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Married People Podcast

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Marriage. Real. Fun. Simple.Because when your marriage is better, everything is better.

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Marriage. Real. Fun. Simple.Because when your marriage is better, everything is better.

iTunes Ratings

59 Ratings
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Great advice but could use a check on the female

By robinlilly423 - Dec 30 2019
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This is with love and empathy but the girl won’t take anything seriously, is critical and judgmental in her poking fun, and basically has a God complex in coming off as her way is the right way about parenting. That would make me not even try as the other member of her team

Exceptional content

By S&K07 - Apr 24 2019
Read more
Whether it is finances, romance, communication, date ideas, or hot topics for this current generation, MarriedPeople puts together an amazing set speakers to help nudge you further in your marriage.

iTunes Ratings

59 Ratings
Average Ratings
55
1
1
2
0

Great advice but could use a check on the female

By robinlilly423 - Dec 30 2019
Read more
This is with love and empathy but the girl won’t take anything seriously, is critical and judgmental in her poking fun, and basically has a God complex in coming off as her way is the right way about parenting. That would make me not even try as the other member of her team

Exceptional content

By S&K07 - Apr 24 2019
Read more
Whether it is finances, romance, communication, date ideas, or hot topics for this current generation, MarriedPeople puts together an amazing set speakers to help nudge you further in your marriage.
Cover image of Married People Podcast

Married People Podcast

Latest release on Jun 15, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 1 month ago

Rank #1: MP 071: What can the Enneagram tell me about my marriage? (with Beth & Jeff McCord)

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This week, we’re excited to be focusing on a subject that we’ve mentioned quite a few times already on this podcast—the Enneagram. For those of you who haven’t been swept up in the Enneagram mania yet, it’s sort of like a personality test. But it actually goes deeper than that to show the motivations behind our actions and thoughts.

To help us with this complex topic, we brought in a couple who knows the Enneagram well—Beth and Jeff McCord. Beth is the creator of Your Enneagram Coach, which helps introduce people to the Enneagram and connect them with a personal Enneagram coach.

Her husband, Jeff, is the executive pastor at Southpointe Community Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Beth and Jeff have been married for over 20 years have two adult children.

Interview Can you tell us about yourselves and how you got into the Enneagram?

We’ve been married almost 24 years and have two kids in college. We started learning about the Enneagram in the early 2000’s. We were in the stage of life with little kids when you’re trying to live like Christ, but find your internal world derailing all the time.

I wanted to be at my healthiest but was struggling. That’s when someone showed us the Enneagram and it helped me understand why I veer off course and what my healthiest was. We felt whatever tool we found had to be paired with the gospel. The Enneagram will tell you why you think, feel and behave in particular ways.

Can you explain what the Enneagram is?

The Enneagram has been around for thousands of years and used in lots of different sectors. It’s become more modernized with psychology since the 70’s and we’ve looked at how the tool can help illuminate our heart condition.

I want people to realize that the Enneagram is a great tool, but the gospel is what transforms us. We’re always safe and secure in our identity in Christ, but sometimes we have times we’re not doing well. We want it to be a wakeup call to the patterns that aren’t best for or your relationships.

Jeff, can you tell us about your role?

I’m an executive pastor. I’ve been pastoring in the local church since 2002. When we started using the Enneagram as a couple, we started in the local church at our dining room table.

Even back then, we would bring the insight of the Enneagram and apply the gospel to see hearts change. My beautiful bride is a type 9, who had a tendency to hide her talents, but she brought the depth to that conversation.

How do your two Enneagram types interact?

Jeff: Let’s start by talking about my love for ice—I love ice and cold drinks.

Beth: We have a great ice story. I’m a 9 and our thought process is that we don’t matter—our voice doesn’t matter, our presence doesn’t matter. It’s a common theme for 9s.

Jeff: I’m a type 6 and there’s a roaring committee of thoughts in my head all the time.

Beth: For the 9, who feels like their presence doesn’t matter, when I do talk I want his full attention. When he looks at his phone what happens instantly in my mind is, “see, my voice doesn’t matter”. If I’m healthy I can navigate around that.

Jeff: I often get a little impatient with her pace—9s meander in storytelling. So as she was telling a story one day, I decided to take a little break while listening.

Beth: Jeff got up to get some water behind me and has a 32oz glass. The fridge is crushing ice into his Yeti and I’m still talking. He is getting his ice and I’m thinking: “see, he doesn’t want to listen to me”.

Ordinarily I would shut down and stop talking and we start this dance and start to spiral. But that’s when the Holy Spirit came in and he’s told me time and time again that he is listening. So while he was still crushing ice, I’m thinking” “He loves me, we’re best friends, he’s just getting ice and it doesn’t have to spiral out of control”. And we’re able to move forward.

Jeff: There are four things we hear from people as we talk to them about their dances:

  1. I didn’t understand my spouse and now I have clarity
  2. It’s compassion – I’m so sorry that’s what you’re feeling
  3. I understand our dance and our dynamics
  4. The Enneagram gives us great language to able to talk about it
How does the Enneagram reveal both people’s strengths and weaknesses?

The Enneagram is going to tell you like it is—blunt and straightforward. You’re going to see some things that are really hard to swallow.

But if you’re able to recognize that Christ has already taken care of things, you can see these trouble spots and not be overcome with self-condemnation, fear and shame. You have to own it and ask for forgiveness but you’re able to do that because you’re already free.

What are the benefits and challenges of each of your types?

Jeff: There’s a book out there that talks about how we marry people who bring out a good we desire for ourselves. There’s something about Beth’s peacefulness, steadiness and sincerity that is very safe to me. Beth attunes to me in a way that brings peace and rest to my heart. I appreciate her strength, resolve, quiet perseveres and the attention she gives to me and our home. I want to be better at that because I’m not naturally at rest.

Beth: The strengths that Jeff brings is absolute commitment and loyalty, hard work and being able to see what I miss. When you use this in marriage, your spouse cannot come through for you in the way you long for but Christ did. Everything has to hinge on Christ or you’ll be back in the ditch again.

What have you learned about Jeff being a 6?

Beth: 6s really need safety and security. They’re not all the same—my mom is a 6 and wants physical security (food, money, health). Jeff is more relational security. When we are in an argument and I withdraw, that is only saying to him “abandonment”.

I’m not intending to do that to him. When I feel myself starting to check out I can say to him, “I know this is important, but I need some time to settle down and process”. That’s so much more helpful to me and communicates to him that I know safety and security are important to him.

Jeff: The work for me is to believe it—that after 15 or 30 minutes she’s going to re-engage. And even if she doesn’t, I’m still secure in my relationship with Christ. It ends up creating a very hospitable dance between us.

What resources do you have available for people who want to learn more?

Jeff: This is going to be a big year for us. We’ve written a book called, Becoming Us: Using the Enneagram to Create a Thriving Gospel-Centered Marriage. It’s really the foundation to a number of other resources. We’re going to be releasing a new marriage assessment in June to help couples get an introduction to their dance and what they think about their dance and that’s going to be free.

We’re also going to be doing date night events throughout the United States beginning in June. Those are going to be fantastic opportunities where we’re going to introduce the idea of the dance.

Beth: We are developing 45 marriage courses. The reason there’s 45 is because there are 45 couple types. So there’s a course for you and your spouse and we’re going to specifically talk about your dance and get into your kitchen.

Not only will we show you the negative parts of your dance but also the redeeming factors of Christ and what He brings. That will be coming out in June. We also have a free assessment if you don’t know your type.

And then we also have Discovering You which is a cliff notes version of the Enneagram if you’re new to the Enneagram. If you know your type you can do Exploring You where I do pre-recorded coaching sessions where I break down your personality type into bite sized lessons. We’ll have 9 more books coming out in December—one on each of the types.

Your One Simple Thing this week

Get your Becoming Us marriage course and get insight into yourself and your spouse.

Show Closing

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review—they help us make the podcast better.

We want to hear from you! Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or our site.  If you want more resources, check out the MarriedPeople membership or Ted’s book Your Best Us.  You can find more from Beth and Jeff at Your Enneagram Coach.

May 15 2019

46mins

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Rank #2: MP 049: How can I deal with sexual baggage in my marriage? (with Mo Isom Aiken)

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Mo is a New York Times bestselling author and a nationally sought-after speaker. Her newest book Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot is about the role the church can play in the conversation about sex and sexuality. Mo lives in Atlanta with her husband, Jeremiah, and their two daughters, Auden and Asher.

Interview

Tell us about your sports background.

I played soccer at LSU for four years and realized going into my senior year that every NCAA athlete gets five years of eligibility, but only four in one sport. I was going to finish soccer in four years without interruptions.

I’d always played with the guys in the football facility about joining their team. I trained with the team for 22 months—lifting weights, doing agility training. By the time I tried out we had gone from two specialists to eight specialists, so I didn’t make the roster.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

My family is my greatest blessing and the best part of myself. My husband Jeremiah is like 6’5” and a blessing from the Lord. He leads our family so well. I’m 6’1” so we’re a tall family.

My kids are two and a half and ten months and they’re both already toddler size. We’re just big people and have a fun household. I want to be someone who will support whatever my kids want to do, but I don’t think they have a choice but to be in sports. I just need them to show some coordination! 

Talk about your book and why you gave it that title.

The title came to me a few years ago—Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot. In 2015, my husband and I had just married and were just walking into this season of sex within marriage in the confines of a covenant. I was struggling with so much from my past, so much that no one had ever talked to me about.

