Jason Parker interviews Alan & Janice Kelly about marriage.
Alan & Janice were married in 1978 while Alan was serving in the army. They had their first child, Hillary, while stationed in Germany. After leaving the army they had two boys, Joey & Jamie. They have served in just about every ministry a church has. Around 1995 their pastor’s wife asked them to start a marriage ministry to work with couples in their church. In 1996, Forever Together was created and became a non-profit in 2001. Alan & Janice enjoy teaching couples about marriage. They do this through mentoring programs, communication classes, marriage classes and retreats. Their goal is to teach couples by giving them tools they can use in their own marriage to make it healthy and successful. Alan is the author of Real Life Christianity, a book on successful Christian living. He was inspired to write this book to help Christians understand some basic Christian beliefs and how they apply to living life today.
To learn more visit www.forevertogetheronline.com
Below is the transcript for this show:
Speaker 1: Welcome back America to Sound Retirement Radio where we bring you concepts, ideas, and strategies designed to help you achieve clarity, confidence and freedom as you prepare for and transition through retirement. Now here is your host, Jason Parker.
Jason: America, welcome back to another round of Sound retirement Radio. Thank you so much for making this program one of the top programs in the iTunes library under the category of retirement. I sure appreciate the opportunity to be your host of this program to bring experts onto the program to bring experts onto the program who we believe can add significant meaningful value to your financial life as you prepare for and transition through retirement.
This is episode 062 so if you’re driving down the road this morning in the Seattle market and you won’t be able to listen to the entire program. I want to encourage you to listen online. You can go to soundretirementplanning.com where we archive all of these content. Episode 062, the title is Real Life Christianity and Marriage. I’m excited to bring this.
Because Sound Retirement Radio, it’s not just about your money folks, we want to make your life better. I really think that when we have strong marriages, we have better families, we raise better kids, we have better community, better culture. Just everything that comes along with it, it’s going to be good.
Before we get started I have a verse here, that I’d like to share with you, that this verse was actually just shared with me yesterday, a client called in and she’s gone through a little bit of a rough spot with her dad is kind of heading down that end of lifetime. She shared this verse with me, and I wanted to share it with all of you.
It’s from Ecclesiastes 7:4. “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.” Good way to renew our minds in the morning. Then the other thing I want to do, is just gave you something to put a little chuckle on your face and I’ve got a joke here for you.
Again this was … I just have wonderful people in my life. I’m just absolutely convinced that all of these people that are introduced to my life, and hopefully I’m introduced into your life … There just, there’s a reason for this. This was a joke, that a client of mine dropped off.
“A priest and a pastor are standing by the side of the road, holding up a sign that reads: ‘The end is near. Turn around now before it’s too late.’ A passing driver yells, “you guys are nuts!” and speeds pass them. From around the curve they hear screeching tires then a big splash, and the priest turns to the pastor and says: “Do you think we should just put up a sign that says “Bridge out, instead?”
All right folks, with I’ve got my guest. I’m going to bring Alan and Janice Kelly onto the program with us. This is episode 62. We’re talking about Real Life Christianity and Marriage. Here’s a quick bio, Alan and Janice were married in 1978, while Alan was serving in the Army. They had their first child, Hillary while stationed in Germany.
After leaving the army, they had 2 boys Joey and Jamie. They have served just about every ministry a church has around 1995. Their pastor’s wife asked them to start a marriage ministry to work with couples in their church. In 1996, Forever Together was created and became a nonprofit in 2001. Alan and Janice enjoyed teaching couples about marriage. They do this through mentoring programs, communication classes, marriage classes and retreats.
Their goal is to teach couples by giving them tools they can use in their own marriage to make it healthy and successful. Alan is the author of Real Life Christianity, a book on successful Christian living. He was inspired to write this book to help Christians understand some basic Christian beliefs in how they apply to living life today. Alan and Janice welcome to Sound Retirement Radio.
Alan: Thank you.
