Marriage After God

MAG 09: Your Marriage Is Unique - Interview w/ Jeremy & Audrey Roloff From BehindTheScenes Podcast

Episode Summary

In this episode we had the privilege to interview our good friends, Jeremy and Audrey Roloff well known from the beloved TV show Little People, Big World and now from their podcast Behind The Scenes. The roloffs are very familiar with recognizing how God can use each of our unique and individual stories for His purposes and that is exactly what we explore in this episode. You don't have to be us and you don't have to be them to be used by God. God desire to use you and your unique and individual giftings, talents, stories, and resources for His glory and to further his Kingdom. We pray you are blessed by today's discussion and are inspired to say yes to God with what you have been given. Please grab a copy of their newest book A Love Letter Life. -> https://amzn.to/2IqA26H OTHER WAYS TO CONNECT WITH THE ROLOFFs https://www.theroloffs.com/ https://aloveletterlife.com/ Jeremy & Audrey's Endorsement for Marriage After God Book "In these pages, Aaron and Jen have fantastically conveyed the purpose of the mission and meaning of marriage. A powerful read that left us both inspired and awed that we get to participate in something so powerful –marriage –designed and created by a mighty God for an amazing adventure. No doubt this will become a must-read for decades to come!" QUOTE FROM CHAPTER 9 OF MARRIAGE AFTER GOD BOOK “Your marriage is not our marriage. You and your spouse are not us. You don’t have our experiences, talents, education, or upbringing. The beauty of the body of Christ is that each and every part is unique, your marriage included, and God will use your uniqueness for His purposes, if you let Him. ” PRAYER Dear Lord, Thank you for making us unique. Thank you for making our marriage unique. We pray we would recognize our differences and the unique qualities you have given to us and how they can be used to do the ministry you have for us to do. Lord, help us confidently embrace the uniqueness in our marriage. Help us to allow you to use everything you have given to us and how you made us to glorify your name. We pray we would not covet what other believers have or what other believers do for your kingdom, but rather we ask you to show us what you desire us to do for you and do it joyfully. May we celebrate the uniqueness in your body and encourage each other. Lord, use our unique marriage to point people to you. In Jesus’ name, amen! ABOUT A LOVE LETTER LIFE BOOK Whenever you are at in your love story, we believe this book will help you to live your own committed, courageous, creative, and continuous love story. We hope our story, with all its imperfections, will awaken your desire to pursue a love that reflects the thoughtfulness, intention, patience, and beauty of a love letter💌⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Whether you are dating, engaged, or married, we wrote this book for YOU! We want to empower you to live to love story you would want to have read back to you one day! A love story that is creative, intentional, faithful, and forever. 💌 #ALoveLetterLife ⁣ ——— Whether your single, dating, engaged, or married, there are takeaways in this book for YOU🙌🏻 If you want a love story that is creative, intentional, and faithful, then grab your copy of A Love Letter Life today! We cannot wait to hear how it inspires, empower, and equips you to live a love story that you would want to have read back to you one day. To prepare for, pursue, and protect your own love letter life💌 #aloveletterlife ORDER TODAY 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 nine of the Marriage After God series. And we're gonna be talking with Jeremy and Audrey Roloff about how your marriage is unique. Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more that 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 blogging 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 everyday. [Jennifer] We believe 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. Real quick, I just wanna thank you guys for being here and encourage everyone listening to leave a us a review. This is just one way you guys can support the podcast, by letting everyone else know about the podcast. When you leave that star rating review or comment review, it goes out and helps other people find the Marriage After God podcast. And it also encourages Aaron and I, so we just wanted to ask you to do that, and we also wanna thank you to everyone who has already done it. [Aaron] And also, we wanna invite you to pick up a copy of our book, Marriage After God. It's the reason we're doing this 16 part series, and we wrote it for you and your marriage. So go to shop.marriageaftergod.com, you can download free chapters, you can get freebies, so you should just check that out. And you're gonna love it. [Jennifer] Okay so today, we have good friends of ours, Jeremy and Audrey Roloff. Hi Guys! [Aaron] Welcome to the show. [Jeremy] Hey guys, [Audrey] Hey. [Jeremy] Stoked to be here. [Jennifer] Awesome. Well, you know, before we jump into the content today, why don't you take a minute to introduce yourselves, how long you've been married, children, what you do for work? [Aaron] Maybe how we know each other. [Jeremy] Yeah. So we are Jeremy and Audrey Roloff. We currently live in Portland, Oregon. And we did At-Home church with you guys and Ben there, for two, two-and-a-half, three years. So that's how we know each other. And, yeah, currently Aud and I, we just wrote a book, A Love Letter Life, and it's our love story, and just kinda tells the journey of dating, and all the way into marriage, and how to prepare more for our marriage than our wedding day. And we do have a little marriage ministry called, Beating 50 Percent, and Always More. Which is a college girls, encouraging college women to always believe in the more that is within them through Christ. [Audrey] Not college, just women. [Jeremy] Yeah, just women in general sorry. So we do a bunch of things, play on the internet quite a bit. And have a good time doing it. [Audrey] We've been married for almost five years, and we have one daughter who is seventeen months old. So, [Aaron] And she's like the sweetest little thing too. [Jeremy] Yeah, we're having a good time with her. [Audrey] She's in a fun season. [Aaron] Awesome, hey well, we're so thankful to have you guys on the show. We're excited to talk about the content today. About the uniqueness in all of our marriages. And you guys are a perfect example of that. But before we get to the main topics, [Jeremy] Yeah. [Aaron] We always like to ask an ice breaker question. So you guys ready? [Jeremy] Yikes, for sure. Shoot. [Jennifer] It's a fun one. [Aaron] Yeah this is a fun one, okay? [Jeremy] Okay. [Aaron] If you were stranded on an island what is one thing you would take with you? [Jeremy] Babe? [Audrey] I feel like practically, if that actually was the case, I mean, [Jeremy] You would take a boat of course. [Audrey] It's a really Christian answer, but I would probably take my Bible, but I actually probably would because I wanna say I'd take a practical thing that would keep me alive [Jeremy] Because she knows but even if I had one practical thing to keep me alive I'd still probably die. [Jeremy] It's because you know I'd take the practical thing. [Audrey] Yeah that's true. If Jeremy's there with me, Jeremy'd bring the practical thing. [Jeremy] Now, Honestly [Aaron] So the one thing you'd take is Jeremy. [Audrey] Yeah. [Jeremy] Oh there we go, that's good [Audrey] What would you take, babe? [Jeremy] I'd take, I would just simply take a knife. Yeah, a good, nice knife. 'cause you can build fishing hooks, you can build ropes, you can build all the things. [Aaron] And they're awesome. [Jeremy] Yeah and they're awesome. I mean, I don't even leave the house without one. So it's like, why would I go to an island without one? [Aaron] That's true! Yeah. [Jennifer] Don't you guys have the same knife, Aaron, you and Jer? [Aaron] I think we do, yeah. I have it on me right now. [Jeremy] Yeah, same here. Cool. [Aaron] I think that's a good answer, I'd say a knife, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Bible. Yeah, so. [Audrey] There you go! Oh my gosh, complementary things. [Jennifer] I can't get a volleyball out of my mind. Not that I would choose that, but [Jeremy] I know right? I mean I haven't seen that in a long time. [Aaron] Yeah, on the beach. Awesome. Hey listen, Jennifer, why don't you read the quote from Chapter 9 of our book, Marriage After God, and that'll get us kinda started on what we're gonna be talking about? [Jennifer] Okay it says this, "Your marriage is not our marriage. You and your spouse are not us. You don't have our experiences, talents, education, or upbringing. The beauty of the body of Christ is that each and every part is unique. Your marriage included. And God will use your uniqueness for His purposes if you let Him. [Aaron] Yeah, and the whole point of this chapter is just, sometimes, there can be this hesitancy or this hold back, because when we look at what other people are doing for God, and other people's unique life and experiences allow them to do certain things we might ask ourselves, or tell ourselves, "Well since I'm not a preacher, or a good preacher, I can't do ministry or I'm not gonna be used." or, "Since I'm not musically inclined, I can't, you know, be used by God," or we have all these things that we kinda qualify whether or not we are valuable to God in His body, and that's just not, it's a lie from the Devil, and the truth is, God's made us all uniquely. And it says that the Spirit's given us all gifts, to be used for the edification of the body, and so our encouragement for today in this episode is to just talk about not just the uniqueness in our marriages, but to encourage those listening to recognize how God is uniquely endowed them and gifted them with whatever God's given them. Their stories, their histories, their talents, their resources, their education, and how He desires to use that for His kingdom. So that's kinda what we're talking about today. [Jeremy] Cool, yeah excited. [Jennifer] Okay so, our first question for you guys is, how are you currently using your unique marriage and background and everything God's given you to build His kingdom, and what you guys are doing? [Audrey] Yeah, well. I think we, Jeremy and I, actually like a couple months ago, so this is pretty fresh for us. We've sort of been talking about this for a long time, but we finally did it a couple months ago, is write out our marriage mission statement, have you guys ever done this? [Aaron] No, not directly. But yeah, someone did actually just talk