“Make Your Marriage a Team Again”

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Episode Summary

Your marriage is either getting weaker or stronger, there’s no in-between. This will encourage it to get even stronger!

There are tons of practical insights in this episode to help the team in your marriage regardless of if you are thriving or hurting in this area right now. The Tolpins discuss breaking the chains of bad communication, making plans together that use each other’s gifts and so much more. God put you together and He wants your marriage to glorify Him. This will help you nourish your marriage to an even better place.

Main Points From This Episode:

  • It’s important to study your spouse to see their gifts, talents, and passions
  • Look for ways to compliment your spouse
  • It takes a husband being a servant leader to grow as a team
  • It’s important to break the chains of bad communication. Listen to the episode for the practical tips
  • Plan together how you want the future of your marriage to look
  • Do something together that requires both of your gifts
  • But don’t do anything until your marriage is working well as a team in parenting your children.

Scriptures From This Episode:

Genesis 2:18 – “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.””

Philippians 2:3 – “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

Hebrews 10:24-25 – “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”


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Full Transcript:

Note: This is an automated transcript and misspells or grammar errors may be present.

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom.

And I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.

We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in.

The Bible, we can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting.

And the following.

Okay. My good.

Yes, it is good. We start out in Genesis. You got your grandpa.

Hey, welcome to the podcast.

Hey, guys.

We’re doing a little marriage series here. Make your marriage a team again.

That’s right. Last week was make marriage fun again. And you guys, I just have to say, if you didn’t go and listen to that, I just want to do a little punch for a little Spotlight highlight on that podcast. If you have been married any amount of time and you have felt like maybe you’ve lost that spark or you just feel like you’re in a season of loneliness or you feel distant from your spouse or unappreciated or like there’s never time to nourish your marriage, please go listen to the previous podcast as well. We’re going to talk about some really important things in today’s podcast, but this is kind of piggybacking on top of it. They both stand alone, but it is definitely like you should listen to both. If you’re in that season.

Hey, and you can’t separate parenting from marriage, you know, it’s so important your relationship with God is the most important thing. And the next most important thing is your relationship with your spouse when it comes to parenting. And I just think it’s so important. So we’re doing some talks on this down the road in maybe six weeks or so. In the Be Courageous app, we’re going to do a courageous marriage series as well for everybody in the app where it’s alive with Q&A on a weekly basis for a while. That’ll be fun. But we’re just it’s really on our hearts right now, marriage. And I think that our marriage has been growing a lot closer recently. It’s always been good and close, but I just feel like we’re growing a lot closer, like we’re not wasting a day. We’re realizing how precious every day is.

Yeah. For those of you who maybe don’t follow us closely on social media, we recently had a little little I must say, scare is probably the best way to put it with Isaac’s health and his heart. Just long, long COVID stuff. Yeah, I said it. And and the truth is, is that whenever you have something like that, for those of you who have experienced health issues or scares of any kind, you know what I’m talking about. You are reminded very quickly about the fragility of life and you all of a sudden feel this massive motivation to really love that person well and to speak, encouragement and speak all of your appreciation to them and to speak and to just spend every moment that you can with them and you’re just like hungry for their attention and all those things. And I would say that, that for sure, I know that for myself as a wife, and this is the first time that we’ve had kind of a little health thing with Isaac before. That definitely was something. That’s how it hit me for sure. And I know that our marriage has been encouraged because of that for sure. Which also can I just say the power of one spouse really engaging in that kind of way, in a purposeful way to really speak truth and to love and to go out of your way to love on them and to serve them.

All it takes is one. Yeah. And then it’s like contagious and it can literally just wake up a marriage. It can shake and rattle and roll a marriage out of a bad like rhythm. Rhythm. Yes. And so you guys, there’s it’s never too late. And, you know, Isaac and I have we’ve been very blessed in the 23 years that we’ve been married. We have gone through a lot of hard things in our past, especially like six or seven years ago. Our marriage was tested and tried and we definitely came out stronger on the other end, both in our relationship with God and each other and as a family. And I’m thankful for that. But I think that when you start to really realize that every day is a gift, you value it differently. And we’ve definitely had those little scares in the past with me and with having lost some babies and things like that. But whenever you experience something that kind of jolts you. So that’s why we’re talking about marriage today.

