Marriage Tips as we reflect on 21 Years together – Part 1

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Episode Summary

We share the things we consistently did well over the last 21 years of marriage that have made the biggest impact. We have a thriving marriage today and regardless of where your marriage is at these insights are sure to help. In part one of this two-part series, you will get the first seven tips that can help you right now.

Join our conversation as we reflect on 21 years of marriage, sharing the most important things we consistently did that led to a thriving marriage relationship. This is part one of a two-part series that is sure to encourage your marriage but more importantly give you practical tips you can use right now.

In This Episode We Cover:

  1. Date night
  2. Never use the word divorce
  3. Don’t let the identity of your marriage become wrapped up in the kids
  4. Prioritize family over business and ministry
  5. Do projects together
  6. Have fun together
  7. Seek the Kingdom together
  8. Weekly Tip and Date Night One Sheet SUBSCRIBE HERE

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Scripture In This Episode:

Genesis 2:24 – “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 –To everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to gain, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

Luke 12:29 – “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.”

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Thank you for being part of this movement to equip 1 million families and their legacies with Biblical truth to raise confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Full Transcript:

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 in a fallen world.

Welcome back to the podcast. Hey, you guys. It’s that time of week and we’ve got something for you, a two-part series.

That’s right. So, you guys, a few weeks ago, Isaac and I celebrated 21 years of marriage, and we really wanted to do a podcast that was focused on reflections, things that we’ve learned, marriage wisdom.

We were going to do it right near our anniversary, but there were some other episodes that had to come out, unfortunately. Right. But they were good. And but now we’re getting to the content that we most care about.

That’s right. And so we’re really excited to be sharing with you guys tips for a thriving marriage, things that we’ve learned.

And we’re going to do a little reminiscing, maybe share some stories with you to be very practical, because as you look back over 21 years, of course, from just thinking about, oh, what are what’s marriage advice comes up to us, we give him advice. But if we reflect on the 21 years looking back, what are the best decisions we made that we’re so thankful we made those decisions?

Yes.

Or even habits of habit we did regularly that have yielded the most fruitfulness in our marriage and trickled down to our kids and our family. Yeah, those were the ones we’re giving.

Yeah. So we’re really excited to jump in. But before we do, we just wanted to remind you that there are a bunch of resources at CourageousParenting.com and we’re going to list them in today’s show notes, which you can find on the website right now. And so some of those resources are the Parenting Mentor program, which we have another one getting ready to start six weeks self-paced program. That’s right. And so you guys can find out about that on our main home page. We also have the home schooling blueprint.

Just about a thousand people have benefited from that, that I can’t believe how successful and helpful that’s been for people.

So I just realized saying homeschool blueprint, people might not realize that this is a self-paced course also that has six main teaching videos in it that are great for people who are starting, but also really important encouragement and reevaluation for people who have been homeschooling a long time.

And it’s just way discounted because it launched during covid. And I’ve been meaning to go raise the price, but we’ve been so busy so so take advantage of that. Isaac has enough time on his hands to actually do that because it should really be more at six and a half hours of curriculum. It’s a 45 page workbook. It totally should cost more.

Yeah, it’s only. How much is it. Fifty nine dollars. So supercheap. And then we also have the Christian postpartum course and my book reading Childbirth. And there’s other stuff as well. You can find out about that one at CourageousMom.com. So we have a lot of resources for you guys. We just want you to know that those are there for your support and your encouragement because they also help us do the ministry.

We’re full time. Our mission to impact one million legacies and praise God that donations are coming in right now. You guys know why it’s so important and so helpful and so you can do that at CourageousParenting.com/Donate. And if you share it on social media or tagged in anything or promoted the podcast or anything like that, I just know you are part of the one million legacy movement and thank you.

Awesome. OK, so let’s dive in. Yeah. The first thing that’s been kind of a routine, I’m going to call it a routine or habit. I like routine better. We have been going on date nights since we actually were dating I and it never stopped dating my wife.