about this. [Audrey] It was super, [Jeremy] We hadn't either, [Audrey] We had always like talked about it loosely, in our relationship, on like what we want be about, and how we wanna use, like you said, our unique marriage and background, and everything God's given us to build His kingdom, but we've never really like laid out, in a two-sentence thing what that actually looks like, and what is unique to us in that. And so we did that, and it's still not, [Jeremy] It's still not fully done, [Audrey] Still not fully [Jeremy] Because we realized, like wow, once we're putting this to paper, it definitely gets a bit more, difficult [Audrey] We want it to, [Audrey] We're kind of just tweaking it slightly in words and stuff, but I'll read what we do have right now, I just for frame of mind, but it says, "We want our marriage to be a creative representation of the love of Christ that is refreshing, inviting, and igniting. We want to inspire our generation to be intentional with their time, work, words, home and relationships." So that's kind of like, that's the blanket statement, of what we want to be about. [Jeremy] Yeah, and then everything we kind of do, going back to the question, should ultimately achieve that goal. And for us, it's just been super helpful to be able to have that for this year even, and just be able to say like, "Okay, does that achieve this?" If not, then like we're not gonna do it. [Aaron] So it sounds like your mission statement is literally, "We wanna encourage others to use the unique stories of their lives." [Audrey] In a creative way. [Jeremy] Yeah exactly. [Aaron] Yeah, I love that. [Jeremy] And then we do that through Beating 50 Percent, which is the marriage ministry we started. It's basically a conduit. We try to interview older and wiser people, and then deliver that content to millennials and a younger generation in sense. And so that was kinda the purpose of that, and it's really molded into something pretty amazing. And then, you know, the Always More thing, does the same thing. It just helps women be more intentional and always believe in the 'more' that's within them. So we've got all these little projects going that we feel feeds into this ultimate mission statement. But for us, the mission statement is definitely an anchor in the sand. As we keep pursuing these ventures, and figuring out what the Lord has for us, and opening doors and shutting old ones. [Audrey] Yes. [Jennifer] That's great. So when you guys are considering, you know, the mission ahead of you, and the purposes and plans that you're laying out, and working together on these things, these projects that you mentioned, how does the unique way that God's equipped you fulfill those things? Like, can you talk a little bit about some of your strengths? [Jeremy] Yeah, totally. That's a good question. I feel like, Aud and I, we've always had, like even before we got married, and I think it was even the first year we were dating, we were joking about, like, "Oh we're gonna write a book one day about our story." Or something. Or we're gonna work together, Or we wanna do something [Audrey] We love stories together. And from the very beginning, we just always had this, I don't know, this yearning to actively work in the kingdom, for the kingdom together. You know? And I think it was our, when was it babe? First year of marriage, like at the end? [Audrey] Yeah. [Jeremy] Maybe about a year into marriage when we finally took the leap, and started pursuing some of these things a little bit more actively. But yeah, we've got a ton. I mean they call us on the Instagram, "Fire and Ice" like, we fit together pretty opposingly, but it's like perfect fit, if you will. And so it's I gotta [Audrey] And I think too, one of our strengths is that like, Jer and I, we actually are kind of similar in a lot of ways [Jeremy] Yeah. Maybe more so than some of our friends who are married, I'd say we have a lot similar desires, a lot of similar passions [Jeremy] For sure. Interests, and so, [Jeremy] But we have very different giftings I would say. [Audrey] Yes. [Audrey] Yes, totally. But just like in terms of personality almost, [Jeremy] Yeah. [Audrey] There's a lot of similarities and common ground. [Jeremy] Yeah. [Aaron] Yeah, you guys, tons of energy. And then when you put that together it's like [Jeremy] Yeah. [Aaron] Okay you guys have double the energy now, triple, maybe [Jeremy] For sure. It's like putting two candle flames together and watching the candle get bigger. [Jeremy] And we manifest that energy differently. Very differently, because of our gifts. [Audrey] That's true. [Jeremy] The Lord's given you stuff that like, stresses me out, I could never do. But you do it energetically, and same on other side of the aisle, He's given me gifts that are completely not really your gifts, but I can do them very energetically. And so when we put those together yeah, it's that Fire and Ice combo. [Aaron] You know, when I think about what you guys have been doing and I think about the unique experiences and the unique backgrounds that you guys have that have afforded you unique things and how you've used them for the Kingdom, I think of the show, you know, Little People, Big World, and the audience that you guys were able to build on Social Media, which, that's a unique thing, not everyone gets to say that they have that. Right? [Jeremy] For sure. [Aaron] And you know, what happens is you guys, just because you have these unique experiences, it doesn't mean that others that don't have those experiences don't get to use what God's given them, because you guys could've squandered the resources that God's given you, those unique opportunities, you know, the unique growth in your Instagram platforms and Social Media platforms, but you didn't. Instead, you took what He's given you and said, "Okay, well we have this, how do we use this unique thing that other people don't have how can we use this effectively and as good stewards? Have you guys recognized that, are you constantly trying to navigate that? [Jeremy] That's so good. I think that first of all, everyone, I think the world puts a lot of emphasis on circumstances, and we almost heighten circumstances to be "If I don't have that circumstance, then I can't do this or that." [Audrey] Or just the grass is always greener. [Jeremy] Or grass is always greener! Yeah, I mean, even people in our circumstance, right? Can say the same thing or have the same attitude. So I think it's kind of an attitude thing. I mean, the immediate example that comes to my mind is just Paul, right, I mean, he was the most opposite. He might have had a circumstance of power, but he was the most unexpecting, complete opposite image of who God was gonna use. And he was totally used. Same with Rachel, and who's her sister? Leah? Rachel and Leah? Right? Like Leah was totally unexpected. And the Lord's like, "I'm gonna do amazing stuff through you." In the same way, some people might not have a huge following or a TV show, but if your attitude's postured toward the Lord and His Kingdom, that's His favorite thing to do, is use you. That's all He wants to do is use you. But it's our attitude, not our circumstances. [Audrey] I love that. Also, for us, we really have a heart to inspire people to believe that there's more to their story. And sometimes there's more to your story than what you even get to see and realize is going on, because sometimes God just wants to keep us humble, and not show us all the fruit that we're producing in our lives. And you know, maybe we'll get to know it when we meet Him face to face, but I think just believing, Jeremy and I, we really have a heart to inspire people to believe that there's more to their story. And believe that there's more to God's story, and that there's always more that we can be learning in Him and His story, and trying to align ourselves with that story as opposed to getting so caught up in other people's. So, that's just something that I think is a huge part for us. [Jeremy] For sure. And then, my last thought on that that just popped in my mind too is that we need to be careful that we don't turn what we think is success or helping the Kingdom into against what God might think it is, you know? [Aaron] Yeah. [Jeremy] So it's like, maybe just going to work and leading a couple people to the Lord will have the multiplications, maybe those people will go out and do some amazing things and then by process [Audrey] You don't get to You won't get to know [Audrey] Know until but by process of [Audrey] Until you get to multiplication you've just [Audrey] Heaven done more in the kingdom than someone with a TV show. [Audrey] Right. [Aaron] Yeah, and so you're just bringing that up but I'm thinking of Billy Graham who has led to the Lord by a Sunday School teacher but I don't even know the Sunday School teacher's name, but that Sunday School teacher, that woman, you know? [Jeremy] Yep. She had a heart posture. [Aaron] Yes, and her posture was "I'm gonna show this little boy who Christ is, and teach him about the Lord." And you're right. 'Cause you could, anyone could take a good thing and make it a bad thing. What God's given us, we can squander or we can mismanage it, we can use it against Him. [Jennifer] Or just avoid using it. [Aaron] Or just avoid using it, you know, when we think of the parable of the talents and the one who was given the one, buried it, [Audrey] That's a great example. [Aaron] And we talk about that in book, of like, it doesn't matter what God's given you, He's given it to you. [Audrey] Yes. [Aaron] And you have been given something. And for you guys it was a TV show, it's the social media platforms, it's your businesses, your books, and you know what? You're responsible to produce a return for God, just like I'm responsible to produce a return. Just like the person listening. God desires us to serve Him, with what He's given us, and to multiply it for Him. Whatever that looks like. [Jennifer] And I love, Jeremy when you were talking you said, you know, you were talking about heart posture, and if we just had a heart to use what we have for God, that that's His favorite thing, and that He's going to use you. And I just loved that, because it's so simply put. It's like, that's His favorite thing. And He's our Father, and how cool it is that He gets to look down on us, and work through us and move through our marriages in these extraordinary to Him ways. And so I just wanted to reiterate for everyone listening. 