I had struggled with promiscuity, pornography and feeding my flesh. I came to know Jesus and I was so confused. I remember reading an article about a girl who waited to have sex until her wedding night and regretted her decision. It broke my heart. Even though I was confused, I still recognize the beauty within marriage.

I was still figuring a lot out, but I knew sex was a gift from God. I needed to find healing and wholeness in my own life and marriage. I knew someone should reclaim sex for the glory of God and I finally realized I should.

The title and all that I wanted to share just hit me one day in my kitchen. I never would’ve imagined the felt need it would hit when it released. So many people, across the board, have so many questions and are figuring it out. If we want to see a shift in our culture, we have to have wholeness in our own hearts first.

What sexual baggage did you brought into marriage?

We live in a culture in the church where we’re supposed to deny, deny, deny sex during singleness and then we’re supposed to stand at the alter and flip a switch. When you get married, now sex is amazing and totally permissible. It’s confusing if we don’t understand what sex is and why it matters.

I was raised in a Christian home and the church had a lot to say about the rule following behavior modification. But I didn’t know heart transformation so I pushed the envelope as far as I could. I rationalized and waived a banner of virginity, but didn’t know anything of purity.

When I was younger, I came across some of my dad’s pornography and it seared something in me. I developed a decade long struggle and many women in the church are struggling with it. I lost my dad unexpectedly to suicide and tried to fill that void in college with physicality. I gave so much of myself away trying to get a man’s heart.

Sophomore year of college I came to know Jesus and it completely transformed my life and heart. God immediately started a transformation for me in this area and I started an ‘intimacy fast’. I called it ‘kissless till next Christmas’. I knew I needed healing and this went on for two years.

The next man I met was Jeremiah and we moved through our dating relationship with a reframed understanding, but we still struggled. We came to such a point of conviction to either flee or marry. We prayed about it separately and God gave us the same word of coming together in marriage.

We stood at the altar and were able to stand there with great conviction about why we were marrying. We both had pasts that we hoped we could brush under the rug. Right at the start of marriage, all this stuff came crashing down.

My sister-in-law shared this quote with me about how before marriage, the enemy will do what he can to bring us together, and after marriage, he’ll do what he can to keep us apart. His goal is to divide us. We have to process, seek forgiveness, break off connections we had with people and fight for our marriage.

How is this less about behavior modification and more about heart transformation?

When we’re waiving this banner of virginity for the sake of virginity, it’s a works-based answer to a life-surrender question. God is asking for all of our minds, all of our hearts and we’re like “what if I give you some semi-good behavior? 

But God is calling us to this greater heart condition of purity. Then virginity becomes a beautiful by-product. People are trying to modify their behavior but they’re not encountering true heart transformation.

What do you suggest to other people who have baggage in their marriage?

In the newlywed bed, especially, the enemy shames us into silence, confusion, and shame. This is where the gospel becomes practical. We have the strength and ability to break the chains of the shame and move through into healing.

Whether you’re 30 years in or three weeks in, there’s beauty in coming to the person we’re in covenant with and having the conversation. It takes grace on both sides because processing through sexual stuff is scary. For my husband and myself, it’s a regular check in about what’s going on and there’s amazing freedom that comes from that vulnerability.  

What about the person who has tried to talk to their spouse and they don’t want to talk about it?

The first place you can go is to talk to God about it. Prayer on behalf of our spouse is the best thing we can bring into the marriage covenant. Finding an accountability or prayer partner can also be really helpful. But navigating that in a careful way is important—not just gossiping about your marriage to someone. But having this person to carry our burdens can be really beneficial. And sometimes that can be a counselor.

We can look at two stories to see who Jesus is in light of our sin—the woman at the well, who is a whore by all accounts. Jesus is at the well when she comes to draw water and he brings up all her sin and past. But in the face of her filth, he stays. And he offers her redemption and then sends her back to evangelize. 

Then with the adulteress to be stoned. Jesus says those without sin can cast the first stone. He stands with her and doesn’t cast a stone. This is who God is in response to our sexual sin.

Sex is a unifying gift, a weapon against the enemy trying to divide us. There is power in healthy sexuality in marriage, and it’s worth it to work through the baggage.

Talk a little bit about pornography, what it does, how to protect ourselves, and how to get healing.

It’s important to remember that no temptation has overtaken you except what is common to man. Porn is a silent struggle and we are silenced by shame. This is an issue gripping the vast majority of people. I say that because it helps to understand how pervasively this has infiltrated our culture.

The average school aged kid is exposed at nine years old; I was exposed at age eight. Porn is such a universal issue because it’s so accessible and is deeply dehumanizing us. One in five mobile searches is for porn.

We are turning to quick fixes that sees other humans as body parts made for our pleasure instead of image bearing creations of God. It sickens and infects us and we become addicted to it. We have to stop rationalizing and see it as an all or nothing.

When I first came to Christ, my prayer was “break my heart for what breaks yours, give me eyes to see the world as you do and make me more like you.” If we start praying that, we can’t see porn the same. There are some practical ways to help too—software like Covenant Eyes that will guard your devices. We have to practice some discernment about what we set before our eyes.

Your one simple thing for this week:

Start praying: “Create in me a clean heart, God.”

Show Closing

Thanks for joining us for the MarriedPeople Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

We want to hear from you. Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or our site.  If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us. You can find more from Mo on her website, Instagram, Twitter and her book.  You can also set up Covenant Eyes on their website.

Sep 19 2018

50mins

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Rank #3: MP 017: How do I stay connected with my spouse despite the craziness of life? (with Frank & Jessica Bealer)

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No one ever says, “I’ve got too much time on my hands!” We all have super busy schedules – and our family/marriage ends up at the center of the busyness. So now what? We talk with Frank and Jessica about how they balance their busy schedules.

Frank is the Executive Director of Leadership Development at Orange. Earlier this year he released his first book, “The Myth of Balance.” Jessica has been leading children’s ministry for 17 years and authored her latest book “Don’t Quit”. Frank and Jessica have four children.

Interview with Frank and Jessica

The Tension: Life, career and family can be all consuming leaving little time for couples to connect.

We’ve worked hard to find a time in our schedule that’s a ‘pocket of intimacy’.

  • We take a walk at night after dinner. It’s our time to connect about the day, and it gives us both a time when we know we can talk about the things on our mind.
  • This has to be a time of day that works for both of you. Dinnertime just doesn’t work for us right now due to kids’ sports schedules, but we know at the end of the day we can connect on our walk.
  • When you are connecting, it is important for each spouse to be clear about whether they want the other person to ‘fix it or feel it’. Often, men want to jump in and fix problems, but women tend to want them to just listen and feel it. Ask specifically for what you’re wanting!
  • I (Jessica) have learned to ask specifically for Frank to give me a couple of ideas about the problem I’m facing. This helps me get his insight without him having to fix it for me.

Your one simple thing for this week: Find a pocket of time to connect as a couple each day.

This should be something you both enjoy! And once you find something that works, commit to it and put it on your calendar.

Afton: I’m going to commit to spending 15 minutes doing something fun. If I can play Mario Cart with Hudson, we’ll get to talking.

CJ: I’ve decided to spend my first 30 minutes at home each day putting my cell phone down and spending the time with Teri. Sometimes it’s making dinner or hanging out, but just connecting.

Ted: We spend time connecting while we’re getting ready in the morning. We also like to connect over the show This is Us. 

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us and our blog at MarriedPeople.org.  You can find Jessica’s book, Don’t Quit, here, and don’t forget to check out her blog. Frank’s book, The Myth of Balance, is here.

This is the last episode of 2017 for us! We’ll be back in 2018. Enjoy your Christmas!

Dec 06 2017

1hr 4mins

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Rank #4: MP 002: Why do we have serious fights about silly things?

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Ever felt like you and your spouse fight about the most ridiculous, silly things? Well you’re not the only ones! Today we’ll tackle this question, but first we have a few other questions that may sound familiar:

  • Do you think appliances should go ON the counter or below the counter (take them down with each use)?
  • Whose job is it to clean out the shower drain?
  • How do you decide where you’re going to dinner on date night?

There are lots of silly fights – in fact, one of the top fights couples have is over household chores!

The Tension: Silly fights can cause serious damage.

All couples have silly fights, but they build up and can create real problems.

But here’s the truth: Our spouses don’t bring out the worst in us, they reveal the brokenness in us.

When your spouses’ reaction doesn’t match the situation, that’s where there’s some pain or damage. That’s where you can meet them and be their relationship hero.

But let’s turn it around – What are some situations that cause you to overreact?

  • CJ: When technology (i.e. the internet) doesn’t work
  • Afton: When I walk in the house at the end of the day and it’s messy
  • Ted: When I feel misunderstood by Nancie

So, what do you do the next time you feel your spouse is overreacting to a situation?

Your one simple thing this week: Change your reaction.

Make a micro-move in their direction and change your negative response to a positive one. It may not feel natural, but will have a big impact.

Some of our tips for changing your reaction:

  • If we could all treat our spouses as well as we do our co-workers, it would make a big impact. Use the same people skills you use with coworkers with your spouse!
  • Think about a younger version of them – it softens your heart toward your spouse and what they’ve gone through growing up.
  • Ask yourself, what is the most helpful reaction right now?

What are some ways we’re going to work on changing our reactions this week?

  • Afton: When I feel like my emotions are so heightened that they’re not helpful, I’m going to take a breath and look for ways to react in a reasonable way.
  • CJ: Ask for a do-over in the moment – literally out loud, pause the situation and ask for a do-over.
  • Ted: Lean in when Nancie is reacting and try to understand what she’s feeling. Ask her “Do you want me to fix this or feel it?”.

