– [Aaron] Hey, we’reAaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.
– [Jennifer] Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.
– [Aaron] And today we’re on part six of the Marriage After God series and we’re gonna be talkingwith Tom and Heidi Celaya about the importance ofChristian fellowship.
(upbeat music) Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast where we believe thatmarriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.
– [Jennifer] I’m Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife.
– [Aaron] And I’m Aaron, alsoknown as Husband Revolution.
– [Jennifer] We had beenmarried for over a decade.
– [Aaron] And so far, wehave four young children.
– [Jennifer] We have beendoing marriage ministry online for over seven years throughblogging and social media.
– [Aaron] With thedesire to inspire couples to keep God at thecenter of their marriage, encouraging them towalk in faith every day.
– [Jennifer] We believethat Christian marriage should be an extraordinaryone, full of life.
– [Aaron] Love.
– [Jennifer] And power.
– [Aaron] That can only befound by chasing after God.
– [Jennifer] Together.
– [Aaron] Thank you forjoining us in this journey as we chase boldly after God’swill for our life together.
– [Jennifer] This is Marriage After God.
– [Aaron] We just want toinvite everyone that’s listening to leave a review.
That helps other people find the podcast.
It’s how iTunes works, it’show all the podcast apps work.
A review helps us get reach.
And also if you would liketo support this podcast, we’d love to inviteyou to go to our store, shop.
com, and pick up a copy of our new book, Marriage After God.
It’s what this whole series is about.
It’s our newest book and we’re excited to get it into your hands.
– [Jennifer] Okay.
So Tom and Heidi, thank you somuch for being with us today.
– [Heidi] Thanks for having us guys.
– [Jennifer] People don’t know this, but we’ve been friendsfor a really long time.
What is it like nine or 10 years? – [Heidi] Nine years, actually this month.
– [Jennifer] Crazy.
Okay, so why don’t youjust share a little bit about who you guys are, howlong you’ve been married, and how many kids youhave, what you do for work, that kind of thing.
– [Tom] Yeah, I guessthis is my part, she said.
So, we’re Tom and Heidi.
We’ve been married 11years and three months, four months, October of ’07.
So we just yesterday passedour 14th dating anniversary, which she made me feel like garbage ’cause I didn’t get her anything and she got me a couple things.
– [Heidi] I did not.
– [Aaron] You’re like, Ididn’t know we were celebrating our dating anniversary– – [Heidi] I was at Sam’s Cluband got him a pair of shorts.
– [Tom] Yeah, I didn’tknow we were celebrating.
And you got me cookies as well.
But anyways, we have two kids, a nine-year-old daughter, eight-year-old son.
And yeah, we’ve been living in our home currently for five years, and I’m in medical sales for a job and Heidi runs the house here and handles our crazy kids.
So yeah, we’re kind of a normal, somewhat normal family I think.
– [Jennifer] Awesome.
Okay you guys, we’re gonna gointo our icebreaker question, which, Aaron, you want to .
– [Aaron] Yeah.
What is one of yourfavorite memories of us from our friendship over the years? – [Heidi] Oh man.
– [Tom] I don’t know.
– [Jennifer] ‘Cause there’s so many.
– [Aaron] ‘Cause all of your memories are your favorite of us.
– [Tom] Right, that’s the whole– – [Woman] Yes.
– [Tom] I’ve got a few.
I don’t know exactly which oneI would say my favorite is.
– [Jennifer] I feel like whenwe think about this question, I was telling Aaron, all the late nights, all the late nights wespent at your guys’ island eating ice cream and justchatting and laughing.
– [Aaron] They don’t own an island.
Their kitchen island.
– [Heidi] Yep.
(laughing) Thank you.
I didn’t understand what she was– – [Tom] I was gonna say, one of my, one of the ones I thinkof and laugh about, because I think it’s disgusting, is the fact that we would go get ice cream and you would get a shakeor a malt with half and half instead of, like, low fatter.
