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In this week’s Marriage Matters, Andy B and Jo talk about work, whether both husband and wife work, whether one spouse stays at home or whether one or both spouses work away. Whatever your situation, whether usual or temporary, we need to consider how our work fits with our marriage – sort of work life balance but focusing on work spouse balance!

Andy and Jo affirm the importance of work but consider how work can have positive and negative effects on our marriages, noting how we can spend too much time at work, not switch off from work and not connect in with our spouse enough.

Andy, as usual, makes sense of it all with scripture verses:

  • 1 Thessalonians 4:11
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:10
  • Colossians 3:23

You could also check Proverbs 31 where there is some good stuff about working!

Tips and Resources

The Take Away

Andy and Jo both reiterate the importance of connecting with our spouses when at work and making sure that we switch off from work. Andy noted that we can switch off our work phones! Jo talked fondly about how Andy makes her a flask of coffee to take to work each day and as Jo drinks the coffee at work Jo is reminded of her husband whilst at work!

Andy and Jo discuss the importance of boundaries being set around work – switching off from work and tuning into your spouse – listening to one another and being accountable to one another. Andy shares a time when Jo was direct in telling Andy to stop working when he was overdoing it and how Andy gentling and lovingly had one occasion to prize Jo from her work when she needed to take a break!

Work involves your spouse!



Andy 0:37 Well hello, and welcome to yet another awesomeness of Marriage Matters. My name's Andy.

Jo 0:43 And I'm Jo.

Andy 0:44 And this is awesome. So if you want to not miss out on all the wonderful stuff that we are doing, particularly Marriage Matters if you're watching or listening or reading to this right now, then you can like us on Facebook, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. And the best thing as ever is,

Jo 1:00 Sign up to our newsletter.

Andy 1:02 Sign up to the a newsletter called Berry Bytes with a "Y"?

Jo 1:05 Because you can.

Andy 1:09 With a "Y" because why not was the actual phrase.

Jo 1:12 Oh, Fair enough?

Andy 1:14 Anyway, so here we are for another episode. We hope you're doing okay. Do feel free to get in touch with us. If you've got some topics you'd like us to look at, or questions, whatever you can let us know. There's loads of ways, loads of social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, Website, Email.

Jo 1:31 Wow.

Andy 1:32 So if you want to get in touch, you can't complain you can't because you can.

Jo 1:34 Thats right! So, yeah, Marriage Matters, another episode. And we've called it Work It Out. So we're looking at work, and where that, the place it has on our lives when we're married. So we could be in work when we get married. We might not be. We might both work, or not work, and there are different seasons aren't there in times of our marriage. So we thought it'd be really interesting to look at how that works out, how work works, in a marriage.

Jo 2:03 We've been through periods of unemployment as well. And that's a really tough place to be. I know, people work away for long periods of time. And that can be hard, although arguably, some people will find it more difficult being stuck together. And we think about the COVID, a couple of years, where basically people were having to, to be together a lot more, weren't they? And so it's just thinking about that, I think work life balance don't you think?

Andy 2:27 Yeah, work life balance is a pretty common phrase, I think we hear around. We, we kind of banded around, you know, work life balance. And I think we tend to assume that it's about how much work we do and when we do it. But I think, especially as Christians, it's nice to be more than that. Because there's more to work than work. Yeah. And there's more to life than work and there's more to life. There's more to it than just your working life. Because then we have to think about what what you're going to do with your social time. Because there are parts of our life where we don't have any choice. In a sense, yeah, we can choose not to work within context, we don't have a choice to go to work for a nine o'clock star. So we have to leave at eight o'clock in the morning. But well, what you did before eight o'clock, that's your time. So what are you doing in those downtime, those times when you can choose what you wish to do? Yeah, that also comes into it as well around the work life balance. Yeah, so cool.

Jo 3:17 And we have looked at other episodes around family, the wider family and friendships and things, but this is specifically around working and where that fits in. And you know, sometimes maybe we can spend too much time at the office as it were. And other times, maybe we need to spend more or do it differently, or, you know, change jobs or you know, just just find more time for our spouse. So it's looking at kind of what problems that we've had along the way, and how we've solved them around work. I'm sure there's lots of different problems that come up with work. I mean, there are times when it gets really busy, isn't it and you need to be in the office more time. But if that becomes the norm, that's that's the issue, isn't it?

