Beauty in Battle Podcast

Creating Healthy Marriage Culture

January 24, 2023 Jason Benham, Tori Benham Episode 54
Creating Healthy Marriage Culture
Beauty in Battle Podcast
More Info
Beauty in Battle Podcast
Creating Healthy Marriage Culture
Jan 24, 2023 Episode 54
Jason Benham, Tori Benham

Last week we talked about best practices in marriage and gave seven things couples can do to help strengthen their marriage. This week we decided to bring on some friends of ours who model many healthy marriage habits that have allowed them to embrace a busy life while growing close together at the same time. 

Tune in and learn how laughing together draws you together, how to use celebration as a tool to draw you close, why communication is the lifeblood of relationship, and the number one way to assure success in your relationship.

Join us and our pals, Steven and April Stinson, as we dive into the things they do that's helped establish a healthy marriage culture in their home. 

April owns her own business. Steven is a pastor. Needless to say, these two are busy. But they have found a way to stay close amidst the chaos and have some great advice to help others do the same. 


Show Notes Transcript

Last week we talked about best practices in marriage and gave seven things couples can do to help strengthen their marriage. This week we decided to bring on some friends of ours who model many healthy marriage habits that have allowed them to embrace a busy life while growing close together at the same time. 

Tune in and learn how laughing together draws you together, how to use celebration as a tool to draw you close, why communication is the lifeblood of relationship, and the number one way to assure success in your relationship.

Join us and our pals, Steven and April Stinson, as we dive into the things they do that's helped establish a healthy marriage culture in their home. 

April owns her own business. Steven is a pastor. Needless to say, these two are busy. But they have found a way to stay close amidst the chaos and have some great advice to help others do the same. 


All right. We're pumped about this week's, uh, podcast. Last week we talked about marriage best practices, and this week we brought. Some straight up marriage, assassins, experts, . Wait, marriage assassin doesn't even sound right, does it? No, it sounds good. Doesn't sound good. Sounds like you're, you're like killing relations.

We kill, we kill marriage. Oh, that is true. , we kill marriage. We have Pastor Steven Stenson with us and his bride April, and they are fantastic. They're very, very good friends of ours. And so last week we talked about marriage's, best practices. And this week we wanted to bring them on because they council couples obviously, uh, running a church and April has her own business.

The number one hair stylist. Hair. What do you call yourself? It is, it's hair stylist. That's what you call it. Yeah, it is. You're right. See, I didn't wanna say barber. Yeah, that's not right. You don't say that. That's not right. Steven and I would go to a barber. Yeah, right. . Yeah. That's a man. Have you ever trimmed Steven's?

Yeah. Do you like doing that? No. Tori won't trim my beard. She, she does Not The whole beard, the mustache. Just the . But no, I've had to do your beard before. And it gets off on the lips. She gets, it's gross. It's nasty. Gets off the lip. It's, I was like, I didn't, I didn't sign up for this. That was not in the vows.

And here's what I love, shave. Uh. Steven and April are both from the Bronx, as you can tell by their accent. Yeah. Yeah. just kidding. We try to hide it. They're as southern as you can get. They're and they are absolutely fun. And since we talked best practices last week, we figured we'd bring them in here cuz they're a couple things that Tory and I have noticed about their relationship Yeah.

That we wanna talk with you guys about. And then as you counsel couples, and especially Steven as your pastor, what are. Things that you've seen in counseling, other couples that you would like other couples to hear and uh, maybe I could say other couples. One more time. . You should try other couples. . Okay, so we asked them first, what is your favorite song?

Slow Song. It is dance song. And you guys told us this is a song that you danced to at your wedding, right? It's a classic one. Yes. I love it. It's classic. It's country. It is country. It's Claim black. Do y'all still? Yeah. You can't go wrong. No. Do y'all still dance? When it comes on your heart, you just still get butterflies.

Oh yeah. But that means no. Do you actually dance to it? Come on. We haven't played it. We've not played it in a while. Tour. It's been a while. Let's play it and see if they'll dance. Let, let's, let's take a little teaser here. All right, here we go.

Be faithful and true. Aww. I love that. Nice. That song reminds me so much of when I was in college. Yeah. When did that come out? Like I would say early nineties. Yeah, yeah. No, no. Cause no, it was right before we got married because we got married in, in 2001 and it was literally like the year. . It was very soon.

Late nineties or like 2000. Dunno, Clint Black. When when I say I do, yes. When I say I do. Mm-hmm. . There you go. Mm-hmm. . Okay. So, and y'all can't see cause it's a podcast, but we danced the whole time. They podcast . They did . They were dancing in their mind. That's right. Yes. Okay. So, and all. Yeah. It was good. All right.

So I wanna kick this off. Marriage, best practice. Here's what Tori and I have seen with both of you, and this is what we love about you guys. And you, you make each other laugh so much. You make other people laugh, but what you, what I what we've seen in your relationship is that you guys know how to use humor.

