Growing in Oneness in Marriage
Pastor Priji: Greetings in Jesus’ name!
Welcome to each and every one of you to this mornings’ conversation on Marriage Talk podcast.
I am very excited this morning because we have one of our own pastors from BRC, Pastor Jo and Pinal. They are joining us in the conversation and I’m sure their journey, story, marriage, relationship with each other will definitely encourage and bless you.
Pastor Jo and Pinal, thank you for joining us today. We’ll take a moment to greet our friends and listeners. Some of them are married couples, some of them are going to be married and are preparing towards their big day. So we’d love to have you greet them before we start off.
Pastor Jo : Greetings everyone! Thank you Pastor Priji for this opportunity. We’re really looking forward to this conversation and hoping that this will bless people out there.
Pinal: Thank you Pastor Priji and Rashmi for allowing us to be here and for giving us a platform to share what God has done in our life. Thank you once again for having us over.
Pastor Priji: Thank you to the both of you for doing this. You have young children. How old are your children now?
Pastor Jo : Katelyn, the older one, is going to be three in the month of August and we have a second daughter, Eden, she’s six months old.
Pastor Priji: Wow! In spite of that, you guys chose to do this and we really appreciate that. We thank you for doing this. You’ve been married for?
Pastor Jo : So we’re going to complete four years this coming August.
Pastor Priji: Okay, that’s amazing! We really enjoy seeing how you’ve done your marriage, how you’ve been a husband and wife to each other and how you’ve been parents to your children. We’d love to learn what God has taught you in this journey. But I want to understand how your initial days in marriage were. Did you have different expectations from marriage? Was it exactly how you thought it was going to be? What was different? Was it easy or hard and what made it easy or hard?
Pastor Jo : If I look back right now, certainly it wasn’t the way we expected. We always do the background work in terms of preparing ourselves for marriage but we need to understand and realize that often you will be encountered with surprises.
It’s part and parcel of every marriage. You’ll have to learn through the process, why you are in that journey. It’s not how we’d learn theoretically. In practice, things are different in nature. That’s been our experience till this point of time.
Pastor Pinal: We dated for three years after knowing that we were supposed to get married to each other; we had to wait. In that waiting period I had a lot of expectations, I didn’t know, that were unrealistic because that’s how the world taught me that this is how dreamy and nice your marriage should look like. But the moment we got married and the mundane routine set in, being one with each other in everything was very different and not the way I had expected it. I am thankful to God for teaching us how to become one, unlearn a lot of things, which was difficult and to undo the expectations which we had and make new expectations and follow through with those expectations.
The first year was very difficult. By God’s grace we overcame because of yours, Pastor Rashmi’s and our spiritual parents guidance. It was easy later on.
Pastor Priji: Praise God! Thank God for those people who help and stand by us, especially when we can’t see things clearly. When we have someone else speaking from an outsider perspective, saying, “you will overcome this. This is not going to make you drown, you are going to come out of this stronger”, then that voice really helps especially to have that voice even after we get married.
Sometimes, we go to our pastors to know whom we should get married to but then, after getting married, to continue to receive from them, get help from them, is as important as going to them before.
What are some of the things you have practiced after marriage that has made you grow in your relationship with each other? What are some of the things that you have followed as a principle in your home, so that you can overcome some of the differences and grow in your oneness with each other?
Pastor Jo: I think, if I look back, in spite of a lot of differences and a lot of things not being in place, one major area of focus which we both agreed with, was to go back to the promise; the reason why we got married to each other. It wasn’t just because we liked each other. It was a promise that was given to us from God.
So we obeyed that and stood with that. That was the foundation. I believe every couple needs to have an understanding as to why you are in this marriage in the first place. If you understand that, you’ve probably gotten halfway through; it’s like you’re almost there. Other things, you can gradually understand, work, learn, unlearn, redo and try different things. So, I believe that was our foundation, even in our struggle period, especially.
Pastor Priji: I think that when we are going into marriage or even if we are already married, it is in going back to hearing what the purpose was. What was God’s original intention in bringing us together? That goes a long way in keeping us focused and bound together. That is amazing!
I want to know, after having children in the last three years, a lot having changed and adjustments having to be made in a lot of areas, with you working, how has life changed and what are the areas where you had to change your perspective?
