MAG 03 - Oneness and Intimacy In Marriage w/ Ryan and Selena Frederick of Fierce Marriage
Summary: Order Our New Book, "Marriage After God" Today! https://marriageaftergod.com “A marriage after God is a team moving together in one mind, one heart, one spirit, and in one direction with their eyes on heavenly and eternal things.” - Aaron Smith, Marriage After God book In this episode we interview our good friends, Ryan and Selena Frederick of the Fierce Marriage Podcast Fiercemarriage.com Dear Lord, We pray we would be husbands and wives who pursue intimacy with you. We pray we would make ourselves known to you and know to each other. Help us to walk with each other in an understanding way and to love unconditionally. Thank you for the gift of oneness in marriage and what it represents. We pray we would operate as one every day in our marriage relationship. Holy Spirit continue to empower us to do so. Help us to be transparent with one another. Help us to be great listeners as well. May truth be exposed and may your presence be evident in our lives. Thank you for marriage and thank you for salvation. You are a good God and we love you. May our hearts align with yours as we chase boldly after you and pursue a marriage That reflects your love story. In Jesus’ name, amen! READ: - Hey, we're Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God. Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage. And today we're in part three of the Marriage After God series and we're gonna be talking with Ryan and Selena Frederick about oneness and intimacy in marriage. Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after. I'm Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife. And I'm Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution. We have been married for over a decade. And so far, we have four young children. We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through blogging and social media. With a desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day. We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life, Love, And power. That can only be found by chasing after God. Together. Thank you for joining us on this journey as we chase boldly after God's will for our life together. This is Marriage After God. Hey thanks for joining us today. As always, wanna invite you to leave a review. Star ratings are awesome, that's the easiest way to leave a review but the text reviews are also really powerful and we love reading all of them and that's an awesome way to spread the word about the podcast. Another way you can support the podcast is by shopping on our online store, shop.marriageaftergod.com, and we wanna encourage you to get a copy of our new book, Marriage After God, that's what this whole series is based off of and if you've been listening to the series, you've already been encouraged and inspired by the book content and so we just wanna at least get you over to the site to give you more information on the book. So today we're talking with some good friends of ours, Ryan and Selena Frederick from Fierce Marriage and Ryan, Selena, welcome. Hey guys. Hi guys, thanks for having us. Yeah, thanks for having us. Excited to be here. We're excited to have you. Yeah it's a treat. Yeah every time I think of you guys, we listen to your podcast, of course, 'cause your friends of ours, but I always think of our trip to IKEA in California, do you remember that? We had one child. Oh yeah. It was so fun. Do you remember that? That was a fun date, yeah. It was, and I don't know what we bought, but I remember it barely fit in our car, and Aaron you helped me fit it in our little Prius that we had in California. Oh, I don't remember. Was it shelves or something? Well it was may more fun for me than it was for you. It actually might have been a crib. As much fun as it was walking around Ikea, I remember we just had really great conversation. Yes, and you only had one child. Did we eat lunch at Ikea? I don't know. Yeah. Yeah, it was one kid, it was a totally different life back then and we were all still fairly new to all of this marriage stuff. So, Yes. Why don't you guys introduce yourselves, who you are, how long you've been married what do you guys do? Sure. Children, stuff like that. Yeah we are the Fredericks and we have been married, it'll be 16 years this year. And we, Wow. Have two little girls named Adelaide and Clementine, they are five and 2 1/2. And we are, yeah we're the voices and authors and everything-- Yeah. I guess behind Fierce Marriage. Yeah. And that is us for now. That's for now. We live in Washington State. The best place in the world. Yeah, just a little bit north and a little better than Oregon state. Stop And a little bit wetter. This is true. Wetter is better. A little bit colder. Awesome, well thank you guys so much for being here. We just know that this is gonna be a great time for our listeners to get to know you, if they don't already, which they probably do. But we are just really excited about this topic. We're jumping into chapter three of Marriage After God, which is the Marks of a Marriage After God and we're just gonna cover two of those topics today. In this interview, yeah. In this interview. But before we do that we wanna get into the icebreaker question. This is just a fun way to-- Let people know us. Yeah. You guys better. Alright, bring it on. So the icebreaker question is, do you have any hobbies together, or separate, or maybe as a family? I think we try to keep our hobbies mostly together these days. Yeah. It's actually contributed to that oneness that we'll get into, but we do have, you know, different passions and things that we enjoy I think separately. I like riding horses, Ryan doesn't like it as much as I do, he'll do it, but. Actually we went, we went on a vacation and we went on 'em. We did, that's right. We rode together and I think I was won over. Yes. It was so fun I had the most amazing, but, what do you call it, a mount, an amazing mount. Your horse was pretty great. Yeah. It was pretty great. So I was actually, I was following along on Insta Stories and I actually became really fond of it too and I can't wait for vacation Aaron of riding horses together. Oh, are you, that's a hint? Yes. Ryan, it looked incredible. Like every time you guys posted I was just