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In this week’s Marriage Matters, Andy B and Jo talk about the importance of honesty in marriage and being gentle. They speak candidly about how we can go from being supportive, kind and loving to our spouse to cruel and unkind and critical if we are not careful.

As always, Andy B steers the episode with scripture and explores the following:

  • Proverbs 27:5-6
  • Proverbs 27:17
  • Proverbs 5:3

Andy B and Jo make the point that there is a need to tell our spouse some difficult truths sometimes, whether it’s as simple as not liking what they wear or disliking their culinary delights or the need for our spouse to slow down, rest or stop working!

There is a balance to be had between being straight on the one hand but being gentle about it on the other.

Tips and Resources

The Take Away

  •  Focus on the good things in your marriage and about your spouse.
  •  Difficulties in marriage will come and temptations to be harsh and cruel - 1 Corinthians 13 is the antidote!

Andy and Jo

Andy 0:39 Well, hello, and welcome to yet another episode of the wonderful Marriage Matters. All about matters of the marriage, that matter, 'cos they matter in marriage because Marriage Matters.

Jo 0:48 I'm Jo.

Andy 0:49 I'm Andy. It's getting slicker that

Jo 0:51 Oh, yeah, absolutely.

Andy 0:52 Yeah. Anyway, tripping off the tongue. So if you want to keep up to date with everything that we're doing, you can like us on Facebook, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. How many times have I said this? You can subscribe to our YouTube channel. And you can sign up to BerryBytes.

Jo 1:08 Yay.

Andy 1:08 And what's berry bites? While it is our regular newsletter, so you will never miss out on anything?

Jo 1:14 Yeah,

Andy 1:14 That we do.

Jo 1:15 Yeah, and you won't miss out on what's happening with Marriage Matters. And this week,

Andy 1:19 And it's Berry Bytes wih a why? Because Y not?

Jo 1:24 Yeah, check it out. Yeah, so this week,

Andy 1:27 I don't do all the slogans.

Jo 1:28 No, you don't.

Andy 1:28 Can you tell?

Jo 1:31 As you know, Marriage Matters is all about things to do with marriage and we share something of our own experience. And this week, we're looking at A Balancing Act. And what we mean by that is that, you know, we need to be honest in relationships, honest with our spouse. We're friends at the end of the day, aren't we. Friends tell each other the truth. But there's a way

Andy 1:51 Hopefully

Jo 1:51 Of saying the truth isn't there. And I think, when we were sort of thinking about this, you know, at ome minute you can be a real advocate. You can be, really be, on the side of your spouse, and the next minute, you're like the enemy. And it happens, doesn't it?Aguments we talked about in the last episode. But also you can be someone who's really complimentary. Someone who's very supportive of, of your other half, and then be someone who's really critical. But at the same time, it's A Balancing Act and that's the point. Because you do need to be honest. You need to say, hey, that, you don't look great in that top or whatever, or that

Andy 2:24 Does me bum look big in this? Actually, yes it does!

Jo 2:27 The food didn't taste very nice. Or, you know, actually, you are overworking or you, you were a bit harsh when you spoke to that person. That's what friends are for, isn't it? And we've got some scriptures to help us

Andy 2:37 We do.

Jo 2:37 Out with that.

Andy 2:38 Do you want em now?

Jo 2:39 Yeah, that'd be cool.

Andy 2:40 Hey, well, there you go. Honesty's the best policy.

Jo 2:44 Yeah.

Andy 2:45 But how you convey the honesty kind of matters.

Jo 2:47 Yeah, that's the key.

Andy 2:48 Yeah, you got a big butt isn't really loving and kind. Perhaps we could be honest and say, well, I'm not sure that really works on you.

Jo 2:56 Although in saying that, I know that we've from different cultures and different sort of relationships, we might have a way of talking to each other that we can we, after a number of years, we can talk like that, but it's about making sure that that's, that's the way the other person

Andy 3:11 Appropritae within the relationship.

Jo 3:12 Yeah, I mean, I must admit, I like people being blunt, being honest, being forthright being just straight to the point. But some other but other people like it to be bent a bit don't they.

Andy 3:23 Bend a little bit.

Jo 3:24 Yeah.

Andy 3:25 Shall I start in Proverbs, the early one? 5, 4?

Jo 3:27 Yeah. Go for it!

Andy 3:28 Proverbs 5, verse 3,

Andy 3:30 "For the lipo of an adulterous drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil. But in the end, she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double edged sword."

