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Everybody to the kick couple’s podcast. Today, we are recapping with pastors, Brad and Stephanie White. They are pastors of a church in Tampa, Florida, and the gathering, and they are dynamic people. I had the chance to interview Brad for a character education program that I was involved in character GPS many moons ago, and we’ve had a great friendship and I respect him and his wife and man, what a great interview we had with them. A lot of fun.
I really enjoyed spending time with them. They were definitely up there, um, at the top of, of some of my most favorite interviews. And, um, I, I think they just came right out of the gate with, um, Stephanie saying it’s commitment to the hard stuff that we do day in and day out. Uh, and she also said forgetting and forgiving, even when you don’t want to.
Right, right. That’s hard. No, cuz we’re all in those places where we don’t like our spouse. Right. We’re not happy with him. We’re angry. They did something or didn’t do something or said something or didn’t say something or right. Whatever it was. Or sometimes we don’t feel like loving ’em. Yeah. And I, I think, yeah, she said learning to see the good, even when you don’t want to that’s right. Remembering how and why you fell in love. Right. Cuz that never goes away or hopefully doesn’t go away right. In the relationship.
Well, and I, I, I feel like Stephanie, um, when she talked about her family of origin, she came from a place of, um, always being told what to do. She had a father who was a pastor. He was also a Marine. So their household was very structured. There were, there were lots of demands made on the, the children. And I feel like she came to marriage with always being told no
And told what to do. Right. I mean, her father was a pastor too. So it wasn’t just, uh, he was the drill Sergeant, but he also, you know, was kind of ha you know, which is a good influence. I think she had some great things out of both of those, but yeah, she was always being told what to do and how to do it and why she should be doing it. Right. So there was kind of some moral justification and uh, you know, Brad came out outta his family of origin, you know, this whole family of origin thing. We talk about it all the time, but this is an important discussion in any relationship, isn’t it? I mean, we, you and I both talked about what it was like and what our expectations was, cuz marriage is learning how to meld those two histories together.
And Brad’s dad was a pastor her and uh, he said his dad was really submissive and took second fiddle to his mom. Mom was very strong and Brad saw his mom kind of steam roll his dad in most situations. So Brad came to their relationship saying, you know, I’m gonna have a say and I’m gonna direct what’s going on here because I saw my, my mom just steamroll my dad, and I’m not gonna be steamrolled in this relationship. So here you got two, uh, two, two strong personalities saying they’re both gonna have the say in the relationship and each had reason for doing so. Right.
Yeah, definitely. Um, you know, Brad said, uh, she didn’t wanna be led and he wanted to do all the leaving leading, and that was really combustible for them.
It was so Kim, how, how did they get through that? I mean, that’s huge. You, you gotta be able to navigate that to go off of square one in any relationship.
That’s a tough one. I mean, when you bring that to a marriage, you’re gonna have a lot of conflict, right. Um, just because of sort of the way that you feel, um, on a daily basis. And Steph said, you know, uh, uh, you know, I’m opinionated, I’m gonna bring a strong opinion and I’m gonna bring, um, you know, my type a personality. I’m not gonna wanna back down. Um, and she said, it took a lot of growing, a lot of learning and a lot of growing
It did. And I love this is here’s a great Pearl guys that I pulled outta this discussion. Steph said, is your opinion more important than the other person is to you? What are you holding more, dear your opinion on that specific issue or your love of the other person. And that was a lesson they both had to learn. Right? I mean, she, she learned that, but her recognizing that, that maybe that goes contrary to her experience is that she loved Brad and he was more important than any opinion she might have on any issue. Yeah.
We’re gonna learn, we’re gonna figure this out and we’re gonna learn how to grow together. And how did that show up that showed up and their commitment really to each other. Um, Stephanie said, we’re not letting each other give up.
No, and I love the analogy she used. She goes, she goes, you gotta be a bulldog on a dish rag. Right. I thought was awesome. In other words, we’re not letting go, no matter how hard the poll is or how tough the fight is. And, uh, I thought that was great. Not gonna let go. And you know, they’re willing to do whatever it takes to work through those
Issues. And they talked about having to, uh, have to be involved in counseling. They really believe in counseling. They were committed to getting better, to doing better. Um, and they really wanted to, to rise up as a couple and, and work through the, the sort of the, the ying and yang that they had
Going on. I mean, and I love Brad’s analogy. When he talked about counseling, he said, now, wait a minute, you get a oil change on your car. You get the alignment, taking care of cuz you’re investing and keeping that thing running smoothly. And he goes, you gotta see counseling is the same is the same thing. It’s just a continued investment. And Steph said, you know, she goes, I can’t change him, but I can change me. And that is a huge key in any relationship, it’s not up to you to change your or change your spouse’s mind, but really to say, what’s my role in this and what can I change about myself in this situation to keep the harmony going and make the investment right? They
Realize that some problems may never go away. And we’ve talked about that before, right? Perpetual problems. Those are problems that are never gonna go away. Right. Um, but it is how you are equipped to handle it. And they were not, um, they were not shy to say that, you know, we don’t have all the answers. We can’t do this on our own. We need help. As a matter of fact, I think Brad was so into all the counseling. He said, I need a whole team of counsel
You one counselor can’t handle me. I need two or three or four. Otherwise they keep on quitting. Right. Cracked me up. That was great. That was good. That was great. And you know, I, I think that, you know, in talking about commitment too, they said, Hey, divorce is not an option. It’s not even on the table. We’re gonna work through this and we’re gonna figure it out. And what I love Brad said at the end of the, I try to make the 75 year old decision. And I said, what does that mean? He goes, that means when I’m 75 and I’m looking back when I’m 50, he goes, I just turned 50. So 25 years ago when I was making decisions, am I happy with the decisions I made? And it bring me to a place where I want to be 25 years later. So the things that happen today really are not that important. But you gotta think about in 25 years, what will I be glad that I did or did not do? Yeah.