Yeah. And I just recently posted your marriage is either getting weaker or stronger. There’s no in between and you got to go beyond the status quo. The status quo is what exists now, and you’ve got to be pursuing each other in an earnest way. And so but today we’re going to talk about the team side of things. And maybe, you know, there is a reality that isn’t what you want right now. I think that there’s a lot of people, unfortunately, that may feel that way. And marriage is something that has to be purposely worked on on a constant basis. Otherwise it starts going sliding backwards. And and so maybe, you know, there’s some hidden resentment out there or maybe somebody feels unappreciated that’s listening.

You know, I mentioned a lonely marriage. Maybe you’re married, but you feel lonely and you don’t really have the kind of relationship where you feel like. You can share your heart’s desires with your spouse or you can pray together and really know each other on a deep spiritual level. Maybe there can add an element of loneliness.

Yeah, maybe there’s some unmet expectations or some silent expectations that aren’t communicated that are not being met up, and it’s leading to some resentment. We don’t even realize.

Or maybe, maybe there’s a comparison trap that you guys are potentially both suffering from, or maybe even just one person in your marriage where there’s a comparison of the contribution that you bring to marriage and a lack of value for for different things, or putting more value on some things and less on others to where one person really feels like maybe they’re doing it all and they undervalue the other person and maybe they think too highly of themselves, or maybe the other person just doesn’t feel like they’re needed. Right? Can I just say that? I mean, there’s so many aspects to this. And so wherever you are in your marriage, maybe your marriage is doing awesome. I pray your marriage is doing awesome. And the reality is you’re in a thriving marriage, not in a surviving one man. And I pray that that’s your situation. I still believe that today. The verses that we go over and the four tips for points that we are going to go over are going to rock your world regarding making your marriage a better team if you are already a team.

And I would also say, even though this will help you if you have a thriving marriage, is that take some notes and take this maybe to someone else that needs it. Either share the podcast or maybe you could be the teacher to teach them some of these principles, to which it would be great. So we’re going to dive into these four tips in just a moment. But we first of all, just want to thank you for being on the journey with us. We feel like God is really pressing on our hearts to impact 10 million legacies, and we can’t do that alone. We literally feel like we’re doing it with so many thousands of people together to have this impact and all resources, free resources or be courageous. Ministry dot org also courses to purchase the support the ministry. You can find coffee there to support the ministry and we just so appreciate your help. And of course join us in the app if you want that intimate, deeper biblical connections, biblical community. It is the nothing replaces in-person biblical community, although people are connecting meeting each other in the app because you can tell where people live and stuff, the cities and stuff. But but also it is it really is appearing to be one of the most powerful and loving, should I say, just caring for one another online biblical communities that exist. It’s really special.

The culture in there is really cool. People will share prayer requests and you’ll see different people speaking up going, Hey, I struggle with this too. I’m following. Or they’ll put in prayers, or they’ll put in a Bible verse along with some biblical encouragement. And it’s just super like for me, I look at this and I’m like, This is the sharpening as iron sharpens iron that we’re supposed to be doing in each other’s lives. So. So please consider joining us in the app and supporting the ministry in that way. But also you’re going to get access to the kids podcast there as well as we have a folder that has all of the monthly lives and Q&A that we have been doing for the last year. You guys labeled.

By topic and labeled by answers, questions answered so you can literally look and go, What did Isaac and Angie answer on.

This? And you find it. And so there’s well over a year’s worth of Q&A A’s in in the app already in a folder and then there’s also a growing folder that’s redeeming childbirth because I’ve been reading the Women Redeeming Childbirth, my book in our pregnancy and postpartum groups. So and you know what is also exciting, you guys, it is the end of January, early February, and I’m going to be starting my seeds. And so I’m going to start sharing more of the homesteading process and the different things that we have been doing that we’ve also done, we did for ten years. When we when we shared a vineyard, she.