Pastor Pinal: Very interesting question! Giving a little bit of my background: I was studying; went to law college and got married. So the mindset that I had, was to work afterward. The ambition and goal; just typical of a teenager or youngster.
But then, God had other plans; of having a baby!
When we heard God, that this was the time to have a baby, it was very difficult for me to accept because our generation mindset had been that we had to work. If you are educated and if you are at home taking care of your kids, it meant that you are a failure. This is what the world thinks and I had to change that thought. I had to redefine the word “successful”. So God had to teach me that the word “successful” is “not when you work or when you’re out at a job” but, “to do what I’m telling you to do in that season”.
I had a very difficult time understanding this in that season of my life when I had our first baby.
God wanted me to take a step back, enjoy family, kids, even though in the background there were so many people saying that “you studied so hard, all just to be a woman to sit at home!” It was questioning my identity. We used to have a lot of arguments, I used to not have peace within myself, so I always burdened him. When I made peace with motherhood, parenting and said “yes” to the call of being a mother, it made a lot of difference in our marriage. From there on it has been a beautiful journey.
Pastor Priji: Wow! That is the very key. We understand our individuality, when we embrace it, when we say “yes” to it, and say “this is who God created me to be, this is His plan for my life, may not be my vision but His plan and vision for my life. He knows better than I do. He understands better than I do”. In that journey, there are sacrifices that you’ll have to make. There are somethings you’ll have to delay for a later point of time. Somethings will have to be prioritized over other things. That process can be very hard if we’re constantly resisting it, fighting it in our head.
Especially for you both, it was in the first year of marriage that you were expecting a child. Usually, people wait for two to three years, spend time with each other. I want to know how was it after your delivery and the birth of your first child? How was the pressure of managing a baby, work, home, everything, how did it work on your hearts and minds?
Pastor Jo : Things changed with the baby coming in. Things around us, which we took a more casual approach had to be taken more seriously. We had to change ourselves. That shift was something we didn’t expect. With that came in a lot of unexpected changes. It was a tough season to deal with it, with a lot of learning and understanding to do things in a better way. This is how we figured it out, not 100% but to an extent.
Pastor Priji: How was your experience after the delivery?
Pastor Pinal: By God’s grace, it was very smooth when Eden was born but it wasn’t the case with my firstborn, Katelyn. It was a very rough start to the pregnancy. Not with the pregnancy but with my heart, my mindset. I wasn’t prepared as to how my life would be changed after having a baby. A few months after Katelyn arrived, I slipped into depression and I was there in that space for a couple of months until my spiritual parents, Pastor Rashmi and you helped us to come out of that place. I was figuring out how to embrace the season God has called me to be in. I had a wrong perspective of what a baby had to be like and was trying to be a perfect mother.
The expectations of the world of being perfect are far from the truth. The other factor was hormones. It’s a combination of factors. Being newly married, I didn’t understand him fully. Our own differences added on. Yes, life did change after having a baby.
Pastor Jo : In that season, specifically, as much as it was a challenge for her, it was a challenge for me as well. I didn’t have changes from a depression point of view. For me it was a state of confusion because we didn’t have a clue as to what she was going through the first few months. In my mind I was comparing her with other moms. She would be in a place where she didn’t have interest in what we generally do. I started questioning “ if others can do it, why can’t you?” We had heard of post-partum depression but this was the first time we are seeing it or experiencing it.
Pastor Priji: That is a very serious issue even in the Christian community. There is this denial that nothing will affect us, nothing will touch us. As much as it is true that God will not allow anything to have power over us. These are the realities that we have to learn to overcome. I think just living in denial is not the solution. We need to study and be aware of it but at the same time we definitely need to work on our strengths and weaknesses and understating the areas of attacks in our mind like you said, “there were expectations that I had and there were things that I had built up in my own mind.” So just being aware of it from our end builds up our guard.
I want to know how did you both help each other in this season, from a marriage point of view? God had called us to be a helper and sometimes when we begin to compare with someone else, it doesn’t help. So, I want to know how did God use you both to help each other or what were some of the expectations that you had from each other to grow in oneness even in the midst of everything that you were facing in that season?
Pastor Jo: That particular season led us to learn and understand more about this and I’m sure it was the way God wants us to learn.
We came to a point where we realized we have a problem. Often, we were thinking it was normal; it might be a season where it would pass on, but it wasn’t the case. So, we accepted the fact and God exposed the right time to connect with pastors and our spiritual parents.
