Marriage After God

MAG 11: Why It's Important To Take Inventory In Your Marriage w/ Elisha & Katie Voetberg from Now That We're A Family Podcast

Episode Summary

Join the MArriage After God movement and order a copy of our new book today. https://marriageaftergod.com Quote From the book: “...what we see as inadequate, God sees as enough.” Prayer Dear Lord, We thank You for the way you created us and we thank you for your rich provision. Thank you for equipping us for the work you have for us to do. May our eyes be opened so that we can see all of the wonderful ways you have equipped us. Use us to encourage our spouse in the ways you have equipped them as well. We ask that you use every one of our marriage to bring you glory and to spread your gospel. We pray against fear and against the temptation to bury the gifts you have given to us. We ask that you remove our insecurities far from our hearts and help us to trust in you. We pray that we would walk in confidence as we chase boldly after you and as we pursue doing the very things you created us and created our marriages to do! In Jesus’ name, amen! READ TRANSCRIPT [Aaron] Hey, we're Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage after God. [Jennifer] Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage. [Aaron] And today, we're in part 11 of the Marriage after God series, and we're going to be talking with Katie and Elisha Voetberg about taking inventory. Welcome to the Marriage after God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after. [Jennifer] I'm Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife. [Aaron] And I'm Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution. [Jennifer] We have been married for over a decade. [Aaron] And so far, we have four young children. [Jennifer] We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through vlogging and social media. [Aaron] With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day. [Jennifer] We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life. [Aaron] Love. [Jennifer] And power. [Aaron] That can only be found by chasing after God. [Jennifer] Together. [Aaron] Thank you for joining us on this journey as we chase boldly after God's will for our life together. [Jennifer] This is Marriage after God. So today's guests are Elisha and Katie Voetberg from the podcast Now That We're Family. [Aaron] So before we get to the interview with Katie and Elisha Voetberg, we would love to ask anyone that's listening if they have not already to leave a review for us. That helps other people find the podcast. It helps the rankings in iTunes. So if you have a moment, leave us a star rating, leave us a text review. We'd love to see that. [Jennifer] We also wanna invite you guys to check out our new book Marriage after God, which is available at our store. So just go to shop.marriageaftergod.com to check that out and get your copy today. [Aaron] Yeah, that's the whole point of this series, is we're promoting our book coming out on June fourth, and we would love for you to get a copy of it. But following in the series, we're almost done with it, and we're excited to have you. Okay, Katie, Elisha, friends of ours. [Jennifer] Thank you for being here. [Elisha] No, thank you! [Katie] We're so stoked to be here today. [Aaron] We're here in our garage. Usually we record in our office, so there might be a little bit more echo, but this fits all of us. It's this fun little setup we got, I love it. [Jennifer] And it's in person. [Aaron] Yeah. [Jennifer] So I feel like it's just fun all around. [Aaron] So thanks for joining us, and no one is probably gonna know you, so why don't you guys tell everyone who you are, how long you've been married, kids, stuff like that. [Elisha] Right on, yeah. So my name is Elisha Peter Voetberg, and this is my lovely wife Kathryn Joy Voetberg, and we've been married for three years now, and we're pregnant with our third child. [Jennifer] Woohoo! [Elisha] So we've got a two-year-old. Yeah, we're really pumped. We've got our two-year-old, Leon Tucker, and our daughter Lucy's just about a year, and then we've got our third baby on the way. And we love being a part of fellowship with you guys, doing fellowship. [Aaron] Oh, I forgot to mention we go to church with them. [Elisha] Yeah, that's right. That's a huge highlight for us. And we're just really excited about life with each other and seeing what God can do through the family unit and through marriage. [Aaron] Cool, and that's why you guys started your podcast, was you loved what God was doing in your marriage and in your family, and we'll get into some more of your guys' background in a little bit. But yeah, if you haven't checked out their podcast, it's Now That We Are Family, and you can just search for that on iTunes or anywhere you can get podcasts, actually, so. [Jennifer] Awesome, okay, moving right along. [Aaron] This is our fun little section. We love this part. [Jennifer] Yeah, we wanted to invite you guys to join us for the icebreaker question, which is, what is one of your funniest marriage moments? [Elisha] Funniest, Katie? [Aaron] Katie has one, and she's prepared. [Katie] I am prepared. No, well, I would have to say one of our funniest marriage moments is probably the most ironic marriage moment, 'cause it was actually a fight. [Elisha] That's true. [Katie] But people think it's funny. [Elisha] It's funny now, right? [Katie] Yeah, exactly. [Aaron] Not in the moment, but it is absolutely funny now for everyone else. [Katie] Exactly, so it happened at our honeymoon, and I think it was the first wake-up call Elisha had to who he had married. [Aaron] Oh, no. [Elisha] Yeah, so yeah, I guess I'll tell the story. Katie and I, you're gonna hear more about our families, but we were both brought up in big families, and Katie's family was extremely strict when it came to sugar intake. And my family definitely was health-conscientious, but certainly not as strict regarding sugar as Katie's family was. [Katie] Nowhere close. [Elisha] Nowhere close. [Aaron] Yeah. And I think it was day four of our honeymoon, and I viewed our honeymoon as being a time that was celebratory, and you can kinda splurge. [Aaron] Yeah, which means it doesn't matter what you eat. [Elisha] It doesn't matter what you eat. [Aaron] You can have as much as you want. [Elisha] Exactly, that's how I was viewing it. And so, it was the evening of our fourth night, I think, the fourth day in our honeymoon, and we decided to get a little treat for a movie that we were gonna watch. And so, I got a pack of Skittles, just like the normal size. It wasn't the super size, it wasn't the party size. It was just the normal serving size of Skittles. And Katie didn't want anything, and that really blew my mind. I was like, you're not gonna get a treat? She goes, no. She was like, I'll have some of yours, which is classic, right? [Jennifer] Yeah, you're like, no you're not. [Elisha] Classic, yeah, exactly. And so, we started watching the movie, and I had a few Skittles, and then Katie took three Skittles and she told me that that was gonna be enough for her. [Katie] No, I had, okay, yeah. Okay, I guess, but this is a classic like, let me help you tell the story, honey. But I ended up eating 11 Skittles. [Aaron] She remembers the exact number. [Katie] Which was splurging for me. And Elisha was like, you're counting your Skittles? But then I took the Skittles away from him. [Elisha] Yeah, after I had eaten maybe 20 or 25 Skittles. [Katie] That's a lot of Skittles. [Elisha] Yeah. [Katie] Up until this point, I'd maybe had like one. Anyways, like, my family, I'm one of 11 kids, and we would split a bag of Skittles and make it last for two or three days. [Aaron] Wow, that's incredible, actually. [Katie] Anyways, yeah, so it led to kind of a crazy fight, and since then, I realize that I am the one that most people don't agree with on this story. [Aaron] Yeah, Skittles are usually a single-event, single-instance candy. [Elisha] Yeah, that's how I viewed it, exactly. She wanted to save it. [Aaron] It's one serving, isn't it, like, the whole bag? [Elisha] Exactly, I thought it was one serving too. [Katie] I wouldn't believe it, and we had to read the back. [Jennifer] Awesome. [Aaron] That is funny now, for sure. [Elisha] It's funny now. Well, you know what's funny is that we're laughing about it, but she was dead serious at the moment. She grabbed the bag from me. [Katie] I hid 'em. [Elisha] Yeah, and I thought she was being playful and kind of flirtatious. I was like, oh, come on, give me the Skittles back. She's like, no, we'll finish 'em later, like we can have 'em tomorrow or the next day. I was like, are you kidding me? I want them now. [Aaron] I wonder how many people are gonna really relate to this. They're like, this is exactly how we are with Skittles. [Jennifer] That's so awesome. [Aaron] We both would get our own bags of Skittles. [Jennifer] For sure. [Aaron] And our own bag of, what else would we get? [Jennifer] And remind each other that we're not sharing. [Aaron] Please don't have any of mine. Get your own bag if you want some. [Elisha] I don't think Katie can view you the same way anymore, now that she knows that. [Jennifer] That's okay. Okay, so we're gonna, we always share a quote, and we're gonna share a quote from Marriage after God from chapter 11, Take Inventory. Aaron, do you wanna? [Aaron] Yeah, so what we see as inadequate, God sees as enough. It's a smaller part of a bigger quote in a bigger context, but the idea is that oftentimes, we might see things that we have in our life, abilities, skills, and they're not good enough for God or adequate for what God wants to do in our life or through our life. And so we think we need something else. Oh, I don't have what it takes, that kind of mentality, but it's exactly what God's already given us, and he requires and desires us to invest it as we have it. It doesn't mean that we don't get better at things, but that's kind of the context of this, and we're gonna talk about this idea of taking inventory and we're gonna ask the questions to you guys, 'cause you guys haven't read the book yet, which is totally fine. [Elisha] Right. [Aaron] Because I think we all can learn and start to understand in our life that God's given us things, and he desires us to invest them, and not because we're trying to commend ourselves to God, but he wants us to invest them for his sake, for our sake, and it's because we love him that we invest them. So that's the quote, and then we can get into the topic and some questions for you guys. [Elisha] Cool. [Aaron] Are you guys excited about the questions? [Elisha] I am excited. [Aaron] Okay. [Jennifer] Okay, you guys are a young family figuring out what God has for you as a couple. How has that journey been so far? So you can describe things like how you feel about it, highs and lows, or maybe a significant story that stands out to you? [Katie] Yeah, so I think there have been a lot of highs and lows in our three years of marriage, and I think our first month of marriage was kind of indicative to that. Elisha was making I think $1800 at the time working at a restaurant, and our rent was 1150. So I don't even know how we quite managed to make it all work that month. We were doing a ton of odd jobs, and we started three different businesses our first month of marriage, and got pregnant. [Aaron] A little bit of things. [Katie] Yeah, like all of those moving parts I think really affected the last few years, but I think it's been so cool to see how God has worked to make all those things work together, even though there was such a random smattering of things over the years. And I think we've had so much fun, even though we didn't always see the plan, and I think what's cool now is that we trust the process so much more, and we trust each other so much more. We trust God. There were so many things through starting those businesses. Like, well, one of 'em provides for us now. It's a network marketing company, and I think it really has not only provided for us now, but it allows us to pursue our passions, and it helped give us thicker skin to handle rejection and stuff like that. So there were a lot of ups and downs just in that, you know, when you start one business. Elisha was getting his real estate license, so that was new for us, being employed, and then being unemployed it feels like when you don't have a deal. But I just think it's really cool that now, when we're uncertain of today or what tomorrow holds, 'cause I feel like as entrepreneurs, that is