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you think. And you can have less moments of awful and more moments of awesome! If you want more resources, check out our blog at MarriedPeople.org.

We also hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

Finally – join us next week when we ask the question “Is having fun in your marriage extra or essential?”

Aug 23 2017

48mins

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Rank #5: MP 060: How do I make Christmas great for my marriage?

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Before we jump into our topic this week, we have a PSA for you—we would love for you to leave us a review on iTunes. These reviews give the podcast more visibility, and ultimately help us reach more listeners. So if you want other people to know about us, rate the podcast!

What are some Christmas traditions you had growing up?

Afton: We made puppy chow and ate it all the time. We always kicked off the Christmas season the night after Thanksgiving by watching Christmas Vacation and Home Alone.

Ted: We would go to my great-grandfather’s farm and cut down a tree. Then, my mom would have my brother and I decorate it—she would let us do whatever we wanted to do.

CJ: We didn’t have a ton of traditions, but we always had spaghetti for dinner on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning we’d have sausage casserole and our grandparents would come over for dinner. Now, Teri and I go to Chili’s on Christmas Eve—it’s the best people watching ever.

What assumptions did you make going into marriage about Christmas?

Afton: I assumed we would get a real Christmas tree. That was not an assumption that Hudson had—he wanted to use a cheap fake one so we didn’t have to spend money every year. So our first year of marriage, he got out the fake tree AND we got a real tree and used them both.

Ted: We do a fake tree, too. Christmas ornaments have to mean something. So every time we’d travel, we’d get an ornament. Not one ornament is the same as another. But some of our tension started when we had to travel home and decide what family to see when.

CJ: I don’t know that I had a whole lot of expectations that first Christmas. I think we pictured Christmas our way and with our own families. You don’t picture the part with your in-laws, and that’s where some of the expectations come in.

What are the stressors you feel when it comes to Christmas?

Afton: I still feel the stress of having to figure out the Christmas Eve/Christmas Day situation. We also have split custody with my step son, Julian, so we have to figure that out every year. It’s a logistical challenge for us. I also feel the pressure of making sure everyone else has a great Christmas.

Ted: Some of those logistical things have ironed themselves out for us. But what to get the kids for Christmas is a stressor. I want to celebrate, but some of it seems excessive.

CJ: This year, Teri is due with our first kid on Christmas day. As excited as we are, there’s also a lot of stress—who is coming in, who is staying with us.

Some of the most common stressors that people have around Christmas:
  • lack of time
  • lack of money—Americans spend an average of $750 a year on Christmas.
  • pressure to give or receive gifts
  • where and who to spend the holidays with.

The results of increased stress can make a couple feel exhausted, disconnected, and have less interest in connecting as a couple.

It’s important for couples to pause and remember what’s important.

Paying attention to the heart of Christmas can help couples simplify and get back to what a big deal this holiday is for our faith. There are a lot of ways this can be true for you.

It could be creating experiences instead of just stuff. It’s asking what you want for yourself and your kids and having experiences with your spouse.

Your one simple thing for this week

Talk about Christmas traditions before Christmas.

Ask each other:

  • What does Christmas mean to you?
  • How did you celebrate Christmas growing up?
  • What your favorite Christmas memory as a kid?
  • If you could create the perfect Christmas traditions, what would they be?
  • How is the way you see Christmas different from me?
  • How is the way you see Christmas the same as me?
  • How do we compromise?
Show Closing

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

We want to hear from you. Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or our site.  If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us.

Dec 05 2018

40mins

Play

Rank #6: MP 004: What’s one thing that can make every marriage better?

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If there was one thing that could make every marriage better, wouldn’t all married people want to know what it is? Well if you Google it, the top article has more like 28 things to do to make your marriage better. It can feel overwhelming - is there really one great place to get started? Join us as we discuss!

The Tension: There are so many things that can make your marriage better. 

But where’s the best place to start?

Nancie, Ted’s wife, suggested that couples simply ‘be kind’. And come to find out, this simple idea is backed by research! 

Shaunti Felhaun and her team studied this very thing. And on this episode, Ted had the chance to interview Shaunti about how kindness can impact a marriage.

Shaunti received her graduate degree from Harvard University and was an analyst on Wall Street before unexpectedly becoming a social researcher and best-selling author.  Today, she applies that analytical experience to uncovering the little changes that have big impacts in our lives, marriages, families and workplace relationships.  Her groundbreaking books, including For Women Only and For Men Only have sold more than 2 million copies in 23 languages. Her newest book, The Kindness Challenge, is sparking an international movement called the 30-Day Kindness Challenge.

Truth: Kindness is one of the most powerful things in a marriage

Interview with Shaunti

It turns out that whether or not you’re thriving in your marriage is far more correlated to how you treat other people than how you yourself are treated.

  • What does it mean to be kind?

Kindness is three things – withholding unkindness, speaking kind words and doing kind things. We studied and spent several years with more than a thousand people in a study group to discover what you can do or not do to be kind. We ended up with what we call the 30 Day Kindness Challenge.  You have to do 3 things for 30 days and it’s super simple – you have to pick one person that you want a better relationship with (and of course we would encourage your spouse) and:

  1. Don’t say anything negative about that person (to them or about them to someone else).
  2. Find one thing that you can sincerely praise or affirm (tell them and someone else).
  3. Do a small action of kindness for that person

If you do these three things for 30 days, 89% of relationships improve! 

  • Who needs the kindness challenge?

Have you, in the past year, said “Man, this culture has gotten so unkind?” or “People are so mean on social media”? It’s so easy for us to think “Those people out there – I can’t believe they said that on social media… It’s just awful”. It’s easy to think that about them, but I can’t change them. That tone that they used is the same tone I used with my husband yesterday. And the ‘random acts of kindness’ that we see do make the world a better place, but intentional kindness toward one person that opens your eyes makes you a better person.

  • Can you please talk to my friend and other people who are listening who think kindness is squishy?

Kindness, it turns out, is a superpower. It has unbelievable power in whatever it is we’re trying to improve in our life. When we give kindness, especially when it is not deserved, it causes miraculous things.

Your one simple thing this week: Take the kindness assessment

You may be surprised what you find! 

Ted: I took the assessment and thought I knew where it was going but this thing nailed me to the wall!

Afton: This ties back to our first episode with micro-moves. The challenge is looking for something every day.

CJ: It’s like driving – you assume you’re a pretty good driver and don’t need someone to tell you how to fix you’re driving. But I’m going to take it and I think it is going to be pretty interesting!

You can too – go to jointhekindnesschallenge.com to take the assessment and join the challenge!

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think! We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us and our blog at MarriedPeople.org.

Finally - join us next week when we ask the question “Can your spouse really meet all of your relational needs?”

Sep 06 2017

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #7: MP 034: What do I do if I'm married to a dreamer? (with Jon Acuff)

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Jon Acuff is a self-described dreamer and New York Times Bestselling author of 6 books. For over 20 years, Jon has helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story—including the Home Depot, Bose, Staples and the Dave Ramsey team. He is featured regularly on national media like CNN and Fox News. Jon is very busy and has huge aspirations, but what does that mean for his marriage?

Interview  One of the things I remember getting excited about was Jenny Acuff writing a book called "Being Married to a Dreamer."

We get the question all the time – occasionally Jenny will do Q&A with me and people will ask about how I get my wife to support my dream. One time Jenny just said, “Money is nice”. I thought the book would be a great idea and I announced it, but she didn’t want to write a book. 

People write in all the time to encourage her to finish the book, and it’s still an idea that I think would be great but Jenny doesn’t want to write the book because she doesn’t want to speak on it.

Talk a little about the tension—a lot of time dreamers are married to people who are more grounded.

That’s definitely the case for Jenny and I – living with a dreamer is like a fire hose of ideas. The other person can often be the ‘how’ person and the dreamer can feel attacked. When Jenny was saying, “money is nice”, she wasn’t saying, “prove it!” She was saying that results make it easier to support it—when I’m getting up at 5 am and watching less TV. She knew that I was really getting excited about it. 

The dreamer’s responsibility is to say when they just want to talk and brainstorm. Also, it’s not your wife’s job to carry all that. You’ve turned your wife into you warden, but we were created for community.

How does this connect with the idea of being a dreamer?

I think part of it is having shared dreams, but it’s also not forcing your dreams on someone else. Your spouse shouldn’t 100% understand your dream because it’s your dream, not his.

Talk about the beginning and when you were figuring all this out, then how it’s evolved over time.

Part of it is allowing your spouse to give honest feedback. There are a lot of marriages where, in your family of origin, the husband was the hero and the wife was the cheerleader. There are a lot of marriages where the wife doesn’t have the freedom to speak about things that should change.

A lot of my job is to shorten the distance between when Jenny tells me something that’s true and when I believe it. It’s having a space where your spouse can be angry, excited, critical—they don’t have to just act a certain way.

What closed the gap for you on how long it took for you to hear what Jenny had to say?

It was other guys who had the kind of marriages I want. Most of the things I’ve learned, it hasn’t been like one day I woke up and was doing life differently. I heard a counselor once say that every man wants to know he’s enough and every woman wants to know she’s not too much.

Give an example of when you and Jenny hit a space where she wanted you to throw the breaks and it was helpful.