I just love it. She is my favorite person to go hang out with and I can’t wait to do it. And sometimes I just go, hey, let’s go.

I know he does. It’s actually great. But we have I mean, we’ve had seasons where we had little kids, we’ve had seasons where we’ve had older kids that we’re able to help and babysit built-in babysitters. Yeah. And so we get that it can be difficult at times to get away. Yeah. And so we just we wanted to encourage you guys to look up the podcast that’s on unique date night ideas because we actually went over a lot of really great ideas, that podcast. Yeah. And also we have a date night, one sheet that would be free for people if they wanted to have more purposeful Visioneering date night, which they can get when they become a subscriber on our website. CourageousParenting.com

Yeah, so but but date nights, really, that wasn’t something that was like a hugely known thing to do back then, but we just continued after we got married and it really was a source for me that helped me to remember that I was Angie and I was still the girl that Isaac fell in love with all those years ago.

Because don’t you sometimes get a little different when you’re not with your kids?

I mean, we’re the same people, but like when you’re not getting interrupted, when you’re able to just sit and think for a while and have deep conversations for a long time, like you remember who you are. And that is so, so important. Yeah. For your spouses to remember who you are, you guys, you got to be intentional.

It speaks volumes to your wife when you plan something, when you say, hey, let’s go and nothing’s planned and you figure out why you’re out there. Just the initiative of wanting to spend a long time with your wife and showing that and arranging the sitter or whatever you got to do ahead of time when you take it upon yourself to do that. Now, I didn’t always initiate the sitter. You did sometimes, but. Yeah. Take as much initiative as you can to want to show that desire your wife to go out. Hey, let’s get a date tonight. And could you get a sitter, figure that out or whatever?

Speaking of sitters, I’ve gotten a lot of questions whenever we brought update in just about babysitters. And I just want to again point you to the podcast. We did a whole episode on standards that you should have for a babysitter and how to find them. So go look that one up. I think it was at the end of season one. But number two on our list was something that we talked about during premarital counseling. And I think that it’s made a massive impact on us. And I know for sure it’s been a positive thing for our kids not to hear this.

Yeah, we made a choice not to say we never said this word, the D word divorce.

Now, it’s kind of a rule. It was like, you know, how when you’re when you’re in a game, there’s rules. Right. And so when we got first when we first got married, we were about to get married. We kind of came up with some some fair play rules. And that was one of them that we were never going to use that word against each other to talk about.

Yeah. You know, in anger or anything like that. It’s never been said in our vocabulary in communicating to each other about each other or our marriage. And we made that commitment the beginning and we’ve kept to that. And you might go, well, that seems simple. We have to praise God. But I know that sometimes when people are emotional and angry, people get beside themselves and say things they don’t truly mean. But there’s a little bit of truth, actually, in everything we say, even if we don’t mean it because the other person hears it and it it creates a little bad some little little bad seeds that create wedges in relationship. And you don’t want to do that. And by the way, I know that sometimes divorce happens and happens to good people and some people we love, we have some close friends, even though even people here in the Courageous Parenting Mentor Program who have been there are situations where it’s unavoidable actually for certain people.

So but those same people would also agree that they know that it’s not God’s design for marriage. I just wanted to clarify. Yeah. So we have a couple of verses as to why we believe this and that. You’ve probably heard them at weddings many times. Genesis 2:24. Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh.

And then Mark ten nine says, therefore, what God has joined together let not man separate.

And those are two obvious like wedding verses that are usually taught on in depth at weddings.

But that is really like the core reason why we were like, well, why would let’s not even make that be an option for us. So that’s just one good game rule that you could put into your marriage. You could talk about it on your date night.

Yeah. And point number three is don’t let the identity of your marriage become wrapped up in the kids.

That’s when you don’t even realize that you’ve made an idol out of your kids or parenting or maybe you’ve just not purposed to keep your marriage in the proper priority list to where you don’t actually invest in your marriage very much. And then the only thing you ever talk about is kids, kids, kids.