Had 1000 square foot garden this last year and it got over £1,000 of produce.

God really blessed.

It. And so I’m excited to see what that number is this year.

And I’m going to be doing videos with Drew, too. He’s our compost master, and so he’s going to teach people how to make compost, all kinds of things. We’re going to talk about making sourdough, all the things.

All right, so make your marriage a team again. So the first tip is really to study your spouse in some new ways. Of course, you study your spouse, but what makes a great team is when you’re understanding the strengths of your partner and then you’re starting to rely on that more and then you’re shoring up each other’s weaknesses, not necessarily by complaining to one another, but looking at how we can complement each other and be a stronger team together, which is really important.

So this point that we’re talking about right now where Isaac just kind of and he went right into so beautifully studying your spouse, I think that this could be important for anyone, regardless of what kind of marriage you’re in. But for for just a second, for those of you who maybe feel like you’re doing it all or you feel like. It’s not a team effort and maybe one person is carrying a bigger load responsibility wise and who knows why. Maybe there’s health issues. I don’t know. Maybe you’re in a season where your spouse is even overseas in the military, and so you’re parenting 100% of the time. There’s all kinds of circumstances of people that listen to the podcast and share their story with us. And so I just, first of all, want to say that this is still so applicable to study your spouse, communicate about those things. And also, you know, part of studying, you can’t really know somebody, right? Know them without communicating and sharing about who you are and what you’re learning, how you want to grow all of those kinds of things. Because the truth is, is all of us actually grow over the years, right?

And we discover new gifts and sometimes God gives people gifts later in life, too. And are we open? Are we looking? Are we praying for each other and encouraging and encouraging those.

Skills and new talents, new interest, new desires, all of those things. I mean, I even just think about like, you know, for Isaac and I, we both are pretty visionary people in a lot of ways. And one of the things, you know, in studying each other is knowing that one of the things that makes us feel like we’re fulfilling our purpose here on Earth is that we’re able to do the things that God’s called us to. And so that’s one of the things that we have tried to value in each other over the years and trying to encourage those those different things that we’ve pursued. Right. And I do believe that just feeling known in that way has made our marriage thriving. I know that for me as a wife, I feel like my husband really knows me. He knows what I need, he knows what I desire, he knows what I’m passionate about. And I would say that I’m pretty good at knowing what he’s passionate about, what makes him tick, what makes him excited. And we try to, as a team, work together so that each of us can have time to do those things too. Yeah. And so that’s just a little side tip.

Hey, Genesis 218, you know, such a good little verse here. Then the Lord God said, It is not good. That man should be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him. You are fit for me. I appreciate that.

I love it.

And we have to believe you have to believe that God put you guys together just as we believe God put us together. Yes, for important reasons. And to be a team to glorify God. That’s the most important purpose. And it starts right in our homes.

That’s right. And recognizing this verse, in my opinion, gives a lot of confidence to a woman. Because if you are like me, when I first got married, I didn’t know the first thing about being a wife, a homemaker, a mom, any of those kinds of things. And so as far as being fit to do things, I didn’t know what I was doing right. But this verse really gives a lot of confidence to women who maybe have felt that way, or maybe they feel like they can’t fill the shoes of the expectations that their husbands mom have kind of put there. Can I just say that? And so I think that it’s really we’re going to talk about expectations in a few minutes, but I think that it’s really important that as we are reading the word and we’re understanding how God designed marriage and the leaving and cleaving process and that he has designed a partner for you to complement one another for the glory of God. Really, truly. So that that His, Him and his church are exemplified in the world in a more beautiful way, right? That is through our marriages. And so recognizing that there is power in walking, in that fitness, if you will, right. That God has created you fit for your spouse. Like, yeah, maybe you still need to figure out what some of your gifts are.