'Cause I think that was pretty cool. [Jeremy] Thanks Jen. Also, I'm just thinkin' like, so often I've fallen prey, even in our situation, or our circumstances I've fallen prey to be like, "Well, if I just had this," or "If I want that." And then I think like, "Holy Smokes. Look what I'm do have, and I'm not even stewarding this as well as I can?" So it's like, if we're not mastering where we're at, why do we think we even deserve to be somewhere we're not? [Aaron] Right. [Jeremy] I don't wanna, that can sometimes dabble into the prosperity gospel, where it's like, "If I do this, I'll get this." And that's not what I'm saying at all, but it just goes back to that heart posture. [Aaron] Yeah, it's that posture of obedience. Of like, "Okay Lord, you've given me these unique gifts and talents, and I wanna invest them for you, I wanna use them for you, not for my own glory, not for my own gain, which sometimes those come with obedience. We see that all throughout the Bible, and sometimes it doesn't. We see that also. But He still requires obedience. And you know, you brought up a point of sometimes we look and say, "Oh I wish I had that gifting, or that talent." And I've fallen into this trap before too, and it's coveting, and we're not supposed to covet. Even the gifts our brothers and sisters, where we say, "Oh that person's so gifted in this or that. I wish I had that." [Jeremy] Yeah. [Aaron] It's okay to ask the Lord for more, but to look at someone, which sometimes leads, and this is even more dangerous, leads to us devaluing the brother or sister who has been blessed or is using a certain gift that we don't have, because we don't have it. Have you guys ever experienced that, or what would you guys say about that? [Jeremy] Yeah, so formulate that question one more time for me? [Aaron] Yeah, so this idea of coveting, and how we shouldn't covet, especially coveting from our brothers and sister, and how that could also lead to thinking negatively or degrading our brother and sister because, "Oh they don't deserve that, they shouldn't have that, I should have that." [Jeremy] For sure. The immediate thing that comes to my brain is just that concept that you know, we're all the body of Christ and ultimately we're all on the same team trying to accomplish the same mission. [Aaron] Yeah. [Jeremy] Going back to the mission statement, it's like, scripture gives believers a pretty clear mission statement, and we should all be able to look back to that like okay, is that what I'm doing with my gifts? And you know, I think if we're all one body like sure, the ear might complain to the brain like, "Well why can't I see? I wanna see so bad." But little do they know that the eyes saying, "All I wanna do is hear." And it's like, if both would just live into their giftings, their callings, they would complete the body in a much more effective way than if they kept complaining about each other. [Aaron] That was good, yeah. [Audrey] I think too, one of the things, you know, just speaking specifically to marriages and love stories, one of the things that we say in our book a lot is "God is the author of your love story, and He doesn't write the same love story twice." And, we had this opportunity to be able to write our love story and it was so cool, but really God was the author of it. And our love story is not like anybody else's. And it shouldn't be. [Jeremy] Yeah, we just pressed into the Lord. [Audrey] But I think just realizing too that everybody has chapter in their love story that they maybe don't share, and I think that this comes back to the social media thing of, you know you brought up coveting and comparison, and I think that social media can sort of put that on blast. [Aaron] Yeah, highlights it. [Audrey] Just makes it, yes. And so I think, we gotta realize that there's a behind the scenes that people don't share. But on the flip side of that too, I think when it comes to friends in your life that you actually do love and trust and look up to, and are iron sharpening marriages to your marriage, I think it can be, I think this word 'comparison' this bad word all the time, but sometimes I think, like I just think of you guys not in a bad way, but just to be able look at you guys' marriage and see things in your guys' marriage and go like, I'm not comparing it to covet it, I'm inspired by something, or I'm challenged by something or I'm motivated to do something in my own marriage because of seeing your marriage, [Aaron] Right. [Audrey] So that just goes back to, and Jeremy said this, but like a heart posture thing, of is your heart posture, in looking at these relationships to grow in your own? Or is looking at these other relationships making you bitter or resentful or leading to coveting? You know, that's a heart posture. [Jeremy] Yeah and I think it's a heart posture, that's really good babe. And it's a heart posture that pretty telling of how aligned you are with the ultimate mission. Or the mission statement, if you will of the Bible. [Aaron] Yeah and it's this idea of coveting someone's gifts and talents, and thinking negatively of them because they have it and you don't, versus seeing Godly examples that we want to follow, right? [Jeremy] Yes, definitely a difference. [Aaron] And that's the idea of what we're trying to get at, and sound like what you guys are encouraging in your book as well, is, "Hey you may not have what we have, but you can live the way we live. You can follow Christ, the way we follow Christ. You can believe the way we believe. Have faith like we have faith." And the results should be people knowing God, and drawing closer to His word, and to Christ, but the means to that end are going to look so vastly different. And that's what's beautiful about it, is the ear is the ear, and the eye is the eye. Like you said. Go ahead. [Jeremy] If we just pursued our own uniqueness, right? The ear is gonna hear a lot better, and the eye's gonna see a lot clearer. [Aaron] Oh I like that, yeah. [Jeremy] Something we say in our book a lot, it was kinda like my thread through the book and I would argue a huge part of the type of story Audrey and I wrote, not necessarily in our book, but in our life, our love story is something that kept coming back to me in dating Audrey was, what kind of love story do I want? And whenever I was faced with fear or comparison, or this or that, I just thought to myself, well, what do I want? What kind of story do I want? 'Cause the story we write today will be the story we tell tomorrow. And I hope you like what you read. [Aaron] That's good. [Jeremy] For me, that was a very encouraging thing in how I pursued my own uniqueness, my love story, and tried to resist the temptation to always compare it to someone else's. I forget who said it, but someone said, "Be yourself, 'cause everyone else is taken." And I think that fits here really well. [Jennifer] Well, and I think it's a sober reminder to have ownership in all of your actions, in all that you're doing and what you're doing. Because even though a love story is a husband and a wife becoming one, there's still personal responsibility, and how do you live that out? How do you choose to love each other every single day and so I just love the perspective that you shared on that, and it's a reminder for all of us listening to take ownership and the responsibility that we've been given, and the privilege we've been given in loving one another and serving the body. [Aaron] Yep. And so I wanna ask you this, you guys are really good story tellers, [Jeremy] Thank you, Aaron. [Aaron] Yeah, and you guys, just writing your story was one way that you allowed God to use the uniqueness of your marriage to point people to Him. [Jennifer] Which, I gotta say, I loved reading your guys' story, I thought it was so beautiful. So inspiring! Even for us and you know, we've been married 12 years. I kept telling Aaron, "We need to be more romantic!" Like we need to be more thoughtful in the way we show each other love because that stuff matters. And so, I just appreciate the way you wrote your story and the things that you did choose to do for each other was really encouraging and inspiring. [Aaron] So thank you, I wanna ask if you can encourage the listeners 'cause story, our story is one of the unique gifts that God has given us and our stories are, they're so dynamic and always changing. But how would you encourage the marriages listening the husbands and wives, and their saying, "Okay, yeah your guys' story's unique but we're just this couple over here doing whatever. How would you encourage their story to point people to Christ, to encourage people. It's testimony in story, so how would you encourage them? [Audrey] Yeah, you know, just encouraging them alone, or encouraging you guys if your listening that your marriage is unique, it is one of a kind. It's a story that cannot be copied, and you have this opportunity to represent the Creator, God's creativity. You through your love story, get to be a couple that puts God on display as this creative God. You know? And that's something that draws people to God We think of so many, you know. I know so many friends that are drawn to the presence of the Lord just by being in His creation and seeing how creative He is and how beautiful He is. And so if our love stories are that way, like, how much more is that gonna draw people to Christ? And so I hope that is an encouragement to you if you're listening. [Jeremy] For sure. I think just going off that, babe, I think that was really good, I think going off of that is, just recognizing that stories really are the best teachers. I mean if you look back to what Jesus did, that's how primarily, His message of delivery was storytelling. And then ultimately it's the story of His life, that all of history and future and eternity hinges on. And so, I just think, babe you said it so good, but just recognizing that no matter what your story is it's not over yet, and a lot of times we are emotional response to our story or our position is based on where it's been, or the struggle you're in, and rarely is it focused on the future and where God might have it going. And I think that's for me, that's really, really encouraging. Aud and I, we've tried very hard to write an amazing story, and we're continuing to do that. And I am so excited for where it might be headed, but ultimately it's headed where, because we're pursuing the Lord, we know our story's headed where the Lord goes, and it might go somewhere we do not want to go, if we measure it against culture or society and what's successful in their eyes, but if we measure by success of the Lord? You know, we're telling a story for a short amount of time, and how we tell that and pursue that ultimately will be a reflection of our eternities. So, that's really encouraging to me, and I hope that's really encouraging to the reader. [Audrey] The listener! [Aaron] Well the reader, their gonna read the books so, you know I love that encouragement, and