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The Foundation for a Biblical Marriage

November 14, 2023

What is at the core of every community? Relationships, marriage, and family. This powerful bond can provide a safe and stable environment for all in every stage of life. When we make the lifelong commitment to get married, We create an alliance with our spouse to become a team. 

We promise to grow with one another and be there through good times and bad. But this partnership is one that needs to be nurtured regularly because if it doesn’t, it breaks down. Many times, it’s a slow leak where people look back and say, wait.

How did that even happen? What happened to us? Currently, the divorce rate in America is about 40 to 50%. Albeit it is a downward trend from its peak of 51%, but still a disheartening number nonetheless. 

But what if we could work towards lowering that number even more? I truly believe that family, no matter the size, is the cornerstone of a society.

On today’s episode, you’re gonna hear and learn from my friend, Bethany Rose. 

Bethany is a content creator and podcaster who is traveling the country in her RV with her husband of 12 years and their five kids plus their pets. Isn’t it cool that we can say that in 2023? People are living out their dreams and creating a life by design. How great is that? 

Anyway, clearly, Bethany wears many hats. But as you’ll learn today, her number one priority is her marriage.

Today, we discuss how to positively work together as a team in your marriage, what it means for the husband to be the head of the household, the true definition of a biblical marriage and not the twisted version many try to promote, how to prioritize time for one another, especially when you have kids, and more. 

This is an encouraging message that I hope more families will implement into their relationships because our society certainly needs it. Alright, Bethany. I’m so pumped to have you here today and have everyone learn from you because what we’re gonna about what we are going to talk about today is so powerful and we’re both wives, moms, and I know a lot of my listeners are as well and want to be able to implement all the things that you’re going to teach today. 

But first and foremost, why don’t you give everyone a little background on who you are before we lead into where you are today.

Creating a Strong and Balanced Biblical Marriage

Bethany [00:02:47]:

Sure. Thanks so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here today. My name is Bethany. I am married to my husband Jake. We have five kids. They are currently, all the even numbers. We have 8, 6, 4, 2, and 0.

Makes it easier to keep track of. And we actually just launched our year long cross country road trip. We are currently living out of an RV. So I’m recording in our van right now because that was the quietest place we had. 

But we just left last month from New Hampshire. We are in Tennessee right now, and then we’re gonna be heading towards the coast in a little bit. But I work here on Instagram and content creation, and then my husband and I also have a podcast, the Whatever Is True podcast. And then we also have a little shop where we sell bible curriculum, scripture memory cards, and things just for the family to appoint them to Jesus.

Maren [00:03:53]:

Awesome. So, like, with content creation, right, a lot of my listeners do come from social selling background, network marketing, things like that. And because they’re familiar with me and what I went through.

I would love for you to touch on this a little bit because you, like me, are very outspoken about your values, your beliefs, and we talk about things that quite frankly get us, and I’m using air quotes, trouble, right, because we we speak the we speak the truth. Right? 

And truth should supersede feelings, but the way the system works, they don’t, they don’t like that. So can you just kinda give a background as we start to pivot into what your current path is of what led you to this because you were very outspoken, still are, right, about what your values are, but how that affected your business? 

Because I think sometimes when we talk about, we use terms like shadow banning or cancel-culture, things like that. People think that that’s not real. I really do. Like, they think that it doesn’t affect the common person.

Do you know what I mean? When they think of cancel-culture, they think of Anheuser Busch. Right? They think of the big entities, but the reality is it affects our everyday friends and content creators. So can you touch on that?

Bethany [00:05:23]:

Sure. So up until 2020, I feel like 2020 was such a pivotal moment for a lot of people, especially on social media. But up until 2020, I really just had a very regular, like, mom blog and mom Instagram account where I just shared, like, the cute pictures and the things we were doing, and there wasn’t a true, like, goal in mind other than just sharing and being a relatable mom. 

2020 Marked a Pivotal Moment on Social Media

And then in 2020, when it felt like every single month, some monumental thing was happening. Right? We had, like, COVID and George Floyd, it just kept going from there. 

And I started to get very outspoken about Black Lives Matter and just talking about it and not saying, obviously, like, I recognize racism is real. It’s a problem.

It needs to be dealt with, but the way that society was dealing with it and we can see that now, like, with what’s happened with Black Lives Matter, the movement, and the people in charge of it, right, today three years later.