Janice: Thank you.
Jason: Guys, I’m really excited to have you on the program. Like I said earlier I just am convinced that the right people are being brought into my life at the right time, and the right guest are being brought into this radio show. There are no coincidences so this is going to be really good. I wanted to start out, we’re going to talk about marriage today.
Before I do though, Alan I had the chance to read through a lot of, I haven’t finished your book yet. Real Life Christianity 7 Basic principles for successful Christian living. Tell our listeners a little bit more about your book, why you chose to write it, and who its really intended for and what you hope they’ll get out of it. That was a mouthful.
Alan: I wrote about the book, I used to teach class with our church. For new believers and I had started collecting this material and I just realized there are so many people out there that even with other … In the Christian Church, and church they just really know a very little about the bible and how everything connects together and how to apply it to the life.
That’s why I sat down the right book about just kind to have the inspiration of this early writing and over the course about 6 months, put that together for a people that don’t have all the understanding that’s how Christianity really works. It’s not real complicated, it’s not to be a little … Must be a little senior and have a master’s degree to figured out you can actually sit down and read and understand and it’s really not that hard to figure out.
I wrote it for new Christians and even Christians that been there for a long time, that still don’t … Have it all figured out, and then not only taken the basic understanding in how the bible works, and what it means. Then how to apply it through our minds, how to take that and make the part of who we are, that the Christianity is not just a thing we do, it’s something as a part of us.
Then I also wrote it in a way, that we will be to take that book, and share it with our friends with our family, and acquaintances, and people we come in contact with. Wonder what we believe and why we believe it. That was my purpose.
Jason: That’s awesome. I have to tell you, the way, the style in which its written, its make it so easy to just dig into it. I’ve really been appreciating that about your books. Thank you. Guys, let’s talk about marriage now. The … You guys have been doing these marriage retreats and counseling, and helping couples build stronger marriages for a long time.
The first question I have for you, is where do struggles come from that so many couples face early in the relationships, and how they can get pass them?
Janice: Well one thing I like to point out in Matthew 24-27. The bible talks about that, ” Anyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
First of all people need to understand that things happens to everybody. We all have struggles, and a lot of them are similar struggle. Our foundation is just really important. What we’re building our lives upon help determines our success and relationships in life in general. We want to make sure that God is a part of marriage that he’s our firm foundation. No matter what happens in life, that we can run to him, and he’s got our help, he’s got our answers and he’s there for us no matter what.
Going back to that question. For me when we started out in marriage, selfishness was a huge part of it We got married kind of young, and Alan was very close to his family. They took a lot of his time, and I was not his priority. In that, I became clingy and wanted to control him and bring him in. Then James 4:1 has really helped me, that says, “What causes fight and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you. You desire but do not have. You covet and you kill because you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.”
That was exactly what was happening. I wasn’t getting what I wanted, and so I was kind of an angry person. Took that out on him because I wasn’t really his priority here or being loved, having that need of being loved and cared for met. Once I realized how selfish I was, and that a lot of my anger was coming because I wasn’t getting my way. It was a real eye opener to think, “Okay, well I can learn to be a giver instead of a taker.”
Jason: Janice and I want to get Alan‘s feedback on this too. What was it that brought, what was that aha moment for you that made you kind of look inward instead of looking at the other person like, what they need to fix. What was it that brought you to the point said, “I need to look at myself here and get this figured out.
Janice: I think that trying so many things and nothing really working and then just God revealing that verse to me, that was my aha moments to realize that all of that fighting was because of what was inside of me. If I could change that, then I would change how I treated him, and how I talk to him and when a person changes themselves. The other person automatically changes because their reaction to your action is going to be different than it was from the past.
Jason: Alan what are your thoughts on that question, where do the struggles come from that so many couples face early in their relationships.
Alan: When couples first become acquainted and they start realizing that maybe they have some kind of connection. They’re excited, and if you would rate their marriage on a scale on 1 to 10. It would probably pretty close to 10, and they are just excited to be around each other and be in contact with each other and think about each other when they’re not together. Then as they put that relationship together and then as they put that relationship together and then they decided to get married.