that is the encouragement is, this life is but a breath. You know, that's what the Bible tells us, it's fleeting, it's quick. And one of the unique gifts that God's given each one of us is our story and our testimony. It's our past and how God has redeemed it. It our present and how God is in it. [Jennifer] So I have a question for you guys. And maybe this is a more practical question, but as you guys are on this journey of writing your love story, how do you call out the uniqueness in each other and encourage each other in all these projects that you're doing? [Audrey] In each other, like just Jeremy and I personally? [Jennifer] Yeah, you guys see unique attributes in one another and then call them out, or say, "Hey I see this in you," or what does that look like in your marriage? [Audrey] Yeah, well I think one thing, we've been better about this at some times than others but one thing Jeremy had us doing, it was like a couple years ago I think, when you gave me that jar for my birthday right? [Jeremy] It was like two years ago, yeah. [Audrey] But, Jeremy gave me this glass jar for my birthday, and a bunch of slips of paper that came with it. And every night, he would tell me one encouragement one affirmation, one praise, one thing he's thankful for me for, and he would write it down on the paper, and put it in the jar. And it was so simple! It was just before we went to bed, we ended our day with he would tell me and then I was always like, it was his thing that he gifted me for my birthday, a year of that, but then I was like, "Well I wanna tell you something back!" [Aaron] Reciprocity, I like that. [Audrey] Right, and then this year we were like, "Oh it'd be cool if like, we need to revive that, 'cause that was a couple years ago. And it's something so easy for us to just get caught up in talking about other things before bed especially lately, and so, we were just like, that was really sweet to end our day with that, such a simple thing. [Jennifer] I love that, that's awesome. [Audrey] I wish we could say it's been perfect and we've done it every night since the beginning of the year but we haven't but the goal is to sort of end our days with that. And that is then me thinking intentionally about "Okay what's one creative way that I can affirm Jeremy today? What's one unique thing that I admire about him?" [Jeremy] Yeah, and encouragement is a weapon against comparison because encouragement, it affirms, right? [Aaron] Right, [Jeremy] Well comparison essentially is an unaffirming thought, like I'm less than, I want that, I'm comparing, but if you can encourage another, then it's just continual reaffirming of your gifts, your talents, and that's very strength building. [Aaron] That's good, and it should bring us to a place of contentment with saying, "Lord you've given me enough." And, encouraging that in each other, like you have enough, you have what you need, you have these unique attributes, you have these special gifts, you have these special talents and a way of being, and I love that. And Jeremy, not coveting, but I'm wondering why you got all of the romance giftings? [Jennifer] But what's great about this is now that you've shared it, we can glean from it, honey! [Jeremy] Yeah! [Aaron] Oh! The jar, I have a jar somewhere. [Jeremy] Dude, go to the office, print a label, slap it on a jar. [Aaron] There you go, share some of these tips, men are always looking for ideas to romance their wives. [Jeremy] Yeah, definitely. I mean, that's been something Audrey's brought up quite a bit. It had a profound influence on her. [Audrey] It did. [Jeremy] And it's special but it goes back to first of all, I was very very inspired by the book, "A Severe Mercy" by Sheldon Vanuken. That book changed my life in a very powerful way. And since then, since that book, is when I started asking myself, "What kind of love story do I want?" And then when I ask that question, then I think, "Okay well, at the end of this year, I wanna tell the story of how our relationship is twice as good, twice as exciting, twice as romantic, or do I wanna tell the story of how I was lazy, didn't really think of anything, apathetic, you know, just kinda went through the motions? Same, same, fell into roommate syndrome. What story?" Because we're all gonna tell a story, and I hope we're gonna like what we hear. [Jennifer] Yeah, we're all writing it, right now. [Audrey] Yeah, We're all writing it right now. [Aaron] Well, here's our final question for you guys, we've asked this to everyone so far, and we're gonna ask it to everyone we're gonna interview next. What is, in your own words, a marriage after God? [Jeremy] I think that a marriage after God ultimately is a marriage that reflects God. So, you know, essentially loving the way Jesus loved us. Right? We're supposed to be known by the way we love one another. You know, I was talking to the Brotherhood and the sisterhood and our spouses, and if we can do that, if we can just press into the love for each other the same way that Jesus loved us, like that's amazing image of a marriage after God's heart. I feel and yeah, now that my mind's going, there's some ways that I could share, [Audrey] Don't have the perfect sentence. [Jeremy] Of how we do that. [Audrey] I mean, a couple things just immediately come to mind, that it's a covenant, not a contract. A covenant cannot be broken, a marriage after God cannot be broken. And just this idea of oneness, in the same way that we become one with Christ when you know we're baptized and believers, and become Christians. In the same way, becoming one with your spouse, on your wedding day, and then letting every area of your life reflect that oneness. And making that a mission, you know, like how can we be more one, how can we reflect more oneness, because you know the Bible talks about it over and over. It says it so many times in scripture it says 'by how they love one another,' or the word 'one another' repeat, repeat, repeats, and 'unity' repeat, repeat, repeats. Marriage is such a perfect opportunity to reflect that at one another, that love, to reflect that unity. And we get to do that on a regular basis. On a daily basis through small things and the big things, just reflecting that oneness. [Jeremy] Yeah, [Audrey] And oneness in our marriage too, like, Jeremy and I have this funny phrase we've always used. It was a poem Jeremy wrote me a long time ago. But he said, in the poem he said, "Let's braid it together, Christ, you and I." And then since then, we've always said, "Braid it." Just like, God's that third strand of our marriage keeping our marriage strong. [Jeremy] He's the strength of the strand. [Audrey] If you're a girl and you've ever braided your hair with two strands, it will unravel and it doesn't stay together, right? [Jennifer] True. [Audrey] You need that third strand to keep that braid in tact. And so, braid it, is that marriage after God, it's a marriage braided with God. [Aaron] #braidit [Audrey] We used to do that when we were dating, #braidit [Jeremy] Ultimately, I would probably sum up our jumbled thoughts here at this question by something we say a lot, and that is, "to find and still seek," now that is true love. And I think that that is ultimately a marriage after God. [Jennifer] Awesome, thank you guys so much for just joining us on this podcast today. We just wanna just say thank for all of the perspective, and encouragement that you gave everyone listening, and all the inspiration for being romantic. 'Cause that gives some husbands and wives some good ideas walking away from this. Also, A Love Letter Life is such a sweet story of your guys' life and I just wanted to take a minute to just say that everyone should go get a copy because it just released and we're super excited for you guys about this, and I just think it's so cool that Jeremy, you've been on this journey of like, 'What kind of love life do I wanna write?' And now you actually got to write it! [Jeremy] Yeah. [Jennifer] Such a cool book, and I just wanna encourage everyone to go grab that. Can you also share where people can find you guys? Do you have a podcast, Instagram, all that? [Jeremy] Yeah, [Audrey] Thank you Jen [Jeremy] Yeah, thanks Jen, that's really nice. Yeah we've got a podcast, Behind the Scenes podcast with Jeremy and Audrey. And then you can find our book at just aloveletterlife.com, and you can see everything we're up to at theroloffs.com [Audrey] We're just Jeremy and Audrey Roloff on all the things. [Jeremy] All the socials. [Aaron] Yeah everyone, listen and go follow them. They're great, we love this couple. They've been a huge part of our life. We're gonna close in prayer, and we'll be out of here. [Jeremy] I wanna say real quick, we really appreciate you guys, you guys have been a huge, huge inspiration to us, and a source of wisdom, and we just love everything you guys are doing. And it's an honor to be on your podcast. Thanks for sharing. [Audrey] I wanna add one thing to that, just like if you're listening, Jen and Aaron you might think, 'Oh I'm really inspired by their marriage and all the stuff that they put out.' But Jen and Aaron are like this in person too, like they actually inspire all their friends, we are one of those friends, and they're the same. It's just, I don't know, as a friend being on this podcast, I just wanted to make sure that we said that. [Jeremy] That's a good testimony. [Jennifer] Thank you guys [Aaron] Thank you. Okay, that was really encouraging, yeah. Praise the Lord. Jennifer, would you pray us out please? [Jennifer] Yeah. Dear Lord, Thank you for making us unique. Thank you for making our marriage unique. We pray we would recognize our differences and the unique qualities you have given to us and how they can be used to do the ministry you have for us to do. Lord, help us to confidently embrace the uniqueness in our marriage. Help us to use everything you have given to us and how you have made us to glorify your name. We pray we would not covet what other believers have, or what other believers do for your Kingdom, but rather we ask that you would show us what you desire for us to do for you, and to do it joyfully. May we celebrate the uniqueness in your body, and encourage each other. Lord, use our unique marriage to point people to you. In Jesus' name, Amen. [Jeremy] I love that, amen. [Aaron] So we just want to thank everyone for listening to this week's episode, we pray that you enjoyed our conversation with Jeremy and Audrey Roloff. Go check them out at all of their websites, and their podcasts. We have quite a few interviews left in this series, so please stay tuned, pick up a copy of our book, Marriage After God, and 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