But back then, to say anything off of that can get you canceled. And so I did share about it. I did not put a black square up, and

Maren [00:06:40]:

Neither did I.

Bethany [00:06:42]:

Good for you. And, ultimately, what ended up happening was that I really angered some people, and they started. This one woman started sending out messages, like, mass messaging people to stop following me and that I did not care about people and racism and whatever lies she was talking about.

Maren [00:07:04]:

And mind you, someone who didn’t even know you personally in real life. Right?

Bethany [00:07:08]:

Right. No. I had never met that person before. Yeah. And, I mean, my followers just dropped that summer, and it was very frustrating, disheartening because you’re really just staying true to who you are, what you believe, what you believe biblically.

And, I mean, there’s just people who hate you. And, so my followers dwindled, and it was at that point where I realized I’m not just a normal mom. I guess I have some beliefs that are a little countercultural right now, but it was really at that time where my faith in God got really deep. 

And I had grown up in a Christian family. I’ve been a Christian my entire life, but I think there was just this moment as an adult, as a married person and as a parent where it shifted, and I realized, like, I’m different from the world. That’s okay. 

Jesus was different from the world. He is different from the world, and people hated him for that. And so I started to really just share biblical values, and they did clash with what the world thinks. But it was really interesting because as my, like, my motive for sharing shifted, people started coming over for those different reasons.

Maren [00:08:36]:

Yeah.

Bethany [00:08:36]:

And over time, like, God really blessed that and ended up growing the account way more than it had ever been in 2020. But you talked about brands canceling influencers, and I realized very quickly, I had to be really careful with who I was partnering with because they might not like what I’m talking about. 

Authenticity and Social Selling

And, it happened with a very popular Montessori children’s company. I was an affiliate for them. I was sharing their boxes, they were, like, actively reaching out to me. 

Can we send you this month’s box? Whatever. And then they just completely ghosted me. Like, there was nothing that they wouldn’t respond to. I would message them.

I would email them. I don’t even think I ever got paid. I’m not sure.

Maren [00:09:25]:

You, did you ever get paid?

Bethany [00:09:26]:

I don’t think so. It was, like, on some platform that I didn’t really use and they weren’t answering me, so I just ended up leaving it alone. And so now I’m just very careful, and I’ll look at what companies are because, I mean, I do want my beliefs to align as best as they can. 

Not saying that I don’t ever purchase from a company that my beliefs don’t align with…

Maren [00:09:50]:

I wear a little lemon all the time, so if you wanna talk about not being in alignment.

Bethany [00:09:56]:

Right. I mean and it’s it’s It’s just how it’s going to be unless you are, like, sewing your own clothes and right. You know, on your own little acre in the middle of nowhere. Exactly. That’s basically what ended up happening with me.

Maren [00:10:11]:

Well, I think that’s what’s so powerful is that I see a lot in social selling, especially in, like, network marketing. Right? You see someone who’s successful, right, or appears to be so. Right? And sure. 

A lot of content creators, social sellers, they feel like, well, x, y, z is working for Sally Sue. I’m gonna duplicate that. And that only lasts for so long because people start to read through the BS and realize, this doesn’t seem like this is true to who this person is. 

And then what happens, say, the network marketing space because you’re so close with one another in team calls and you travel with one another, there becomes this conflict of, wow, we’re really not that aligned. 

And so they really don’t wanna part with you and they don’t wanna be a part of the community.

And then on your side, you’re walking on eggshells because anything you say could trigger someone. And now all of a sudden, you know, not following you is the least of your worries. Right? 

But it’s more of, and I’ve talked about this with our mutual friend, Shauna, where it was very reminiscent of World War II, like hiding Anne Frank. You couldn’t talk about x y z because you were gonna get outed by everyone. And there were all these pods and conversations behind your back, you know, who’s doing what. 

It was a very scary time, but I believe wholeheartedly as you do that authenticity God gave us all these gifts, these talents, these skills, And he doesn’t want us to hide from who we are. And not only that, he wants us to be the hands and the feet, right, the salt and the light. And so what was that moment where you’re like, alright. 

This is more than promoting a brand, you know, more than pots and pans, more than Montessori, more than children’s clothing. I was given this platform, and now I’m attracting these people who need to hear what I have to share. What was that moment, and where did you start shifting towards and sharing?

Bethany [00:12:34]:

It was definitely a gradual shift for me because now three years later, I look back on 2020, and I think, wow. God was really shifting me and moving me in a way, like, I didn’t even recognize. 