When I first started working for myself, she would tell me that it seemed like I was trying to make everyone else my boss. She would tell me that I get to make the decisions but out of fear I was trying to get everyone else to be the boss. She was essentially saying to own my decisions and take responsibility for what I choose.

Another time she quit working for me—when you go on your own, you don’t have a community and your spouse becomes your community. I was running everything by her and she basically quit. My book Do Over she read like 8 times, but Finish she saw when it was done. Some couples work well together as an entrepreneurial couple, but they’re the unicorns.

Talk a little to the people who are married to a dreamer. What can they do to support dreams but still be honest?

I think it’s to take a pause – most situations will dissipate on their own. If your spouse has a crazy idea, just wait a week and they’ll be on to the next thing. Then be honest about what you need – tell them you’re nervous about them doing this thing again.

Also, establish some ground rules. One of our rules is that I can register a URL on GoDaddy but if I haven’t touched it for a year I can’t renew it. Figuring out the simple ground rules is part of what you can do.

How do you support her dreams?

Part of it is that I don’t try to make them mine. I create space for her to do the things she wants to do. She went to Germany, Switzerland and Singapore last year with a girlfriend and I try to be really flexible that way. I can’t travel for my job and then expect her to always be home.

Also not letting my stuff dominate the situation—she didn’t need to read Do Over that many times. Finish didn’t dominate our lives – it was my job, we launched it and it was great.

How do you guys handle it with you traveling so much?

We’re deliberate about it – Jenny told me one time, after saying goodbye to my kids, that I was giving them all my shame and guilt about leaving. The weepy goodbye thing ruins the kid’s week. That was a huge change for me. I also tie it together when we’re at Disney on a Tuesday—reminding them that we can do that cause I was in Oklahoma the week before. 

Also, when you’re on the road be on the road and when you’re home be home.  I try to take them with me—I’m doing a cruise this summer with Sandi Patty and I’ll take them with me. They come when it makes sense.

Talk a little about home. You have an office at home, how do you do that?

I try to be deliberate about keeping things in my office—not the living room, the kitchen. I’m usually done by 4pm when I’m at home. I’m still trying to figure it out though, every 6 months it radically changes.

I’ve heard you say one time that your kids are your kids, they’re not your content. I’m sure that applies to Jenny too, talk a little about that

The older they get, the more invested they are in not being embarrassed on the Internet. They now are looking at more and suggesting stuff for me. I don’t reference my daughters’ Instagram name, a 14 year old doesn’t need to be inundated with followers. I don’t want my kids to be in ads, they’re not a prop.

Your one simple thing for this week:

Fight in the morning. You don’t have to have it out at 2am, find the right time to have the conversation. I think it’s the most misinterpreted verse from the Bible – thinking you have to finish every discussion before bed.

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

You can find Jon Acuff on his site, Facebook and Twitter. And check out his latest book Finish. We want to hear from you! Visit us on Facebook, Instagram or our site.

Apr 25 2018

37mins

Play

Rank #8: MP 018: Why are my words such a big deal to my spouse?

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Intuitively, we know our words are a big deal. But we usually only remember that they’re a big deal when something happens that shows us we’ve forgotten. We’ve all had this happen, even recently! Join us as we discuss why words are such a big deal in marriage.

The Tension: In marriage, we can find ourselves saying the things we shouldn’t say and not saying the things we should say.

There’s something hardwired into our DNA that makes words really matter to us. But for some reason, we tend to forget the weight of our words.

We often give ourselves a break on our words because we genuinely didn’t mean to hurt the other person. But should we be giving ourselves a break?

Proverbs 12:18 says, “Careless words stab like a sword, but wise words lead to healing.”

We remember hurtful words with such clarity – we often remember the entire situation surrounding the words very vividly.

But words can hurt our spouse or they can also be used to help heal them.

Truth: Words can hurt or words can heal.

When we say the right things, it’s not a big event the way hurtful words can be. But they are part of a process can be really healing to your spouse.

This doesn’t have to be complicated! If we take the time to slow down and actually say the positive things we think about our spouse it can make a huge difference.

Your one simple thing for this week: This week – on the day you are with your spouse the most – keep a tally of the wise things and careless things you said to your spouse. 

Taking the time to keep the tally can help you be more aware of what you’re saying to your spouse. There are so many times you may not know that you’ve been more careless than you realized!

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us and our blog at MarriedPeople.org. Finally, we hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode!

Jan 03 2018

36mins

Play

Rank #9: MP 003: Is having fun in your marriage extra or essential?

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Busyness, kids, exhaustion… There’s a lot that gets in the way of having fun in marriage. Plus, marriage is serious business! Is having fun even that essential? Or is it just an ‘extra’? Join us as we dive into this question!

The Tension: We all want to have fun in our marriage, but there are a lot of ‘fun barriers’

  • Busyness
  • Seriousness
  • Children
  • Exhaustion
  • Uncertainty
  • Time suckers
  • Fun doesn’t seem important

But here’s the truth: The best way to protect your marriage is to enjoy it

No one is telling us to protect our marriage – we know we’re supposed to work at it, but not necessarily to enjoy it. But the truth is, enjoying your marriage is great for you, your spouse and your kids!

Your one simple thing this week: Do one fun thing for your spouse.

Having fun doesn’t have to be hard work or expensive! In fact, sometimes watching T.V. can be fun and interactive. Just figure out how you have fun with your spouse, and do that!

The great thing about being adults is that culture isn’t the boss of us, we’re the boss of us. We can carve out the time for the things we love.

  • Do something spontaneous
  • Schedule a date night

CJ: We’re very scheduled people, so I need to try to build in a little spontaneity for Teri. Maybe we’ll go out for ‘real’ ice cream (not frozen yogurt) after our next date.

Afton: While Hudson is on the road, I’m going to try to respond to 50% of his text messages with gifs

Ted: I have a scuba suit (for scuba diving) around the house that I put on when things need to lighten up. I think it needs to make an appearance this week.

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier, and more fun, than you think! We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us and our blog at MarriedPeople.org.

Finally - join us next week when we ask the question “What is one thing that can (almost) every marriage better?”

Aug 30 2017

37mins

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Rank #10: MP 020: How do I help my spouse deal with pain from a previous relationship? (With Sam & Toni Collier)

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Today’s episode is a little bit different – we’re going to listen to the redemptive story of Sam and Toni Collier’s marriage, and we think you’re really going to enjoy it.

Interview with Sam and Toni

Sam and Toni have been married for a little over a year and they’re a blended family. Toni’s three-year-old daughter, Dylan, is a ball full of energy in their home! 

Sam: I was adopted at two months old with my twin sister. We were adopted out of a poverty stricken situation by a lovely couple. My dad was married twice before he met my mom and my mom was coming out of an abusive marriage. They become believers and got married, after which they find out that they can’t have kids. They come to meet my sister and I and were told they shouldn’t adopt us because we wouldn’t amount to much (due to where we came from). They taught us that if we didn’t believe in ourselves, it was viewed as wrong. They didn’t fight in front of us, and every morning at 5am they were up praying.

Toni: My story isn’t as polished as Sam’s. But we do have a central thread – my mom was abused in her previous marriage. My parents met and my dad rescued her from her situation. My dad has had two marriages as well, and they came together and get saved. However, my mom didn’t heal from her first marriage. My dad had a tough childhood as well, and you bring these two broken people together and brokenness leaks out onto your kids. I was verbally abused myself, and in the 3rd grade my mom had a stroke and it completely knocked her out. I watched her bounce back from a lot of health issues, but I was parenting my mom and myself. I graduated at 16 and left the house. But in the midst of all that brokenness, I still take away their willingness to give and my dad’s willingness to provide.

Sam: We met in ministry, and as soon as we got married we jumped into counseling. Toni had been through so much in her last marriage with the verbal abuse, some physical abuse, lack of providing… and our counselor has helped us through that.

Ted: My view of divorce over 16 years has evolved – I think I had a really legalistic view of it. I can say that for most people, divorce is not the answer. But for some people, it is. We make promises that people’s spouses can’t keep. I can make promises about your relationship with Jesus – because he is the same every day. But people that do what I do can tend to say, “If you do X, your spouse will do Y” and that’s not always the case. What would you say to a spouse who is damaged and hurt?

Toni: I don’t want to advise anyone to make a decision – anyone in a hard situation really has to make the decision for themselves. But in my own personal story, I’ve known that God has a plan for me. And there was a moment in my first marriage where I didn’t have that hope anymore and it wasn’t my fault. That’s when I knew I had to go.

Ted: Now, we shout from the rooftops that we love counselors. But I never want to forget that guy or that lady who thinks there’s something wrong about going. But once you do it, you shout it from the rooftops. What made you guys so comfortable with it?

Sam: Well we have to say Reggie (head of Think Orange). But some tangible reasons – she didn’t mention much about the abuse she went through, but when you go through stuff like that you need someone. I think it’s great to have somebody who is unbiased pouring love on you all. And third, I hate not being good at something. And at the end of the day, I’m going to be measured on what I was given  - my family. Why wouldn’t I go?

Toni: For those of you experiencing that friction of not having time for it – we make time for the things we care about. I want to be a better me emotionally. One thing to watch out for with counseling is fear – fear of exposing myself to a stranger, fear of being judged. But vulnerability and bravery and being courageous unlock so many other emotions. I am a much better me, wife, friend and mother because I know what’s going on with me and I know where it came from.

Ted: You guys are modeling something great, and I just want to say thank you so much.

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us and our blog at MarriedPeople.org. You can also check out Sam’s podcast A Greater Story, and find more from Toni on her website.