Then all of the sudden they discover that it’s kind of difficult … They’ve both been raised, their own circumstances, their own families, they both learn how to live life on their own. Now they have to combine that. When they start putting that together, that … Bringing that relationship together and discover that they’re not the same that they have quite a different way of viewing life. It takes some effort to put that together, to work through those circumstances, which do those difficulties that come from that.
Like Janice said, their selfishness is part of that, and there’s a big challenge to get through than that. Just about every couple face that, there’s probably a 100% thing that every couple is they put their lives together, and have to deal with. How do they take their 2 separate lives, and mailed it into one life and it’s a real challenge for them. They have their differences, that got them their personalities, temperaments.
That were made, put them in by God. Whether they’re introvert, or extrovert or like to be social and be among people or like to be by themselves or if they’re organized, and have everything all lined up perfectly. Where if they’re more social or like to be out with people, and or if they like to control. Be in control, their situations all those things add to their difficulties. Then the differences God made us, in being a man and a woman is a real challenge. Because man and woman face life differently and think about life differently and think about life differently.
All those challenges are there, and like Janice said every couple had to face some. Every couple goes through stuff, and always the challenges of life and then the couples that hang in there and make it, their marriage will survive through that. Then the ones that decided they can, they end up quitting and starting over. The good thing about it, is that every time they start over with the new relationship, they have to go through all of that stuff again.
Whatever relationship you’re in, that’s the best one to make it work now to put, to work through all of those difficulties, and get to where your come out the other side of that. Because research shows the most couple of this, they aren’t willing to work through, and get through those issues and come out the other side to see a lot better about the marriage. Matter of fact there’s a one study that shows that couples that have been married over 20 years, and have learned to get along actually if you like the same way.
Those very young people that we’re talking about, that are just starting their relationship. They have a more positive outlook on life, and towards each other or towards their family. It’s important that as a couple and to learn to get along. Where you got David to make it through their fight together that has been the life, relationship kind of got plan for safe and life and getting through along, everything that comes against us.
Jason: As we … Before we get too far on the interview too. I want to make sure you guys have a website, where the people can learn more about the marriage counseling, the marriage retreats and this work that you’re doing. Will you share that website with our listeners?
Alan: It’s forvertogetheronline.com
Jason: Forevertogetheronline.com. All right, the next question I have for you guys. How do you create a healthy marriage.
Janice: There’s a lot to that. One thing that we need to think about is being a healthy individual. You want to have your life right with God. You want to get rid of your past baggage. Most everybody has baggage these days. For that we need to overcome that. Because if you take a past relationship, and put that label on your new relationship. Your new spouse is starting out with some bad marks upon them because of the past relationship. They have more to overcome because of that. We need to get through that, so that we don’t sabotage our marriage now from something that happened in the past.
We also need to get through, through anger issues and stuff because they come out in how we talk, how we view things that’s possibly were negative, or just kind to have that edge and a lot of that also has to do with what things we’re listening to or watching on TV that are feeding into our lives. As we live life, marriage is kind of put on the side. You have work, you have kids, you have to deal with finances and all this stuff, that sometimes the relationship is not our focus.
You need to make sure that you are good together that everything is good between you and give that person the attention and quality time that you can offer them. Because that relationship is for a lifetime. You may have kids and they may be at home for 20-25 years depending on how many kids you have. Your relationship is going to be 50-60 years. It needs to stay a priority and be a focus. You also need to …
Jason: Hold on one second before you finish that thought. I just have a quick question for you here. When it comes to be in a focus, you’ve had a chance to meet with a lot of couples over the years, and you’ve seen probably some really good marriages. You’ve seen some that have fallen apart. What are some of the habits that people that want to have a successful marriage. At whatever stage of their life. My wife and I we’re approaching quickly, approaching 20 years of marriage.
