trying to provide.

Well, what’s happening emotionally, they’re drifting. Now, if a husband is not careful, he will drift into all sorts of sexual temptations. He will start entertaining thoughts. He’ll start looking at things online that can evolve into a full-blown pornography addiction, which will have devastating effects on his mind and on the sex life of this couple. Obviously, it’ll have devastating effects on his wife if and when she finds out.

Well, that’s shriveling. So now they are both shriveling on the vine because they’ve not recognized the need to turn the ship and propel it somewhere meaningful.

Selena: Right? And this looks different in every season. So you’re talking about, you know, having babies having young children, steering the ship and making those decisions are going to look different, I think, than if you’re obviously an empty nester or have teenagers. The mission is still the same, the vision is still the same, but you’re going to be-

Ryan: I would push back and say the mission is always going to be the same for a believer in that we live for the glory of Christ.

Selena: Absolutely.

Ryan: But the vision for how you go about doing that is going to be very different.

Selena: Sure. Okay.

Ryan: I’m thinking of the example of the worn-out husband. Well, if he’s chosen a job that is taking him away from his household 80 hours a week, if his sole vision, whether he acknowledges it or not, is to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible, then that might make sense. Because 80 hours a week is more than 40. You can make, theoretically, more money that way. Many times you don’t because if you’re working 80 hours a week, you’re probably salary and it’s just…

But a man on mission will say, “This is no way to live my life. I’m called to be fruitful in this. This is killing my family. So now you have a way to turn that ship. “I need to find another job. And we’re going to pray about that and be on unity on it so that we can be closer so that our kids can grow in a healthier way. I can be more involved. See how that’s different?

Selena: Some of it is just acknowledging what we’ve either allowed or what we desire, or what we’ve just kind of accepted and come into our marriage and saying, Okay… Holding it up to the Lord and saying, “Is this obedience? Is this faithfulness? Is this fruit-bearing?

Ryan: I want to jump in because what I really want to do is I want to challenge couples to question everything in a healthy way. Because a lot of times we don’t question the status quo because it’s the status quo. Of course, we need the $40,000 minivan [Selena laughs] because we have kids. I would question that. Well, what’s that going to cost the family? Well, it’s more than $500 a month. It’s gonna cost you whatever it takes to earn that $500 a month. The mental, energy, the time.

Selena: These are questions that we’ve gone through in our own marriage of how do we make financial decisions that are not going to flip our boat over in this mission and in this vision? How are we going to make decisions about school, about having children in as much agency as the Lord’s given us? So how can we make these decisions about a house, where to live, what to do? How do we make these types of decisions that are living on mission?

And well, we have some of these in Genesis 1:20. We’re saying, God told us to be fruitful and multiply. Okay, so where’s the best place for us to do this? How do we multiply in this community? How do we bear fruit with one another in the best way possible while setting priorities and boundaries, knowing our finitude and knowing that our own capacity, and understanding that the goal in life is not just to have all the things, check all the boxes, and then enjoy life here and there? I’m not saying that’s sinful. I’m just saying, Are we doing that in the order of priority, I guess?

Ryan: That can happen but not as a primary end.

Selena: Objective. Yeah.

Ryan: It needs to be something that happens along the way-

Selena: Absolutely.

Ryan: …for contentment and peace and living on mission. And the last one that we see in Genesis is this filling the earth and subduing it. I could probably talk about this for way too long. I’m gonna make it fast. I’m passionate about the idea of the household economy.

Selena: We have a couple of episodes on that.

Ryan: What is our industry [00:20:00] as a household? What did the Frederick’s export into the world? These are conversations we have with our daughters. And I’m not trying to tell them what they need to do for their entire lives. But I will say, Like, “Fredericks, this is what we do. We write, we produce books, we put words out… we communicate the gospel through books, primarily.” Like books are life. They always say that because that’s how we… honestly that’s how we survive. That’s what I spend most of my time doing is writing and reading, and they spend most of the time reading with you. So that’s our family industry is books. But some other families their export will be different.

So you’re starting to get closer to what that mission is. Because not every family can be authors one or whatever.

Selena: And can you name that as a family? What is the mission that God has given us?