In this episode we had the privilege to interview our good friends, Jeremy and Audrey Roloff well known from the beloved TV show Little People, Big World and now from their podcast Behind The Scenes. The roloffs are very familiar with recognizing how God can use each of our unique and individual stories for His purposes and that is exactly what we explore in this episode. You don't have to be us and you don't have to be them to be used by God. God desire to use you and your unique and individual giftings, talents, stories, and resources for His glory and to further his Kingdom. We pray you are blessed by today's discussion and are inspired to say yes to God with what you have been given.

Please grab a copy of their newest book A Love Letter Life. ->

https://amzn.to/2IqA26H

OTHER WAYS TO CONNECT WITH THE ROLOFFs

https://www.theroloffs.com/
https://aloveletterlife.com/

Jeremy & Audrey's Endorsement for Marriage After God Book

"In these pages, Aaron and Jen have fantastically conveyed the purpose of the mission and meaning of marriage. A powerful read that left us both inspired and awed that we get to participate in something so powerful –marriage –designed and created by a mighty God for an amazing adventure. No doubt this will become a must-read for decades to come!"

QUOTE FROM CHAPTER 9 OF MARRIAGE AFTER GOD BOOK

“Your marriage is not our marriage. You and your spouse are not us. You don’t have our experiences, talents, education, or upbringing. The beauty of the body of Christ is that each and every part is unique, your marriage included, and God will use your uniqueness for His purposes, if you let Him. ”

PRAYER

*Dear Lord,

Thank you for making us unique. Thank you for making our marriage unique. We pray we would recognize our differences and the unique qualities you have given to us and how they can be used to do the ministry you have for us to do. Lord, help us confidently embrace the uniqueness in our marriage. Help us to allow you to use everything you have given to us and how you made us to glorify your name. We pray we would not covet what other believers have or what other believers do for your kingdom, but rather we ask you to show us what you desire us to do for you and do it joyfully. May we celebrate the uniqueness in your body and encourage each other. Lord, use our unique marriage to point people to you.

In Jesus’ name, amen!*

ABOUT A LOVE LETTER LIFE BOOK

Whenever you are at in your love story, we believe this book will help you to live your own committed, courageous, creative, and continuous love story. We hope our story, with all its imperfections, will awaken your desire to pursue a love that reflects the thoughtfulness, intention, patience, and beauty of a love letter💌⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Whether you are dating, engaged, or married, we wrote this book for YOU! We want to empower you to live to love story you would want to have read back to you one day! A love story that is creative, intentional, faithful, and forever. 💌 #ALoveLetterLife ⁣

———

Whether your single, dating, engaged, or married, there are takeaways in this book for YOU🙌🏻 If you want a love story that is creative, intentional, and faithful, then grab your copy of A Love Letter Life today! We cannot wait to hear how it inspires, empower, and equips you to live a love story that you would want to have read back to you one day. To prepare for, pursue, and protect your own love letter life💌 #aloveletterlife

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 nine of the Marriage After God series. And we're gonna be talking with Jeremy and Audrey Roloff about how your marriage is unique. Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast, where we believe that marriage was meant for more that 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 blogging 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 everyday.

[Jennifer] We believe 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.

Real quick, I just wanna thank you guys for being here and encourage everyone listening to leave a us a review. This is just one way you guys can support the podcast, by letting everyone else know about the podcast. When you leave that star rating review or comment review, it goes out and helps other people find the Marriage After God podcast. And it also encourages Aaron and I, so we just wanted to ask you to do that, and we also wanna thank you to everyone who has already done it.

[Aaron] And also, we wanna invite you to pick up a copy of our book, Marriage After God. It's the reason we're doing this 16 part series, and we wrote it for you and your marriage. So go to shop.marriageaftergod.com, you can download free chapters, you can get freebies, so you should just check that out. And you're gonna love it.

[Jennifer] Okay so today, we have good friends of ours, Jeremy and Audrey Roloff. Hi Guys!

[Aaron] Welcome to the show.

[Jeremy] Hey guys,

[Audrey] Hey.

[Jeremy] Stoked to be here.

[Jennifer] Awesome. Well, you know, before we jump into the content today, why don't you take a minute to introduce yourselves, how long you've been married, children, what you do for work?

[Aaron] Maybe how we know each other.

[Jeremy] Yeah. So we are Jeremy and Audrey Roloff. We currently live in Portland, Oregon. And we did At-Home church with you guys and Ben there, for two, two-and-a-half, three years. So that's how we know each other. And, yeah, currently Aud and I, we just wrote a book, A Love Letter Life, and it's our love story, and just kinda tells the journey of dating, and all the way into marriage, and how to prepare more for our marriage than our wedding day. And we do have a little marriage ministry called, Beating 50 Percent, and Always More. Which is a college girls, encouraging college women to always believe in the more that is within them through Christ.

[Audrey] Not college, just women.

[Jeremy] Yeah, just women in general sorry. So we do a bunch of things, play on the internet quite a bit. And have a good time doing it.

[Audrey] We've been married for almost five years, and we have one daughter who is seventeen months old. So,

[Aaron] And she's like the sweetest little thing too.

[Jeremy] Yeah, we're having a good time with her.

[Audrey] She's in a fun season.

[Aaron] Awesome, hey well, we're so thankful to have you guys on the show. We're excited to talk about the content today. About the uniqueness in all of our marriages. And you guys are a perfect example of that. But before we get to the main topics,

[Jeremy] Yeah.

[Aaron] We always like to ask an ice breaker question. So you guys ready?

[Jeremy] Yikes, for sure. Shoot.

[Jennifer] It's a fun one.

[Aaron] Yeah this is a fun one, okay?

[Jeremy] Okay.

[Aaron] If you were stranded on an island what is one thing you would take with you?

[Jeremy] Babe?

[Audrey] I feel like practically, if that actually was the case, I mean,

[Jeremy] You would take a boat of course.

[Audrey] It's a really Christian answer, but I would probably take my Bible, but I actually probably would because I wanna say I'd take a practical thing that would keep me alive

[Jeremy] Because she knows but even if I had one practical thing to keep me alive I'd still probably die.

[Jeremy] It's because you know I'd take the practical thing.

[Audrey] Yeah that's true. If Jeremy's there with me, Jeremy'd bring the practical thing.

[Jeremy] Now, Honestly

[Aaron] So the one thing you'd take is Jeremy.

[Audrey] Yeah.

[Jeremy] Oh there we go, that's good

[Audrey] What would you take, babe?

[Jeremy] I'd take, I would just simply take a knife. Yeah, a good, nice knife. 'cause you can build fishing hooks, you can build ropes, you can build all the things.

[Aaron] And they're awesome.

[Jeremy] Yeah and they're awesome. I mean, I don't even leave the house without one. So it's like, why would I go to an island without one?

[Aaron] That's true! Yeah.

[Jennifer] Don't you guys have the same knife, Aaron, you and Jer?

[Aaron] I think we do, yeah. I have it on me right now.

[Jeremy] Yeah, same here. Cool.

[Aaron] I think that's a good answer, I'd say a knife, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Bible. Yeah, so.

[Audrey] There you go! Oh my gosh, complementary things.

[Jennifer] I can't get a volleyball out of my mind. Not that I would choose that, but

[Jeremy] I know right? I mean I haven't seen that in a long time.

[Aaron] Yeah, on the beach. Awesome. Hey listen, Jennifer, why don't you read the quote from Chapter 9 of our book, Marriage After God, and that'll get us kinda started on what we're gonna be talking about?

[Jennifer] Okay it says this, "Your marriage is not our marriage. You and your spouse are not us. You don't have our experiences, talents, education, or upbringing. The beauty of the body of Christ is that each and every part is unique. Your marriage included. And God will use your uniqueness for His purposes if you let Him.

[Aaron] Yeah, and the whole point of this chapter is just, sometimes, there can be this hesitancy or this hold back, because when we look at what other people are doing for God, and other people's unique life and experiences allow them to do certain things we might ask ourselves, or tell ourselves, "Well since I'm not a preacher, or a good preacher, I can't do ministry or I'm not gonna be used." or, "Since I'm not musically inclined, I can't, you know, be used by God," or we have all these things that we kinda qualify whether or not we are valuable to God in His body, and that's just not, it's a lie from the Devil, and the truth is, God's made us all uniquely. And it says that the Spirit's given us all gifts, to be used for the edification of the body, and so our encouragement for today in this episode is to just talk about not just the uniqueness in our marriages, but to encourage those listening to recognize how God is uniquely endowed them and gifted them with whatever God's given them. Their stories, their histories, their talents, their resources, their education, and how He desires to use that for His kingdom. So that's kinda what we're talking about today.

[Jeremy] Cool, yeah excited.

[Jennifer] Okay so, our first question for you guys is, how are you currently using your unique marriage and background and everything God's given you to build His kingdom, and what you guys are doing?

[Audrey] Yeah, well. I think we, Jeremy and I, actually like a couple months ago, so this is pretty fresh for us. We've sort of been talking about this for a long time, but we finally did it a couple months ago, is write out our marriage mission statement, have you guys ever done this?