Finally, we hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode!

Jan 17 2018

1hr 2mins

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Rank #11: MP 027: How do we become our best us?

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Today we’re going to discuss how to become our best US. Longtime listeners of the podcast know that Ted wrote a book by the same title because every US is different - What if we really celebrated that God makes all of our marriages really different?

The book has four foundational principles and habits that help marriages. We tend to believe marriage is really complicated, but Ted’s book (and this podcast) is about helping couples see that marriage is easier than you think. 

Core 4 Habits to Make Your Marriage Better

  1. Have Serious Fun

People think that it’s ‘extra’ to have fun, not essential. The best way to protect your marriage is to enjoy it!

CJ: Typically, our serious fun is puzzles and games, but we actually have our first dance lesson tonight!

Afton: Our serious fun is almost always going to the movies. But usually date night is dinner – though I can have fun anywhere!

Ted: I have a surprise for you two! I got you both 2 for $22 Chili’s gift cards! Where can you have more fun than Chili’s? We love Chili’s!

  1. Love God First

I know it’s weird to put ‘Love God First’ second, but I believe that laughter and humor open the heart to deeper things. If you start with laughter it can lead to deeper things.

When we connect with God first on our own, it postures us to love our spouse in a way we can’t love them on our own.

  1. Respect and Love

There’s a circular relationship between respect and love – when we feel respected we tend to be more loving, and around it goes. Both genders need respect AND love; though typically men value respect the most while women value love.

Studies show that men’s core vulnerability is shame, which is the opposite of respect. And women’s core vulnerability is fear and love is the opposite of that.

  1. Practice Your Promise

Marriage isn’t about the ‘big day’; it’s about the every day. Practice what you promised on a daily basis!

Your one simple thing for this week: pick one of the four and focus on that for the week.

CJ: I’ve already answered mine, which was to have more serious fun and start our dance class.

Afton: I want to have serious fun this week, because sometimes you can get stuck in the everyday flow of things that you can forget to have fun. We just need to have some fun!

Ted: I think ours is actually to have serious fun as well. We have so much going on. I think we need to interject some fun. Maybe bring out my scuba diving suit.

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review—they help us make the podcast better.

We’d love to hear which core habit you and your spouse are focusing on as well! Visit us on Facebook or Instagram and leave a comment to let us know.

If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us and our blog at MarriedPeople.org. Finally, we hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode.

Mar 07 2018

31mins

Play

Rank #12: MP 052: What do I do if my spouse is more introverted or extroverted than I am?

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Our personality something that plays a major role in our marriages. Typically, it seems like we’re drawn to someone different than ourselves. Though it’s not always true, most of the people we know are different than their spouses in this way.

Introversion vs. Extroversion

First, let’s define the difference between introvert and extrovert:

  • Introverts get energy from being alone.
  • Extroverts get energy from being with other people.

Afton: I think it is a common misconception that when you’re the life of the party around people or you’re charismatic, you’re extroverted. But I’m often drained after lots of time with people and need alone time.

CJ: I am definitely introverted and probably fit the stereotype. Teri was an extrovert in college and I think she’s moved a little more toward being an introvert.

Ted: Nancie is really comfortable on stage and in front of people. So it seems like she’s an extrovert, but she’s really not.

What is an ambivert?

The confusion is that people often think it’s about how you interact with people, but it’s really more about where you get your energy. There is also a third category:

An ambivert is someone who exhibits both qualities of introversion and extroversion- depending on the situation and the people involved. One half to two thirds of people say they’re an ambivert. Here are some questions to help you know:

  • Do you crave alone time but also love people?
  • Do certain situations/people make you feel outgoing while other situations/people make you quiet and reserved?
  • Do you struggle with the labels introverts and extroverts?
What this means

Truth: Personality differences are great opportunities to communicate unconditional love.

 We can get so frustrated with a spouse if we haven’t processed who they are and celebrated who they are. How do we make this practical?

If you're an extrovert married to an introvert:
  • Introverts often need time to process. When they speak, it’s been thought out. So you start the conversation, knowing they may need to come back later to finish it. They really do want to talk about themselves, but you may need to be a better listener.
  • Know that your introverted spouse needing time alone is not a personal slam towards you. Talk about when it is best for them to get alone time and when you need to reconnect as a couple.
  • Many introverts don’t mind talking about themselves. They just need some time to process it and often times an invitation.
  • Don’t spring social surprises on your introverted spouse. Saying, “hey, I invited my new friends over for dinner” can be a nightmare for your introverted spouse. It’s OK to have people over, but introverts typically like to have more warning.
  • Ask them: what situations/scenes do you dislike the most? Figure out the times that are most draining. Is it big gatherings, medium size gatherings, small gatherings?
  • Ask them: when we are in these situations, what do you need from me? Do you want me to pull you out of the corner at partiers or let you stay there?
  • Support who they are by giving them time at the end of the day or whenever they need it most. But it is OK to say I love being with you so can we some set time when we are together and you are not alone?
If you're an introverts married to an extrovert:
  • Your extroverted spouse processes issues and problems through talking them out. Giving them time to do that with you is a gift to them.
  • Introverts: since you tend to keep things more to yourself, check yourself for being passive aggressive.
  • Ask your extroverted spouse:
    • Where is your favorite place to get a ‘people fix’?
    • What people give you the most energy?
    • What are the times that you want me to be with you the most?

The key is to work together and not use your extrovert or introvert personality to give you an excuse to do the things that cause division between you. For example, you shouldn’t say, “I don’t want to be around your family cause I’m an introvert” or “I don’t care if people are over during dinner cause I’m an extrovert”.

Finally, when you feel frustrated with your spouse’s differences, think about specific benefits those differences bring to their lives.

Your one simple thing for this week

Figure out which category you and your spouse fall into. If you already know what category they fall into, ask them the high and low of falling into that category.

Show Closing

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

We want to hear from you. Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or our site.  If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us.

Oct 10 2018

43mins

Play

Rank #13: MP 041: Why is dating important in my marriage?

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Today, we’re talking about dating your spouse. Date night can sometimes feel formal or forced. Sometimes it’s tough to just make the time. Most of us know that dating is a good thing, but it’s difficult to make it happen.

What are some of the barriers to going on dates?

Afton: Babysitting. Not that an 8th grader needs to be babysat but he does need someone.

CJ: It takes energy to want to get re-dressed after work and go out somewhere. It’s easier to just veg on the couch for a few hours.

What defines a date? Is watching TV at home considered a date?

CJ: A date is when our attention is more on each other than on something else.

Ted: What works for the two of you? There are some common things like limited disruptions, but a date is what connects you and what you enjoy doing together. We like to run together, or going to the movies.

The Two Tanks

When it comes to marriage, there are two tanks—the ‘love tank’ and the ‘like tank’. The love tank is when we go to work to provide for our family or forgive an offense.

The like tank is different, but just as important—when we cook our spouse a meal, we listen to them, when we laugh together. We can’t forget to do the things that make our spouse like us.

Afton: Sometimes I think we know each other too well. Like when we ask each other about those gross personal things, like an ankle rash. It can be nice to go out and just pretend we’re back at only knowing each other for three months.

Why dates are important.

  • Taking time for date night gives you experiences together that you can look back on more fondly. It’s good to have those times in the bank.
  • It can also be a good time for a check in on how you two are doing.
  • Connection leads to words. Sometimes it’s going out and doing something together.

Is there something deeper than just a reconnect with your spouse?

Ted: The thing I love about dating actually comes from Proverbs 5:18-19. The best way to protect your marriage is to enjoy your marriage. We don’t hear that enough.

How do you get the ball rolling if you haven’t been doing a date night?

  • Have a daily dialogue to catch up with your spouse—even 10 or 15 minutes. That way, you check in with your spouse daily and then you don’t have to spend your date on those things.
  • Have a plan, but a flexible plan. Plan out the who, the what, the where, the when and the how. It takes a little bit of planning.

Your one simple thing for this week:

We’ve created a date that you just have to download. It’s a lot of fun and really easy. Download the date night and plan it with your spouse!

Show Closing

Thanks for joining us for the MarriedPeople Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

We want to hear from you! Let’s hear about your best date night. Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or our site. If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us.

Jul 25 2018

40mins

Play

Rank #14: MP 058: Why is money such a big deal in my marriage? (with Lee & Martika Jenkins)

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On today’s episode we’ve got another Ted Lowe interview, this time with Lee and Martika Jenkins. Lee is an author, pastor, and a former college and NFL football player.

He spent more than 25 years in the financial services industry before planting Eagles Nest Church in Atlanta, Ga. Lee and Martika have been married for 30 years and have three grown children.

Interview  Can you tell us a little about yourselves?

Lee: I’m Lee and in about two weeks I’ll be celebrating 30 years of marriage to this incredible woman. I spent 25 years in the investment business. But six years ago, I got out of the business world because the Lord was calling me into full-time ministry. The two topics I’m most excited about are marriage and money. We have three children who are grown adults and we love being empty nesters.

Tell us a little about being empty nesters.

Our children are now 28, 26, and 23. It was a joy raising them. And now it’s a joy to have them out of the house!

How do you have different personalities when it comes to money?

Lee: When we first got married, we were completely opposite. We were the classic spender/saver dynamic. I was the saver and she was the spender. When I wanted something, I bought it with cash. But Martika borrowed her way through school.

Martika: Back in the 80’s, you could sign one time and get five different credit cards. And I was so excited to have those cards.