Andy 3:58 It is I think COVID was interesting because a lot of people were, in effect forced to work from home, perhaps for the first time. Some firms have thought, 'this is a lot better'. Some employees have thought 'wow, this is amazing. I can be at home and get my job done, and I can go for a run, and do the washing'. And it's opened us up to the old way of working before modern working. Kind of before your industrial revolution, where people would work from home. That was their job and their home. They would conduct business and that was quite normal. So in a sense, what COVId did was really take us back, you know, 100 years, or 200 year,s to how we always used to work, and have done for 1000s of years, where the home is not just the centre of the family, home is the centre of the workplace. Proverbs 31, for example.

Jo 4:43 Yeah.

Andy 4:44 Proverbs 31 wife doesn't mention a tower block.

Jo 4:47 No.

Andy 4:48 Or the office.

Jo 4:49 No.

Andy 4:49 Just sayin. Take a break?

Jo 5:00 Yeah.

Peter 5:00 "Physical training is good but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come."

Nathan 5:06 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 5:24 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. With that in mind, go check it out.

Jo 5:35 So this episode of Marriage Matters is about looking at work, working that out, as it were. And obviously, throughout the Bible, we've got some great things in there to help us along the way. And it begins, really, with work being quite important is kind of our purpose. If you speak to people who have been unemployed for any length of time, they feel like there's no purpose. So work is really important. It helps us all. We all need something to do. And of course, we need to provide for our families. There's a scripture that talks about, if you don't work, we won't eat something like that isn't there?

Andy 6:25 Shall I read the actual scripture?

Jo 6:27 Oh, actual one.

Andy 6:28 It's not that one.

Jo 6:30 So it's really important work, for the families, with the families. You got it?

Andy 6:36 "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule if a man will not work he shall not eat."

Jo 6:41 Yeah.

Andy 6:41 2 Thessalonians three, verse 10. Usual delicateness from Paul.

Jo 6:44 Yeah.

Jo 6:45 So work is important. We need to provide for our families. And also it gives us a sense of purpose. And it's really tough when you haven't got a job, or COVID was a tough time as well, because there was people who couldn't work, or had to work very differently an life got very difficult for many people. So work is really important. But it's, yeah, seeking God's direction on how that works in a marriage, isn't it?

Andy 7:12 Which is the point of Marriage Matters. Matters of the marriages that matter, including working.

Jo 7:17 Working is part of that.

Andy 7:18 Which is part of marriage unless you're retired, which is different.

Jo 7:20 Yeah, absolutely. So, so right from the beginning work is important.

Andy 7:25 Yep.

Jo 7:25 God's placed us in the garden to work. There was the curse, which it became a bad thing, didn't it, that work would be hard, which we see that in life, don't we? There are difficulties. But, still, there's something really pure and good about working isn't there?

Andy 7:40 There is. And working can take many, many shapes. So I mean, for me, our oldest is 18. So not long after he was born, I became a stay at home dad. A lot of people. We've touched on this, but let's go here again. A lot of people said,' Oh, wow, yeah, must be great sit at home playing computer games.' I mean, seriously, what numpties! No!! Stay home parenting is not a doddle. It's not an easy thing. And I've driven tipper trucks, which is probably the, the most physically demanding job I've ever done. You do your minimum 12 hour days, and it's really, really hard work. Jumping into being a stay at home parent was harder! So don't ever say being a stay at home parent is a doddle. It's not.

Jo 8:20 Oh, what was that film with Vin Diesel who's struggling, isn't it? Like, and then you hear the jokes, don't you? Like 'oh, yeah, I can cope with the war zones and fighting and all that. But put me in front of a child and they just don't know what to do.

Andy 8:30 The Pacifier. That's a funny film. Yes, this special operative person who has children for a bit and, you know, faills in a heap. And I think this is the thing. Work is whatever God is calling you to do. And, for us, our working balance, if you like, has been predominantly, around having babies, for Jo to work full time and I've been with the with the kids at home. And that means I can do other things. So I've never been idle. I mean, people, | don't think you could ever accuse me of being lazy!

Jo 8:58 Nope!

Andy 8:59 Maybe you need to slow down and do less. But that's a, we'll come on to that. But, yeah, that's been our working pattern. You might be in a situation where you both need to work and earn an income. We've been quite blessed. We've made choices. I mean, we've made sacrifices in order that we only need one wage. It's not always possible, but we've gone out of our way so we only need one wage, because that's what was our intention was with having children. You may not be able to do that. You may be living in an area, maybe you've got debt you didn't intend to have. You might have a mortgage that's suddenly, it's not, your house isn't worth as much, and now you have to both work. We've met folks like that. So, this is our model, but it's not the right model. It's not the best model. It's just the best and right model for us as a couple.

