Multitude of Counselors

Prayer Partners Become Life Partners Part 2

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: MOC

Program Code: MOC170030A

00:26 Welcome to A Multitude of Counselors
00:28 for the second part of our program entitled
00:31 Prayer Partners Become Life Partners.
00:33 We've been hearing from Jason and Natanya Vanderlaan.
00:37 And they told us
00:38 how they forged their relationship
00:40 in the context of prayer how when they first met,
00:42 they were working through a book
00:44 that was kind of a 40 days of prayer kind of a book,
00:47 and they decided to do it together,
00:49 and they ended up falling in love in that context,
00:51 which is just so cool.
00:53 So we want to hear more about the end of your courtship
00:56 and then move into what's working
00:57 in your relationship now that you've been married
00:59 a total of an amazing eight months.
01:02 Yes.
01:03 But I want to introduce my panel here.
01:05 I've got David Guerrero.
01:06 He's a biblical counselor from Wisconsin.
01:08 And Shelly Wiggins
01:10 who is a licensed professional counselor
01:11 from Michigan.
01:12 And Jason and Natanya Vanderlaan,
01:15 and I want to ask you...
01:18 I want to just bring out the fact
01:19 that when you guys met,
01:21 and this is the thing I love about your relationship,
01:23 you were in the line of duty.
01:24 Jason fought his way up
01:26 to New Hampshire for that seminar,
01:28 and it was actually a training
01:29 where I was helping people learn
01:31 how to help people,
01:32 it's called the Abide Helper Training.
01:33 And you came to that training 'cause you wanted to learn.
01:36 You wanted to be equipped to help people more effectively
01:38 and so did Natanya,
01:40 and you were both focused on ministry,
01:43 and in that context, you met each other.
01:44 So we were chatting about how people sit in their bedroom
01:47 and wait for God to bring them someone.
01:49 What they really need to do is get out there,
01:51 focus their life on God, and serving others.
01:53 And in doing that, they will put themselves
01:55 in, you know, social contexts
01:58 where not only will they meet more people period,
02:01 they'll more people that would be
02:03 an appropriate partner.
02:04 And here's the thing,
02:06 it's cool that you forged your relationship
02:07 in the context of service because it's really not healthy
02:10 to be totally self-focused in a twosome,
02:13 and twosomes can become very, very selfish.
02:15 Yeah.
02:16 So the fact that you are outwardly focused
02:17 even in the formation processes of your relationship
02:20 is really quite amazing.
02:22 So let's talk about anything more that we need to cover
02:26 in terms of the courtship phase
02:27 before we move into your marriage.
02:29 Talk to me about...
02:31 Well, the cliffhanger that was left
02:32 on the first part of the program,
02:35 I'd like you to tell the other part of it.
02:37 So you're at the border and you're in tears and...
02:42 I think I was the one in tears.
02:43 Oh, you're the...
02:45 Probably both in tears. She was in tears too.
02:46 Did you think he was going to pop the question right then?
02:48 Oh, no, no.
02:49 I didn't think he was going to pop the question,
02:51 but it was a space and time where I think we both
02:55 really felt the gravity of what we'd been afforded.
02:58 Was God giving you permission to take that step?
03:01 What was going on in both of your minds?
03:05 I think that we were both, like,
03:07 so in love already at that point
03:09 and so excited about each other.
03:11 Yeah. That's so sweet.
03:13 That just really is beautiful.
03:14 And it was at that kind of a moment,
03:17 there was kind of
03:18 some of the reality was setting in
03:20 that being committed to loving each other
03:23 meant a lot of big changes in our lives.
03:26 And so starting to begin to wade through those
03:30 and to face those, and, you know,
03:32 we realized through prayer and talking to each other
03:35 that we were perfectly matched for each other
03:38 that doesn't mean there weren't a lot of differences.
03:40 Yes.
03:42 There are a lot of places where we experienced conflict
03:44 and had to work through that and learn how to grow.
03:45 Exactly.
03:47 And that was of kind of the beginning of facing reality
03:50 in a good way.
03:51 Did you ask first? Did you ask her first?
03:56 Yeah, I was going to say can you...
03:57 Did you ask someone else? I'm just curious.
04:01 Before I proposed? Yeah.
04:04 So I think...
04:05 It was an amazing proposal. Thank you.
