Wisdom for Wealth. For Life.

Addressing the Stress of Money in Marriage

May 05, 2023 Ronald Blue Trust
Addressing the Stress of Money in Marriage
Wisdom for Wealth. For Life.
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Wisdom for Wealth. For Life.
Addressing the Stress of Money in Marriage
May 05, 2023
Ronald Blue Trust

In this conversation, Ronald Blue Trust's chief mission officer, Russ Crosson, talks with FamilyLife's, Brian Goins, senior director of special projects, and Ed Uszynski, senior content strategist. FamilyLife creates resources for families to grow closer together and become more impactful in their communities. Ed and Brian share a wealth of knowledge on what makes a healthy marriage and the impact that FamilyLife can have on those in need. 

To learn more visit http://www.RonBlue.com

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The information in these podcasts is provided for general educational purposes only.  It is not intended as specific individual advice. The clients’ experience may not be representative of the experience of other clients, and they are also not indicative of future performance or success. Opinions expressed may not be those of Ronald Blue Trust.

Trust and investment management accounts and services offered by Ronald Blue Trust, Inc. are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency, are not deposits or other obligations of, nor guaranteed by any bank or bank affiliate, and are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this conversation, Ronald Blue Trust's chief mission officer, Russ Crosson, talks with FamilyLife's, Brian Goins, senior director of special projects, and Ed Uszynski, senior content strategist. FamilyLife creates resources for families to grow closer together and become more impactful in their communities. Ed and Brian share a wealth of knowledge on what makes a healthy marriage and the impact that FamilyLife can have on those in need. 

To learn more visit http://www.RonBlue.com

Join us on our YouTube Channel or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ronald-Blue-Trust-105753588582086
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/33670/admin/
Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/wisdom-for-wealth-for-life-the-podcast/id1602381870
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/2CjfTonCCMWYn506kPsylB
Amazon: https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/121d5f25-036e-408f-98c4-d8f35df321cb
iHeartRadio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-wisdom-for-wealth-for-life-90932571/

The information in these podcasts is provided for general educational purposes only.  It is not intended as specific individual advice. The clients’ experience may not be representative of the experience of other clients, and they are also not indicative of future performance or success. Opinions expressed may not be those of Ronald Blue Trust.

Trust and investment management accounts and services offered by Ronald Blue Trust, Inc. are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency, are not deposits or other obligations of, nor guaranteed by any bank or bank affiliate, and are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.

- [Announcer] Welcome to the "Wisdom for Wealth. For Life." podcast. Let's bridge the gap between your faith and your finances. At Ronald Blue Trust, we apply biblical wisdom and technical expertise to help you make wise financial decisions. Our goal is to help you leave a lasting legacy. In this podcast, you'll hear inspiring stories, practical tips, and encouragements from the Ronald Blue Trust family with special guests along the way. Welcome to the "Wisdom for Wealth. For Life." podcast. The information in these podcasts is provided for general educational purposes only, and it's not intended as specific individual advice. The client's experience may not be representative of the experience of other clients, and they're also not indicative of future performance or success. Opinions expressed may not be those of Ronald Blue Trust. In this conversation, Ronald Blue Trust Chief Mission Officer, Russ Crosson, talks with Family Life's, Brian Goins, Senior Director of Special Projects and Ed Uszynski, senior content strategist. Family Life creates resources for families to grow closer together and become more impactful in their communities. Ed and Brian share the wealth of knowledge on what makes a healthy marriage and the impact that Family Life can have on those in need. Let's listen in now.

- So guys, thanks for taking time to come in. Came in from out of town today and just appreciate you being here. So, Brian, I'll start with you. Talk a little bit about how long you've been at Family Life, what this means that you're a special project person and what you're actually doing and what you like about it?

- That's great, thanks, Russ. It's great to be with you. And we have been with Family Life, my wife and I, Jen, we've been with Family Life full-time for six years. We've been on the Weekend to Remember speaking team for about 15 years now, and that's where I actually met Ed those years ago. And we were asked to be on the team and do the conferences that are around the country. And so really my title just means, you know, whatever big project that Family Life's working on, whether it's revamping the Weekend to Remember, like we just went through, Ed and I just did that and kind of oversaw that whole process. How do we reach the next generation with this same message of oneness? That to doing things like online courses, doing things like Art of Marriage. We're redoing a video curriculum there. So it's just kind of the big initiatives apart of Family Life.

- Tell me about the Art of Marriage a little bit. Go a little deeper on that if you would just right now.

- Yeah.

- 'Cause I've heard about that and I think for some of the listeners, you know, they have children, grandchildren. Talk a little bit about that.