Maybe you need to learn some skills, right, to be able to do certain things. That doesn’t mean that you’re unfit. I just want to say that that doesn’t mean that you’re unfit. And just because maybe your mother in law or your mother have gifts or they have skills or they’ve been good at doing something for the last 20 or 30 or 40 years, you need to have grace with yourself to not be expecting yourself to be this ultra homemaker person with only having one year of experience when she’s had 25, right, or 35. And so I say this because when you’re studying your spouse, there’s also going to be a need for you to have realistic expectations of both yourself and your spouse Spouse. So like, one example would be that I would I’ve encouraged my my daughters like, hey, you definitely want to like find a spouse that you can respect, that you’re going to want to lead you, that you’re going to want to follow. Yes, you’re going to That’s what you need more than anything. They need a love. Jesus. But then the second thing is can you respect them and follow them? Because that’s what God calls you to in his word.

I think it’s really hard for a team to be good if there’s a lack of respect. And I think it’s also hard if the husband isn’t leading well, if the husband is not a servant minded leader and looking at his role in that way with a heart towards how can I encourage protect, of course, provides one of them. But I think sometimes that becomes the main thing when there’s so many other things about servant leadership, which is to really look for the gifts and the strengths in our spouse and to fan the flames on those things and to see how we can be different and be a better team. Because a lot of times the where we’re different than somebody else, we’re we’re different than our spouse also are the potential conflict points too. And so the thing we’re the best at is also the thing that sometimes we can be the worst at, right? If we’re really good encourager, sometimes we can also be the most critical. And so it’s really important that we understand how we’re wired in a way and the differences between each other. So that and then we start to really appreciate those differences instead of maybe.

Focusing on the negative.

Focus on the negative of those differences.

Now that’s a really good encouragement, I think, in marriage. I think sometimes we can be our own worst critic, but we can also be the person that we’re closest to. Worst critic, am I right? And there are times when we need to offer grace with one another, and then there’s times where we are going to want to speak truth into each other’s lives because we love each other and we want growth, right? And we definitely don’t want to see our best friend falling into a temptation of sin by any means either. Right? And so there’s going to be times where you need to pick each other up, but you won’t know that unless you’ve been studying one another and you know each other’s weaknesses and strengths. Knowing your weaknesses and strengths, it should not be this thing where it’s like, Oh, I only want him to know what I’m good at and not think about my weaknesses, because that’s kind of embarrassing if you have that kind of attitude in your marriage about not wanting to be transparent about the things that you’re weak in, there’s a problem because you’re going to need your spouse to help you in those times when you are weak or when you fall to the temptation because you are human.

And the truth is, is that if you can’t walk transparently with your spouse, then there’s actually a little bird’s eye view into how transparent you’re actually walking with God. Because first, John is very clear, we’re not going to dig into first John today. But that verse there’s the whole first chapter is all about walking in fellowship with one another, walking in the light as he is in the light and and being willing to confess your sins and be honest. And part of this is like this is equipping your spouse to be able to really, truly study you well, to know all of you versus just one side of you. That’s maybe the prettier side. And I just think that this is something we cannot overlook because we both as humans have pitfalls. We both as humans have things that maybe we struggle with and we need to encourage each other in those times.

I wonder if there’s some beliefs that need to be shaken a little bit. Sometimes we can have beliefs about the other that are not as accurate as they need to be, like a husband’s belief about their wife, for example. You know, whatever we believe in, if we’re the leader of a family and we believe something about our wives, it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We could literally stagnate the potential in our spouse because of our belief. And so we have to be really careful. Men and women are completely equal in value, unbelievably capable. We do believe in biblical gender roles. But, you know, when I think of leading a family, I think of servant leadership. I think of believing in my spouse. I mean, there’s a reason that she was so excited to blog and write a book one day and write. And there’s a reason I’ve been excited to do things because she encouraged me. And it goes both ways. And I think we’re able to do so much more for God’s glory when we have right belief. What would happen if we believed in our spouse to the level that God believes in your spouse.