Ryan: If you picture your life is like this garden, the Garden of Eden, that picture. Just imagine Adam and Eve standing there, and God saying, “Fill this and subdue it.” And they’re looking and it’s teeming with life. And so what did Adam just say? Was he just picking…? No, he had to go and cultivate the land, she had to go and start cultivating land with him. There was a mission. They were infiltrating the land with the will of the husband and wife.

And I’m not saying that we override what God asked us to do. But when He says, “Put your hands to this work,” we have to go in and get our hands dirty, and grab the right tools and start digging up some stuff. A lot of couples never get there.

Selena: Again, you don’t have to be a couple to do this. This is a call of the Christian life is to go fill and subdue the earth.

Ryan: Right.

Selena: But as a couple and as, you know, a marriage and family podcast and YouTube channel, we’re talking about this in that context. Because again, there are distinctives for working with someone else and what that’s going to look like. Because if one of you is on mission, one of you is not, it’s going to be a bit of a drudge. But does that disqualify the mission? Does that say, Well, then I guess I don’t feel the need to subdue.

Ryan: But you can do different things and still be on the same wavelength.

Selena: Absolutely.

Ryan: I think couples, they don’t understand that or embrace it maybe?

Selena: How can you find unity around that if you’re not unified?

Ryan: And frankly, if you are already unified, then sometimes it’s about brushing up and tightening up, shoring up, you know…

Selena: Yeah. We always need kind of a reset.

Ryan: In the name of that, so we’ve kind of painted the picture. What does it mean to be a couple on mission? Let’s look at what’s the primary problem. We’ve touched on this but I just want to drive it home as the last part of this episode here.

I think if I could put it into one phrase, what’s the problem, why are a couple’s maybe not living on mission or families not living on mission, it’s because our margin is off and our decisions are disordered. Our priorities are disordered, I should say. Margin is off and the priorities are disordered.

What I mean by that is, when we have no margin, we can’t stop and think about these sorts of things. So we’re running around like chickens with their heads cut off sometimes. We’re busy about, you know… I mean, how-

Selena: I think there’s seasons of that. Absolutely. I think there are seasons. Margin is very important. We had-

Ryan: The margin would be the extra space in life, whether it’s financial margin, time margin, emotional margin.

Selena: Yeah, the white space. So time our finitude and saying, you know, “Come to me,” this are words of Jesus, “all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

So when we say that your margin is off, we’re asking you the question, have you gone to Jesus? Are you feeling weary and burdened? Have you received the rest that comes with knowing Christ, that comes with being in His word daily, that comes with knowing who He is, knowing your finitude, knowing where you’re supposed to be and where you’re not supposed to be? Like what are your responsibilities and roles and what are not yours as a human being?

The yoke that He’s given us, He says, “Learn from me. I am gentle and humble in heart.” Well, the only way you can really be gentle and humble in heart is if you are not trying to do all the things that you think… you’re the one piling it on in your head, right?

Ryan: And this gets into the parenting side because frankly a lot of times what happens is you get into parenting and as your kids grow you want so badly for them to have all the opportunities, all the experiences that you can possibly afford them. So you end up saying yes to a lot of things because you feel bad saying no. And without being…

One of our fears parenting tenants if you’re coming in from the Fierce Marriage side is that all parenting discipleship. Every single decision that you make as a parent is discipleship decision, whether you let little Johnny get an iPhone or whether you let little Sally play soccer. Those are discipleship decisions.

Selena: Right. I think-

Ryan: But if we don’t say no to the right things we end up saying yes to too many things whether they’re good or bad. And they squeezes out the margin.

Selena: You said this earlier when we’re talking. A yes to something is a no to many other things. But also a no to something is a yes to something better. Right?

Ryan: Yeah. [00:25:00]

Selena: So talking about, again, going to Jesus, He says, “My yoke is easy. My burden is light.” I always read those words and I’m just… I think about the life of Jesus and I was like, “That was not an easy life. That was not burden free.” But why is He saying this to us? Because we can go to Him. And He’s taken on our burden of sin. He’s defeated death.