Andy 3:41 It gets worse!,"

Andy 3:42 "er feet go down to death, her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life. Her paths are crooked, but she knows it's not"

Jo 3:50 Wow. What's that about?

Andy 3:53 Well, it's about an adultress. So it's somebody who's having an affair. But thing is affairs don't just happen. Not ever. Unless you are completely drunk, in which case you're probably not in control of yourself. But then why were you getting drun,k and putting yourself in a dangerous place. You need to think first! But affairs don't just happen. And this particular bit of Proverbs is about an adulterous woman. And I think we need to be aware that you don't just fall into an affair. It's something that you've probably planned or, if not planned, perhaps planned to allow for the possibility of.

Andy 4:30 But how do we do anything we don't want to do? Well with flattery. Flattery works. And I think flattery. It works different for men and women. I think women can flatter in a way. A man. Women can flatter a man in a way a man can't flatter a woman. There are different ways for men to do the same thing. But flattery, I think, is something that is quite effective at getting what you want. So I think it's being very careful. And if the, the tongue is draping with honey, dripping with honey, then the whole point is it's smooth, and it's pleasant, and it's enjoyable. It's something that goes down very easily. And it doesn't jar with us. If somebody says, oh, yeah, 'let's go and have sex, let's go and have an affair' that might jolt you out of doing it. But actually, if what we're saying here is affairs happen, because there tend to be a lot of little steps. And, actually, that bit of flattery might be just enough to push you over the edge.

Jo 5:05 Yeah.

Andy 5:05 That's what I think. What do you think it's about dear?

Jo 5:20 Well, no, I mean, it ties in with what we're talking about in the sense that it's a balancing Act between how we approach things. But we need, also, to be warned that even if someone's dripping with honey, if someone's really got th,+e they're a charmer, then there might be some some problems there as well. So it's not as easy as that.

Andy 5:38 No.

Jo 5:39 And sometimes we, in our relationships, kind of put on that kind of attitude, whether you're male or female, to get what you want, don't you, you know?

Andy 5:46 Yes, yes, you did, playing Monopoly many, many, many, many years ago and Jo used all her feminine tools

Jo 5:55 Wiles.

Andy 5:56 Wiles, is that the right word? It sounds really dodgy doesn't it! We weren't married at the time, it's okay, it's above board. It's PG rated. Yeah, she used her femininity to get me to sell something that she wanted on the board for Monopoly to win the game. It did not go down well with the other people on the game, who couldn't use what she used. Which was to look at me lovingly.

Jo 6:14 We can laugh.

Andy 6:14 I am going to be your wife. What do you do bloke? Seriously? 'No, you're not having it, sod off". It's not gonna happen is it? We're gonna be a bit more polite. Right. Let's move on to Proverbs.

Jo 6:24 27, 17 do you want to do next.Yeah. And this one is about friendship. And which i think

Andy 6:33 Oh, sorry, iron sharpens iron.

Jo 6:35 Yeah.

Andy 6:36 I'm not that surprised.

Andy 6:38 "As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another."

Jo 6:42 Yeah, I mean, I think in another translation, its uses the word friend. But that again is about you know,

Andy 6:48 Can I read the next bit as well?

Jo 6:49 Oh, sorry, there's a next bit? Yeah.

Andy 6:49 Well, it's not, but it? Well, it isn't. But it is.

Andy 6:52 "He who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit."

Jo 6:56 Okay.

Andy 6:56 Which is quite good. So we tend. Thing is we've said before, in the scriptures, that the Bible's clear that Jo's body isn't hers, mine is mine. Mine belongs to Jo. Jo's belongs to me. But we, we look after that, which matters most. So we'd like to think we're tending each other's fruit, looking after each other is always good.

Jo 7:13 And then the other one is Yeah, still in Proverbs 27 But 5 to 6.

Andy 7:18 "Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."

Jo 7:25 Yeah again. Yeah.

Andy 7:28 That's a, that's a fun one. Might skip that one for now. But open rebuke is better than hidden love. We've got a friend, Johnny. And he's got a real thing about 'shine a, shine a light on the truth.'

Jo 7:38 Yeah.

Andy 7:38 Sometimes it's very easy to try and cover up what we've done. The classic one is not to deny something, but to steer it to something that we're willing to own up about. But Johnny's always really clear about, he's a great vicar. He talks about how we need to shine a light on the truth whatever the situation is. Shine a light on it because the truth will set you free. And actually, if we're honest with people, in loving and wise ways, and appropriate ways, a righteous way that is a biblical, and God honouring, then actually that that's the best thing to do. That's the wise, and the right, thing to do, is literally to shine a light on the truth.