- So Art of Marriage is kinda like Bible 101 for marriage. It really breaks down like what are God's blueprints for marriage in a video format. And so a lot of churches will use it as a one day seminar or one day, like a weekend retreat, or a lot of small groups will use it as small group curriculum at six sessions. And so, we're doing that right now, Ed and I, in fact, that's why we're here in Atlanta. We're filming tomorrow and just getting it ready. We're hoping to launch it in late part of 2023. So we're pretty excited about that.

- [Russ] Well we're getting your camera face on today.

- Yeah, no, I'm much better behind a podcast, like without video.

- Well, and that series came out, what, 10?

- Yeah, 11 years ago.

- 11 years ago now.

- And it was really pretty successful at the church level. So they asked us to just, I won't say redo it, but freshen it up, make the next version of it.

- Yeah.

- Great. So the Art of Marriage for churches. So some of our listeners may have churches they're involved with that this could be a good resource. So Ed, tell me your Family Life story, how long you've been there, and what it means to be content strategists? That's pretty impressive sounding. And these guys are both senior in front of their titles.

- That's important.

- They've got some age there.

- That's important. Well, you mentioned crew. So I've actually been on staff with crew since '92. So for 30 years now and mostly with Athletes in Action. So that's the sports ministry of crew. Like Brian and Jen, my wife Amy and I joined the Family Life speaker team in, wow, maybe 18 years ago now. And so we do the Weekend to Remember conferences and that's where Brian and I crossed paths.

- Just to be clear, you're more senior than I am, yeah.

- I am more senior, yeah.

- Just wanted that to be.

- So really, whatever my title is and we make fun of that because at the end of the day, I work with Family Life mostly because I believe in how I've heard Brian talk about wanting to see things change when it comes to special projects, when it comes to expanding the reach of what we do with the content. And I believe in it and I see what happens at the weekends and just think, if we can do more of this then let me get on that train.

- Well you guys have both talked about the weekends, so let's go a little deeper there, Weekends to Remember. I know my wife and I attended those several times, our early part of our marriage in the 80s and 90s. But talk to the audience about those weekends, the goal of those weekends, what some of the learnings you guys have had from those. You both have taught 'em, so talk about what that means to be a speaker.

- When did it start, it started in the 70s?.

- So it started in '76. And it really was started as a ministry to crew. So the crew staff were struggling in marriage and yet they're trying to do ministry. And so Don and Sally Meredith and a small group of people really said, well, their premise was if God created marriage, he knows how it works. So they started walking through the Bible. They came up with what was known as the faith principles, and they started teaching it to crew staff. Well, crew staff would start, it was just a conference. And crew staff started sneaking their parents in because they're like, "man, my parents needed this." And then they started wanting to send and bring other family members in. So pretty soon it became the crew marriage, I think it was called the Crew Marriage Family Conference. Like, like a terrible name.

- Yeah, bad name.

- That just rolls off your really rolls.

- That's right, needed some branding work.

- It did need some branding work. Eventually became the Weekend to Remember, I think in '92 is when they first started calling it the Weekend to Remember. It's the longest running marriage conference in the country. And so well, there's been about 2 million I think that have gone through it.

- [Russ] Wow, 2 million.

- Yeah, and it's a three day conference. There's been a lot of people that have talked about, well, you know, why don't you just like shrink this down? And what we've found is there is something that happens. Not everybody can go to a three day conference, but when couples make the investment, and just like anything, you're in the wealth space. It's like if you don't invest constantly in the things that matter most, you'll see those things deconstruct. You'll see them diminish. You'll see them just get devalued over time. Same thing happens in marriage. So it's a three day conference that really is an experience where you get couples together around timeless truths. And what Ed and I have discovered is that three days can really add three decades to a marriage.

- Well, that's a good phrase there, three days to add three decades. It starts on Friday, goes through Saturday and through. So talk a little bit about that, and it's interesting, you know, you mentioned, you know, the timeless biblical truths about Mary's, you know, we teach timeless biblical principles about money, and that's why we really appreciate, you know, what you guys are doing and investment in couples. So if somebody's listening, they have like children or grandchildren are saying, "man, this would be a cool thing." You know, how could I sponsor them to a Weekend to Remember, talk to us about, you know, where you have 'em kind of, you know, the format, Friday, when do they start and all that.

- Good, yeah. And so at the peak, and I don't know what we're doing now, but there were a few years ago, there were 90 of them that happened. You know, September to early June, all over the country and mostly in big cities. And there's a speaker team of about 60 couples. So the speakers mostly don't work directly with Family Life. They're also all over the country in all different walks of life. But they have all thought deeply about marriage and have worked through things in their own marriage. And so there's a diversity to what happens from the stage. So even if somebody's been before, it's always different because the speakers are always different.