life. We just trust each other so much more, and we're like, you know God's gonna work these things together, and we see how he's using those things we started in our first few months of marriage now. [Jennifer] I think that's so encouraging, what you're sharing, because I think everybody has that tendency to wanna know what the next hundred steps are, like, see that bigger picture right away. But I think what you're saying is so encouraging to hear, to remind ourselves we have to just be able to trust God and trust our spouse with just that next step. [Elisha] Mmhmm. [Aaron] Yeah, Elisha, how do you, so, you guys have started businesses, making barely ends meet, which all of us have been there. Some people that are listening right now are probably right there right now. And you're just trying to figure out life. You guys have been married for three years, you have kids. You're just trying to figure out a lot of things, which is totally good, totally normal. But has there been times over the last few years that you feel like you're not moving in any direction, or how could God possibly use all these random difficulties and where we're at in our life? [Elisha] Absolutely. I know there's been numerous times where I've had those exact thoughts probably verbatim in my brain, and even looking back in retrospect over three years, and even though that's not a lot of time to some people, it's enough time for us to really realize that God does work all things together for good. There are some things that I know he's gonna continue to work out over the next 10 and 20 and 30 years of our life. But when you live, early on, month to month when it comes to your paycheck, and then you get pregnant in the middle of that, and then you get pregnant with your second child when you're kind of in the same position, it really makes you realize that the Lord does provide, and I think that that has helped me really embrace the season for what it is. I know that so often, everybody wants to arrive, right? You wanna be there, whatever there is. [Aaron] Yeah, whatever that there is. [Elisha] Whatever that is. [Aaron] How do we get there faster? [Elisha] Exactly. It might be a level of your income. It might be the size of your home or the quality of your vehicles that you're driving, but looking back over these last three years and seeing what the Lord's done, it's made us enjoy the journey and enjoy the process and trust the Lord in that. And when I look at those times where I was questioning what the heck I was doing with my life and what the Lord was gonna use with these things that I was doing, I look back, and so far, he's been so faithful to, in spite of me, a lot of times, use them for his purpose and for his glory. [Aaron] Yeah, so, I love that, and you know, this topic we're talking about, take inventory, is off chapter 11 of our book, and the idea of the chapter, we're not gonna go into too much of it, is that we can look at our lives and realize that there are, not certain things, that everything in our life, the inventory of our life, can be evaluated and looked at and say, okay, Lord, how are you using that season of life, that idea, that business that we wanted to start or that passion we have or that pain we felt? And so, what you're kinda saying is you've been looking back and saying, okay, I didn't know what I was doing then, but God's using that now. [Elisha] Yes. [Aaron] So when you look back over the last few years, and we're gonna get into your family in the next question, you look back over your life, taking this idea of inventory, can you guys pinpoint, be like, oh, wow, these things in our life, this way we were raised, certain giftings we have, talents, that's our inventory, that's what's on the shelf for us. Can you name a few of those things, and then we're gonna go into family next. [Elisha] Sure, yeah. We'll stick with our marriage so far, 'cause we haven't gotten into Katie and I's growing up experience, but I look at the businesses that we started in that first month, or even the job that I was doing. I was a bartender at the time, and obviously, you're dealing with people. You're dealing with all sorts of people as a bartender, and it's so easy for me to look at that season of life as being, man, I was just there to get tips and to go home and to pay rent. [Aaron] Right, meaningless waste of time, yeah. [Elisha] Exactly. [Aaron] However you feel about it. [Elisha] Yeah, exactly. And of course, I was interacting with eternal beings every day, whether that was my coworkers or my boss and my managers, and then, of course, the patrons that were coming and consuming alcohol, or buying food at the restaurant. And so I look back and I think, man, the Lord was preparing me just to have empathy and sympathy for all types of people. And then I think of the businesses that we started in that first month, and it was funny, 'cause we really acquired a lot of skillsets because we were kind of hacks when it came to, one of those businesses was an online music academy because I'm a musician, and I wanted to be able to offer my music lessons in an online format, and neither Katie or I were video people or really recording-type people. [Aaron] Yeah, but you guys did a good job. I remember you guys, it's still up, right? [Elisha] It is still up. [Katie] It is still up, yeah. [Elisha] It's effective, and people still use it. But we just figured it out. We just decided to dive in and go for it, and that was good for me to get over my pride and to let go of that perfectionism mindset that so often keeps us from taking any action. [Katie] And I think too it was good for us because, like, I remember when we first got married and you were a little more focused on your image then, and I was kind of like, I don't know, I was kind of a hack. I think I made you a little nervous, the way I threw around my image. [Elisha] Let's just do it, let's just do it. [Katie] Yeah, I was like, let's just do it, put it up. And I remember the first time I showed you a video that I was gonna post on Facebook. It was just a little parody I made, and Elisha's like, you cannot post that. Like, there is no way. [Elisha] That's funny. [Aaron] You're like, it's going up. [Katie] Yeah. Well, through Voetberg Music Academy, we ended up doing a lot of those little commercials or little parody videos together, and I think that that really, I mean, we use that now. [Elisha] Yep, absolutely. [Katie] And it just really helped us swallow our pride I think and just go for things. [Jennifer] Explain that a little bit more when you say we use that now. [Katie] Well, we use that now on YouTube is probably one of the biggest ways that we use that in just family vlogging now that we're a family on YouTube as well. And I think that that is kind of what spawned the podcast, because if we hadn't gotten enough confidence to just document our lives, I don't think we would have ever taken that next step to podcasting. [Aaron] That's good. So right now, what you're currently doing for the Lord, for your family, you can reach back into the inventory of those experiences and the inventory of those challenges, the trials and errors, and use that now and feel more confident in moving forward and, like you said, you wouldn't have been able to do it now if you didn't try it then or have those experiences. That's awesome. [Jennifer] That is so cool. Okay, so we touched on that we were gonna get into your families a little bit. Katie, you mentioned that you're from a big family, so how do you guys see the unique ways that you were raised or maybe family type being used for what God has you doing today? [Elisha] Yeah, so I was one of 10 children, all from the same mommy and daddy, and my parents are still married. They stayed married throughout our entire childhood, and they're in a great marriage. [Aaron] Which is rare these days. [Elisha] Yeah, and Katie is the oldest of 11 children, where it's same mommy and daddy for all the kiddos, and they're in a vibrant marriage right now. And so we were both homeschooled and brought up just with very Bible-centered homes. We read the Bible every single day as a family at the breakfast table, and sometimes at the dinner table, and I think that when I look at my history, not only was it an extremely enjoyable and relationship-rich time that I loved with my siblings and with my parents, and I know Katie feels the same way. [Katie] Yes. [Elisha] About her childhood, where we both just look back at them with really fond memories. I see that because my parents and Katie's parents, but I'll speak for myself right now, Because my parents become comfortable being unconventional and being counter-cultural, I grew up with this mindset that there are so many blessings in being different than the world. [Aaron] I like that. [Elisha] And I think my parents were the ones that were convicted by the Lord, and obviously, I was just along for the ride as a child and I was following in their leading, but they really exemplified to me that yes, a lot of times, initially, making those decisions to have many children or for the mom to stay home and be with the children and homeschool them or to take 'em out of the public and homeschool them, they can be challenging up front, and they can be challenging even for an extended amount of time. But the payoff is so worth it. So I think that growing up with a big family, in a big family and with parents that really trusted the Lord with their finances, with how many children they're going to have, it made me realize that I've adopted a lot of these mindsets not even knowing it. And so when I hear people that are my age say, well, we couldn't afford to have children now, I just think to myself, well, yeah you could. Where's that coming from? And I think that statements like that are so commonly accepted in our culture and in the world and they're never challenged, and I just don't believe that. I believe that you could probably find a way to afford to have children. I think that you can find a way to afford for the mother to stay home and not go to work and to even homeschool her children. And I think you can find a way to have a romantic and fun and flirtatious marriage, even while you have a bunch of kids, because I saw it exemplified to me. [Aaron] Yeah, that's the magic right there. [Elisha] Yeah, and so I'm not saying that I know how to do it; I just believe it can be done, and I think that Katie feels similarly. [Katie] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think sometimes, there is this mindset of, we have to do things how everyone else does them, and I think the way we grew up, like, I had some of the best years of my life living in a tent and a trailer, you know? Like, we did that for two years so my parents could save up a down payment for their house, and they had six kids at the time, but those are some of the best memories of my childhood. And I think sometimes, we have this misconceived perception that, oh, we need to earn this amount of money or we need to take our kids to Disneyland or we need to be able to provide these things for our kids, and I just don't have that perspective at all. Because of the way I was raised, I just have incredible relationships with my parents, and I have such amazing memories of growing up in unique situations. I guess my experience helps dispel some of those societal norms. [Aaron] Yeah. So you, you have a lot of resources at your fingertips from the way you were raised, the versatility, the flexibility to make decisions that might be, hey, if we slow down here, we can speed up over here, or if we lessen what we're spending money on over here, we can have money to do something over here. You have those things at your fingertips to use now because of how, and you didn't even get to choose it. [Elisha and Katie] Exactly. [Aaron] Right? 