Jo 9:44 And that's this point isn't it? It's about making sure that you journey with God at the centre isn't it? We might have some great ideas about what we think we should be doing.

Andy 9:53 I have some really good ideas that God never seems to want to go with.

Jo 9:55 No. And we, yeah, we do, we need to pray about it. You need to listen to God because he could take us in very different directions that to what we think. What do they? They always have the phrase, don't they sort of 2.4 children, and there's a sort of conveyor belt of life. You get work, and then you have children and you buy a house and all of that. And this is all a very good thing. Good stuff.

Andy 10:16 There's nothing wrong with any of those things.

Jo 10:16 But it isn't necessarily how God wants us to live our lives. And so, you know, if you want to follow God, it's about walking by faith. And that, that can be quite scary. But it's a it's a very exciting lifestyle. And I think we've we've tried to live by faith haven't we?

Andy 10:16 We've had what you could describe as an exciting lifestyle. But it means we can help others. So, when I saw someone the other day saying, 'I've just been asked, well, evicted from our house'. Nothing wrong with them. The landlord wants the house back for the, for their children. 'And what am I supposed to do?' I was able to genuinely reach out and say, 'I know what it's going, what you're going through, I know what it's like to have a letter under the door saying you've got X amount of weeks or months and you've got to find a new home'. You've got no money for a deposit. You don't know where to live. You've got a life established, and we've been here so many times it's ridiculous. And God's always provided because we go back to Him. But I think part of that is I'm very careful when I say it's a blessing from God or whatever. But I think because we've tried to work in the right way, and tried to put God firsT, whilst we've had those white knuckle moments, actually God's always pulled us through and we've never fallen out the boat into the rapids. Come close. Got wet.

Jo 11:22 Yes.

Andy 11:22 But it's fine. We got through it.

Jo 11:24 Yeah.

Andy 11:24 I wanted to jump into Colossians 323, which says this,

Andy 11:28 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men." And then verse 24, it's the same sentence, "since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward it is the Lord Christ you are serving."

Andy 11:42 And I think this is the point. Whatever job we do, it's very easy to be on this conveyor belt of life and we get a job, we have our 2.4 kids, and we get a car, and a nicer car, move to a nicer area, get a better house, get a holiday, a better holiday, maybe a holiday home. This is, this is life. And there's nothing wrong with that. But that may not be God's best for you.

Andy 12:03 We know people who work and don't have much time for ministry, but their work pays for ministry, for other people and this is the point. This is why what we do, it needs to be for God. My work, now, is the BerryBunch family. It's the website. I spend almost all of my time on this, if it's not cooking, cleaning and looking after the boys with Home Education. So this is my work. It doesn't pay, at all, but that's not the point. I'm working for the Lord and God blesses us in different ways.

Jo 12:30 Yeah, I suppose it's like anything, when you make decisions. Is it bringing you closer to God? Is this gonna help the relationship you have in your marriage, isn't it, like everything? Is this activity? Is this friendship? Is this work? And there will be times where work actually might be taking you away from your spouse isn't it?

Andy 12:50 Or maybe it needs to. I mean, if your business is in trouble you're not gonna say, 'Oh, well, I'm having date night'.

Jo 12:54 Yeah.

Andy 12:54 You're gonna get your computer out at 10 o'clock and work till four o'clock in the morning. When we had an online business, we were selling stuff all around the world, I'd be up 'til 4 o'clock doing updates on the website, 'cos it was the best time to do it. the internet was faster, and clearer. People generally weren't on the internet and so it was the perfect time. We're gonna have to make sacrifices to get to where we're getting to. However, the difference is between is that your norm? Are you always rushed and pressured and stressed? In which case that's not God's best for you. I can say that quite happily. But there are times when we'll need to do that. It doesn't mean to say we loaf about doing nothing either. There's there is a balance to be struck here.

Jo 13:31 God says Hs plans are to prosperous, not harmless. And I just think about that phrase that often comes up, isn't it like ships in the night? So often couples will talk about they're both working. And they're trying to sort of balance it all in with the kids and looking after them. So they might be working different shifts, and that often, it can't be helped if they're in similar sort of professions. But, yeah, if that, like you say, Andy, if it goes on for too long, that's quite worrying for a family to continue like that, isn't it?

Andy 14:00 I remember when we were first married, we've touched on this a few times, but you were working shifts, 12 hours, 15 hours, six, seven days a week. I was a trucker. So I was working away. I could be away for a week at a time, you know. And it was, it was really hard having a marriage where the only relationship you have is with the phone contacting the other person's phone. And you're leaving messages or voicemails, and there isn't any actual contact. And I'm stopping for a break, and Jo's at work or she's asleep, and I'm free. And you know, you end up having a relationship via voicemail. That's okay for a time. It's not evil! But, at the same time, it's not God's best, permanently.