Lee: When my sister introduced me to Martika, I went over to her apartment. I looked through her photo album and they have photos of Hawaii and all these places. And I thought not only was she beautiful and loves the Lord, she was rich, too! Little did I know that I’d pay for those trips later.

How did you meet?

Martika: We met the weekend that I quit my job to move to Atlanta. Lee helped me find a place to live when I got here and our relationship blossomed from there.

 How did money impact the first years of your marriage?

Martika: It was tough because our money personalities were so opposite. Lee had to tighten me up and I had to loosen him up. He was so cheap it was ridiculous. We didn’t have a lot of money, but as the Lord blessed us financially it really helped our relationship to grow and become more intimate.

Lee: It was frustrating at first, but we had to wrestle with some of our philosophies and history. When you marry someone you marry their habits and what they’ve been taught. But it was very complementary even though we were financial opposites. We made a lot of the classic mistakes that young couples make.

What issues did you see with couples while working in the financial industry?

Lee: It’s a sensitive issue. Couples don’t realize that they need to work together. In order for the two to become one, it takes a lot of work. It’s difficult for some couples to get on the same team because you have to compromise.

One of the reasons couples aren’t successful financially is because they don’t understand the biblical basis of marriage. They’re selfish, and you can’t be selfish when it comes to this area.

How did this play itself out in terms of decisions and purchases?

Martika: When we first got married, Lee was on 100% commission. We had to talk about money more than most because we didn’t know how much was coming in each month. We had Money Monday’s where we had to sit and talk it all out.

We had restrictions on how much we could spend without the other’s approval and agreement. Because we were so tight, we had to communicate a lot. It helped our marriage because it helped us be more vulnerable.

What money advice would you give to a younger couple?

Lee: When you’re young, you have to talk about it a lot. Like Martika said, we’d meet every Monday. When you come into agreement, it helps your marriage in every area.

Don’t stay away from this subject—fight through the discomfort. Once you break through the first initial meetings it will become something that’s fun.

Do you recommend combining finances when you get married?

Lee: When two become one, that means everything. When you separate your money on purpose, you’re missing out on some deep intimacy and communication. One of the beauties of combining your money and doing things together is that it really forces you to talk. During that process, you get to know your spouse better.

How do you compromise when one of you is a saver and the other is a saver?

Lee: Some of my biggest regrets are looking back and seeing how cheap I was with things like furniture. Some of our early things had to be thrown out and re-purchased because I was so tight about everything. I learned from that because I actually ended up spending more money in the long run.

Recently Martika noticed I was stressed with things going on. She told me we were going on vacation. It was the best, but had she asked me I probably would have said no. She’s helping me to loosen up and the more I do that the better it makes our marriage.

The 10 Principles of Money and Marriage

We have the 10 principles and we usually say there are some you may be doing and two or three you really need to do. Here they are:

  1. Develop a spending plan: Some people call this a budget, but we like the word ‘spending’ better.
  2. Live within your means: Learn to be content with what you have and resist the temptation to want more and bigger.
  3. Avoid becoming a slave to debt: It’s important that your first inclination should be a debit card or cash. That way you’re spending what you have and not what you don’t have.
  4. Pay attention to your credit score.
  5. Find multiple sources of income: Don’t let your job be your only source of income.
  6. Save and invest for the future: Give to God first. Start saving second. Then, live off the rest.
  7. Be adequately insured: What would you want to have happen for your family if you woke up tomorrow in heaven?
  8. Honor God with your wealth: Be a generous giver! Honor God first and not last.
  9. Teach your children about money.
  10. Develop an estate plan: This can get complicated depending on your assets. But make sure you have an updated will.
Your one simple thing for this week:

Pick one thing from this list of 10 to talk about with your spouse.

Show Closing

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

We want to hear from you. Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or our site.  If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us.

Nov 21 2018

42mins

Play

Rank #15: MP 023: How do we live out for richer or for poorer? (with Rafa Robert)

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Money is a big deal in any marriage, so we knew we wanted to talk about finances. Whether you share our Chili’s 2 for $22 obsession, have discovered the joy of Movie Pass, or maybe want to save for a ticket to outer space, we feel you! Join us as we talk about this topic with our friend Rafa Robert. 

Interview with Rafa Robert

Rafa Robert is the Director of Love and Money at Brightpeak Financial. They focus on helping couples thrive in their relationship with money and each other.

Rafa has a B.A. in Religion, Theology and Ethics as well as a Masters in Counseling Psychology. He has been married for 20 years and is a dad to two “mid-west-Rican” kids.

The Tension: Money is challenging

Rafa: Young couples that argue about financials on a regular basis in the first five years are 70% more likely to get divorced. We wanted to find out why this is such a tension.

We’ve found that it’s bigger than a budget – there’s all this stuff going on under the surface that is more than spending and saving. Finances touch on differences in values. 

There are five dimensions to our relationship with money. Understanding the motivation your spouse has when it comes to money can make all the difference.

  1. Spiritual – What do I believe about God and resources?
  2. Cultural – Our family upbringing, even the part of the country you grew up in
  3. Emotional – Are you anxious about money, are you extroverted/introverted, etc.
  4. Behavioral – Are you good with your habits/goals?
  5. Practical - Do you know the right things to do with money?

Ted: If nothing else from this interview, being able to step back and ask what your spouses’ heart is when it comes to finances could be so impactful.

Rafa: We did some studies when we created our Love & Money Assessment and we found how impactful it is to be valued and heard when it comes to money. Jesus talks more about money than just about anything in the Bible and there’s a reason for that.

When you choose to understand each other’s story and speak each other’s language, that’s huge.

Truth: Money can be a catalyst of connection or disconnection.

Your one simple thing for this week: Ask your spouse about their first memory when it comes to money.

It’s a really easy conversation to have, but you’re tapping into some truths around why the story came to mind. You’re learning about each other and gaining some awareness about their money story. That one simple thing can help you work together to be better together!

Afton: The first time I remember addressing money in my family was around Christmas in 1999. We got a Gateway computer and I told my parents that Santa had to be real because there was no way we could afford that computer. I didn’t think they could ever spend that much money on something ‘frivolous’.

CJ: Money really hit home when I was in middle school. My dad worked in the car industry at a dealership and the industry was struggling. They were consolidating brands and my family started praying that my dad’s dealership wouldn’t get shut down. That’s when I realized it was because we needed money. 

Ted: My dad is a cotton farmer and my aunt, who served a mom role after my mom passed away, had two very different views of money. My dad’s mood was based on the weather that fed the crops – it was great when it rained. Then I had my aunt who had money, appreciated nicer things and felt that I should have them. I always felt torn when it came to money.

We hope this question gets you talking about money with your spouse!

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

Visit us on Facebook or Instagram. If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us, our blog at MarriedPeople.org and Brightpeak Financial.

Finally, we hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode!

Feb 07 2018

59mins

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Rank #16: MP 042: How does social media and technology impact my marriage? (with Dave Adamson)

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Today, we’re joined by our friend Dave Adamson, who is a former TV sports reported from Australia. Dave serves as the social media pastor for North Point Community Church in Atlanta and is a social media expert. Dave and his wife Meg have three daughters. 

Conversation with Dave

What does a social media pastor look like week to week?

It’s beyond social media. I deal with a lot of people who connect with our church digitally. People connect with your church before they connect in your church, and most of the time they do that through social media.

We want to make sure we have a great presence there, that we’re involved in the community and that we’re connecting people from social media to our other areas and hopefully eventually to our church.

That doesn’t sound like a real job, Dave.

It’s funny, since I took this job we’ve heard from other churches who have hired social media directors. It’s become a bit of a thing. Social media is everywhere; we’re all on it and connect with people that way.

In the U.S., church attendance is declining. But I don’t say it’s declining; I say it’s decentralizing. People don’t need to come to church anymore to get the content. 

How does technology and social media impact our marriages?

Social media does impact, but it has the ability to be a wedge or to bring us together. I could use technology to contact my wife in a way I couldn’t when we were first married 20 years ago. But at the same time, when I come to bed at night and Meg’s been to bed for an hour and I see the glow from her side of the bed it doesn’t seem like a good thing.

Why isn’t it a good thing?

It can create a separation—instead of spending the end of the day talking we’re on social media and turn it off to go to sleep.

Do you feel that tension in your relationship with your spouse, especially toward the end of the day? Or is that just part of your natural rhythm?

Afton: We actually started charging our phones in a different room when we go to bed. We actually started it to help us sleep better, but it does help relationally because you talk when you go to bed.

Ted: We have three teenagers, and we can’t be on ours all the time if we’re telling them not to be. So there’s the accountability there. We’re pretty conscious about it.

Dave: We have a rule in our house that all phones get turned off at 8pm and all phones get charged in our room. We used to charge them in the kitchen but we found one of our daughters would get up and go find it at night. This also means that we, the parents, have access to your phones.

The second rule is that every device in our house is on the same password, so I can open up their phones and scroll through it. But they can also do it to us. We also have a rule that Friday night till Saturday night is a device free zone in our house. 

What would you say to the couple that doesn’t think they have an issue? How might social media be impacting them without them realizing it?

There are positives and negatives to it. The device/social media itself isn’t the enemy. There’s a stat that says the average American touches their phone 300 times a day. I always think to myself – how would my relationship with my wife be different if I held her hand or stroked her hair 300 times a day? It can be a negative thing but we can make it positive too. I even find with my daughters. I follow their Instagram accounts and it keeps me connected with what’s going on. 

How does awareness help us control the impact technology has on our marriage?