I was really just trying to be obedient to what he was having me share and what he was having me do. 

And it was also at a point where my account had started to grow, and there was that, oh, I can be making a decent amount of money here. Like, How do I do this? What’s the best way of doing it? 

And so there were just a lot of shifts in conversations that were happening behind the scenes between my husband and me where we were like, well, what do I do with this account? 

Like, what do I do? And I think, you know, God just showed me, like, the passions that I have that were just right in front of me of being a mom and of being a wife. 

And I thought, well, if I can just share this with the scriptural basis for how this can flourish, then this can be beneficial to others in a relatable but encouraging way. 

And so it really was just this gradual shift and then just seeing, you know, a need that was out there in the world for there to be a positive light on motherhood and marriage in a Christian manner.

Maren [00:13:53]:

Right? And that’s what I think is so powerful is that so many times when people because let’s be real, especially in the economic times we are in right now. Everyone’s looking for a way to create some kind of side hustle to supplement all areas of their life, whether it’s helping to contribute to the mortgage or maybe they have a special gift that they wanna give their children for the holidays or the birthdays, etcetera. 

And so many times, I think people think and believe that it needs to be this brand new idea that no one’s ever heard of. Like, they think that they need to be the next Elon Musk, right, with innovation. 

But, really, it’s something so basic, you know, not that I’m obviously devaluing being a mother and a wife. Obviously, that’s the two best roles you can ever have in life. But it’s something so simple as that.

Yeah. You know, it doesn’t, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. So I just think that is so freaking cool. Now a big portion well, not a big portion. Let’s say, like, 90%, 95% of your content creation and what you’re really sharing right now is about having a biblical marriage. 

So first and foremost, can we explain what that is to someone who maybe is like, what does that mean? Like, you know, they’re not super familiar with that even that term.

Impact of Simple Acts and Daily Rituals in Marriage

Bethany [00:15:21]:

Yeah. So when I talk about a biblical marriage, I’m talking about a husband and wife modeling what the Bible says are the roles of a husband and a wife and that they are different. 

And so I’m pulling a lot from Ephesians 5 where the man is the head of the household. And the wife and this is the part that people are always like, they stop listening. Keep listening. 

The wife is submissive to the husband, And people get really turned off by that word, and they think that that’s the only thing that a wife is, and it and it’s it’s not. 

That is a portion of it. Okay? A wife is the nurturer. She’s a caring person. She is the helpmeet for her husband, and the husband’s also a partner With the wife. Right? Like, they are a team.

They are a unit together. And so we would talk about the husband being the head of the household and making the ultimate decisions, but not without talking with his wife.

The Impact of Parental Interaction on Children:
“It’s so important to recognize how we are interacting with one another. Our children are watching, And it’s impacting their childhood and how safe they feel at home, the stability of the home, but it’s also thinking long term for them.” — Bethany

And not without having her input there and what she says, like, that might be what he agrees with, and he says ultimately. But the part a lot of people like to skip over is how the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. 

And, like, what a powerful image that is because what did Christ come to do? He came to die for our sins. I mean, that is the ultimate act of love. That is the ultimate sacrifice, and so we get all bent out of shape that a wife needs to submit to her husband, but if the husband is loving her, loving his wife well, he’s doing everything, with her best interest and his family’s best interest in mind.

He’s not being selfish. He’s not just going out to get what he wants in life. And so when those 2 things work together well, a marriage flourishes immensely. 

Maren [00:17:22]:

Well and right now, we live in a culture where for a long time, and you’ve seen this in the social selling space where it’s the girl boss and really pushing to remove the wife from the home and, you know, get her out on her own and break through. 

And listen, I’m all about breaking through glass ceilings, But also, I I understand that there’s things that me and Bethany can do as females that men can’t do and vice versa. Yeah. I was never a big proponent of that. We are not the same. We’re we’re just not. No.

And that’s something that in society, and you know this just as well as I do, like they are trying to blend the two and they’re trying to make them equal and really trying to make it just be… This is a male. This is a female. Males can do this. Females can do that, etcetera. 

And so right now, people like us, remember facts over feelings. We’re literally swimming upstream, trying to fight this messaging that is everywhere, entertainment, sports, the news cycle, social media, the companies that you purchase for. 