Jo 14:39 Yeah.

Andy 14:39 Because you need to find creative ways of engaging with one another. So, at one point, I'd work a late shift. Jo, we'd had a baby, so Jo was at home. I was out to work for it for a year or so. I was working like a late night shift. And you connected with me by phone quite a bit, 'cos I could. But, also, I had little, little biscuits, little cheese biscuits, and you'd make me up a little cheese on biscuit thing in a little tub. And there'd be bits of biscuits and cheese, and a little message, and it made me feel like I was at home with my family.

Jo 14:39 Yeah.

Andy 14:39 So there are some really simple, creative, ways of doing that. Can we jump into 1 Thesollonians?

Jo 14:49 Yeah.

Andy 14:54 Because that's, it got me excited.

Jo 15:13 Okay.

Andy 15:14 So, 1 Thessalonians 4 verse 11 says this,

Andy 15:18 "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you. So that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders, and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

Andy 15:30 Now, you can twist this in a few different ways, which aren't helpful. But the bit I think that is helpful for us is, we need to do what we do for work. So when we're saying, working in this context, we're talking about the thing you choose to do that pays you money. Maybe it's working for somebody, maybe it's working for yourself. It's still a choice. You don't have to do it, you know, no one's gonna force you. Maybe that is your situation, that's different. But we're talking about what you're choosing to do, and what you're not choosing to do. And what you do for work should be within the context of doing it for the Lord. And when you understand the context of this, a lot of this was for slaves. So if you're working for a company, you are biblically, the words don't quite mesh do they in English, but you're basically a slave. You're working for somebody who is a master, who tells you what to do.

Andy 16:15 Now, we don't like the word slave, 'cos it has connotations, which perhaps aren't very helpful. But, I mean, the Bible is talking about slaves, that's basically when you're working for somebody. So you're under their orders, you're working for them. That needs to be for God. Don't work for them. Don't work for yourself. Don't work for bettering your situation in life, work for God. Because everything else follows after that. It's about perspective. It's about prioritising.

Andy 16:41 But the bit that really struck me was "make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands." That's the NIV rendition. And I quite like that, because it's very easy to interfere with people. "My way is the best way. "Live your life like me."

Andy 16:56 As a stay at home dad I can say I have met many stay at home mums who are bigoted, judgmental, rude, unpleasant, at me, because I'm the wrong sex. Which is kind of mad! And I've had some really unpleasant encounters in that way. All you can do as a married couple is what you believe God is calling you to do. Minding your own business means, if it's not against the scriptures, as a Christian, then shut up.

Jo 17:22 Yeah.

Andy 17:23 Pray for them. Don't criticise them, shun them and turn your back on 'em. That's not going to help them. But it's working with your hands just as we told you. So, you know, crack on with it. Get on with the work. Proverbs 31, which we didn't want to go into, because there's too much in there. That's like a series of series. But the Proverbs 31 wife was getting up early. And she was doing this, and she was doing that. And she was selling this, and making some money. And if you want to understand the work life balance, go and read Proverbs 31. Because although that's not really a day in the life of.

Jo 17:52 No!

Andy 17:53 That's more like a 10 year cycle in the life of. What the Proverbs 31 wife teaches us is the importance of, actually, if you want to achieve something, how, what are you willing to sacrifice to achieve that?

Jo 18:04 Yeah, I'm drawn towards thinking about Jesus because he was carpenter. He worked. And then there was a time of pure ministry wasn't there were, but he always, He was always busy. Never idle. Always, you know, telling people about Himself and the kingdom. And so there's a time when He was working and, like for money, and a time when He had His ministry.

Andy 18:25 When He finished his money.

Jo 18:27 Yeah.

Andy 18:27 Literally.

Jo 18:27 No, that was it. Yeah, really cool. And so there's different times and things. But I'm also reminded of the fact that, what is it they often say. You're not, you're not, at the end, on your deathbed, gonna say, 'Oh, I wish I'd stayed longer at the office', you know. But sometimes we do. People do stay at the office, because they don't want to go home. They don't want to face things, or they've got into bad habits, or they're afraid of their boss, aren't they? And we really should be like you say pleasing God. And looking to Him. The the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord isn't it? And so if we're fearing people that we work for, fearing our boss, we're not really walking in faith. And then we could end up, you know, actually spending more time in the office and not enough time with our family.