Mm-hmm. your good sense of humor to keep your relationship vibrant. Yep. Talk with us about that. Who wants to go first? I'll let you go first. I think you have to, mar marriage is hard enough, right? So, yeah. Um, have fun with it. Yeah. We, we, we do things. Crazy thing. I probably shouldn't say this, but y'all know this.

let it loose, man. All right. Valentine's. Anytime we do a card, we do two cards. Yeah. One's a traditional, this is how I feel about you. Yeah. And the other one is a sexy card. Yeah. . Something fun and, uh, Probably inappropriate. Yeah. We just do it for each other, like, I love it. It was great until her dad picked it up one time and, and read it Oh.

On a Valentine's thing. But no, we, we have fun with that. With, with, with everything. I ran into you one time in Target when you had picked up your sexy card and I showed him to you. I made you read them. Yep. Yeah. We were laughing so hard. Oh. I was like, he's, so you guys have been doing that your entire marriage?

I'd say, if not the entire time. Most of it, yeah. I would. Probably all of 'em. Yeah. Yeah. To be honest with you, that's so fun. Have you ever gotten a sexy card for another? No. Did you have to think about that? Did you have to think about that? No, I did. I wanted to make sure I had it, but no, I don't think I have.

That's really funny, the sexy card. So Tori hasn't gotten me a sexy card yet. No. Tori, I thought after that you would take the lean. I'm take, I'm copying it. Okay. You just have to be careful. Like either you present that in private or you present it and then hide it. Yeah. So your kids don't. Father-in-law do not pick it up and immediately start reading it.

That's, that's a, uh, that's a difficult thing. But I, I think that is a great thing about our marriage. We, we do have fun with each other. Mm-hmm. . Yep. We like to joke around. Probably sometimes I take it too far and she's quick to let me know when that happens, but we, we have fun with it and, and. We deal with and everybody does.

You deal with so much serious, right? Mm-hmm. that it's good to be able to laugh. Yeah. Yeah. We know each other well enough now where we know what we can say to make each other laugh. We know each other well enough, where we know what not to say. Yeah. Oh yeah. To cross that line. Right? But we do try to put humor into it.

I, I think it's important for our kids to see that. I think it's important for, you know, other people to see that. . We love each other and we truly do love each other, and she's my best friend, so we gotta have fun together. Right. So it's it's an amazing thing. It is. See, see, I love that because, um, couples who laugh together stay together and seeing you two, you're, you're total like best buddies.

Yes. Oh yeah. Yeah. There are so many couples that love each other, but then they don't seem like they really like each other. Yeah. Do you think that's true, April? I definitely think that's true. I, I literally said to him the other day, it made me sad. . You see so many couples. We were at a restaurant and they were probably in their late seventies, maybe early eighties, and they didn't say like two words to each other.

Oh, wow. And my heart just kind of broke because I thought at some point in the marriage it, it broke enough that they didn't feel the need to really have conversation anymore. Right, right. And it, it made me sad. Yeah, it did. I think naturally, um, you know, as Jason were and I were talking about different things that we see in your marriage that are just strong marriage practices, one being humor.

Um, we were just talking about like, I think that's something, it's your personalities. Obviously. You're both like, you're both really funny and don't take life too seriously. But I was gonna ask you April, do you feel. Because I know for Jason and I, at the beginning, beginning of our marriage, I would be very offended by different things that he would say.

And I did. I took things too seriously until I kind of figured out like, this is Jason. Like he's just being funny. Yeah. And you kind of have to, like aj, you kind of have this adjustment season when you're like, all right, this is, you know, I'm gonna go with this. I don't know that I really had an adjustment season because he has always been that way.

Like that was one of the things that attracted me to him. Um, he. He just was always the life of the party. Like there was always this one liner that he always played, you know, like it. He could always come in and like save the day. Like the room would just be like, and he's making it magical, you know, . It's just, I don't know.

There was never, there was never a time I had to adjust to it, because that's who he always was, you know? So you've always kind of known how to take it. Yes, yes. Yep, yep. You know, Dr. John Gottman who wrote the seven Principles that Make Marriage Work, and he's the. Marriage psychologist. He talked about the importance of humor and how humor can help people overcome conflict.

And, and one of the things that Tori and I talk about in our marriage bootcamp that we release in a month where conflict is meant for connection. It's the opportunity to turn me into we. And so God puts you into conflict. One of the ways that conflict can draw you closer together is in the middle of the conflict for you guys to use some.

Type of humor for, for someone to do that. Now, here's the thing. Stephen May be a funny dude. You know, he may have a very good sense of humor. You don't have to have a sense of humor to use humor in your marriage. Like you may not be a funny person, right? You know? Mm-hmm. , but yet you and your spouse have some type of internal language, like some, some special words that you can use at certain times For Tori and I when we first got married.

Um, actually when our kids were really young, I was pension pennies. I was trying to build a business and she wanted to go to fair. I didn't wanna go to the fair and I was complaining about how much it money, it cost, or whatever. And then at some point, even while we were at the fair, I complained and she turned around and threw a $5 bill at me and said, wipe your butt with this

She literally did. You told this story on the podcast before? Yeah. That's good. It was a perfect time, but it's a say. It's like, okay, so now one of our funny little lines is Wipe your butt with this . . That's kind of crazy. That's a good thing though about marriage. You and your spouse know each other better than anybody else.