You know? It used to be you would never go on to Sephora’s website and see a man wearing makeup, like, seriously? You know, so we’re constantly this constant counterculture that we’re trying to do, but they make us seem like the weirdos. 

We’re really like we’re just trying to teach everyone, no, this is how it’s been from the start. Right.

[00:19:08]:

You know? And I love how you said that to people, because that word, submissive, that’s what triggers people. It does. That’s what they think they have this image of … I think they have this image of, I hate to be this extreme, but that you are a slave almost.

Like, I think that’s what they envision. That everything, you know you know what I’m saying? Like, they feel like you’re not able to be who you’re called to be in a way. Like, you gotta be at home. You gotta be cooking. You gotta be cleaning. Give me breakfast in bed.

When even things go down to, like, when I want sex, that’s when I want. Like, They think everything is that they don’t have a voice, and that’s not the truth.

Bethany [00:20:01]:

Well and, unfortunately, You know, you have people who twist this with a Christian name on it, and then you have the situations of abuse in there that are very real and are very wrong, and that there’s any Christian who’s advocating properly for a biblical marriage is not advocating for that. 

They’re not saying this is okay and staying in this abusive situation that you’re in, and it’s very bad. Disheartening to see that happen and to see people twist scripture that way or to use that situation as the, like, The Norm, right? To everything exactly.

Maren [00:20:39]:

They’re using it as an extreme measure like, you know, like a cult. Right? They’re they’re using that cult like behavior and acting as if that’s the norm when that’s the extreme, you know? And extremism on any end is, you know, obviously wrong, Right? Right. So you can’t you can’t group a bunch of people based on one thing.

Bethany [00:21:03]:

Exactly. Yeah. And it’s unfortunate that it happens. I mean, it’s not, obviously, in this situation. It’s lots of situations all over where we take an extreme, and we just apply it as a whole. And we’re like, hold on. Back up. Like, let’s go back to the middle.

Let’s leave either extreme and set because the middle is where things work. Right?

Maren [00:21:20]:

Right. Exactly. So You gave some examples about, you know, how you and Jake converse and you’re always able to give your input, yada yada yada and how but ultimately, how he’s he’s the leader of the household, right? Right.

Bethany [00:21:39]:

The final say.

Maren [00:21:41]:

Exactly. But you had so I wanna touch on you know, I’m gonna touch on your viral reel. So when I say viral folks, I’m not talking about, I’ve had some viral reels that, you know, 3,000,000, 2,000,000, no. Bethany has this reel where and as soon as I saw you post it, I was like, I mean, I loved it. 

And I loved the content, you know, the ad copy that you added to it. But as soon as I saw it, I said, oh gosh. Like, I know there are gonna be people that are just gonna they’re not they’re just gonna see it and they’re not gonna understand the premise behind it.

Right? And this reel, folks, I think last I checked, it’s, like, over 32,000,000.

Bethany [00:22:25]:

It is. Yeah. I don’t remember the exact number either, but it is over 30. I know that too.

It’s crazy. I’ve never had a real goal. I mean, I’ve had viral too, like you said, but this, it was nuts.

Maren [00:22:37]:

And people definitely responded to it. So why don’t we talk about first, explain to them what inspired it and because, essentially, what she did, folks, is documented. How long did you do it? For a month? Was it a month?

Bethany [00:22:52]:

It was, like, over the span of 2 or 3 weeks. I didn’t record every single day. I think there were, like, a total of, like, maybe 8 actual scenes in the reel.

Maren [00:23:04]:

But you were doing it behind the scenes, and that way you can have context to it. Yeah. So essentially what it is is she was documenting every single day that Jake came home from work and she was greeting him at the door. 

So that was Jake’s first point of contact before the kids, right, it wasn’t like she was distracted or anything like that, like, you know, whether it was cooking or playing with the kids, it was hey, my husband’s home. I’m gonna greet him and Okay. So what inspired you to do that, and how did people respond?

Differences Between Genders and Cultural Push for Equality

Bethany [00:23:45]:

You know, it was almost like, this sounds like such a strong word to use, but it was, like, a conviction or a nudge of, hey. Like, your husband’s coming home from work. You’re gonna see him no matter what, but why not just take those extra ten seconds and walk to the door and just greet him there and see what happens? 

And I honestly just thought it was such a simple act, and I just thought, oh, this will be really sweet. And I didn’t even stand, like, the difference in his demeanor until I actually put that reel together.