Andy 18:27 I remember one job I had was at a car auctions. And it was late. The area director had come and there was some stock check thing. Something was going on. I don't know what was going on. But there was real pressure and stress. And, anyway, we were all staying really late one night and I'm thinking 'I want to go home, I shouldn't, I'm not getting paid for this'. And I should have gone home. But we realised that there were two people that had left, and they'd left hours ago. And when we got to the next day, it's like, 'Where the heck were you? We were there 'til 10 o'clock at night,' I think it was about half past nine, quarfter to ten, exhausted, knackered, where were you.? Well we asked if we could go home. 'Well weren't you worried about your job?'. 'I was worried about my family.'

Andy 19:42 And that was a real shock, actually, 'cos we were there working away fearing this area director for our jobs.

Jo 19:48 Yeah.

Andy 19:48 Well, we shouldn't have done because he couldn't force us. You know, if he'd have sacked us. We'd have been able to sue the company for wrongful dismissal, but we all stayed. And mine was, well I don't want to lose my job, because I'd just got it. But a lot of the others were trying to climb the ladder, which I wasn't especially interested in there. But they were trying to climb the ladder of getting higher and well, we want to be seen. Well, if you're the senior manager, then maybe. But, if you're just somebody who answers the phone, go home. You're not needed! And people will play on you, and bully you, and make you feel pressured to do what you don't have to do.

Andy 20:20 Another job. We were expected to turn up on a Saturday to get the trucks loaded. So I did. Until I realised I didn't need to. So we do these things don't we. And it interferes and it's not always healthy!

Jo 20:31 Yeah, I think it comes back to that, our heart, isn't it? Do it for the Lord.

Andy 20:36 Do it for God

Jo 20:37 Pray about it. Think about this.

Jo 20:54 How do people talk to you normally? Do they talk in burning bushes?

Dave the Dog 20:57 Sit.

Jo 20:58 Sit.

Dave the Dog 20:59 Fetch.

Jo 21:01 Fetch.

Dave the Dog 21:01 Do you konw what I say back?

Jo 21:03 What do you say back?

Dave the Dog 21:04 You chuck the stick? Get it yourself!

Jo 21:12 Dave, are you there?

Dave the Dog 21:14 Ar. i'm here, ar!

Jo 21:15 Oh, hello, Dave. Oh, I think we've got the same problem as last week. I can't see you.

Dave the Dog 21:20 Have you opened your eyes?

Jo 21:21 Yes i've opened your eyes?

Dave the Dog 21:23 Oh.

Jo 21:28 You name it, he could play it.

Dave the Dog 21:31 Pipe organ.

Jo 21:32 Pipe organ? Yeah, with all the pipes.

Dave the Dog 21:34 Lots of buttons like a spaceship.

Jo 21:35 Spaceship.

Jo 21:36 Yeah, you're looking good. Have you done something to your hair?

Dave the Dog 21:40 I had my hair sorted.

Jo 21:42 You had your hair sorted.

Dave the Dog 21:42 I went to the dog groomers.

Jo 21:44 Cor, brilliant. You look great.

Dave the Dog 21:44 thankyou.

Jo 21:44 It's good to see you.

Jo 21:46 Do you know what your name means Dave?

Dave the Dog 21:55 Dave.

Jo 21:55 Dave. It just means Dave.

Dave the Dog 21:57 Yes.

Jo 21:57 Well I looked it up and it's short for David. And it means beloved, that means you're lovable,

Dave the Dog 22:04 Long for d.

Jo 22:12 Long for d.

Jo 22:12 Big long stick to help him protect his sheep.

Dave the Dog 22:16 I like sticks.

Jo 22:16 You like sticks.

Dave the Dog 22:17 You gonna throw a stick?

Andy 22:43 We're back. That's why we're here again, for the Tips and Resources section.

Jo 22:49 Yes.

Andy 22:49 Hence the, you know, the lovely hearts falling down. Or the falling up, which is a bit weird. But, anyway, interesting gravity.

Jo 22:55 Yes.

Andy 22:55 So, Tips and Resources. So working can be really hard. Working is really important. We should be working. And God expects us to be working. And Paul was really clear, if you don't work you don't eat. So there is some pretty harsh stuff in there. But if we have to work that means God's gonna give us help in how to work. And hence tips and Resources.

Jo 23:16 Yeah.

Andy 23:16 Is that a nice segway?

Jo 23:17 Yeah.