That was certainly a point where we put our differences aside and accepted the fact that we need to work on this together. Anything that was not helping us, we kept aside and started focusing how we can change things from here. That was something that we worked out together and we also agreed on a few things what we will do. We actually saw that happening when Eden was born because by now we have experienced how things work. This time we did those changes from the very start so that even if we have that season or face that similar situation, the impact will be less. This certainly helped us.
Pinal: When we had the first baby, we learned where we were wrong. There were certain topics like when it came to our parents’ expectations and our behavior as well.
I was mostly irritated because of the postpartum, but this time I was mentally prepared in prayer and I was telling myself, “If this happens, it is okay as God is still there and my husband is still there.” So this made it easier.
We were prepared in knowing how we could outsource things and if we could make some changes that would not exhaust us.
The previous time, we were exhausted as we had to do other chores like cooking. It drained us out and so we figured in this season with a new baby coming, how we could save our energy physically and emotionally; how we could outsource things to make the burden lighter. This is something we came up with.
Pastor Jo: Yes, one of the major things that takes a lot of energy in homes is cooking. It drains you out in terms of getting things right and we knew that we had a baby who needed to be fed on time. So, we figured out that this is something we could outsource or something in which we could seek help. Probably, not everyone will have the privilege of hiring a cook or a maid. But we realized that this was the season where we needed support as we might not be able to do everything by ourselves.
So, those practical applications actually changed a lot of things.
The pandemic also helped us because I was working from home and me being with her, helping and investing my time for her mattered a lot.
Pastor Priji: Wow! I enjoyed the fact where you mentioned that your presence and help mattered. When you understand that, even if we don’t always have the solution, you can always be available, present, having a conversation about what is going on. I think that is something that we fail to do when we are at the thick of things. We think our solution has to be somehow done, like some pastors who just want to pray and make it all go away or get a quick fix. But being there for each other and sometimes talking through some of these things and helping process, helps a lot.
I feel that you can be the best therapist for your spouse like when we begin to talk our emotions out, it helps a lot.
Pastor Jo: It could not only be a conversation. I remember when Katelyn was born and we were in this situation, whenever we had this conversation, I would step into that place of giving opinions, suggestions and corrections and I would take the lead on that. Later, I realized that she didn’t want that and that she probably just wanted me to be available, to just listen. So, this time, I just kept quiet and listened to whatever she wanted to say and convey. As pastors, we often get into that mode of correcting people and giving suggestions. So, I had to hold myself and I saw the result. She was more comfortable and easy going compared to the last time.
Pastor Priji: Yes, that is such a blessing to have an understanding spouse.
So from your perspective, if you had to go through delivering a child again, what would be some things that you would expect from your spouse or from yourself? I’m asking this because there are young couples who are expecting babies or planning and praying for them, and I’m asking this just so their hearts will be ready and receptive to understand what their spouse would need.
Pinal: In terms of the individual, first, most of my problems came from my mindset; not because of him but because I was not prepared for a baby. So if there are couples who are expecting, God would generously give a baby but most importantly, pray that you are prepared and that God would prepare your heart and give you more strength to receive the baby because after the baby is born, it is another different challenge altogether to accept and to adjust with the baby’s demands and life.
Also, research what the baby needs and the practical part, so that you would be ready, because I was not and it took a toll. I never researched what the baby would need after birth and how it would change the sleep patterns and everything else.
From a marriage point of view, just because we were newly married, it took time for us to understand each other even though we loved each other. So I learned no matter how much you love that person you are married to, it will change in seasons. The person I am now is not the same as I was two years ago. I have evolved and in the season of your pregnancy, you are evolving. God is putting more traits of a mother and a father. Get to know your spouse as a father figure. Also, see the mentality of you and your spouse when it comes to parenting and marriage.
Pastor Priji: It is necessary that your core belief system on how you are going to parent is in sync. If it is not in sync, it can cause a lot of friction during the process of parenting.
Pinal: Plus, because we had just started our relationship, it was more difficult. But if someone has been married for two-three years or a longer time, it might be easier in terms of knowing your spouse. For us, it was something new because I never saw him up close everyday. I just loved him from a distance. Initially, when we were just discovering each other, every difference was magnified to a level where we needed help and needed to go to our pastors. But it helps to work together everyday.