- Yeah, so I think Russ, you need to go, you need to take your wife,

- You might be

- It's been a few years.

- I need to check but yeah, I probably do need to go.

- It's time.

- Can I get a scholarship, no

- Yeah, we take care of you.

- You can, you can. But yeah, we start Friday night at seven and it ends Sunday at noon. And basically all that's happening across nine sessions?

- Mm-hm.

- Nine sessions now is we're just putting the basics of marriage, it's just putting the basics.

- So what are some of those topics?

- Communication. Gosh, now we even start just by saying, why did you want to get married in the first place? We just help people kind of revisit what it was that brought them together and what was the dream that they had for themselves in marriage. And then throughout the weekend, what we're introducing 'em to is that God has a dream, for lack of a better word. He had a picture in mind of why he created marriage. And so you get the whole weekend to kind of look at where you're at and how you're operating with each other. Here's what he wants and what he says you will maximally flourish in your communication, in your sex life, in your conflict. The way you do conflict with each other. How you think about yourself and what your role is as a man and what your responsibilities are. What are your responsibilities as a wife and a woman. And we just kind of put it all out on the table. But like Brian said, I think, you know, there's nothing magic about any of that. There's been all kinds of other ministries that have done that same kind of work. If there is any magic though, it's that we give you space to talk to each other. Like, that's it.

- The weekend's not totally crammed with content. The couple gets a chance, they get away to a nice hotel. They get a chance to interact and talk through some things.

- Nice hotel.

- That you guys have brought up.

- And you know, everybody knows how this is. It just takes a minute. It takes really, at least a day.

- It does.

- Just to calm down and detach yourself. And then when the speakers, which they always are vulnerable and, you know, somewhat entertaining, they're able to laugh at hard things. It just creates an environment where you've got permission to talk about things that you know that you need to talk about, but usually don't. Here you've got a space to do it. And we set you up to do that.

- And we've often said the things that get said at the Weekend to Remember that it's most important don't come from the stage to the audience. It really is spouse to spouse. And we have a date night that we put together, that's a great experience. And something about Sunday morning. There's a different air in the room.

- So tell us some of the stories, maybe a couple or something that you've experienced, you know, at one of these weekends, somebody that came and they were a relationship maybe wasn't that good, but they've come here and maybe some of just, I'm sure you've heard some stories.

- Oh gosh.

- Oh man. Yeah, we got a ton of those. I think there's like three groups of people that are there. You've got the preventative maintenance. Those are the ones that you know, that they just know that they need to, if they're not intentional with their relationship, it's gonna just kind of drift towards isolation. That's our natural drift, no marriage is static. We're either drifting towards isolation or moving intentionally towards oneness. So you've got those that are there, they just want a good weekend together and they get away and they start their vacation with it, get on the same page and go. You've got those that are in a hard place, you know. Maybe they're not to the point of crisis, but they know they gotta work on some things. And so they need a little bit bigger tune up. And then you've got some that are in the ditch. And I think that they break down about 33% in each. We've polled everybody that's there. And that's about where it ends up. And inevitably what ends up happening is you'll say on Friday night that for some of you, you were even told by your pastor or a judge, go to this thing. And then we'll think about divorce. And some of 'em have divorce papers in their glove box as they're driving up. And we'll have people come up and rip 'em right in front of us.

- [Russ] Wow, wow, that's a good visual.

- We're starting something new.

- So one of the things that we've started doing, again, it's kind of hard to think of specific. There's these general categories that just happen at every conference. There's one session where we talk about conflict and we give couples an opportunity to identify something that it's just time to forgive each other about. And let go of, you do not need to continue to carry this into the rest of your life together. And we ask 'em to write it down. And then we've got, you know, bowls up front just so there's just kind of a physical reaction to this thing when we say, write this down, put it in the bowl and before God and we're not gonna do anything with it. This is totally anonymous. But you are saying as you put that in the bowl that before God, you're gonna let that go this weekend. And the bowls are always full, Russ, by the end of the weekend. There are people that are desperately wanting to get free from some of the wounds that they put on each other. And we see it all weekend long. It's crazy.

- So it sounds like that's one of the geniuses of the weekend is they're there with other couples. It's several hundred people I understand, in many of these. And so they're not alone and they are forced then to have to deal with some things and, it sounds like a good environment for that.

- It is, and just to be clear again, we do 'em all the time so we can see 'em. But for people that are listening that are maybe intimidated at the thought of having to come and be in a small group with people or you're gonna have to talk to people. You don't have to talk to anybody. You don't even have to talk to your spouse if you don't want to. But the whole point is that you would at least talk to each other.