So like you said, you don't have to be a funny, you can be a serious person, you know, and, but you know your spouse like nobody else does. Yeah. So, you know, those things, those funny things that, that, you know, can, can set off a bad conversation and, and, and like reset everybody to Yeah, exactly. As y'all would say, to start fighting, show, you know, back to back instead of at each other.

Yeah, that's right. So I, I, I think that is, that's a very good point that, that tell Yeah, tell them what you said though. Maybe about a year ago, you. April, um, you, um, I think the, the thing I love about you most is your humor now. Like you weren't this funny when we got married. . Yeah. Do you remember what you said, ex Explain it how you said it.

I, I don't remember, but that is true. Like, I didn't marry her for humor. , she was hot and, and she, I suckered her in. You rub rubbed off on her. Yeah. And so, no, she is, So funny now. Yeah. I mean, it just, uh, she makes me laugh. Yeah. Like, it's funny, our, our oldest son, he's 19. He, he said the other day, he. . I don't even know how he said I'm gonna mess it up, but he goes, dad, you would really rather be with mom than anybody.

It's like, yeah. Yeah. I think that's so good for our kids to see too that Yeah. Yeah. That's my best friend. Yeah. That that's who I want to be with. Right. Well, and I think a big part of that is that you guys can be yourselves around each other. Yeah. You can. Like I, I think, um, I think the first couple years of marriage, I was a little bit stifling almost to you.

Like, I think that you would try to. Really funny or something. I'd be like nudging him and be like, stop. You know what I mean? Like, and I think it was, you know, I needed to like loosen up and be like, this is you and I love you. I love exactly how you are. And I think that you guys do that really naturally.

You're like, you're just, you know each other really well. You let each other be who you are. And I love it. I think it's awesome. Yeah. And I think the, the secret for couples out there is just to relax, have fun. Yeah. Just chill out. You know, I think it was probably after the 20th or 25th time that I told the server at the restaurant that Tori can't order Brussels sprouts cuz they give her explosive diarrhea.

that she actually went with it. Yeah. Now I can't say everything that comes to my mind because she has coached me. Yeah. Do you remember that one time we went to dinner and then went to that, um, orchestra thing and we literally are about to sit down and Jason says, excuse her. This might, these chairs might be too close.

My wife, she passes gas a lot, , and I was like, oh my, how am I supposed to respond? I'm sorry. Need to smile and say I'm sorry. Condition. I'm sorry. It's a condition. . That was back in the day. Uh, Covid was hot and heavy. Yeah. Everybody was wearing masks and so everybody was all freaked out. Right. It's like good thing you're wearing a mask there, homie.

she cheats a lot. So now let me, let me pivot cuz here's another good marriage, best practice that we've seen with you guys. And April you actually did this when we came in and you were talking about Steven, his sermon on Sunday. But here's what you guys do really well and it's kind of multifaceted, but.

but you celebrate each other. Mm-hmm. , like you celebrate each other, but then you also celebrate people in your life. Yeah. Like I, I, I don't have, you know, I got the greatest friends of all, but. . Every single birthday I'm coming to y'all's house. , I get a filet from Steven. I get the twice baked potatoes and the mushrooms.

Yeah. And the homemade ranch and all the stuff that you do. Yeah. From April. And you're celebrating. It's incredible. It is. I was telling Jason, I'm like, they, you guys have a culture of celebration in your home. Yeah. And like I feel like anytime we have a birthday, anytime one of your kids have a birthday, your, your house is, Has the balloon.

She, um, April's a big balloon girl, , which is awesome. My, I think it was my, your 40th, was it? My 40th? Uhhuh . You weren't on vacation. And I got this beautiful Oh yeah. Bouquet of, wait, was that my 40th? No, no, that was my, no, it was like 38th and then your 40th. I had it sitting here when you got That's right.

Let's get it. Straight legs delivered. Yeah. I had him do to your beach house. Merle Beach. Yeah. To your beach. A bouquet of flowers. , let play a What year balloon was that? . What's my bathing suit? I had on that day? Que balloons? No, I thought you were talking about your 40th one. I had your four and your zero waiting on you here.

Yes. Oh, that was another one. But I think you guys do this really well. You guys have this culture of celebration where you. Just celebrate the little things and you make things really, really special. And I think I've seen that with you guys in your marriage. It spills out into your life, but it, it, it's also really a beautiful thing to see in your marriage.

You like what you did today when you walked in and she, yeah. April walks in and I, and so I asked Steven, I'm like, okay, pastor, what'd you preach on Sunday? And she's like, oh my gosh, you should have heard it. It. And then it took her, you know, 10 minutes to tell us what the sermon was and she got about 80% of it, right?

Or he only 80%. Why don't you, why don't you crank up? What would you say to wives out there who maybe struggle celebrating? things with the, that their husband does. You know, like, uh, this one time I had read a book and it, it talked about the men's ego and that the Lord created y'all for an ego. Mm-hmm.

but not on a bad way, but like, we need to make sure that we're encouraging and that we're lifting them up because life is hard. Yeah. And all the stresses of life and work and all, and church and everything. And, um, it is just always been my goal as a mother and a wife to. . Just encourage my kids and my husband and Yeah.