like, yes, that looks awesome. Because. What's funny is I have a completely different sentiment to horses, I was raised around horses and my mom always took us riding and I hate it. Oh no. You were responsible for cleaning after them? My sentiment might be different, it's been a long time, but yeah I didn't like the, mucking the stalls and feeding the horses and cleaning them, and yeah, so it was not a fun part of it. We'll pray for you that the Lord will renew your heart for it. But. Thank you, thank you that's awesome. So I just wanted, before we get into a quote from the book, I just wanted to, the reason we, we're interviewing so many different people on this podcast in this series for the, Marriage After God book is we wanna just show the diversity in the body of Christ and just how all of our marriages as we chase after God together and how God wants to use us all for kingdom work in one direction. So I just, I'm excited about that, we love that you guys are doing it, you guys are a marriage after God. And so I just wanna read a quote from chapter three, The Marks of a Marriage After God. It says, "a marriage after God is a team moving together in one mind, one heart, one spirit, and in one direction with their eyes on heavenly and eternal things." Do you guys agree with that? Amen. Oh absolutely. I'm sure you do. Good stuff. Yeah. Good stuff. So in your guys' marriage how have you two cultivated oneness? That's a great question and it is not without a, I think intentionality, I think is the biggest way to be honest. As we've just consciously said that hey we, we need, we're not just roommates, but we need to be on mission together in unity on whatever that mission is. Of course as Christians we have a pretty clear mission right, make disciples and go to the ends of the earth and glorify God and all that good stuff, not necessarily in that order, but, and so I think we've cultivated that by, Selena talked about our hobbies, I think decisions like that, right? So I enjoy different things that I just don't do because they just, they don't add to the family that I feel like God is calling us to. Right. It's harder for us to say yes to things that might take us away from each other for even just a day or sometimes even a couple hours, but on a consistent basis it can kind of, we feel like it kind of breaks away our unity, it kind of chips away at it slowly. If, you know, I'm going and riding horses every Saturday for five hours a day, you know, and that's kind of like our only, it's family time together, so. Or I, you know, I love going to the mountains and the ocean-- I do too. Scuba diving. I like it yeah. And so it's like, we do some of that, but it's like, if it were, we've kind of made a decision that that's the exception and not the rule. Right. It's like you don't owe me time by myself. Right. Right, I feel like that's kind of a cultural mantra, is like you get your time I get mine, you get your money, I get my money and we've just thrown all that out the window, it's our time, it's our money. Not that you can't, you know. Yeah. Not that you can't be generous to each other in those ways, but just as a norm I think that's one way we've done it for us. And early on in our relationship, before we were married or anything, God was always a big part of it. We always talked about what we were learning in the Bible together and, excuse me, and even to this day we're like, what has God been teaching you and just the nature of what we do, and you guys understand this. We're in the word, we're learning about God, we're teaching him to our children. We're constantly being sanctified and learning new things and for me that's, that spiritual oneness has really solidified and grown out of those conversations that we've had together. That's so good. So as you guys communicate, can you just encourage our listeners with maybe what that looks like practically, like if, like how do you cultivate oneness in your marriage if something comes up that, you know, something that one of you wants to do, or one of you is wrestling with, how do you communicate that to each other? Yeah, that's a really good question. It's different obviously for every situation in every marriage and you kinda know what those hot-button topics are, or where those big red buttons are and so you-- Well I feel like you get to know it. Like we didn't just decide not to do things it kind of, as kids came into our life and as we became more unified in our marriage and kind of went through some hard times together, we started, and spent kind of some just time, one-one-one with each other, we started understanding where our boundaries were beginning to fall I feel like a little bit more. Yeah. And go ahead. Well, one of the things I tell guys, and I think it applies to gals as well, but I don't, I'd rather just talk to guys on this topic. Is that, you know, if ever in doubt, if you ever can always be generous, always choose generosity towards your wife, right? If there's a spot where you can give in, what be it a hobby, or an argument, or whatever, be generous, be the one to give in. And there are times when I feel like as a husband and a man, you do need to kinda like, stand your ground on principle or whatever, but I do think those are rare times, right, in most marriages. Right. And so I think cultivating generosity around those conversations is really important meaning that A, like if we're talking about I wanna go hang out with a buddy one night, like so, so actually it's Jeff's birthday today so I'm gonna go and hang out with him tonight, this is a real-life example and Selena didn't even, I didn't even have to ask. She's like hey, Jeff's my best friend, hey, go hang out tonight with him, you know, have a good night and just a-- Right. And so she was generous toward me, I didn't have to-- But it's not a regular battle that we fight. No, no. You know, it's not part of our regular rhythms of life, we've just kind of established that boundary that, you know, we can again ask each other and be generous in these conversations, but, you know, all in all our first disciples are each other and then our children, and then our neighbors and community, so operating from that vision-- Yeah. Inside out kind of is where, is how we, yeah. It does start there. And if you're