- [Russ] Don't make me go to one of those things where I gotta like sit in a small group and each of us has to share.

- You don't have talk to anybody else. We're not gonna make you come up front. And people always come up at the end too, especially guys, it's the best. You know, guys will wait in line at the end to say, "Hey man, I did not want to be here. But this was nothing like what I thought it was gonna be." Tears in their eyes, you know, they're quivering and it's just like, it's an I love you man kind of moment.

- Yeah, you can see 'em, you can see 'em with their hands folded across their arms, folded across their chest.

- [Russ] That's how they come. They start out like that.

- Friday night.

- Yeah, go ahead teach me, what you got? You know, and they're just, but by the end, they really have seen, I think so much of it, Russ is, you know this, when somebody's vulnerable, it begets vulnerability. And I think that's one thing I've learned about you and about your ministry here and is you're in a room with somebody and you're not just talking to them about their money. They're talking about what's behind the money. What's helping you make the habits that you have, the decisions that you're making, the legacy that you're creating, good or bad. There's something behind that. And so when a speaker is just themselves on stage.

- Telling the truth about themselves.

- Yeah, we're not there 'cause we're experts. We're there just because we've made a lot of mistakes and we're not afraid to share it.

- Well, I've heard both you guys speak and these guys are being very humble, but they are great communicators and there's humor and there's content and that's why these guys that come with their arms folded. And I think, you know, it's very disarming the way the speakers and I know several of the others on the speaker team too, so that's great. So it's not like something that it's gonna be a great fun weekend.

- Let me just say this too, 'cause Family Life is bigger than that umbrella. Family Life has been hosting these Weekend to Remember, that's how we started. But then in '92 we launched a radio program, Family Life Today that's been reaching, you know, millions around the world. And now it's a podcast and we've got a podcast network now and with a number of different things. And then we have online courses that we just started that I know we're gonna talk about in just a minute. And then just for those that are listening and if you've got, yourself or maybe there's a question about marriage or your son or daughter or grandkids are just needing some practical, relevant, authentic wisdom that doesn't feel like you're being talked down to, Dave and Ann Wilson on Family Life Today are great. Our website's filled with a ton of answers. So we just wanna be that resource for people.

- Well I wanna give a testimony, 'cause I picked up one of your resources, smartphone sanity, and I read it over vacation and I'm giving it to all my boys 'cause I feel like they need to really have that as they're bringing their kids up into this age of how do I deal with the smartphone? So resources are great. And that's one I just recently had a chance to interact with a little bit. So you guys have seen all these couples over these decades. Common stressors, we mentioned communication, conflict, others, and then let's talk about money. I'm assuming that that might be something that comes up and.

- [Ed] You think so?

- How do y'all deal with that?

- Well, what did we say? I mean, literally that's how we wound up coming to Russ in the first place, is just one of the massive felt needs at every one of these conferences is people's inability to resolve, inability to resolve their financial life together.

- [Russ] And you had tried to do that with like a breakout or something, be kind of.

- That's what I was gonna get into is.

- And we didn't feel like we had enough time to do.

- When we were revamping, part of the process of revamping the Weekend to Remember, is that we interviewed countless people, hundreds of people that had been before alumni, people that were in the conferences, asking them what are the biggest stress points of their marriage. And so, you know, a lot of 'em, you know, two that came to the top. Okay, so I mean everybody would put communication, conflict, sex, those kind of things. And just where do I talk about those things? But the two that kept coming up were blended. We had, you know, increasingly we have more and more people that are in a second or third or fourth marriage and just, that's a level complexity that you don't always get at traditional marriage stuff. So how do we speak to that? And the second one was money. And so with both of those, we were like, well let's do a breakout session. And the blended one we found did great. We had Ron Deal, we had a video session 'cause we knew we couldn't, Ron is kind of the foremost expert, he's with Family Life Blended and he's well known across the world really in this space. And so we created a unique breakout. We did the same thing with money. We went to some great experts in the field. We have them orchestrate a breakout and they were gonna be at every Weekend to Remember. And it didn't work. And I think it's because, well we found out.

- People got more frustrated.

- People got more frustrated. Because you only have 45 minutes. And it's like, you can't cover all that you need to cover in a weekend.

- And when you need to work, you need to work some things out, right?

- And people get mad.

- Last thing I wanna do is go to a breakout on money if I'm having trouble with money.

- Exactly.

- All it did was just, it brought everything to the surface that they were already frustrated about and were trying to avoid. And so people, it just wasn't good.

- It derailed, it derailed it. So it's like, there's an example if you tried something and it just didn't work.

