I recently had a chance to sit down with Ryan Frederick of Fierce Marriage on the podcast. He and wife, Selena, have been coming alongside other couples on their marriage journeys (and parenting, too) for the last 7 years. Their wisdom, vulnerability, and overall story of how their ministry got started was so inspiring. He found himself answering the question, “What do you have in your hand right now that you can use for HIS glory?” And this question is what began the building of Fierce Marriage.
I bet you’ll be able to find yourself in at least one part of their story right now. Perhaps…
- You’ve hit a quarter life crisis wondering “what is this all for?”
- You’ve wondered what you can purposefully do with where you are right now?
- You’re navigating your first, second, or forty-second conflict with your spouse wondering, “do all couples go through this?”
- You’ve found yourself asking, “whose job is it in this house to do ______?”
- You’re navigating how to align your decisions in life with what you want your family to be about.
- You want to know where to start deepening your roots as a couple.
In our conversation, he shares their own experience navigating many of these moments and answers a handful of my questions about the rest. Here are some of my favorite takeaways from this episode:
What do marriages need most right now?
“Marriages need context. They need purpose. They need to know that when they’re fighting, there’s something worth fighting for…Your marriage has context. It has purpose and until you see that the day to day will never make sense… you’ll be striving, you’ll be fighting…You’ll be stapling fruit on the tree. We try to staple fruit on the tree to make it look healthy. You’ll do the right thing to make it look like you have a healthy tree. We all know what’s gonna happen…”
Help us feel normal. What are the common struggles for marriages today?
They’ve changed over the last few years.
Communication and conflict – “couples don’t understand how to be emotionally intelligent with each other. We’ve got to be able to get from war time to peace time in our marriages.”
Economies of the home, not necessarily finances anymore. With changing roles and seasons, navigating whose job it is to (fill in the blank), can be challenging as it can be ever-evolving.
How do you all stay grounded?
Have a “be and believe day”. Have a time where you can think without having to produce anything.
Reconnect those thoughts with your spouse or do it collectively.
“As couples, we do tend to drift away from one another. We don’t drift, by default, toward oneness, we drift toward isolation. So, we have to fight so we can keep the rhythms there…we don’t have to create new rhythms instead rely on rhythms towards the past and just press into those….Create those rhythms and then know that it’s only gonna get better and stronger as you go along and use that knowledge to power through that difficulty early on.”
Invest in Your Marriage
“How are you managing your marriage? Invest in your marriage. Keep it tended to! Find a way to constantly be building (and building up) your marriage. Get strategic about building that habit.”
What lessons have you learned or advice do you have to share in starting a business or pursing a passion?
Start with your why. Your why will sustain you.
“What is that grand, cosmic context? That’s going to give you the purpose and drive to weather the storms and do so well.”
“It’s hard work. You have to be ready to weather the storm. And theres no way you can possibly predict the storm. You just gotta make sure that ship you are sailing the storm in is strong enough to withstand it.”
Become an expert on saying you no so you can become an expert on saying yes to things that matter.
Ask yourself “Does this align with what we care about in the season that we’re in?”
I loved the last one best! Why? Because I think we all have things we are passionate about, goals we’d like to accomplish, and opportunities that present themselves. But, when we go back to our why, and we look the season that we’re in, we have to think back to that greater context and decide how to confidently say “yes” to the things that matter now and will matter then, too.
Wherever you are in your marriage journey, I encourage you to take a listen to the episode. If you’re not a podcast listener (yet!), I’ll leave you with this encouragement. Invest in your marriage. Build a habit of building it up. Know your marriage has context and relevance beyond what you’ll ever know. Be certain that you’re not alone in your struggles. Find a couple or a handful of couples to walk alongside of in this journey. It’s worth it!