What are some of the things you see really good couples doing on a regular basis to strengthen their marriages and keep that, that connection strong.
Janice: Serving is a big thing. In today’s society, we think that somebody should be serving and honoring us but in a marriage relationship, you are there to be a blessing to that other person. You’re there to encourage them, and help them to make it through each and every day that even though the world is out there, and have all these things coming against them you’re their support, their cheerleader, their rep person and stuff that they can always count on you to be with.
Jason: That’s really good, sorry Janice. I just as I … I just really appreciate that insight and the feedback like I say. What a blessing that must been for you guys to have been asked by the pastors wife so many years ago to be counseling people in marriage. Because it kind of put you on the spot, whenever you are having to be the role model. All of the sudden you have to really dig deep and make sure that you’re keeping things working well. That’s really an interesting place you guys are …
Alan: We have been discovered from the start, the couple we’ve had, the biggest impact on is us. Because as we teach, and we have to research and study and as we learn and we try our best to apply it through our lives. It’s a probably, it’s not a huge impact on us, in our marriage, in our life, and raising our kids and yes, been a real blessing for us.
Jason: Yeah guys I want to ask you the next question. There are 25 minutes on the radio goes so darn fast. This one has to do specifically with folks that are getting closer to retirement. Janice you just hit on a moment ago when we talk about the emptiness season. It’s always amazing to me, when I’d see marriages start to deteriorate after the kids leave the house. It’s like they stay married all these years. Then all of the sudden the kids leave, and the parents split up. I saw that happened with a good friend of mine, when as growing up as a kid. It’s always surprising.
What are your thoughts, and tips, and tricks, for people that are maybe approaching that season of their life, in that season?
Alan: The one thing people do is they have to stay connected. There’s kind of a common thing when couple go in for counseling, they talk about how they’ve grown apart, and they’re just not on the same page anymore and stuff. It’s real important for couples to stay connected to … Make sure that they don’t grow apart. We encourage couples to make sure they spent time every day, or at least 3 or 4 times a week where they just actually sit down and talk about stuff.
It doesn’t have to be deep, challenging conversations. Just normal stuff of life, sharing how work was, and kids, and paying bills and appointments with the doctors or whatever is there, you spend that time together, so you don’t have time to grow in different directions. You want to make sure you stay connected and stay apart of each other’s life and …
Jason: Alan let me ask you a quick question there too. Because Janice talked about serving as a way of strengthening that relationship. What would you say specifically how is, how do people continue to stay connected and not grow apart? What are some of the things that you’ve learned there. I heard you say communication. It sounds like that’s a big one.
Alan: Yes they have to talk, then they have to really to listen to each other. A lot of times, women they’ll commonly say that their husband is going to talk to them and but usually what happen is women don’t really … Willing to see, the man are really interested in. They have to … In that small talk town, we’re just talking about, or couch time or taking the time to stay connected, listen to what your husband is interested if he wants to talk about this baller, this singer, electronics, or computers working on the card.
Just listen to him, and be interested with him and take that time to stay connected. Men have to willing to listen too because commonly women have a lot more words than men, and some other stories can get real long and cover letter. A lot is detailed, you might not be interested, you have to take the time to sit and listen and pay attention. It could be a challenge with a different styles that people have. It’s just important to keep that connection going, and be part of it.
Then share adventures together to always did have a vacation or a trip or something in your future that you’re planning, going to stay at a resort or going camping or going to Disneyland, or going on a cruise or whatever. However it is, how those things scheduled and then seeing about them, and talk about them together. You always have that connection there that’s something you’re excited about doing and then just doing stuff and hanging out together.
You don’t really have to challenge yourself. Just be best friend like when you first were in that relationship together you’re there because you’re there for each other. Your husband, your wife, that’s your best friend in life, you have to be connected with.
Jason: Anything you want to add Janice?