I, I, I think that’s a great, um, habit. He’s he checks himself. Right? He’s asking himself that question because he wants to make sure that whatever he passes down later in life are, are the right. He made the right choices on that.
Yeah. And I think that what, going back to the counseling thing, Brad said something too. He said a good doesn’t solve or eliminate your problems. A good counselor helps you with a plan, a strategy to face ’em because problems happen when we don’t address ’em right. We shove ’em down. We tuck ’em away. We ignore them. We don’t go into them. But he said, if you don’t have the tools to handle tough issues, that’s what a good counselor should do. Sure. When it comes to creating a kick marriage, do you ever wonder how you’re doing? We found that there are 13 key components that make up a thriving relationship, which is why we’ve created the kick assessment in this powerful free tool. You’ll learn what are and how you and your spouse are ranking in each one. And you’ll get recommendations that will help you start improving today to get your results. Simply visit Matthew E hoffman.com. Again, that’s Matthew E hoffman.com. It’s time to start kicking. Let’s I love that.
And I think another thing that, um, stood out to me with them is that, um, they both are intentionally create space to be by themselves. Um, so they create space even when their kids were, were younger and then, um, their, their children are grown and, and, and I think most of them are out of the home or in college, but they still create that space. And usually it’s over a meal or going to a place that’s well lit and a place that is bright and light and cheery. And they have discussions. They intentionally create time, time to review their day to maybe even talk about some things that are challenging them. And I
Love that he, Brad says we intentionally go to a public place because you’re not gonna get nasty or do anything inappropriate or go outside the bounds if you’re in public. And we also go to, as Kim said, a light bright, positive that we’re gonna feel good being in so we can have the best discussion for those important issues as possible. They got stuff to work out. They’re setting a dinner date, they’re going out somewhere nice. And, uh, they’re having some quality time together.
Yeah. Stuff’s learning how to say what bothered her, um, how her feelings were hurt. So she’s really learning how to open up and be vulnerable. And I believe that Brad is learning how to, um, really, um, apologize, right. To say that he’s sorry, in a really meaningful way.
Yeah. I mean there, and there is a right way, Kim, I think you’ve hit on something there’s a right way to apologize. And you know, there’s kind of some steps coming through first identifying what the issue is. Right. Second, what was your role in it? Like what did you do to contribute to it maybe? And then thinking about it is to also stepping up and taking responsibility. Like, Hey, I should have, I shouldn’t have and owning it. It’s not about blaming the other. Right. And we we’ll, we’re gonna have a pillar discussion, uh, later on that y’all be able to listen to about conflict resolution. So make sure you stay tuned for that and come check that out. But I, I, I think that Brad said you gotta go through and do what’s and come clean in what your role was and what are you gonna do in the future. So you don’t get there again.
And, um, I love Stephanie’s quote of, I learn to own my own junk. Yeah.
She does took, yeah, we all have to do that. It’s not easy cuz you’re kind of bearing your soul and you know, your bear, you’re a little naked when, when, when you do that. But if that commitment is there, your spouse is not gonna zoom in and Z you or Zappia when that happens.
Right. I also think that takes practice, right. It’s not easy to do it the first time, but I think the more we intentionally practice this, the better we become at it.
Yeah. It, it is practice. And I think that, you know, the way kind of leaning in a little bit to conflict resolution, right? Um, your, your priorities have to be in line and when they’re not, that’s kind of when conflict occurs. So if a conflict happens, it means that you or your spouse or prioritizing something more or less, then the other one is, is. And, um, one of the things that they talked about is confronting in love. So Stephanie said, you know, the matter in which I approach Brad with something is a direct indication of how he’s gonna receive it. So if I come in with a soft startup and I’m loving and I’m tender, he’s gonna be open, receptive to whatever it is I have concern about.