- So I'd kind of heard about that and then I reached out to you guys a little over two years ago now. So let's talk about what happened, why you were interested. I know Crawford Loritts who's on Family Life board, and we sat right here in our office and brainstormed a little bit. So talk about what was attractive about this different approach as you're revamping things and some of that process and even some of the stuff you were learning. I remember Ed, as we were going through it, you were saying "this is good." So let's talk about the process.

- Go ahead.

- Before Ed jumps in, 'cause I do know there were some things there, but the thing that made me laugh right away when we were in there. I remember Crawford, who's on our board, he's also been a great crew friend, you know, lifelong communicator and pastor, just a great man of wisdom. Whenever Crawford speaks, we stop, and we take notes.

- People listen.

- And so he was like, "Hey, we got this guy Ross, you know, he's awesome, Russ Crosson and he's written a book, 'Your Money Made Simple.' We want to get it into the Weekend to Remember store." And I'm like, to be honest, I didn't want to just have another book about money in the store. Number one, guys don't read. And so I was, I immediately was just kind of put off by that. Like, okay, he wants to schlepp his book and put in all our Weekends to Remember. Of course he does. He's an author, he wants to just get known. And so we came here to just, 'cause I read the book and when I read it I was like, wow, this is really good. I would hate for people to just see it in the bookstore. How do we make it more accessible to people? Because we have people that have felt need and they need to know where do I go with that? And they're not, by and large, they won't read a book. And so we came here and we started talking about and pitching the idea of what if we turn this thing into an online course and, yeah.

- Well, and maybe you could answer this too, about what you thought was good about it. And what I thought was good in diving into the book and even after having conversations with you is just how practical it is. I mean, it's gotta be something that's doable, okay? It's already an overwhelming topic to people. How do we make this as simple as possible? How do we get to fundamentals that will create a different future for us if we can start to apply 'em now? And Russ, just the way you laid things out in that book, again, just to get, you know, I think about what is it that causes people to have so much conflict with each other. So much of it is just they don't know. And I've seen this in my own life with Amy and I, they don't know how much their life costs as they're currently going about their life. And they don't know how much they actually really have to pay for it. Just those two things. And so obviously, we will talk more about it. But those are huge themes in the book is just to sit down and be very meticulous about finding out answers to those questions. What does your life really cost right now? And how much do you have to pay for it?

- Well I think you guys know that when the publisher said, "Hey, would you write a how to book?" I said, "I'm not doing that." But then when I said, "okay, if I can just write what Jill and I do, if a couple comes to our house," which is get out the famous flip chart. I wanted to call the book.

- Don't get this book for the animations or the cool designs, all right?

- But the point is, back to what you're saying, Ed, the key word here is simple. It's not easy, but I thought, "okay, if we're gonna write a how to book, then if you came to our house, we would just ask some of those questions." You know, what do you spend to live? And let's fill in these boxes 'cause the key to financial freedom, I can't tell you how to be financially independent or successful, I can tell you how to be free. And to be free just spend less than you make. And that sounds like a simple trite comment, but it's true. Spend less than you make and do it for a long time. You're gonna be fine. But most people, like you said, have no idea. And so I appreciate you sharing that that was what resonated with you. And I think that was what started this is, okay, let's see if we can take what's in here and not just give people a book, and let's create a course where you guys put in some questions. We talked about the communication. So that started a couple year process. So anything you want to share about that whole thing?

- Well, there's probably a lot that we'd wanna share, just how long it took and, but man, what I'd like to, and you said it Russ, the brilliance behind the book is that it does feel like you're sitting across the table talking to you and Julie. And Julie really is your secret weapon in all this. And we knew that right when we met her around the table and we're like, "why are we talking to Russ? Let's just hang out with Julie, she's awesome." And so the way that the book is laid out, the way we try to do the course and the course really is also called Financial Freedom for Couples. It really is designed for couples. Not that anybody else couldn't use this, your book is designed for anybody. We really wanted to focus on couples 'cause that's our target at the Weekends to Remember. And what I like about it is the difficulty is I don't know how to talk to my spouse about money. There's so much emotion behind that and what you're able to do and what you're able to do in the course is we are gonna try to teach you how to talk about it so it's not so loaded and charged. And to give you that practical simplicity, we have videos with you in it, kind of doing that feeling where, there's the idea of the flip chart and you're talking to us and there's a worksheet that goes with it. So it really tried to be a step-by-step. It doesn't replace the book. It's really a companion for the book. And we encourage people to have both. You know, to have the book and then also go to Family Life.com/learn and take financial freedom for couples. And so whether you can do this yourself or you have somebody, maybe it's your son or daughter that's just gotten married or a grandchild that's just gotten married, this would be a great way to start their marriage off. Or just even asking those questions, are you spending less than you make? That's not a question that everybody can say honestly I do that.