Janice: I was just going to say that he mentioned first time adventures. Studies have shown that couples who experience things for the first time together are closer than other couples. Whether it’s experiencing a new restaurants, or watching a movie together or something. Having those things and building upon those, making that time together important. It doesn’t matter always what you’re doing, it’s why you’re doing it.
We’re doing it because we want to be interested in the other person’s activity or something. It doesn’t mean that I have to [inaudible 00:22:55] about baseball, but because he loves it. I want to share that with him. I don’t want that to be a separate part of his life and interest that he has and I don’t care about. I will learn something about baseball that I can ask him a question about or something and for him too that he can learn things and maybe click with me or something and share that time.
Jason: Janice we’re just about out of time here for the radio. I’ve had a couple more of more questions I’d like to ask you guys. For the podcast listeners, we’ll go a little bit longer. I want to ask about home as a sanctuary, I also want to ask about just some surprises when you’ve seen some marriages fall apart that you kind of caught you off guard that you weren’t expecting and what you learn from those.
Thank you guys for being a guest on the radio show this morning. We’ll be right back after this to continue our conversation.
Janice: Thank you.
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Jason: Okay guys we’re back. The great thing now is we don’t have the same time constraints like we do one more on the radio. This is for our podcast listeners. We’ve got a lot of them from around the country. I wanted to ask you guys about home being a sanctuary. You say it’s a place to be at peace, to be comfortable to have rest. Talk about how couples can help create that sanctuary for themselves?
Alan: One thing is they need to be willing to forgive each other and ask for forgiveness. There is so many times in a home that there’s tension that there’s … Somebody is doing one thing, or said something and then there’s tension so they can go on for days, or weeks, or even months and support does not allow that kind of stuff in your home. We make it a point to … When there’s tension between us, that we go and we seek forgiveness and grant forgiveness to the others, it does something that will make that quick and easy the bible says to be, slow to speak, and slow to get angry and quick to listen.
We want to be like that in our lives, that we want to not allow that tension just build up, and build up, and build up. There are so many people that because of their past, whenever little things happen in their lives, it just blows up and it becomes a big thing. We want to make sure that in our homes, if not like that, that we have the forgiveness, and the love that’s there that we don’t have to live life of tension and just in difficulty.
Jason: Awesome. How about for you Janice?
Janice: Well, a home needs to be a place that you feel safe that you can go and you can be encourage, you don’t have to worry about putting on a face for somebody because your partner knows you, they have that intimacy get knowing you better than anybody else. That your opinion value are valued, you’re valued that your ideas are safe that, that the person is going to be speaking life into you, and encouragement if they’re not going to be the one who attacks you.
It’s a place where you can go and rejuvenate yourself from being out in the world and having all that chaos always coming at you, that the home is not supposed to be chaotic. It supposed to be safe. Yes, sometimes that might be one of the spouse is making sure the house is clean because the clean atmosphere changes the whole atmosphere of the house. It’s kind of the … Transitionally it’s the wife who sets the tone of the house. When the husband comes home and stuff, how he’s greeted or if she’s the one come home second how she’s greeted and stuff.
It sets the tone for the rest of the evening. I want to point out just one little thing about children that the sanctuary … It’s their sanctuary too and for a child security to grow up feeling very secure and their family. It’s having that mom and dad at home, that they’re not separated and stuff. You’ve probably noticed in your own home that when you walk in the door, the kids are, “Daddy’s home, daddy’s home. They just want to run and jump on you and they’re all excited and after they do that, both go off and play.”
Because their world is okay, they’ve been asking, “When does daddy going to get home? When’s mommy going to get home. Just waiting for that time. Because now that they’re home, my world is good.” That raise us healthy kids knowing that the parents are okay.
Jason: I really appreciate that we can have you both on the program this morning to hear both of your perspectives on this. Because they are different. Alan I just finished in your book, I was reading through where you’re talking about the differences between man and woman. I just really appreciate that. I want to remind our listeners that you guys have a website.