not unified on those deep things these types of arguments will seem much more significant-- Sure, yep. Than they should be-- True. And they'll hold way more weight then they should be. So, I guess to answer your question Jen, is if, I would say, get on the same page. You might not be unified right now, but get on the same page about the big things, right, and then these types of arguments will have a greater context that they can operate within and that's where the, that's where generosity makes sense, that's where, you know-- Saying no to things. Saying no to things to say yes to each other-- Right. That makes way more sense when you're on the same page about-- Yeah. Why you exist as a couple. Well and I like that you took essentially Ephesians 5:25 and that, you know, that calling to lay down our lives for our wives and love them as ourselves, that's that generosity word. Like of course we're usually first generous to ourselves, right? True. Like well I deserve this or I need the time. So I appreciate that perspective on that, that scripture. And, you know, as being one of the marks of a marriage after God, this oneness idea, I feel like, you know, what you're saying is, all those little decisions that kind of start developing and the way of thinking, you know, it's not like you throw your hobbies out and like you never have them. Right. It's just not the, it's not the default position, the default is what can we do together and so the exception of the rule is like in those times of like, absolutely like, you know, your wife is confident in your, your oneness with her and she's actually excited to let you go have this time and, and you probably would agree with this, whenever that happens in our life often I, actually it's not as enjoyable-- Yes By myself, I'm just like oh I wish my-- Jen was here. Yeah. That's funny. You know and there's times that that's not, you know, not the case, but the oneness I feel like that, that when you said, you know, focus on those big, you know those big topics, I almost feel like it's focus on the, what's the one direction we're going together and then that kind of sets the tone for everything. Because if we both have a different goal in mind, like I want my life to look like this, I want my life to look like this, then every single conversation, every single topic will be a fight because unless it, the other person has aligned with my direction-- Right. It's going to be a fight, it's gonna be a struggle. And so finding that unifying mission, which of course like you said, we all have the same mission, you know, if it's the word of God, if it's what he's doing in this world then we can't, it's easier to lay down-- Right. My pride, my hobbies, my, because I'd be like, well, like currently in this moment that's not going to fulfill our big mission, you know, of being together 'cause now I'm not with my wife in one and we're-- At odds. And there will be a lot of kind of gray, right? So that's like the black and white piece, right, where if a younger couple-- Yeah. Right, they're just, they're heading into marriage, or they just got married, or maybe a couple that's been married for awhile, but they're new to their faith, right? The first piece is okay, what is that mission as people who follow Christ. If we believe he is who he says he is then that should bear weight on every aspect of our lives, okay, then that's the big, that's where we're headed, right, and it's good for a couple, we always encourage couples-- Yeah. To sit down and articulate these things in what we call, a family vision statement, and it's, that includes their mission which is gonna be some, some, what's the word, expression, of the great commission, right? So however that-- Yeah. Plays out in their life, it's gonna be an expression of that if they call themselves Christians and then below that you have, and a lot of couples never do this and it's so important. We hadn't done it until 10 years in our marriage at least. Yeah, and it changed everything-- Yes. And I'm not exaggerating, it changed everything about, in this topic specifically, in unity, because we went through and found in mind our personalities, our relationship for what we call core values, right? So a lot of times we say oh, like in a business context you say our core value is quality, customer service, right? These are ideals, right? Yeah. But for a marriage the core values are things that you actually are whether you know it or not. Things that you care about whether you know it or not, right? So for us we had to realize that we really value, one of 'em is community, right, that's part of that because obviously we're Christian, but we value family and friends and deep relationships with fewer rather than shallow relationships with more, that was one of 'em. -yeah. Adventure, it sounds kind of funny, but adventure's a core value of ours meaning that we wanna live lives that are kinda on the edge, right? Oh, I would agree with that one. Yeah and we're always kind of-- Yeah we use the word extraordinary. Yes. Yeah, I love it. You guys use that in the beginning of your podcast. Um-hum, yeah. Got another one and I can keep going on, I think there's only five, like we tried to keep 'em as few as possible. And then this is part that you were talking about Aaron where you get kind of the expressions that, that kind of, I'd say the more grayer parts of this, is like okay, so how are we gonna decorate our house, right? Or what kind of house are we gonna invest it, not just buy, but invest in because of these core values? Yeah. And so, and those, that third part of the family vision statement is what we call the, envision statement. So like we envision, one of our envision statements is we envision a family that laughs together, we envision a home that is welcoming to, to friends-- Everyone, yeah. And strangers and people and we can feed them. So what, that has all kinds of implications for how we actually set up our lives. How big is our table, right? Like how big is our living room, yeah. They make all the small decisions in essence easier, because they've already got, instead of just starting from scratch every single time on the decision like, well what do we want? You're like well, does this fit into our, what we want? Yep, that's exactly right. Exactly. You