'Cause that's kind of some of the things that we like to point out and we want our listeners to know, fortunately your family stories are powerful and just relationally rich, and then some people listening are gonna be like, well, I didn't have a family like that. My family wasn't that great. I didn't have strong Christian parents. But our point in this idea of taking inventory is that your story and your family doesn't give you something extra. It's what God has given you. And my family story's different, similar in some ways, but different. Jennifer's family story's different. And we we don't have your story to use in what God has for us to do ministry in, right? [Elisha] That's right. [Aaron] We use our story, the inventory that we have that God's given us. And so, that's kind of what's awesome about taking inventory of our lives, is our listeners can take inventory and be like, and I wanna encourage them that are listening not to throw out their story 'cause it's not your story. [Elisha] That's right, absolutely. [Aaron] Because they do have inventory, and God wants us to look at what we have and what he's given us and say, here you go, Lord. [Elisha] That's right. [Aaron] So here's my family and how I was raised, the good things and the bad things that happened to me as a child that I had no choice in, and how do you want me to use this for you, Lord? How do you want me to invest this? How do you wanna redeem this in my life? How do you wanna turn it into something for you, not for me, not for my sake. And so, maybe that gives someone listening right now peace and actually some courage in their own inventory. [Jennifer] Yeah, and something I wanna highlight is just that how cool that God would have you guys here on the show and be able to share your story, 'cause I think it will be an encouragement to someone. 'Cause like you said, there's other ways of living that have been expressed and accepted in our culture, and your story's different, and the fact that you're here and you're sharing and whoever's listening could be encouraged by this, I love that. [Aaron] Yeah, that story by itself right now, whether it has any other implications in your life, could potentially minister to someone today, which is amazing, right? [Katie] Incredible. [Aaron] And that's just one small way that God uses what we are, what we have that he's given to us, is just by saying yes to him, which is a theme that we mention throughout our whole book, is saying yes to God. [Jennifer] Okay, so when we say yes to God, sometimes insecurities flare up, fears, things like that. So what are some of your biggest insecurities when it comes to using your gifts and talents for God? [Elisha] You know, it's funny, 'cause I think that, even piggybacking on talking about our family, our unique story and our unique experiences can often be debilitating to us, and we can oftentimes find ourselves experiencing paralysis by analysis because we feel like we're from such a unique perspective, we can't relate with people. How are we gonna be able to connect and really encourage and exhort, whether that's fellow believers or minister to people that are not saved, and oftentimes, I mean, you can look at that from two ways. One, I feel extremely strong in my faith because of what my parents have done before me, but it also makes me realize it's not about me. It's not about Katie. It's about Jesus Christ. And I think of, is it II Peter chapter one, I think it's verses three and four that whereby are given unto you all things. [Aaron] That pertain to life and godliness, yeah. [Elisha] That pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who's called you to glory and virtue. And that's not the prerequisite. The prerequisite for that is not coming from a Christian family. The prerequisite for that's not coming from the fourth generation or fifth generation of Bible-believing Christians; it's being in Christ. [Aaron] It's being in Christ. [Katie] That's good. [Elisha] It's being a new creation in Christ. But the cool thing about that is that legacy is a real thing, and you have the ability in Christ to start a new legacy. We were just at my grandfather's funeral a week and a half ago, and it was really powerful to be there with his six children and then 42 grandchildren. [Aaron] Wow, that's incredible. [Elisha] And this is my mother's father, and to hear his story of being orphaned at 12 years old, heavily abused, on the street starving, an alcoholic father who ended up being a felon, never knowing his mother and never knowing the love of Christ in his home and making a decision to follow the Lord at 16 years of age, and the legacy that's come from that. [Katie] It's incredible, and we get to benefit from that. [Jennifer] That's powerful, wow. [Elisha] Absolutely, yeah, really is powerful. [Aaron] Wow, love that. [Elisha] And so, to get back to your question, insecurities, I think it's so easy to feel inadequate, 'cause of course, apart from Christ, we are inadequate, but that's not where we're at anymore. So you need to accept the reality that hey, we're in Christ, we are a new creation in Christ, and we do have all things pertaining to life and godliness, and therefore, we are equipped. And so I think our youth can play a factor in that, not feeling old enough. [Katie] I definitely think that plays in too. You feel like, well, I don't have enough experience, you know, life experience. [Aaron] I know, you're not allowed to have a podcast about family yet until you've had a family for a super long time, right? [Katie] Exactly, exactly. [Elisha] Exactly, that's right. [Katie] So I think we do wanna be thoughtful in that and share what we're experiencing more and what we're learning in the moment versus teaching, 'cause obviously, our oldest is two, you know what I'm saying? Elisha and I have been married for three years. [Aaron] Right, there's things you actually don't know, and that's fine. [Katie] Yes. So I think we want to be wise and cautious in that, but that doesn't mean that we can't encourage someone who's in a similar situation. [Elisha] Yeah, and I think that even though there's so much that we have yet to learn and that we need to learn as life goes on, I know that Katie and I are really excited about family, and we're excited about growth, and I think that regardless of what stage of life you're in, if you're in Christ Jesus, you can be excited about the future. [Aaron] Ooh, I like that. [Elisha] I know that's where we're at right now. [Aaron] So that sounds very similar to ours. When we launched Unveiled Wife and then Husband Revolution, how long were we married? Five years? [Jennifer] Yeah. [Aaron] And people even asked us, how long have you been married, like, older people, which rightfully so asking us, but I always tell people, we're not marriage experts. We've never proclaimed to be marriage experts. That would have been wrong of us to do. We're marriage storytellers. [Jennifer] Yeah, storytellers. We're sharing our experience. [Aaron] How are we failing, what's God teaching us, and again, going back to our book, one of the themes is like what you said, it's not us. It's not my experiences that is changing anyone's hearts or that has any value, other than Christ using it. And it's his story. It's his vocation, it's his ministry, not ours. It's his message, not ours. And so, as long as we're going back to the very thing that's changing us and transforming us, like, the gospel's the power of God unto salvation, right? The gospel and Christ in us through the Holy Spirit, that's what we're doing in this world. So we've had the same exact inadequacies and fears almost every time we launch anything. Launching this podcast, we were like, we don't know how to do podcasts. So I hope that encourages people listening to realize, wow, if God's calling me out, and not if, he is calling me out and wants me to follow him and wants me to use my life and the inventory of my life for his glory, they should be encouraged to know that even if they feel doubt and fear, that it's not them anyway. It's Christ doing it. [Katie] Exactly. [Elisha] Amen. [Jennifer] I think it's important to note we have a real enemy who does not like us using the gift and things that God's given us to glorify God. [Aaron] No way, yeah. [Jennifer] And so there's gonna be opposition to that, and I think our flesh is sensitive to that. So sometimes it does come in the form of insecurities or fears and things that we're afraid of, but it's just temptation from the enemy to try and distract us. [Katie] That's a great perspective. [Aaron] Yeah, but I love that you guys use wisdom and thoughtfulness. I don't think we should test God and run into the middle of the street and say, save me! [Katie] Definitely not. [Aaron] We need to present, again, going back to the taking inventory, we don't just say like, oh, I'm gonna use this thing in my life this way. No, we say, okay, Lord, here's what I have. This is what you've given me, this abuse as a child, your grandpa story, or my godly upbringing, or this schooling I went to. Whatever it is, these gifts, these natural abilities that you've given me, here you go. What do you want? How do you wanna arrange this and turn it into a clay pot or a basketball hoop or whatever it is that he wants to mold it into. [Jennifer] It's in humility and submission to his will and his purposes, which leads me to the next question. I'd love for you guys to share on this. What's the purpose of all the gifts and things that he gives to you, or to us? What is the purpose? [Elisha] Yeah, I think big picture answer is it's for God's glory and for the furtherance of the gospel. [Aaron] Yeah, we talked about this on Sunday, didn't we? [Elisha] We did, that's right, a few days ago. And the way that plays out practically with each couple I think is obviously gonna look different, 'cause there are so many different skillsets and passions. And it's fun when you accept that big picture of, man, this is for God's purpose. It's for his glory. It's for the furtherance of his kingdom. Then it almost makes it like a fun game to figure out what your skillsets are and how you can be a part of the puzzle and the pie, realizing, wait, it's not about me. I don't have to get all the credit. [Aaron] Yes, yes. [Elisha] In fact, I shouldn't get all the credit. Like, how can I fit into the strategy that God has? And I think obviously, Katie and I are in the journey of figuring that out, and something that we both talk a lot about is being aware of the desires that are on our heart, and the Lord I think oftentimes places those on your heart, and then also being open to counsel. And you can speak to this, Katie, but I think that we've gone back and forth of caring too much about what people think of us, whether that's close friends and relatives, or even people that we don't know personally, but they have their opinion online of us and we'll let that influence the action we're taking. But then you can swing the pendulum and say, well, forget what people think. I'm just gonna do what I wanna do. And there's obviously, the Bible talks about there being safety in the counsel of many. And so I think finding this place where you say, man, the Lord's put something on my heart. I wanna have a community of counsel that I can go to and be humble before, knowing that they can totally see blind spots in my life, but then also realizing I don't wanna make decisions based off of the fear of man or what somebody might say to me. [Aaron] Right. [Jennifer] So good, and I find so much encouragement in several things that you guys have already shared throughout this episode, things like have fun along the way, enjoy the journey, and I love that, and I just wanted to take note for everyone listening, and for everyone who's gonna read the book Marriage after God, because sometimes, we just tell it like it is and encourage them to do. But I want them to hear this. It is a journey to be enjoyed, and it is something to have fun with yourselves when you're figuring it out. And so I just wanted to make a note, I love that you said that. [Aaron] And the highlight in your story, just all the unique variables, we call it inventory, that God has equipped you guys with to do the unique thing that he's having you do, whatever that looks like. It could be a business. It could be just you working nine-to-five jobs, you just being a mom, but how you guys work together with your gifts and talents, we don't know, but you guys are trying things and chasing after what God wants for you and saying, okay, Lord, okay, that's not it? Okay, cool, and we'll take the experience from that. We're gonna use it for the thing that you do want us to do, and that it's this organic thing. 