04:10 We had talked about getting married
04:12 before I asked her parents.
04:14 And the idea was not so much
04:18 to ask permission as to ask a blessing,
04:21 but she's a human being
04:22 and she has her own free choice.
04:24 Amen.
04:25 But we really value and honor our parents
04:28 and their perspective,
04:30 especially their spiritual directions.
04:31 Yes.
04:33 And so we want them to be fully onboard as well.
04:34 Totally. Amen.
04:36 Love it. Yeah.
04:37 Perfect.
04:38 I called up her parents on the phone.
04:40 And I was holding on my phone on FaceTime, and they asked me,
04:44 "Can you put your phone somewhere more stable,"
04:46 'cause I was like.
04:48 That was making them obnoxious.
04:50 A little bit nervous.
04:52 But yeah, it went well and I got their blessing.
04:55 Amen. And then what happened?
04:57 Tell us about the candles, just real brief.
04:59 Okay.
05:00 So I just planned her a really lovely evening,
05:03 a date, and after dinner,
05:05 I had rented out this artist's loft
05:08 and I'd had my brothers, two of my brothers,
05:10 and my sister help me set up 500 candles for this.
05:14 Five hundred candles!
05:15 There was mirrors and stuff so the...
05:17 The walls were covered in mirrors and gold.
05:18 It was more like a thousand candles.
05:20 Yeah. Yeah.
05:21 But I think that all of this is really important to mention
05:25 because there was the space
05:27 even in a very short frame of time
05:29 where he pursued me, you know?
05:31 Amen.
05:32 I told him when he first asked if I was interested in dating
05:36 that I only date local.
05:38 I had made that up,
05:39 but I didn't want to do long distance.
05:42 And so he was driving six plus hours
05:45 every other weekend, you know?
05:48 And that kind of commitment is important.
05:52 I think it spoke deeply to me personally.
05:55 Do you think that the guy does the sacrificing
05:59 and not the woman or is it both equally
06:02 or is it a little more important
06:03 that the man really put himself out there
06:05 'cause that's kind of the school I'm from
06:06 is that the guy takes the bigger risks,
06:09 I wouldn't say that woman takes no risks?
06:11 So I definitely wouldn't say that the woman takes no risk.
06:13 But you're like such a feminist that I wonder about
06:15 how you feel about that.
06:16 I think that we should both be willing to put in work
06:19 and commitment, but at the same time like,
06:23 "You're asking for a huge commitment of me.
06:26 You're asking for my heart and my whole life,
06:28 and I think you should have to work for it a little."
06:32 Yeah. So...
06:33 What I really appreciated about her is like
06:35 I knew she was, you know,
06:37 very self-sufficient and confident.
06:38 And a lot of times, the idea that
06:41 the man takes initiative means that the woman
06:43 is more passive and is incapable.
06:46 Yeah.
06:47 And I think what I really liked and saw here is that
06:49 she was fully capable...
06:50 Fully capable.
06:51 And she voluntarily left space for me to make that first move,
06:55 to make the first step.
06:56 Even in conversations on the phone, like at first,
06:59 she was just like talk, talk, talking, and then she was like,
07:02 "I'm going to, like, stop talking and, like,
07:05 let you lead the conversation."
07:07 And that was an example
07:09 or even like opening the car door,
07:10 she's obviously very capable of opening the car door,
07:14 but she'll pause and let me do it
07:15 because it gives me space to take that lead.
07:17 To me, maybe I'm too old school,
07:20 but it does something for the development of the man
07:22 to have to put himself out there for the woman,
07:25 and there's something really, really symbolic
07:27 about that Christ loving the church
07:29 in that self-sacrificial way.
07:30 For sure.
07:31 So the same self-sacrifice works
07:33 in the context of marriage, and let's talk
07:36 'cause, I think, cumulatively,
07:38 we have quite a few years of marriage represented here.
07:41 You guys have a whopping eight months of marriage,
07:44 but I think you're starting
07:45 from what you've shared with me,
07:47 I think you're starting to discover
07:49 what actually works and that's,
07:51 you're calling it radical transparency
07:54 and work having the hard conversations
07:57 and working through things instead of shelving them
07:59 instead of pretending they're not there.
08:01 You want to talk about that a little bit?
08:02 Yeah, sure. Yeah.
