Marriage After God

MAG 012: How To Know God’s Will For Your Marriage - w/ Sam & Amanda Ciurdar

Episode Summary

Order Marriage After God today and get a ton of free bonuses https://marriageaftergod.com -- Today we’re in part 12 of the marriage after God Series and we’re gonna be talking with Sam and Amanda Ciurdar about God’s Will for your marriage A Quote From Marriage After God “As the people of God and as children of the Creator, it is our inheritance to take on the family business of proclaiming with our words, actions, and love for one another that Christ came to reconcile the world to God.” PRAYER Dear Lord, Thank you for your holy word. Thank you for sharing with us what your will is for our lives and what your will is for our marriages. We ask that we would continue growing in knowledge and understanding of your word. As husbands and wives, please help us to build and keep your word as our strong foundation. We pray against our flesh from getting in the way of doing your will. When we start to wrestle with our flesh, Holy Spirit please defend us and help us to have victory over our flesh. Renew our perspective of life and marriage, so that we may see what you see. Reveal to us the bigger picture of how your will is being done in us and through us. Motivate our hearts to use every part of our lives to live for you! May we understand the impact our ministry has as we walk faithfully every day with you and with each other. May we fulfill our part as your body to share your gospel with this lost world. In Jesus’ name, amen! READ TRANSCRIPT Hey, we're Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God. Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage. And today, we're in part twelve of the Marriage After God series and we're gonna be talking with Sam and Amanda Ciurdar about God's Will For Your Marriage. Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after. I'm Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife. And, I'm Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution. We have been married for over a decade. And so far, we have four young children. We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years, through blogging and social media. With a desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day. We believe that Christian Marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life Love And power That can only be found by chasing after God. Together Thank you for joining us on this journey, as we chase boldly after God's Will for our life together. This is Marriage After God. So, today's guests are Sam and Amanda Ciurdar. They're great friends of ours and we're really excited for you guys to hear what they have to share with you today. But, before that, we just want to encourage you guys to leave a review. This is just a way to get the podcast out there, to share what the message is of, you know, having a marriage after God. So, if you could, just take a minute to just go review the podcast. And, also if you love this podcast, and you want to support us, the way you can support us, is going to shop.marriageaftergod.com and picking up a copy of Marriage After God. It's our new book, it's what this series is about, and it's why we're talkin' to Sam and Amanda today. And, so, let's just get into the conversation. Sam and Amanda, we are so happy to have you on the podcast, so let's start with who you are, and how long you've been married, children, stuff like that. Cool, well thank you for having us. It's our pleasure to be here. Who are we? Who are you? I am Sam, right, or are you Sam? Yes I'm Sam. I am a filmmaker, and photographer, based out of Southern California. This is my wife, Amanda, and loving mother of our daughter, who is two, and a baby to be, our son coming in, like, about a month or so. So awesome. Gettin' really crazy up in here. Yeah, we've been married for seven and a half years. June will be eight, which is insane we've been together for ten years, now? It's two hands. Yeah, two hands Yeah, you have to count on two hands now. I think that, yeah, I stay at home with our daughter, and soon our son, and it's just a blessing the life that we get to live together. Awesome. So awesome, guys, thanks for sharing and letting everyone know that, and, you know, we've known you guys for just over, you know, seven years. Because, we remember going to your wedding Oh yeah, I was trying to think, did we know them before they were married. I actually have a really embarrassing moment from your wedding. I don't know if you guys ever knew this, but I tripped and fell coming out of the wedding into the reception, and yeah, it was really embarrassing. Was it high heels that you were wearing? I was wearing high heels, I never wear high heels, and I was like, I'm gonna dress up, yeah, so I fell right on my face. That can be. That's awesome. I think I remember that. So we've known you guys for quite a while, you guys are good friends of ours. We live separately now, but I think we still keep in touch pretty regularly. Yes! And, we're excited to have you on the show today, because you guys have been a part of our journey for a long time, we've been a part of your journey. Just growing in God, growing in marriage, becoming parents, and you know, we're talking about God's Will For Your Marriage. It's from Chapter 12 in our book, and we love that you guys have constantly been pursuing that in your life. And so, we're not expecting you guys to have all the answers, we just love talking to you, we wanna discuss this idea of what that looks like. And, we have some questions for you guys, and hope you are ready. Well, probably not. So, where to start. Start with the icebreaker. Being honest. Yeah We're gonna start with the icebreaker, so you know, this is lighthearted stuff here. Where have been your favorite place to travel together? We probably agree on this one, I would say Iceland. Yeah, we went to Iceland. It took us two years to get pregnant with our daughter, and in those two years, we traveled a lot. And those two years, are some of the best years of our life, and I think God really allowed us to Well, I'm thinking that in the year that we ended up getting pregnant, I know I personally had been on thirteen trips in twelve months, and I think you were on twelve of those with me. Yeah, so it was crazy, but Iceland was during that time, and so, it was a really kind of vulnerable time in our life. But a really special kind of unifying trip, and Iceland is an incredibly beautiful place, so it was definitely unique for multiple reasons. Iceland, that's the green one, right? Yeah, the green one. Greenland's the white one, and Iceland's the green one. Thank the Vikings for that. Yeah, they switched them on purpose, yeah. Well, that's awesome. What's our favorite trip that we've ever been on together? Canada? Corona Corona? No, not Corona. I would say our last trip to Maine, that was really wonderful. That was actually, Maine, I want to go back to Maine, you're right that was a good one. We've been to Maine, too. Especially in the Fall, the leaves were changing, yeah. Beautiful Good food. Awesome, good answers to the icebreaker. Iceland, icebreaker. Oh, there you go, yeah. So, I'm gonna share a quote real quick from, and this might set a tone for us, its from Chapter 12 from the Marriage After God book, God's Will For Your Marriage, and this is the quote "As the people of God and as the children of the Creator, "it is our inheritance to take on the family business "of proclaiming with our words, actions and love "for one another that Christ came "to reconcile the world to God." And so, that's kinda this big, big, big picture, like the overall, large Will that God has for His people. So, but, you know, how does that play out in the everyday, how does that play out in all the unique details of our lives and what God's doing with us. It's kinda what we wanna talk about today, so. Yeah, which leads us into our first question, and that's when you hear the term God's Will, what do you guys think of? That's a big question. That's a loaded question. That's a loaded question. Honestly, for me, when I think of the word, God's Will, I kinda substitute it for the word, plan. And, that His Plan, is far superior than my own, so that's kinda what I think of my mind I guess. What I think of is that God has His Perfect Will, and His Permissible Will. His Perfect Will being His Perfect Plan, of course, the trajectory for our lives that He would have us take. And then, Permissible, as what He allows to happen in our lives, or decisions that He allows us to make. And, so, that's kinda where my mind goes when I think about that, when I think about those two, kinda, avenues Yeah That's good. So, I think, I like those words you used, you know, His Perfect Will, His Permissible Will, we've talked about that a lot in the past, and just the two different varying ideas of that. And, then, I liked the word, Plan, you know, what's His Plan like, what is His Plan for my life, you know. What's my Will for everyday, you know, like, and we'll probably jump into that more. Like if I change the word, Will, to Plan, it kinda, I don't know, pretty much grounds it a little bit more, for me. Right, yeah, I think that's a good word for listeners to be like, okay, God's Will is like His Plan. And, I feel like that many Christians want to know God's specific Will for their lives, I feel like, especially, Millennials and these younger generations, what's my call, what's my passion, what am I supposed to do in this world? You know that we hear that a lot. But, in the Christian terms, what is our unique ministry, or call on our life? And, we wonder that, but it can feel elusive or ambiguous. Do you guys feel that way in your life? Do you feel like God's Will and Plan for your life, specifically, is ambiguous, or elusive, or do you guys feel otherwise? For me personally, I would say no, because I guess I'm kind of a unique case, that ever since