This Podcast Transcript is from Ultimate Intimacy Podcast Episode 10: Interview with Laura Gethers from Love Harder Marriage Coaching, hosts Nick and Amy McKinlay. You can listen to the episode on apple HERE or download the app HERE and listen in the resource section under podcasts.
Why is it so important to make God a priority in marriage?
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This is episode number 10. We are your hosts, Nick and Amy and we are very excited for our episode. We have Laura Gethers with the Love Harder Marriage and Laura is a marriage coach and also does events and a lot of exciting things like that!
“I am excited to be here with you all. I will say that I’ve been using your app now for a little over six months and I am just thrilled to be able to sit down and talk to you about intimacy and marriage and all that God has in store for us.” – Laura
Why is it so important to make God a priority in marriage?
With the divorce rates and everything we see nowadays going on in the world, we can see that, you know, the family and marriages are really under attack by the adversary and he wants to destroy the families and destroy marriages and and it’s just in full force attack mode. We also see the world kind of transitioning to a point where God isn’t as important. We see a lot of people that you no longer believe in God or or don’t make God a priority in their lives or their marriages. And I think that you know kind of equates to the divorce rates and the problems going on in life with marriages and families. And so I think just to kind of start out and lead us off, you know, why is it so important that we make God a priority in our marriages today?
“This year my children, well, my my entire family, we are studying the book of Genesis and we got to the part where it started to talk about God created. And we begin to explore all the things that God created. And one thing we did was we would look at animals, how does, how does this ant remind you of God? Where ants are good Stewart, How does this tree or this flower or this plant remind you of God? And we could see the attributes of God. Well the same thing is true in marriage..
God created marriage. And when we think about that, we have to be able to look at our marriages and say, what attributes of God are we showing the world about marriage? And when you understand that the creator created it, then you want to represent him well. And when you take him out of it, then what are you representing? That’s how I do it. What are you representing? And when you leave that door open, I think that’s when you begin to face the conflicts and the challenges and the situations that are leading to divorce. When you take God out of the very thing that he created.” – Laura
I think that if we don’t have God in our marriages or someone to help us through the trials or the struggles or the things that we are going to be facing, I think it’s so easy just to give up, you know, to not have, maybe we feel like we don’t have the help that we need or you know, whatever it is. But when we put God the focus in our marriage, we recognize that he can truly help us get through anything as a couple. And you know, I love how you brought up Genesis as well. In genesis, it talks about becoming one flesh and we know, as husband and wife becoming one Flesh and that it is so important and so true because when you become one flesh, you’re working towards something together.
“I’m not sure if you all have heard, but I’m big on creating a marital mission statement and that marital mission statement identifies why God put you in your spouse together. And I think when you understand that purpose and you have that foundational document that says this is why we are joined together, this is what we’re trying to accomplish as one.
Then you have something that you are fighting for and you have something that you can stand firm on because you now have identified why God has joined you together. And when you have that type of foundation, then you’re able to grow because you’re both growing towards something, you’re both trying to accomplish the same thing.
Even if you have different strengths and weaknesses and gifts and talents to help contribute, you understand that you’re going down the same path. And I think in marriage a lot of times we start going down our own path and we forget that God has put us together. We are one flesh with someone to accomplish something greater than what either one of us could accomplish alone. It’s beautiful.” – Laura
I think that all marriages are hard. You’ve been through trials in your marriage, we’ve been through trials in our marriage. For me when I got married, it was okay…. this is going to be hard, but we can do this. We’re a team, We’re going to be unified. We’re going to have really hard stuff hit us. How do we make it through that? And I don’t know how marriages survive without God.
I don’t know because for me it’s like I have this, I know that like earth is a test for us. We have to pass this test. It’s gonna be hard. We have this discussion all the time. It’s like he made these two complete separate people and put us together. You’re totally, men are totally different than women. Here, we are supposed to be compatible. That’s a real test. And it’s a REAL big test for some people, you know, but that is the whole point of life is to make it through marriage and learn how to be more godly and to be christ like to each other with the forgiveness and the patients, like that’s that’s why we’re here. So that’s what’s kept us getting through really hard times is realizing that I’m being tested and I have to personally figure out how to make this marriage work and not just work, but how to make it as amazing as I can.