08:04 From the very beginning and I do believe
08:05 it was Holy Spirit inspired,
08:08 I was so committed to being very, almost painfully,
08:13 honest sometimes with Jason.
08:15 And as he's put it several times,
08:18 we'd already played the game,
08:20 and so we weren't looking to do any of that,
08:24 we were just offering ourselves as we were.
08:27 And that's kind of evolved.
08:30 Now that we're married,
08:32 sometimes it means being willing to sit down
08:35 and have those hard conversations
08:37 when I don't agree with him,
08:40 but I know that it's going to mean
08:42 a lot of talking, which is not always my favorite thing,
08:45 like I'm the more extroverted,
08:47 but I like to get things done quickly.
08:50 I just say everything that's on my mind
08:52 and then I'm done.
08:53 Yeah. Jason is more pensive.
08:55 He's a writer and a poet, he reflects.
08:57 And sometimes, he'll come back three days later
08:59 and still want to talk for an hour about something.
09:02 That's difficult for me, but creating that space
09:06 has been really beautiful in our relationship
09:09 because it's a partnership.
09:10 Can you give us one example
09:12 of something you've talked through?
09:13 Yeah.
09:14 I'd like to know a little more of the nuts and bolts here.
09:17 I know you're a little different in your thinking
09:19 and I think it's important that people know
09:21 they don't have to be a match,
09:23 a complete replica of one another.
09:24 Maybe we should give them a random topic off
09:26 the top of our head and just say, Chew on it."
09:28 Feminism. Okay.
09:31 That would make me a little bit far.
09:33 Or could you provide for us what you mean by providing
09:36 that space?
09:37 What does it mean? Yeah.
09:39 I think very similar to what Jason mentioned
09:42 in regards to like being on the phone,
09:44 I will talk a mile a minute.
09:46 And I prayed about this
09:47 because I wanted there to be an exchange.
09:49 And God brought my mind to like phone calls,
09:54 like conference calls, I would have with work.
09:57 And we would have someone
09:58 in charge of facilitating a call,
10:01 that was their job.
10:02 And in doing that,
10:04 they had to create the space for other people to talk.
10:06 Yeah.
10:08 And God's like, "You need to create the space."
10:09 Okay.
10:10 And so I'm waiting for him to respond
10:14 instead of just running my mouth, right?
10:17 I'm asking questions
10:20 or forwarding him the initiative and saying,
10:22 "Hey, you're the one facilitating the call today,
10:26 you take the lead."
10:27 And so we're refocusing how we conversate.
10:33 And you know, we could...
10:34 You're matching each other's space.
10:35 Exactly. Exactly.
10:37 And this is something that Jason brought to my attention.
10:40 But a lot of big topics, we don't agree,
10:45 but we're not too far away from each other.
10:47 And a lot of the success of talking
10:50 through a difficult topic is the way you talk about it.
10:53 It's more about the process, the content.
10:54 Exactly. Exactly.
10:55 You can get through a lot of things
10:57 in which you see things differently.
10:59 If you could respect each other
11:00 and really listen to each other,
11:02 then you could work through it effectively.
11:04 Exactly. Exactly.
11:05 So he has brought me the realization
11:06 that our language is polarizing,
11:08 even in regards to dating, right?
11:10 So sometimes, he'd say something
11:13 and I'd be like, "Ding. Purity movement."
11:16 And my mind shuts down, I'm not listening anymore.
11:19 And sometimes, I would say things
11:20 and he'd be like, "Whoa."
11:22 Now can you clarify that that was sort of the vestiges
11:24 of this experience you had in a Protestant private school?
11:28 Yes.
11:30 When you felt there was a lot of shame and guilt
11:31 put on you over the issue of dating
11:33 and so you'll have a traumatic response
11:35 when he'll talk and sound something like that.
11:37 And all of a sudden, I'm not listening.
11:39 Shutdown. Yeah. Yeah.
11:41 But we ultimately believe similar things.
11:43 But are you able to then say,
11:45 "This is how I feel as a result of you just saying,"
11:47 and look at the emotional reaction itself
11:50 rather than personalizing it and turning it into a debate?
11:51 Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
11:53 And I think what's been really great about that is, you know,
11:55 on so many different things whether dating
11:58 or from different backgrounds and race or culture
12:01 or politics, any of these things,
12:03 like she was saying
12:04 there's so much polarize in language.