I was a kid, I've always known what I wanted to do with my life. And I wasn't going to, I was going to fight for it, like you know, I had no extra, I had no plan B, there was no extra alphabet letters for me, it was plan A, or bust. For me, I always knew I wanted to be a filmmaker, photographer, and be like, a storyteller through visuals. And, I know, it's been something that God placed on me, because it's allowed me to effortlessly to somehow work in the Church world, doing video work, that's kinda led to other opening, doors opening, and it's kinda been like a chain reaction. And, I know that God's called me to do it, I don't know on what scale, but I know His Plan is still unraveling for me in that sense, and what He wants me to do in that realm. So, for me, it's kinda hard, because I have friends who always go, like, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with my life, I don't even know what my passion is. You know, for me, I've been passionate about this one thing since I was probably five years old, you know. I know ever since I've known you. Yeah Ever since I've known myself You've had a natural draw toward it, and a talent to go with it. And I know, that's not the case for a lot of people. A lot of people don't even know what they want to do 'til college years, you know, so for me, it's literally been through from my DNA, and I know God placed it there on purpose. Definitely Go ahead, Aaron, did you have a question for Sam? I was just going to say, Amanda, how does that planned out the question for you? So, Sam having this call on his life has, God has worked through and allowed me to be able to stay at home. Which, becoming a mom for me was a total identity shift, because this question was, I would say for me, so does it feel elusive and ambiguous? I would say, yes and no, for me. It seems to have ebb and flow through the different seasons that life brings. I think for a long time, I felt kind of maybe lost, maybe less than, because I didn't have this big pull toward something specific, towards starting an organization, or you know, being a missionary in Africa, or you know, doing things just really big scale, like, just things like that, and so, it's kind of made me feel like, well, other people are doing these big things, like does God have this big grand plan for my life, and I Being a mom is no joke Being a mom is no joke, but anybody who is a stay at home mom, or mom, I guess, on any scale, would probably agree and say that the day to day doesn't really feel very grand. You know, when I'm sitting and reading a book with my daughter, or I'm coloring Minnie Mouse on the next coloring book, like we did tonight You color very well though I did stay inside the lines, so, but I've learned that it doesn't have to be one big thing, and that it looks different for everybody. And, that God calls some people to really big things, multiple things, smaller scale things, and I think for right now for my season of life, my season is being a mother. That's what He's allowed me to do, that's what He's brought Sam's career to a place where I'm able to do that. But, even in terms of since I've known you, like our first date, I think I asked you what is your dream in life. And, you didn't have a career dream, you literally said I would love to be a stay at home mom. Yeah So that's here we are seven years later. But, I see these amazing women, who are moms that also have these, you know, careers that they're pursuing, so that was a struggle for me, when I first became a mom, I guess let it feel like a nothin' So, for me I think what it could mean for my life is living out the Fruits of the Spirit intentionally each day in my home, and when I go out. And working at being obedient, and open, and flexible as a vessel for God's Purposes, whether it's big and grand to me, or small. Like I was telling Sam earlier, it feels a little bit like, you know, if you put five bucks, if you donate five bucks to the Church, or wherever, like, what we could do with that five dollars is so much different than what God could do with that five dollars. Do you know what I mean? So, that's kind of how it feels like. What may seem small and insignificant in my day to day, like, I never know the impact that God's gonna take, how He's gonna, how it's gonna manifest in the future. If that makes sense. Right Yeah, I mean, like, being a stay at home mom, she's able to share that lifestyle on her social media, and I think it's just manifested into something else that I don't think either one of us really knows what's happening behind that digital curtain, you know what I mean? Right The lives that we impact, we don't even know, it could be one person, it could be hundreds of people. But, I know a lot of people, you know Amanda's not going to say this, but I know a lot of women look up to her as a woman and as a mom. That's a powerful thought. Seriously, we're only two questions in, and I'm like, you guys this is so powerful. And I think those listening are being so encouraged right now, because so many are, you know, stay at home moms, or are moms with, you know, businesses or careers in other things that they're doing, or even dads, you know, and I think that it can, I just feel like you guys are hitting so many points right now that are encouraging people's hearts. And I just wanted to say thank you for your authenticity, and your transparency right now, because we need to hear it. Yeah, and I also think the idea that we sometimes think, you know, ministry or God's Will for my life, it doesn't look like that other person, that comparison idea, so I must not be doing it. We talk about that all the time We do Someone who could be on a pastor or, you know, preaching in front of thousands of people, people go like, oh man, this guy is doing things for the Kingdom, you know, but at home you don't know what's happening. You know, it's because of putting on this facade Could be It could be, yes, of course, I'm not saying it's everybody, obviously, but you know, we try not to put up any facades or anything like that, and we both work from home, so not a lot of people see what we do. And, here's the thing you guys, if you guys are a parent, you're doing something every single day for God's ministry, you're building up His Kingdom by raising godly children, and children who will know Him, and will walk in His ways, and so, that right there, is such a powerful ministry, regardless if anyone on social media ever knows. Yeah, and that's what, you know, one of the things we want to draw out in this book so much, is that God does have a Will for our life and marriage, and just because it doesn't look like what other people are doing, God wants us to be obedient where He has us. He wants us to serve Him and love Him and worship Him where He has us. And, not to, you know, that's coveting, we don't, He doesn't want us to covet anything, let alone someone else's, you know, talent or resource, or what God's given them. And, so it sounds like you guys, have settled into the idea that what you have, is what God has for you to do. Yeah, absolutely Yeah And it's not someone else's thing, and it's not some other thing Yeah, the only way, like I get, I've tied it in somehow going back to social media is, you know, when you have a decent following on a platform, a lot of people think to themselves, I wish I had this because I wish I had this many followers because then I'd get more people to see my work, or something like that. But, I've always encouraged people that if God has given you an audience of a hundred, those are a hundred hearers for you to preach to, or, you know, send a message to, or whatever, and if you're, you know, get blessed to have more, that's just more hearers, you know. And more responsibility And more responsibility, absolutely, so if you have five people who follow you on a social platform, what do you want to tell those five people, you know. It's kinda equals out, that's for sure. I love that, so do you guys, and that's exactly what we're getting at with this, is like, we're in God's vocation. What we do with our life, whether it be a filmmaker, a photographer, a mom, it's the, we have the same, God has the same Will for us as He does for everyone. It's to do His Will, it's to spread His message, to our children, to our coworkers, to that person that we are going to the coffee shop with, or you know, do you guys see yourself in ministry together? Even in these separate roles? Do we see ourselves in ministry together? We do, well, we're both home, with Lucy. Sam's work is often at home, he doesn't have to travel very often, and so I think that, Lucy has a bit of a unique childhood, in that she has both parents home. And so, like I said, I really believe, well I haven't said it yet, but I'm sure that I will, but the ministry at home is the most important some of the, you know, just what you do at home. And so, having a mom and having a dad, being able to influence her, discipline her, et cetera, I think that's a huge thing, and then, a lot of our lives are also on social media, and Yeah, I really think that the ministry word, can be such a larger scale, 'cause it's literally at least for me, I try to live in my house the same way I do out and about and in public. That's good, yeah. So like, you know, I'm not, I don't try to be all loving with other people out and about, and come home and I'm like mad, or like short with my wife and daughter. You know, if I'm short and frustrated with my daughter at home, I'm short and frustrated with other people out and about, you know. Nah, I'm just kidding, like You're consistent I try to be consistent But, I think, you know, the ministry that we're called to do is to literally love one another as much as we possibly can, you know, and on this Earth as Christians we are not here to judge. That's not our place, we have one Judge. So, while we are here on Earth, I feel like our calling is just to literally love on