I remember just thinking just, oh my gosh, that’s disgusting, I can’tbelieve he’s drinking that.
And we would probably– – [Aaron] Yeah, what was it? Circus animal ice cream? – [Tom] Yes.
– [Heidi] Yes, with half and half.
– [Aaron] With half and half.
Half and half cream– – [Tom] In Clairemont, yeah.
And you would just, you loved it and you would feel a littlesick afterwards, but it was, we were always just laughingabout it for a long time.
– [Aaron] It was so worth it though.
– [Jennifer] I thinkthat’s really abnormal.
I don’t think a lot of people would relate to you on that, Aaron.
– [Tom] No.
– [Heidi] No.
– [Aaron] You’re makingme, I want one right now.
(laughing) – [Heidi] I think my most– – [Aaron] That’s a good memory– – [Heidi] Story of you two is how we were kind of desperate for friends, married couple friends, and when we met you at Fuse kind of offering, hey, if you guys ever want, we are about 20 minutes away, but we’d love to have you over for dinner.
And you actually took us upon the offer and I think– – [Tom] A lot– – [Heidi] What was it, three to four times a week over at my house, and I loved it.
I think when you throw out that, hey, we should have you guys over sometime, it never really everhappens and you kind of feel a little bit hurt that theydidn’t take you up on the offer, but to have you guystake us up on the offer and for us to get soclose and dive so deep into both of our marriageswas definitely my favorite because I mean, we bothput ourselves out there and opened up so much that– – [Aaron] Yeah, we loved that– – [Heidi] It couldn’thave happened otherwise.
– [Jennifer] And I think wewere in a place in our marriage where we really needed it too.
So I think that’s really cool.
– [Aaron] We definitely were, yeah.
That’s what thisepisode’s about, actually.
– [Jennifer] Yeah, thisepisode is all about friendship and fellowship and so we’regonna dive into a quote from Marriage After God from this chapter.
– [Aaron] And it’s walking in autonomy is not only dangerous for your marriage, it is also rebellious.
Our relationship withChrist cannot be separate from our relationshipwith other believers.
– [Heidi] So true.
– [Aaron] Yeah, so that’sfrom chapter six of our book, Marriage After God, andthe chapter title’s called Walking Autonomously Doesn’t Work.
And when we thought aboutwho we can interview for this episode, youguys were the first people that we thought of because in our life when we needed fellowship the most and when we were afraid of it the most, we found you guys and you found us.
– [Jennifer] Well, yeah, I was gonna say, it was that you guyswrapping your arms around us and inviting us to your tableat that marriage bible study, which Heidi mentionedearlier, it’s called Fuse.
That was a turning pointin our relationship and our marriage, andit just stands out to us and I think it forever will.
And I’m just really excited about this because other peoplelistening will be able to hear your guys’ side of the story because if they read Unveiled Wifeor if they’re gonna read Marriage After God, we mention you guys and we mention your impact in our lives surrounding fellowshipwith other believers.
And yeah– – [Aaron] Have they readwhat we wrote about them yet? – [Jennifer] No.
But now you’re here and theyget to hear from you guys.
So I love that.
– [Aaron] Awesome.
And you guys haven’t readthe chapter yet, right? – [Tom] No.
– [Heidi] No.
– [Aaron] Okay, good.
(laughing) It’s all good stuff, I promise.
– [Jennifer] Okay, sospeaking of that night at Fuse where we showed up, ourmarriage was in turmoil and we were just lookingfor that last ditch effort, kind of like, what are we doing? We step into this bible study, there’s a lot of marriages and people there greeting one another and we’re like freaking out on the inside.
Kind of look at each otherlike, let’s get out of here.
– [Aaron] It was terrifying.
Walking into that bigold, a huge open room, and how many peoplewere there when we came? It was like probably– – [Heidi] Probably 600.
– [Tom] No, no.
Probably about 350.