[Aaron] No, not directly. But yeah, someone did actually just talk about this.

[Audrey] It was super,

[Jeremy] We hadn't either,

[Audrey] We had always like talked about it loosely, in our relationship, on like what we want be about, and how we wanna use, like you said, our unique marriage and background, and everything God's given us to build His kingdom, but we've never really like laid out, in a two-sentence thing what that actually looks like, and what is unique to us in that. And so we did that, and it's still not,

[Jeremy] It's still not fully done,

[Audrey] Still not fully

[Jeremy] Because we realized, like wow, once we're putting this to paper, it definitely gets a bit more, difficult [Audrey] We want it to,

[Audrey] We're kind of just tweaking it slightly in words and stuff, but I'll read what we do have right now, I just for frame of mind, but it says, "We want our marriage to be a creative representation of the love of Christ that is refreshing, inviting, and igniting. We want to inspire our generation to be intentional with their time, work, words, home and relationships." So that's kind of like, that's the blanket statement, of what we want to be about.

[Jeremy] Yeah, and then everything we kind of do, going back to the question, should ultimately achieve that goal. And for us, it's just been super helpful to be able to have that for this year even, and just be able to say like, "Okay, does that achieve this?" If not, then like we're not gonna do it.

[Aaron] So it sounds like your mission statement is literally, "We wanna encourage others to use the unique stories of their lives."

[Audrey] In a creative way.

[Jeremy] Yeah exactly.

[Aaron] Yeah, I love that.

[Jeremy] And then we do that through Beating 50 Percent, which is the marriage ministry we started. It's basically a conduit. We try to interview older and wiser people, and then deliver that content to millennials and a younger generation in sense. And so that was kinda the purpose of that, and it's really molded into something pretty amazing. And then, you know, the Always More thing, does the same thing. It just helps women be more intentional and always believe in the 'more' that's within them. So we've got all these little projects going that we feel feeds into this ultimate mission statement. But for us, the mission statement is definitely an anchor in the sand. As we keep pursuing these ventures, and figuring out what the Lord has for us, and opening doors and shutting old ones.

[Audrey] Yes.

[Jennifer] That's great. So when you guys are considering, you know, the mission ahead of you, and the purposes and plans that you're laying out, and working together on these things, these projects that you mentioned, how does the unique way that God's equipped you fulfill those things? Like, can you talk a little bit about some of your strengths?

[Jeremy] Yeah, totally. That's a good question. I feel like, Aud and I, we've always had, like even before we got married, and I think it was even the first year we were dating, we were joking about, like, "Oh we're gonna write a book one day about our story." Or something. Or we're gonna work together, Or we wanna do something

[Audrey] We love stories together. And from the very beginning, we just always had this, I don't know, this yearning to actively work in the kingdom, for the kingdom together. You know? And I think it was our, when was it babe? First year of marriage, like at the end?

[Audrey] Yeah.

[Jeremy] Maybe about a year into marriage when we finally took the leap, and started pursuing some of these things a little bit more actively. But yeah, we've got a ton. I mean they call us on the Instagram, "Fire and Ice" like, we fit together pretty opposingly, but it's like perfect fit, if you will. And so it's I gotta

[Audrey] And I think too, one of our strengths is that like, Jer and I, we actually are kind of similar in a lot of ways

[Jeremy] Yeah. Maybe more so than some of our friends who are married, I'd say we have a lot similar desires, a lot of similar passions

[Jeremy] For sure. Interests, and so,

[Jeremy] But we have very different giftings I would say.

[Audrey] Yes.

[Audrey] Yes, totally. But just like in terms of personality almost,

[Jeremy] Yeah.

[Audrey] There's a lot of similarities and common ground.

[Jeremy] Yeah.

[Aaron] Yeah, you guys, tons of energy. And then when you put that together it's like

[Jeremy] Yeah.

[Aaron] Okay you guys have double the energy now, triple, maybe

[Jeremy] For sure. It's like putting two candle flames together and watching the candle get bigger.

[Jeremy] And we manifest that energy differently. Very differently, because of our gifts.

[Audrey] That's true.

[Jeremy] The Lord's given you stuff that like, stresses me out, I could never do. But you do it energetically, and same on other side of the aisle, He's given me gifts that are completely not really your gifts, but I can do them very energetically. And so when we put those together yeah, it's that Fire and Ice combo.

[Aaron] You know, when I think about what you guys have been doing and I think about the unique experiences and the unique backgrounds that you guys have that have afforded you unique things and how you've used them for the Kingdom, I think of the show, you know, Little People, Big World, and the audience that you guys were able to build on Social Media, which, that's a unique thing, not everyone gets to say that they have that. Right?

[Jeremy] For sure.

[Aaron] And you know, what happens is you guys, just because you have these unique experiences, it doesn't mean that others that don't have those experiences don't get to use what God's given them, because you guys could've squandered the resources that God's given you, those unique opportunities, you know, the unique growth in your Instagram platforms and Social Media platforms, but you didn't. Instead, you took what He's given you and said, "Okay, well we have this, how do we use this unique thing that other people don't have how can we use this effectively and as good stewards? Have you guys recognized that, are you constantly trying to navigate that?

[Jeremy] That's so good. I think that first of all, everyone, I think the world puts a lot of emphasis on circumstances, and we almost heighten circumstances to be "If I don't have that circumstance, then I can't do this or that."

[Audrey] Or just the grass is always greener.

[Jeremy] Or grass is always greener! Yeah, I mean, even people in our circumstance, right? Can say the same thing or have the same attitude. So I think it's kind of an attitude thing. I mean, the immediate example that comes to my mind is just Paul, right, I mean, he was the most opposite. He might have had a circumstance of power, but he was the most unexpecting, complete opposite image of who God was gonna use. And he was totally used. Same with Rachel, and who's her sister? Leah? Rachel and Leah? Right? Like Leah was totally unexpected. And the Lord's like, "I'm gonna do amazing stuff through you." In the same way, some people might not have a huge following or a TV show, but if your attitude's postured toward the Lord and His Kingdom, that's His favorite thing to do, is use you. That's all He wants to do is use you. But it's our attitude, not our circumstances.

[Audrey] I love that. Also, for us, we really have a heart to inspire people to believe that there's more to their story. And sometimes there's more to your story than what you even get to see and realize is going on, because sometimes God just wants to keep us humble, and not show us all the fruit that we're producing in our lives. And you know, maybe we'll get to know it when we meet Him face to face, but I think just believing, Jeremy and I, we really have a heart to inspire people to believe that there's more to their story. And believe that there's more to God's story, and that there's always more that we can be learning in Him and His story, and trying to align ourselves with that story as opposed to getting so caught up in other people's. So, that's just something that I think is a huge part for us.

[Jeremy] For sure. And then, my last thought on that that just popped in my mind too is that we need to be careful that we don't turn what we think is success or helping the Kingdom into against what God might think it is, you know?

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Jeremy] So it's like, maybe just going to work and leading a couple people to the Lord will have the multiplications, maybe those people will go out and do some amazing things and then by process

[Audrey] You don't get to You won't get to know

[Audrey] Know until but by process of

[Audrey] Until you get to multiplication you've just

[Audrey] Heaven done more in the kingdom than someone with a TV show.

[Audrey] Right.

[Aaron] Yeah, and so you're just bringing that up but I'm thinking of Billy Graham who has led to the Lord by a Sunday School teacher but I don't even know the Sunday School teacher's name, but that Sunday School teacher, that woman, you know?

[Jeremy] Yep. She had a heart posture.

[Aaron] Yes, and her posture was "I'm gonna show this little boy who Christ is, and teach him about the Lord." And you're right. 'Cause you could, anyone could take a good thing and make it a bad thing. What God's given us, we can squander or we can mismanage it, we can use it against Him.

[Jennifer] Or just avoid using it.

[Aaron] Or just avoid using it, you know, when we think of the parable of the talents and the one who was given the one, buried it,

[Audrey] That's a great example.

[Aaron] And we talk about that in book, of like, it doesn't matter what God's given you, He's given it to you.

[Audrey] Yes.

[Aaron] And you have been given something. And for you guys it was a TV show, it's the social media platforms, it's your businesses, your books, and you know what? You're responsible to produce a return for God, just like I'm responsible to produce a return. Just like the person listening. God desires us to serve Him, with what He's given us, and to multiply it for Him. Whatever that looks like.

[Jennifer] And I love, Jeremy when you were talking you said, you know, you were talking about heart posture, and if we just had a heart to use what we have for God, that that's His favorite thing, and that He's going to use you. And I just loved that, because it's so simply put. It's like, that's His favorite thing. And He's our Father, and how cool it is that He gets to look down on us, and work through us and move through our marriages in these extraordinary to Him ways. And so I just wanted to reiterate for everyone listening. 'Cause I think that was pretty cool.