know are we gonna spend a thousand hours on this project if it means sacrificing-- Yeah. These other things-- Right. That are core to what we love. And what I love about this is it's, you know, we always talk about well you gotta be on the same page, like that's how you're one, that's how you build unity. It's an easy phrase, yeah. It's an easy phrase to say, but I feel like this is such a practical way to actually get on the same page because you put it down on one page literally. I feel like in the oneness side of things of being able to communicate and we're gonna get into a little bit of this idea of transparency, is once you've both verbalized what oneness looks like, what we agree with, what we believe as a team, what's our central focus. The accountability part of it, you know, of oneness, is hey how you're currently acting or making a decision doesn't align with what we, what you say you believe and what we have agreed on. And we can kind of use those, those foundational things, again, if it's Christ, we can look at each other and be like, hey like that's not really aligning with what we believe in the Bible is it? Like we've said the Bible is a core value of our home and what we align our life with. So I like that you, you know, putting those things down, you guys both have agreed that those are who you are as a family, how you wanna lead, how you wanna live, it makes oneness a lot more practical instead of this ambiguous idea of like, okay, like yeah, we'll, you know, we'll have the same bank account, sure, which is another practical way, but it's not the only thing it's just a piece of the puzzle. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, so-- And it takes time too. I wanna make a note like I think-- A life time, yeah. So many people sit down and they're like, hey, here's, we're gonna take this evening and we're gonna do our family vision statement and then we'll be done forever. And it took us probably three months to get our first draft and then we revisit it-- Kind of after big life things like if you, if you have children and you've never had children before so maybe some of your values, or just the way you wanna spend your time because you now have this other person-- Yes. You know, it changes everything and... Or you move geographically-- Right. Or you get a new job, or God calls you to something and you feel like it's stirring, but it hasn't quite started yet. Yeah, and take time to get there and then you can, you're free to revisit it. Right. So I just think that, I just wanna make sure that people don't feel like they need to get this ironed out in like one sitting-- Yeah. That's good. 'Cause it takes some time to think and pray over it and articulate the ideas. Well that's why we call it a mark of a marriage after God. It's not, it's a thing that we're aiming for. Yeah. Not a, oh we are today perfectly have it ironed out. Yeah. It's like, oh no, this is how we are gonna operate. Yeah. We're gonna think this way and pursue this direction because it's Biblical and it's gonna help us fulfill what God has for us. So as you guys have been pursing oneness in your marriage and being one and actively making choices as one, how have you seen that amplify your effectiveness in building God's kingdom? Oh man, in every meaningful way. Aaron you mentioned going out, right? If you don't feel like, maybe Jen says, hey yeah, go out and have fun or whatever and do something that you wanted to do how you almost don't even like it anymore 'cause she's not there. Yeah, it changes you. You'd rather be with your family. Like that, that sentiment I think, that's just a small I think shadow of truth in terms of that sentiment how it actually impacts your entire life-- Right. When you realize I don't wanna do anything, A, I don't wanna do anything that's not in lockstep with what God is doing, I wanna go where God is moving, I wanna be, I wanna move with him, right, and in that sense I want our family to be in unity and doing that too. Like we, here's a really silly example, but we needed to buy a vehicle-- Yeah. The last year, about a year and a half ago, and it's a big purchase-- I know I hate it, I hate those decisions. You know next to a house it's probably one of the bigger-- It's hard. Yeah, yeah, and we had been kind of wracking our brains, we'd had been, you know, a one-vehicle family, but we had just, we had just had our second daughter and so it was time. It was time to like, to actually face this decision and we just didn't have peace on it, didn't have peace. And it was probably like six months of Selena looking at different cars, looking at different, you know, all the different specs and the different prices and where to get it and all that kind of stuff until finally we had all this stuff, kind of like here's our priorities, we had all that out so we knew what we were looking for we weren't gonna go and just spend a bunch of money. We had an actual like-- Budget. Budget-- Budget envision for the car. Anyway when that decision finally came to make that decision God was so faithful and provided just this really obscure way for us to find the exact right vehicle that he, that was what we were looking for. Wow. And we do think it's a little grace of God to make that plain to us in what happened and that was so easy by the time that, that we felt like we were in unity in that together and we were in lockstep with him that we just walked up and we drove it and we just said, yeah, we'll take it. It was like, there was very little like haggling, all that kind of stuff, it was already there-- Yeah. And so I feel like that happens in big decisions too if you're in ministry right? So you're trying to make a decision in ministry and you find unity, that's where you're just, your heart is only at peace in unity when you get to that place. And peace and unity, I think that's, I mean isn't that the essential definition of peace? Right. There's no chaos, there's no division, I love that. That's so good man, it's so true. Alright, so one of the other seven marks of a marriage after God is transparency. So what does transparency look like in your marriage? We kind of live by this lights on, windows open, doors open, sort of theme. That kind of sets the tone for, not only our marriage, but for our