– [Heidi] You think so? – [Tom] Yeah.
– [Aaron] Yeah, 350 people.
It was a lot.
It wasn’t as full as it got, but it was pretty full when we came.
– [Tom] Yeah.
– [Jennifer] And anyways, we were trying to sneak out.
We were trying to find a wayto just walk back out the doors and Tom comes up and stickshis arms around Aaron and I and he’s like, hey, you guys new? – [Aaron] I remember gettingstartled by it actually.
‘Cause we were walking backwards, which I know is– – [Heidi] And he’s nota small guy either, so, big old mitts on your shoulders.
– [Jennifer] So you guysbrought us to your table and that was kind of the beginning of our friendship together.
So Tom, you’ve mentionedthat Aaron’s appearance at the time, he had plugs inhis ears, he had a beard and– – [Aaron] Yeah, tattoos on my wrist.
– [Jennifer] Not the typical guy you would have beenfriends with back then.
But can you just share, what was going throughyour mind at that moment? – [Tom] Yeah, let’s state for the record, clearly I’m not a very judgmental person.
At least I don’t thinkthough, but yeah, at the time, just, here’s .
I am the non-talkative one ofHeidi and I’s relationship.
To be very clear, Heidi lovesthe talking and doesn’t stop.
So, and that’s just not my style.
And so God has placed us in this marriage, which is a story in and of itself or in this marriage ministrywhere we took over this table at this marriage group, and he just blessed it.
It became a huge group ofprobably around 30 people, so about 15 couples, and they really, what they wanted was 10 couplesor 10 people at each table, five couples.
And so we were big and itwas, it’s something I loved.
Most of those people arestill friends to this day, but it was a lot for me andjust how I like to operate, so yeah, I look up thatnight and see these two.
And we are also one of theyounger tables there at the time.
– [Aaron] Yeah, I remember that.
– [Tom] Seeing you guyswalk in, I was like, oh gosh, they’re our age group.
They’re probably our lifeexperiences as of right now, whether it’s young kids or no kids and some are looking over thereand thinking, uh, no thanks.
I don’t know this girlwho is an all American gal is standing next to this guywho’s got plugs in his ear– – [Aaron] A little weird– – [Tom] Short hair, a beard, all these things, I’m looking.
Like I am 100% as I said aminute ago, I’m not judgmental, I was 100% judging and thinking, I would never hang out with that guy.
That gal looks like agreat friend for my wife, but I would never hang out with that dude, we’ve got enough peopleat our table, I’m good.
And there’s those times that God whispers and you’re not sure it’s God, and there’s other timeswhere you just kind of move.
You’re like, what the heck is happening, because I don’t reallywant to be doing this and perfectly honest, that’s what was happening.
Is I just felt the nudge and the pull, and so I got up and walked over and yeah, and you guys were ready to move out.
You actually were on the way out.
– [Aaron] You saw it.
– [Tom] I remember Jen’sface was one of sheer terror, of, oh God, we almost got out of here and this guy just ruined it.
And Aaron’s was moreof a, okay, okay, good.
This, okay, we’ll do it.
– [Aaron] I needed it.
I was, I needed someone tohold my hand in that moment because like, I wantedit, but I didn’t know– – [Tom] Yeah, so wemoved towards the table and that was literally one of those, it changed our life, changed our marriage, and it was one of those things, I’m darn glad I got out ofmy seat and went and did it.
Because not only was that good for us, but I can also speak toothers who have zero desire to include other people or you know, you hear a comment a lot like, I have enough friends or whatnot, which I think is a bad comment to make.
One I’ve probably made my own, but it moved me out of my comfort zone and changed our lives for the better.
– [Jennifer] I love thatyou shared all of that.
And so much of this bookis about saying yes to God in moments like that where he nudges you or he pulls you out of yourchair and you say yes to him and you do it anyways.
And I’m just so you guys know, we still really appreciatethat you did that for us.