And then when you’re empty nesters, you don’t know what to talk about because you’ve only been talking about maintenance talk or the kids. Yeah.

And you look at each other and you go, I don’t I don’t even know you anymore. Yeah, right. Or like what what do we have to do together. Like, what fun thing do we want to do together. we’ve not done anything.

It’s literally your responsibility to stay in love with your wife, to stay in love with your husband.

You have to work hard to make the choice. Yeah. And I, I think that this is so critical because when people get older, a lot of times they just look at each other and they don’t they don’t really know why they’re married anymore. And if you want to have a thriving marriage, you have to, like, enjoy one another. You have to pursue one another. You have to study one another. You have to choose to love one another forgive one another, all those things. But really, what it comes down to is protecting your identity of your marriage from becoming something that it’s not. Yeah. Over time. And part of that is by keeping your priorities in order OK. Number four.

Yeah. Prioritize family over business in ministry. This one I think is crucial. Everybody’s going to say, I do probably or most people would say, well, of course I prioritize. Well, just because you love something more doesn’t mean your actions actually prioritize it over another thing. So let’s just get that straight first. Yeah. So when when it really comes down to it, is family the top priority over ministries, family, a top priority over business or career or job? And it’s really important because if if it’s not, you’ll love the family more, but you’ll sacrifice it consistently and ever more for something where maybe you get more accolades from or maybe you the world gives you more value for it. Sometimes just volunteering. Doesn’t it feel good when you volunteer and you help people? Some. That feels better than digging in with the family. That doesn’t mean you don’t volunteer, but not at the sacrifice of the family and keep ing that a priority. And we’ve done a really good job at this, I would say, over 21 years. There’s periods of time where there’s really out of balance. For example, when I had a struggling startup company and lots of employees and, you know, we’re facing financial challenges and these kinds of things. And I worked way too much. And even though in my mind, my family is a higher priority, my actions to ensure that for a few years and that was a really hard season and it affected our marriage and it affected my role as father, and I regret it. And so are there seasons to work really hard? Yes, but you got to put an expiration date on them and you better hit it. OK, superimportant can’t it shouldn’t be too too long, right?

You don’t keep extending the expiration date over and over again. I mean, you want to have grace with one another, but try to find ways to involve your family in it if you’re building a business.

I mean, that’s something that we’ve been really busy doing with my kids to conferences and past kinds of having them involved in the hospitality. When Dad’s bringing people home from work, that’s what we did in the home. Right. So there was a lot there’s a lot of opportunities where you can still be proactively keeping the kids involved and engaged and pursuing those relationships, even when you’re doing business, when you have something that’s really intense that you need to build because there are seasons for that. But I think that for me, like with ministry, I even made that mistake with getting too involved. There is one point where I was either attending or leading or running six different ministries at one time. And how many little kids? I mean, we had just had me and so we had three kids under four. And honestly, it was just way too much. And I got super convicted about it. And I share about this in a different podcast.

But a good point on that is just because you’re capable, just because you’re able, doesn’t mean you should, right.

Because there wasn’t any issues going on. It just was like I actually chose to stop before there were issues because I didn’t want to disqualify myself from ministry when I was older, knowing that God’s words very clear about what the qualifications are for Titus to mentors and for people who are considered elders and elder qualified. And so I didn’t want you disqualified. He didn’t want me disqualified. And I knew that I wasn’t in the season that God was calling me to do that. And one of the verses that was super convicting to me is in Ecclesiastes three that says to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted like we were in the season of life where we were supposed to be discipling like I. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be discipling other people. Primarily I was supposed to be primarily first discipling my kids. I couldn’t do both because they were so little and had physical needs in a different kind of way than they do when they’re older. Yeah. And so and that’s part of God’s design. That’s why he has Titus 2 very clear that the older men are to teach the younger men and the older women are to teach the younger women.