Bethany [00:24:27]:

He saw the tripod, and he’s like, what are you doing? And I would just say, oh, don’t worry. I’ve been content creating for years. He’s used to a tripod up somewhere that he just doesn’t ask questions anymore. Right?

Maren [00:24:38]:

Exactly. Same over here.

Bethany [00:24:42]:

And it was just really crazy to me to see that change. But as far as people’s responses to it, obviously, there were a lot of really nice comments.

I would say 90 to 95% of them were very positive. And what was really cool about the positive ones was a lot of them came from men, And they said this. This is all men want.

We think we’re complicated, or we need, like, all of this stuff. He was, like, Just this, or or they would say, I wish that my wife would do this, and it really, like, baffled me because I just thought, oh my gosh. I’ve been married to my husband for 12 years, and, like, I never made this, like, a habit. 

If I had understood what it would have done to him, I would have started on day one of our marriage. Right? And not to say that I never greet him at the door, but just to make it a habit of a daily ritual. 

But as far as the negative comments went, I mean, you know, you got the I. I was an oppressive 1950s housewife, and, you know, while you’re serving him, what is he doing for you? 

And just, you know, very selfish, ego minded comments were coming out of it and just not understanding the mutual love that was there and that, You know, if I’m doing something for him, it doesn’t mean he’s not doing something for me. Your whole life obviously isn’t recorded here. This is just something. Yeah.

Maren [00:26:13]:

I’m, I’m not shocked. And I always believe that that’s a reflection on them and what’s going on in their lives. you know, you or me or, you know, any kind of nasty comments we get. 

But it’s funny that you said that you saw the the the change, right, in the demeanor and I’m sure even his posture, you know, when he came in, because I do believe that this goes back to men and women being so different, that first of all, our how we respond to things is obviously different, and what makes us happy is is so different. Right? 

Something so simple. Like, I do believe that and this isn’t this is gonna sound awful. I’m not saying men are simple creatures, but I do believe as far as emotions and thoughts go, they’re more they’re to the point, they’re direct. They do not want drama, right? Like they’re that’s just how they are.

They’re cut and dry. Tell me what you want and I’ll do it. Right? And I think half the time, relationships are combative with one another because women, we’re beating around the bush and we’re not telling men what we want. 

We may expect them to understand and guess. And then when they get it wrong, we get upset, You know, but it’s And it’s not that they’re not willing to do it. It’s just they don’t know, right? And if they don’t know, they’re just so I’m they’re just not gonna do it.

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Bethany [00:28:57]:

It is interesting because with all of those comments, there was actually, like, a good amount of them that would come through, and they would comment on one of our daughters ended up, like, in one or two of the scenes because she was also excited, you know, for for daddy to come home at the end of work, and she would be there also, but people were commenting on, like, wow. 

Setting An Example For Children in Terms of Marriage and Relationships

Like, look at the impression that this is leaving on their child. And It’s so important to recognize how we are interacting with one another. Like, our children are watching, And it’s impacting their childhood and how safe they feel at home, like, the stability of the home, but it’s also thinking long term for them of, like, what their like, how their marriages are gonna be impacted someday of, like, how they’re interacting with their spouse. Right. 

And so, you know, I like to see, like, my kids responding to the interaction or, like, if, like, my husband and I kiss at home. They think it’s funny to try to not let us kiss, but you can see that they want us to kiss just to be involved.

They are connected because, again, going back to that initial idea of, like, the state, the safety and the stability of the home, Like, when they can see it, I think they also feel it.

Maren [00:30:23]:

100%. And that goes for daughters seeing how they should be treated as a wife and sons seeing how they should treat their future wide. You know, it goes 100%. It goes both ways. 

And I think, you know, you see a lot of times, you know, obviously, we’re women. So we’re speaking to this, but like you really compare your whether you’re dating someone or and that person ends up being your, you know, spouse, in a way you, you do compare them to how you grew up and what your father was like. 

And so the importance of having that father figure is I didn’t mean to go off on this tangent, but we’re going to. We’re going to go there because I believe in culture.

We see a lot when there’s when something goes awry, when someone deviates from the path and goes the wrong way, what do we see? They didn’t have a positive male figure in their life. 

Having That Strong Make Figure is so Important

It is so important. And so what are some of the things that you and Jake do besides, you know, obviously the the affection and things like that, but what are some of the things that you are trying to really teach your children about family, the importance of family, but more importantly, the the structure, so to speak, of having this biblical marriage because obviously you’re teaching them right now too and they’re observing it all.