every single person. And, I think in doing that, it creates a light, and people are attracted to light, and people will naturally be like, oh, what's so different about you, and why, you know, who is this person, and I'm curious about it, and that can open up doors, you know. And that's simply as, if you're a barista, saying hi, or like, picking up a coffee for somebody, they'll be like, ah, that doesn't happen very often, and that even comes down to generosity, it's contagious, you know. So, that's what I feel like my ministry in life is to try and lead, but like lead as much by example, as I possibly can, you know, not necessarily walk around with a soap box, and like, shoving things down people's throat, you know. Yeah, I love that, so you know, we asked the question if you see yourself in ministry together, and sometimes it's hard to think of well, yeah, he does this and I do this, and yeah, sometimes we do that together. But, there's so much more in this idea of it being on the same team, being one in our ministry. So, you know, Amanda and the way she is around you, and the way she serves you, and loves you, gives you that energy and ability to go and do the same to others, and then the way you love and cherish your wife, allows her to have the energy and strength to not only, you know, disciple her children well, and love them well, and be with them and have the energy to do that. But, then also her girlfriends and, you know, her people that she sees when she's out and about, and so it's this oneness that we have, that we get to fulfill the Will of God, together. That's kinda, it's exactly what you're saying. Like, you're like, you know, it's our life, we are a light in this world, and we're preaching God's message, not our own. And, even though, it looks different in our individual ways of being during the day, we do it together, you know, that's kinda where we're hoping to encourage those listening. Whether you can perfectly verbalize it, that's what you are doing, that's how you explained it. It's a sport It's a team sport, yeah. And you're not playing singles tennis over here, you know, you're playing like a huge team sport. And, the funny thing is, we've already won, so that's like you should be able, can you imagine if every team knew that they won, how much boldly they would play. Yeah, we actually have a question up here. We skipped it because you guys kinda answered it already. But, I love that you just said, that if they knew they were gonna make every goal, how boldly they'd play. It says if you knew exactly what God's Will was for your marriage, would it encourage you to pursue it? Right. Yeah, we were talking about that one earlier. I'll say my answer first. I honestly believe that if you're in your Word, and you're praying, you know, continuously, daily, that your heart ends up aligning with God's heart. And that you're, at the end of the day, your will almost becomes His Will, and vice a versa. Yeah, I love that It's aligned, so naturally, sorry, so of course I would want to pursue God's Will in marriage, and in all things, because I feel like my heart is aligned with what He wants, you know. And, again, it comes down to God's Will, right, God's Will, actually change the word from Will to Plan, why would I not want His Plan, because His Plan is definitely gonna be way better than my own plan. And His timing Amen More than my own timing I love that, I think you nailed it too. Real quick, sorry, in God's Word, in prayer, I thought it was good that your will begins to align It does And it's funny because, you know, being a Christian, I've been a Christian for as long as I've known myself. You've known yourself a long time A very long time, and I've been a Christian, not the entire time, but Amanda and my resolution for last year was to read the entire Bible in a year's time. Oh cool You know we've read the Bible in pieces over our lives, and stuff, but actually never in its entirety. And in doing that, every single day, you know, I literally sought Him more, you know, it's like hanging out with your best friend every day. You get to know that person so much more, you're in more conversations, you know, it's hard to know somebody if you're not talking Amen, I love that, thank you for encouraging our listeners to read through the Bible this year. I love that. Honestly, if you guys want, I If we can do it, you can do it Yeah, and it's just really just the Holy Bible, the YouVersion, there's plans in there, 'cause we were thinking about how do we do this, you know Genesis, Chapter One, is the beginning of the Bible Yeah, it's written chronologically Yeah, there's a chronological plan that was in there. For me, as a storyteller, I've never read the Bible in this way, because it literally was, you know, the events from the beginning to the end, in chronological order, wasn't just reading Genesis to Revelation. Right, 'cause that's not necessarily in chronological order, yeah. Yeah, and so for me, I'm like, whoa, this makes so much more sense, to see literally the whole like, especially, the New Testament, I mean the Old Testament, literally, kinda like, flow and me playing it as a movie in my head, you can see like the cross space between each book, and stuff like that, where the new characters are coming in but they're related, it's just, it just really opened up my eyes in a whole new way. Love that So, for me, for this one, if you knew exactly what God's Will was for your marriage, would it encourage you to pursue it? My answer is maybe, and that's because I know in having lived life, and seen other people live life, that God's Will can be scary at times. Because we sometimes don't understand it, we sometimes question it, it takes faith, a tremendous amount of faith, to trust in the unseen and in the uncertain. So, if He were to reveal that to me, would I jump in with both feet, and be like, okay cool, I'm on board. I don't know that I would, because I think a majority of us would probably agree with you Right, and because I have flesh, and you know, God's Will is amazing, but it's not always Easy Designed, yeah, to make us happy, and so. But that's not why we're here, that's not our purpose, you now, and so, we're here to love God and love others, and to establish and further His Kingdom. And so And living a, you know, in God's Will is literally hard. Living a Christian life is hard, because you get tried all the time, and it's just funny, it's one of those things where it's like, you know, you pray that you want patience, for whatever reason, and God doesn't just grant, He's not a genie, He's not gonna grant to you patience, He's gonna test you He teaches you With patience, like, oh my God, why am I going through this again. He's like, well, you stopped learning your lesson It's a scary thing to pray for He doesn't just grant you wishes, so it's definitely hard. He gives us His Spirit, and then empowers us to walk in the things that He tells us to walk in. Like, endurance, and patience, and peace when everything's chaotic But I love Sam's answer too for this one, in just that your will really does, that's how you know, you know, that's how you know God's Will, because you're in His Word and you're praying, and your will will align with His, so even if He were to reveal that Will to me, if I was close enough to Him, I would understand this isn't about me, this isn't about my happiness, this is about other people, and about furthering His Kingdom. And, like you said Aaron, it's the Spirit would give me the strength, and the courage to accomplish what He's called me to do, and us to do in our marriage. Yeah, I don't even remember what the question is, but I'm just going off on a tangent Go for it, go for it Two things, one of our pastors told us within this past year that has absolutely stuck with me is, if your vertical relationship with God is aligned, and good, your horizontal relationships with people on Earth, are that much better as well. So, if I can't have a good vertical relationship with God, my relationship with my wife isn't gonna be as great. Strained So, if I focus, naturally, if you're having a bad relationship with somebody, bad relationship with your wife, you stop focusing on that person specifically, and start focusing on your vertical relationship with God, naturally, you'll start aligning and then your horizontal relationships start to align as well. That was just a big thing that I heard, and it just really stuck with me. And the other thing is, a lot of people just want joy in their life, and the pastor broke it down, if you want JOY, what's called an acronym, or whatever Yeah, acronym, yeah So if you put J, you put Jesus first, at all times, and then you put Others second, and you put Yourself last, naturally, you become joyous. And, that's how I've always been, and I don't know if that's something that my parents instilled in me, actually, once you become a Christian, that's when you put Jesus first, but I've always put others before myself. And, it's kinda like that saying where it feels better to give than to receive, you know. So, I think about, that's where a lot of joy comes from. When you're selfish, it's really absolutely hard for you to be joyous, because you're not being fulfilled. So, what you're saying is, in our marriage how we can fulfill God's Will for our marriage, and our lives, is to love God, love each other, and love others. I love that, because that's essentially Relationship, focus on Jesus, focus on your wife, and don't even think about yourself. Yeah, yeah, more specific Can you imagine if your wife just focused on you, and you focused on your wife, like you're filled with so much love. Oh, man, it's that I'll take up the cross thing, right? Lay myself down, you know Super easy I love that. Well, I really enjoyed just sitting back listening to you guys, this has been great. Did you guys even know that Sam could talk this much? I didn't, this is great. This is the most that