And make things fun, you know? Yeah. Like I want my family and my friends to know how loved they are. Like, I don't want it to be like, oh, I have to guess, does April love me? No, I don't. I don't want it to be a guess. I want them to see, um, the other year there was a situation that, um, I didn't know that I would be able to make this big, you know, stuff for, uh, Valentine's.

I do this big like stuffed French toast with strawberries and Nutella, but there's balloons on the floor at their seat everywhere. Yeah. And the kids were like, what? You're not gonna be able to, I mean, it was like this dramatic thing, but , um, I don't know. I just, I want the people in my life to know that they're loved.

Yeah. I think you do a really good job with that. I think it comes really natural to you, but I think we can learn from people who things come natural to that may, they may not come natural to us. I think it's a mindset. I think you're always thinking about what, what the fun and special thing to do would be.

You know, like I like For you, did you grow up in that kind of environment or, so I was an only child and my mom, she did always make me feel special. Like I woke up and that's where my love of balloons came from. For my mom, it was always a balloon at every event. I remember one time in my, like at a piano recital that I had, do you remember those clear balloons that sat on the table and they were like an egg shape and you could get stuff stuffed in there?

Yes. Yeah. She had. Like, you know, dollar bills, but then gift cards and like other things in there as like, it was the end of the year and to celebrate my rec recital. And I just always thought, my mom, it's not that she, I probably go over just a little bit more overboard than she does, but I learned from her, like those, she just always treated those special events like super sweet.

And so, yes, I just, I took it to another notch. I think that , I love it. I love, I don't know, just love it. So we can actually. Go the spiritual route and turn it over to the pastor because Psalm 100 verse four is such, and, and I share this with so many people, but especially two wives for their husbands, where psalm hundred four says, enter my gates with Thanksgiving in my courts with praise.

If you want God's presence, start with thanking him for what he does and praising him for who he is. Mm-hmm. , you do that, you get the presence of the Almighty God. Yeah. And I've told wives the same thing you do that you get your husband's presence. Mm-hmm. , what would you say about Celebr? in the context of relationship.

I'll say that she is the expert at that. Yeah. Thing about like your birthday or something. For me, it's like, all right, we're gonna do filets. Mm-hmm. like, that's it. That's, that's it. That's all you care about. That's, yeah. No, we gotta get the balloons and we gotta put out this and this and this. Cause she truly wants everybody to feel special.

Yeah. And I think that's such an amazing thing. She's taught me so much. Mm-hmm. because, Like, I have an anxiety for balloons because she loves 'em so much. and everybody's birthday, everything she, she wants, okay. We, we get a balloons. We, we have a meeting tonight with some of our church people, and it's one of their birthdays.

She's like, can we run by the store when we leave the podcast before? I'm like, no, we not. They don't need a balloon. It's a, it's a guy. He don't care, you know? But yeah. She wants everybody to feel special. It's not a party if there's not a balloon. Yeah, that's that's right. But I, I think too, you know how she makes me feel.

I would rather, other than the Lord. Mm-hmm. , I would rather hear praise from her than anybody. Mm. Right. Because that's, she means more to me than anybody else. So she does such an amazing job at that to where I know I probably fall short because. She exceeds it so well, but yeah, I can't imagine where I would truly be if I didn't follow her lead.

Some it'd be really bad probably with, with, with prn, but no, she just, she has that heart for people and it as, as a pastor's wife, like that's one of the greatest attributes she has and how she's, I I think if Sunday I stood up and said, you know, I'm stepping down as pastor, they would be like, well, what's April gonna do?

Because I think they. More about her. That's funny. How she loves everybody. It's just, it's, it's truly a gift. Yeah. It's truly a gift that she has the Lord's given her. But it does, it, it, it makes your marriage like you, you look not to her approval. Mm-hmm. . But when she says things like me listening to her, talk to y'all about the sermon.

Mm-hmm. , she made it sound a hundred times better than, than it probably really was, but I'm over there going, yeah, that's my wife. I mean, like, it pumps me off right now. So it is for, for marriage. That's the greatest thing. Well, and two, you know, April, what you were saying came as a result of what you were thinking.

Mm-hmm. . So when he's up there preaching, you're thinking, that's my. Good job. He probably screwed up a little bit. Oh, you know, you probably missed a point or two. I choked one time, like I ate something. Did you? You know, and I don't know what happened. You know, my brother did that in the middle of me and him talking in San Antonio in front, in front of thousands of people.

And he got a pomegranate seed stuck in his tooth and in the middle of him talking it came out and he goes, oh, I'm So for her, he literally spit it out on the stage InBody, but at least he was eating. Yeah, like I had nothing. I don't know what happened. It wasn't Lord's supper or anything. It was just dry mouth and just choked in front of everybody.

Anyways, I digress. But what I'm saying is this culture of celebration in the context. Marriage is take time to think positive, good thoughts about your spouse. Mm-hmm. and marinate on those things. Yeah. If you marinate on those things, husband to wife, wife to husband, and then say 'em. Yeah. Because out of the abundance of your heart, the mouth speaks.