Andy 23:18 See. So one book that I bought. Now this is, these are specific to children and families. However, I will say this at the start, if you're single, or, and you're watching this, if you're married, and you've not been able to have children, maybe you have children that have moved on, still really good because you just change the word child for Spouse. And you can actually have some fun.

Andy 23:36 So it was Rob Parsons, who's part of, who set up Care For The Family, which is a really good charitable organisation in the UK, does lots and lots of training. Really good stuff. Well Rob Parsons wrote a book. I didn't know about Care of The Family, or the fact he was a Christian guy. I just saw this book in a bookshop. So 60 Minute Father. A bit older cover now. It was just a high street bookshop. And I bought this the 60 Minute Father, because I was going to be a dad and I thought what you supposed to do? Really, really good simple tips on things you can do to have fun, which are sometimes a bit naughty. I love the story. We had Rob Parsons speaking, one time, and he had this guy come up to him and he was saying 'I followed your advice'. 'Cos here's, I'll give you a spoiler from the book. One of the spoilers. He said, have a film night on a, on a school night.

Andy 23:36 So you can convert this away from children, if you haven't got kids. Do it on a night when you've got to be up early for work. The whole point is to have some fun that you need to have, at a time when you're not supposed to. That's what makes it good. Anyway, this guy said 'we did what you said and, well, we had vomit on the bedsheets at two o'clock in the morning, then me five year old was, you know, having a mess, and it all got wrong.' And Rob Parsons is thinking I'm gonna get sued here. And this guy says 'It was the best night ever, we're doing it again.' And this is a thing when we do stuff that's fun, like some of the ideas in here, we have. I dunno how many pancakes I've made in the last 18 years, but we've done pancakes on a Sunday night for so long. I mean, our oldest is 18. You know, like I said, it's not just for little children. If the kids weren't around, I'd do it with Jo. But there are some really good tips about how to engage with people, at one level. Okay, it's written for children. But how to engage with other people, in a really good way. And there's a follow on, which is the 60 Minute Family, which is about families. Which I haven't read, actually, but I'm reading that.

Andy 24:26 Yeah. So I suppose we're looking at the other tips is about how do you cut yourself off from work? I mean, there's lots of, sort of, tips and ideas about especially now that we working from home,

Andy 25:36 Can I give you one really, really quick, easy answer?

Jo 25:38 What's that?

Andy 25:38 Turn your work phone off?

Jo 25:39 Yeah absolutely.

Andy 25:40 And your emails,

Jo 25:41 And there's, I mean, I work from home sometimes. And I find it difficult 'cos I do like the commute to switch off. And so we often joke about going walking around the block as though you're switching off, but you need to find a way to switch off, and switch into your family. And sometimes it can only be for a short period of time if you're busy. And so one of the things that Andy does is makes me, he gets up early with me and you make me a coffee, don't you? So when I'm at work, I'm drinking my coffee, and I'm reminded of you. Which is some of the things that you've been saying earlier about some of the things that I would make puts up, but make up your lunches and put a little note inside.

Andy 26:11 We actually do what we suggest. These aren't just random things.

Jo 26:14 Yeah. So there are things that help us. And obviously sort of staying in touch, you know, sending messages in the, in the, when you get a chance, a short text message or quick phone call if there's, if there's a possibility. So it's just keeping something small to keep us, keep us together really, even when we have to work and we can't be together.

Andy 26:33 Faning the flames?

Jo 26:34 Absolutely. And one of the ones I remember, I mean people who are in the military probably know how to do this better than any of us. But I remember a family who's, the dad was away, and they would keep a candle lit, wouldn't they?

Andy 26:44 Yes, they would.

Jo 26:45 I loved that idea. So the candle was always lit while dad was away. And it's just like he was there in the room. They hadn't forgotten about him I loved that.

Andy 26:53 Yeah, they did. They had dinner and they lit the candle every night.

Jo 26:56 Beautiful. And I just love that. So there's little things that we can do to remember each other. And even though we need to, we have to work.

Andy 27:03 Because working's important.

Jo 27:04 Yeah.

Andy 27:04 We do need to work.

Jo 27:05 Yeah.

Andy 27:05 It's not a bad thing.

Jo 27:06 No.

Andy 27:07 So, if you've got any other tips or resources, let us know. But that's a few of the things we do.

Andy 27:10 One little quick tip. Don't write on a piece of paper, a love note to your spouse, and put it in between their sandwiches. Because it will go soggy.

Jo 27:19 Yeah.

Andy 27:20 We had a friend who did that and it, didn't work.

Jo 27:21 Ew!

Andy 27:22 They had to bin the sandwiches. So it was a nice gesture. You know, laminate it or something, or put it separate. But don't put it in the bread.