Bethany [00:32:09]:

Right. And we’re I mean, we’re teaching them just through our actions every day, even if we’re not specifically saying something to them about what’s happening. Right? Like, they’re watching our actions, how we’re interacting with one another, and how it’s affecting them. 

Parenting Style and Impact of a Good Marriage on Children

So we tell our kids, you know, mom and dad are a team, and you can’t break up this team. So, like, if 1 kid comes to me and asks something and I say, no. Like, we’re not gonna be doing that now, but then they go to dad and mom doesn’t know, And dad might say yes because he doesn’t know that I said no, and we find out later. 

Like, you’re messing with the team right now, and so they know that Jake and I together are a unit. They know that, like, we need to talk about things and discuss things, and that what we talk about, That then becomes the answer to whatever they’re asking for.

So we really just focus on that mindset of mom and dad being a team. They also know that, like, mom and dad need to have some time together to figure out plans for the day and to figure out life and stuff like that. 

And so they know that there’s, like usually on Saturday mornings Jake and I will sit down together, and we’ll map out the weekend and the things that are taking place and what we need to do, and that that’s a time for them to go play on their own, and that we need to do stuff. 

And so we’ve tried to set aside certain times that it’s just mom and dad, but then there’s also we have family days where we all come together, and we all do things as a unit because we’re also a team as a family. Right?

Maren [00:33:44]:

Right.

Strengthening Communication Through Alone Time With Spouse

Bethany [00:33:46]:

Prioritizing that marriage, like, in front of them, but then we also prioritize it so that We have time alone. On Friday nights, that’s our date night, and the kids know this. They know that they get their Friday night pizza and a movie, and then they go to bed, and then it’s date night for mom and dad, and we get takeout food, and we watch a movie, or we watch a TV show or something. 

And they know that mom and dad have their time on Friday nights. And like I said, they will have family time as well that weekend, but there are separate times for everyone in the family. 

And I believe that as Jake and I have that time to really communicate without interruption and to actually have sentences that, you know, we’re fully formed… That grows us and then that blesses our kids in return.

Maren [00:34:38]:

I have a friend who really has no plans on having children but she thought about it and most likely not, and she asked me because I thought I wasn’t going to. 

I didn’t become a mom till I was 35, But I said to her, one of the biggest hurdles and challenges as a new parent is realizing that, like, a lot of your time is not your time anymore. Like, you don’t go to the bathroom by yourself. 

You don’t get these, like, you know, moments. Right? And I want everyone to kind of keep in perspective too. Bethany and Jake are prioritizing this time together, and they’re traveling the country. 

So it’s not as if they have help and they’re not just gonna outsource, you know, to some stranger that they just moved to this area from, right? Like, because you and I are very much on the same page…

You know, who watches our kids and whatnot and privacy and security. But, like, think about that because if right now, You really you really don’t have an excuse. If you don’t have family around, a lot of times people will say, well, we can’t do date night for, you know, because we don’t have help. 

We don’t we don’t have anyone to watch our kids. That’s not true. Like, Bethany and Jake are living proof that if you set boundaries with your children and you instill this new habit of, hey, this is independent time play or, hey, this is this treat that you have and then you’re gonna go entertain yourself in your room and read your books and or go to bed, even better.

But the marriage is still there, like you two are not letting any outside agency or excuse to supersede you being a team as husband and wife. And I think that’s so cool because how many times do we do that? We make excuses. And then we turn around five years later and we wonder why we’re at one another’s throats or why the divorce rate is over 51% now. 

Like, that’s wild to me because when you go into this, you made the commitment to be the team. And so before you had children, because you obviously like, you’re not playing good cop, bad cop. 

You guys are a team. Did you kind of lay out what your parenting style was gonna be like and how you were going to lead your children and show them like, hey, mom and dad and our marriage come first?

And I know that that also gets under people’s skin, because children are a gift. And I think they sometimes think, well, what do you mean the kids come second? Right. So can you speak to that?

Prioritizing God, Spouse, Children

Bethany [00:37:32]:

I understand that hesitancy because we were married for four years before we had children, I just at that point, I didn’t feel ready. I really believed a lot of what culture said about once you have children, like, you You have a baby… 

They’re gonna cry all night. You’re not gonna sleep all night. You and your spouse, like, how much time are you guys gonna get together? We really like to travel. I didn’t think we were gonna be able to travel, and I was so worried about all of these negative things that I had been hearing all around me. 