12:06 And so it's very different though
12:08 that if you're online on Facebook
12:10 and you're just kind of like type up something
12:12 and send it off to the person who has the opposing view,
12:15 it's really easy to create that picture of who that is
12:18 and what they hold their values and make them very simple.
12:21 But when you're sitting in the same room
12:23 with someone that you love and respect
12:25 and think is really smart and value who they are,
12:29 and they say something that if you saw on the internet,
12:32 you would like write off immediately,
12:35 I have to be like, "Huh, she might have a point."
12:38 Yeah.
12:39 I value who this person is and even more than that,
12:41 I'm committed to unity with her.
12:43 So you're hearing the same thing from her
12:46 that you would have heard on Facebook or Twitter
12:49 or something and you would have written that person off.
12:51 You hear the same thing from her, someone you love,
12:53 and you start to consider it because you love her.
12:55 Yeah. Yeah.
12:57 And being committed to that has really created space for us
13:00 to work past the polarizing language
13:03 and then realize,
13:04 "Oh, we're actually really close
13:06 to the same idea in the end."
13:09 We just are using such different language
13:11 because of our backgrounds.
13:12 When you're talking about issues like that,
13:14 do you try to figure out what the other person...
13:18 what their core values there
13:21 and then try to discern if maybe
13:23 you have a similar core value, like if she's talking about...
13:26 she has a reaction to it,
13:28 something about the purity movement,
13:30 her core value there is freedom.
13:32 And a lot of times, you who maybe triggered her,
13:35 could say to her, "I can see that
13:36 that's really the hot button for you
13:38 because you value freedom so much,"
13:40 will make her feel secure and being understood by you
13:43 in such a way that she's able to look
13:45 more objectively at what you said.
13:47 Have you found that that's true?
13:48 I think so.
13:50 So I just thought of a really great example.
13:52 This was several months ago.
13:53 But Jason posted something on Facebook.
13:57 I don't really use Facebook that much,
13:58 but it was an article that he shared.
14:01 And I don't remember exactly what was it in regards to.
14:05 Maybe gun control,
14:06 I don't remember, something political.
14:07 Something political.
14:09 And all sparks started firing. Off you?
14:12 If I had seen somebody else post that,
14:14 I think I may have unfriended them.
14:16 But my mind was a... Oh, wow.
14:18 "I don't want to unfriend my husband."
14:21 All of a sudden, I started thinking, "Why?
14:24 Why would he share something like that?
14:26 What is he thinking?"
14:29 And so I sent him a text.
14:32 And we have...
14:33 Poor Jason, he's at work, and he sees like this long text
14:37 'cause, you know, this is not a conversation
14:38 to have publicly.
14:40 Yeah.
14:41 And he responded to me very kindly, you know,
14:45 and we talked about it briefly.
14:46 He actually called me. And then I went on doing life.
14:50 Later, a friend calls, one of my best friends.
14:54 She lives in Paris.
14:55 And she says, "You know, I saw this thing Jason just posted.
14:58 And it just...
14:59 I love the way you guys are."
15:02 And it was... He put a little...
15:04 some comment, "You know, I spoke to my wife
15:06 and I actually think that this could be very insensitive
15:10 to certain types of people,
15:12 and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
15:13 and I just want to say..."
15:14 And he pretty much
15:16 put a Cliff-Note version of our resolution.
15:19 Wow! I didn't even know about it.
15:21 I didn't ask for it.
15:22 And you know, something Gottman,
15:24 who's the doyen of marriage, says that the problem of women
15:27 that men tend to resist women's influence
15:30 and women tend to, what we call, nag.
15:32 So women will criticize, men will resist influence.
15:35 So the fact that you accepted her influence
15:38 probably spoke volumes
15:40 because it's very difficult sometimes for men
15:42 to accept influence from their wives.
15:43 So the fact that you let her influence you was really cool.
15:45 And it was a testimony. Yeah. Yeah.
15:47 You know? Exactly.
15:49 God has used our relationship and, oftentimes,
15:51 what we would call conflict
15:53 to testify to other people in our resolution.
15:57 And I'm really grateful for that space.
16:00 Wow.
16:01 Speaking of testimony,
16:03 there's going to be people watching, young people,
16:06 and you have message for young people of hope
16:09 and of a lot of things.
16:12 People may have questions for you.
16:15 I understand you have a website ministry.