Yeah. So that's in your heart, your, that love and appreciation for Steven and his, his ability to digest the word and to expound, is that the word? Yeah. Yeah. Um, you are taking that in and you're thinking like, that's amazing. And then it comes out of. Well, I'll tell you this, and I've said this to a lot of people, it's so neat how the Lord does this on Sundays.

It's like something switches like he's not my husband up there. He's my shepherd. Mm-hmm. . Wow. And it's like the most beautiful thing because I'm not looking to him as like my other half. I'm looking to him as my shepherd leading me. Wow. Biblically. Wow. Tor do you see? That's amazing. I do like in the shepherd's robe staff and, but I love that you just said that because Steven, a minute ago, you.

that you let her lead. and now you, now you're saying that you let him lead you. I think it's a mutual thing in relationship, and I think it's such a beautiful thing because you both are letting each other lead in your strengths. Oh, wow. Now we're getting into That's good. Some serious Ephesians five stuff.

Yeah, that's right. The abuse of the passage that the woman is supposed to submit to the man and, and it is true in terms of. Authority structure that, you know, Eve's the one that ate the fruit, but Adam's the one that got in trouble. But that passage is built on the foundation of the passage, mutual of mutual submission submit to one another.

That's right. So God has given April certain strengths that he hasn't given to you and you let her lead in that. Yeah, exactly. And And vice versa. Yeah. I mean, you look at spiritual gifts in general and how, you know, and I'm getting away from marriage more into the church, but. If you're a mercy giver, you shouldn't be in the role of administration if that's not your gift.

That's right. Your gifts are lended to make the body. Yeah. Yeah. And if marriage is a body, we each have our strengths. Yeah. I, I liked what you said, Tori, too, you know, when you're talking about different situations like letting her lead, things like that, or what you focus on. When we focus, we could all focus on negative.

That's right. If she could look at me more than I can look at her and say, oh my God, he does this wrong, he does this wrong, he does this wrong. , when you focus on the positive, what does that do? It gives you a positive, thankful attitude. And so we focus on the negative. Satan's gonna creep in there into your relationship.

He's gonna creep into your life. Mm-hmm. and be like, oh my gosh, look at this, where they're falling short. Look at this and where you could do so much better, whatever it is. When you focus on the positive, what are you doing? You're celebrating that person that God's given you. Yes. Yeah. And I think that's a huge practice that you have to do, and it's amazing how brain science is catching up with the.

That negative thinking literally changes your brain pathways and it harms your physical body and all your relationships. Yeah, so switching it around like that. Okay, let's stay in the church and let's talk about you guys counseling other couples, you know Steven specifically, you whenever you have to talk to couples.

What have you seen in the church? Maybe some best practices in terms of what you would encourage couples that come in to see you. Hey, you guys need to be doing this in your marriage. , first of all. And, and I think this is probably a given for everybody. If I'm drawn closer to the Lord and that's my number one focus, and if my spouse is drawn closer to the Lord and that's her number one focus, we are going to draw closer together.

Oh, that's good. Mm-hmm. . And so if we're not putting Christ first in our relationship, sometimes we might wanna separate it and, and let's go get the greatest, uh, marriage help book or whatever it is. Yeah. No. If I'm focusing on me and growing more like Christ and she's grow, focusing on growing more like.

we're gonna grow together. That's good. And it's not because of what we do, it's cause of Christ and us. Mm-hmm. . And, and so I think that's the number one focus. You know, one of the first things when couples come and they're having problems, you listen to their problems. But my first question is, tell me about your quiet time.

Mm-hmm. . Yeah. That's foundation. Boom. And sometimes people look at you like, well, what does that have to do with anything that's spiritual. This is my marriage. Well, marriage is spiritual. That's right. It's, yeah, exactly. It's biblical. I mean, it's, it's, oh my gosh. The example of Christ is love for the church.

So that's the first question to ask. Cause if we're not focusing on their growth in Christ, we're gonna fail in every aspect of life. It might just hit our marriage first, but it's gonna hit us everywhere. So that is number one is, is your relationship with each other. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I think number two, the biggest problem is communication.

Yeah. And the lack of communication that what, what is that, that, that famous quote that says, the number one problem in communication is the illusion that it's taking place. Yeah. Mm, yeah. That's so true. And, and what we do is instead of having that difficult conversation, instead of letting our spouse know how we feel, instead of having an uncomfortable couple of days, maybe as you deal through situ.

we allow walls to be built. Mm, mm-hmm. . And the more the walls are built, the more blinded that we are. Yeah. And the more blinded we are, the more Satan can use that to turn us in another direction. That's true. And, and you, I just see so much where, well, she wasn't treating me how I wanted to be treated. Hmm.

He didn't do these things Well, what'd they say when you talked to him about it? Well, I didn't let him know. Well, nobody in marriage is a mind reader. Yeah. Like we, we can pick up if our spouse is upset or something. , are we communicating? Are we having difficult communications? Yeah. To, to understand like neither one of us are perfect.

Mm-hmm. . Yeah. But what happens is we allow those walls to be built and that wall, those walls blind us and they turn us in another direction. Mm-hmm. . And so with, with, with affairs, with divorce, most of the time it's, they, they, they're, their needs aren't being met here anymore. Yeah. And, and how selfish of a, of a idea is that?