I've ever heard Sam talk I wanna jump in and just again, just thank you for your vulnerability, and Amanda you had mentioned in saying that sometimes if we were to have known God's Will, the big picture, we would be scared, or it would be hard. So in keeping in line with that theme, have you guys ever passed up participating in something that God's invited you to do because you were afraid or because you thought you weren't qualified to do it? That's a hard question. The main thing for me that comes to mind, just off the top of my head, is I had kinda always felt a pull to sing on our worship teams at different churches and stuff, but just never felt good enough to do it. And, I did actually get up the courage, I've been a Christian most of my life, and so I ignored kinda that pull for many years, until our, a couple churches ago, so that was like maybe three, four years ago. And I got up the courage and I sang in a little audition thing, and they loved it, and I got out there, and God gave me the courage to kinda do that, and so, but the fear of kinda not being good enough, which is so ridiculous, and I know its ridiculous, but you just get in your head and you wonder what people are gonna think. I don't know, we all have some form of comparison in our lives, you know, and then we all have those insecurities speaking in our ears. Sometimes we're great at casting them down, and sometimes we believe them. So, that's kinda the only thing that I can think of, and I'm so glad that I did it. Cool, that's a good little story I don't think I really have an answer for it, because I went through a season where I was passionate about music, and I was drumming, and God put it on me to see if I could do music in the church, and I played drums for awhile. I was nervous, but I did that. I feel like that whatever passions I've had, or callings, that He's given me, I've kind of at least tried it, but I've never had, for example, the desire to be a preacher, or anything like that. But you tell stories with your videos. Yeah, absolutely, but if someone would be like, hey, come tell us a sermon, I'd be like, no thanks. They'd be like, well why not, well, God hasn't put it on my heart to do so. Like, I don't feel comfortable doing it, and God hasn't like tugged me in that direction. I don't really see why Yeah, Sam doesn't really get nervous or anything And I really don't fall under peer pressure Right And at the end of the day, we just wanna be obedient to the things God's given us, and like you said, not just wanting that other ministry that someone else has, because it seems like a greater ministry. But, take what God's given us, you know, being a mother, being a filmmaker, and using our marriage to glorify God, and to love people, and to show them who Christ is through our lives, and through our actions, and through our words. That's what God wants. We want Him to say one day when we look at Him, well done, good and faithful servant. Absolutely You've taken what I've given you, and you invested it well. And, that's the purpose of this whole episode, actually. Is to encourage those listening that, like, hey, it may not look like what other people are doing, but it's still God's Will for your life to serve God this way, to love your wife, to love your husband, to disciple your children, to love them. To love others, and to proclaim His Gospel to the world, through our lives, actions and words. So, we're gonna, we're not gonna get through all the questions, and that's okay, But, we want to get to this last question, and it's a really important one, and you better get the answer right, Amanda. I'm just kidding. In your own words, what is a marriage after God? Want me to go? Yeah, sure I, you know, if you want to learn anything from God, I think you just need to open the Bible, and I feel like that God is very specific in the Bible, by giving us Chapters like Ephesians Chapter 5 and 1 Peter, and you know, there are specific instructions towards husbands and wives. And it's actually pretty insane How specific it is? Yeah, how specific it is, especially 1 Peter Chapter three verse seven, I have it pulled up right here, and it says "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live "with your wives" It's funny that it says wives, 'cause I kinda think of it as one person living with multiple wives. It's not though, yeah No, no, no, no "And treat them with respect, as the weaker partner, "and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, "so that nothing will hinder your prayers." That part right there, hinder your prayers, meaning if you do not show your wife respect in all these things, either God will not receive your prayers in full, or You won't be able to pray Or, yeah Too frustrated or Find it difficult to pray, that's kinda a big deal. So, it's like God's given you all the blueprints on how to have a godly Marriage, and its all, I don't feel like He's just kinda given us this life just to try to figure it out, and tell each other how to live a godly life. It's like in the Book, He's giving this message specifically for us to read it, you know, generations to come, and I think its' important for me as a dad and as a man in the house to make sure that my daughter knows that this is how she needs to be treated by a man, and now, having a son, how he needs to treat a woman. So, honestly, for me, it's just literally read the Bible and all your answers And do what It says, yeah, I like that Seems very simple. I read a book once called Sacred Marriage, that I totally need to read again, it's just a fantastic book, I forget the author, Gary Thomas Yeah, it's such a great book, and I read it years ago at the beginning of our marriage, but there was a quote in it that has stuck with me ever since then, and it says, I don't know if this is verbatim, but it says "Marriage is not meant to make us happy, but holy" And that was a really huge idea when I read it, and just, like does God care about our happiness, of course He does, but not ever at the expense of our holiness. Amen Sam was talking about our journey through the Bible last year, and reading through the Old Testament, is like crazy, it's wild, it like strings together a lot of the stories that we've heard kinda growing up as Christians, it's linked things together, ideas. But, I think a lot of the Old Testament was included in the Bible because God, it just shows us the measures that God took to ensure His people were holy, and consecrated. And to make sure that they not only looked different, but they lived differently, and when they didn't, there were consequences. And a lot of the times, it was death. Which of course, there were incredibly high standards, and that led for our need for Jesus. Thank God, I'm so glad that Thank Him I don't live in those days because those were it says crazy days. But, a marriage after God, seeks to be holy, I think, and needs to be intimate, whole and aware and active in its pursuit of loving God and loving others. And I know that's what we try to do, and we pretty much fail most of the time. Then you get back up and keep going Sam is perfect, everybody before himself, but I just think that the idea of holiness is something that all marriages are called to. And it's not something that can be accomplished on your own, it has to be through the Fruits of the Spirit, and just the Holy Spirit in general. And inviting Him into your everyday lives, and specifically parenting too. We're trying to remember to invite the Holy Spirit into every aspect of your life, is something for me, I have to remember constantly to do that, whether we are in a argument, or in a heated parenting moment, or at just different things, whatever life throws at you. I love that Amanda Yeah, it's a lot of intentionality to strive for holiness. Both those definitions I thought were really powerful. Thank you for that, so Sam, Amanda, where can people find you on Instagram, what's you guys' handles? Our last name is very easy to spell, it's kind of like Smith is a breeze No, it's not Our last names are kind of difficult, but my Instagram handle is @SamCiurdar, and Amanda's is @AmandaCiurdar, and our last names are spelled C-I-U-R-D-A-R, good luck everybody. AmandaCi or SamCi we should pop up, I think Yeah, and you should pull them, they're great people they post about their life, and what's going on, so go follow them. And as usual, well first of all, thank you Sam and Amanda for coming on and sharing a little bit of your life with us, and encouraging all of the marriages that are listening that God has a Will for all of us, and we all get to walk in it, and we all get to be in it. So, yeah, thank you. Thanks for having us Absolutely, thanks for having us, for sure. Before we close, as usual, we're gonna close with a prayer, and Jennifer, would you like to pray for us? Sure Dear Lord, thank You for Your Holy Word. Thank you for sharing with us what Your Will is for our lives, and what Your will is for our marriages. We ask that we would continue growing in knowledge and understanding of Your Word. As husbands and wives, please help us to build and keep your Word as our strong foundation. We pray against our flesh from getting in the way of doing Your Will. When we start to wrestle with our flesh, Holy Spirit please defend us and help us to have victory over our flesh. Renew our perspective of life and marriage, so that we may see what You see. Reveal to us the bigger picture of how Your Will is being done in us, and through us. Motivate our hearts to use every part of our lives to live for You. May we understand the impact our ministry has as we walk faithfully every day with You and with each other. May we fulfill our part as Your body to share Your gospel with this lost world. In Jesus' Name, Amen. Amen, thanks for joining us this week, and we look forward to having you next week as we get into Chapter 13, Part 13 of this series. 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

