g(O)dd Couple: Starting New – Dating and Remarriage After Divorce | Ep 36

Remarriage

The last few “couple’s episodes” we did, had a lot of great feedback. One of the things that a number of people asked us to talk about was dating and remarriage after divorce. So we are…

We came up with a few points to remember:

1. Figure Out You.

This is you taking the time to deal with your feelings, resolving your hurt and finding the you that you are or want to be. This is a great time for realizing important things about yourself or to reinvent yourself.

2. Know Who You Want.

After you discover yourself, take time to figure out what you want in a partner. This is a great opportunity to wrestle with really deep questions and desires about what a healthy relationship looks like and what you expect from and in a healthy relationship. This is a perfect time to make a list of those expectations (and it’s okay to be picky).

3. Give Your List Grace.

After you make a list, go back over it and be realistic about what you put on there. Then, have grace for it. You might get lucky and find someone who meets the whole list. But, likely you won’t. But that shouldn’t be a game changer. If there are one or two items they don’t meet, decide how important those items are.

4. Be Intentional with Your Time.

When you do start dating, be intentional with how you spend your time. Specifically, if early in the relationship it becomes evident that it isn’t something you want, it’s okay to end it. But, if it becomes obvious you’re moving toward a long-term relationship, or marriage, be intentional about learning each other and investing in that relationship.

5. Remember that Remarriage is Going to be Hard.

No matter how well you do that other stuff, getting married (or remarried) changes the whole dynamic. You are going to bring in baggage and it is likely going to be difficult. If you go in understanding that, you’re more likely to stay and fight. This is not you having a dreadful view of marriage, but is instead accepting the reality that relationships take actual work and that you are both likely bringing baggage to the party.

In the end, we want others to be encouraged and know that building a healthy, God-honoring marriage is possible, even after divorce.

g(O)dd Couple: Selfishness, Unity & Social Media | Ep 27

MarriageWe decided to continue with the marriage topics, because we had a long list of them. But, this time it’s just Thomas and Bruce. I know we’re not married, but we’re kinda married. Think Turk and JD from the TV show Scrubs and you have us (of course, without the doctor stuff and cool theme music, but we are working on theme music).

As funny as most things are to us, we chose a few pretty serious topics. The topics we selected are selfishness, unity and social media.

Selfishness

We all know, and most would agree, that selfishness will quickly ruin a marriage. Unfortunately it isn’t until we get married that we realize just how selfish we can be. The hope, however, is that we can move from a place of selfishness to a place where it is “us” against the world. Left unchecked, selfishness can lead to asking dangerous questions about whether or not your marriage is what you “signed up for.”

Unity

The second topic we discussed was unity. In the beginning of every marriage, as selfishness is undone every marriage should be moving toward unity. But unity takes continued work and dedication.

Social Media

The last topic we talk about is social media’s impact on marriage. Social media can easily be a point of tension, but if you are focused on building trust and unity, it doesn’t have to be.

In the end, selfishness is easy, unity takes work, but is the best, and social media can, but doesn’t have to be, a slippery slope.

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Photo: Panda Whale

g(O)dd Couple: Step-Parenting, Depression & Prayer | EP 26

coupleWelcome to the second couple’s episode! In this episode Thomas and Angy tackle new topics having to do with marriage. Step-parenting, depression and prayer are all pretty serious and can easily be a point of tension in any marriage, but Thomas and Angy address them with a gentle wisdom that makes each issue approachable.

And again, while Thomas and Angy are not experts in marriage, or any of these issues, they do have 16 years of wedded bliss. That 16 years has allowed them to live through and discover healthy ways of viewing and dealing with each of these issues.

Step-Parenting

At 19 years old, Thomas had became a husband and father in the same instance. When he said “I do” to Angy, he was also saying it to two small children. Although Thomas and Angy had talked broadly about parenting well in their newly blended family, they never really talked about what that meant. One of Thomas’ main struggles was not understanding his responsibility for his new children and what that meant as they grew into adults.