A marriage, just because you’ve been married for 20-30 years doesn’t mean it can’t get better, I think we can always get better and we want you to grow old together and just have a really wonderful wife and that hopefully that would be the greatest legacy you’ll leave as one that is of love and a family. Hopefully that will be the greatest legacy you’ll leave as one that is of love and a family.
Because ultimately nobody cares about your experiences and your stuff like you think they do, or your money. Your website is forvertogetheronline.com. People can go there and get some more resources. The next question I want to ask you and this wasn’t one that we talked about before the interview. I’m always surprised and maybe I’m just kind about this phase in my life right now.
You go through different phases. Originally you see people getting married and then you start seeing them having kids. Unfortunately we are seeing more divorces now among our friends and some of it have really caught us off guard, kind of really surprised us. Have you guys been in that situation before where you saw a marriage, you thought it was pretty strong and it ended. As you look at that, from the outside looking in. What do you think was … Could have been avoided there?
Alan: All right, we’ve actually seen it quite often and it does surprise us. When our couple separates, it not only affects them but it affects all the people around them. They have impact our lives when the marriages fall apart. Probably earlier we’re talking about selfishness, that’s probably the center thing as people are more concern about themselves and their happiness and I deserve to be happy and I deserve to have whatever I want.
Instead of like Janice said, focusing on serving the other one, and focus on themselves and that’s probably the biggest thing they tend like you were talking about when as they get older and their kids grew up and then they separate in this because they focus so much every time on their children which is … it’s not bad to focus on their children but you have to focus on the marriage at the same time. [inaudible 00:30:05] to be the center of everything and it’s kind of how God made them, if they need their parent to survive.
Then we just have to make sure that at that time we’re still focused on each other that if we could find any time to get away at all, have a date night or just have Sabbath time, or put the kids to bed and have a hour or two to yourself whatever you need to do, to make sure that you focus on each other in that stake and active life we’re talking about talking with each other and …
There’s just so many things that [inaudible 00:31:33] why people separated, part of just not being able to get through the stuff. Everybody face a stuff and they just decide they don’t want to deal anymore and they go their own way.
Janice: People are basically kind of lazy and that they don’t keep working on the relationship. You hear people say, “Well marriage is hard.” Marriage doesn’t have to be hard, but it does need attention. It needs to have a focus on it, that I am applying these things that I know. A lot of people have some [inaudible 00:32:05] and you can go and talk to them. They’ll tell you, “This is what you should do. This is how you should live. This is things how you treat your wife and stuff, and they don’t do it.
They know what they’re supposed to do, but just too lazy to complaisant and not caring enough to apply those things. Couples who don’t get along, can learn to get along they just have to keep their hearts open, just wants bitterness that’s in there it’s really hard to open a heart. That’s one of the reasons why we have the classes, and stuff that we do is that to help people have that focus, that, “Okay, I am married, and I want to be happily married.
What can I do to be happily married. I’m going to come to mentoring group or something so that at least every month I am learning something that I can apply to my marriage to make it better. Nobody is immune from hurt or immune from a marriage failing unless they are working on it and keeping it healthy.
Jason: I’ve also noticed too, that it seems like one person in the relationships seems to think everybody … Everything is just been a long wonderful. Then the other person is very discontent. Then it kind of explodes and there’s always some shock and surprise with one party. As you guys were sitting here talking, one of the things I was thinking about. With our money, because this is where I spent all my time.
It seems like it’s coaching people on their finances and their money. One of the things we talked about, doing this, creating a really good plan and I found that if we can make plans in good times. You created a written investment policies statement. You say, “Okay here’s how these things going to work.” You make that in the good times when you have your wits about you. There’s a lot of people that will do that with their money.
They’ll sit down and make an investment policy statement so that they have written instructions and written rules so that when things start getting crazy out there. Because we know that, that’s what’s going to happen with the stock market. They’ve got a plan in place, they’re going to stick to that they made in the good times being level headed.