household, we, you know, there's no secrets. There might be some surprises here and there, but we really try to be intentional about like our vocabulary. But the whole transparency thing I think has become a greater peace to our life because of, you know, things like social media and posturing and kind of showing our best moments-- Yeah. And not really being transparent and honest about what our life looks like. You know, how many times do you meet somebody that you maybe have seen on Instagram and you're like, whoa, you're like way different than what I thought. Yeah. You're You're, oh just like me. Yeah, you're normal. Oh good. Yeah and I think that it's so important especially, you know, in unifying us, transparency is such a huge component because if I, if we're not honest with each other about kind of our ugly and about the sin that we face and the dark corners of our heart that we just don't wanna show to anybody, we're not allowing our spouse that space to truly love us and we're not allowing ourselves to live in that freedom that God's calling us to when we are in the light and God sees all that, he knows. We always talk about, right, we're always talking about like when we sin, like God doesn't, he sees the sin, but he also sees the deep motivation of that sin and he still loves us. He knows the depth of why it happened, why we made those decisions and that love is so liberating to us, right, it should be because he's leading us down this path of being known and fully loved, right, and being committed. And so transparency is, I don't think you can have full unity and full oneness without complete transparency. Yeah. I'm gonna be bold there and say that. That's why we tied these two marks together is 'cause we believe the same thing that they're so closely tied. Yeah, and it's, if you're not completely transparent I think it does also hinder your ability to experience and express love. And what I mean by that is that if I, if I say, hey Selena I love you, here's this part of my life that you get to see, but I keep part of it to myself, whether it's shame or a sin, or habitual sin, you know, for guys it's, you know pornography is always a big thing, right, or some sort of thing that I'm hiding from you. Whenever you say, oh I love you as my wife, I'll always be like, yeah, but if you, in my head I'll be like if you really knew me you wouldn't love me. So I'm not gonna, I can't, you don't actually love me, right? It kind of invalidates, until you actually say, here's everything that I've, all my good, bad, and the ugly, and so until you actually do that you're not gonna experience what it means to actually be loved as deeply as I feel we were called to. You know you asked, how does this actually play out? So Aaron I know you've shared some of your, you guys have shared your story with pornography and all that kind of stuff. Yeah. God is very redemptive when we repent and turn from that sin and run to him and run to each other, right? And that's, so the way we do that in our marriage is, you know, that's a guy and anybody who's on the internet you have to be on guard always for like sexual sin, just guy or girl, like you have to be on guard because there's always, always different ways that it gets in front of your face, right, you never even try to get it. And so I, we have an open kind of conversation always where she, the rule is you can ask me, she can ask me anything, anything and I just, I promised no matter how hard it is I'll never lie, right, and that's easier said then done, but it gets easier and easier and so. And then there's obviously open, you know, we have the phone-drop test is another fun little tool that we tell couples about is that at any moment you should drop your phone on the table and your spouse should be able to open that up and go through every app, every email, every text, everything. - Oh yeah. I've never heard that term before, but I like that term. You know we've never done that term, we do that, like we know each other's passwords, there's never any-- Yep. Giving that permission. Yeah there, we, yeah we use the word permission if she wants she can grab my phone and-- But I like that, the drop the phone test. And it's not, and the thing distinguishes couples 'cause a lot of couples would be like, well what about my privacy, you know, and A, you don't have privacy in marriage. That's the opposite of, that's the opposite of transparency. And when But B, it's not about, it's not about you're losing privacy it's about building trust and so you kind of, we flip it on it's head and that it's about showing you have nothing to hide as opposed to like, I should be able to hide something if I want to, like that's what privacy, that's all privacy is. Right. And in marriage there's none of that. And there's two stark contrasts in this idea of like, you know, you say, 'cause we've had couples say the same thing, like well, you know, that's just not, there's no trust there if they have to check my phone. But if you even have that heart in the first place you are hiding something, and right, and so if I'm telling my wife, hey, I want to walk in purity and holiness before my father in heaven and God has given you as my helper and therefore you have permission at any time to walk with me and help me be this, that man. That's a different position of, well you should just trust me and you shouldn't have to look at my phone. It's humility versus pride. Right. It's a whole different posture. And what happens is, my wife rarely has a desire to do that unless she has a spirit like, you know, hey there's something I'm discerning that, you just seem off, are you walking okay? And usually she doesn't even have to look at my phone where I am at, like you're saying, I confess, right? Um-hum, yeah. Because my purpose is not to just remove the shame and feel better in my marriage I actually fear God and want to please him. And so it's such, it's such a different mentality of just protecting my flesh versus, no actually I wanna be made like Christ. And-- Yep, just nailed it. Wow, wow. Yeah, so transparency is an important, actually when I asked the question I was thinking about this idea of transparency. And the point of transparency is to see through and, you know, if we're lights in this world, the light doesn't come