Now He’s saying, “Okay, come to me and live and take my yoke upon you.” Well, what is His yoke? His yoke may not be our yoke, right, the one that we put on ourselves. So when we’re feeling heavy, when we’re feeling worn out, and we are striving so hard in this life, we’re saying yes to too many things, our priorities are not in order, they’re exposing parts of our heart that maybe we’re not even seeing, but maybe another Christian couple could see and help us. A guide couple, or maybe our spouse has seen it. But there’s places where we are not believing in the sufficiency of Christ, we’re not resting in the sufficiency of who He is.

Ryan: Let’s bring that down in home because I said earlier, and I’ll say it again. We want you to question everything. And not just to put doubt in your mind, but to begin asking yourself, “Is every decision somehow filtered through… Is it making it through the filter because it fits into the vision of our family?

Now, you may not have a family vision statement yet, you may not have a mission statement yet. Rest assured we’re gonna walk through that in one week. I hope you join us for that. But a lot of times, by the time it gets down to that place, we’re not quite… For example, a couple that is they’re working themselves ragged, a lot of times it’s some form of lifestyle creep, right?

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: Whether your kids are going too hard, too fast, doing too many things, or your balance sheet just doesn’t ever work, every month you’re trying to make it work. Or if you feel called to do x but you’re stuck doing y and you can’t make the jump from y over to x because there’s too big of a financial gap there or there’s too big of a logistical gap there.

This is why we say, question everything. Because if you are called to x and you’re doing y, you are now called to actively try to get from y to x. Now, do we claim all the agency over that process? No. God is God. He’s sovereign. He’s got to work. We have to trust Him.

But He’s also called us to put our hands to the plow and to get to work to subdue that earth. So now we need to point the ship over to y. I can remember if it’s x or y at this point. [laughs] We got to get back on course to wherever that mission is. And frankly, this is where it gets little hardcore and we start losing people because we say it might mean some big lifestyle changes.

Selena: Which means giving up something good or desirable in order… Again, saying no to one thing that might be good and desirable, like I said, in order to say yes to the bigger thing or yes to God, the obedience and faithfulness factor, which is eternal treasures in heaven. It’s not just about the here and now. And again, having that eternal perspective I think is one of the biggest drivers for us living on mission.

Ryan: We haven’t been unscathed by this process ourselves.

Selena: No. [laughs]

Ryan: And we’re not here to say, Hey live like the Fredericks. We’re just saying, question this. Is God calling you to do something?

Selena: We still question things.

Ryan: We want to free you up to live recklessly for God and make sometimes foolish decisions. Like Selena had a… I’m just gonna say this. I’m gonna brag about you.

Selena: Oh, I thought it was gonna… [chuckles] Because he’s like, “Make a foolish decision.” [Ryan laughs] Okay, Selena, let’s talk about you. [laughs]

Ryan: Selena is a… Was. Was, probably still could be an equestrian photographer. She used to do these big events. Big, right? They’re big for the equestrian world. You go around the country doing photos for all these big events, traveling, awesome photos. And we had our first daughter and she was about three months old-

Selena: No. She was six, eight months old.

Ryan: So it was a world of equestrian-

Selena: No. It was just a show up north in Northern California and it was-

Ryan: And we were trying to allow you to keep working because you really enjoyed it. The income was something-

Selena: I committed to this prior-

Ryan: You committed to it.

Selena: …thinking, “I can do anything.”

Ryan: And we had to have a lot of hard conversations, and you had to have a lot of hard time with God praying through that and wrestling with it in your heart. And it eventually came to the decision that this cannot coexist.

Selena: I cannot have a child and try to travel and do photography. I never regret that decision. If anything, it catapulted me into being able to make decisions more quickly, more wise decisions more quickly. Because you can say no for a season and then in another season find even deeper joy and more meaning. And not that, again, those are your objectives. But I felt the Lord saying, “This is the path that you’re on and this is a gift and a beautiful… this is the role. So step into it or step out. You’re gonna deal with life either way.” [00:30:00] But the encouragement is-

Ryan: Another quick example, just to show you how this process flushes itself out, is we both had good jobs. This is before kids. I was working for the state. It was a very secure job. I was at the top of my pay grade at the state. And I just knew there was something that, if I’d stayed there, that it would not be faithful. Remember that?