I even remember when I, I stayed elder, but I stepped back in my involvement because I felt like that the things I was doing was with work and everything was sacrificing the family and something had to give. And it’s not going to be my family. It’s just not right.

And so part of it is even like when you’re not able to provide for your family, because the Bible does say it’s worse for an unbeliever than for a man not to provide for his family. So we had to really like look at a lot of things. And we were waiting on the Lord to provide me was. But you have to do the work you’ve committed to do when you’re getting paid.

And I remember that. I remember the hard decisions and then God just validates it afterwards. Like it looks counterintuitive. Sometimes it looks backwards, like, oh, maybe you won’t get a promotion and you’re hustling on this on this path. But how long can you do that? Because what starts to get ingrained in us is habits, a way of being, a willingness to sacrifice. I remember a quote I used to use leaders sacrifice much that is good in order to dedicate themselves to that which is best. That’s, I believe, a John Maxwell quote. And I remember as a young early 20s entrepreneur, I loved that quote. And I remember working really hard and using that both ways. I’d use it on my business, using my family, and I would rationalize whatever I wanted to do with that quote, actually.

And I remember realizing, you know what, no family, no matter what is most important and everything else is going to have to give.

I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already is the date night one. She is a beautiful document you can download that Will has some key questions on it for your date night. Just get in 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 parenting dotcom and subscribing to our mailing lists. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything, at CourageousParenting.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 and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it and you can find out more at CourageousParenting.com.

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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.

And 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 yourself 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 the lights, to be leaders for the next generation. Right. And we really believe that if we kept our priorities straight, God would bless the other things. And he did. Yeah, he did. That doesn’t mean that life’s going to be easy. We’ve had really hard trials in our life for sure. But you know what? He’s walked with them through us and we’ve grown a lot from them. So just be aware of the season you’re in. Are you in post-partum? Do you need to cut back on hospitality for a season? Like, don’t overdo it, know your limits, say no. And hey, you guys, I’m gonna say no. I literally just confessed to someone another day yesterday, actually, a dear friend of mine. She said, Angie, you can say no, you can have a season of rest. And I went, I need to get better at saying no, like I’m still learning this. Yeah. And I think some of us need to have permission to say no sometimes because we want to enjoy the life that we have with our kids. Yeah. We want to not look back on this season as so hurried that we’re not looking at our kids in the eyes and, you know, really engaging them.

I have another I have one last story on this. I remember that kind of the peak of my success when I was younger in business and there was forty people running similar organizations. We were entrepreneurs, but they were seeing what we were doing around the country. And a lot of them were single or had all the time on their hands and worked all hours. And, you know, we’re able to do anything they wanted. Yeah. And I remember, you know, here I am, our fourth one. Angie’s on bed rest with our fourth, I believe. And she’s like, I really need you. And it was just like, OK, I’m going to sacrifice because I know it’s right to be there for Angie. Work way less.

So the first time you did laundry.

Anyway, you can listen to the podcast for time, but that’s a but it’s a funny story.

So anyways, there was this decision and I literally had this thought, I guess family men have to give and they don’t they’re not going to be successful because they can’t just spend all the hours in different time and be as flexible for the business. So I am going to give a certain amount of time, certain part of the days and in the week to the business. And I’m going to dedicate myself to what Angie needs so we can have more kids, because I didn’t want my selfishness or desire for how well our company or our our family was doing financially to sacrifice what God wanted for our family.

And I remember wrestling with that. And I caved. I call it caved. I caved into less success for the family. Now, sometimes that’s true, but then I challenge them. Like, why does it have to be that way? I remember this and I wrestled with that and I go, no, why can’t both exist? Why can’t I be successful and have a thriving family and spend lots of time with them? And I remember it was very counterintuitive and I literally changed the way things were done. I literally changed all kinds of things. And God gave me wisdom for that because he knew I wanted to be obedient. And then the organization went from five to over ten million and what’s never been done and still ever been done in that organization. So and I cut my hours significantly to spend with Angie. So I just want to challenge that sometimes as a give and take. And it does sacrifice some success and sometimes it doesn’t have to if you think differently.