Order Marriage After God today and get a ton of free bonuses https://marriageaftergod.com

Today we’re in part 12 of the marriage after God Series and we’re gonna be talking with Sam and Amanda Ciurdar about God’s Will for your marriage

A Quote From Marriage After God

“As the people of God and as children of the Creator, it is our inheritance to take on the family business of proclaiming with our words, actions, and love for one another that Christ came to reconcile the world to God.”

PRAYER

*Dear Lord,

Thank you for your holy word. Thank you for sharing with us what your will is for our lives and what your will is for our marriages. We ask that we would continue growing in knowledge and understanding of your word. As husbands and wives, please help us to build and keep your word as our strong foundation. We pray against our flesh from getting in the way of doing your will. When we start to wrestle with our flesh, Holy Spirit please defend us and help us to have victory over our flesh. Renew our perspective of life and marriage, so that we may see what you see. Reveal to us the bigger picture of how your will is being done in us and through us. Motivate our hearts to use every part of our lives to live for you! May we understand the impact our ministry has as we walk faithfully every day with you and with each other. May we fulfill our part as your body to share your gospel with this lost world.

In Jesus’ name, amen!*

READ TRANSCRIPT

Hey, we're Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.

Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

And today, we're in part twelve of the Marriage After God series and we're gonna be talking with Sam and Amanda Ciurdar about God's Will For Your Marriage. Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.

I'm Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife.

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

We have been married for over a decade.

And so far, we have four young children.

We have been doing marriage ministry online for over seven years, through blogging and social media.

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

We believe that Christian Marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life

Love

And power

That can only be found by chasing after God.

Together

Thank you for joining us on this journey, as we chase boldly after God's Will for our life together.

This is Marriage After God. So, today's guests are Sam and Amanda Ciurdar. They're great friends of ours and we're really excited for you guys to hear what they have to share with you today. But, before that, we just want to encourage you guys to leave a review. This is just a way to get the podcast out there, to share what the message is of, you know, having a marriage after God. So, if you could, just take a minute to just go review the podcast.

And, also if you love this podcast, and you want to support us, the way you can support us, is going to shop.marriageaftergod.com and picking up a copy of Marriage After God. It's our new book, it's what this series is about, and it's why we're talkin' to Sam and Amanda today. And, so, let's just get into the conversation. Sam and Amanda, we are so happy to have you on the podcast, so let's start with who you are, and how long you've been married, children, stuff like that.

Cool, well thank you for having us.

It's our pleasure to be here.

Who are we? Who are you?

I am Sam, right, or are you Sam?

Yes

I'm Sam. I am a filmmaker, and photographer, based out of Southern California. This is my wife, Amanda, and loving mother of our daughter, who is two, and a baby to be, our son coming in, like, about a month or so.

So awesome.

Gettin' really crazy up in here.

Yeah, we've been married for seven and a half years. June will be eight, which is insane we've been together for ten years, now?

It's two hands.

Yeah, two hands

Yeah, you have to count on two hands now.

I think that, yeah, I stay at home with our daughter, and soon our son, and it's just a blessing the life that we get to live together.

Awesome.

So awesome, guys, thanks for sharing and letting everyone know that, and, you know, we've known you guys for just over, you know, seven years. Because, we remember going to your wedding

Oh yeah, I was trying to think, did we know them before they were married.

I actually have a really embarrassing moment from your wedding. I don't know if you guys ever knew this, but I tripped and fell coming out of the wedding into the reception, and yeah, it was really embarrassing.

Was it high heels that you were wearing?

I was wearing high heels, I never wear high heels, and I was like, I'm gonna dress up, yeah, so I fell right on my face. That can be. That's awesome.

I think I remember that. So we've known you guys for quite a while, you guys are good friends of ours. We live separately now, but I think we still keep in touch pretty regularly.

Yes!

And, we're excited to have you on the show today, because you guys have been a part of our journey for a long time, we've been a part of your journey. Just growing in God, growing in marriage, becoming parents, and you know, we're talking about God's Will For Your Marriage. It's from Chapter 12 in our book, and we love that you guys have constantly been pursuing that in your life. And so, we're not expecting you guys to have all the answers, we just love talking to you, we wanna discuss this idea of what that looks like. And, we have some questions for you guys, and hope you are ready.

Well, probably not.

So, where to start. Start with the icebreaker.

Being honest.

Yeah

We're gonna start with the icebreaker, so you know, this is lighthearted stuff here. Where have been your favorite place to travel together?

We probably agree on this one, I would say Iceland.

Yeah, we went to Iceland. It took us two years to get pregnant with our daughter, and in those two years, we traveled a lot. And those two years, are some of the best years of our life, and I think God really allowed us to

Well, I'm thinking that in the year that we ended up getting pregnant, I know I personally had been on thirteen trips in twelve months, and I think you were on twelve of those with me.

Yeah, so it was crazy, but Iceland was during that time, and so, it was a really kind of vulnerable time in our life. But a really special kind of unifying trip, and Iceland is an incredibly beautiful place, so it was definitely unique for multiple reasons.

Iceland, that's the green one, right?

Yeah, the green one.

Greenland's the white one, and Iceland's the green one.

Thank the Vikings for that.

Yeah, they switched them on purpose, yeah. Well, that's awesome. What's our favorite trip that we've ever been on together?

Canada?

Corona

Corona? No, not Corona.

I would say our last trip to Maine, that was really wonderful.

That was actually, Maine, I want to go back to Maine, you're right that was a good one.

We've been to Maine, too.

Especially in the Fall, the leaves were changing, yeah.

Beautiful

Good food.

Awesome, good answers to the icebreaker.

Iceland, icebreaker.

Oh, there you go, yeah.

So, I'm gonna share a quote real quick from, and this might set a tone for us, its from Chapter 12 from the Marriage After God book, God's Will For Your Marriage, and this is the quote "As the people of God and as the children of the Creator, "it is our inheritance to take on the family business "of proclaiming with our words, actions and love "for one another that Christ came "to reconcile the world to God." And so, that's kinda this big, big, big picture, like the overall, large Will that God has for His people. So, but, you know, how does that play out in the everyday, how does that play out in all the unique details of our lives and what God's doing with us. It's kinda what we wanna talk about today, so.

Yeah, which leads us into our first question, and that's when you hear the term God's Will, what do you guys think of?

That's a big question.

That's a loaded question.

That's a loaded question.

Honestly, for me, when I think of the word, God's Will, I kinda substitute it for the word, plan. And, that His Plan, is far superior than my own, so that's kinda what I think of my mind I guess.

What I think of is that God has His Perfect Will, and His Permissible Will. His Perfect Will being His Perfect Plan, of course, the trajectory for our lives that He would have us take. And then, Permissible, as what He allows to happen in our lives, or decisions that He allows us to make. And, so, that's kinda where my mind goes when I think about that, when I think about those two, kinda, avenues

Yeah

That's good. So, I think, I like those words you used, you know, His Perfect Will, His Permissible Will, we've talked about that a lot in the past, and just the two different varying ideas of that. And, then, I liked the word, Plan, you know, what's His Plan like, what is His Plan for my life, you know.

What's my Will for everyday, you know, like, and we'll probably jump into that more. Like if I change the word, Will, to Plan, it kinda, I don't know, pretty much grounds it a little bit more, for me.

Right, yeah, I think that's a good word for listeners to be like, okay, God's Will is like His Plan. And, I feel like that many Christians want to know God's specific Will for their lives, I feel like, especially, Millennials and these younger generations, what's my call, what's my passion, what am I supposed to do in this world? You know that we hear that a lot. But, in the Christian terms, what is our unique ministry, or call on our life? And, we wonder that, but it can feel elusive or ambiguous. Do you guys feel that way in your life? Do you feel like God's Will and Plan for your life, specifically, is ambiguous, or elusive, or do you guys feel otherwise?