Selena: Yeah.

Ryan: And we decided and it was a drastic move, we thought we can either take this chance now. And it was not easy. It was very uncertain. We had no idea how we were going to make ends meet. Or we can start riding the ship and going that direction and trusting God along the way. And that’s where adventures happen. And that’s where you get the stories of like, “Look what God did.”

And I’m not saying that we’re this perfect example. We’re just saying that we’ve been there. If you’re on the edge of a precipice, and you’re looking down and you’re thinking, “This is scary.” And we know that there’s a version of living on mission that we are wanting to go to war, but we haven’t yet done that, we want to encourage you to feel free to begin asking those questions and begin unpacking those.

Selena: Ask the questions.

Ryan: And that’ll get you closer to the solution. So reorienting those priorities. And finally, just very quickly, what’s the solution to these wrong priorities, lack of margin? Is we need to remind ourselves truly what matters, with rhythms built in to our life and into our marriage. One of them is listening to a podcast like this, frankly. But also rhythms that have with communing with God. If we’re not communing with God-

Selena: Absolutely.

Ryan: How can we expect to-

Selena: I wouldn’t say that’s a rhythm. I’d say that’s command. It is a rhythm that you need to put into your life but it is an absolute command to be in communion with God and to know Him and to spend time with Him in His Word and worshiping Him and praying and knowing Him. That falls under command for me, but working that what is the command? But another rhythm and habit-

Ryan: What I mean by rhythm is you’re making it non-negotiable.

Selena: Absolutely.

Ryan: It’s as certain as going to bed at night. It will happen every day.

Selena: Good definition. I like that.

Ryan: The other one that has to be non-negotiable is Christ-centered community.

Selena: Absolutely.

Ryan: That’s the church. That’s going to be other Christians in your life. You can have friends that are not Christians, but they should not take the place of the Christian community in your life. Should be centered on Christ, that should be the key, should be the thing you have in common.

And then finally, conversations that matter. And that’s being transparent within that community. Actually talking about deep things, not just shooting the breeze, not just talking about sports, not just talking about the kids, but talking about who is Jesus and what is He calling us to.

Selena: Right. And how can we disciple our kids better? How can we live as a family on mission together? And how can we make decisions about jobs and geographic locations and ministry and all those kinds of things that are just kind of at our fingertips? And then where’s the Lord leading us, you know?

Ryan: And where’s God asking us to build?

Selena: Right.

Ryan: I feel very strongly in the camp that Christians are builders. We build things, we create things because we have a building God, a creative God. We’re out of time for today. Next week we’re going to talk through the Frederick family vision. We’re going to walk through the process of creating a family vision statement. And we’re gonna send you to a tool where you can actually go download. We have an eBook, I think it’s like 50 pages. But it will walk you through this process. So you can actually download that. You can print it out, go through it with your whole household. So please join us for that.

We hope that this episode has enlivened you to this need and the wonder and beauty of having a family mission, a family vision statement, whether you’re married without kids, whether you have kids, whether you’re headed toward marriage. We just want to urge you to live on purpose for Christ. You are a marriage created for the glory of Christ. And we want to call you into that as much as we possibly can.

Let’s pray. Father God, I thank You for this time. I thank You for these couples, these husbands, these wives that are hearing these words. I pray that You would stir in them just an urgency that is sweet, that’s exciting, that’s a little scary, but it would be calling them into something that they so clearly see You calling them into. I pray that You give them not complete certainty. They need to trust You. But I pray that they would have complete certainty in You, the fact that You’re leading them in whatever that calling is.

I pray for the marriages that are just barely holding on, they can’t keep their heads above water, they feel like they can’t seem to get along, they can’t seem to find intimacy and closeness, they can’t seem to recover from betrayal. I pray that You would strengthen them, give them hope, help lift their eyes to the goodness that You have for them. I pray that You would heal them and I pray that You’d help them move forward. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: Okay. Thank you for joining us. Since it’s a long episode, I’m just gonna shut down.

Selena: Okay.

Ryan: So this episode of Fierce Marriage is—

Selena: In the can.

Ryan: See you again in seven days. Until next time—

Selena: Stay fierce.


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