Mm hmm. Very good. So we thought that it would be fun for us to kind of we’re going to kind of mix five and six together because five is building things together and we’re going to spend a little bit of time reminiscing. But yeah, but number six is fun things that we’ve done together. But I just have to say it was hard for me to separate these because I think building things together is fun.

We look back and we’re so glad we did hard things together. We’re so glad we took on projects, we had no idea what we’re doing and and there were way harder than we expected.

That’s right. And they didn’t always show the kind of fruit that we were expecting either.

Right. But we were working together. There was the biggest fruit. The biggest win was our marriage was nurtured because we went through tests because we just didn’t stay comfortable. We’re constantly pushing the envelope in the things that we’re doing together and that has kept us really strong and I relish that. So building things together with some of the things we built.

Well, you guys, OK, so we’ve been married 21 years now, but before we were married, we actually met because we worked together. Isaac was my manager. He hired me. Yeah.

And you’re a summer job. I was six weeks to work technically on summer job too, except I was running the business and she came in and worked with me and that was incredible. I wasn’t a believer and she was, she just got back from Turkey. That’s a whole nother story of how I came to know the Lord. I think we do share and one of the episodes. But that was an interesting summer. You worked for about six weeks, did a great job, went back to school in Canada. I went back to school in the States and.

Yeah, and then I think so then you got saved. And then the next summer we worked together to to open a year round office because you had graduated college and we were getting married at the end of the summer.

You were my assistant manager. Nobody knew we were getting married. That was fun. Yeah. And we worked really, really hard together that summer. And we’re able to pay for a lot of the wedding and things from that.

We worked really hard and I was going to summer school and planning a wedding at the same time as helping build a business. And you guys, I mean, we we worked really hard. We were up early. We were up late. Working, working. Yeah. But we were on a mission together. And we found out very quickly that we worked well together, which was kind of a good boot camp for our marriage. Not perfectly. There were times. Yeah, yeah. For sure. And then then we started a family and we started a family pretty quickly because we we ideally wanted to wait a couple of years. But the Lord blessed us with Kelsey. A few months after getting married, we found out we were married September. We found out just the day we got our Christmas tree in December, we found out that we were pregnant and I got really, really sick. And so it made it really hard. I was lonely. Isaac was still working, building the business, working really hard, working really hard. How hard? Let’s just say it. How many was working?

I was working seven days a week. I took Sun first half of Sunday off to go to church and all that premarital counseling before church. I was so tired and then church and then time after church. And then I would go to work Sunday night and then we got married.

There was no premarital counseling, obviously, but we were still taking that morning off for church. Oh, right. Right, yeah. And then and then the business, because of how it worked, you had to work on Sunday night.

I didn’t have leaders developed yet to help me run things, so I had to do that.

And my best assistant manager was now home and we were still young and figuring out things in our faith and different things like that would not recommend that. It’s really important that you have a day of rest. And we’ve learned that over the years. Right. We’ve also learned we’ve learned a lot of things. It was about six months of working, seven days a week. And then so during that time, I was really lonely and we were starting a family in the sense of me being pregnant. And I missed being in the office. So Isaac would invite me to be a part of as much as I could. I would come to team meetings, yeah, team night outs. And I, I’d bring cookies. And I was like the I was like the the mom that came into the office.

Yeah. And I think because of that, the stability of our marriage or teamwork, even though she wasn’t active in the business doing any position in the business, she had a position that was respected because I gave her so much respect for one of all my leaders and so forth, and she would come over or that all my leaders would come over or a few of them at 10:00 at night at times, and she would serve enchiladas. And they were excited to talk to. Yeah, they wanted they saw she was intelligent and I really built her up to them.

And and it helped to that. I had done the business with you for a while because they they knew that they knew I had been a top rep and then I had been an assistant manager. And and so like there was this element to of I had done bookkeeping and helped train other people.