from us it comes from Christ and the more opaque we are, like the harder to see through we are, the less light can emit from us. The less that light can be seen in us because you can't see through us to Christ-- Yeah. And I feel like that needs to be first exemplified in marriage and it's-- So if you're not transparent you're not being effective for spreading the gospel. Well you can't-- Yep. You're a liar. And actuallY this mental, so you just hit the nail on the head in terms something we are right in the thick of. Yeah. Because we, you've used all the buzz words Aaron, it's so funny. I don't know if you're reading my mail or what, but we are writing a new book, it's totally, we're writing a new book called, See Through, and it's that-- Wow. That whole attitude of we are called to not be opaque, but to be see through, transparent, and to-- So that God's light can shine-- God' light shines through us-- Oh yes. Albeit imperfectly. Yeah. Because we see it currently dimly, yeah. In a stained-glass window, right, you've got different colors, different shapes, different fractures, but it ends up being a beautiful picture because God's light is what makes it beautiful, even more beautiful than if we were perfect and, you know, and perfectly clear, right? He somehow uses our sin to make himself more glorified and more known because we live in a sin-filled world, but he's redeeming it right? And so you're absolutely, you nailed it, it's like that idea of being totally, of being not opaque, being see-through and letting God shine through you. I mean that's, that's what transparency is all about it's not about how can I just have what I want it's how can I be a vessel through which God shines. It's awesome. That's so powerful you guys. Thank you so much for sharing that and now I'm really excited to read that. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know if our publisher's gonna be mad at us for saying that or not. It's not official-- It's not an official name. If we're writing the book it's the unofficial name, so. That's awesome. Yeah, I love that, oh man so I think, yeah I just also think, just in the terms of marriage, a mark of a marriage after God. When we're not transparent we're not, we're pursuing ourselves, right, you know, because if I'm hiding sin, or if I'm hiding, you know, experiences in my life or things I'm going through, like you said, all we're doing is masking and we're covering up and we're trying to present ourselves a certain way. So we're not actually after God at all, we're after ourselves, and avoiding some discomfort or some pain, and so the picture we're trying to show, that opaqueness, we're just trying to show, we're manufacturing something which is not love at all 'cause I'm not letting my wife love me I'm letting her love a picture of me. You know and I'm not loving her by hiding who I am. I'm hiding, we're hiding the truth which is unloving, so, and, so I just love that you guys are advocates of that, that you not only advocate it, but you walk it out. We found it to be transformational on a personal level, both my relationship with, our relationship as spouses, but also our relationship with friends of the same sex-- Oh yeah. Right, that's transformational in that sense as well, but also in community with other families and other couples. We've had some really, some of the most transformational and brutal conversations that we've had have been in context of church community and that's such a big part of transparency. I think a lot of couples have kind of forsaken that part of the church, right? They kind of figure church is a Sunday morning thing, it's a Easter and Christmas thing, it's a check the box on a demographic-quiz thing, like I'm a Christian. But like that's how, that's how we're called to live in Christian community, right, and so transparency there, like we can never, we always push couples like, we consider ourselves like air-traffic controllers, right, people that come to us for answers-- Yeah. We're just like, we just point them to Christian community-- Exactly. 'Cause that's how you can move through it. Can you share some of the benefit for those listening, like what's the benefit of being transparent with other believers? So your holiness and righteousness, you know, unto the Lord I think is the biggest benefit because they'll be able to look at your life more objectively. Well and as a marriage we kinda, some friends of ours, we kind of walk, we go to them when we have kind of a struggle and we can't seem to figure it out, we feel a little stuck. And we'll go to them knowing that, you know, when you have dinner with another couple you're gonna heed your words a little bit more, right, you're gonna-- And you're gonna filter a little bit more, yeah. You're gonna have that, you're gonna make sure you're saying what you want to say-- What you mean to say not just-- Yes, what you feel like saying. And so, but having those, having that couple that we know is grounded in the gospel, that knows the word, that is in tune with the spirit, that loves the Lord and wants, they're advocating for us, they're not trying to pin us against each other, but they're advocating for our relationship, that's huge. And they love us. And they love us-- Yeah. And they know us and we want them to know us. Like we want to be known by them-- Yeah. Cause we can't see, we're stuck-- Yeah. We can't seem to figure this out we need our community, we need them to point us back to Jesus, point us back to the word, the Bible, ask us the hard questions and in love knowing that we're gonna get past this we're gonna get through this. In our little circle of church we have this, we turned the word gospel into a verb, right, so when somebody's like forgetting who they are in Christ we'll say-- Yeah, preach the gospel. We'll just gospel you for a second. Yes. We'll remind you-- Yeah. That God is good, that he's sovereign, and he's gracious and he's working in this and that's just so often, like being transparent. If you go, like most church groups you go to, you're just like, oh let's talk through the curriculum, let's talk through the study and we'll just go home and we'll have-- Yeah what are you learning there? We'll have food and we'll go home. But man church community is so much more then that. You