Jo 8:12 Yeah, I mean thinking about that last Proverbs there in my translation it was talking about a friend, it's better than then kisses from the enemy. The words from a friend is better than the kisses from the enemy. And it reminds me of when Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, that he actually came and kissed him on the cheek and that was a real sign there of an enemy. So it's really interesting. Yeah. So we'll

Andy 8:32 We'll unpack that.

Jo 8:33 have a break and unpack this.

Jo 8:35 So let's pray Andy's gonna come on and show us how to pray. Excellent. What what have you got there?

Andy 8:41 It's my world atlas.

Jo 8:43 Okay.

Andy 8:43 So I can pray for the world.

Jo 8:45 Okay.

Andy 8:45 You see, prayer is good,

Jo 8:46 Right. Okay. You gonna show us how to do that then?

Andy 8:48 Yeah. Yeah. Yep, so I've gone, I've got me atlas. And if you go to the letter A, I'm going to start here so,

Jo 8:54 Yeah.

Andy 8:55 Please, God, please bless Abenrah and Archsun and Arbor.

Jo 9:01 What did you like about the story?

Dave the Dog 9:03 Bob.

Jo 9:04 Bob, you liked Bob?

Dave the Dog 9:06 And the stick?

Jo 9:07 And the stick?

Dave the Dog 9:07 Me like sticks.

Jo 9:08 you like the stick?

Dave the Dog 9:08 Me like sticks a lot I do.

Jo 9:10 Well, okay. Well, we'll try and make sure there's more stories with sticks in

Dave the Dog 9:13 Thankyou

Jo 9:14 Dave, especially for you.

Jo 9:28 So, as usual, we try and get the Bible involved in our discussions around these different issues. And we're looking at The Balancing Act between, you know, being honest, but not kind of upsetting the other person. We did Quarrels and Arguments last time, so it kind of touches on that a little bit. But it's that Balancing Act of being honest and being able to help what is your spouse, is your friend. And that's what we're looking at and we've got some scriptures there around iron sharpens iron and, you know, the kisses of an enemy are much worse than having, a sort of rebuke from a friend. So it's sort of these, these Proverbs are helping us to, to hook into something to keep us on in the right on the right track, don't you think?

Andy 10:09 I was just mining because iron sharpening iron isn't necessarily the gentlest of

Jo 10:13 No, it's not.

Andy 10:14 of processes

Jo 10:14 No, it's not it is it.

Andy 10:16 It's not kind of lovey dovey.

Jo 10:17 No, I mean that we do, what is it tough love? Isn't it? The song's about that.

Andy 10:21 Yeah, you're good at that! Usually when I've done some't stupid.

Jo 10:25 Well, no, there is times to be, I mean, I think, sometimes, it's not love if you don't tell someone off, like your children. If we don't put them out of harm's way. And if we don't warn people about the things that, that are happening to them? Then that isn't love is it. I mean, that's what God does in the Bible through Proverbs. He's warning us, isn't he? And that's real love.

Andy 10:44 There's consequences for our actions.

Jo 10:46 Yeah.

Andy 10:47 And it's important that we're actually honest about that.

Jo 10:49 Absolutely. And I thinking about what you're saying in the Scripture about the woman dripping with honey and oil. You know, it's we, and you said it could be easy to go into perhaps slipping into adultery, if we're not careful. It doesn't happen overnight. It's something. And you can quite innocently get involved in, in a friendship at work, or whatever. And then, you know, find yourself,

Andy 11:09 Here's an honesty moment for you.

Jo 11:10 Yeah.

Andy 11:10 I used to work for a car auction. And I've never cheated on Jo. Never had any need, or interest, to. And I've never gone out of my way to flirt with somebody. But I was having a chat with somebody on a phone and all the office was staring at me. When I got off the phone they said oh, gosh, you must be fluent, we've never seen such professional flirting, you know. You must really want to get into bed with her. And I remember thinking, no! I was having a friendly chat with somebody. We got on really well. We were having a laugh, and a joke, about something. I'd never met this woman. But we had a, we spoke a lot on the phone because of the business that I was doing and she was a contact point. And I don't think I'd ever mentioned it to you 'cos I thought the people in the office were so stupid. Like if you can't have a fun chat with somebody,

Jo 11:51 yeah,

Andy 11:51 there's something seriously wrong. And I think it said a lot about their own distrust issues. 'Cos in my mind was absolutely nothing to do with what their head, was in them. And they just assumed I was flirting. And no, we're just having a good laugh. And we just, we got on about something. And it's good to get on with other people.