'Cause God knows the complete picture. [Elisha] That's right. [Katie] He does, yes. [Aaron] It says many plans are in the man's heart, but it's the Lord that directs the steps. So we have these plans, we have these ideas, and we say, if the Lord wills it, and then we take a step, and you say, okay, that's the right step. Oh, no, that's the wrong step. Let's go to this step, let's do this way, and we let him direct us. And what's awesome is along the way, whether you have reached that goal, whatever that thing is, like you said, we always have this picture of what it might be, and we actually don't even know what it might be. We just think, it's usually probably compared to someone else's thing. [Katie] Probably. [Elisha] That's usually what it is. [Aaron] But like even right now, just by you saying yes to him in all of these decisions, you're saying yes to him, and you begin to see him not only change you guys, make you guys more in love, stronger in your marriage, better parents, better brothers and sisters in Christ, but then also, you get used to grow the kingdom, just along the way. Whether you ever achieve that position or ministry or goal or whatever it looks like, it's happening along the way because you're saying yes to God, and I think that's amazing. [Elisha] Yep. [Aaron] So, do you feel like God is currently inviting you two to do anything specific, like, as you guys have been navigating with all these gifts and talents and resources? [Katie] Yeah, well, I think that it's, like we mentioned, it has been a journey. I think it's so cool to see how the Lord has had us work together in little ways right off the bat, because there is no way we'd be able to even do the projects we're working on now if we hadn't taken those little steps, and I think of with Voetberg Music Academy, where I started recording a live show and we started getting into video, but I was so insecure talking in front of a camera in front of Elisha. I wasn't insecure about the camera. [Aaron] Elisha, turn around please. [Katie] Yes! [Elisha] Exactly, she would tell me to leave. [Katie] He'd have to leave. I had a crush on Elisha since I was eight years old, and I tried my entire life to impress him. [Aaron] Oh, that's awesome. And now he's standing there in front of you. [Katie] So then after we got married, I was like, I can't do this, and he was so good at it, and he was so good at communicating that, I don't know, there was just no way we were going to ever be able to talk to a camera together. And I think it was so cool, because I started my own YouTube now that I'm a mother before we did anything online, and it was cool how that just built my confidence, and that was a little step. It was just a hobby and a fun thing, but I do think the Lord was using it to build my confidence for us to be able to start doing video together and starting the vlog, and then starting, and I think it also gave you confidence too. [Elisha] Yes. [Katie] In the flip side, to see me just putting my life out there and people being encouraged by it, and that gave you the urge I think to have us jump into that together. [Elisha] Absolutely. [Katie] Which again led to the podcast, and I do think even though we are young and we are really newly married and a new family, we do have a desire to encourage family and encourage biblical rules and encourage seeking out what God's word says about family in a culture that is so starkly opposed to just the biblical worldview. And so, I think that's our goal, and that might look different throughout the years. The mediums we use to communicate might look different, but I think for both of us, that's what God has placed on our heart, to just encourage young families in our stage of life and newly married couples. [Aaron] Yeah. So I just wanna encourage you guys, 'cause I know you both, we go to church together, we know most of your families. Whether you have direct experience with being parents of large families and have been doing for ages, or you have a two-year-old, right? [Elisha] Yeah, that's right. [Aaron] You have more experience in this than many people, because I grew up in a family of two. You grew up in a larger family, but not the way you guys did. [Jennifer] Yeah. [Aaron] And whether or not you are directly experiencing it, which you are, just with a much smaller size right now, you were drawing from that inventory of how you were raised and the experience that no one has had, rarely, 10 children, 11 children, parents that stayed together that not just stayed together but love each other, 'cause that's a big thing. [Jennifer] Yeah, there's parents that stick it out. [Aaron] Lots of people, they stayed together, but it wasn't very joyful, right? [Elisha] Right, right. [Aaron] And so that's what's awesome, is whether or not you feel completely qualified, you're more qualified than me to talk about it, just by the experience you had, now, as long as we stay humble and we submit to the Lord and say we're gonna do it your way, 'cause it's his story. So I just wanted to encourage you guys that. I think that's awesome you're starting. I think we need more people, more believers. That's the whole purpose of this book, is to say yes to God and say, God, here's what you've given me. How do you wanna use it? [Elisha] Yes, amen. [Jennifer] Okay, guys, this is the last question, and it's in your own words, what is a marriage after God? [Elisha] In our own words, what is a marriage after God? [Katie] Okay, you go first. [Elisha] This isn't fair, 'cause we haven't read the book yet, guys. [Aaron] This is exactly why we're asking. [Elisha] I see. You know, God invented marriage, so I really do think that he gets to choose what the purpose of marriage is, what marriage is, what the end goal is, and something that Katie and I have really been contemplating over the last few months is that when you are joined in holy matrimony, you don't then start to try to become one; he makes you one. And so therefore, you start to act like one. And I think that so often, and this carries over into our faith. We think that when you are made new in Christ, from the day you're saved, you're a son of God. [Aaron] Oh, I love that, yeah. [Elisha] You are free from sin. You're able to live as a son of God. That doesn't mean that you don't need to learn some things, but you're learning to act how he's made you to be. I think it's the same thing with marriage. Oftentimes, we think, man, we need to become one, when in reality, you are one. He says, when two are joined together, they should no longer be called two, but they should be called one. And I think that once we've started to realize that more and more, we've realized that when I make decisions that aren't to the unity of our marriage, it hurts Katie, and similarly, if it's a negative decision, and if Katie makes a negative decision, it hurts me, whether you want it to or not. And I think that once we've started to have our minds transformed, you know, our minds are being transformed because we're renewing them and starting to believe what God says about who we are as Christians and then who we are as a married couple, we start to walk that out, we start to be one. And so once again, that's just one area that God has spoken to about marriage, saying hey, you are one. There's no more two, there's no more Elisha and Katie. You are one. I don't care how you feel. I don't care how she thinks or you think, you are one. So you better start learning how to act like it. Otherwise, it's gonna be a pretty miserable journey. [Aaron] Ooh, I love that. That's awesome, yeah. So a marriage after God is one that recognizes they are one. [Elisha] That's right. [Aaron] Like, not becoming one, they are one. And so, I love that, because you're right. We're not becoming something. We are it the moment we said yes. [Jennifer] Let's live it out. [Aaron] Yeah, and so, either we're living it out or we're fighting against it. [Elisha] Yes. [Aaron] So that's awesome, amen. So, where can people find you at? What are some websites? [Jennifer] 'Cause we know people got encouraged today. They got inspired. They wanna know more about you. [Elisha] Sure, yeah, well, you already mentioned our podcast. It's Now That We're A Family, and then we've got our YouTube channel, which is also called nowthatwereafamily. [Katie] Yep. [Elisha] And Katie's on Instagram at @nowthatimamother. [Jennifer] And she's super active there. She does live videos and interviews people. [Aaron] And her photos are awesome. [Katie] Yes, I was able to interview Jenn. That was awesome. [Elisha] Yeah, that's right, exactly. [Katie] Yeah, and are you? [Elisha] I'm on Instagram. [Aaron] Yeah, is yours @nowthatimafather? [Elisha] @nowthatimafather. [Katie] @nowthatimafather, yeah. [Elisha] That's right. Yeah, so that's really where you can find us, and then our website's nowthatwereafamily.com. [Aaron] So we just wanna encourage our listeners to go follow them and check them out. They have large families, large, awesome, godly families. [Jennifer] And they're growing theirs. [Aaron] And they're throwing theirs, and God's using them. [Elisha] Right on. [Jennifer] Okay, well, at the end of every episode, we just encourage everyone to join us in prayer. So Aaron, would you like to close us out in prayer? [Aaron] Dear Lord, we thank you for the way you created us, and we thank you for your rich provision. Thank you for equipping us for the work you have for us to do. May our eyes be opened so we can see all the wonderful ways you have equipped us. Use us to encourage our spouse in the ways you have equipped them as well. We ask that you use every one of our marriages to bring you glory and to spread your gospel. We pray against fear and against the temptation to bury the gifts you have given to us. We ask that you remove our insecurities far from our hearts and help us to trust in you. We pray that we would walk in confidence as we chase boldly after you and as we pursue doing the very things you created us and created our marriages to do. In Jesus's name, amen. [Jennifer] Amen. [Elisha and Katie] Amen. [Aaron] So thanks for joining us today, Katie and Elisha Voetberg. We love you guys, and we thank you for your story and your testimony. [Elisha] Mm, thank you guys, seriously. Thank you for your ministry. [Katie] Yes. [Elisha] And, I mean, I don't know if you guys are gonna keep this on, but. [Aaron] Oh, yeah. [Elisha] But just as an example you guys have shown to us I've really been thinking about this the last couple of weeks, is your guys' consistency in your faith and in your marriage and in your child training. That's a huge blessing to me as a new father. [Aaron] Thank you. [Elisha] Then also just in being in consistent community, being in consistent fellowship with our local body here. I just know that you'll be there. I know that you're a phone all or a text away and that you will be there on Sunday, and I see you guys being so faithful in your Bible times as a family, and I just never want you guys to question not only the work that's taking place in your own family, but the encouragement that is to me as a believer and I'm sure just to the global body that watches that. [Katie] Yes, you've been such a blessing to our family. [Jennifer] Thank you for sharing that, that's awesome. [Aaron] Thank you, well, yeah, I appreciate that. [Elisha] Actually, I'm gonna say one more thing. Just 'cause I don't know how many people you're gonna have on your podcast that go to your local church, but being the father of a two-year-old boy, I've really started to think more and more about child training within the church service content. And we've been going to church for almost two and a half years now with you guys and seen how you guys have been able to really train your children to sit in church is so inspiring. [Katie] Oh my goodness, yeah. [Elisha] You guys, I know that most of you listeners probably are never gonna have an opportunity to sit in church with Aaron and Jen, but their kids are so well behaved. They sit on their laps, and the only reason that's so remarkable to me now is because I've got a two-year-old, and it feels like I'm in a jiu jitsu match throughout the entire church service with him. [Katie] Yeah, we're trying to take notes from Aaron and Jen. [Elisha] Yeah. [Aaron] Well, thank you. [Elisha] Yeah, no, it's true. [Aaron] Yeah, thank you, I appreciate that. [Jennifer] It is about consistency, I would say, just to encourage others out there. The children just, they're awesome and they're a blessing to us. [Aaron] And it takes lots of hard work, and lots of prayer, and lots of screaming in pillows. [Katie] There you go. [Aaron] So, hey, thank you, that was really encouraging. We love you guys, and all you listening, we love you, and we thank you for joining us, and we pray that you will continue on in this journey with us as we have a few more episodes in this series. We'll see you next week. Did you enjoy today's show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also, if you're interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