For me personally, I would say no, because I guess I'm kind of a unique case, that ever since I was a kid, I've always known what I wanted to do with my life. And I wasn't going to, I was going to fight for it, like you know, I had no extra, I had no plan B, there was no extra alphabet letters for me, it was plan A, or bust. For me, I always knew I wanted to be a filmmaker, photographer, and be like, a storyteller through visuals. And, I know, it's been something that God placed on me, because it's allowed me to effortlessly to somehow work in the Church world, doing video work, that's kinda led to other opening, doors opening, and it's kinda been like a chain reaction. And, I know that God's called me to do it, I don't know on what scale, but I know His Plan is still unraveling for me in that sense, and what He wants me to do in that realm. So, for me, it's kinda hard, because I have friends who always go, like, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with my life, I don't even know what my passion is. You know, for me, I've been passionate about this one thing since I was probably five years old, you know.

I know ever since I've known you.

Yeah

Ever since I've known myself

You've had a natural draw toward it, and a talent to go with it.

And I know, that's not the case for a lot of people. A lot of people don't even know what they want to do 'til college years, you know, so for me, it's literally been through from my DNA, and I know God placed it there on purpose.

Definitely

Go ahead, Aaron, did you have a question for Sam?

I was just going to say, Amanda, how does that planned out the question for you?

So, Sam having this call on his life has, God has worked through and allowed me to be able to stay at home. Which, becoming a mom for me was a total identity shift, because this question was, I would say for me, so does it feel elusive and ambiguous? I would say, yes and no, for me. It seems to have ebb and flow through the different seasons that life brings. I think for a long time, I felt kind of maybe lost, maybe less than, because I didn't have this big pull toward something specific, towards starting an organization, or you know, being a missionary in Africa, or you know, doing things just really big scale, like, just things like that, and so, it's kind of made me feel like, well, other people are doing these big things, like does God have this big grand plan for my life, and I

Being a mom is no joke

Being a mom is no joke, but anybody who is a stay at home mom, or mom, I guess, on any scale, would probably agree and say that the day to day doesn't really feel very grand. You know, when I'm sitting and reading a book with my daughter, or I'm coloring Minnie Mouse on the next coloring book, like we did tonight

You color very well though

I did stay inside the lines, so, but I've learned that it doesn't have to be one big thing, and that it looks different for everybody. And, that God calls some people to really big things, multiple things, smaller scale things, and I think for right now for my season of life, my season is being a mother. That's what He's allowed me to do, that's what He's brought Sam's career to a place where I'm able to do that.

But, even in terms of since I've known you, like our first date, I think I asked you what is your dream in life. And, you didn't have a career dream, you literally said I would love to be a stay at home mom.

Yeah

So that's here we are seven years later.

But, I see these amazing women, who are moms that also have these, you know, careers that they're pursuing, so that was a struggle for me, when I first became a mom, I guess let it feel like a nothin' So, for me I think what it could mean for my life is living out the Fruits of the Spirit intentionally each day in my home, and when I go out. And working at being obedient, and open, and flexible as a vessel for God's Purposes, whether it's big and grand to me, or small. Like I was telling Sam earlier, it feels a little bit like, you know, if you put five bucks, if you donate five bucks to the Church, or wherever, like, what we could do with that five dollars is so much different than what God could do with that five dollars. Do you know what I mean? So, that's kind of how it feels like. What may seem small and insignificant in my day to day, like, I never know the impact that God's gonna take, how He's gonna, how it's gonna manifest in the future. If that makes sense.

Right

Yeah, I mean, like, being a stay at home mom, she's able to share that lifestyle on her social media, and I think it's just manifested into something else that I don't think either one of us really knows what's happening behind that digital curtain, you know what I mean?

Right

The lives that we impact, we don't even know, it could be one person, it could be hundreds of people. But, I know a lot of people, you know Amanda's not going to say this, but I know a lot of women look up to her as a woman and as a mom.

That's a powerful thought.

Seriously, we're only two questions in, and I'm like, you guys this is so powerful. And I think those listening are being so encouraged right now, because so many are, you know, stay at home moms, or are moms with, you know, businesses or careers in other things that they're doing, or even dads, you know, and I think that it can, I just feel like you guys are hitting so many points right now that are encouraging people's hearts. And I just wanted to say thank you for your authenticity, and your transparency right now, because we need to hear it.

Yeah, and I also think the idea that we sometimes think, you know, ministry or God's Will for my life, it doesn't look like that other person, that comparison idea, so I must not be doing it.

We talk about that all the time

We do

Someone who could be on a pastor or, you know, preaching in front of thousands of people, people go like, oh man, this guy is doing things for the Kingdom, you know, but at home you don't know what's happening. You know, it's because of putting on this facade

Could be

It could be, yes, of course, I'm not saying it's everybody, obviously, but you know, we try not to put up any facades or anything like that, and we both work from home, so not a lot of people see what we do.

And, here's the thing you guys, if you guys are a parent, you're doing something every single day for God's ministry, you're building up His Kingdom by raising godly children, and children who will know Him, and will walk in His ways, and so, that right there, is such a powerful ministry, regardless if anyone on social media ever knows.

Yeah, and that's what, you know, one of the things we want to draw out in this book so much, is that God does have a Will for our life and marriage, and just because it doesn't look like what other people are doing, God wants us to be obedient where He has us. He wants us to serve Him and love Him and worship Him where He has us. And, not to, you know, that's coveting, we don't, He doesn't want us to covet anything, let alone someone else's, you know, talent or resource, or what God's given them. And, so it sounds like you guys, have settled into the idea that what you have, is what God has for you to do.

Yeah, absolutely

Yeah

And it's not someone else's thing, and it's not some other thing

Yeah, the only way, like I get, I've tied it in somehow going back to social media is, you know, when you have a decent following on a platform, a lot of people think to themselves, I wish I had this because I wish I had this many followers because then I'd get more people to see my work, or something like that. But, I've always encouraged people that if God has given you an audience of a hundred, those are a hundred hearers for you to preach to, or, you know, send a message to, or whatever, and if you're, you know, get blessed to have more, that's just more hearers, you know.

And more responsibility

And more responsibility, absolutely, so if you have five people who follow you on a social platform, what do you want to tell those five people, you know. It's kinda equals out, that's for sure.

I love that, so do you guys, and that's exactly what we're getting at with this, is like, we're in God's vocation. What we do with our life, whether it be a filmmaker, a photographer, a mom, it's the, we have the same, God has the same Will for us as He does for everyone. It's to do His Will, it's to spread His message, to our children, to our coworkers, to that person that we are going to the coffee shop with, or you know, do you guys see yourself in ministry together? Even in these separate roles?

Do we see ourselves in ministry together? We do, well, we're both home, with Lucy. Sam's work is often at home, he doesn't have to travel very often, and so I think that, Lucy has a bit of a unique childhood, in that she has both parents home. And so, like I said, I really believe, well I haven't said it yet, but I'm sure that I will, but the ministry at home is the most important some of the, you know, just what you do at home. And so, having a mom and having a dad, being able to influence her, discipline her, et cetera, I think that's a huge thing, and then, a lot of our lives are also on social media, and

Yeah, I really think that the ministry word, can be such a larger scale, 'cause it's literally at least for me, I try to live in my house the same way I do out and about and in public.

That's good, yeah.

So like, you know, I'm not, I don't try to be all loving with other people out and about, and come home and I'm like mad, or like short with my wife and daughter. You know, if I'm short and frustrated with my daughter at home, I'm short and frustrated with other people out and about, you know. Nah, I'm just kidding, like

You're consistent

I try to be consistent But, I think, you know, the ministry that we're called to do is to literally love one another as much as we possibly can, you know, and on this Earth as Christians we are not here to judge. That's not our place, we have one Judge. So, while we are here on Earth, I feel like our calling is just to literally love on every single person. And, I think in doing that, it creates a light, and people are attracted to light, and people will naturally be like, oh, what's so different about you, and why, you know, who is this person, and I'm curious about it, and that can open up doors, you know. And that's simply as, if you're a barista, saying hi, or like, picking up a coffee for somebody, they'll be like, ah, that doesn't happen very often, and that even comes down to generosity, it's contagious, you know. So, that's what I feel like my ministry in life is to try and lead, but like lead as much by example, as I possibly can, you know, not necessarily walk around with a soap box, and like, shoving things down people's throat, you know.