- Most people don't know the answer to that question. And that's how you gotta get started.

- And we set it up, too. You could even do it as a group in church, you know, a Sunday school class. We talked about what it would look like. The point is just to, to be able to have the conversations. And Brian, you had mentioned just how emotional money is. There's so many values behind why we feel as individuals, what we feel towards money. I mean it's no wonder the Bible talks so much about money. It's where your heart is and there's a lot attached to it. So being able to slow down, and there's good questions in there to just kind of help you step back and ask why do I feel the way I feel, about these things as individuals and how will we reconcile having very different views and coming from very different backgrounds? How will we make this work together?

- Well and I think, like you mentioned, the Weekends to Remember are kind of a fun winsome weekend. A lot of humor, different ways to present it just so people understand. And this masterclass, it's got some videos, like you said, it's got some couples testimonies. It's something that's not just a didactic, you know, fill in the blank type thing. There's some interaction with the course.

- Yeah, and it's not long, like what every session and what I like about it is that it's something you can get through fairly simply, easily, get a great nugget of wisdom and then have a good conversation.

- And you can figure out a plan literally to enact this week to chart a different course for your future. But the other thing that I think that it does is it unearths some of the value props that I come with when it comes to money that may actually need some more help or some more conversations, you know, with other wise people that have been down this path before. I was just in a premarital counseling situation yesterday. This is so ironic, literally yesterday, a guy that's 23, she's 21, they're about to get married in a few weeks. And we were talking about money and the long and the short of it was, she said, "when I spend money I feel better." And I mean, it was profound. We got in some, a whole bunch of other stuff attached to that. I feel better when I'm spending money on things. He said "I feel better when I'm not." And again, it just coming from his background to not spend money makes him feel like he's got some kind of control over things. When she's spending money, it's satisfying something inside of her. And they were both laughing about, they've never thought about where that comes from. But two wildly different views, very real, coming from very real places. So that's above my pay grade. But they're gonna have to have that conversation more with other people.

- The guys you mentioned when we started that the Weekends to Remember and the whole Family Life ministry started because they wanna share biblical truths about marriage.

- [Brian] That's right.

- And we all have a choice. I mean all we're talking about here is biblical principles of money. So that couple for example, she feels good when she spends, he feels good when he doesn't spend. That's not the real issue. The issue is am I gonna apply what the Bible says about money? Which is get out of debts, spend less than you make, diversify, be generous. And we all have that choice. Whether it be about our marriage, the principles about marriage or principles about money. We're all free to accept or reject the truth, but we're not free from the consequences if we decide to reject it. And they just have to figure out, you know, as they understand their marriage, you know, the money thing and you know, she can spend a lot of money, as long as it's not more than they make .

- That's right.

- That's the problem.

- I said that, I said that to him.

- And he may, you know, he may not be able to make the pile as big as he wants. But that's all part of the interesting dynamic between marriage and money. Because we are different. And, you know, I've done it for over four decades now and you just, I had a guy one time said, "I'm gonna buy a diamond ring for my wife for anniversary. What do you think?" I say, "are you paying cash?" He goes, "no, I'm gonna borrow." I said, "she's gonna be mad at you." You know, you're gonna violate your security orientation to buy her a diamond ring. But that's just why to me, what Family Life does, dealing with the marriage, the money part, it is all integrated. Because you don't want money, which is temporal to undermine the eternal impact of harmonious marriages.

- That's right.

- So that's what I appreciate about, you know, you guys and Family Life and what you're doing and it's been fun to co-labor with you all. I hope some couples are signing up for the masterclass as you've done these weekends. You're back more full steam now, right, after COVID?

- We are.

- Yep, we are. But before we jump off of that, 'cause I don't wanna miss this either Russ. And I know we're wrapping up here, but I just wanna thank you. One thing that Ed and I were so impressed with is that how many stories you just rattle off of couples that you sat across the table from and the kind of investment you've made into that next generation and the kind of wealth that you've created for other people, to be generous, to be diversified, to feel freedom, to not feel as enslaved to debt. I don't know that anyone really understands the ledger of impact that you and Julie have had on so many people.

- Thanks.

- And so just, Ed and I sit across the table and we've done a lot of conferences but the thing that really impressed us when we were here was just your desire to impact those couples and to give them freedom, which is what we all want. What Jesus said he came here for, he came here to set us free. And we need to be set free in this area.

- Yeah, it's good.

- I know for me that story that you talked about, it made me think about how I feel about money. I'm always more satisfied when I spend your money. That's when I feel good about money.

- That's a whole nother category.

- Yeah, that's a whole other issue, other people's money. I see how much I can borrow and spend it.

- Other people's money or money we don't have at all.