Once you make that switch and start to use technology for good, it actually means more.

There’s a book by Reggie Campbell called What Radical Husbands Do and he says that for the first five minutes when you get home, stay five feet from your wife. I’m usually walking in ending a phone call or reading/posting something. Now, I will park around the corner, finish my phone call and then put my phone in my bag and drive in. I try to spend that first five minutes with her and then with my girls.

How have you used technology to make your relationship better?

Afton: We have one Spotify account, so when Hudson is listening to it I like to get on my phone and steal it so he can’t listen anymore.

Dave: That’s a good point, because we have one Audible account and we often read the same books now. 

CJ: We like to try to go an entire day only texting each other GIFs to talk about our day. It’s entertaining.

Ted: Texting is a great thing for us during the day. I love the fact that we can connect that way

Dave: My wife travels with a missionary, and we use FaceTime to stay in touch. Another great way we use technology is we watch Netflix together and have regular family movie nights on Friday. Technology has done a lot to bring our family together.

What do you say to someone whose spouse is always glued to their phones and they’re having a hard time connecting with them?

I think it’s making people aware of certain statistics. That idea that we’re touching our phones 300 times a day or spending 2-2.5hrs/day on our phone. It’s the realizing of the time we’re wasting. Have some statistics so you’re ready to give them information that helps them make the decision.

What’s the payoff for people being on their phones all the time?

That’s a huge cultural and societal question more than anything else – we do it because everyone is, but it’s also how we stay in touch. As to the why, I think it’s partly the dopamine hit, part is marketing. We’re told we’re missing out if we don’t have this in our life.

I think it’s also because it’s a way to enhance relationships. I always look at it from the point of view of how many people I’m still in contact with from Australia because of technology. I’m also leveraging my social media as a tool to pass my faith on to my kids. I started writing out all my thoughts on Instagram in the form of devotionals. My daughters read them and they may or may not have heard it otherwise.

Do you have any closing thoughts for us, Dave?

It’s all about awareness—how often you are on the phone and not on the phone. How often you’re leveraging technology for good and how often it’s driving a wedge between you. I’ve found birthday and anniversary gifts for my wife from her Pinterest. It’s all about being aware and using it for a positive outcome and not letting it drive a wedge.

Your one simple thing for this week:

Go 24 hours without any phone – your whole family. Put them in a basket and put them away for the whole day.

Show Closing

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review. They help us make the podcast better.

We want to hear from you! Two things: first, let us know what you do on social media or technology to connect with your spouse and second, let us know how your 24-no-technology day goes.  Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or our site

You can find more from Dave on his Instagram, website or his book – Chasing the Light. If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us.

Aug 01 2018

42mins

Play

Rank #17: MP 082: How do our personalities impact our marriage?

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Chances are you have experienced this: you and your spouse have an exchange that leads to hurt feelings and conflict. At the end of that exchange, you find yourself thinking: ‘my spouse took that completely out of context. I feel totally misunderstood. What just happened?’

Opposites often attract, but sometimes when opposites get married they clash. There are a lot of dynamics that fuel disagreements, but personality differences are toward the top of the list. We thought it might be fun for our listeners to wrap their brains around the personality continuum and where you and your spouse are on the spectrum.

1. Perceiving

This is how you perceive the things that come toward you in life.  Here are the two ends of the spectrum: 

Minimizer

Few things are a big deal to them. When troubles come they think, “Oh well, it will just pass.”

  • The disadvantage of being a Minimizer is that things have to be really big or bad for them to take action.
  • The advantage of being a Minimizer is that they are easy going, tending not to create unnecessary drama or chaos.
Maximizer

They tend to make everything a big deal. Using words like “everything,” “never” and “always.” Typically they want more of something—more love, more passion, more everything.

  • The disadvantage of being a Maximizer is that can create unnecessary tension.
  • The advantage is that nothing slips up on a maximizer. They want to take care of problems as they come.
2. Processing

This personality type is how your process information and come to conclusions. Here are the two ends of the spectrum:

Insider

They are very contemplative and thoughtful.

  • The disadvantage of being an Insider is they think they have shared more than they have. Saying things like, “I thought I told you that.”
  • The advantage of Insiders is that actually think more than they speak, which I’m pretty sure is biblical. 
Outsider

They think out loud. They talk to think.

  • The disadvantage of being an Outsider is that they say hurtful things they really don’t mean.
  • The advantage of Outsiders is that they want to talk things out and get things out in the open.
3. Responding

This personality type is how you respond to information. Here are the two ends of the spectrum:

Satisfier

Wants to keep connected with their spouse by telling them what they think they want to hear.

  • The disadvantage of being a Satisifer is that they can be passive aggressive. The mouth may be saying yes, but their heart is saying no, and one day it shows up, often in unproductive ways.
  • The advantage of being a Satisifer is they are outwardly focused, because they have to really listen to their spouse’s needs to know how to satisfy them.
Resister

When they hear new information, they say, “Whoa, what do you mean by that?” Another term for the Resister is a “devil’s advocate.”

  • The disadvantage of being is a Resister is they often make their spouse feel rejected.
  • The advantage of being a Resister is that tend to want to make more balanced decisions by looking at both sides of the issue. They aren’t always saying no, it just takes them a while to get to the yes.
Your one simple thing this week

When you encounter the disadvantage of your spouse’s personality traits, you can take it a little less personally. Also, the next time you encounter the advantages of your spouse’s personality type, you can affirm them. 

As for your own personality traits, I suggest you try to pull yourself somewhere nearer the middle of the spectrum, especially if you spouse has the opposite of that trait.

Show Closing

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better. We’d love for you to go on Instagram or Facebook and let us know what you think!

This episode was brought to you by the Married People Membership—an affordable, monthly subscription that provides married couples like you a ton of great resources every month to help you do marriage better. That means new date nights, videos, eBooks, messages, and more available to you when you need it—all in one place at one low price.

Go to our website to find out more about the Married People Membership.

Jul 31 2019

38mins

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Rank #18: MP 056: How do I handle my spouse’s pet peeves?

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What do we do when our spouse does something that drives us crazy? A definition of a pet peeve is: “a minor complaint or irritation that’s more annoying to you than anyone else." We’re not talking about deeper level things, just those little things that drive you nuts. 

Some of the most common pet peeves:

  1. Leaving the toilet seat up
  2. Driving distracted by electronic devices
  3. Putting empty cartons back in the fridge
  4. Leaving clothes on the floor
  5. Whistling
  6. Telling the same joke over and over, expecting you to laugh
  7. Leaving trash in the car
  8. Not asking for directions or using the GPS
  9. Falling asleep on the sofa instead of going to bed
  10. Not putting your keys in the place where you go to get the keys
  11. Chewing with your mouth open at the table
  12. Always being late
  13. Taking the covers at night
  14. Squeezing the toothpaste from the wrong part of the tube
  15. Leaving stuff in your clothes pockets when it goes to the laundry

In preparation for this episode, Ted text his wife, Nancie, to ask about her pet peeves. Here’s how that went down. 

  • Ted: We are talking about pet peeves on the podcast tomorrow. What is something I do that drives you nuts? This is the minor stuff, not the big stuff.
  • Nancie: That sounds like a question designed to hurt somebody’s feelings (especially mine).
  • Ted: You don’t have any and I’m not mentioning them. But I can mention my own. . . so what are they my love.
  • Nancie: You break rules.
  • Ted: That hurts my feelings.

What causes pet peeves?

Misattribution

Many times, there is misattribution. This is when you attribute something to the wrong thing or person. You aren’t really the frustration with your spouse; you are frustrated by work, but attribute that frustration to your spouse.

It’s thinking, “I feel all this because of them”, not realizing your ‘tank of frustration’ may already be full and it comes out on these small things. 

Affective Association

On the opposite side is ‘Affective Association’. One scientific study broke married couples into two groups. The researchers showed one group images of their spouse interspersed with beautiful things.

The other group saw their spouse and then images of neutral images. All the people who saw the first slide show ranked their marriage higher than when they started. 

The Truth:

How we handle pet peeves matters because silly fights can cause serious damage.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

You can choose to let a pet peeve go or you can talk to them in a way that is loving and encouraging.  We all know we do some things that drive our spouse crazy and we want to be treated this way.

How you do this depends on your relationship. It may be playful or more serious. For some people, the humor really helps. For others it may just be talking about it in a softer way. 

Your one simple thing for this week

When it comes to your spouse’s pet peeves, there are some things you can drop and some things you have to say. But do both in truth and grace. You could start by asking your spouse for one thing that you do that drives them crazy. Then be brave enough to take it.

Show Closing

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

We want to hear from you. Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or our site.  If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us.

Nov 07 2018

43mins

Play

Rank #19: MP 013: Why do I keep making the same mistakes in my marriage? (With Carlos Whittaker)

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Ever find yourself saying, “If I could fix this or overcome that, my marriage would be better”? And yet, we keep coming back to the same mistakes! Join us as we talk with Carlos Whitaker about how to overcome some of these reoccurring things that impact marriages.

Carlos Whitaker is a people’s choice award winner, a former recording artist signed to a major label, a social media maven, and currently spends the majority of his time writing books and speaking on stages around the world. He recently released his book Kill the Spider, which you can find at KillTheSpider.com.

Carlos Whitaker Interview Kill the Spider is based off a story that my father told me – it was about when he was preaching his first revival in Panama. The first night of the revival, during the invitation, an older lady came forward and asked him to pray that the Lord would clean the cobwebs from her life. She came back the next night asking for the same thing. The third night she came back and my dad told her “tonight, we pray that He kills the spider that’s producing those cobwebs.”