Jo 12:09 Yeah.

Andy 12:10 Don't think that phone call can't lead to having a mental affair, but I never thought anything. I was just having a laugh. It was fun.

Jo 12:17 Yeah.

Andy 12:17 We got on like house on fire. And we were doing business. And we had a lot of chats, so you know, we got on well.

Jo 12:22 I think, I think some of the honesty things that we've had is around work, isn't it and stress, more recently for me. So you would be, and for yourself, we point out one another one when we are getting stressed and when we need a rest, and things like that. And so that I think, that's, that's been really helpful in our marriages.

Andy 12:40 Yes. No, it has, it's important to be honest. I've called you on some stuff. You've called me on lots of stuff. But that's part of what marriage is. I saw Fierce Marriage is a blog that I mention quite a lot, but they had a really good post, and I'm going to really, really murder what they wonderfully wrote on their blog. But it was, basically, the sooner we stop thinking that marriage is about our needs, and it's about glorifying God, the better. I think that's that that sums up quite well what we're talking about because, ultimately, the marriage isn't about my happiness, and Jo's happiness.

Andy 13:14 People go into marriage because it's what I want. And it's for me, and it makes me happy. And there's nothing wrong with being happy. But happy is overrated. Joy is much better, and joy comes from a much deeper, a deeper thing, God. So I think we need to, we need to remember what marriage is about. And it isn't about our glorification. It's not about us!

Andy 13:34 I do get quite upset when marriages are all centred around the bride. Because the bride wouldn't be there without the bridegroom. And it concerns me when I see that kind of thing, because it doesn't bode well for the marriage, when all, every kind of effort, is put on one person. Because that relationship is not gonna revolve around one person.

Jo 13:54 No.

Andy 13:55 And, equally, the two people need to be committed into that relationship. And being honest.

Jo 14:00 Yeah, honesty is important, isn't it? But how we do that? How we go about it so that we don't end up being cruel, I suppose, is the key isn't it. It's what you'd said earlier? How do we tell someone in our relationship that they're not getting something right and everything.

Andy 14:17 I have a conundrum, which is an interesting one. I cannot tell Jo everything. It's physically impossible. It's an obvious, logical, point. I can't say everything to Jo. If I can't say everything, and I can only say some things, then already I'm, what can I hide from Jo? What What can I say? And it's easy to go down that road.

Andy 14:34 We're really big on honesty and openness in this house. Jo and I have shared a mobile phone as long as I can remember. We have two phones, but at various times, we just grab a phone, and go out. We share social media accounts. We share email addresses. We both have a mobile phone, and it's not about keeping tabs on each other, 'cos if you're in that place, you've got other issues which needs to be resolved. It's about the fact that there is nothing to hide. It makes it fun when you try and do some't as a surprise, I'll be honest. When we're trying to buy something or, you know, surprise each other, it's quite hard, although we tend to go out buying things with each other. But we're really big on honesty. We're really big on openness. Because if you're hiding things, it's an issue. Again, Fierce Marriage have a challenge that they regularly talk about, which is brilliant. I think it's called the drop challenge. If you dropped your phone down in front of your other half, would you be okay with what they saw?

Jo 15:24 Yeah.

Andy 15:25 And well we share phones quite a lot, so, you know, whatever! That's not a particular issue. But don't, then, get cocky about it.

Jo 15:32 Yea. I mean, that that is very helpful. I was just thinking about, sometimes we kind of just agree with our other half, just for a quieter life. That, that maybe we've got ourselves into habits of maybe some, if we go down that road, we know there's gonna be an argument or whatever. And sometimes we just agree, go, yeah, yeah, whatever. And I think that's really sad when you get to that place, isn't it? Because then.

Andy 15:53 There can be some wisdom.

Jo 15:54 Yeah you can. If it becomes a habit, and you are saying those things that could be sort of a warning, isn't it, a problem there if you're just sort of sitting back. But the other time, if you're always having a go, and nipping, and you know, saying you've done this wrong or that, or always criticising, then that's, that's also, you need a balance, again, it's that balancing, isn't it?