And so so so I think that really helped me make progress in two years running, Washington, Oregon, getting promoted and just our marriage. And so we really looked at this as marriage should be a catalyst towards business success and business should be a catalyst towards marriage success. And if it’s not, you’re doing something wrong or you’re doing the wrong business.

Well, and I would say, too, I know that for us, like when we say the word success, our definition is probably very different than what most people would think of as success.

I we’ve used the word growth like marriage growth should create business growth in business growth should create marriage growth. And that really is what we experienced really truthfully. And and that actually became a huge ministry for us. So like then later as we were having kids. We would be able to go I go to conferences with you sometimes, sometimes I’d have a baby with me and I’d be able to minister to the significant others of other people that were there.

And it became much more about less about us and about the business and more about God and incorporating him into it.

And then on the side, we built a coaching company with the marriage seminars and, you know, and coaching.

Yeah, all that. Yep. And then we also flipped a condo and our first house. And then that helped us to buy the Damascus house, which we fully remodeled. Now that was a project that was a huge project. Forty two hundred square feet, full remodel, new kitchen, new floors, every bathroom, new bathroom, siding for bathroom knocking huge walls out.

Yeah, fire, all fireplaces redone, all electrical.

I mean, it was a huge, huge project, exciting paint, but so much fun. And we were crazy like, OK, so we’re reminiscing on twenty one years and I’m thinking, OK, I was pregnant with our fourth. Yeah, we were doing this remodel and then we bought 21 baby chickens, chicks and a puppy, a black lab puppy which a crate trained all while I’m pregnant. And we’re, I mean that’s just how we are, right. We’ve just been running a mile a minute, but it’s been an adventure, you know, and that was my first experience in construction, not necessarily swinging a hammer.

Of course, I did a little bit of that for fun, but mostly I hired people and managed the projects and that set up my little card table, was doing my normal business, but just there to make decisions and kind of keep an eye on things and all that stuff.

And you loved it. And then a few years after living there, we decided to plant the vineyard. Yeah. Which was a whole nother project. So this is right after Luke was born. In fact, I have pictures where he’s like five or six weeks old. He’s in the front pack. I’m hauling a hose. And here we are planting twelve hundred and eighty three plants and cultivating a vineyard, which I knew that we’re all under seven viticulture or anything. No, no. We had to find a mentor. We hired him into our vineyard viticulture mentors. We called him and we had five kids under seven and they were all helping. We did it all as a family and it was the best weekend we ever spent with the kids and planting the plants. Yeah, really, it still goes down in history in their minds, but it like a seven year project. Yeah. Oh yeah. So we planted all these vines in one weekend.

Twelve hundred and eighty, some eighty three. Yep. I have the the exact numbers on the detail lady.

Yeah. It was incredible.

We went out to dinner afterwards and we’re so exhausted but we looked each other in the eyes and we’re like oh we did something together.

Yeah.

All of the kids we got like bananas and special little drinks for them, you know, and they’re like, oh, we worked so hard for this with the best. So building things together.

Now what we build might be totally different than what you build together. You guys, you know, you might do art together, right?

I mean, or play tennis together, history together now. Right. The podcast is a new thing that we’ve built in the last two years, the parenting program. So, yeah, there are so many different things that you could do. But we also like to have fun. Now, obviously, you guys are going, OK, so that was all that you built together, but that sounds like fun. You guys are talking about it and reminiscing and it was fun. But we also have loved doing specific things that were just for fun, like traveling together.

Oh yeah. Traveling has been amazing.

We’ve been to France, Italy, um, London and Prague. Spain, yes. Argentina, Mexico. Why many times Canada.

I mean, we’ve been all over the United States to you guys. I think we’ve seen forty eight of the states. I think there’s only two we haven’t seen. Yeah. So we have to make it to those last two on our trip. Maybe but but we have enjoyed international traveling. Just Isaac and I. Sometimes we take a baby with us. Yeah. We took Luke with us to the Czech Republic and that was just awesome. He was like the perfect baby in Spain and everywhere. Anyways, we had so much fun on that trip.