“When you think about that, I love what you say..
Every day we get an opportunity to allow our spouse to experience Christ through us.. every single day. We have someone right beside, right beside us that gets to experience the fullness of who God is through us and that is such a beautiful honor.– Laura Gethers
And one day I’ll tell you because we were going through a challenging time. I think it was around year two or three, we laugh now, we’re almost at year 13 and we can laugh about it now. But then it was very serious and I was, I was what I call “compraying” that’s when I’m complaining, but I’m praying to God about my husband.
I remember I was reading a scripture and it talked about Satan and how he was the accuser of the brethren. And this is why I think having a relationship with christ is so important because in that moment I realized that I could be like satan and take to God every single thing that my spouse was doing wrong or I could be like Jesus Christ, the one who is sitting at the right hand of the father interceding for us daily. And it was in that moment that I was like wow like this, we get we have an opportunity to intercede on behalf of someone daily and we have or we can sit there and act like satan and so in that moment I asked myself which character do you want to take on in your marriage? Because Satan is not gonna give up attacking us, he’s not gonna quit, he’s not, but I have an opportunity to turn that thing around and use that as a point of prayer for my husband, not a point of complaining, not a point of pointing the finger but actually doing something constructive with what I see going on in his life. And it was that moment that was a ah ha moment for me where as if you don’t have got, I don’t know, I honestly don’t know what you were doing those moments because those are the moments where you can almost give up.” – Laura
I can honestly say, you know if we didn’t have our marriage Christ centered and putting God God first, I honestly don’t believe we would have made it through the things that we did. You know we both recognize that hey, you know we’re mortal we’re weak, we need guidance, we need help. And so you go to the Lord as a couple and ask for that guidance and for that help. And I honestly don’t know how people that don’t have that in their marriage are able to get through the difficult times and the things that can tear people apart. And I coming back to the first kind of like what I have said is I think that’s why the divorce rate is so high as as people turn their backs or you know maybe it’s don’t believe in God or turn their backs from God and think that they can do things on their own. They find out pretty quickly that it’s really tough to do.
“I would even say impossible. I don’t know because we are we are selfish beings. Our hearts are wicked without Christ and we would go to our own devices and the way that we handle things are just not the way that will bring forth reconciliation. They’re not, we would want what’s best for us. And as you stated:
we are one flesh. And so when we’re operating as a team well, this is one principle that I teach. When you’re operating as a team, when you’re dealing with conflict, you don’t attack your spouse, you attack the issue together.– Laura Gethers
“Without Christ, you’re going to attack each other because you’re going to see each other as the issue. But when in Christ, we’re facing outwork.. we’re attacking the issue that’s going on around us. But without Christ, you’re attacking each other. And I think it’s important for us to remember that God has given a strategy to deal with conflict. Conflict alone isn’t a bad thing. And what I’m finding in this season is that any time something is wrong, you know, we’re in this council culture right now. So any time you don’t agree with something, let’s just give up on it… and that doesn’t work in the body of Christ, that does not he’s given us all a ministry of reconciliation, so we don’t get to just give up.” – Laura
It’s so important to remember that there’s only one perfect person and it’s not us and it’s not our spouse. When we start to accuse or attack our spouse, it’s like God’s going, let me humble you a little bit. That’s how that’s how we grow together. I love that you said about, you know, praying for your spouse, I love that challenge that you gave yourself in the morning, you know, how do I how do I really go about my day thinking of my spouse?
“Am I going to take on the character of Satan and accuse him of everything that he does wrong… or the character of Christ and intercede on his behalf?– Laura Gethers
What if every couple woke up that morning and ask themselves that question and actually live their day under that thought and direction?
“I think that for one we will begin to see our spouse the way that God sees them and we will begin to respond to them in a way that would please God. But when you, when you constantly point out someone’s flaws, that’s how you see them and and that is that is how you’re going to treat them, but when you are, when you know that you’re praying for them and you’re interceding, you’re gonna speak what God says about them, even if you don’t see it, that’s where faith comes in right? It’s the substance of things, hoped for the evidence of things not seen. And we do prayer have the ability to shape how we’re gonna see our spouse.