How selfish of it. The fact that it's about me, right? And it's not about us. It's not about the two of us. And so when you have those conversations with people and they, they, they don't have the conversation, they don't have the difficult conversation, and then down the road they're having much more difficult conversations because they didn't practice communication in the beginning.

Mm-hmm. . So that's good. That's a tough one. So let's look at both of those. So you've got communication. That's the second thing. But then you've also got this, hey, the more you focus on your individual relationship with the Lord and the closer that each of you as a spouse draws to. , the closer that you're gonna draw together.

Tori and I call that in our book, trust the Triangle. Yep. Right? Mm-hmm. , you know, it's the triangle. The before oneness. There has to be twoness, two individually healthy people. And the the, the reality is, and you said this earlier, About how uh, you receive love from the Lord. And then you talked about how that April shows you so much love.

That's how God shows us love. That's right. Is doing it through our spouse. Mm-hmm. , you know, so like me as a spouse, I need to recognize God's not just my father, he is my father-in-law. He wants to bless his daughter. How's he gonna do it? He's gonna do it through me. Yeah. So when God wants to do something in the material world, he does it through the portal of man.

If he does it any other way, it's called a miracle. Yeah. So he wants to use me. I have to do my job to make sure that I'm right with. So that I can be good with her. And it is so crazy how awesome that is, that when you do focus on that relationship with the Lord and, and then you recognize all those scriptures that say do unto others as you would have them do under you and all the others.

that you read about in the scripture, the stuff you're supposed to do, the number one other is your spouse. Yeah. Mm-hmm. , like I get an opportunity to do something nice for her. Even if, and this is rare on her occasion, she becomes one of the least of these I've become one of the least of these rare, yeah.

a lot more. Right. So, and, and I love that. Um, but then looking at communication. So April, I wanna turn this back over to you. You guys communicate really? , like I know just, just being around you for as long as we have. You guys have very open dialogue. Mm-hmm. , what's something that you would say to wives that can maybe help with communication?

I think a lot of times I think if you are not being self-reflective mm-hmm. and looking at yourself and saying, what can I do better? . Yeah, that's good. Then you've missed the mark. Yeah. Because I think everything should be growing your walk with the Lord, but also your relationship with your spouse. Yeah.

Like we've been married, uh, 22 years, coming up in June and like everything's gotten better. Mm-hmm. because we have grown together. Mm. There wasn't growing apart. . Um, and so I think that self reflectiveness of looking at and going, how can I love my spouse better? What can I do more? Wow. That, where am I missing the mark?

Yeah. And you know, I remember when we first got married and we did, you know, the five love language thing. You know, everybody did that pre-marriage thing. Well, hold on. What are you, um, just love language. Well, it's funny we just said the other day, we've gotta do it again. Yeah. Because I don't know it changes.

Yep. But you know what, it always, it was always, he was acts of. I don't know where you at at the beginning. I have no idea. Well, he, you know, it says, well it says in the book, back when you, we took it 23 years ago, it said what? Usually you do the acts, you do what the thing that you want. Well, he's definitely acts of service.

He's definitely acts of service because he's so sweet and will wash the dishes. He's freakish I was gonna say, on acts of service with, he won't even let me wash the dishes cuz I do 'em wrong. like I'll, I can dry out of all people in my life. And I'm saying this seriously. I would trust you the most with my, oh, isn't that Cause I'm ocd.

We're kinda ocd. OCD about that together. We're on the same level there for sure. But if I go to the dishwasher and somebody else did it, it tears me up. It does. Like if I, if I did, it'd be a problem. I wasn't gonna say it to her. Just say it when you said least of these earlier. I was thinking when she loses the dishwasher , I overload.

So he's an ActX of service guy. He's definitely, definitely, I don't know, uh, I don't know what mine. I'm not sure. Yeah, I'm not sure. Okay. But I think it's definitely, you know, making sure, like as you grow in your marriage, you don't just say, what was I, what was our love like at the beginning? Mm-hmm. . It has to grow.

Yeah. Yeah. So good. That is good. I love that. Cuz you were saying when being reflective, it takes a lot of humility. Like, what, I'm not doing everything right. There's probably ways that I can improve, but I think that it, it takes intentionality for sure. . I think early on when our kids were younger, it was hard to be so intentional because you're so focused on these little tiny children all the time.

Oh, yeah. But I think, um, as they start to grow up, you're like, I can't, I've gotta invest more in my spouse. Yeah. Because you start to see like, oh, my word at my focus is just on your, some tiny, tiny children, you know? Mm-hmm. . Yep. So it is, I've had a question for you guys. This, this popped up in my mind.

Mm-hmm. Steven, because she's so good at loving others. Does that ever, do you ever feel second fiddle because she has such, such a gift of loving other people well and thinking of others. How can that affect, I think just with her dad, like she, how she treats her dad compared to how she treats me. No, I'm just joking.

I was so funny. I did win. I love you. I love you. No less than my father. You know? I winked at him. , I think. She treats me amazing. Like I don't, I think any, for any couple though, if you're busy all the time doing stuff for other people, you, you have to be careful cause everybody else can't be number one.