say, hey how are you actually means, how are you doing, not just an excuse for you to say good, busy, right? Yeah. And then for the listener to sit there and actually listen and wait, you know, even if that means you have to wait a little bit longer instead of just passing by. Right because you truly are asking, not just facetiously or, you know, it's the norm. Yeah. You know, oh hey, how's it going? Yeah. You know I think about, you know, the reason we bring this up, the purpose of you guys being one in your marriage and being transparent in your marriage and all of the other marks that we talk about in the book, isn't just for your marriage, that's the place you practice doing exactly what you just said, because we're commanded in the word of God to be in one mind and spirit with the body of Christ. And in the same way you can't be one with your wife without being transparent and you can't be one with your husband without being transparent and you can't have that unified, unification, without that singleness of mission. It's the same thing in the body of Christ, what you're exactly saying, is the whole reason it's important for us to have this mentality in our homes. Yeah. Yeah, well how you love Christ's bride, how you love Christ if you don't love his bride, right? You can't it's impossible. No, you can't, that's why I get so-- Yeah, John tells us we are liars if we say that we love God and don't love his people. Right, right, that's why I get so just, I think furious is the right word, when you see like Christians that are just constantly just kind of making satire, making fun of the local church, right? I know that Christians are weird in some regards-- Good, yeah we, should be a difference. In a lot of cultural things. And then kind of make, their cringey, right, but there's also like, this is the, this is the bride of Christ and so there's, there always has to be that edifying kind of redemptive side to those types of conversations. And so, yeah, I think in your marriage this is just, yeah, that's why I love marriage, it's a mirror of the gospel in so many different, it's like a multifaceted diamond, right? Yeah, yeah. There you go. It's just, you see 'em at different angles and you see the gospel in it and that's one of the things is when you learn how to, you know, be transparent with your wife and with each other in marriage and that kind of gives you an idea of what it's like to be transparent with Christ's bride, with the church, right, and actually live in vulnerability, not just so you can look, you know, navel gaze and feel bad about yourselves and go home and be ashamed, but so that you can work toward righteousness, so you can be known, and so you can experience-- Yeah. A greater depth of grace and love, right? That's so good. You guys are such good encouragers and advocates for marriage online through your ministry, through your resources and everything. One quote that stood out to me that you guys had posted awhile back said this, "transparency, the best opportunity for intimacy happens when you're fully known and fully loved." And I just love that, I love the way you worded it, I love everything about it, and I think so many people are craving that right now. They're craving intimacy, they wanna be fully loved and maybe they don't know how to be fully known because they're afraid. And so I just wanna ask, how would you encourage those listening today, those people who want to experience this intimacy whether it's with God, with their spouse, with other believers, but they're afraid or something's holding them back, what would you say to them? Well I think it's important to,, excuse me, know what God's word says, you know, about fear and how perfect love drives out fear, there's no fear in perfect love. And so understanding that, you know, first of all we are loved, we are loved in Christ, and our identity can be rooted there because of what he's done and because of who he is. Yep. And,, excuse me, because he loves us, he knows us fully and completely and he loves us fully and completely and it's unconditional and he knows the depths of our souls and he still loves us and that's, and I think that's such an example and model for us, right, because only like, I don't, I don't feel any more experienced love like Christ to the extent, I can't, I don't know how I'm trying to say this, I experience it to the extent that I'm like transparent and known, right? Right. The more that I'm known the more that I am able to show my weaknesses and confess pride or, you know, just my anger or whatever. The more I, I am hopeful of, like your love Ryan, but hopeful also and knowing and just being able to rest in the fact that God loves me still, even in this moment and he's still like, while we were still sinners he died. Yep. Yeah. Wow. That reality is I think the path, understanding that full reality is the path toward the side of transparency that, that will get you to that side of feeling fully loved, right? So-- Yeah. That fear, and Selena you're speaking to it so well, is that fear is what keeps us from taking that leap because we feel like, well what if I jump and they don't love me? Yeah. Yeah. Or what if I jump and my spouse can never forgive me-- Yeah. Or our relationship's never the same and to be honest it probably will never be the same, but if we trust God it will be better. Yeah. It will be different and better. And how powerful. And there's joy. And how powerful it is when we do and we are transparent and we are still loved. It's such a powerful experience. Yeah, I think of that scripture that says, he who has been forgiven much loves much. And I-- That's the one I was trying to think of And I often, but I've often thought of it as like, oh, maybe I struggle with love because I didn't have much to be forgiven of and other people have and, but that's not what that scripture says. The scripture is saying, he who loves much, or he who has been forgiven much loves much, and the idea is that we all have been forgiven like that man who owed the ten thousand talents to that ruler. We are not the other one, we are the one that owes the unfathomable amount and so-- It's like 70 billion. Yeah whatever it is. Dollars equivalent or something. And the point is, is the one who recognizes how much he has been forgiven