– [Aaron] Yeah, and we not only have written about it extensively, but we share the story often and we, a part of the, what wetalk about in this chapter, specifically with whatyou guys did in our life is when you, Tom andHeidi, said Yes to God in that one little moment, which was a series of yeses, becoming the leaders of that table and wherever God had led you before that, you wouldn’t have known backthen what kind of effect, lasting effect it wouldhave in the fact that that one moment would not only turn into a lifetime friendshipand relationship with us, but would also impactthousands and thousands of other marriages and people through your one act of obedience.
– [Tom] Yeah, there’s– – [Aaron] So I, go ahead– – [Tom] We’ve met people, ornot met, I shouldn’t say that.
Actually, we have.
People we’ve met andthen also people we knew that years later we talk to or run into or Heidi meets randomly in a grocery store and like I said, she talks to everybody.
We’re mentioned right, asyou helped our marriage or you were instrumentaland perfectly honest, we did nothing.
We were fools, of sorts, used by God because we didn’t evenknow we had any impact on these people, let alone strangers, but then people we knew years later say, you have no clue what you did for us.
It’s just, it’s humbling, it’s neat, and just to understand thatif you allow God to use you, you have no clue what he’s gonna do.
And probably by the timeHeidi and I are in graves, we’ll have no clue what impact we had.
But that’s what we’re supposed to do, we’re supposed to be usedby God for his greater good.
– [Aaron] Yeah, and I hopethose that are listening right now, and that’s exactly why I wanted to interview these people like you is because people don’t know.
They may think, what can I do? How can God use me? And you simply got up and said hi to us.
Now, it’s lots of laughterand tears after that, but still just that one act of obedience, the fruit from that isexactly what God’s looking for from all of us and that’s, I just love that you highlighted that.
So, man, I’m loving this interview so far.
Is this the one we want to go with? Okay.
So what kind of barriersdo you think keep believers from close fellowshipwith other believers? Because that’s what we had.
We grew in closefellowship with each other.
What do you think itis that stops believers from making that deep connectionand walking in obedience with fellowship with other believers? – [Heidi] Oh, man.
Honestly, I’d have to say pride.
A lot of times, especiallywith social media age, you want to give your best face, you want to show pictures ofyour kids perfectly dressed and their hair perfectlydone and you’ll move things out of the background of the picture just so that way thebackground looks nice.
But I think, unfortunately, I think people don’t wantto share their stink.
They don’t want to say, we’regoing through this issue or I have this deep seated issue or they just don’t wanttheir stuff out there for people to judge or question how perfect they thought their life was.
And I think it’s uncomfortablefor people to let down that wall and share who they really are and share what their marriageis really going through.
– [Jennifer] Yeah, youguys have been really good at being an example ofhow to live transparently with other people, ’causeyou guys were open with us and that opened the flood gates for us to be open with you guysbecause of that example.
And I think it’s soimportant for people to hear, how would you encourage someone to walk transparently with one another? How do you do that? – [Tom] I think there’sanother aspect to it too, is from a good friend who joinedthe group as well that said he was tired of bible studies with people that weren’t like him.
And not necessarily weren’t like him as in same exact life experiences, but as I kind of said with Aaron, looked at him and thought I’dnever hang out with that guy.
He was always turned off by, well, I tried this group, I tried that group, it didn’t work.
All those guys were nerdsor none of those guys played sports or things of that nature.
And there’s a constant, I get that part, but if you’re open toit, you might find that, as I tell my kids, right now in school, you may, there may bedifferences and clicks or different things likethat, but as you get older, those things really do melt away.
And especially if it’s abrother or sister in Christ, you have a really deep bondthat many don’t understand.
But there’s a part to it too, when you hang out withthose who aren’t like you.
For instance, Aaron, when you and I were in the men’sfellowship group together, gosh, you were obviously younger than me, but we were both vastlyyounger than anyone else in that room and just– – [Aaron] Yeah, I remember that.