Episode Notes

Join the Marriage After God movement and order a copy of our new book today.

https://marriageaftergod.com

Quote From the book:

“...what we see as inadequate, God sees as enough.”

Prayer

*Dear Lord,

We thank You for the way you created us and we thank you for your rich provision. Thank you for equipping us for the work you have for us to do. May our eyes be opened so that we can see all of the wonderful ways you have equipped us. Use us to encourage our spouse in the ways you have equipped them as well. We ask that you use every one of our marriage to bring you glory and to spread your gospel. We pray against fear and against the temptation to bury the gifts you have given to us. We ask that you remove our insecurities far from our hearts and help us to trust in you. We pray that we would walk in confidence as we chase boldly after you and as we pursue doing the very things you created us and created our marriages to do!

In Jesus’ name, amen!*

READ TRANSCRIPT

[Aaron] Hey, we're Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage after God.

[Jennifer] Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

[Aaron] And today, we're in part 11 of the Marriage after God series, and we're going to be talking with Katie and Elisha Voetberg about taking inventory. Welcome to the Marriage after God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.

[Jennifer] I'm Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife.

[Aaron] And I'm Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution.

[Jennifer] We have been married for over a decade.

[Aaron] And so far, we have four young children.

[Jennifer] We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years through vlogging and social media.

[Aaron] With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day.

[Jennifer] We believe that Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life.

[Aaron] Love.

[Jennifer] And power.

[Aaron] That can only be found by chasing after God.

[Jennifer] Together.

[Aaron] Thank you for joining us on this journey as we chase boldly after God's will for our life together.

[Jennifer] This is Marriage after God. So today's guests are Elisha and Katie Voetberg from the podcast Now That We're Family.

[Aaron] So before we get to the interview with Katie and Elisha Voetberg, we would love to ask anyone that's listening if they have not already to leave a review for us. That helps other people find the podcast. It helps the rankings in iTunes. So if you have a moment, leave us a star rating, leave us a text review. We'd love to see that.

[Jennifer] We also wanna invite you guys to check out our new book Marriage after God, which is available at our store. So just go to shop.marriageaftergod.com to check that out and get your copy today.

[Aaron] Yeah, that's the whole point of this series, is we're promoting our book coming out on June fourth, and we would love for you to get a copy of it. But following in the series, we're almost done with it, and we're excited to have you. Okay, Katie, Elisha, friends of ours.

[Jennifer] Thank you for being here.

[Elisha] No, thank you!

[Katie] We're so stoked to be here today.

[Aaron] We're here in our garage. Usually we record in our office, so there might be a little bit more echo, but this fits all of us. It's this fun little setup we got, I love it.

[Jennifer] And it's in person.

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Jennifer] So I feel like it's just fun all around.

[Aaron] So thanks for joining us, and no one is probably gonna know you, so why don't you guys tell everyone who you are, how long you've been married, kids, stuff like that.

[Elisha] Right on, yeah. So my name is Elisha Peter Voetberg, and this is my lovely wife Kathryn Joy Voetberg, and we've been married for three years now, and we're pregnant with our third child.

[Jennifer] Woohoo!

[Elisha] So we've got a two-year-old. Yeah, we're really pumped. We've got our two-year-old, Leon Tucker, and our daughter Lucy's just about a year, and then we've got our third baby on the way. And we love being a part of fellowship with you guys, doing fellowship.

[Aaron] Oh, I forgot to mention we go to church with them.

[Elisha] Yeah, that's right. That's a huge highlight for us. And we're just really excited about life with each other and seeing what God can do through the family unit and through marriage.

[Aaron] Cool, and that's why you guys started your podcast, was you loved what God was doing in your marriage and in your family, and we'll get into some more of your guys' background in a little bit. But yeah, if you haven't checked out their podcast, it's Now That We Are Family, and you can just search for that on iTunes or anywhere you can get podcasts, actually, so.

[Jennifer] Awesome, okay, moving right along.

[Aaron] This is our fun little section. We love this part.

[Jennifer] Yeah, we wanted to invite you guys to join us for the icebreaker question, which is, what is one of your funniest marriage moments?

[Elisha] Funniest, Katie?

[Aaron] Katie has one, and she's prepared.

[Katie] I am prepared. No, well, I would have to say one of our funniest marriage moments is probably the most ironic marriage moment, 'cause it was actually a fight.

[Elisha] That's true.

[Katie] But people think it's funny.

[Elisha] It's funny now, right?

[Katie] Yeah, exactly.

[Aaron] Not in the moment, but it is absolutely funny now for everyone else.

[Katie] Exactly, so it happened at our honeymoon, and I think it was the first wake-up call Elisha had to who he had married.

[Aaron] Oh, no.

[Elisha] Yeah, so yeah, I guess I'll tell the story. Katie and I, you're gonna hear more about our families, but we were both brought up in big families, and Katie's family was extremely strict when it came to sugar intake. And my family definitely was health-conscientious, but certainly not as strict regarding sugar as Katie's family was.

[Katie] Nowhere close.

[Elisha] Nowhere close.

[Aaron] Yeah. And I think it was day four of our honeymoon, and I viewed our honeymoon as being a time that was celebratory, and you can kinda splurge.

[Aaron] Yeah, which means it doesn't matter what you eat.

[Elisha] It doesn't matter what you eat.

[Aaron] You can have as much as you want.

[Elisha] Exactly, that's how I was viewing it. And so, it was the evening of our fourth night, I think, the fourth day in our honeymoon, and we decided to get a little treat for a movie that we were gonna watch. And so, I got a pack of Skittles, just like the normal size. It wasn't the super size, it wasn't the party size. It was just the normal serving size of Skittles. And Katie didn't want anything, and that really blew my mind. I was like, you're not gonna get a treat? She goes, no. She was like, I'll have some of yours, which is classic, right?

[Jennifer] Yeah, you're like, no you're not.

[Elisha] Classic, yeah, exactly. And so, we started watching the movie, and I had a few Skittles, and then Katie took three Skittles and she told me that that was gonna be enough for her.

[Katie] No, I had, okay, yeah. Okay, I guess, but this is a classic like, let me help you tell the story, honey. But I ended up eating 11 Skittles.

[Aaron] She remembers the exact number.

[Katie] Which was splurging for me. And Elisha was like, you're counting your Skittles? But then I took the Skittles away from him.

[Elisha] Yeah, after I had eaten maybe 20 or 25 Skittles.

[Katie] That's a lot of Skittles.

[Elisha] Yeah.

[Katie] Up until this point, I'd maybe had like one. Anyways, like, my family, I'm one of 11 kids, and we would split a bag of Skittles and make it last for two or three days.

[Aaron] Wow, that's incredible, actually.

[Katie] Anyways, yeah, so it led to kind of a crazy fight, and since then, I realize that I am the one that most people don't agree with on this story.

[Aaron] Yeah, Skittles are usually a single-event, single-instance candy.

[Elisha] Yeah, that's how I viewed it, exactly. She wanted to save it.

[Aaron] It's one serving, isn't it, like, the whole bag?

[Elisha] Exactly, I thought it was one serving too.

[Katie] I wouldn't believe it, and we had to read the back.

[Jennifer] Awesome.

[Aaron] That is funny now, for sure.

[Elisha] It's funny now. Well, you know what's funny is that we're laughing about it, but she was dead serious at the moment. She grabbed the bag from me.

[Katie] I hid 'em.

[Elisha] Yeah, and I thought she was being playful and kind of flirtatious. I was like, oh, come on, give me the Skittles back. She's like, no, we'll finish 'em later, like we can have 'em tomorrow or the next day. I was like, are you kidding me? I want them now.

[Aaron] I wonder how many people are gonna really relate to this. They're like, this is exactly how we are with Skittles.

[Jennifer] That's so awesome.

[Aaron] We both would get our own bags of Skittles.

[Jennifer] For sure.

[Aaron] And our own bag of, what else would we get?

[Jennifer] And remind each other that we're not sharing.

[Aaron] Please don't have any of mine. Get your own bag if you want some.

[Elisha] I don't think Katie can view you the same way anymore, now that she knows that.

[Jennifer] That's okay. Okay, so we're gonna, we always share a quote, and we're gonna share a quote from Marriage after God from chapter 11, Take Inventory. Aaron, do you wanna?

[Aaron] Yeah, so what we see as inadequate, God sees as enough. It's a smaller part of a bigger quote in a bigger context, but the idea is that oftentimes, we might see things that we have in our life, abilities, skills, and they're not good enough for God or adequate for what God wants to do in our life or through our life. And so we think we need something else. Oh, I don't have what it takes, that kind of mentality, but it's exactly what God's already given us, and he requires and desires us to invest it as we have it. It doesn't mean that we don't get better at things, but that's kind of the context of this, and we're gonna talk about this idea of taking inventory and we're gonna ask the questions to you guys, 'cause you guys haven't read the book yet, which is totally fine.

[Elisha] Right.

[Aaron] Because I think we all can learn and start to understand in our life that God's given us things, and he desires us to invest them, and not because we're trying to commend ourselves to God, but he wants us to invest them for his sake, for our sake, and it's because we love him that we invest them. So that's the quote, and then we can get into the topic and some questions for you guys.

[Elisha] Cool.

[Aaron] Are you guys excited about the questions?

[Elisha] I am excited.

[Aaron] Okay.

[Jennifer] Okay, you guys are a young family figuring out what God has for you as a couple. How has that journey been so far? So you can describe things like how you feel about it, highs and lows, or maybe a significant story that stands out to you?

[Katie] Yeah, so I think there have been a lot of highs and lows in our three years of marriage, and I think our first month of marriage was kind of indicative to that. Elisha was making I think $1800 at the time working at a restaurant, and our rent was 1150. So I don't even know how we quite managed to make it all work that month. We were doing a ton of odd jobs, and we started three different businesses our first month of marriage, and got pregnant.

[Aaron] A little bit of things.

[Katie] Yeah, like all of those moving parts I think really affected the last few years, but I think it's been so cool to see how God has worked to make all those things work together, even though there was such a random smattering of things over the years. And I think we've had so much fun, even though we didn't always see the plan, and I think what's cool now is that we trust the process so much more, and we trust each other so much more. We trust God. There were so many things through starting those businesses. Like, well, one of 'em provides for us now. It's a network marketing company, and I think it really has not only provided for us now, but it allows us to pursue our passions, and it helped give us thicker skin to handle rejection and stuff like that. So there were a lot of ups and downs just in that, you know, when you start one business. Elisha was getting his real estate license, so that was new for us, being employed, and then being unemployed it feels like when you don't have a deal. But I just think it's really cool that now, when we're uncertain of today or what tomorrow holds, 'cause I feel like as entrepreneurs, that is life. We just trust each other so much more, and we're like, you know God's gonna work these things together, and we see how he's using those things we started in our first few months of marriage now.