And so we didn’t have children for the 1st couple years of our life, and then we had our son. And, like, you know, you’re just you’re you’re on the job learning.

Right? And so we really hadn’t talked about all of these specific ways that we wanted to raise or discipline our kids. I mean, we had those basic things of, well, we’re both Christians. 

We believe in God, so we’re going to raise our children up in the church, but we hadn’t made decisions about school, parenting styles, things like that. 

And I think those things naturally happened over time, but we did say we don’t want having children to stop us from having our marriage and our relationship. We love being married. We want this to continue, and we still want to live life. 

Our children can come along with us and be part of that. The more the merrier.

Right? And that was the mentality that we had going into it. And so Jake has always been an amazing support person, a really good team player, and, you know, I would be home with the baby all day. 

He would be out working, But, like, when he got home, he would take over with the baby so that I could shower or read a book or do something that I wanted to do. And I think that that team mentality from the very beginning really set us up for success as far as parenthood, and then, obviously, we really like having kids because we had four more.

Maren [00:39:30]:

Yeah. Right.

Bethany [00:39:32]:

And, you know, we’re talking about traveling. Like, right now, we’re taking our kids across America. It didn’t stop any of those dreams or anything, like in in fact, I think everything just became strengthened, but it was because we were so intentional and prioritizing how we wanted our marriage to be, and we just said, like, kids are coming into this, and and, like, we wanna bless them also. 

I mean, this isn’t just, like, focused about Jake and me and, like, our marriage. Right?

Having a Good Marriage Impacts The Children

It is, you know, it helps them. They know, like, if mom and dad are good, we’re good. And so I think that’s why God first, spouse second, and children third works because it’s like a foundational basis. 

Basis of the marriage thrives on God, and then the children thrive off that marriage and God. And so it’s really setting your kids up for success. It’s not leaving them behind by any means, but someday, your kids are gonna Yes. They’re gonna grow up. They’re gonna leave.

[00:40:37]:

And who’s still going to be there. It’s going to be your spouse. And if you’ve neglected them for the 18 plus years that you’ve been raising kids, like, you’re gonna have a lot of stuff to go back to and begin working on that you could have been setting aside intentional time in those 18 plus years where you don’t have to go back. 

You just get to open up the next chapter of your life, and I haven’t gotten there yet, but I look forward to it someday. I’m thankful for the years that we have now, but I don’t look to the future of, like, worry because I know that my teammate’s gonna be the same person that I’ve been spending all of this time with. 

It’s just gonna be different. We’re not gonna have little kids running around anymore.

Maren [00:41:17]:

Well and I love that because I definitely had the same exact fear. I mean, Nick and I were together gosh. I think we’ve been together, like, over 16 years. We’re coming up on 8 years of marriage. 

Our daughter’s gonna be two in February. So like you, I waited a long time because I was so scared because we loved traveling. And I laugh because our stories are so similar, and I think about you. I mean, you’re literally traveling all over the country with your tribe.

Right? And you’re and you’re exposing them to culture and different areas, and, obviously, they’re homeschooled, so, like, they’re they’re learning in every single city that you go to. 

And for us, it was the same. I mean, within I mean, like I said, she’s not even 2 and the kid’s been from everywhere from the Keys to Maine, New York multiple times, Texas, Missouri, like, she she’s been all over and it was we decided we didn’t want our lives to quote unquote stop. Right? 

Because we didn’t want for us to not be able to do what we love to do, you know, and have that impact our. Because at the end of the day, like, yes, of course, you’re your spouse, but, like, this is someone who’s your partner, your best friend, like, the first person you turn to and call when good things happen, when bad things happen. We didn’t want it to affect our marriage. 

We didn’t wanna resent our daughter, right? Because that can happen. And now we get to do everything as a family and grow. And just as you are with your five, like, you’re growing them as people by exposing them to all of these opportunities.

Now I just think that’s so important and so cool for the kids. And I love that it’s becoming more quote, unquote normal than this you know, like, when we you and I were in school, like, the homeschool kids were the weirdos, you know? Like, what do you mean your homeschooled? You know? And now, I have so many friends that are doing it, you know? Yeah.

Bethany [00:43:30]:

It’s become so normal.

Maren [00:43:32]:

Mhmm. I love it. So to wrap up, what is because I want people to leave with tangible things.