Meaning like their purposes, their skills, what they can bring to contribute to society, what they can bring to contribute to the family, what about what they can bring to contribute to your marriage? I even think about like.

I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already. Is the date night one sheet? It is a beautiful document you can download that will have some key questions on it for your date night to just get an alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to courageous parenting dot com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything at courageous parenting dot com. And I also just want to share real quick about the parenting mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self paced program with live engagement from us in even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it. You can find out more at courageous parenting dot com.

Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children. What Angie and Isaac have done in creating this is literally phenomenal. This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just some really great practical applications. This class has just really rocked my world. It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids biblically, like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things of the heart. We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind. It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is. Do your legacy a favor and your self a favor and just do it. One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more. We’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise lights to be leaders for the next generation.

Just even the ability to be able to speak into each other’s lives and learn from one another and how important that is, that there is a value for each others opinions and a value for the knowledge that and understanding that each of you can bring to a certain situation and seeing each other as your best confidant and counsel. Because you know that without a shadow of a doubt that person has your back, they are on your team. They want what’s best for you. They love you unconditionally. So why wouldn’t you go to them and ask their opinion? Right. And so, like in this conversation, as you’re getting into the nitty gritty and you’re studying your spouse, maybe you go on a date night and you’re talking about the things that you want to grow in and and the realistic expectations, the unrealistic expectations that maybe you feel your spouse has put on you, or maybe you’ve put them on yourself, or maybe you’ve allowed society or someone else in your family or a friend to put them on you. Like those are things that need to be communicated to your spouse so that you guys together can actually communicate, clear up muddy waters and walk in freedom without feeling guilt or condemnation or shame or feeling like you’re constantly not enough. Do you see what I’m saying? And I think that there’s an element of when you when you are sitting down and you’re talking through those things, like, let’s say your husband comes from a family where he just he saw this amazing marriage with his mom and his dad and he’s like, he believes in marriage and he really loves you.

And he married you with this vision of what marriage can be based upon the good example that was set before him. Right. Let’s just say that that’s a scenario. And let’s just say that maybe you come from a family where maybe you you you didn’t live even with your mom or maybe your mom wasn’t at home very much. And so maybe you didn’t learn how to take care of a home or or had a home school or how to be a mom at home of littles or or any of those things. Maybe you didn’t talk about any of those things and you feel inadequate because I know there’s a lot of women out there that feel inadequate regardless of what their husband came from. But do you for those women, can you imagine that they potentially feel a pressure to fulfill some shoes that they’re like, I don’t even know how to fill those. This requires communication because maybe you’re thinking that you’ve got to fulfill some shoes that your husband is not even expecting you to fill.

And that’s our next point, which is breaking the chains of bad communication we can get so comfortable with each other the longer we’re married that we almost believe we can read each other’s thoughts. We almost know if you start a sentence, you kind of guess how that sentence is going to finish. And I think that that can lead to bad communication because everybody needs to feel understood, to feel heard. And I think we can be quick to judge the communication of the other when we need to be slow. We need to quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. Right. It’s super, super important. So what are are there any bad communication rhythms that you can think of in your own marriage? And what’s really cool is you can’t necessarily change your spouse. You can change you. And that is where there’s power because the Holy Spirit’s in you and God can convict you and give you wisdom when you ask. And for this precise situations and things to say, and then you can adjust your communication. You know what’s amazing? The communication is like systems. And within a system, if one part of it changes, it changes the rest of the system. And so when you take decide to be the initiator and you take charge and you go, you know what? The next time this rhythm of bad communication happens in my marriage, I’m going to approach it differently where I used to get defensive. Instead, I’m going to think ahead of time how I’m going to respond in that situation. And you watch. If you consistently change part of that, you will actually have a rippling effect on your spouse that changes their response in the way they communicate. And you’re actually literally breaking chains. You’re breaking the system of bad communication and forever more that can be better.