Your, your family's gotta be number one. That's good. So we hold each other accountable to that. Okay. Cause it's easy for church people will take me away all the time. But church people take her away all the time and they don't do it. , but they don't realize what they're doing. So to my heart, each other, my heart too is, like you said, my heart is serving.

You know? So you are such, so I'll reel. He'll have to reel me in. I'm not reel her in cause she won't say no. Okay. That's what I was gonna ask you is what do you guys practically do? I mean, y'all are the funnest people in the world, but at the same time, y'all are some of the busiest people. Cuz you've got the church, you've got your business and all sorts of.

How do you guys make sure that you keep your relationship first and foremost? Like what are some of the practical things you do? Like healthy marriage habits? I mean, being very transparent. Sometimes we don't do a good job. Yeah. And, and, and it gets to that point, we're almost, we call each other out starving for each other.

Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And so you both call each other out. Yep. Yeah. Um, one thing we, we, we've said we're doing this year is a date night. Yeah. It's just US two or us and another couple. Just something away from everything else. Yeah. Mm-hmm. being a, having a church and when your wife's so involved in the church, you have to be careful because the church can become your time together.

Right? Yeah. And we were married. I mean, I was a firefighter when we got married. We were married, yeah. Long before the church came along, and so we've gotta have an identity outside of the church. Mm. That's I important for us. And so we, we do, we've gotten well at calling each other out. And I'll tell her, I'll say, he'll, he'll, he will, all right, honey, I'm, I'm about reached it.

We're good. You know, with everybody. Let's take a little break and you say no. And if I hear, say no, sometimes I'll clap, you know? Cause I'd be so proud of her for you. So, a few months ago I had been kind of like, between my business and. Things in life and maybe different things with the kids too. And I could tell he was starving for my attention.

And how could you tell? I could tell he was just kind of Moy and just like who? Little sis . I could just kinda see it. He said he was all the crying, I guess. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So he had been wanting to see goats like for three years. Little tiny baby goats. He wanted to go see the goat, not a movie goat.

I was gonna say, is that like farm goats? Goats, farm animal. Goats. Real goats. Farm animal goats. Okay. So I said to him, it was a Monday, I was working at the salon and he, I said, do not plan anything tomorrow. And it, and the Lord had worked it out too, because he didn't have to preach that Sunday. So he wasn't preparing a sermon.

Yeah. So it was easier for him to take a day off. So I said, don't plan anything. And um, I'd called, made reservations, booked the appointment, and there's a goat for him just right down the road, like in Mount Pleasant. And sure enough, it was just us and the goats. You should have seen his face. Amazing. Well, I don't understand the goats.

He loves, he loves baby goats, love animals. Well, there were reels, I guess during Covid. He like saw goat reels and the goat would just like, it was like in the mountains of Ireland or something and it would just jump to you, like to the camera and he. Turn the wheel around. This is a little bit shocking to Jason and I right now.

Yeah, I had no idea you guys loved goats. Well, not me so much. I was in heaven. He was. I was a goat heaven. He was. He just wanted to go see a baby goat. So I booked it and then we went to lunch afterwards. I love it was, and so, but I knew absolutely incredible. But I knew, I had seen kind of his demeanor. I had not been able to give as much, like I had gone away on this trip and then I had to do all this other stuff.

Oh my goodness. He's showing us a picture. This we are about to post. I mean, look at all these guns. This is, this is a really ghost. This really happened ghost. Well, they're like dogs. They come up to you like a dog. It was unbelievable. Wow. Absolutely. It was so cute. But, but it is picking up on those things.

Yeah. And drop. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . But it took proactiveness for you to actually plan a day like that. I can't tell you the number of people that I've talked to that have, that are married and they haven't done that. Like, they don't, they're not thinking proactively of something nice they can do for their. to draw 'em close together.

Yeah. And that's so just, it's not good. That's what I was gonna say. That's a scary path. Yeah. Because you, you get used to that. Not, you know, having the desire to be together makes that happen. Yeah. Makes you drop everything you, you're doing. Uh, you guys do an amazing job at that, I think. But if you don't have that, what all that I think's gonna do is grow you apart.

Yeah. If, if, even if you have little kids and stuff like that mm-hmm. , you've, you've gotta be careful to make sure you still put your spouse number one. Hey, you guys have some other good marriage habits. Um, and one of them that I think is actually pretty cool because Tory and I have started doing this probably a couple years ago when it got real popular, is, is having a show together.

Yeah. Like watching some show that you watch together. Yeah. Yeah. We do. You know? Yeah. It, it, it's your, your go-to. I love it, and you got a little free time, you know, turn, turn your brain off and just chill together. Mm-hmm. and it gives you something to talk about. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah. . That's one of when we're together, that's one of the, what have you watched lately?

That's one of the questions we always ask each other. What are you watching? Do you know it's gonna be clean? Yeah, that's right. I mean, I know there's, there's the, the argument that the, the TV is the enemy and all that kind of stuff, but I mean, you could find something really good and clean. And watch something together.