Andy 16:12 Balancing Act, a bit like the title of this episode. So I remember, I was November 21, was a, was a rocky month. It was a rough month for us as a family. It was supposed to be our 25th anniversary. It was gonna be wonderful, but we went down with COVID as a family.

Jo 16:23 Yeah.

Andy 16:28 We had a death of an estranged relative, my dad, and I ended up in hospital twice, once in A & E, because I had an issue, and it turned out to be a lung infection after COVID. And then the second issue was, I was in hospital. It took 'em 11 hours to get my heart to slow down so it didn't, you know, go really, badly wrong. And it was a really, really rough month. Because it was about two months in the end of us, hardly seeing or touching each other in any kind of context, because we were exhausted. And we were ill and I was in hospital. And I was admitted for a while. And it was a really hard and rough time.

Andy 17:04 Jo is the loveliest person I've ever known and met. I don't say that for any other reason. It's true. She's really sweet, and gentle, and soft. And I love you as a friend, and my wife. But while she's fairly sympathetic if I'm not very well, I don't do illness very well, it does tend to, not that I'm weak with it, it's just it tends to, I tend to get worse than most people, it seems. Something that's simple actually knocks me out rather than making it poorly. So when I was ill and had heart issues, and I came back and I was on three medications, and blood thinners which are, you know, terrifying at the time. Got used to it now! But you were so much gentler, and you wouldn't let me do anything. And you were so much softer. What I discovered was, although you've always been really soft, there's this extra level that I'd never really had to see, of greater care, and greater compassion, and greater softness towards me. And some days I obviously was looking a bit peaky, or not very well, because I'd never done it or the meds were really kicking in. And you know it, it took me six weeks to adjust the medication and not sleep every day, for 10 hours a day. And you were so soft and gentle and, actually, that freaked me out. Because it's almost as though you were being dishonest, but you were actually just being even more gentle, and more loving, and more kind. But actually, that freaked me out. 'Cos it wasn't a part of you that I was used to seeing. And that's what I love about marriage. There's always new levels of who you are that I love exploring and finding. More parts of who you are. It's amazing! So it's it's important that we keep on trying to discover each other. But yeah, that freaked me out a bit 'cos I wasn't quite used to that level of compassion and you know, you were there if I needed to drink and

Jo 18:35 Yeah.

Andy 18:36 You know.

Jo 18:36 Yeah, there is a time to be gentle. But there is a time to

Andy 18:40 Not be

Jo 18:41 Not being, yeah, well not, yeah, I mean, not harsh. But then saying that sometimes we do need tell enough, I suppose, at one level. If we're getting things terribly, terribly wrong, we just need a wake up call but

Andy 18:52 Ecclesiastes there's a time for everything.

Jo 18:54 Yeah, yeah I can't, I'm trying to think, and wrack my brains as to a time that that might have been. But I've got a terrible memory for things that go wrong 'cos I just forget them.

Andy 19:04 It's quite helpful

Jo 19:05 It is actually. What's that? Is it, that's love is never keeps a record of wrongs.

Andy 19:09 Yeah, I'm not sure you know, keeping a record of wrongs, you just can't remember em. You never have.

Jo 19:12 I know.

Andy 19:14 Yeah, no, it's interesting. The Balancing Act of honesty. I mean, the classic isn't it is of, there's two things that are coming to mind. One is does my bum look big in this? It's kind of an English thing but.

Jo 19:24 Yeah.

Andy 19:25 You know, so the woman goes out. This is a classic, stereotypical image of the shops, and that she's dragged her husband around, he doesn't want to be there and he's sitting in a pile with the other blokes, just wants to go home and watch the football, where's the beer? And, and the wife gang comes out with this new dress on how does it look? And all the blokes suddnely look, I think it was an advert once. They all look at the bloke. Is he gonna be honest, 'cos they're all thinking 'she looks really bad'. The dishonest husband might say 'oh, yes, you look great.' But, actually, the honest husband would say 'not the best for you.'

Jo 19:56 Yeah

Andy 19:57 And you don't have to say 'yeah, you look ugly' 'cos maybe you've got a kind of comedic relationship where that works. We've met a few couples like that where it's fine. That's how they are. It's not horrible. It's just their way! But there's honesty.

Andy 20:08 The second thing is the classic one of, of husband and wife having sex, and the wife fakes what she's doing, because she doesn't want to lie to her husband. And, you know, when you getting to that kind of level of intimacy, and your lying, you've got some much, much bigger issues that need to be resolved. Because, actually, in that moment of intimacy, it's not the time for lying.

Jo 20:28 No.