I love it. You know, and one of the verses that we thought of that we wanted to encourage you guys with is Proverbs 2717. It says that iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another. And I even think about how important it is that we set up our marriages and we communicate and we give each other permission to speak truth to one another, that we give each other permission and we encourage. Hey, so if you really if you ever see anything, please be willing to come to me. Like, would we as individuals, imagine if we each had such a desire to be growing in the Lord that we were willing to open it up for our spouse to exhort us from time to time how that would change communication. And that can be a really difficult thing. I honestly think that that’s like marriage 2.0 right there. When you’re mature enough to actually be willing to hear it, it’s like asking, Hey, how can I be a better mom? That’s a hard question to ask. How can I be a better wife? But also, you were talking about servant leadership. And I just think about how much that changes a marriage so that people’s hearts are soft to be willing to hear from one another. Like, I just I feel like that last point in studying your spouse and being a servant leader in it totally ties it to breaking the chains of bad communication and being willing to hear someone when they are wanting to sharpen you. Proverbs two three says Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility, count others more significant than your selves. If not first, in your marriage, where else would you start with obeying this.

Scripture that is so important for us guys to do is to consider everybody in our family more important than.

Ourselves. That’s right. And the next verse let each of you look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others and just continues on. And you guys, I just think about like, imagine if you are purposing as a husband or as a wife to really set your own desires aside. Think for a moment what would what would really make my wife or my husband feel loved, cherished, supported, served in this moment? And you were to go do that one thing. Or maybe it’s say something, maybe it’s not even doing something. Maybe it’s just saying something. Or maybe it’s like offering grace and forgiving them from the thing that they did before you went to work or before they went to work. And you overlook that offense and you’re willing to be loving to them like that servant leadership. And it literally can change how you communicate. It can literally change how you view each other. Because when you start to create a new reputation between the two of you, that is one that is based upon selflessness instead of selfishness, that then becomes the new rebranded reputation that that person has in the marriage, and then the other person will think better of them. This is so needed in order to work together as a team. Otherwise, with the enemies going to try to do is create competitiveness. And a comparison like we talked about at the beginning, like, Oh, I do more than him, or she doesn’t do this well, I’m out working all day long. I come home, the house is a mess. What has she done all day? Like it’s easy for there to be those kinds of judgment statements that maybe don’t get vocalized.

I really hope they don’t. But we would all be lying if we hadn’t. If we said that we had never thought those thoughts before. And the truth is, is that it’s unfair. It’s not biblical of us to be thinking bad of our spouse and that kind of way. It’s making a whole lot of assumptions. It’s not understanding the situation at all. It’s not having any kind of grace or understanding. Right. And it’s not even like open to conversation when you just jump to a conclusion like that. And that comes from a heart of pride, right, and selfishness. And so we really take to heart when all throughout Scripture there’s all these one others, you know, like and this is just one of them where it says do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility, count others more significant than yourselves. And I just think to myself, how how many verses are like this in Scripture where we don’t think, How does this first apply to my marriage? A lot of times we’ll think, Oh, I really wish this person heard this verse or Oh, I wish, oh, I got to teach that to my kids. They’re not doing that well. But in reality, we need to take a step back and we need to look at our own hearts first when we read scriptures like this and go, Hold on, what’s the closest earthly relationship I have my spouse? Do I model this in my marriage way before we’re ever going to our kids and trying to exhort them in something?

I think sometimes our egos get hurt and then all we start thinking about is ourselves. So then we start defending ourselves and we’ve lost sight of the real vision, which is the vision for our marriage, the vision for our marriage relationship. And we’re just trying to make sure justice is served and that I am looked at appropriately or this situation is accurately depicted. And I think we need to let go of some more things in communication. Sometimes just let go and have a bigger vision. Don’t get in the muck, go above the muck in your mind in those moments and think, What is the vision for my relationship with my spouse? I’m just going to keep us in the muck. If I start defending myself here and there and elsewhere, because we’re speaking in emotion right now when there’s conflict, right, There’s emotion and we get beside ourselves and we don’t necessarily see everything we mean sometimes and or we exaggerate things we mean or exaggerate situations. We use absolutes, which is dangerous in marriage.