– [Tom] Stuff that wepicked up from those guys who one was divorced, one was married, he was married but they wereboth from divorced families and kind of had a BradyBunch type of union now.
The things that I learned from that group, including on how not to talk to my wife and ended up actually causingsome stress in my marriage when I told her how Ishouldn’t be talking to you, even though I have been, then all of a sudden she picked up on what a jerk I had been.
– [Aaron] She’s like, yeah, you shouldn’t talk to me like that.
– [Tom] Yeah, it was a totalbackfire move on my part.
But it just, the thingsyou learn from people when you continue to giveit a shot and be open to it.
If you go in with walls, you’regonna come out with walls.
If you go in– – [Aaron] That’s good– – [Tom] Being willing to hear or listen, I think everybody can find that community and like Heidi said, if you’rewilling to lower your walls and lower your pride, you’ll find out everybody’s just as jacked up as you are.
It’s just different levels, ’cause no marriage is perfect.
– [Aaron] Oh, I love that.
And it’s like the, it’sthis idea that recognizing what we do have incommon, which is Christ, and being okay with that beingthe thing that we connect on because that’s what God wants anyway and being able to throw outthose preferences of like, well, I only want to spendtime with this kind of person, which is hard to find the right person.
It’s rare that we have thatkind of relationship, right.
So I love that.
How have you two navigatedbeing a part of fellowship with the body of Christ? – [Jennifer] And maybehow are you currently fellowshipping with other believers? – [Tom] I got nudged, so this one’s mine.
So we no longer attend a church where it’s facilitated by the church.
So we met via a group thatwas facilitated by the church.
And to be honest, thank God for them, they made it easy, right.
Childcare and a buildingand all those things.
So that doesn’t exist wherewe live anymore, and so, and we don’t attend achurch that really has that.
So now it’s become harder work.
It’s no longer the ease of high school, seeing your friends every day and then you become an adult andgo to different colleges or go to different jobs.
It takes work for those relationships, and so that’s where we are now.
It’s a lot of work to continue this.
And so there’s an aspect ofthat that’s more rewarding.
There’s also an aspectthat’s more frustrating.
So we totally get thepart where continuing in this type of ministry orthis type of group is not easy, but it’s so important.
When we take breaks from it, I don’t want to call it a toll because it sounds negativeor like it’s destructive, but the toll it takeson our marriage is seen.
It’s very easily seen in thatwe just don’t vibe as well.
A marriage becomes moredifficult than it has to be when we’re not in fellowship with others.
– [Aaron] So even if it’snot as easy as it was, you guys recognize thatit’s still a necessity and a vital part of your Christian faith is that you must be in fellowship, whatever that looks like.
– [Tom] Yeah, there’s somethingto it when people ask, I work with so manypeople who will ask like, how often do you and Heidifight or what do you do this, or how do you handle this? And yeah, and I explain that to them.
There’s a part where youshare life with others and these can be peoplewho are non Christians.
Just when you share life with others and share your experiences, your victories, your struggles, that’s what we were created for.
And again, if I’m talkingto a non Christian, I don’t have, I throw God in there, but there’s an aspect for them too, that even if you’re nota believer in Christ, if you’re not fellowshippingwith people who help you get better or can takesome of the load off or even just share life with, you’re missing something.
And so, yeah, there’s adefinite need for us every day, if not at least once a week, like a marriage group that we have now, we have to do it orelse there’s just a hole and there’s a window that– – [Aaron] So you’re sayingis it’s just a basic, it’s the way God created us as humans is we need deep human connection, we need deep human relationships and that we can’t just walk autonomously.
And then especially for the believer, we need Christian fellowship to be around other Christians tosharpen us, to grow us.
That’s what I’m hearing you say.
– [Tom] Exactly what I’m saying– – [Aaron] Is that it’snot something we can just, we can’t just throw it out.