It almost, this is just as you guys were talking something I thought of. People should write a marriage policy statement, non-investment policy statement. Marriage policy statement they should sit down and they say in the good times. When we know everything is working well. Let’s make a plan for when we hit those rough spots in the road because we know they’re coming, right?
I mean you don’t make it through 30, 40, 50 years of marriage, 2 years of marriage without some bumps on the road. What an idea to just have a written game plan in place, to say, “Hey here’s what we’re going to do when those challenging times come. Anyway just this aha moment I had as you guys were sharing. One of the topics, I want to talk about is money. I’ve heard statistics that say that is one of the number 1 causes for divorce in our country.
Sometimes it’s the hard topic for couples to discuss. What are some suggestions you guys have for how couples can work through differences on money together.
Janice: Well money is one that people circle through because a lot of times you don’t have enough or you have disagreements on how to spend the money. Communication comes into that. We teach our communication class and it starts out helping you to be aware of what’s going on inside of you. There’s no way you’re going to understand what I’m saying if I don’t understand what I’m talking about.
The self-awareness of that knowing, what we want, what we dream about and then being able to share that with somebody and then have listening, listening for understanding. Communication and money do go hand in hand. Because most of us at time, one of the people is a favor, one is a spender. How do I take those 2 different personalities and put it together to make sure that one gets to spend enough and one gets to save enough and communication is a big part of that.
Being able to talk about that and have that understanding, “Maybe when I was young, and we were starving or something that having some savings is important to me knowing that my kids aren’t going to go without a meal because I have something to back that up with.
Then the other spouse will say, “Okay, I understand so you do need something in there that’s part of your security and who you are. Then another thing is we built our finances on God’s words that we are tithers, we believe in giving and God bless us giving whether you’re a Christian or not a Christian that he takes care of that and one of the things we do is that we pray over our finances.
When it comes to payday, before we pay our tithes or spend our money. We prayed for God’s blessing to be upon that. Whether it’s the $100 or $500 that God takes that money, and he spreads it out and makes it cover all the bills and makes it laugh and stuff. Let’s not bring stuff together too, we’re I agreement that one spouse is not in the finances all alone. Where we will care about paying our bills. We both are unaware.
I think a lot of times if one person is in charge of the finances, which usually works out because one is better at keeping the books and the other person. You both need to be aware, because if you feel like you’re in it alone, that the other person doesn’t realized that you’re struggling, paying that electric bill or something like that. Then it cost us a little hardship.
When you know the other person is there saying, yeah I realized things are really hard what can we do about it. It makes it so much easier and peaceful in the home.
Jason: That’s great Janice. How about for you Alan what are some tips on personal finance for married couples. Your perspective.
Alan: Janice says in tithing, that’s real important to step to take that a way we put our money in God’s hands. If we don’t pay in our tithes, and we currently decided I can handle these finances, I can do it on my own and we set out to do it on our own. We’ll only just take that time to before with everything else, just write down little tithe check and get it ready to put in the offering on Sunday and then we know that we put our money in God’s hands.
Like Janice said, we pray about it then we pray about to have tithe check and the blessings on the church and the blessings on our finances. It just kind of a step you take that got in charge. Then we make it a real priority to pay our bills, when he make and make that agreement to use the electricity or use the cable or to add your cellphone or whatever it is you got your power bill and your mortgage payment, your car payment all those things.
It’s important to make those payments and even before you do this things, that you would like to do. You have to make sure you pay those bills. Because that’s what … That’s how you want or God in your finances, you pay your tithes, and you pay your bills, and you make your commit … You pay for your commitments and then God bless us what’s left over.
If it’s $10 or if it’s a $100 or whatever it is. God did is able to do that, and use that to bless your lives and it’s amazing how he does that. We look back on different times of our lives and knowing that it’s been God hand. It’s amazing how we get through it, how somehow God is just been able to working out and we get through it. Then you get to the point as times goes on, where your incomes increases as you get older.