[Jeremy] Thanks Jen. Also, I'm just thinkin' like, so often I've fallen prey, even in our situation, or our circumstances I've fallen prey to be like, "Well, if I just had this," or "If I want that." And then I think like, "Holy Smokes. Look what I'm do have, and I'm not even stewarding this as well as I can?" So it's like, if we're not mastering where we're at, why do we think we even deserve to be somewhere we're not?

[Aaron] Right.

[Jeremy] I don't wanna, that can sometimes dabble into the prosperity gospel, where it's like, "If I do this, I'll get this." And that's not what I'm saying at all, but it just goes back to that heart posture.

[Aaron] Yeah, it's that posture of obedience. Of like, "Okay Lord, you've given me these unique gifts and talents, and I wanna invest them for you, I wanna use them for you, not for my own glory, not for my own gain, which sometimes those come with obedience. We see that all throughout the Bible, and sometimes it doesn't. We see that also. But He still requires obedience. And you know, you brought up a point of sometimes we look and say, "Oh I wish I had that gifting, or that talent." And I've fallen into this trap before too, and it's coveting, and we're not supposed to covet. Even the gifts our brothers and sisters, where we say, "Oh that person's so gifted in this or that. I wish I had that."

[Jeremy] Yeah.

[Aaron] It's okay to ask the Lord for more, but to look at someone, which sometimes leads, and this is even more dangerous, leads to us devaluing the brother or sister who has been blessed or is using a certain gift that we don't have, because we don't have it. Have you guys ever experienced that, or what would you guys say about that?

[Jeremy] Yeah, so formulate that question one more time for me?

[Aaron] Yeah, so this idea of coveting, and how we shouldn't covet, especially coveting from our brothers and sister, and how that could also lead to thinking negatively or degrading our brother and sister because, "Oh they don't deserve that, they shouldn't have that, I should have that."

[Jeremy] For sure. The immediate thing that comes to my brain is just that concept that you know, we're all the body of Christ and ultimately we're all on the same team trying to accomplish the same mission.

[Aaron] Yeah.

[Jeremy] Going back to the mission statement, it's like, scripture gives believers a pretty clear mission statement, and we should all be able to look back to that like okay, is that what I'm doing with my gifts? And you know, I think if we're all one body like sure, the ear might complain to the brain like, "Well why can't I see? I wanna see so bad." But little do they know that the eyes saying, "All I wanna do is hear." And it's like, if both would just live into their giftings, their callings, they would complete the body in a much more effective way than if they kept complaining about each other.

[Aaron] That was good, yeah.

[Audrey] I think too, one of the things, you know, just speaking specifically to marriages and love stories, one of the things that we say in our book a lot is "God is the author of your love story, and He doesn't write the same love story twice." And, we had this opportunity to be able to write our love story and it was so cool, but really God was the author of it. And our love story is not like anybody else's. And it shouldn't be.

[Jeremy] Yeah, we just pressed into the Lord.

[Audrey] But I think just realizing too that everybody has chapter in their love story that they maybe don't share, and I think that this comes back to the social media thing of, you know you brought up coveting and comparison, and I think that social media can sort of put that on blast.

[Aaron] Yeah, highlights it.

[Audrey] Just makes it, yes. And so I think, we gotta realize that there's a behind the scenes that people don't share. But on the flip side of that too, I think when it comes to friends in your life that you actually do love and trust and look up to, and are iron sharpening marriages to your marriage, I think it can be, I think this word 'comparison' this bad word all the time, but sometimes I think, like I just think of you guys not in a bad way, but just to be able look at you guys' marriage and see things in your guys' marriage and go like, I'm not comparing it to covet it, I'm inspired by something, or I'm challenged by something or I'm motivated to do something in my own marriage because of seeing your marriage,

[Aaron] Right.

[Audrey] So that just goes back to, and Jeremy said this, but like a heart posture thing, of is your heart posture, in looking at these relationships to grow in your own? Or is looking at these other relationships making you bitter or resentful or leading to coveting? You know, that's a heart posture.

[Jeremy] Yeah and I think it's a heart posture, that's really good babe. And it's a heart posture that pretty telling of how aligned you are with the ultimate mission. Or the mission statement, if you will of the Bible.

[Aaron] Yeah and it's this idea of coveting someone's gifts and talents, and thinking negatively of them because they have it and you don't, versus seeing Godly examples that we want to follow, right?

[Jeremy] Yes, definitely a difference.

[Aaron] And that's the idea of what we're trying to get at, and sound like what you guys are encouraging in your book as well, is, "Hey you may not have what we have, but you can live the way we live. You can follow Christ, the way we follow Christ. You can believe the way we believe. Have faith like we have faith." And the results should be people knowing God, and drawing closer to His word, and to Christ, but the means to that end are going to look so vastly different. And that's what's beautiful about it, is the ear is the ear, and the eye is the eye. Like you said. Go ahead.

[Jeremy] If we just pursued our own uniqueness, right? The ear is gonna hear a lot better, and the eye's gonna see a lot clearer.

[Aaron] Oh I like that, yeah.

[Jeremy] Something we say in our book a lot, it was kinda like my thread through the book and I would argue a huge part of the type of story Audrey and I wrote, not necessarily in our book, but in our life, our love story is something that kept coming back to me in dating Audrey was, what kind of love story do I want? And whenever I was faced with fear or comparison, or this or that, I just thought to myself, well, what do I want? What kind of story do I want? 'Cause the story we write today will be the story we tell tomorrow. And I hope you like what you read.

[Aaron] That's good.

[Jeremy] For me, that was a very encouraging thing in how I pursued my own uniqueness, my love story, and tried to resist the temptation to always compare it to someone else's. I forget who said it, but someone said, "Be yourself, 'cause everyone else is taken." And I think that fits here really well.

[Jennifer] Well, and I think it's a sober reminder to have ownership in all of your actions, in all that you're doing and what you're doing. Because even though a love story is a husband and a wife becoming one, there's still personal responsibility, and how do you live that out? How do you choose to love each other every single day and so I just love the perspective that you shared on that, and it's a reminder for all of us listening to take ownership and the responsibility that we've been given, and the privilege we've been given in loving one another and serving the body.

[Aaron] Yep. And so I wanna ask you this, you guys are really good story tellers,

[Jeremy] Thank you, Aaron.

[Aaron] Yeah, and you guys, just writing your story was one way that you allowed God to use the uniqueness of your marriage to point people to Him.

[Jennifer] Which, I gotta say, I loved reading your guys' story, I thought it was so beautiful. So inspiring! Even for us and you know, we've been married 12 years. I kept telling Aaron, "We need to be more romantic!" Like we need to be more thoughtful in the way we show each other love because that stuff matters. And so, I just appreciate the way you wrote your story and the things that you did choose to do for each other was really encouraging and inspiring.

[Aaron] So thank you, I wanna ask if you can encourage the listeners 'cause story, our story is one of the unique gifts that God has given us and our stories are, they're so dynamic and always changing. But how would you encourage the marriages listening the husbands and wives, and their saying, "Okay, yeah your guys' story's unique but we're just this couple over here doing whatever. How would you encourage their story to point people to Christ, to encourage people. It's testimony in story, so how would you encourage them?

[Audrey] Yeah, you know, just encouraging them alone, or encouraging you guys if your listening that your marriage is unique, it is one of a kind. It's a story that cannot be copied, and you have this opportunity to represent the Creator, God's creativity. You through your love story, get to be a couple that puts God on display as this creative God. You know? And that's something that draws people to God We think of so many, you know. I know so many friends that are drawn to the presence of the Lord just by being in His creation and seeing how creative He is and how beautiful He is. And so if our love stories are that way, like, how much more is that gonna draw people to Christ? And so I hope that is an encouragement to you if you're listening.

[Jeremy] For sure. I think just going off that, babe, I think that was really good, I think going off of that is, just recognizing that stories really are the best teachers. I mean if you look back to what Jesus did, that's how primarily, His message of delivery was storytelling. And then ultimately it's the story of His life, that all of history and future and eternity hinges on. And so, I just think, babe you said it so good, but just recognizing that no matter what your story is it's not over yet, and a lot of times we are emotional response to our story or our position is based on where it's been, or the struggle you're in, and rarely is it focused on the future and where God might have it going. And I think that's for me, that's really, really encouraging. Aud and I, we've tried very hard to write an amazing story, and we're continuing to do that. And I am so excited for where it might be headed, but ultimately it's headed where, because we're pursuing the Lord, we know our story's headed where the Lord goes, and it might go somewhere we do not want to go, if we measure it against culture or society and what's successful in their eyes, but if we measure by success of the Lord? You know, we're telling a story for a short amount of time, and how we tell that and pursue that ultimately will be a reflection of our eternities. So, that's really encouraging to me, and I hope that's really encouraging to the reader.

[Audrey] The listener!

[Aaron] Well the reader, their gonna read the books so, you know I love that encouragement, and that is the encouragement is, this life is but a breath. You know, that's what the Bible tells us, it's fleeting, it's quick. And one of the unique gifts that God's given each one of us is our story and our testimony. It's our past and how God has redeemed it. It our present and how God is in it.