Yeah, I love that, so you know, we asked the question if you see yourself in ministry together, and sometimes it's hard to think of well, yeah, he does this and I do this, and yeah, sometimes we do that together. But, there's so much more in this idea of it being on the same team, being one in our ministry. So, you know, Amanda and the way she is around you, and the way she serves you, and loves you, gives you that energy and ability to go and do the same to others, and then the way you love and cherish your wife, allows her to have the energy and strength to not only, you know, disciple her children well, and love them well, and be with them and have the energy to do that. But, then also her girlfriends and, you know, her people that she sees when she's out and about, and so it's this oneness that we have, that we get to fulfill the Will of God, together. That's kinda, it's exactly what you're saying. Like, you're like, you know, it's our life, we are a light in this world, and we're preaching God's message, not our own. And, even though, it looks different in our individual ways of being during the day, we do it together, you know, that's kinda where we're hoping to encourage those listening. Whether you can perfectly verbalize it, that's what you are doing, that's how you explained it.

It's a sport

It's a team sport, yeah.

And you're not playing singles tennis over here, you know, you're playing like a huge team sport. And, the funny thing is, we've already won, so that's like you should be able, can you imagine if every team knew that they won, how much boldly they would play.

Yeah, we actually have a question up here. We skipped it because you guys kinda answered it already. But, I love that you just said, that if they knew they were gonna make every goal, how boldly they'd play. It says if you knew exactly what God's Will was for your marriage, would it encourage you to pursue it? Right.

Yeah, we were talking about that one earlier. I'll say my answer first. I honestly believe that if you're in your Word, and you're praying, you know, continuously, daily, that your heart ends up aligning with God's heart. And that you're, at the end of the day, your will almost becomes His Will, and vice a versa.

Yeah, I love that

It's aligned, so naturally, sorry, so of course I would want to pursue God's Will in marriage, and in all things, because I feel like my heart is aligned with what He wants, you know. And, again, it comes down to God's Will, right, God's Will, actually change the word from Will to Plan, why would I not want His Plan, because His Plan is definitely gonna be way better than my own plan. And His timing

Amen

More than my own timing

I love that, I think you nailed it too. Real quick, sorry, in God's Word, in prayer, I thought it was good that your will begins to align

It does

And it's funny because, you know, being a Christian, I've been a Christian for as long as I've known myself.

You've known yourself a long time

A very long time, and I've been a Christian, not the entire time, but Amanda and my resolution for last year was to read the entire Bible in a year's time.

Oh cool

You know we've read the Bible in pieces over our lives, and stuff, but actually never in its entirety. And in doing that, every single day, you know, I literally sought Him more, you know, it's like hanging out with your best friend every day. You get to know that person so much more, you're in more conversations, you know, it's hard to know somebody if you're not talking

Amen, I love that, thank you for encouraging our listeners to read through the Bible this year. I love that.

Honestly, if you guys want, I

If we can do it, you can do it

Yeah, and it's just really just the Holy Bible, the YouVersion, there's plans in there, 'cause we were thinking about how do we do this, you know

Genesis, Chapter One, is the beginning of the Bible

Yeah, it's written chronologically

Yeah, there's a chronological plan that was in there. For me, as a storyteller, I've never read the Bible in this way, because it literally was, you know, the events from the beginning to the end, in chronological order, wasn't just reading Genesis to Revelation.

Right, 'cause that's not necessarily in chronological order, yeah.

Yeah, and so for me, I'm like, whoa, this makes so much more sense, to see literally the whole like, especially, the New Testament, I mean the Old Testament, literally, kinda like, flow and me playing it as a movie in my head, you can see like the cross space between each book, and stuff like that, where the new characters are coming in but they're related, it's just, it just really opened up my eyes in a whole new way.

Love that

So, for me, for this one, if you knew exactly what God's Will was for your marriage, would it encourage you to pursue it? My answer is maybe, and that's because I know in having lived life, and seen other people live life, that God's Will can be scary at times. Because we sometimes don't understand it, we sometimes question it, it takes faith, a tremendous amount of faith, to trust in the unseen and in the uncertain. So, if He were to reveal that to me, would I jump in with both feet, and be like, okay cool, I'm on board. I don't know that I would, because

I think a majority of us would probably agree with you

Right, and because I have flesh, and you know, God's Will is amazing, but it's not always

Easy

Designed, yeah, to make us happy, and so. But that's not why we're here, that's not our purpose, you now, and so, we're here to love God and love others, and to establish and further His Kingdom. And so

And living a, you know, in God's Will is literally hard. Living a Christian life is hard, because you get tried all the time, and it's just funny, it's one of those things where it's like, you know, you pray that you want patience, for whatever reason, and God doesn't just grant, He's not a genie, He's not gonna grant to you patience, He's gonna test you

He teaches you

With patience, like, oh my God, why am I going through this again. He's like, well, you stopped learning your lesson

It's a scary thing to pray for

He doesn't just grant you wishes, so it's definitely hard.

He gives us His Spirit, and then empowers us to walk in the things that He tells us to walk in. Like, endurance, and patience, and peace when everything's chaotic

But I love Sam's answer too for this one, in just that your will really does, that's how you know, you know, that's how you know God's Will, because you're in His Word and you're praying, and your will will align with His, so even if He were to reveal that Will to me, if I was close enough to Him, I would understand this isn't about me, this isn't about my happiness, this is about other people, and about furthering His Kingdom. And, like you said Aaron, it's the Spirit would give me the strength, and the courage to accomplish what He's called me to do, and us to do in our marriage.

Yeah, I don't even remember what the question is, but I'm just going off on a tangent

Go for it, go for it

Two things, one of our pastors told us within this past year that has absolutely stuck with me is, if your vertical relationship with God is aligned, and good, your horizontal relationships with people on Earth, are that much better as well. So, if I can't have a good vertical relationship with God, my relationship with my wife isn't gonna be as great.

Strained

So, if I focus, naturally, if you're having a bad relationship with somebody, bad relationship with your wife, you stop focusing on that person specifically, and start focusing on your vertical relationship with God, naturally, you'll start aligning and then your horizontal relationships start to align as well. That was just a big thing that I heard, and it just really stuck with me. And the other thing is, a lot of people just want joy in their life, and the pastor broke it down, if you want JOY, what's called an acronym, or whatever

Yeah, acronym, yeah

So if you put J, you put Jesus first, at all times, and then you put Others second, and you put Yourself last, naturally, you become joyous. And, that's how I've always been, and I don't know if that's something that my parents instilled in me, actually, once you become a Christian, that's when you put Jesus first, but I've always put others before myself. And, it's kinda like that saying where it feels better to give than to receive, you know. So, I think about, that's where a lot of joy comes from. When you're selfish, it's really absolutely hard for you to be joyous, because you're not being fulfilled.

So, what you're saying is, in our marriage how we can fulfill God's Will for our marriage, and our lives, is to love God, love each other, and love others. I love that, because that's essentially

Relationship, focus on Jesus, focus on your wife, and don't even think about yourself.

Yeah, yeah, more specific

Can you imagine if your wife just focused on you, and you focused on your wife, like you're filled with so much love.

Oh, man, it's that I'll take up the cross thing, right? Lay myself down, you know

Super easy

I love that.

Well, I really enjoyed just sitting back listening to you guys, this has been great.

Did you guys even know that Sam could talk this much?

I didn't, this is great.