[Jennifer] I think that's so encouraging, what you're sharing, because I think everybody has that tendency to wanna know what the next hundred steps are, like, see that bigger picture right away. But I think what you're saying is so encouraging to hear, to remind ourselves we have to just be able to trust God and trust our spouse with just that next step.

[Elisha] Mmhmm.

[Aaron] Yeah, Elisha, how do you, so, you guys have started businesses, making barely ends meet, which all of us have been there. Some people that are listening right now are probably right there right now. And you're just trying to figure out life. You guys have been married for three years, you have kids. You're just trying to figure out a lot of things, which is totally good, totally normal. But has there been times over the last few years that you feel like you're not moving in any direction, or how could God possibly use all these random difficulties and where we're at in our life?

[Elisha] Absolutely. I know there's been numerous times where I've had those exact thoughts probably verbatim in my brain, and even looking back in retrospect over three years, and even though that's not a lot of time to some people, it's enough time for us to really realize that God does work all things together for good. There are some things that I know he's gonna continue to work out over the next 10 and 20 and 30 years of our life. But when you live, early on, month to month when it comes to your paycheck, and then you get pregnant in the middle of that, and then you get pregnant with your second child when you're kind of in the same position, it really makes you realize that the Lord does provide, and I think that that has helped me really embrace the season for what it is. I know that so often, everybody wants to arrive, right? You wanna be there, whatever there is.

[Aaron] Yeah, whatever that there is.

[Elisha] Whatever that is.

[Aaron] How do we get there faster?

[Elisha] Exactly. It might be a level of your income. It might be the size of your home or the quality of your vehicles that you're driving, but looking back over these last three years and seeing what the Lord's done, it's made us enjoy the journey and enjoy the process and trust the Lord in that. And when I look at those times where I was questioning what the heck I was doing with my life and what the Lord was gonna use with these things that I was doing, I look back, and so far, he's been so faithful to, in spite of me, a lot of times, use them for his purpose and for his glory.

[Aaron] Yeah, so, I love that, and you know, this topic we're talking about, take inventory, is off chapter 11 of our book, and the idea of the chapter, we're not gonna go into too much of it, is that we can look at our lives and realize that there are, not certain things, that everything in our life, the inventory of our life, can be evaluated and looked at and say, okay, Lord, how are you using that season of life, that idea, that business that we wanted to start or that passion we have or that pain we felt? And so, what you're kinda saying is you've been looking back and saying, okay, I didn't know what I was doing then, but God's using that now.

[Elisha] Yes.

[Aaron] So when you look back over the last few years, and we're gonna get into your family in the next question, you look back over your life, taking this idea of inventory, can you guys pinpoint, be like, oh, wow, these things in our life, this way we were raised, certain giftings we have, talents, that's our inventory, that's what's on the shelf for us. Can you name a few of those things, and then we're gonna go into family next.

[Elisha] Sure, yeah. We'll stick with our marriage so far, 'cause we haven't gotten into Katie and I's growing up experience, but I look at the businesses that we started in that first month, or even the job that I was doing. I was a bartender at the time, and obviously, you're dealing with people. You're dealing with all sorts of people as a bartender, and it's so easy for me to look at that season of life as being, man, I was just there to get tips and to go home and to pay rent.

[Aaron] Right, meaningless waste of time, yeah.

[Elisha] Exactly.

[Aaron] However you feel about it.

[Elisha] Yeah, exactly. And of course, I was interacting with eternal beings every day, whether that was my coworkers or my boss and my managers, and then, of course, the patrons that were coming and consuming alcohol, or buying food at the restaurant. And so I look back and I think, man, the Lord was preparing me just to have empathy and sympathy for all types of people. And then I think of the businesses that we started in that first month, and it was funny, 'cause we really acquired a lot of skillsets because we were kind of hacks when it came to, one of those businesses was an online music academy because I'm a musician, and I wanted to be able to offer my music lessons in an online format, and neither Katie or I were video people or really recording-type people.

[Aaron] Yeah, but you guys did a good job. I remember you guys, it's still up, right?

[Elisha] It is still up.

[Katie] It is still up, yeah.

[Elisha] It's effective, and people still use it. But we just figured it out. We just decided to dive in and go for it, and that was good for me to get over my pride and to let go of that perfectionism mindset that so often keeps us from taking any action.

[Katie] And I think too it was good for us because, like, I remember when we first got married and you were a little more focused on your image then, and I was kind of like, I don't know, I was kind of a hack. I think I made you a little nervous, the way I threw around my image.

[Elisha] Let's just do it, let's just do it.

[Katie] Yeah, I was like, let's just do it, put it up. And I remember the first time I showed you a video that I was gonna post on Facebook. It was just a little parody I made, and Elisha's like, you cannot post that. Like, there is no way.

[Elisha] That's funny.

[Aaron] You're like, it's going up.

[Katie] Yeah. Well, through Voetberg Music Academy, we ended up doing a lot of those little commercials or little parody videos together, and I think that that really, I mean, we use that now.

[Elisha] Yep, absolutely.

[Katie] And it just really helped us swallow our pride I think and just go for things.

[Jennifer] Explain that a little bit more when you say we use that now.

[Katie] Well, we use that now on YouTube is probably one of the biggest ways that we use that in just family vlogging now that we're a family on YouTube as well. And I think that that is kind of what spawned the podcast, because if we hadn't gotten enough confidence to just document our lives, I don't think we would have ever taken that next step to podcasting.

[Aaron] That's good. So right now, what you're currently doing for the Lord, for your family, you can reach back into the inventory of those experiences and the inventory of those challenges, the trials and errors, and use that now and feel more confident in moving forward and, like you said, you wouldn't have been able to do it now if you didn't try it then or have those experiences. That's awesome.

[Jennifer] That is so cool. Okay, so we touched on that we were gonna get into your families a little bit. Katie, you mentioned that you're from a big family, so how do you guys see the unique ways that you were raised or maybe family type being used for what God has you doing today?

[Elisha] Yeah, so I was one of 10 children, all from the same mommy and daddy, and my parents are still married. They stayed married throughout our entire childhood, and they're in a great marriage.

[Aaron] Which is rare these days.

[Elisha] Yeah, and Katie is the oldest of 11 children, where it's same mommy and daddy for all the kiddos, and they're in a vibrant marriage right now. And so we were both homeschooled and brought up just with very Bible-centered homes. We read the Bible every single day as a family at the breakfast table, and sometimes at the dinner table, and I think that when I look at my history, not only was it an extremely enjoyable and relationship-rich time that I loved with my siblings and with my parents, and I know Katie feels the same way.

[Katie] Yes.

[Elisha] About her childhood, where we both just look back at them with really fond memories. I see that because my parents and Katie's parents, but I'll speak for myself right now, Because my parents become comfortable being unconventional and being counter-cultural, I grew up with this mindset that there are so many blessings in being different than the world.

[Aaron] I like that.

[Elisha] And I think my parents were the ones that were convicted by the Lord, and obviously, I was just along for the ride as a child and I was following in their leading, but they really exemplified to me that yes, a lot of times, initially, making those decisions to have many children or for the mom to stay home and be with the children and homeschool them or to take 'em out of the public and homeschool them, they can be challenging up front, and they can be challenging even for an extended amount of time. But the payoff is so worth it. So I think that growing up with a big family, in a big family and with parents that really trusted the Lord with their finances, with how many children they're going to have, it made me realize that I've adopted a lot of these mindsets not even knowing it. And so when I hear people that are my age say, well, we couldn't afford to have children now, I just think to myself, well, yeah you could. Where's that coming from? And I think that statements like that are so commonly accepted in our culture and in the world and they're never challenged, and I just don't believe that. I believe that you could probably find a way to afford to have children. I think that you can find a way to afford for the mother to stay home and not go to work and to even homeschool her children. And I think you can find a way to have a romantic and fun and flirtatious marriage, even while you have a bunch of kids, because I saw it exemplified to me.

[Aaron] Yeah, that's the magic right there.

[Elisha] Yeah, and so I'm not saying that I know how to do it; I just believe it can be done, and I think that Katie feels similarly.

[Katie] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think sometimes, there is this mindset of, we have to do things how everyone else does them, and I think the way we grew up, like, I had some of the best years of my life living in a tent and a trailer, you know? Like, we did that for two years so my parents could save up a down payment for their house, and they had six kids at the time, but those are some of the best memories of my childhood. And I think sometimes, we have this misconceived perception that, oh, we need to earn this amount of money or we need to take our kids to Disneyland or we need to be able to provide these things for our kids, and I just don't have that perspective at all. Because of the way I was raised, I just have incredible relationships with my parents, and I have such amazing memories of growing up in unique situations. I guess my experience helps dispel some of those societal norms.

[Aaron] Yeah. So you, you have a lot of resources at your fingertips from the way you were raised, the versatility, the flexibility to make decisions that might be, hey, if we slow down here, we can speed up over here, or if we lessen what we're spending money on over here, we can have money to do something over here. You have those things at your fingertips to use now because of how, and you didn't even get to choose it.

[Elisha and Katie] Exactly.

[Aaron] Right? 'Cause that's kind of some of the things that we like to point out and we want our listeners to know, fortunately your family stories are powerful and just relationally rich, and then some people listening are gonna be like, well, I didn't have a family like that. My family wasn't that great. I didn't have strong Christian parents. But our point in this idea of taking inventory is that your story and your family doesn't give you something extra. It's what God has given you. And my family story's different, similar in some ways, but different. Jennifer's family story's different. And we we don't have your story to use in what God has for us to do ministry in, right?

[Elisha] That's right.

[Aaron] We use our story, the inventory that we have that God's given us. And so, that's kind of what's awesome about taking inventory of our lives, is our listeners can take inventory and be like, and I wanna encourage them that are listening not to throw out their story 'cause it's not your story.

[Elisha] That's right, absolutely.