- It's easy to spend daddy's money.

- That reminds me of one more story since you mentioned.

- There we go.

- Brian, this gal says to me their business wasn't making any money. And I say, "where are you getting the money?" She says, "well it's just coming from the bank."

- [Ed] There you go.

- It was like, hey, we're still getting our cash flow. But it wasn't coming from business earnings, it was coming from borrowing. So anything you wanna share with our listeners, we're almost done here, just any final comments to leave 'em with, from either one of your perspectives.

- Let me just give 'em the details.

- Go ahead.

- And you might think of something else to sign off with. But again, Family Life wants to be a resource for all of your audience. Maybe for them, for their kids, for their grandkids. If you go to weekendtoremember.com, you can easily sign up for a weekend and we would love to see you out on the road.

- [Russ] Those are all over the country?

- All over the country. You can pick one, go to a great spot, you know, and maybe even send your kids to a great fun spot. We do 'em in places like Dustin and Colorado Springs and San Diego. Jen and I will be doing one out in November in San Diego. That'll be fun this year. And so there's all kinds of, there's no reason not to go. And if you haven't been, you know, we often say calendar your companionship, at least once a year get away and whether it's Family Life or somebody else or just your own vacation, get away at least once a year.

- And let me just say, you know, we talk about posterity investing here at Ron Blue, and I would just encourage the listeners, consider investing, like you said, you pay for the weekend for your child. Or for your grandchild. Good use of money.

- That's a great use of money. And then Family Life.com/learn and take the course. We got a couple other courses there. Ed and I have one on manhood about chaos, about a new theory on manhood and how do you move into the chaos of our lives as men and really step up. But then we've got this one financial freedom for couples.

- Well and also, you mentioned the blended, we went over that real quick and I heard a lot of that. And I would just say to our listeners, if you've got a blended situation, some of the resources at Family Life are just incredible just from what I've seen. So we kind of went over that quickly to get to the money thing. But the blended content you guys have is really good.

- There's an e-course as well on there.

- I just think even as Brian was speaking, what is a word that kind of rises up out of that and the word was hope. That people need hope, that it's possible to do marriage in a way where you're not miserable all the time. Again, just the cultural moment that we live in and you know, we didn't even get into any of this but we live at a time where marriage is not held up and there's not a lot of good teaching that's circulating out there in society in general about how to be successfully married in the way God intended marriage to be. Well, you can get access to that. And you literally can change now. I mean you don't have to stay mired in whatever the past has been. Either in your relationship or what you've seen before. You can do it differently. And same thing with your money. You don't have to be in bondage, I like that freedom word. It really is right there waiting for you just to say yes to it and to trust God to create a different future.

- Maybe share from your individual perspective a common stressor that you've experienced and what you and your spouse have done to overcome it. Who wants to go first?

- You need another hour.

- I know. Well. I mean, I think one of the most common stressors that we see at these weekends and we hear all the time is people come up to us and go, "why didn't anyone tell me this stuff?" And I think there's just the level of ignorance. And I don't say that demeaningly, I think all of us until we get, it says in Proverbs 4:25, "the beginning of wisdom is this." Lemme say that again. Proverbs 4:25 says, "the beginning of wisdom is this, seek wisdom." And that word for seek is hunt. Like go after it. And if there's like a need in your marriage, if there's a need with your situation with money, it's amazing how we're willing to sit in that need and not do anything about it 'cause we just don't feel confident. We're not really sure what to do. We don't wanna let people know that we're struggling. And so just to be able to say, "man, I need help," to be dependent, to be weak 'cause that's when God can be strong in our life. And so I think so many people are afraid to let their weakness out and to let their ignorance out. And yet when they do, they can really find the start to healing. And so I think that's one of the big stressors I've seen. It's just that level of ignorance that they didn't know that this wisdom from the Bible is there.

- It sounds like you and your wife have sought that wisdom, that's been one of your ways to handle it.

- Yeah, absolutely. One of the big things we do is, is we just try to have a mentor in our life. You know, there's nothing like going out to lunch with somebody, like make it a habit to go out with somebody, go out to pay for their lunch. And that's a little bit farther down the road than you are, that you see their life, they're modeling something different, they're reflecting a different kind of love. They've raised kids that aren't ax murderers and you sit down and you go, "what did you do?" And you have a list of questions, biggest mistakes, what are you doing right? What do you wish you had started earlier and you're just hunting for that wisdom.

- That's a good take away, Ed?

- It is good. I think one of the top stressors that comes out at the conference is just that people do not have time to be with each other. They are both living busy, productive, highly responsible lives. Especially if you throw kids in there. And so they're going days and weeks and months at a time where they're in each other's space, but they never turn towards each other and have conversations with each other about the things they most need to talk about. And to Brian's point, then you just start to drift apart and you wake up like the frog and the kettle and suddenly you're burned.