16:18 Can you tell us a little bit about that?
16:19 So we work with my parents, actually,
16:22 who have a ministry called Upward Movement Ministry.
16:26 We'll be posting our website...
16:28 Okay.
16:29 On their website. Yep.
16:31 We'll be posting...
16:32 well, the actual address at the end of the show.
16:35 And also I know you mentioned
16:37 that you will be receiving questions, so...
16:39 Yeah.
16:40 So A Multitude of Counselors has website,
16:41 people contact us all the time through...
16:43 there's a contact forum and they can reach out to you
16:45 through us too.
16:46 Yeah. Yeah. So that's perfect.
16:47 But tell us about your ministry.
16:49 I want to know more about what you're actually doing
16:50 with the love that God has given the two of you
16:54 and how you're turning it into ministry?
16:55 Yeah.
16:56 So we're actually doing what we call a Love Tour.
16:58 Was that your idea or...
17:00 No, that was her idea. That's so cool.
17:02 So you do a love tour and you just get up
17:04 in front of people and talk about love.
17:05 Yeah.
17:07 The idea was, you know, we had our wedding,
17:10 and our wedding, we wanted it to be ministry.
17:13 We wanted it to be a celebration
17:14 of what God was doing.
17:16 Yeah. And so we...
17:17 Our favors were the prayer book
17:19 that we had fallen in love with,
17:21 we gave those out, and wanted to see other people
17:25 experience transformation too.
17:27 And so we knew though that everyone couldn't come
17:30 to the wedding and so we picked the cities
17:33 that had the biggest populations of people we knew
17:35 and we started going to them
17:37 and sharing our story and sharing testimony
17:40 and bringing people into prayer.
17:42 So you were able to hit your friendship circle
17:44 and your family circle with this appearance.
17:45 Yeah.
17:47 And, you know, we were going out
17:48 to these different churches
17:50 and finding that lots of other people
17:51 were coming to hear our story as well.
17:53 So you were like, "Maybe it's not just about
17:55 family and friends,
17:56 maybe other people want to hear from us."
17:57 Totally. Yeah. Yeah.
17:59 And a ministry was born out of that.
18:00 Exactly. Yeah.
18:01 And so that's what you're doing full time now?
18:03 I mean, what are you? Crazy?
18:06 We probably are crazy,
18:07 but we're not doing it full time,
18:08 not yet, but we're doing it a lot.
18:11 Where would you like to get to?
18:13 And what would you like to say to people?
18:15 What's the core of what you're trying to say?
18:16 Yeah.
18:18 And do you want to get to the place
18:19 where this is all you're doing like, this is your life?
18:21 Well, we definitely love to be ministering together full time,
18:26 but I see the Love Tour expanding.
18:30 We see time and time again in our work
18:32 that we're creating a space
18:35 for people to come together and find reconciliation.
18:39 And we say all the time that it's not really about
18:41 a love story but it's a power of prayer story,
18:45 it's a testament of what God can do in your life
18:48 if you put Him to the test.
18:50 And we want to empower people to move into those phases
18:53 and see God do His best work.
18:56 So you're trying to take
18:57 what's going on in your marriage
18:59 and how you've learned how to listen or learning
19:01 how to listen to each other and have the hard conversation
19:03 and have this radical transparency,
19:06 and you're trying to put that in a form
19:09 that people can apply to other relationships.
19:11 Exactly. Exactly.
19:12 Yeah. All kinds of relationships.
19:14 I can't really think of anything that the world
19:16 and the church needs more than what you're talking about.
19:18 Do you know what I'm saying? Right.
19:20 Like I've never seen our church so embroiled in conflict
19:24 as it is right now.
19:25 I'm not trying to broadcast that, but it's a fact.
19:27 And I've never seen our world so polarized and embroiled
19:31 in conflict in so many families.
19:33 And the fact that you're bringing this message
19:35 of reconciliation is very meaningful.
19:37 Well, if we think about it
19:39 from what we believe in our message,
19:42 there were two things that were pure
19:44 and holy and sanctified
19:45 before sin entered the world, what was it?
19:49 Sabbath and marriage.
19:50 Sabbath and marriage. Yes.
19:52 So what are the two things
19:54 that Satan wants to attack the most?
19:57 The exact same.