[Aaron] Because they do have inventory, and God wants us to look at what we have and what he's given us and say, here you go, Lord.

[Elisha] That's right.

[Aaron] So here's my family and how I was raised, the good things and the bad things that happened to me as a child that I had no choice in, and how do you want me to use this for you, Lord? How do you want me to invest this? How do you wanna redeem this in my life? How do you wanna turn it into something for you, not for me, not for my sake. And so, maybe that gives someone listening right now peace and actually some courage in their own inventory.

[Jennifer] Yeah, and something I wanna highlight is just that how cool that God would have you guys here on the show and be able to share your story, 'cause I think it will be an encouragement to someone. 'Cause like you said, there's other ways of living that have been expressed and accepted in our culture, and your story's different, and the fact that you're here and you're sharing and whoever's listening could be encouraged by this, I love that.

[Aaron] Yeah, that story by itself right now, whether it has any other implications in your life, could potentially minister to someone today, which is amazing, right?

[Katie] Incredible.

[Aaron] And that's just one small way that God uses what we are, what we have that he's given to us, is just by saying yes to him, which is a theme that we mention throughout our whole book, is saying yes to God.

[Jennifer] Okay, so when we say yes to God, sometimes insecurities flare up, fears, things like that. So what are some of your biggest insecurities when it comes to using your gifts and talents for God?

[Elisha] You know, it's funny, 'cause I think that, even piggybacking on talking about our family, our unique story and our unique experiences can often be debilitating to us, and we can oftentimes find ourselves experiencing paralysis by analysis because we feel like we're from such a unique perspective, we can't relate with people. How are we gonna be able to connect and really encourage and exhort, whether that's fellow believers or minister to people that are not saved, and oftentimes, I mean, you can look at that from two ways. One, I feel extremely strong in my faith because of what my parents have done before me, but it also makes me realize it's not about me. It's not about Katie. It's about Jesus Christ. And I think of, is it II Peter chapter one, I think it's verses three and four that whereby are given unto you all things.

[Aaron] That pertain to life and godliness, yeah.

[Elisha] That pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who's called you to glory and virtue. And that's not the prerequisite. The prerequisite for that is not coming from a Christian family. The prerequisite for that's not coming from the fourth generation or fifth generation of Bible-believing Christians; it's being in Christ.

[Aaron] It's being in Christ.

[Katie] That's good.

[Elisha] It's being a new creation in Christ. But the cool thing about that is that legacy is a real thing, and you have the ability in Christ to start a new legacy. We were just at my grandfather's funeral a week and a half ago, and it was really powerful to be there with his six children and then 42 grandchildren.

[Aaron] Wow, that's incredible.

[Elisha] And this is my mother's father, and to hear his story of being orphaned at 12 years old, heavily abused, on the street starving, an alcoholic father who ended up being a felon, never knowing his mother and never knowing the love of Christ in his home and making a decision to follow the Lord at 16 years of age, and the legacy that's come from that.

[Katie] It's incredible, and we get to benefit from that.

[Jennifer] That's powerful, wow.

[Elisha] Absolutely, yeah, really is powerful.

[Aaron] Wow, love that.

[Elisha] And so, to get back to your question, insecurities, I think it's so easy to feel inadequate, 'cause of course, apart from Christ, we are inadequate, but that's not where we're at anymore. So you need to accept the reality that hey, we're in Christ, we are a new creation in Christ, and we do have all things pertaining to life and godliness, and therefore, we are equipped. And so I think our youth can play a factor in that, not feeling old enough.

[Katie] I definitely think that plays in too. You feel like, well, I don't have enough experience, you know, life experience.

[Aaron] I know, you're not allowed to have a podcast about family yet until you've had a family for a super long time, right?

[Katie] Exactly, exactly.

[Elisha] Exactly, that's right.

[Katie] So I think we do wanna be thoughtful in that and share what we're experiencing more and what we're learning in the moment versus teaching, 'cause obviously, our oldest is two, you know what I'm saying? Elisha and I have been married for three years.

[Aaron] Right, there's things you actually don't know, and that's fine.

[Katie] Yes. So I think we want to be wise and cautious in that, but that doesn't mean that we can't encourage someone who's in a similar situation.

[Elisha] Yeah, and I think that even though there's so much that we have yet to learn and that we need to learn as life goes on, I know that Katie and I are really excited about family, and we're excited about growth, and I think that regardless of what stage of life you're in, if you're in Christ Jesus, you can be excited about the future.

[Aaron] Ooh, I like that.

[Elisha] I know that's where we're at right now.

[Aaron] So that sounds very similar to ours. When we launched Unveiled Wife and then Husband Revolution, how long were we married? Five years?

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] And people even asked us, how long have you been married, like, older people, which rightfully so asking us, but I always tell people, we're not marriage experts. We've never proclaimed to be marriage experts. That would have been wrong of us to do. We're marriage storytellers.

[Jennifer] Yeah, storytellers. We're sharing our experience.

[Aaron] How are we failing, what's God teaching us, and again, going back to our book, one of the themes is like what you said, it's not us. It's not my experiences that is changing anyone's hearts or that has any value, other than Christ using it. And it's his story. It's his vocation, it's his ministry, not ours. It's his message, not ours. And so, as long as we're going back to the very thing that's changing us and transforming us, like, the gospel's the power of God unto salvation, right? The gospel and Christ in us through the Holy Spirit, that's what we're doing in this world. So we've had the same exact inadequacies and fears almost every time we launch anything. Launching this podcast, we were like, we don't know how to do podcasts. So I hope that encourages people listening to realize, wow, if God's calling me out, and not if, he is calling me out and wants me to follow him and wants me to use my life and the inventory of my life for his glory, they should be encouraged to know that even if they feel doubt and fear, that it's not them anyway. It's Christ doing it.

[Katie] Exactly.

[Elisha] Amen.

[Jennifer] I think it's important to note we have a real enemy who does not like us using the gift and things that God's given us to glorify God.

[Aaron] No way, yeah.

[Jennifer] And so there's gonna be opposition to that, and I think our flesh is sensitive to that. So sometimes it does come in the form of insecurities or fears and things that we're afraid of, but it's just temptation from the enemy to try and distract us.

[Katie] That's a great perspective.

[Aaron] Yeah, but I love that you guys use wisdom and thoughtfulness. I don't think we should test God and run into the middle of the street and say, save me!

[Katie] Definitely not.

[Aaron] We need to present, again, going back to the taking inventory, we don't just say like, oh, I'm gonna use this thing in my life this way. No, we say, okay, Lord, here's what I have. This is what you've given me, this abuse as a child, your grandpa story, or my godly upbringing, or this schooling I went to. Whatever it is, these gifts, these natural abilities that you've given me, here you go. What do you want? How do you wanna arrange this and turn it into a clay pot or a basketball hoop or whatever it is that he wants to mold it into.

[Jennifer] It's in humility and submission to his will and his purposes, which leads me to the next question. I'd love for you guys to share on this. What's the purpose of all the gifts and things that he gives to you, or to us? What is the purpose?

[Elisha] Yeah, I think big picture answer is it's for God's glory and for the furtherance of the gospel.

[Aaron] Yeah, we talked about this on Sunday, didn't we?

[Elisha] We did, that's right, a few days ago. And the way that plays out practically with each couple I think is obviously gonna look different, 'cause there are so many different skillsets and passions. And it's fun when you accept that big picture of, man, this is for God's purpose. It's for his glory. It's for the furtherance of his kingdom. Then it almost makes it like a fun game to figure out what your skillsets are and how you can be a part of the puzzle and the pie, realizing, wait, it's not about me. I don't have to get all the credit.

[Aaron] Yes, yes.

[Elisha] In fact, I shouldn't get all the credit. Like, how can I fit into the strategy that God has? And I think obviously, Katie and I are in the journey of figuring that out, and something that we both talk a lot about is being aware of the desires that are on our heart, and the Lord I think oftentimes places those on your heart, and then also being open to counsel. And you can speak to this, Katie, but I think that we've gone back and forth of caring too much about what people think of us, whether that's close friends and relatives, or even people that we don't know personally, but they have their opinion online of us and we'll let that influence the action we're taking. But then you can swing the pendulum and say, well, forget what people think. I'm just gonna do what I wanna do. And there's obviously, the Bible talks about there being safety in the counsel of many. And so I think finding this place where you say, man, the Lord's put something on my heart. I wanna have a community of counsel that I can go to and be humble before, knowing that they can totally see blind spots in my life, but then also realizing I don't wanna make decisions based off of the fear of man or what somebody might say to me.

[Aaron] Right.

[Jennifer] So good, and I find so much encouragement in several things that you guys have already shared throughout this episode, things like have fun along the way, enjoy the journey, and I love that, and I just wanted to take note for everyone listening, and for everyone who's gonna read the book Marriage after God, because sometimes, we just tell it like it is and encourage them to do. But I want them to hear this. It is a journey to be enjoyed, and it is something to have fun with yourselves when you're figuring it out. And so I just wanted to make a note, I love that you said that.

[Aaron] And the highlight in your story, just all the unique variables, we call it inventory, that God has equipped you guys with to do the unique thing that he's having you do, whatever that looks like. It could be a business. It could be just you working nine-to-five jobs, you just being a mom, but how you guys work together with your gifts and talents, we don't know, but you guys are trying things and chasing after what God wants for you and saying, okay, Lord, okay, that's not it? Okay, cool, and we'll take the experience from that. We're gonna use it for the thing that you do want us to do, and that it's this organic thing. 'Cause God knows the complete picture.

[Elisha] That's right.

[Katie] He does, yes.

[Aaron] It says many plans are in the man's heart, but it's the Lord that directs the steps. So we have these plans, we have these ideas, and we say, if the Lord wills it, and then we take a step, and you say, okay, that's the right step. Oh, no, that's the wrong step. Let's go to this step, let's do this way, and we let him direct us. And what's awesome is along the way, whether you have reached that goal, whatever that thing is, like you said, we always have this picture of what it might be, and we actually don't even know what it might be. We just think, it's usually probably compared to someone else's thing.

[Katie] Probably.

[Elisha] That's usually what it is.