- What do you and your wife do to make sure you have that, turn toward each other?

- Well, again, to Brian's point, we've been surrounded by people since the beginning of our marriage who were older and wiser and said, "don't let that happen." Calendar is a phrase Brian uses all the time, calendar your companionship, just like you're scheduling in everything else that needs to happen in your life.

- [Russ] So a date night or anything like this.

- Yes, and again, sometimes I think people get overwhelmed with the thought of a date night. Meet for breakfast, make an appointment.

- Have coffee.

- Make an appointment with each other to touch base for half an hour in the middle of the day. Whatever it is that's gonna work in your schedule. But you have to prioritize turning and looking at each other and having conversations.

- [Russ] That's a good concept, turn and look.

- That's right. And so again, the couples that do that, I think generally it's not that they don't struggle, it's that they have a way to work through their struggles. They're getting wisdom from other people, they're having conversations they need to have with each other and they flourish in that. They grow in that and the couples that don't, the piles keep building up of resentment.

- [Russ] The walls.

- Yeah, unresolved things that we haven't talked about. And so even for those couples, you can still stop and start to dig into those things together.

- What's interesting, Brian, you used the word wisdom, that's this podcast, "Wisdom for Wealth. For Life." And I'm just grateful that for over four decades I've been able to help people know God's word, wisdom from God's word relative to money. And that's what this whole book was about. And like I would encourage our listeners with, it's not necessarily easy to do, but it is simple. The principles like you've learned with marriage, they aren't complicated and we all have a choice, are we gonna do 'em or not? So thanks for sharing those concepts.

- Yeah, it's interesting that, you know, and we didn't really say this, but you know, one of the best ways to be financially successful is to give back to God first. It's to tie a portion of these resources that he gives us that says, "God, you're in control." In the same way, in a sense in marriage, it's almost like we need to tie our time to make sure that we're spending time together if we want to have a successful marriage, very intentionally.

- Well, I was gonna say one of the things that we're talking about marriage, one way to undermine your finances is not keep your marriage together.

- Yeah, that's true.

- So you know, if you wanna torpedo your finances, just torpedo your marriage.

- Yes, sir.

- And hey, I know we're again over a little bit, but you mentioned stressors and I think this hits with the whole thing with money as well, it's like, what's the purpose of your money? And so to get people off, you say this a lot, you know, just the idea of how can I help you, babe? And how a guy like taught you that phrase of just admiring that sense of how do I do a Philippians 2 marriage where I'm not just looking out for the interest of myself, but I'm looking out for the interest of the other to actually love my spouse like God loves me. Because the whole purpose of marriage is to reflect the love of God, and God's love is selfless. It's sacrificial. What's the phrase you use all the time about using my best for your good? I'm putting you on the spot, like Amy told you to.

- Oh, the agape love.

- Yeah.

- That I'm gonna do what's best for you in spite of what it costs me.

- [Russ] That's good.

- I'm gonna do what's best for you. You get two people that are doing that towards each other. That's a really fun house to live in.

- But our culture, Russ, you know this, right? Marriage is about how do you fit into my world? How do you make me happy? How do I get mine outta you? And the minute you stop doing that for me, you don't give me the feeling anymore. You don't seem to live up to my expectations, I'm out. Anyway, you're getting us going, sorry. You're getting us going.

- It's a horizontal perspective and we need to be the right person. And I think that's what you guys are saying. Well, appreciate what you guys do and that's what we want for our clients and all the generations is the Philippians. You know, be of same mind, united in spirit, intent on one purpose and live in harmony. God didn't gimme my spouse to frustrate me, but to complete me. And so guys, thanks for your investment, your senior titles now. So that means you've been doing this for a long time, so we appreciate very much your commitment to Family Life and to couples. And thanks for joining us here on the "Wisdom for Wealth. For Life." podcast.

- Thank you.

- Thanks Ross, appreciate it.

- [Announcer] Thank you so much for listening to the "Wisdom for Wealth. For Life." podcast. If you're looking for financial advice, please contact us. Please visit ronblue.com. That's ronblue.com. Thank you for listening and please subscribe to wherever you listen to your podcasts. Trust and investment management accounts and services offered by Ronald Blue Trust Incorporated are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency, are not deposits or other obligations of, nor guaranteed by any bank or bank affiliate, and are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.

Meet Brian and Ed from Family Life
What is A Weekend to Remember?
What happens at A Weekend to Remember
Money and your marriage
How to get involved and improve your marriage
How to overcome common stressors in marriage