By: Amanda Frittz
I went to a newlywed marriage retreat with Adam a few months ago, and the wife told us, “Ladies, you should always be a student in your role as a wife.” That struck a chord with me, and since then I have been motivated to soak up all the knowledge about marriage I can.
After all, I do plan on being married and staying home for the rest of my life, so why wouldn’t I want to be the best I could be at it?
My desire to learn is also inspired by my humility that I don’t know everything. I did not come into my marriage knowing how to communicate with my husband, knowing how to manage a house, or a budget. I was clueless.
Luckily, it didn’t take much time of being stubborn to realize that was not a solution. We needed to change, and we needed guidance on how to do it. That’s when Adam and I really decided to pursue God in our marriage. Since intentionally pursuing God we have grown immensely. While we still have a lot of room to grow, I know that being intentional and seeking resources has been a huge part of what’s helped us flourish.
Marriage After God
Marriage is designed to represent Christ’s relationship with the church. No matter what resources you have, who you are, or where you live God has given every marriage the same call to ministry. Now, of course, this looks different for everyone and Aaron and Jen focus on the uniqueness of each marriage a lot in their book.
Personally, I had some HUGE takeaways from this book that I wanted to share with you all. Plus, I had one critique that I wanted to mention in hopes that they may make a second addition.
Before we dive in if you aren’t ready to buy their book you can also listen to Aaron and Jen’s podcast. The Marriage After God podcast has a ton of helpful topics and interviews that I think y’all would really enjoy and learn from.
1) Your Ministry Starts Now
Aaron and Jen totally called me out you guys! I always had the mindset that my marriage ministry wouldn’t start until I had kids (and I’m a blogger… lol).
1 Peter 3:1 “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,”
Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Your marriage ministry starts the day you get married. Whether you feel prepared or not your marriage is being seen by others. Not only is your marriage being seen, but your actions and words have a direct influence on your spouse.
We don’t have to have kids to be making an impact on peoples lives and their view of God. Yikes. That’s a little bit (lotta bit) scary. That means there’s no time to put off improving ourselves and our relationship. If we want to be a positive example of God’s love we need to model it in our own lives starting now.
In a way though, it is a freeing truth for someone who has infertility struggles. I don’t need to wait until God blesses me with a child to do important work in his kingdom. Amen to releasing that lie!
2) Embrace Your Marriage’s Uniqueness
We are all gifted with different opportunities. Not everyone needs to be a blogger to have a ministry that is worthwhile just like not everyone needs to be a pastor.
1 Corinthians 12:1 “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.”
God has given us and our spouse unique gifts for what he has planned for us to do. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to what other peoples ministries look like or what we think ours needs to look like.
This was a great reminder for me personally because I can often compare my abilities and reach to those whom I admire. Especially with social media. Yet, God has something completely unique and different laid out for Adam and I than he does for anyone else.
Marriage After God Critique
My only beef with the Marriage After God book was that it had reflection questions at the end of each chapter yet there was no room to write your answers. I think the usefulness of these questions would be enhanced if they made a workbook style version in a later addition.
Personally, I’m notorious for forgetting tools like notebooks when I’m reading. So, if all I needed to do was keep a pen with my book I would be way more apt to engage with the questions and have deep reflections. However, this will probably not be an issue for everyone.