Right, that’s what, which iswhat a lot of Christians do.
I use this word autonomous.
A lot of believers aretotally fine with autonomy because that seems easier.
Like, oh, just, you canhave what Heidi said.
You can have this facade and long as you, let’s be cordial andwe’ll be nice and all, we’ll hug on Sundays, but then you’re notallowed to know who I am, you’re not allowed tosee the dirt in my life, you’re not allowed tocall me out on anything, you’re not allowed to knowthat the dark parts of me.
– [Jennifer] How do we grow and mature if we’re not lettingpeople see who we are? – [Aaron] Well, we can’t.
– [Heidi] We don’t.
– [Aaron] That’s the pointis, I don’t want to grow and therefore I don’t tellanyone or show anyone who I am.
– [Jennifer] But a marriageafter God wants to grow.
– [Aaron] Exactly.
– [Jennifer] So a marriage after God’s going to be doing this.
You touched on a point aboutyour church not facilitating that easy fellowship time currently.
And so for people whoare listening right now, what would you say isan action step for them to be an initiator in this, so that they’re not waiting around, waiting for an invitation orwaiting for it to be easy.
What can someone do today? What can a couple do today to– – [Aaron] Be the starters– – [Jennifer] To be the starters of– – [Aaron] Be the initiator.
– [Jennifer] Yeah.
– [Aaron] Do what Tom didand get up and walk over and put his arm around us.
– [Jennifer] Yeah.
– [Tom] Yeah, I think thefirst and easy start for me would be at a churchyou’re at, you obviously, if you don’t, if you go inand out of that building and don’t connect or talk to anybody, you’re doing yourself andthat body a disservice.
So it’d be just connecting very simply with people at the church.
Again, maybe somebody that you have, when you pick up your kids from childcare, obviously there’ssomewhere you can connect.
There’s so many spots to just start there.
The other might be justfriends in general.
And Aaron, you broughtup a point, the autonomy.
There’s something to it, right, where there’s a coupleof good friends of mine who I’m not as extreme as this, but literally don’t liketo talk to somebody.
And it’s funny thoughwhen you ask the question, well, what happens whenyou’re out in public and there’s a Christianconnection of sorts, like somebody mentions somethingor you see somebody praying and somebody mentions it to you.
There’s an instant spark, there’s an instant connection because out in the worldwhen you find somebody who has that fearlessnessof being able to say, yeah, I’m a Christian, orlives it out in front of you, there’s a spark that youautomatically have a bond.
And so at your church, Ithink it’s the easiest spot to have where it’s reachedout, somebody needs somebody or friends that you have nowthat you know are believers.
Talk to them about gettingtogether in a marriage study, whether it be one of your guys’ books, whether it be something on DVD where there’s a series goingon, just starting somewhere or getting together on a bi-weekly basis just to hang, to chat.
Because from that, as youguys know we used to do, we used to have dinners at the house, from that just hanging out, will spur those conversations and start something thatyou can then morph into, hey, why don’t we start getting together on a weekly basis or bi-weekly basis.
– [Aaron] So true.
I’m gonna take one ofyour guys’ strategies.
You guys had an open invitation to us to come over to eat with you guys.
And not everyone is gonna, like you said, not everyone takes you up, but you said, hey, come over.
And we said yes.
So there was times that we went over and you didn’t even knowwe were coming over.
We just, we just texted youwhen we were around the corner.
Was like, hey, hope dinner’s ready.
– [Tom] You guys make it soundlike that’s the exception.
That might’ve been the rule, that it was, you guys popped in a lot, and again, we loved it.
It was not, we do it to people now.
We’ll just show up at their house with ice cream or something.
– [Aaron] They’re like, uh– – [Tom] Yeah, their faces, they’re not happy to see us.
And then it ends up beinga half hour, hour visit and laughing and fun and then we leave, and we’ll get a, hey, thanks for stopping by, even though we showed up at the door.