[Jennifer] So I have a question for you guys. And maybe this is a more practical question, but as you guys are on this journey of writing your love story, how do you call out the uniqueness in each other and encourage each other in all these projects that you're doing?

[Audrey] In each other, like just Jeremy and I personally?

[Jennifer] Yeah, you guys see unique attributes in one another and then call them out, or say, "Hey I see this in you," or what does that look like in your marriage?

[Audrey] Yeah, well I think one thing, we've been better about this at some times than others but one thing Jeremy had us doing, it was like a couple years ago I think, when you gave me that jar for my birthday right?

[Jeremy] It was like two years ago, yeah.

[Audrey] But, Jeremy gave me this glass jar for my birthday, and a bunch of slips of paper that came with it. And every night, he would tell me one encouragement one affirmation, one praise, one thing he's thankful for me for, and he would write it down on the paper, and put it in the jar. And it was so simple! It was just before we went to bed, we ended our day with he would tell me and then I was always like, it was his thing that he gifted me for my birthday, a year of that, but then I was like, "Well I wanna tell you something back!"

[Aaron] Reciprocity, I like that.

[Audrey] Right, and then this year we were like, "Oh it'd be cool if like, we need to revive that, 'cause that was a couple years ago. And it's something so easy for us to just get caught up in talking about other things before bed especially lately, and so, we were just like, that was really sweet to end our day with that, such a simple thing.

[Jennifer] I love that, that's awesome.

[Audrey] I wish we could say it's been perfect and we've done it every night since the beginning of the year but we haven't but the goal is to sort of end our days with that. And that is then me thinking intentionally about "Okay what's one creative way that I can affirm Jeremy today? What's one unique thing that I admire about him?"

[Jeremy] Yeah, and encouragement is a weapon against comparison because encouragement, it affirms, right?

[Aaron] Right,

[Jeremy] Well comparison essentially is an unaffirming thought, like I'm less than, I want that, I'm comparing, but if you can encourage another, then it's just continual reaffirming of your gifts, your talents, and that's very strength building.

[Aaron] That's good, and it should bring us to a place of contentment with saying, "Lord you've given me enough." And, encouraging that in each other, like you have enough, you have what you need, you have these unique attributes, you have these special gifts, you have these special talents and a way of being, and I love that. And Jeremy, not coveting, but I'm wondering why you got all of the romance giftings?

[Jennifer] But what's great about this is now that you've shared it, we can glean from it, honey!

[Jeremy] Yeah!

[Aaron] Oh! The jar, I have a jar somewhere.

[Jeremy] Dude, go to the office, print a label, slap it on a jar.

[Aaron] There you go, share some of these tips, men are always looking for ideas to romance their wives.

[Jeremy] Yeah, definitely. I mean, that's been something Audrey's brought up quite a bit. It had a profound influence on her.

[Audrey] It did.

[Jeremy] And it's special but it goes back to first of all, I was very very inspired by the book, "A Severe Mercy" by Sheldon Vanuken. That book changed my life in a very powerful way. And since then, since that book, is when I started asking myself, "What kind of love story do I want?" And then when I ask that question, then I think, "Okay well, at the end of this year, I wanna tell the story of how our relationship is twice as good, twice as exciting, twice as romantic, or do I wanna tell the story of how I was lazy, didn't really think of anything, apathetic, you know, just kinda went through the motions? Same, same, fell into roommate syndrome. What story?" Because we're all gonna tell a story, and I hope we're gonna like what we hear.

[Jennifer] Yeah, we're all writing it, right now.

[Audrey] Yeah, We're all writing it right now.

[Aaron] Well, here's our final question for you guys, we've asked this to everyone so far, and we're gonna ask it to everyone we're gonna interview next. What is, in your own words, a marriage after God?

[Jeremy] I think that a marriage after God ultimately is a marriage that reflects God. So, you know, essentially loving the way Jesus loved us. Right? We're supposed to be known by the way we love one another. You know, I was talking to the Brotherhood and the sisterhood and our spouses, and if we can do that, if we can just press into the love for each other the same way that Jesus loved us, like that's amazing image of a marriage after God's heart. I feel and yeah, now that my mind's going, there's some ways that I could share,

[Audrey] Don't have the perfect sentence.

[Jeremy] Of how we do that.

[Audrey] I mean, a couple things just immediately come to mind, that it's a covenant, not a contract. A covenant cannot be broken, a marriage after God cannot be broken. And just this idea of oneness, in the same way that we become one with Christ when you know we're baptized and believers, and become Christians. In the same way, becoming one with your spouse, on your wedding day, and then letting every area of your life reflect that oneness. And making that a mission, you know, like how can we be more one, how can we reflect more oneness, because you know the Bible talks about it over and over. It says it so many times in scripture it says 'by how they love one another,' or the word 'one another' repeat, repeat, repeats, and 'unity' repeat, repeat, repeats. Marriage is such a perfect opportunity to reflect that at one another, that love, to reflect that unity. And we get to do that on a regular basis. On a daily basis through small things and the big things, just reflecting that oneness.

[Jeremy] Yeah,

[Audrey] And oneness in our marriage too, like, Jeremy and I have this funny phrase we've always used. It was a poem Jeremy wrote me a long time ago. But he said, in the poem he said, "Let's braid it together, Christ, you and I." And then since then, we've always said, "Braid it." Just like, God's that third strand of our marriage keeping our marriage strong.

[Jeremy] He's the strength of the strand.

[Audrey] If you're a girl and you've ever braided your hair with two strands, it will unravel and it doesn't stay together, right?

[Jennifer] True.

[Audrey] You need that third strand to keep that braid in tact. And so, braid it, is that marriage after God, it's a marriage braided with God.

[Aaron] #braidit

[Audrey] We used to do that when we were dating, #braidit

[Jeremy] Ultimately, I would probably sum up our jumbled thoughts here at this question by something we say a lot, and that is, "to find and still seek," now that is true love. And I think that that is ultimately a marriage after God.

[Jennifer] Awesome, thank you guys so much for just joining us on this podcast today. We just wanna just say thank for all of the perspective, and encouragement that you gave everyone listening, and all the inspiration for being romantic. 'Cause that gives some husbands and wives some good ideas walking away from this. Also, A Love Letter Life is such a sweet story of your guys' life and I just wanted to take a minute to just say that everyone should go get a copy because it just released and we're super excited for you guys about this, and I just think it's so cool that Jeremy, you've been on this journey of like, 'What kind of love life do I wanna write?' And now you actually got to write it!

[Jeremy] Yeah.

[Jennifer] Such a cool book, and I just wanna encourage everyone to go grab that. Can you also share where people can find you guys? Do you have a podcast, Instagram, all that?

[Jeremy] Yeah,

[Audrey] Thank you Jen

[Jeremy] Yeah, thanks Jen, that's really nice. Yeah we've got a podcast, Behind the Scenes podcast with Jeremy and Audrey. And then you can find our book at just aloveletterlife.com, and you can see everything we're up to at theroloffs.com

[Audrey] We're just Jeremy and Audrey Roloff on all the things.

[Jeremy] All the socials.

[Aaron] Yeah everyone, listen and go follow them. They're great, we love this couple. They've been a huge part of our life. We're gonna close in prayer, and we'll be out of here.

[Jeremy] I wanna say real quick, we really appreciate you guys, you guys have been a huge, huge inspiration to us, and a source of wisdom, and we just love everything you guys are doing. And it's an honor to be on your podcast. Thanks for sharing.

[Audrey] I wanna add one thing to that, just like if you're listening, Jen and Aaron you might think, 'Oh I'm really inspired by their marriage and all the stuff that they put out.' But Jen and Aaron are like this in person too, like they actually inspire all their friends, we are one of those friends, and they're the same. It's just, I don't know, as a friend being on this podcast, I just wanted to make sure that we said that.

[Jeremy] That's a good testimony.

[Jennifer] Thank you guys

[Aaron] Thank you. Okay, that was really encouraging, yeah. Praise the Lord. Jennifer, would you pray us out please?

[Jennifer] Yeah. Dear Lord, Thank you for making us unique. Thank you for making our marriage unique. We pray we would recognize our differences and the unique qualities you have given to us and how they can be used to do the ministry you have for us to do. Lord, help us to confidently embrace the uniqueness in our marriage. Help us to use everything you have given to us and how you have made us to glorify your name. We pray we would not covet what other believers have, or what other believers do for your Kingdom, but rather we ask that you would show us what you desire for us to do for you, and to do it joyfully. May we celebrate the uniqueness in your body, and encourage each other. Lord, use our unique marriage to point people to you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

[Jeremy] I love that, amen.

[Aaron] So we just want to thank everyone for listening to this week's episode, we pray that you enjoyed our conversation with Jeremy and Audrey Roloff. Go check them out at all of their websites, and their podcasts. We have quite a few interviews left in this series, so please stay tuned, pick up a copy of our book, Marriage After God, and 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.