My favorite, by the way, is Italy. I just love Italy. That was really cool. I love that they take a few hours in the afternoon to just sit and drink coffee. Yeah, I love that. We need to, like, institute that here.

Well, you guys, we’ve also we’ve also enjoyed just dreaming together, like having date nights where we’re able to dream doing hospitality and then RV trips with the kids camping paddleboarding. Yeah. Going on date nights where we’re rafting down the river. Yeah. Just done so many different things.

We even have gone to the shooting range, which is not my favorite thing to do. Painting pottery.

That was not your favorite thing to do. But I loved it thanks for going with me.

Yeah, but so sometimes guys, you want to do something that your spouse, you know, really likes to do that you maybe don’t want to do is to just go in and see a movie dinner or whatever.

Yeah. Yeah. Spontaneous, yes. So weekend trips just us. Lots of stuff like that. So it’s important to have fun. We’ve we’re thankful for that. We’re thankful that we built things together. And I think you’ve got to really look at that. And you know what? We’ve had different periods of time where we can afford different things. You can’t afford things. And one of the things ten years ago, we bought the RV because we. We had a growing big family and man, we want to be able to be spontaneous and go places, but we also felt like a responsibility to be able to maneuver our family, to take care of them, to take care of them, even if there’s challenging times ahead.

So we were thinking, which was interesting because we’ve used it for that. For example, just a few years ago, with all of the smoke from the fires that was there, we had to evacuate because we lived in a really old ranch house and the smoke was coming in and our kids were literally coughing up ash. So we evacuated central Oregon.

We piled them all an RV and we went to a little pocket towns and spent time with family and got away from the smoke. And then now I mean, we’ve had to do that even here, right? Yeah. So I would say that, you know, you don’t always know what what blessings are going to come from the decisions that you make. But we know for sure that we we’re now that we have hindsight, it’s fun to have hindsight. Yeah.

It’s fun to be able to look back on twenty one years, I think a combo of those two things, as we’ve always wanted to not live with regrets. So we tend to proactively make decisions knowing that if we don’t just do it. Here’s the key thing someone once said, if not now, then when. And I think that I’m like, oh, I want to get everything dialed. I need this certain amount saved first or these things. And there’s some prudence to that. Prudence is good, right? But at the same time, if not now, then when a lot of times it’s about our decision making that allows things not to happen. Yeah. And then they don’t ever happen. Yeah.

It’s good. So the seventh principle, and then we’re going to end with you guys with this episode, is that to have a thriving marriage, you need to seek the kingdom of God together.

I have a verse here in Luke 12:29, that says, and do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink nor have an anxious mind. Whoa. Does that not apply to these uncertain times nor have an anxious mind for all these things the nations of the world seek after. And your father knows that you need these things, but seek the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you. I would just encourage you to read up higher. I don’t have time to dig into that now, but chapter 12:22-34 is just phenomenal. Also talks about where your treasure is there. Your heart will also be you guys. This particular passage is about seeking the kingdom, seeking God first.

And I think that that is such a key element for a thriving marriage, because if you’re seeking him first, all the things that you could dream of, even in a marriage, those things will be added to you if you’re both seeking the kingdom.

Right, because you’re going to be seeking to love one another, you’re going to be seeking to forgive one, are going to be seeking all the things that are kingdom minded. Yeah. Things that God calls us to as believers that are really for really for our own good, actually.

Yeah. And so we just want to encourage you guys with that seventh principle. And then our next podcast, we’re going to go over the next eight things that are going to wrap up what we’ve learned over the years and what we look back and go, wow, we’re so glad we did that consistently.

Yes. In our marriage, because it’s led to fruitfulness 21 years later. So thanks for joining us.

See you next time. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode.

For more resources, go to CourageousParenting.com And CourageousMom.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 package 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 Webcast and the courageous parenting text message line. Where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone.

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

That’s CourageousParenting.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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