There’s been many wiveswho looked at me like, what are you doing here? So yeah, it’s– – [Aaron] Yeah.
I think it’s just the, it’s not common for people ’cause we think like, oh no, you don’t want to bother, you don’t want to invadesomeone’s privacy.
You don’t want to.
But I think that’s whatwe’re supposed to do as brothers and sisters.
Now, we don’t want to step over boundaries and be rude and be, butlike actually go into, hey, I’m in theneighborhood, would you love, I’d love to bring you a coffee.
Hey, I’m grabbing adoughnut, you want one? Or a breakfast sandwich or whatever it is, just to spark that.
You guys were a great example of that, opening up your home tous, giving us an invitation to be over and actuallyfollowing through with it and making a meal withus and making it a night.
Like we would stay at your house until two o’clock inthe morning sometimes.
– [Woman] Sometimes we– – [Aaron] This was before kids.
– [Woman] Yeah.
– [Aaron] But yeah, Ithink that’s a great idea.
Just starting where you’reat, looking around at you and saying, hey, there’s abunch of believers around me.
I should not be hiding.
There should be no reason that I can’t go spark up a conversationand say, who are you? How can we know each other more? – [Jennifer] And in thischapter of the book, I share a story of when Heidiinvited me over to her house for one of the first times that we would actuallyspend girl time together– – [Aaron] This is a good story, yeah.
– [Jennifer] And I don’twant to give too much away because I want them to read it, but I basically said I was busy and felt the conviction ofthe Lord prompt my heart to call you back, Heidi, and I had to apologize for lying and I did go over there.
And so I just want to share that briefly because I think so manytimes, we do excuse ourselves or justify why we can’t hangout or maybe we’re afraid or maybe it’s too uncomfortable.
But I just want the peoplelistening right now to know it is so worth it.
It’s worth it to getout of your comfort zone and it’s worth it tobuild these friendships and these relationshipswith other believers because they will impactour lives for the better.
– [Aaron] Yeah, just like youguys have impacted our life.
And in what you’re saying, Jennifer, it makes me think of this.
How many times have I said, hey, why don’t you call so and so and see if they want tohang out, and you say, no, they’re doing this thingtoday or they have this– – [Jennifer] I give other people excuses.
– [Aaron] And I tell them, I’m like, did they say that? And she’s like, well, no.
And I’m like, so they didn’t tell you no? So I think sometimeswhen we feel that nudge, that Holy Spirit drawto reach out and to call or to connect with, and we say, no, they’re probably thisor they’re probably that, and we say no for peoplebefore they say no.
And to avoid that, tolet the person say no.
– [Tom] To this day, that’s me and Heidi.
I think one of the bettercompliments she was given, whether it was a compliment or not, was you’re a spiritual nuisance, because she doesn’t let, shewon’t let you off the hook.
– [Jennifer] That’s true.
– [Tom] She’ll keep coming– – [Aaron] It’s true, Heidi’s got a gift.
– [Tom] It’s truly a gift of God to her.
It annoys the heck out of me sometimes.
But especially when we’retrying to be somewhere.
– [Aaron] But look at the fruitin your life because of it.
– [Tom] Yeah, exactly.
So I have to balance thatwhen I do get annoyed and remember how it’s blessed me.
But yeah, I mean, she’s verygood at this and doesn’t, kind of tracks people down.
– [Aaron] So cool.
– [Jennifer] Awesome.
Okay you guys, well, as wewrap up this awesome interview, in your own words, whatis a marriage after God? – [Heidi] Honestly, Ithink a marriage after God is putting God first and not your spouse and not other people, notcelebrities, not your own image, but putting God first in yourmarriage to bless yourself, bless your marriage, bless other people.
Just really living forGod and not for the world.
– [Tom] What does that look like? I had a conversation withour daughter two days ago.
We were driving back fromsomewhere and she says, so you love God first andthen mommy and then us.