Right. Um, you know, you can disagree, but still have a really good relationship. Stephanie said, and she’s right. We can have those conversations. We can definitely, um, disagree on things or even have a little bit of, of conflict going on, but how we approach the other with that conflict, it says it all. I mean, it really makes a huge difference on how you communicate in the relationship
It does. And I mean, and if you communicate lovingly, you know, Brad said in the end of the day, he really doesn’t wanna live. Do you wanna live in friction? You, yeah. It’s not fun. You’ve heard a say before, how long you want the fight to last, right. Want to, you get to choose, you know, when you wanna resolve it and come together. And, um, you know, Kim, when we have those conflicts, when you and I have worked things out, do you feel like you’re when we come to solutions, do you feel like you’re losing?
No, I don’t. I mean, I, I, I’ve learned how to work through conflict. I always felt like I needed to win. I will be honest. Um, I, I always felt like I needed to, but now I don’t, I don’t feel that way at all. I feel like it’s really important to be heard and when I’m heard and when I’m understood the conflict dissolves.
Right. So if there’s good. So what I hear you saying is in the, the way to not feel like there’s a win lose is to make sure there’s effective communication and that you are being heard and that you’re also listening, right? Yeah. It’s kind of it’s being heard and, and that empathic, listen. Yeah.
Stephanie said, uh, she made the, the comment that, what is most important, um, the fight in winning, or is it your spouse in going the distance? And I really love that. Yeah.
It’s a choice. We all have a choice of where we want to end up. And I think Brad kind of talked about marriage, being a journey where you’re learning what you do and don’t want to do it’s he said, marriage is learning how to be happy with what you don’t want to do. Yeah. You know, I mean, you know, you may not want to go eat at that restaurant. You may not wanna spend time with those Outlaws or those in-laws, but you do it. It’s not misery, but you do it because you’re committed to the relationship and you compromise. It’s the art of compromise. How do you allow your spouse to win and have you win at the same time? Yeah,
Definitely. Um, I, I, I go back to that, um, having the patience and walking in love, I every day, um, I really loved when Stephanie said, you know, we just, we choose to walk in love every day. And that’s a great example of their commitment to each other. Kim,
What do you think? What, what would be some examples of walking in love? Well, I, I think that is a good concept, but if you had to put some skin on it, like, what is that, what that look like? And is there any, are any things that you see me do for you or our relationship that are walking love or things that you actively try to do in our relationship? I, I feel
Like walking in love means that you understand me and you know, me and you know, what my love languages are. And you try to tap into those is on a daily basis. I think walking in love is being cognizant of the other person’s needs and desires, and really trying to do something in the day to meet those needs and desires. It can be small, it doesn’t have to be something huge and lavish, but it’s just being aware.
I being aware and trying to meet those daily needs. I think that’s a, that’s a great example and looking, you know, it’s kind of like, to me, it is become a game for me in our relationship, cuz I’m looking for ways that I can surprise and delight you or looking for ways that I might ease your burden or looking for ways to plan a surprise Renez VU or something that will be fun and different and break up a monotony of our day to day time together. And those are how I look at examples of walking and love and uh, any healthy relationship is gonna both spouses taking turns, right? Yeah. And, and doing that for each other. And I
Absolutely you’re really good at that. You’re I I’m, I’m a work in progress. I always say that about myself and, and I truly am. I have come a long way just in the last few years, but you know, a, a great example is right before we came out here to do these, um, these recaps, you know, you had gone downstairs, switched over the laundry, folded what was in the dryer and brought it up to me. And I just was in shock you were shocked.
You mean you don’t expect those things from me all the time.
Well, you do things all the time, but um, you know, laundry is every so often thing. But anyway, that’s just a great example of yes, you are always looking for things to do, to help ease the burden or to tap into my love language. Right.
Right. And so, I mean, Steph Steph shared that about, uh, walking every day in love. And we’ve kind of talked about what some examples, be curious to know what some of your examples are listeners, what are the examples of your spouse in love for you? Brad talked about trust and honesty. You know, that he said that she is his most trusted and loyal friend and friendship really is the foundation of every relationship because you gotta like him before you love him. Right. It can’t be just, well, I love him because they’re my spouse, but you gotta want to tell him things. I, and it’s, you know, he, he thought that trust and honesty was most important because he wants to know that if, if that trust and honesty foundation is there, then the friendship’s gonna happen and the friendship happens. Then you’re naturally spilling into, into love. Uh, each and every day.
I really love listening to this episode of two really busy professionals. People who are really, um, big servants to the community they live in. And so I hope that you will go back and listen to this interview and its entirety again with, um, Brad and Stephanie White
Great episode and go check it out. If you haven’t heard it yet, leave your comments for us and let us know what you’d like to hear us asking some of our guests or talking about those key points. You know, I’m gonna close with. Brad said he, if he, his advice to his unmarried self was to ask more questions and give less advice. So go out there, ask your spouse to more questions, become a student of them and learn and remember happily ever after does not just happen.
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Time. Remember happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.