19:58 So as a gift to you
20:02 to protect your marriage
20:05 from that onslaught,
20:08 we will always be available to you
20:10 should you get in one of those spots
20:13 because they'll come.
20:14 Yeah.
20:15 You're new, eight months, into this.
20:19 There's a lovely book by Gary Thomas.
20:22 If I had it, I'd give it to you as a gift right now
20:24 for a wedding gift.
20:26 It's called Sacred Marriage,
20:28 but the subtitle is
20:29 What If God Intended Marriage
20:32 to Make Us Holy and Not Just Happy?
20:36 And it's a devotional but it's deeply spiritual,
20:40 and you will be blessed to read that book together.
20:43 Amen. Thank you.
20:45 'Cause we were talking about
20:46 the chemicals of falling in love
20:47 and how they last for roughly a year and a half
20:50 and then they start to taper off
20:52 and then comes the real difficult,
20:54 sometimes, period...
20:55 Yeah, your true characters,
20:57 you're no longer in your best behavior.
20:58 And there's neuroscience going on
21:00 where you don't have the dopamine levels
21:03 and you're dealing with more low mood
21:05 and that type of thing.
21:06 And we're looking at you having been married
21:08 eight months and thinking...
21:09 I'm not thinking though, you know,
21:11 a disaster ahead because I see that
21:13 you're employing principles that are going to get you
21:15 past that threshold where the relationship
21:17 isn't so naturally gratifying anymore.
21:20 And don't you think that that's the foundation
21:22 of what helps people stay married and stay intimate?
21:26 You're not in the lovey-dovey fog,
21:27 you're in reality,
21:29 you know that some of these things will occur
21:31 'cause we've already told you.
21:32 Yeah.
21:34 And I'm sure other people have told you too.
21:35 Yeah, 'cause they are wise people
21:37 and they've observed others.
21:38 Oh, you've studied the Word of God.
21:39 Amen. Amen.
21:41 You know, I think that was stand out for me
21:42 is how you have built a relationship.
21:44 And you have built your relationship on prayer
21:47 and on the Word of God and on...
21:50 Oh, the fruit of the Spirit...
21:51 when you look at the fruit of the spirit, you know,
21:54 it's love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
21:57 so on and so forth, I see that, at least,
21:59 today and I'm hearing it that that exudes out of your lives
22:03 and it's because you've been
22:04 in contact with the Holy Spirit.
22:05 Thank you.
22:07 And if every marriage or every courtship
22:10 or dating was built on those principles,
22:12 then we would see
22:14 much more healthier marriages, so...
22:15 And I love that your natural compatibility,
22:20 the things that you enjoy doing are very similar
22:25 because we can attest as having been married
22:28 a bit longer than the two of you that
22:31 when push comes to shove, if you don't enjoy
22:34 doing the simple things like the dishes, the laundry,
22:37 the everyday stuff together
22:40 'cause there's a lot of everyday stuff,
22:43 but if you can enjoy that together,
22:46 it'll hold you together.
22:47 Amen.
22:49 You know, I think it's really good
22:50 that you fell in love.
22:51 I'm not opposed to the falling-in-love experience.
22:53 I think God gives us the capacity for that,
22:56 like just the dizzying almost, brain chemical response
23:01 of that initial bonding, and there's some research
23:04 to the effect that the intensity
23:05 of your relationship in that initial phase,
23:08 and, you know, dare I say it,
23:10 the sexual involvement in the initial phase
23:13 creates a neurological basis for long-term bonding,
23:15 so this is God, you know, the master, orchestrator,
23:19 brain chemicals working
23:20 by creating this falling-in-love experience.
23:23 But eventually that expense itself, and often,
23:27 in counseling, I will work with couples that feel like...
23:30 because the feelings have dissipated,
23:34 they're at the end of love and their relationship
23:36 is no longer viable.
23:37 And I say, no, praise God.
23:39 You've run out of gas
23:41 in the middle of the Mojave Desert
23:43 so that God can come along and give you new gas,
23:45 and that new gas is called agape.
23:47 Amen. It's His divine love.
23:49 And what I find... Always. That's right.
23:51 If people will continue, like Ellen White says,
23:54 "Keep exercising the early attentions,
23:57 keep bestowing those early..."