Depression

This is a really sensitive topic and Angy gets deeply personal in sharing her struggle with anxiety and depression.The stigma attached to depression, especially within Christianity, can make it difficult to acknowledge and easy to dismiss. But we cannot. Thomas and Angy provide some great ideas for how to approach the issue. And as always, make sure you seek professional help.

Prayer

Every healthy couple has to pray together, twice a day, every day, right? Not according to Thomas and Angy. In fact, their best advice is just make sure you are praying and make sure that you talk about what works for you as a couple.

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g(O)dd Couple: Coitus, Comparing & Communication, but First, Dating… | Ep 25

coupleWe thought it would be fun to a couple’s episode, well a couple couple’s episodes. This week my wife, Sarah, and I will discuss a few issues and next week Thomas and his wife, Angy, will discuss some.

In this episode Sarah and I tackle some pretty important, and touchy, subjects. We are not experts in marriage, but we have been through alot, sought counsel from wise married couples and have done our best to follow Jesus in a way that brings Him glory and honor. In all that, we have learned a thing or two.

Dating

All I’ll say on this is, the longer you can date, and maintain the purity of relationship and respect and honor for each other, then do it. The longer you are able to date, then the deeper you will know each other and the more emotional, spiritual and intellectual intimacy you are able to build.

Sexpectations

The most important part about this is that you have these conversations early and often. If you have baggage surrounding sexual issues, get help by talking to someone. Sex is the physical expression of intimacy built in those all those other areas of intimacy.

Comparison

Comparing yourselves, as a couple, to other couples can be a very damaging thing. It can easily lay the groundwork for resentment. Sarah said, “Comparison is the sister to envy.” Comparison can be healthy when we use it as a point of reference rather than a model to follow.

Communication

Communication as a couple is critical. As a couple we should be looking to learn how to communicate in healthy ways. Part of that healthy communication is learning to speak your spouse’s language. I’m not talking about learning their literal language, although if your spouse speaks Spanish and you don’t learning their would probably help communication. I’m talking about learning their love language. It is good to know what your love language is, but better to know theirs, as it helps in you serving them.

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Don’t Be My Umbrella-ella (Theology) | Episode 22

umbrella-sin-1

For sometime now we have been very broadly discussing topics about what community is and why it is important and what church could, and probably should, look like. We have not talked a lot about family related topics. The website says that one of our goals is to talk through figuring out how to live as Christian men, as husbands, fathers and friends. We recently realized that it has been quite awhile since we addressed an issue on family or marriage. So, in this episode we tackle something called umbrella theology.

Under the Umbrella Theology

If you are not familiar with umbrella theology, in a nutshell it says that God is over and covers the husband, the husband is over and covers the wife and the wife is over and covers the children. it looks like this…

umbrella theology

On the surface this does not seem like a bad thing and to be fair, I am sure that who ever developed it did not intend it to be. Unfortunately, as humans we are prone to selfishness and the need for control, so this typically does not play out in a healthy way. One of the main issues with umbrella theology is that it places the husband as a layer between his wife and Christ.

Submission not Subservience

The Umbrella Model of marriage confuses submission with subservience. The bible does call wives to submit to their husbands, but not in the way that we have historically interpreted it. Mostly our interpretation of a wife submitting to her husband was interpreted to benefit, or honor, the husband. However, this is never the biblical reason for submission. Biblically speaking, submission should always be rendered for the express purpose of honoring God. In fact, both husbands and wives are called to submission to each other, or mutual submission. Ephesians 5:20-21 tells us, “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Then in verse 22 begins to talk about spousal roles. 

For a deeper read on this, I wrote about this in October last year:

How We Got, “Wives, submit to your own husbands…” Wrong.

A Biblical Family

Instead of the Umbrella Model, we prefer a more Biblical Model that looks like this…

biblical model

It should be common sense, but in a biblical model of marriage (family) starts with Christ embracing and enveloping the entirety of the family unit. As the family submits to Christ, husband and wife stand side-by-side in mutual submission to each other. In this model they embrace their children in a way that emulates what Christ does for them and glorifies God. Christ is not only the center of the family (notice the white in the middle of the children and the parents), but also all encompassing, surrounding every part of it.

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image: The Southern Cross