And I said, yeah, itdoesn’t make sense, does it.
And she says, no, it doesn’t.
Because one time I was a stupid dad and I answered the questionhonestly when she said, well, who’s your favorite girl? And I answered mommy immediately.
To an eight year old at the time, that was a really stupidanswer on my part.
But I mean, it was just not smart because it broke her heartand I had to try to come back and explain that to herbecause she’s eight, she’s not supposed tocompletely grasp that yet– – [Aaron] I don’t havefaith like that yet– – [Tom] But yes, sure, and acouple of days ago in the car, I said, it doesn’t makesense and here’s why.
It’s because God wants your focus on him.
But in doing that, he opensyou up to everything else and gives you a greater appreciation, gives you a greater understanding and gives you a greaterlove for other things.
And so by mommy and daddyfocusing on God first, it allows us to be betterhusband and wife to each other and allows us to be a bettermommy and daddy to you.
Even though a lot of times you probably don’t think we’re thatgreat, that’s what it does.
And I said, and it’shard for you understand, I understand that, and youwon’t until you are married or have kids, but in theend, people have asked, why have we had such a great marriage.
And it hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been the best decisionI ever made in my life.
And for a male to saythat to another male, in our day and age is, Aaron, I’m sure you see it onpeople’s faces when you do it.
They look at you like you’re crazy.
And yeah, it’s the absolute best thing I ever did in my life, and we just, if we focus on God first, right, though Sunday mornings youdon’t feel like getting up and going to church and youdo and you walk into a sermon that’s on marriage and you get, and God just talks to you there.
It’s putting him firstwhether you want to or not on that particular day.
None of us are perfect.
And then it just, everything else unlocks.
Churches, I know I’m rambling.
Churches know this fact.
If they want to grow theirchurch, they can get the wife, that’s fine, and you’llget the kids maybe.
But if you get the husband, you get the entire family and that’s how you growyour church number, and that’s a different topic, but again, if as a husband– – [Aaron] No, what you’re saying is husbands need to be leading spiritually and setting the tone in their home.
– [Tom] Yeah.
Before you rudely cut meoff, what I was saying is, if we as husbands lead, it’s infectious.
It doesn’t always happen, but it’s infectious.
The wife then follows, then the kids then follow and it’s a beautiful thing.
And I’ve noticed for me, if I slip and I’m not focusingon God, my house slips.
So long winded answer to your question is both of you focusing on God, it’s funny how the rest justseems to, not easily sometimes, but it does, it falls into place.
– [Aaron] Good.
Thank you, that was really good.
– [Jennifer] That’s so good.
Thank you guys so muchfor sharing with us today.
We just want to inviteeveryone to take a moment to join us in prayer.
Dear Lord, thank you forthe gift of your body.
Thank you for the gift offellowship and friendship.
May we be people who are motivated by love to reach out and be a friend to others.
We pray we would have thecourage and confidence to be people who welcome others in, who are transparent, whoare there for others, who lift others up andwho pray for others.
Use our marriages to be anencouragement to other marriages.
Use us as a team to bring you glory.
Help us to never live in isolation.
Help us to never be divided.
We pray the enemy andwe pray our own flesh wouldn’t get it in the way of fellowship.
May our desire to participate in your body increase even more.
May the way we treatone another be a light and an example to the rest of the world.
In Jesus’ name.
– [Aaron] Amen.
So Tom and Heidi, we love you guys.
We miss you guys.
– [Tom] Thanks for having us.
– [Aaron] We need to see you soon.
– [Tom] Sincerely.
– [Woman] Miss you guys.
– [Aaron] And thank you so much for giving us some time today and in blessing everyone that’s listening.
So hey everyone that’s listening, thank you so much forjoining us on this sixth week of the series, and we lookforward to having you next week.
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Also, if you’re interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at MarriageAfterGod.
com, and let us help you cultivatean extraordinary marriage.