23:58 So in the courtship phase, you want to be attentive,
24:01 you want to drive all the way to Vermont, you want to,
24:03 you know, driving to Canada for a day,
24:05 and then crying on the way,
24:06 all that stuff was very natural to you
24:09 and the 5,000 candles or whatever it was,
24:11 it's all very natural.
24:13 But there's going to come a time when you're not
24:15 as motivated by your brain chemicals
24:16 to do those things, but if you continue to do them,
24:18 what you'll do is you will awaken those brain chemicals
24:21 because you've created precedent for it.
24:23 So God gives you a freebie in the beginning.
24:25 But He also gives...
24:26 It's not like when you get past that,
24:28 it's no love, joy, and bonding after that,
24:31 it's those chemicals are still there,
24:33 especially attraction is still there,
24:35 you have to choose to act, you know,
24:39 really a benevolent way toward your spouse,
24:41 and you will bring about those chemical reactions.
24:44 Yeah.
24:45 And I really believe it's only the Holy Spirit
24:47 that gives us the capacity to move
24:49 beyond that doing space to being.
24:52 And, you know, just two weeks ago,
24:55 we were in Morocco, and our first night,
24:58 we're coming back from a restaurant
25:01 and Jason's using Google Maps on his phone
25:03 and two guys on a motorbike came by
25:05 and swiped it right out of his hand.
25:08 And both of us... The phone?
25:09 The phone, they took his phone.
25:11 And we both started chasing them,
25:14 obviously we didn't make it very far.
25:16 But we stopped in this circle and I looked at Jason, I said,
25:19 "We need to pray."
25:21 Did you have a password on your phone by the way?
25:23 Yeah, I did.
25:24 And I just started praying,
25:26 and it was my first gut reaction, you know?
25:31 Amen.
25:32 And this is something that God is building in us.
25:35 And Jason told me after, "You know,
25:37 I wasn't feeling what you were feeling
25:39 in that moment."
25:40 But he chose to trust, trust my instinct to pray,
25:45 and he entered into that space with me
25:48 and we both chose to trust in God.
25:50 Now five minutes later,
25:52 we still didn't know what to do.
25:54 And so I felt inspired to pray again and I told Jason,
25:58 "We ask God to order our steps.
26:01 This is exactly what we asked for,
26:03 so He's going to work something beautiful out of this."
26:06 And we prayed again.
26:07 And not two seconds after I said amen,
26:10 a young man came towards, he said,
26:13 "I saw everything that happened.
26:15 Someone else stole
26:16 very similar phone earlier today.
26:19 There are cameras.
26:21 We're going to get this taken care of."
26:22 And he took us through this maze of police
26:25 and tourist systems to file a report
26:29 and go through all these steps
26:30 that we wouldn't have been able to alone.
26:34 And, you know, it was so powerful,
26:36 I'd love to tell you that we have the phone,
26:38 we do not.
26:40 But through that experience...
26:42 You got something greater here. That's right.
26:43 We have something greater.
26:44 And I was able to realize,
26:46 God has instilled in us a practice of being.
26:51 And here's the thing, it's like that trial
26:53 was imposed from the outside, but you're going to do
26:56 the same thing when you have trials
26:58 that involve the two of you together.
27:00 You're going to pray through them
27:02 and you're going to get through them
27:04 because God will sustain you through them
27:05 and you're going to have bonded because
27:07 "Look, we got through that, we can get through anything."
27:08 Amen. Yeah.
27:10 As an example of, you know,
27:11 us learning to trust each other,
27:13 but beyond that, like,
27:14 we have this deeper trust in God,
27:16 in His presence.
27:17 Amen. Amen.
27:18 The Bible says that a wise man builds his house
27:20 upon rock and you're building your house upon Christ
27:23 because you've built your lives,
27:24 your building your lives on prayer.
27:26 Praise the Lord.
27:28 Well, we've heard an amazing story
27:30 of how prayer partners became life partners,
27:32 we've heard about the courtship,
27:34 dating phase of their life,
27:35 and how God built their romance from that.
27:37 But we've also gotten into some of the nuts and bolts
27:40 of what works in a context of a long-term relationship,
27:43 and we hope you've been encouraged by these things.
27:45 Listen, if you've run out of steam
27:48 in your relationship and you're married,
27:50 it's not the end of love, it's just the beginning.
27:53 God can bless you moving forward,
27:55 let His Holy Spirit lead and His Word be your guide.
27:59 Amen.


Revised 2018-11-29