Andy 20:28 It's actually the time when you are most able to be honest. So there's two examples that I thought come up. Very extreme. One's silly, one not. But, you know, honesty is important. Being honest with one another, especially in physical intimacy, is really important. Otherwise, we just end up not being safe.

Andy 20:44 And the one thing that we've always taught our boys boy is that the house is a safe place. No matter what goes on in the world, the house is the safe place, where you can talk about anything and, you know, you can, you can be upset, you can be angry, you can be happy, you can be joyful, and this is a safe spac. Even more so in the bedroom. I don't just mean sex.. I mean, you know, the husband and wife relationship. That

Jo 21:04 Yeah.

Andy 21:05 vulnerability and honesty. I know how to destroy Jo. I know what to say, to really hurt and upset you. Because as you get more vulnerable, you get to learn each other more. Jo knows how to wind me up and upset me in the same context. How to really knock me out for six. But the love stops that. Because, actually, that doesn't help.

Jo 21:23 Yeah.

Andy 21:24 And that's where that love that honesty, that friendship that trust all kicks in.

Jo 21:26 Yeah, brilliant.

Andy 21:29 I was

Jo 21:30 What you gonna do?

Andy 21:31 No, I was going back to the Proverbs. The 27, no the other one, yeah, that one, over the page. Sorry. Iron sharpens iron. 'Cos I was just thinking about how that can be quite harsh as a process, you know. We sharpen knives quite frequently and it's not, it's not this gentle purring, caramel like, process of running a knife along a blade. You can hear the thing being ground and stuff. And as Christians, that's part of our walk. And in marriage, that's the same. Not violence and abuse. That's not okay. But it's not necessarily going to be all skippity do, and gentle, and calm. Because actually there's going to be disagreements. And part of any relationship, it's not ignoring those differences. It's about working them through. And as Christians, coming back to that Fierce Marriage idea, marriage is not about our happiness, but glorifying God. Because marriage is an example of the church. And if we're not honest in our homes, why would we ever be honest in a church?

Jo 22:24 No pain, no gain?

Andy 22:26 Not sure that one fits! Take a break at that point.

Jo 22:29 Yeah, let's do that.

Andy 22:30 Let's get out of that one.

Andy 22:31 Broken Dreams, and Hope! is a new book, my first very, very first book I've ever written. And it's all based out of the fact that in life, we have hardships and we have difficulties. We have things that will break us physically, emotionally, mentally, financially. There are these things that can come along that can cause us immense hurt and pain. Maybe we've made a mistake, we've done something wrong. We have to face the consequences of that. We get broken.

Andy 22:56 Maybe we've just been caught up in a tragic accident and we've been accidentally involved in something that has nothing to do with us. It breaks us.

Andy 23:04 Broken Dreams, and Hope! is a book that I've written specifically because I've been through some difficult times. I've been broken. But despite being broken, there was hope. And that hope has a name.

Andy 23:18 Broken Dreams, and Hope! is all about the fact that, no matter how broken we may have been, there is still hope, and that hope has a name, and that name is Jesus Christ.

Jo 23:28 So this is the Resources and Tips section and we have a think about it. And I think we're going to just take you right back, again, to the War Room. And that film, the film is, is about two warring halves really. You start, the film starts off very, you've got two enemies really, and they're fighting. And so that obviously links in nicely with our last episode about quarrels. But it's about that Balancing Act and seeing how the relationship changes through gentleness, and how that gentleness has a huge impact, I think, and how we say things, and the way we go about that relationship.

Jo 24:16 Thinking about as I said earlier, we go from advocate to adversary, so we're going from being a supportive spouse to an enemy, depending. I mean we know we've talked about different things coming along, kids, and stress, and different things. Financial issues can cause some problems. And then we can be the best complimenters, you know, 'Oh, you look lovely' and all the rest of it especially when we're courting and then we can become quite critical, like Andy was saying earlier. We learn something. We know so much about our other half that we know how to press those buttons, and cause the most pain, because we know each other. Which is is wrong! But we can fall into those traps if we're not careful. So go to War Room, the film, and I think that will be very helpful. And Andy, I think you have a book that might be helpful.

Andy 24:59 Yes, you may have just seen this very handsome, bearded bloke talking about it. It is a very, very crowbarred in kind of plug.

Jo 25:07 Yeah.