Then [inaudible 00:39:55] things that come from that. There’s a verse in the bible that says, “Do not grow weary while doing good. Because in due season your harvest will come.” As for people come to lose it, is they see the difficulties and the hardships that come from doing God way some time. What they feel like is a hardship.
This reality of God just kind of laying things out for them as they make good choices, do God’s way then God’s really blesses them. Sometimes we all see it in a week or two, or even a year or two we see it over in the course of time. How God hand is on us, God blesses us and blesses our finances.
Jason: Yeah guys I want to share something with you hear real quick. Just because you’re talking, it’s inspiring me. I was asked to speak recently. I’m going to be speaking at a church gathering. Diverse I was talked about John 12 and just to remind you guys, this is when Mary washes Jesus’s feet with her hair, and pours out expensive perfume on his feet. I’ve been reading over this, and reading over it.
Really trying to get at what it’s bringing to me. One of my big takeaways from that was at this point, Mary understands who Jesus is, right? He just raised Lazarus from the dead. She’s like, “I get it, this isn’t just a healer, it’s not just a doctor. This is God.” She gives him everything. Takes her hair that’s important to her, and washes his feet, takes his expensive perfume that’s a year worth of wages. Just pours it on him.
Anyway as I was reading that, then there’s this tension and you’ve got Judas in the room. Judas says, “Hey we could have sold that perfume and given money to the poor.” My big take away from that, was there Judas saying that your money is more important than Jesus is.
Gosh I just … I think it’s really easy for all of us in this world, in this culture that we’re in to start thinking that our money is what we need to rely on, and be dependent on and we see Judas speaking it out there. Really, this is a rich recipe but interview. I appreciate you guys in your thoughts here. One last thing I wanted to ask you about is if you had just one thing that you wanted couples to remember that they could apply to their marriage. What would be the one thing that you would recommend to them?
Janice: I was thinking in one of our marriage classes, we talked about 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 which could also be your kind of your insurance policy that you talked about earlier in the hard times. That if we apply these purpose to our marriage, I don’t know how anything could … Stuff would still come against us, but we’d still stand.
That is love, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It says not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrong, it loves does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protect, always trust, always hope, and always perseveres.
I think that should be a goal, that we love our self this way and that we give them that honor and that value by loving them by God’s way.
Jason: That’s awesome, that would be a pretty powerful written marriage policy statement that’s for sure. Alan anything else that you like to add there?
Alan: Just adverse, we had our couples in our last class we try to memorize this verse. I think it really challenge the selfishness we’re talking about. Because we all are still wrapped up in ourselves. It’s kind of a natural thing, inside of us our self-preservation to make sure that we’re safe, and our needs are taken care off.
Things are stepped out and loved the other persons and make sure that their needs are met and they’re taken care off. That’s a big, big step.
Jason: Awesome. Real quick, will you guys our remind our listeners the title of Alan‘s book and also your website on marriage.
Alan: Well the book is Real Life Christianity. It’s available at Amazon.com and on our website. If you go in Amazon look for it. Because it has [inaudible 00:44:27] and you have to search for it, you might have to have the title and my name to find it. It’s Real Life Christianity by Alan Kelly. Then it’s also available on our website, which is forvertogetheronline.com. Then we’ll talk about our classes and upcoming retreats and Janice always put out good word for the day that she … [inaudible 00:44:52] those are really good and a good way to stay connected.
Jason: Awesome hey you guys. I know, I know that this interview was so important to somebody’s life out there. It’s important to mine. I know that it’s really going to touch somebody else as well. I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule. Share this, I appreciate your leadership in this subject that time and energy that you spend pouring your hearts into this. Your courage to come on to a radio show and be vulnerable and share some of the stuff. I know that it’s a little bit unsettling to do that. Thank you for being a guest here on Sound Retirement Radio.
Janice: Thank you for having us.
Alan: It’s been a great opportunity.
Jason: All right take care guys.
Janice: Thank you.