loves much. And that often-- Yeah. That has to be, you know, it says Jesus knows us, or he wants to know us, right? And we become known by confession, by transparency, by say, Lord this is who I am. And he already knows all, right, so, but he wants us-- To offer it. To offer it to him, like here is who I am, here's what I've done, here's how I think, change me, have it, you know. Right. Well it goes all the way back to the garden, right, when Adam and Eve sinned and they're hiding-- I know. And God's walking in the garden and says, where are you, it's not that he like, he lost them, he wasn't like, oh shoot, where'd they go? They ran away-- He wants them to reveal themselves. They got out of the cage. Like he wants us to have-- Recognize. That realization-- Yeah. Of our depth of need and that's what we call, I mean it's not just us calling it, but it's the full gospel, right? Yeah. Yep. The gospel is two parts, one I am extremely sinful, lost, and without hope, that's the first part. Then, so that's the bad news which makes, makes room for the good news, makes way for the good news which is, Christ has paid that price, he has brought you close, he has given you hope, he has saved you. And so if you can picture with me like a ramp that's going up, like if that's our view of God, the holiness of God, and then a ramp that's going down is our view of ourself, right, our view of our need and our depravity without Christ. The gap that it creates in between the top of the ramp and the bottom of the ramp, I'm looking, it's like a big PAC-Man thing, and that gap is the need for our savior. So the greater view of God the lower view of ourselves, the greater the need for a cross, or Christ, to fill that gap to make, and so that makes much of Christ, right? And less of us. And so if you-- Yeah. And less of us, and so it makes for a really big cross. So if minimize God's holiness we minimize our sin, we have a tiny Jesus. We have an impotent Jesus. Yeah. Right and so that's, that's how I think we overcome that fear and realize like, this fear that I have of being rejected is no match to the fear that I have without Christ, but I've been given Christ. Praise God. I have identity with him and therefore I can be transparent with you trusting that my identify is secure in him regardless of what happens here and he will work it for my good, right, Romans 8:28. Thanks for preaching the gospel man. We, you know, that's been on our hearts more is just more and more preaching of the gospel, we just, we need people to recognize that we are sinners-- Yes. And we are retched and we deserve nothing and yet God loved us so much he sent his son to save us if we believe in his name, you know? Changes everything. Oh yeah. So I wanna ask you a last question before we close in prayer. In your own words-- Sure. What is a marriage after God? I'd say a marriage after God is one that is obviously Christ-centered and is transparent and unified and on mission to make his name great. Praise God. You just used all the buzz words right there. There you go. I've been keeping notes. Buzz words are good, yeah. No, I fully agree with that. I think on mission is key, but the thing, that's a really loaded statement, right-- Yeah. When you're on mission that means so many different things. Transparency is one of those things, being unified in mission is one of those things. Self sacrifice. So. The gospel-- Yes. All of that. Yes. Yeah, Christ-centered and on mission and because of that transparent in all, all of the above so. Amen. So hopefully that answered the question. Yeah. Yeah no it's great. Thank you guys so much for being with us today this has been incredible. I just know that our listeners are walking away today with a lot to think about and hopefully feel inspired. Where can they follow you guys if they wanna hear more from you? Thank you guys, you guys are amazing, you've been a resource to us since day one. Yep. And it's just, man, we love. I love how the Bible just pours out of you guys. Yes. So good. Thank you. Even though we live five hours away I feel like, I feel like that's not an excuse, we should hang out a lot more. So it's on the record now you guys. Right. We'll see you this year. As far as resources go, we just, we have books at, fiercemarriage.com and, shop.fiercemarriage.com, just devotionals. We also have our podcast, The Fierce Marriage, podcast, so if people want us they'll find us. Yeah, just Google, Fierce Marriage, they're everywhere. Yes. There you go. Yeah, you guys have been doing this almost as long as we have, huh? No, you guys are the original gangsters. Yep. You guys were in like three or four years, before and Jen's the original gangster. Yeah Jennifer is, yeah. It has been awhile. Awesome. So Jennifer why don't you pray for us and then we'll close out. Okay, dear Lord we pray we would be husbands and wives who pursue intimacy with you. We pray we would make ourselves known to you and known to each other. Help us to walk with each other in an understanding way and to love unconditionally. Thank you for the gift of oneness in marriage and what it represents. We pray we would operate as one every day in our marriage relationship. Holy Spirit continue to empower us to do so. Help us to be transparent with one another. Help us to be great listeners as well. May truth be exposed and may your presence be evident in our lives. Thank you for marriage and thank you for salvation. You are a good God and we love you. May our hearts align with yours as we chase boldly after you and pursue a marriage that reflects your love story. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Thank you everyone that's been listening to this episode. We love the Fredericks and we'd love for you to go check them out at their podcast, The Fierce Marriage podcast. And also get their books. Yeah. Their books are really good. And so, thanks for listening. We have a bunch of more episodes, a bunch of more interviews coming up in the coming weeks so please stay tuned. We'll see you next week. [Announcer] Did you enjoy today's show? If you did it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also if you're interested you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at, marriageaftergod.com and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.