And if we see them through the eyes of christ, we’re gonna treat them a lot better. We’re gonna speak words that build them up and not tear them down and we’re gonna cover them and protect them and honor them and cherish them and do all the things that God desires for us to do in our relationships.” – Laura
Well, I think this is always, you know, it’s not a it’s not a definite thing. I think, you know, you can’t just say I’m following God and then I’m following God all the time. You know, it’s like a roller coaster. I think even if we say we’re putting God first in our lives, there’s times in our lives where based upon the things that we’re going through, we might not feel as close to God, or it’s harder to prayer, it’s harder to do the things that we need to do. And there’s other times that we feel a lot closer, I think as Christians, you know, we all experience those times and so, you know, we as we kind of hit on why God is so important in a marriage. You know, how now how can we make God a priority in our marriage? What are the things that we can do to truly make God a priority in our marriage? And I think, you know, it may sound like a simple question, but there are probably a lot of things that we can do to grow our relationship closer to God, which will then enact our, grow our marriage closer to God.
“I love how you put that because I think first it has to be an intimate thing with you as an individual with Christ growing into who he has called you to be… in areas where you may have been broken. I think when we try and I don’t want to say like when we try and force our spouse to grow at the same rate that we’re growing or to do the things that we’re doing, then we get to miss out on the beauty of how someone else has a relationship with Christ. So I recommend that you spend time with God. However, that looks for you, it could be worship, it could be a devotional time, it could be a walk and just pointing out the attributes of God through nature.
I think pointing getting your heart and a posture where you’re looking for God and where you’re depending on God is what draws us closer to him. And I think also having that once again, that foundational piece on understanding why God has joined you together, I think if you don’t know that, it’s going to be easy to separate you two, you have to know what God, what is your purpose. And I think when you are seeking, when you both are seeking God and you both understand what he’s called you to, it will help you navigate through those seasons, where it is challenging and it takes me back to his where where it has two are better than one.– Laura Bethers
So if one falls, if you’re going through a hard season, then guess what?
“Your spouse is able to carry you through their prayers and their support to help you navigate through that season. But if you are doing that alone, you’re gonna fall and no one’s gonna know you’re falling. If you don’t have that, that that relationship with, with Christ and with your spouse when they fall, you’re gonna leave them falling because you’re gonna look like, oh what they should be versus this is my spouse, let me come along side of them and lift them back up. So we have to pray, we have to cultivate that one on one relationship with him and then we have to commune with him daily.” – Laura
You use the word pray and the word communion. You know, sometimes we think is prayer is all we have to get on our knees and obviously that’s the, that’s the preferred way to do it. But I know for me, sometimes I’m driving in my car and people are probably looking across at me like I’m crazy or something, but you know, having a conversation with God and sometimes my conversations are you know, pleading with them or getting upset or you know, whatever it is, but I think you know, however we communicate with God is not as important as that. We are communicating with God. You know, we have our maybe our own way of communicating or like you said, going out in the wilderness and just with nature or what have you, but really having that communion with God and and uh you know, almost look at it as like a telephone line. You know, we can pick up the phone anytime and we can talk to him any time, but we also have to be there to listen. Uh it’s a two way thing to be able to listen to what he has to say for us. And if we aren’t having that communication, you know, it’s gonna be pretty hard to listen right or understand what he’s trying to tell us.
“Yeah, and I didn’t say read his word, but I think that’s important because I feel like God has spoken to me the most through scripture, just simply opening up my word. And one day I did a study on just on what God what Jesus had to say about marriage and that. It just blew my mind all of the, you know what Jesus pointed me right back to the beginning, right back to Genesis and just reminding me that though the world has adopted all of these things that is not a part of God’s plan. So it really helped me renew my mind about what God’s intention is for marriage and things like that just helps you get your heart and a posture to do what god has called you to do and not fall into the traps of what the world is saying is. Okay. I love it. Praying for your spouse helps you to see them from God’s perspective.” – Laura
What is the difference between praying about your spouse and praying for them?