Andy 27:29 Broken Dreams, and Hope! is a new book, my first very, very first book that I have ever written. And it's all based on the fact that in life we have hardships, and we have difficultie. 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.

Andy 27:49 Maybe we've made a mistake. We've done something wrong. We have to face the consequences of that. We get broken. Maybe we've just been caught up in a tragic accident, and we've been accidentally involved in something that was nothing to do with us. It breaks us.

Andy 28:04 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 28:17 Broken dreams, and Hope! i 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 28:40 Welcome back to our final part, our Take Away, our end of our Marriage Matters episode on Work it Out.

Andy 28:45 the take Away.

Jo 28:45 Work it Out, working, and where that balance is, between, in a relationship, whether you both work, whether there are times of unemployment, whether you work away, whether you work together. We didn't actuall, yeah, we didn't talk much about working together in the same like, some people have family businesses working together. All kinds of things. There is, like Andy said earlier, there's no right or wrong. It's what's right for you as a family.

Andy 28:45 Yes.

Jo 28:47 So one might stay at home. One might not. Both go out to work, might be part time. Whatever it is, however, whatever works for you as a family. But we know that work is important. We know that we need to work in order to provide for our family.

Andy 29:22 Whatever works for you, You can Work it Out! I've been thinking up that one.

Jo 29:27 Yeah, oh my goodness. That's the Take Away is it? What are you taking away from this then Andy?

Andy 29:33 Well, I don't know. What am I taking away? I think it's a reminder of it's important to have fun when you can.

Jo 29:42 Yeah.

Andy 29:42 So one of the things that we've done, and we've we've talked about Date Night, and I'm not going down that road. You can watch, read, listen to the episode instead! But, Date Night, you know, it's important to do that. And that's going to have different seasons at different times.

Andy 29:54 When you've got two teenagers Date looks, Date night looks very different. You can't have, you know, a romantic night in the lounge quite the same with two teenagers coming through for food all night time. You can't get intimate in that sitting can ya! So you,

Jo 30:06 No!

Andy 30:06 t's gonna change, what you do, and how you do it. And that includes the work as well. Because work, you know, there's gonna be times when you're exhausted from work. I remember coming home from work sometimes and Jo wouldn't even kiss me, until I'd had a shower. We were shifting asbestos out of a building. So by the time I'd finished and got home, I was, I was needing to be cleaned, preferably with a jet wash for a distance. So there's gonna be these different seasons. But there are still ways of connecting. And coming back to what I said in the Tips and resources, turning your phone off if it's a work phone, 'cos you don't need to be doing that. And it is one of the things that you've been working through Jo in your work is, how do I block, how do I get done what I want to? I need to block off time. And you need to block off time in your marriage too. Because, otherwise, you're work encroaches. And COVID's had lots of good, and lots of negative consequences. One of the negatives is bringing work home, people who've never done that before. Now they've got a computer at home, they've never had that perhaps. Everyone's got a laptop now, virtually it seems, so they can work remotely. And that's great. But how do you switch off? So if you're in a particular environment, and we've experienced this as well, you might find that colleagues are doing work on the Saturday afternoon outside when they're having a barbecue. It's like, you need to switch off. And it's really important to have times when you are not working.

Jo 31:27 Yeah.

Andy 31:27 God worked for 6 days on building the Earth. Six days. At nighttime there was nothing much going on, it would say in Genesi. But in the daytime, He was super busy. And then Sunday, He stopped. And that cycle is something we've got to do.

Jo 31:41 Yeah.

Andy 31:42 So what's your take away?

Jo 31:43 Well, I was just thinking about creating boundaries, really. I mean, children need boundaries. And I think we as adults, we still don't, don't always get it right. So we need to sort of you need to have a conversation with your other half about how work's gonna work.

Andy 31:56 Spouse.

Jo 31:57 Other half.

Andy 31:59 We keep telling ourselves off we shouldn't use the word other half.

Jo 32:02 Why not?

Andy 32:03 'Cos I'm not another half, we're one!

Jo 32:04 Oh, yeah, we're one,. Okay!

Andy 32:05 We're not two halves, we're one whole!

Jo 32:06 No that's true.

Andy 32:07 You told me off.

Jo 32:08 Oh, did i? Oh, fair enough.

Andy 32:09 I'm just reciprocating.

Jo 32:11 But yeah, so what was I saying?

Andy 32:14 I don't know.

Jo 32:14 I don't know.

Andy 32:16 Boundaries.