Yeah. And it become a part of what you do. Yeah. For fun. I think so. Yeah. I agree. . Okay. So before we, we leave this conversation, April, you are an amazing cook, one of my favorites. So I wanted you to share one of your favorite recipes with us. Ooh. Well, um, when Tori asked me this, I was like, I have no idea.

Like, what am I gonna share? Everything that you make is amazing cause you just do it from scr, everything's from scratch. You're so sweet. Um, when we were building our house, we were living with my parents and I had just gotten in this rut of like cooking the same thing or like trying to go on Pinterest and find any recipe.

So one night I was like, what do I have here? And we had bacon, we had chicken, and I said, I'm sure if I mix honey and mustard, it's just gonna be some great honey mustard . Yeah. So I did three parts. to one part mustard. Okay? And then you can mix it up more or less. But what I've found is I don't wrap the chicken completely with the bacon because the bacon underneath the chicken can be a little too soggy.

Okay? So what I do is I cut the bacon, lay it across the chicken, regular bacon or thick or thick, cut bacon, um, regular bacon. Okay? Is fine. and, but I bake it in the oven first to let it cook a little bit and then put the honey mustard over top of it. And then I serve it with um, like a yummy nearest, uh, the brand nearest.

They have like a great chicken flavor rice, and then I, I saute some green beans and that's like just a great, every time it's gone, you made this for us and it's incredible. That's all it is. It's all it is. So is it chicken breasts or chicken tenders? What do you I love chicken tenderloins over breast cuz of the size.

I like the size of it better. Um, so I usually do chicken tenderloins. Okay. And then I put the bacon across, like cut it so that it goes across the top. So you cook the chicken first? I cook the chicken and the bacon first so that bacon's cooking over the chicken. Okay. And then get that kind of crispy a little bit because if not then the, the sauce can kind of, um, , it can make it too sticky.

Okay. And so then I put it on like maybe after, it cooks for about 30 minutes. Okay. In the oven for on three 50. And then I put the sauce over top of it and let it cook for about another 30 minutes. The chicken and the bacon. Uhhuh ? Yes. Okay. Everything. Everything. And you just bake it. So three parts honey, three parts to one part mustard.

So it depends on how much. Chicken you're making uhhuh how much chicken you're making. But then also too, some people's, it's simple. Some people, so I use local honey. Mm-hmm. and regular yellow mustard. Okay. And it depends on the person too. Like some people might like it sweeter or like it a little bit more mustard.

So you can I taste it? Yeah. Like after I mix it together to make sure that it's the right, you know. So you cook it at what, three 50? Three 50 for about 30 minutes. Okay. And then I put. Sauce on it over it, and then cook it for another 30. Okay. And then if, if your bacon's not quite crispy enough, then I'll put it on Broil for like a minute just to give it a little bit of a crisp.

Tori, you gotta, you gotta like go to her house while she's doing this and film it and throw it on our socials. Okay. Let's, we'll do that. I love it. Or I'll buy the ingredients to have you come over and I love it. That was, love it. That was fun. Steven and I were just sitting. Listening in, wondering if you're gonna do it, if we're gonna make it tonight.

What's hilarious though, because every, I think everybody on this podcast knows Tori's, you know, she's a Northerner, she's a tea person, she knows how to do coffees and espressos, and she's huge into kombu. So she's got kombucha here. Well, Steven, you know, he's a red-blooded redneck southerner and he eats steak and potatoes.

That's right. And he tried a little bit of that kombucha while we were in the middle of the podcast. And you should have seen his face, didn't you? He said, this is awful. Was you see his face, he went, it was awful. The bad thing is that I went back again, forgetting how bad it was and it, it smacked me twice.

Maybe it's cuz you just brushed your teeth. Maybe it tastes a little more pungent. So it's just awful. It's terrible. It's good for your gut, but yeah, I bet. So this is, this is healthy. Aid, kombucha. Pink Lady outfit. I love it. I think it's amazing too. I love it too. You love it? I do. I love it. I love it too.

It's so good for you. And I don't like kombucha. There's other stuff that's good for you that tastes better. . Only one. One of my kids like kombucha. Only Addison likes it. Paisley and Avery are like, not Could take her. Lead it. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I forgot to say you got three kids. 1960. 16. 16. 16. 16 and 14. 14 and 14.

And you guys are gonna be empty nest. Soon, I hope not four years. You're gonna be empty nesters walking around the house naked . That's what empty nesters do. Right? I'm looking forward to it. story's like, that's enough. She's given me the The chopped. Cut it off. All right. Hey you guys, thank you for hanging out with us.

This is so fun. Great info. It was awesome. Diving into your brains. You guys have a great relationship. Yes. Thanks for pouring into our pees. Thank you guys for sharing with us. Love you guys. Yeah, do love you guys. Let's hug it up. Oh, I love it. Maybe not. Let's throw on a love, a a, a country sentence. Let's throw a Clint Black.

No. What's your favorite's? The guy that we listened to, his country, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, who's the guy with the curly hair that we listen to on the. Oh, I can, oh, who? Who knows? He mixes it up. . All right. Hey, don't forget, rate review. Subscribe, and we will see you next week.