“I did a whole lot of praying about those first five years. I’m serious. That’s that’s where I got that time. It’s like God he needs to or God, can you help him do things the way that I want him to do it or you know, or God he isn’t as romantic or whatever it is that’s praying about them. But when you say Lord, I thank you for my spouse and I thank you that you fearfully and wonderfully made them like you can hear the difference you fearfully and wonderfully made them, you fashion them after you’ve helped me to see them the way that you do, helped them to gain the wisdom and insight that they need as your son or as your daughter and then pray for it over their day.
Last week I just prayed over leadership concerning my husband. Lord, allow him to lead the way that you desire for him to lead on his job in our home, in his in his relationships with his parents. Like navigate him through leadership your way. And and I think when you do that you release your expectation of what they need to do and how they need to do it and you give God for rain to do what he has designed to do in their life. And when you decrease those expectations of yours, you’re more open to what God is showing you about them. And one thing prayer, praying for them has done is praying for my husband has changed me…– Laura Bethers
… It has given me more grace and patience and compassion towards him because this is God’s son, he’s not just my husband, this is God’s son, this is my brother in christ in the same way I would treat another brother in christ, I need to treat my husband.” – Laura
The things that we can do to make God a priority in our marriage or or be closer to God in our marriage is obviously communicate with him but I think that also like like needs to be translated to your spouse as well I think you know just as important it is to talk to God, we need to be talking as a couple and as we talk as a couple, that’s also going to bring us closer closer to God and so, I love how you hit on the scriptures as well.
How many times have we opened up the scriptures and gotten answers to our prayers are the questions that we have, so those are great things that you brought up and how, you know, things that we can do to make God a priority in our marriages, communicate with God, open the scriptures and that’s the way we can listen and then also communicate with our spouse. I’m gonna throw you a little bit of a curve ball here and I’m sure you’ll hit it out of the park. But let’s talk about how intimacy can can truly bring you closer to God in a marriage.
You know, people sometimes, I think intimacy is something you probably deal with a lot of people and coaching. One of the things that Amy and I talk a lot about is how God created our bodies a certain way he wants us to be intimate. I think a lot of people feel like, you know, being intimate is not something that God God wants, but he does he build our bodies a certain way. He built a man and a woman a certain way to to cleave to each other and to be attracted to each other in certain, certain things, I guess, you know, we’re created differently. But man did he create us perfectly because it works.
How how can intimacy in marriage and bring us closer to God?
“Now everybody may not agree with this, I’m going to start out saying that, but..
I believe the intimacy with your spouse is worship unto God. I I believe that it is a beautiful form of worship unto God…
…And a lot of people like, whoa, how, Because just like you said, God created us to do this and anything that we do for God that he has created us to do is a form of worship. And I think I first heard I first learned about your app, I was talking to this group of women and it was on intimacy. That’s how I first heard about your app and I said this to women and like their face was like, I cannot believe she just said that. I was like, yes, I did. The one woman said,
What do you do when you’re tired and you don’t want to be intimate with your husband? I said you pray and you ask the Holy spirit to give you that one quick move. The one that’s gonna put your husband to sleep 😉 Your tired.. Problem solved.– Laura
But I think a lot of times people don’t invite the Lord and to that aspect of their life. And the truth is he can give you positions and he can give you moves and he can give you ways that you both are very well please. Yes you have to communicate with each other. But this is the same God who created your spouse. He knows what they like exhale and I don’t know why we asked him about everything else. Why wouldn’t you asked him?” – Laura
I want to add to that we were just talking about, well just communicate better. Just do this more. Like we hear these things all the time, we’ll just do more of this, or more of this. Like there’s usually deeper reasons why that’s hard in marriage that we forget that we can take those little tiny tiny things to God and he will help us with the little little list of things. Even if it’s just give me a little more strength for five minutes or whatever it is, you know, or give me that desire to just be unselfish for a few more minutes, which we all need a lot of, you know,
Well, there is something about intimacy that truly does bring you closer together and, you know, in so many different ways, when both people are in a good place.