By the way, the.

Epitome of destroying teamwork in marriage never use you always. You never. Those kinds of things are just fighting words. And even if one spouse uses those, get out of the muck. Don’t defend yourself to an emotionally charged spouse, saying you always instead create a new thing in the system where you overlook that in the moment and go, hey, you know, let’s. Let’s calm down for a second. I really want unity in our marriage. And I and I hear you and I’m hearing what you’re saying. And but in the end, steer it in a new direction. I think it’s so important that we break the chains of bad communication, and all it takes is one spouse to stop, start doing that. And the third point is that plan together, the life you want, the positive side is what do you want your marriage team to do in this world? To do in in your lifetime?

Yeah. And what do you want it to be like? What do you want your kids to remember of their mom and dad’s marriage? What do you what do you dream of? Like just sitting together? This can be actually a really fun, cool thing to do on your date night, to plan the life that you want together to like, think and go. You know what? I really want us to be closer. What do we need to do in order for us to be closer, to be like, so tight in our marriage that nothing’s going to rock us? Because as life as we get older, we’re gonna have health problems eventually. And as life goes on, we’re eventually going to potentially have a financial struggle. Or this could happen or that, you know, you don’t want to live in what ifs. But the point is, is life is hard sometimes. And if you’re living in reality with rose tinted glasses off, you’re going to start right now proactively filling up the love tank, if you will, of your marriage so that when things are hard, you have a solid foundation, You’re strong in the Lord together. And so plan together the life you want.

Do you guys want to pray together every night? This is some this is the type of time that you sit down and you go, you know, spiritually, I think that our marriage needs to be stronger. And maybe these are two things we could do. Maybe we could pray together every day. Maybe we could read the Bible together every day or every week or whatever, just us to in addition to when we’re reading with the family or reading alone, you know, like, what are what are your desires? Think about that. What are the desires for your marriage that are going to actually equip you guys with the tools you need to have the life that you want together. These are the initiatives you need to set, set some proactive initiatives that are going to make your marriage productive. Purposeful meaning you feel like you’re fulfilling the purpose that God put you guys together for, Right? And you’re going to it’s going to be fulfilling and it’s going to be fun. What are the proactive initiatives that you can do that are going to make your marriage productive, purposeful, fulfilling and.

Fun and glorify the father ultimately? Yes. So the final tip for you is do something that requires both of your gifts. You’ve studied your spouse. You’re breaking the chains of bad communication because out in the get in the way of teamwork, you’re planning the life you want, maybe brainstorming together or individually bringing those lists together, those ideas together, dreaming together, those kinds of things. So now there’s a compelling vision for your marriage and how you want to interact, and then doing something that requires both of those gifts. But let’s hold on for a second. If your teamwork in parenting isn’t aligned, that’s got to be fixed first. If the teamwork in your home isn’t happening to the level you believe, God would want you to have it and you think would be most fruitful and most glorifying, don’t start going to do something else together. That is priority number one. And once you have that dialed and it’s going well, not perfect. No one’s ever perfect, but once it’s going well, you’re a team, you’re aligned and your parenting approach and things like that. That’s why we did the Parenting Mentor program, by the way. It helps with us, but getting aligned in doing that, that is most important. Don’t now go, Oh, we’re going to serve over here together.

Start another business over here. Meanwhile, kids are all struggling and then your marriage is like the fighting source is always around parenting stuff like guys Isaacs 100%, right. Like the first mission that God has given you guys together to work on as a team is your family is the kids that God has given you. And you’ve got to get that right first in your home, just like we teach our kids. Like they got to get friendship right with their siblings first before they’re going out and have another siblings. Like that is something our kids have heard over and over and over again since they were very, very little. It’s the same thing with your marriage. You’ve got to get your parenting right and be a solid rock as a family before you’re doing adding on extra stress of doing something.