Andy 25:07 But, yeah, I've just launched my first book, published my first book called Broken Dreams, and Hope!. And if you are struggling with hopelessness, then this book is for you. It's for anybody that wants to know what it is to have hard times. Why is that going off? My watch is making noises. Weird! But it's also ensuring that, you know, there's hope.

Jo 25:28 Yeah.

Andy 25:28 And if you're in your marriage, and you're feeling hopeless, because you're thinking 'I can't be honest with my other half, with my spouse', 'I'm not able to be myself', 'I'm feeling like I'm being treated quite cruelly', then, you know, your dreams have been broken. And that's what this book is written for. It's written for all sorts of people actually. But it's about the fact that whatever's broken you, there's still hope.

Jo 25:50 Yeah.

Andy 25:51 So that's my plug for my own book.

Jo 25:52 That's brilliant.

Andy 25:53 Which is actually very good.

Jo 25:54 Yeah.

Andy 25:55 And people like it already, which is very exciting.

Jo 25:57 Brilliant. And I think that's, that's really it for our resources tips, because

Andy 26:01 What else do you need except for buying my book?

Jo 26:03 But I mean, always back into the Bible, looking at those scriptures that we've talked about, Song of Songs. You can't go wrong with Song of Songs. Great marriage guidance.

Andy 26:11 How does the husband and wife to be looked at each other before marriage, and then in marriage?

Jo 26:16 Yeah.

Andy 26:17 They love each other. They, they, they care for one another, are honest about things and it's great.

Jo 26:21 And I think what you said earlier, Andy, was about love being the thing that holds us together. So you've got 1 Corinthians 13, and lots of things about that.

Andy 26:29 Can you trot out the verse like Nathan does?

Jo 26:31 No. but I know love is kind and love is patient and love keeps no record of wrongs.

Andy 26:37 Shall I quickly find 1 Corinthians 13?

Jo 26:39 And something about a clanging gong, if you haven't got love.

Andy 26:41 A plumbers bag of tools.

Andy 26:42 "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and can fathom all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor, and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude. It is not self seeking,"

Andy 27:09 Quite a good one for marriage isn't it!

Andy 27:11 "It is not easily angered."

Andy 27:13 This is

Jo 27:15 It's good stuff.

Andy 27:15 Yeah.

Jo 27:17 "It keeps no record of wrongs.

Jo 27:19 I know, I remember that one.

Andy 27:20 Yeah, you see. Keeping no record of wrongs. "That time 17 years ago, we were walking through the doors, and you did this, why?" It keeps no record of wrongs.

Andy 27:30 "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts always hopes, always perseveres."

Jo 27:37 Yeah.

Andy 27:38 So if you're finding some difficulties in your marriage, persevere? Love is the key. Shine a light on the truth, and trust in Jesus. And if you're hopeless, there is hope! And it has a name, and that hope is Jesus Christ.

Jo 27:48 Yeah. Amen.

Nathan 27:56 "Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life, and in the life to come."

Nathan 28:05 The point of this scripture is that while physical training is good, it is beneficial for us. It keeps us fit, it keeps us healthy. It's not nearly as beneficial as spiritual training and all that makes up training for godliness, such as reading our Bibles, praying and going to church.

Nathan 28:21 And that is the point of Endurance. It is to show how we can maintain self discipline, and how we can endure through our training for godliness.

Nathan 28:30 With that in mind, go check it out!

Andy 28:48 Well, here we are for The Take Away.

Jo 28:49 Yes.

Andy 28:50 The Take Away. So, yeah, it's the last bit. Segment 4. Section 4.

Jo 28:56 Yeah. How we gonna round it up then?

Andy 28:57 Well, what have we said? We've talked about the fact that honesty in a marriage is really important. It is the most physically intimate relationship you will ever have with another human being, is a marriage. It goes far beyond just having sex with another human being. Marriage is far deeper than that, because you're in a contract of love until death you do part. So, it's a really deep relationship. And honesty's really key. Because if you're not honest about the little things, you won't be honest about the big things, until you explode.

Andy 29:24 Actually, I was thinking about a video I did quite a long time ago. And it's, it's about coiled potential. I was change, changing a part on my bike. And what I was really struck by is, as I squished this derailleur, it's basically a spring that helps you change gears on a bike. You can go and look up that on a search engine. But it's a big spring, and it's under pressure. And if you squeeze it, that pressure increases. And eventually it's gonna, it's gonna go. Either you're gonna break the spring, which is possible. It'll snap! Or it's gonna explode when you don't want it to. And this one exploded onto my thumbnail, which was quite painful.