The more I guess that we aren’t intimate and emotionally and physically, um the more we’re gonna grow apart. So I think it’s so important to have that emotional and physical intimacy and that’s something that God wants.
” I find when you are physically intimate, it does open the door for you to communicate more. You do feel closer… and I’ve even found that when people are hitting those rough spots, they don’t want to have intimacy, but then when they allow their flesh to stop ruling them and they do come together, you can see the relief. There are so many benefits. There are just so and only God could have created that many benefits.
I was reading a list. I was like, wow, but there there are so many benefits to it. And I feel like when spouses, even if it’s scheduled when they are committed to doing that, you can see the benefits of it in their communication and I’m being able to navigate through those challenging times more so, because now the stress has been relieved, you can talk about it with an open heart financial intimacy too. Like I find that people talk about the hard times after they have sex. They talk about everything that’s challenging because people are relaxed. And so there are just so many ways that that can help you help bring you closer together and help you get through those seasons where you really don’t like each other.” – Laura
It’s really important not to cut that off in your marriage when things are really hard. And that’s another thing that sometimes you have to pray for.
Intimacy is very unselfish thing, and it’s a very vulnerable thing. So when you’re talking about vulnerability and I mean, that’s what intimacy is. You can’t give up that aspect of marriage. You’re not gonna get to a place where you’re gonna be able to discuss and communicate really hard things.
This is actually a quote that you said,
…the one who created us and knows us most intimately, can help us know each other more intimately as well.
“Marriage is difficult and we all go through seasons and I’ll never forget when my husband was pursuing his PhD. I just felt like I was just I mean it required a lot of help. And I remember feeling alone and I just remember the Lord telling me spend this time with me um he he is doing this to help make your life better. And when I drew closer to God, God drew closer to me and I was able to see more of what my husband’s, why he was so driven and why he wanted to do that. And now today I get to reap the rewards of the diligence that he had in that season. But think about if I would have given up during that season or if I went off and I just did, who knows what? Instead of drawing closer to God, I would have missed out on this season of life. And I think those moments where you do feel alone and you do feel hurt and you do feel broken. Those are the moments where you have that third chord to cling onto. And that third chord is what helps you get through those seasons and helps you see the spot your spouse, the way that you should, so that you can have the the future that God wants you to have.” – Laura
I love that you talked about that because that’s a lot of the situation that we went through and it’s, it’s really hard to put yourself in that mindset at that time. But I think because there was a lot of days where I’m like, I just need you right now. Like, this is hard, this is a total patience test. You know, like he’s, well, he’s the reason I give him full credit, you know.
I think to anyone out there listening to the podcast, um you know, if you’re struggling with things, um you know, get with your spouse and decide that you’re maybe gonna make got more of a priority in your marriage, and I think you’ll see how, you know, a lot of the circumstances, you know, the circumstances might not change immediately, but I think your hearts will change. I think, you know, it’ll help your attitude change. You know, as Amy said, you know, we’ve experienced this in our marriage, you know, there’s things we’ve gone through that we we kind of laugh sometimes and say, there’s no couple in the world that would have ever made it through. We made it through, and it is because we have, you know, put God in our lives and God first in our lives, and so, anyone who’s kind of struggling out there, you know, um like I said, get with your spouse and decide that you’re going to include God in your decision making, in your marriage and your intimacy, and and I think you’ll see some things change in your life,
Psalm 147 says he healeth the broken hearted, and binds up their wounds. Great Is his power.
“If you are going through a hard time in your marriage, remember that what you’re going through is a fact. But what God has to say about what you’re going through is the truth. And the fact is never more important than the truth. Don’t rely on the fact,
Rely on God’s word and what he says so that you can navigate through that season and experience what he has for. You don’t allow a fact to determine how you are going to see God, how you’re going to see your spouse allow God’s word to increase your faith so that you can see your spouse the way that you need to see them in that season. And as well as God cling on to God and he will help you navigate through any season that you are facing in there.” – Laura
Laura is a marriage coach and you can find her at lauragethers.com or @lovehardermarriagecoaching
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