The book is my journey past my cobwebs to my spider(s) and then my journey to kill my spider. And I’m seeing this book bring so much freedom to people who are chasing their tail and medicating their behaviors. It’s about finding the lies behind the behavior and getting rid of them. Here’s the outline to that process:

  • Identify your spider – This can be three quarters of the work!
  • Locate your spider – where was it given birth?
  • Corner the spider – with the Word of God and prayer
  • Kill the spider – take a dagger to the heart of it by confessing, rejecting, and renouncing the lie and then replacing with God’s truth.

The spiders don’t have to be huge! They could be small things that sneak up in daily life.

Your one simple thing for this week: Go to killthespider.com and buy the book.

Let’s talk about our spiders.

CJ: My reoccurring issue is when I stay too late at work and am late getting home to Teri. The payoff to staying late is that you get ahead, get more done – which makes me feel like I’m proving myself. The cobweb is that I’m not giving Teri my best hours. The spider is that I put value on the public approval of performing at work.

Afton: My takeaway from this is that I want to go home and ask Hudson what he thinks my spiders are.

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast! We hope today’s episode helped you realize that marriage is a little easier than you may think. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.

If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us and our blog at MarriedPeople.org.  You can find more from Carlos at KillTheSpider.com and on his podcast Enter Wild.

Nov 08 2017

44mins

Play

Rank #20: MP 068: What are the keys to a high-performance marriage? (with Stephen & Kate Dahlin)

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We all probably have different definitions of what high performance means, but we can probably all agree that we want our marriage to perform well. And there are even a few simple tactics than any couple can implement to make their marriage work even better.

Meet out Guests

For this discussion, we’ve brought in a high performance couple, Kate and Steve Dahlin. The Dahlins are marriage mentors at the Two-To-One marriage ministry through North Point Church in Atlanta. Kate is also a life coach, who writes her own blog called Creating Exceptional. If you read the MarriedPeople blog, you’ll likely read some of Kate and Steve’s posts on marriage. The Dahlins live in Alpharatta, Ga., with their two young children.

 A reminder for our listeners - we have a new resource we’ve created called MarriedPeople Membership. It’s an online library for married couples just like you. And it only costs $8/month or $80/year to get access to all of our premium resources in one place.

The Interview Tell us a little about yourselves.

Steve: Kate and I have been married for 11 years. We met in college on the beach and got married the weekend after graduation. We honeymooned, got married, and got our first jobs all in the same month. God has blessed us with two great kids, ages five and three.

Kate: I started in the dancing and arts world late in life. I was with a company in Alabama and went up to New York in the summer with this group who brought in kids to see what your life would look like if you did that. I learned that my heart was in the teaching world.

How do you use your marriage to pour into other people?

Steve: We both had separate ministries up until we got married. Kate was with women’s groups, teaching, and kids ministry. I have a music background, so mine was in music. We really wanted to do something together. When we started attending Buckhead Church, they made an announcement around the pre-marriage mentoring, and we both felt a prick in our heart. We were so passionate and they had such a need.

Kate: At the same time, I was growing my lifestyle coaching business. When we got married, I went from dancing straight into being a mom and was comfortable there. I was playing it safe and felt God nudging me that there was more I needed to be doing. That turned into writing and lifestyle coaching, which dove tailed into the marriage mentoring.

Did you guys grow up seeing healthy marriages in the home?

Kate: Yes. My parents are married today, love each other to death. They have five kids and were a great role model. I think it was very rare because we both came to the table with that.

Steve: My parents have been married for 40 years this year. They both grew up in a religious background, but found Jesus together around the time I was born. We both benefited a lot from the upbringing. It’s very rare nowadays.

What did you guys see in their marriages that made them successful?

Kate: They learned to grow together as a team. For our grandparents, there was just this level of consistency. They were going to stick it out, it’s what you did. There was no other option. They truly loved doing life together and being a team.

Steve: For me, the spiritual foundation is crucial. My parents were not on the same page when they got married, and once the alignment came and they started building that platform on Christ, everything changed. We’ve had some family drama just like every other family, but you can see that spiritual foundation woven through.

What have you guys seen in your parents that you wanted to do in your marriage?

Kate: They were very open communicators. When I was younger, there was a little fear seeing them fight it out, but we learned how to work it out. Even as kids, they’d tell us they love each other, they just had to work it out.

Steve: Respect is what stands out in my mind. The recognition of each party and what they bring to the table. That mutual respect is what I took away.

How has your life coaching impacted your marriage?

Kate: I was a stay-at-home mom and God laid it on my heart that it was time to do more. I started seeking him on what I’d done in my past that I could leverage for the future. Teaching someone really resonates with me and the business just evolved over time.

It started out with fitness and personal training—ballet, health, and exercise. It was easy for me to do that as a side gig. As I started doing that with women, it began encompassing whole health. Once they started getting their fitness and health under control, I you could see that effect all areas of their life. So it grew from there.

What’s the difference between an exceptional life and the perfect life?

Kate: For us it’s about bucking the status quo. I’m a high achiever, Type A, oldest child. It’s not perfection, it’s about excellence. I had a mentor say, “It’s not about excess, it’s about excellence.”

Steve: An exceptional lifestyle is not about performance—it’s about the outcome. When you think about people getting wrapped up in trying to perform, that’s not what this is about. It marriage, life, and career you’re going to have ups and downs and you can’t avoid those. But you can control how you’re going to respond to those.

What do you mean by a ‘high-performance marriage’?

Kate: The definition for high performance is that you’re producing superior results. It’s not about perfection, but you’re definitely not the norm or average.

Steve: In my sales background, they pull the top sales rep up on stage and ask how they’re doing it. For us, that is going to be the outcome of a high performance marriage. People are going to see something in you that’s different. They’re going to want to know what your secret is.

What’s the first characteristic of a high-performance marriage?

Kate: The first characteristic is dreaming, which is about perspective. We like to take a positive spin on the relationship. No matter where you are, the dreaming aspect gets you out of the daily ground and answer the question, “where are we going?”

One of the biggest things for us is an adventure you can go on together. The best advice we would give someone is to go and travel. To get away and pull back from the daily grind. We try to get away every single year. Sometimes it’s just a hotel down the road for one night just to sleep. We encourage couples to start this tradition of getting away every year.

Steve: We’ve found when you do this, you can start dreaming about other areas of your life that matter. Your dating life, even your sex life. It’s a great opportunity to connect as a couple.

What happens to you as parents when you spend time just as a couple?

Kate: You’re recharged and you can dream. When you’re in the daily grind of work and schedules and school, and it can just get busy. When you get away and pull back, you can have rest and the opportunity to think bigger.

Steve: I’m always drawn to the movers and shakers in life. A lot of them have to get up early to make space and function. You look at Jesus—how many times did he retreat and pull away so he could come back recharged? From a marriage perspective, if you’re not doing that you’re going to burn out.

Do you have a system for dreaming together, or does it happen organically?

Steve: For us, vacation is vacation. We make sure we’re going away just us. We’ve done a couple trips with other people or visiting aunts and uncles. But making sure it’s just the two of us is important. Even the kids are starting to understand that.

There have been times there was a book or podcast we wanted to pull in and talk about. But most of the time it’s amazing what comes out in that dead time. I’m in sales, so I could talk forever. For some people it may be harder to start. We’ve tried to do some things around creating conversation and it’s amazing what happens.

Kate: The things to consider are: date, place, position, goal. What’s a date you’ve never done before? Where’s a place you want to go? Position has to do with your sex life. For goal: pick something really big you want to accomplish as a team.

The second characteristic is dating. How often do you go on dates?

Kate: We do date night every single week. Twice a month we actually go out. We get a babysitter; it’s in our budget. The other dates are home dates. We’ll feed the kids chicken nuggets, we’ll cook, play games. Making it a priority helps make it happen. When you call it ‘date night,’ you treat it differently. We treat it like a business meeting—we minimize distractions. We try not to talk about the kids or vent about the week. And we silence our cell phones.

Steve: Early on, I confused hanging out all the time with dating. Then, a mentor asked how much I spent every month on car payments. Without missing a beat, he then asked how much I was spending dating my life. It’s not about the dollar amount. My focus on dating completely changed.

Kate: If you don’t have the finances for a babysitter, you can swap time with another couple with kids. Just make it a habit. Don’t allow the busyness to squeeze this out.

The third characteristic is growing. How do you grow together?

Steve: I love the verse in Ecclesiastes that says two is better than one. This talks about the couple, but also the network you begin to build around you as you grow as a couple. You’ve got to find people in your phase of life who can walk beside you.

The next step is to find a couple a few steps around you who have already walked that road. For us, it’s creating that environment with peers and people ahead of you. Next, it’s looking to the next generation. You grow a lot as a couple when you start pulling up the next generation. Having that network around you is so crucial to growth.

Your one simple thing this week

Pick one of the three characteristics of a high-performance marriage and work on it together.

  • Dream: Write down one goal that you want to accomplish in your marriage during the next 10 years.
  • Grow: Pray together so you can grow deeper as a couple.
  • Date: Do something you’ve never done before on a date night.
Show Closing

Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review—they help us make the podcast better.  We want to hear from you! Share with us on Facebook, Instagram or our site.  If you want more resources, check out the MarriedPeople membership.  You can find more from Kate on her blog or site.

Apr 24 2019

45mins

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