Jo 29:57 Ooh.

Andy 29:57 And I was recounting that because I think it fits with this. If we're not honest with one another, at some point, we will be honest, but we will not be honest in a loving, righteous, God fearing way. So I would highly, I'll link to that video actually, I think it's relavent.

Jo 30:11 Yeah, okay that's good!

Andy 30:11 Coiled Potential Can Hurt. It hurt me a lot. But we need to be honest. And if, if we're not honest about the little things, then the big things get bigger, and bigger, and we start to have some really serious rifts, and holes, and problems.

Jo 30:23 Yeah.

Andy 30:24 So.

Jo 30:25 I was. What are you gonna take away Andy. Get in there quick!

Andy 30:29 So, I was trying so hard. So, what am I gonna take away? I'm going to take away the fact that it's important that we keep on that honesty. And, actually, one of the things that's striking me not because I do this, or you do this, but what's standing out for me is not keeping a record of wrongs. Not because, like I say, I don't do that, and you don't tend to say, "Oh, you did this 10 years ago".

Andy 30:50 We're not really like that. But I think it's striking me because sometimes I don't remember the good that you do. I don't choose to forget it either. I just don't remember and recall it. And, actually, when life gets a little bit more difficult, and it does all the time, there's ups and downs, actually remembering how much you love me means that I don't think that you're against me, just because you've said something that my own insecurities has then interpreted into, "she doesn't love me anymore" and "she means this really".

Andy 31:16 And, you know, we've got to take each other at face value, ultimately. Yeah, apply wisdom and righteous, you know, counselling and all the rest of it. But actually, we do need to take people at face value. And if someone says, 'you know, I didn't mean to do that'. 'Well, I think this and you did that and then'. Actually, we need to take people at face value, especially your spouse.

Jo 31:36 Yeah, trust comes to mind. But if, actually, it sounds like the antidote, isn't it? There's instead of keeping records of wrongs, remember the good stuff.

Andy 31:44 It should have been in the Tips and Resources?

Jo 31:45 Yeah, it should have been. When the rough times come it's like, 'yeah, but remember, I remember how she did this or he did that' and, and that keeps you. It's a bit like when you're going through any tough time you hang, hang on to something positive from God. 'God is good, God loves me'. And all the good stuff, well you hang on to that while you go through some difficult trials. And the same if you're going through some trials in marriage, you hang on to the good stuff. But obviously hanging on to God is, is, is good as well!

Andy 32:12 If you're looking to your spouse to complete you, or make you happy, you are going to be very, very, severely disappointed. Because your spouse will fail you, and let you down, because they're not perfect. They're gonna make mistakes. I clearly never do that. But you know, most spouses do, so I'm told.

Jo 32:27 Yeah.

Andy 32:28 So I've heard. So what am I taking away? I think it's yeah, it's just that remembering the good.

Jo 32:32 Yeah.

Andy 32:33 Don't. Okay. Don't not remember the bad. Remember the good! A double negative is hard work.

Jo 32:39 Yeah.

Andy 32:40 A single, non double negative, is easy. I think I need a cup of tea!

Jo 32:47 Just remember the good stuff. Yeah.

Andy 32:48 Okay. So okay, can I ask this?

Jo 32:50 Oh, what you got?

Andy 32:51 So, when have I been honest with you about something that you really didn't want to hear, but you were really glad I told you that, was, you knew I didn't want to say?

Jo 33:04 Do you know what? I don't know. I honestly don't know! Something I didn't want you to say, but I did.

Andy 33:11 You didn't want me to challenge you on something, but I did.

Jo 33:15 Yeah. I don't know. I'd have to think about that 'cos nothing's gonna coming, You see I've got a terrible memory.

Andy 33:20 It's great isn't it!

Jo 33:22 I can't, I can't think of anything where, yeah, you've been honest. And probably because I'm probably squirming and I don't want to remember.

Andy 33:30 You mean like, not, like yesterday when you were working too hard and I made you stop. And I made you come out the study.

Jo 33:36 I was gonna stop anyway.

Andy 33:38 You see, and there's the thing? I think we better stop. It's all good fun.

Andy 33:41 Thanks for joining us for another Marriage Matters. Go off and buy my book, 'cos it's really awesome, he says, humbly, and without error.

Jo 33:49 Yes.

Andy 33:49 And we'll be back next week for more. My name's Andy.

Jo 33:52 And I'm Jo.

Andy 33:52 And this was Marriage Matters. Bye for now.

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