Pastor Priji: Absolutely! On that note we would love for you to pray for our listeners and let’s just believe that the ones that are praying for a child will have the blessing of a child and the ones that are already expecting a child, for the pregnancy to go smooth, that God will give them the grace, to go through that well and for those who are delivering, those who are going through postpartum issues, will have the wisdom, understanding and the right help around them, to help them in whatever they are facing right after the delivery. So, if you could just take turns to pray and bless our listeners.
Pastor Jo: Heavenly Father, we come before you through this medium of this podcast. We want to pray and bless marriages outside there. That you would give them information and revelation at the right time. That they would know what they are supposed to do, how they are supposed to work on those things. We want to pray and we want to bless people who are preparing for this new season ahead of them, like expecting a baby, expecting a new child coming into their family, that they would have a smooth transition, from being just a couple to a parent, as a mother and as a father. We pray that they would have the right resources and the right people to reach out. They would have the right areas that they would already know that they can work on. I also pray specifically for pastors and leaders of our churches. That they would take a lead on this subject and this topic and they would be at the forefront to actually help people more, to share the information, to support people in their difficult times. I want to also pray for everyone who is currently going through this issue. I pray and I release a healing over their situation right now and I believe that every problem that is creating a trouble in their marriage, I cancel in the mighty name of Jesus and I release a special relief over that situation. I pray that they would see the next day being much better, easier, fruitful and happier. I cancel all those issues that people are experiencing in their relationship in this season. Lord, we cover them. Thank you Father. Amen!
Pinal: I just want to share one more thing. You mentioned that there are people expecting and who are going through the process of pregnancy, I just wanted to encourage them, that no matter how you deliver a baby, whether it’s normal or whether its C- section, that the baby and the mother being healthy is more important.
Just because I had two C- sections doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love me or God is not protecting me. God loves me and that is why He gave me the baby. No matter how we deliver, the glory belongs to God. The first delivery was very painful, but by God’s grace, when Eden came, I had no pain at all, even though it was also a C-section. Either way, you can experience no pain but even if you do, that’s okay, God will give you strength to heal.
I pray Father, all the people who are pregnant, who are going through the process of pregnancy, and who are expecting, I pray for a supernatural delivery, no matter what type of delivery, I know you will not add pain to it Father because they are not under the curse. Father, even if there is any pain because it is a body, a flesh, give their body grace to heal quicker and faster. Thank you Father.
I pray for people who want to have a baby, who desire to have a baby, Lord, I pray that you will open up their wombs, heal their body and prepare their body to receive a baby. Prepare their hearts and minds to receive a baby. Father, I give those couples into your hands, those who are listening, I give them into your hands. I pray Holy Spirit and ask in the name of Jesus that you would plant babies into the wombs of desiring mothers, desiring women and I know you can do it Father, I know that you did it and I thank you once again. We release grace to multiply, to be fruitful. I thank you once again. I thank you that you have done this. I thank you Holy Spirit.
Father, I pray for people, for women, for men who are going through postpartum depression journeys. I pray that you would make those seasons shorter. Help them to learn their lessons faster. I pray that you would reveal to them quickly what they have to learn in that season, Father. I pray that you give them more grace to hold on, to expose their insecurities. Reveal the things they have to work on and guide them, Father. I cover all these people, the pregnant people, the postpartum couples, I cover them under your blood. Thank you once again for the healing, for your grace to endure this season, God. We know that you will multiply them like they have never imagined. I give them into your hands. I give this time into your hands. In Jesus’ mighty name, we make this prayer, Amen!
Pastor Priji: Amen! Thank you so much Pastor Jo and Pinal and thank you even Katelyn, she is also on this podcast listening and contributing. We thank you for taking time and sharing your story and being vulnerable with your story.
If any of our listeners want to reach out to you and connect with you, which is the best way they can reach out to you and how can they connect to you?
Pastor Jo: We both are there in Instagram or you can email us from our ids [email protected]
Pastor Priji: We will leave the links for that at the show note for people to connect and get in touch with you.
Thank you once again.
And if you have been blessed today, make sure to share this podcast with your friends. Let them know that this is what God is teaching us about pregnancy, about expecting a child and what can happen after the delivery. And may the Lord give us all safe child births. We are praying for each and every one of you who are praying for a child. We believe that today a grace is released for you to multiply.
Thank you for tuning in. God bless you all. We will catch up with you next month with the next episode of Marriage Talk.
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