By the way, I would have never encouraged Angie to write a book ever unless our marriage was aligned, unless we were doing well, unless our parenting was going well and we were using each other’s strengths and understanding where weak and making up for that and being a team together. If that wasn’t, if we weren’t going to church, if we weren’t reading the Bible, or if our if our home wasn’t in order, there is no way I would have encouraged her. Even if I would have, she would have gone, No way. We’ve got to get this right. And so we both need to have that priority, like that distinction line in the sand. Our family has to be strong first and foremost, or we’re not doing other things together.

And I think that this is something that needs to be modeled because you need to realize that everything that you do in your marriage is modeling for your kids for the next generation of what they’re going to expect, what they’re going to desire, what they’re going to do when they are married. And so if you want a strong legacy and you want your kids to have a strong marriage, it starts with your marriage. It starts with how you parent together. Right. And so, you know, you guys, this is one of the things is that a lot of times people they when they think about the life that they want together, especially young people. Right. They think about all of the material things that they potentially want to gain or own that could create more freedom in the future. We used to be like that.

Endless travel and the seeing the turquoise water.

Somewhere. Yeah, yeah. Or having the cabin over there and the this over, you know. Okay, can I just say that the more things that you have, the more you have to take care of those things. And they are just things, They are not eternal souls. So we need to have perspective. I know I’m bringing a hammer down on things, but the truth is, is like we need to be able to steward the things that we have well, and that includes the children that we have. We need to steward those relationships well. And so if if we’re not able to do that, there’s something called delayed gratification that we need to practice with ourselves so that we don’t overwhelm our families, we don’t overwhelm our marriages with too many things. The reason why I’m bringing this up is because when you’re planning together and you’re looking at your different gifts and you’re like wanting to figure this out, there is an important lesson that you also like. Aside from studying each other’s gifts, you need to also study the season of life that you are in and make wise decisions that are not going to be overloading your young family or putting you guys in a position that maybe is four in ten years from now when you’re more qualified to do it or when it’s easier and not going to be so hard on your kids. This is something that we have practiced. It’s something we’ve learned the hard way in different times. And so I just cannot reiterate enough how important it is to both study your gifts, but also in your spouses, but also study the season that you’re in. So when you’re planning, you need to have realistic expectation of your life and go, Hey, you know what? This is a really good goal. This is a good dream, but maybe it’s not for right now. Maybe that’s four in ten years from now. Get this.

Five years. Get your seasons dialed in. Right. Hebrews 1024 through 25 is really a signature verse about church gathering. But we’re going to also talk about this in terms of marriage, because, of course, that is is so important. Right. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day drying near.

I just thought of something when you were reading that honey. It is for churches and for the gathering together. But hello. How you can’t exhort people to do that on a larger scale in the body of Christ if you’re not doing it in your own home.

Well, that’s right. The qualifications for elders and deacons is having your home completely in order and being able to see the fruit of their parenting.

Can I just say, when he says completely in order, it doesn’t mean that there’s, like, no crumbs on the floor.

That’s right.

Yeah. I’m just.


Have your house in order. Maybe not complete having your house in order. So it’s it’s so important. It is a requirement and, you know, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You know, I think the big message here is have dreams and hopes for things that God can use through your marriage. But if things aren’t good with the parenting and marriage alignment and things like that at home, work super hard on that because we want to be examples of what we would hope for our kids someday.


And I would say dream with your kids about it too. You know, like appreciate your spouse in front of your kids so that they start seeing those character qualities that you you value in their in your spouse because they can become part of their like quiet list that they have for what they’re looking for in a spouse when they get older. Well, thank you guys so much for joining us today. As we were talking about making your marriage team again. I hope you guys were encouraged. Thanks so much for joining us. See you next time. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to courageous parenting and courageous mom dot com for free online workshops, blog posts, and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program. Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible, self paced program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private online group, live Webcasts and the courageous parenting text message line where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragements straight to your phone.

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentor program, secure your spot now at courageous parenting dot com that’s courageous parenting dot com.


Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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