[Aaron] But like even right now, just by you saying yes to him in all of these decisions, you're saying yes to him, and you begin to see him not only change you guys, make you guys more in love, stronger in your marriage, better parents, better brothers and sisters in Christ, but then also, you get used to grow the kingdom, just along the way. Whether you ever achieve that position or ministry or goal or whatever it looks like, it's happening along the way because you're saying yes to God, and I think that's amazing.

[Elisha] Yep.

[Aaron] So, do you feel like God is currently inviting you two to do anything specific, like, as you guys have been navigating with all these gifts and talents and resources?

[Katie] Yeah, well, I think that it's, like we mentioned, it has been a journey. I think it's so cool to see how the Lord has had us work together in little ways right off the bat, because there is no way we'd be able to even do the projects we're working on now if we hadn't taken those little steps, and I think of with Voetberg Music Academy, where I started recording a live show and we started getting into video, but I was so insecure talking in front of a camera in front of Elisha. I wasn't insecure about the camera.

[Aaron] Elisha, turn around please.

[Katie] Yes!

[Elisha] Exactly, she would tell me to leave.

[Katie] He'd have to leave. I had a crush on Elisha since I was eight years old, and I tried my entire life to impress him.

[Aaron] Oh, that's awesome. And now he's standing there in front of you.

[Katie] So then after we got married, I was like, I can't do this, and he was so good at it, and he was so good at communicating that, I don't know, there was just no way we were going to ever be able to talk to a camera together. And I think it was so cool, because I started my own YouTube now that I'm a mother before we did anything online, and it was cool how that just built my confidence, and that was a little step. It was just a hobby and a fun thing, but I do think the Lord was using it to build my confidence for us to be able to start doing video together and starting the vlog, and then starting, and I think it also gave you confidence too.

[Elisha] Yes.

[Katie] In the flip side, to see me just putting my life out there and people being encouraged by it, and that gave you the urge I think to have us jump into that together.

[Elisha] Absolutely.

[Katie] Which again led to the podcast, and I do think even though we are young and we are really newly married and a new family, we do have a desire to encourage family and encourage biblical rules and encourage seeking out what God's word says about family in a culture that is so starkly opposed to just the biblical worldview. And so, I think that's our goal, and that might look different throughout the years. The mediums we use to communicate might look different, but I think for both of us, that's what God has placed on our heart, to just encourage young families in our stage of life and newly married couples.

[Aaron] Yeah. So I just wanna encourage you guys, 'cause I know you both, we go to church together, we know most of your families. Whether you have direct experience with being parents of large families and have been doing for ages, or you have a two-year-old, right?

[Elisha] Yeah, that's right.

[Aaron] You have more experience in this than many people, because I grew up in a family of two. You grew up in a larger family, but not the way you guys did.

[Jennifer] Yeah.

[Aaron] And whether or not you are directly experiencing it, which you are, just with a much smaller size right now, you were drawing from that inventory of how you were raised and the experience that no one has had, rarely, 10 children, 11 children, parents that stayed together that not just stayed together but love each other, 'cause that's a big thing.

[Jennifer] Yeah, there's parents that stick it out.

[Aaron] Lots of people, they stayed together, but it wasn't very joyful, right?

[Elisha] Right, right.

[Aaron] And so that's what's awesome, is whether or not you feel completely qualified, you're more qualified than me to talk about it, just by the experience you had, now, as long as we stay humble and we submit to the Lord and say we're gonna do it your way, 'cause it's his story. So I just wanted to encourage you guys that. I think that's awesome you're starting. I think we need more people, more believers. That's the whole purpose of this book, is to say yes to God and say, God, here's what you've given me. How do you wanna use it?

[Elisha] Yes, amen.

[Jennifer] Okay, guys, this is the last question, and it's in your own words, what is a marriage after God?

[Elisha] In our own words, what is a marriage after God?

[Katie] Okay, you go first.

[Elisha] This isn't fair, 'cause we haven't read the book yet, guys.

[Aaron] This is exactly why we're asking.

[Elisha] I see. You know, God invented marriage, so I really do think that he gets to choose what the purpose of marriage is, what marriage is, what the end goal is, and something that Katie and I have really been contemplating over the last few months is that when you are joined in holy matrimony, you don't then start to try to become one; he makes you one. And so therefore, you start to act like one. And I think that so often, and this carries over into our faith. We think that when you are made new in Christ, from the day you're saved, you're a son of God.

[Aaron] Oh, I love that, yeah.

[Elisha] You are free from sin. You're able to live as a son of God. That doesn't mean that you don't need to learn some things, but you're learning to act how he's made you to be. I think it's the same thing with marriage. Oftentimes, we think, man, we need to become one, when in reality, you are one. He says, when two are joined together, they should no longer be called two, but they should be called one. And I think that once we've started to realize that more and more, we've realized that when I make decisions that aren't to the unity of our marriage, it hurts Katie, and similarly, if it's a negative decision, and if Katie makes a negative decision, it hurts me, whether you want it to or not. And I think that once we've started to have our minds transformed, you know, our minds are being transformed because we're renewing them and starting to believe what God says about who we are as Christians and then who we are as a married couple, we start to walk that out, we start to be one. And so once again, that's just one area that God has spoken to about marriage, saying hey, you are one. There's no more two, there's no more Elisha and Katie. You are one. I don't care how you feel. I don't care how she thinks or you think, you are one. So you better start learning how to act like it. Otherwise, it's gonna be a pretty miserable journey.

[Aaron] Ooh, I love that. That's awesome, yeah. So a marriage after God is one that recognizes they are one.

[Elisha] That's right.

[Aaron] Like, not becoming one, they are one. And so, I love that, because you're right. We're not becoming something. We are it the moment we said yes.

[Jennifer] Let's live it out.

[Aaron] Yeah, and so, either we're living it out or we're fighting against it.

[Elisha] Yes.

[Aaron] So that's awesome, amen. So, where can people find you at? What are some websites?

[Jennifer] 'Cause we know people got encouraged today. They got inspired. They wanna know more about you.

[Elisha] Sure, yeah, well, you already mentioned our podcast. It's Now That We're A Family, and then we've got our YouTube channel, which is also called nowthatwereafamily.

[Katie] Yep.

[Elisha] And Katie's on Instagram at @nowthatimamother.

[Jennifer] And she's super active there. She does live videos and interviews people.

[Aaron] And her photos are awesome.

[Katie] Yes, I was able to interview Jenn. That was awesome.

[Elisha] Yeah, that's right, exactly.

[Katie] Yeah, and are you?

[Elisha] I'm on Instagram.

[Aaron] Yeah, is yours @nowthatimafather?

[Elisha] @nowthatimafather.

[Katie] @nowthatimafather, yeah.

[Elisha] That's right. Yeah, so that's really where you can find us, and then our website's nowthatwereafamily.com.

[Aaron] So we just wanna encourage our listeners to go follow them and check them out. They have large families, large, awesome, godly families.

[Jennifer] And they're growing theirs.

[Aaron] And they're throwing theirs, and God's using them.

[Elisha] Right on.

[Jennifer] Okay, well, at the end of every episode, we just encourage everyone to join us in prayer. So Aaron, would you like to close us out in prayer?

[Aaron] Dear Lord, we thank you for the way you created us, and we thank you for your rich provision. Thank you for equipping us for the work you have for us to do. May our eyes be opened so we can see all the wonderful ways you have equipped us. Use us to encourage our spouse in the ways you have equipped them as well. We ask that you use every one of our marriages to bring you glory and to spread your gospel. We pray against fear and against the temptation to bury the gifts you have given to us. We ask that you remove our insecurities far from our hearts and help us to trust in you. We pray that we would walk in confidence as we chase boldly after you and as we pursue doing the very things you created us and created our marriages to do. In Jesus's name, amen.

[Jennifer] Amen.

[Elisha and Katie] Amen.

[Aaron] So thanks for joining us today, Katie and Elisha Voetberg. We love you guys, and we thank you for your story and your testimony.

[Elisha] Mm, thank you guys, seriously. Thank you for your ministry.

[Katie] Yes.

[Elisha] And, I mean, I don't know if you guys are gonna keep this on, but.

[Aaron] Oh, yeah.

[Elisha] But just as an example you guys have shown to us I've really been thinking about this the last couple of weeks, is your guys' consistency in your faith and in your marriage and in your child training. That's a huge blessing to me as a new father.

[Aaron] Thank you.

[Elisha] Then also just in being in consistent community, being in consistent fellowship with our local body here. I just know that you'll be there. I know that you're a phone all or a text away and that you will be there on Sunday, and I see you guys being so faithful in your Bible times as a family, and I just never want you guys to question not only the work that's taking place in your own family, but the encouragement that is to me as a believer and I'm sure just to the global body that watches that.

[Katie] Yes, you've been such a blessing to our family.

[Jennifer] Thank you for sharing that, that's awesome.

[Aaron] Thank you, well, yeah, I appreciate that.

[Elisha] Actually, I'm gonna say one more thing. Just 'cause I don't know how many people you're gonna have on your podcast that go to your local church, but being the father of a two-year-old boy, I've really started to think more and more about child training within the church service content. And we've been going to church for almost two and a half years now with you guys and seen how you guys have been able to really train your children to sit in church is so inspiring.

[Katie] Oh my goodness, yeah.

[Elisha] You guys, I know that most of you listeners probably are never gonna have an opportunity to sit in church with Aaron and Jen, but their kids are so well behaved. They sit on their laps, and the only reason that's so remarkable to me now is because I've got a two-year-old, and it feels like I'm in a jiu jitsu match throughout the entire church service with him.

[Katie] Yeah, we're trying to take notes from Aaron and Jen.

[Elisha] Yeah.

[Aaron] Well, thank you.

[Elisha] Yeah, no, it's true.

[Aaron] Yeah, thank you, I appreciate that.

[Jennifer] It is about consistency, I would say, just to encourage others out there. The children just, they're awesome and they're a blessing to us.

[Aaron] And it takes lots of hard work, and lots of prayer, and lots of screaming in pillows.

[Katie] There you go.

[Aaron] So, hey, thank you, that was really encouraging. We love you guys, and all you listening, we love you, and we thank you for joining us, and we pray that you will continue on in this journey with us as we have a few more episodes in this series. We'll see you next week. Did you enjoy today's show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also, if you're interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.