This is the most that I've ever heard Sam talk

I wanna jump in and just again, just thank you for your vulnerability, and Amanda you had mentioned in saying that sometimes if we were to have known God's Will, the big picture, we would be scared, or it would be hard. So in keeping in line with that theme, have you guys ever passed up participating in something that God's invited you to do because you were afraid or because you thought you weren't qualified to do it?

That's a hard question. The main thing for me that comes to mind, just off the top of my head, is I had kinda always felt a pull to sing on our worship teams at different churches and stuff, but just never felt good enough to do it. And, I did actually get up the courage, I've been a Christian most of my life, and so I ignored kinda that pull for many years, until our, a couple churches ago, so that was like maybe three, four years ago. And I got up the courage and I sang in a little audition thing, and they loved it, and I got out there, and God gave me the courage to kinda do that, and so, but the fear of kinda not being good enough, which is so ridiculous, and I know its ridiculous, but you just get in your head and you wonder what people are gonna think. I don't know, we all have some form of comparison in our lives, you know, and then we all have those insecurities speaking in our ears. Sometimes we're great at casting them down, and sometimes we believe them. So, that's kinda the only thing that I can think of, and I'm so glad that I did it.

Cool, that's a good little story

I don't think I really have an answer for it, because I went through a season where I was passionate about music, and I was drumming, and God put it on me to see if I could do music in the church, and I played drums for awhile. I was nervous, but I did that. I feel like that whatever passions I've had, or callings, that He's given me, I've kind of at least tried it, but I've never had, for example, the desire to be a preacher, or anything like that.

But you tell stories with your videos.

Yeah, absolutely, but if someone would be like, hey, come tell us a sermon, I'd be like, no thanks. They'd be like, well why not, well, God hasn't put it on my heart to do so. Like, I don't feel comfortable doing it, and God hasn't like tugged me in that direction. I don't really see why

Yeah, Sam doesn't really get nervous or anything

And I really don't fall under peer pressure

Right And at the end of the day, we just wanna be obedient to the things God's given us, and like you said, not just wanting that other ministry that someone else has, because it seems like a greater ministry. But, take what God's given us, you know, being a mother, being a filmmaker, and using our marriage to glorify God, and to love people, and to show them who Christ is through our lives, and through our actions, and through our words. That's what God wants. We want Him to say one day when we look at Him, well done, good and faithful servant.

Absolutely

You've taken what I've given you, and you invested it well. And, that's the purpose of this whole episode, actually. Is to encourage those listening that, like, hey, it may not look like what other people are doing, but it's still God's Will for your life to serve God this way, to love your wife, to love your husband, to disciple your children, to love them. To love others, and to proclaim His Gospel to the world, through our lives, actions and words. So, we're gonna, we're not gonna get through all the questions, and that's okay, But, we want to get to this last question, and it's a really important one, and you better get the answer right, Amanda. I'm just kidding. In your own words, what is a marriage after God?

Want me to go?

Yeah, sure

I, you know, if you want to learn anything from God, I think you just need to open the Bible, and I feel like that God is very specific in the Bible, by giving us Chapters like Ephesians Chapter 5 and 1 Peter, and you know, there are specific instructions towards husbands and wives. And it's actually pretty insane

How specific it is?

Yeah, how specific it is, especially 1 Peter Chapter three verse seven, I have it pulled up right here, and it says "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live "with your wives" It's funny that it says wives, 'cause I kinda think of it as one person living with multiple wives.

It's not though, yeah

No, no, no, no

"And treat them with respect, as the weaker partner, "and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, "so that nothing will hinder your prayers." That part right there, hinder your prayers, meaning if you do not show your wife respect in all these things, either God will not receive your prayers in full, or

You won't be able to pray

Or, yeah

Too frustrated or

Find it difficult to pray, that's kinda a big deal. So, it's like God's given you all the blueprints on how to have a godly Marriage, and its all, I don't feel like He's just kinda given us this life just to try to figure it out, and tell each other how to live a godly life. It's like in the Book, He's giving this message specifically for us to read it, you know, generations to come, and I think its' important for me as a dad and as a man in the house to make sure that my daughter knows that this is how she needs to be treated by a man, and now, having a son, how he needs to treat a woman. So, honestly, for me, it's just literally read the Bible and all your answers

And do what It says, yeah, I like that

Seems very simple. I read a book once called Sacred Marriage, that I totally need to read again, it's just a fantastic book, I forget the author,

Gary Thomas

Yeah, it's such a great book, and I read it years ago at the beginning of our marriage, but there was a quote in it that has stuck with me ever since then, and it says, I don't know if this is verbatim, but it says "Marriage is not meant to make us happy, but holy" And that was a really huge idea when I read it, and just, like does God care about our happiness, of course He does, but not ever at the expense of our holiness.

Amen

Sam was talking about our journey through the Bible last year, and reading through the Old Testament, is like crazy, it's wild, it like strings together a lot of the stories that we've heard kinda growing up as Christians, it's linked things together, ideas. But, I think a lot of the Old Testament was included in the Bible because God, it just shows us the measures that God took to ensure His people were holy, and consecrated. And to make sure that they not only looked different, but they lived differently, and when they didn't, there were consequences. And a lot of the times, it was death. Which of course, there were incredibly high standards, and that led for our need for Jesus. Thank God, I'm so glad that

Thank Him

I don't live in those days because those were it says crazy days. But, a marriage after God, seeks to be holy, I think, and needs to be intimate, whole and aware and active in its pursuit of loving God and loving others. And I know that's what we try to do, and we pretty much fail most of the time.

Then you get back up and keep going

Sam is perfect, everybody before himself, but I just think that the idea of holiness is something that all marriages are called to. And it's not something that can be accomplished on your own, it has to be through the Fruits of the Spirit, and just the Holy Spirit in general. And inviting Him into your everyday lives, and specifically parenting too. We're trying to remember to invite the Holy Spirit into every aspect of your life, is something for me, I have to remember constantly to do that, whether we are in a argument, or in a heated parenting moment, or at just different things, whatever life throws at you.

I love that Amanda

Yeah, it's a lot of intentionality to strive for holiness.

Both those definitions I thought were really powerful. Thank you for that, so Sam, Amanda, where can people find you on Instagram, what's you guys' handles?

Our last name is very easy to spell, it's kind of like Smith is a breeze

No, it's not

Our last names are kind of difficult, but my Instagram handle is @SamCiurdar, and Amanda's is @AmandaCiurdar, and our last names are spelled C-I-U-R-D-A-R, good luck everybody.

AmandaCi or SamCi we should pop up, I think

Yeah, and you should pull them, they're great people they post about their life, and what's going on, so go follow them. And as usual, well first of all, thank you Sam and Amanda for coming on and sharing a little bit of your life with us, and encouraging all of the marriages that are listening that God has a Will for all of us, and we all get to walk in it, and we all get to be in it. So, yeah, thank you.

Thanks for having us

Absolutely, thanks for having us, for sure.

Before we close, as usual, we're gonna close with a prayer, and Jennifer, would you like to pray for us?

Sure Dear Lord, thank You for Your Holy Word. Thank you for sharing with us what Your Will is for our lives, and what Your will is for our marriages. We ask that we would continue growing in knowledge and understanding of Your Word. As husbands and wives, please help us to build and keep your Word as our strong foundation. We pray against our flesh from getting in the way of doing Your Will. When we start to wrestle with our flesh, Holy Spirit please defend us and help us to have victory over our flesh. Renew our perspective of life and marriage, so that we may see what You see. Reveal to us the bigger picture of how Your Will is being done in us, and through us. Motivate our hearts to use every part of our lives to live for You. May we understand the impact our ministry has as we walk faithfully every day with You and with each other. May we fulfill our part as Your body to share Your gospel with this lost world. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Amen, thanks for joining us this week, and we look forward to having you next week as we get into Chapter 13, Part 13 of this series. 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.