What are some simple things besides greeting at the door? Because that’s pretty we established it. That’s pretty easy. But what are some things that, whether they have children or not because you’re laying the foundation for what your marriage is like, what are some simple things that people can do to start living and creating this biblical marriage for themselves, to set themselves up for life, essentially with their partner.

Bethany [00:44:12]:

Sure. So again, simple, really can be revolutionary if you think about it. Those little simple actions throughout the day, they add up at the end. Right now on my Instagram page, I have my 30-day marriage challenge up for November, and it’s literally as simple as just saying thank you to your spouse for something they did that day. 

Nothing major. Right? It can be as simple as thank, thank you for washing the dishes. Thank you for making dinner. Thank you for going to work today and providing for our family and just being intentional every single day and thanking them.

So that’s one, like, very small thing, that I challenge people to do and just just see what it does for your marriage. 

We are really big proponents, I mentioned earlier, on Friday night date night.

It does not have to be Friday night. It can be morning. It can be a Sunday morning if you want. But just setting aside some time where it is just you and your spouse, and children are either sleeping or they’re they have a movie on,… 

just some time where you’re not going to be interrupted, and you can just have those times of connection to actually talk with each other, See how they’re how they’re doing. Try to maybe not make plans, but just, like, an enjoyable time. 

Even before we went out on the road here, we had our Friday night date night at home because we didn’t live near most of our family. Babysitters are very expensive. Date nights get very expensive.

And so we were trying to think of in a practical way that we could, you know, have something to look forward to during the week for the two of us to connect on, and that’s where the Friday nights came from. 

So we don’t actually, like, leave our house for dates that often whether we’re on the road or not on the road, And we have really come to look forward to that point of the week. 

And even though we’re not going anywhere, it’s just fun to know. And so, like, We try to make it fun, like, we’ll make a special dessert or we’ll get takeout from some place. We put music on and danced in the kitchen. We watch TV. It’s nothing extravagant. You could do some really crazy things at home if you want to.

But I think those are two of the main things, just finding that time for you and your spouse, whatever it looks like it’s gonna be different for everybody, thanking them, showing them gratitude every single day. 

Those are two things that I think can really change your marriage, and then obviously coming from a Christian standpoint, reading your Bible together, praying together. Again, it does not need to be for an hour long, but if you were just reading the same passage of scripture every day and just praying together, that will be the single most important thing that you will do, not only just for you and your marriage, but for your entire family.

Maren [00:47:04]:

I can attest to that because I grew up as a practicing Christian and my husband didn’t. And the moment that he accepted Jesus, everything changed. Everything changed. And so and like you said, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy, right?

It’s just making sure that like even for you, like it could be a habitual thing in the morning that okay, maybe because we all know that people grab their phones, but you grab your Bible or even if you do grab your phone, you’re not opening your mail, you’re not opening your text messages, you’re opening your Bible app.

You’re reading your devotional for the day because that sets the tone for the rest of your day. That sets the tone for gratitude. That’s the tone for peace. That sets the tone for faith. Like, it sets the tone for how you’re gonna carry on and how you two are gonna interact with one another and, obviously how you’re going to interact with your children. 

Yeah, that’s right. Like, you got to make sure you’re starting the right off on the right foot.

Well, my friend, this was so cool. I encourage everyone to grab your 30-Day Challenge. But where else can they find you so that they can learn from you and Jake? Because Jake, he shows up on your socials too.

Bethany [00:48:22]:

He does.

Maren [00:48:25]:

So where can they find you? What’s the best way?

Bethany [00:48:27]:

Instagram @wavesandlilacs & @whateveristrueco
Youtube @jakeandbethany
Website: whateveristrueco.com

Maren [00:48:42]:

Awesome. And you can find all of that in the show notes. If you need to go back, look at anything, it’s all gonna be on my website. And thank you so much for being here. I appreciate it. 

I know I know we had some technical difficulties when we first started with with being, you know and but the fact that you’re recording from your car, I just appreciate that and taking the time to to chat with us, and I just I really hope everyone implements what you’re saying because I think we’ll have a we’ll have a better society, honestly, folks.

Bethany [00:49:11]:

Well, thank you so much for having me. This has been wonderful.


If you wanna get more of this type of content, make sure you follow me on Instagram at @macrowley. And if you love this episode, let me know by tagging me on IG or even leaving a podcast review. See you next week.

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