Jo 32:16 Boundaries? Yeah. So, you know, we need to be able to tell each other off if if we're working too hard or too long. But at the same time, we need to give each other space if we do need to work a little bit longer. And it's about, sort of, you know, talking about that and making sure it's not become a habit. But we can get into bad habits. And we think Ah, I'll just do a little bit more a little bit more. And so it's about making each other accountable, haven't we really and saying hang on a minute, that's too long, or you haven't even seen the kids this week, or we haven't had any time together. And so it's about making sure you get that balance, isn't it and talking to each other.

Andy 32:50 I think it's interesting, you can get a bit tetchy with each other. Tetchy is a bit aggravated, agitated. And sometimes it's like, well what's wrong with that person, and you just haven't had a cup of tea together. It can be as simple as just actually stoppi,ng deliberately on purpose together, to have a cup of tea if you're English, maybe not tea?

Jo 33:09 The thing is, also it's it makes sense to spend time with each other. Because that is going to it's like they always say make sure you have a lunch break, make sure you have a break. Because that is more, you'll be more productive when you get that rest.

Andy 33:21 Tis true.

Jo 33:21 And in the same way if you spend time with your family, if you have fun, you will be better at your job won't you. So it's it's actually isn't, it's, it's not good for you not to have that time with your family and not to have those chats because you won't be as productive. So it's a win win!

Andy 33:35 So, what's the hardest point in your life for me working too much? And how did you deal with it well? When I was doing too many hours, perhaps, when we had a business?

Jo 33:43 Yeah, that was the hardest wasn' it.

Andy 33:45 How did you lovingly correct me?

Jo 33:47 I don't remember. Do you remember them?

Andy 33:48 Yeah, you used to say shut up and turn it off and go to bed. It's pretty simple really!

Jo 33:54 Well I thought you liked it to be told directly.

Andy 33:56 I like to direct sometimes. Yeah, no, it's fine. We've had those times haven't we where we just, we're doing too much.

Andy 34:03 I remember I came in to you. You were working from home one day, and I asked you a question and you kind of snapped at me. And you were so intensely, fiercely working, it's like Jo you really need to unplug. I think I actually take your hands off the keyboard at one point. It's like 'Come on dear let's go and have a cup of tea. Because the thing is, you can get too focused though.

Jo 34:19 yeah, yeah.

Andy 34:20 And it's not you're not deliberately, and you weren't being horrible to me, you were just so focused with such a massive workload, it took me to actually pull you out of the room, because I love you, and faced your "But I've got this to do and this to do". You also need to get some fresh air! Let's go catch some Vitamin D.

Jo 34:35 Yeah. We need to look after each other when it comes to work.

Andy 34:38 It's a long term investment. Well, it's true!

Jo 34:42 It is true, it's true!

Andy 34:43 'Til death us do part. I don't want you too knackered at 75. There you go.

Jo 34:48 Work it out

Andy 34:50 And sing the song if you want to which we're not going to do. Jo came up with the title and i'ts like, oh that's a song. No, don't sing it.

Andy 34:55 Don't sing it.

Andy 34:55 What's that friend of ours calls it? Musical Tourettes? You start with these song and you can't stop.. So, There you go. Work it out. Working is important. We should be working, it's important to work. And if you don't work, you shouldn't eat. However, in our work, we should be focusing on God, and doing it for Him, not for personal gain. And do it in the right heart.

Jo 35:15 Yeah.

Andy 35:15 And include your spouse where you can.

Jo 35:17 Yeah.

Andy 35:17 That doesn't, I can't see what Jo does at work 'cos it's, you know, it's quite private. But that doesn't mean to say I'm not part of what she does.

Andy 35:25 When you joined a particular thing, long time ago, I remember being in a meeting and this very important person came in and spoke about all these new recruits. And they said, the thing is, when they join, they're joining a family. And when they join the family, their family join as well whether they want to or not.

Jo 34:55 Yes.

Andy 34:55 You're part of this work. So although I never actually went out with Jo doing that particular job it was quite poignant, actually, that that your family members, your brother, your father, your sister, your children, they are part of this job, because we're part of a much bigger family. And it was true. So I sometimes used to go to the pub with Jo and colleagues and I was, it felt like I was part of a family. So that's okay too.

Jo 35:16 Yeah.

Andy 35:16 There you go. Have we finished?

Jo 36:02 We have.

Andy 36:02 There you go.

Jo 36:02 Thanks for joining us. My name's Jo.

Andy 36:04 Yeah. My name's Andy.

Jo 36:06 And we'll see you next time.

Andy 36:07 Bye for now.

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