S02E012, Managing Expectations, Marriage Matters

Avatar The BerryBunch | 15/10/2022

Introduction

In this final episode in this series of Marriage Matters, Andy B and Jo take a look at expectations within our marriages – noting how we can have too high an expectation or to low an expectation on our marriages.

Andy highlights the issues of placing too much importance on the Wedding Day, when Marriage is for life - not just for the Wedding Day!

This week, Andy B shared some scriptures, which helps us to understand what matters in a marriage.

  • 1 Corinthians 12:21-26
  • Acts 2:44-46
  • Jeremiah 29:11

The Meaty Section

Andy and Jo chew through some difficult topics and try and make sense of it all.

#RealTalk and #RealLife is just what we do!

Tips and Resources

The Take Away

Andy

You can plan your wedding day, and the ceremony. But be careful you don’t assume the rest of the marriage will be as easily planned out. Life gets messy. Things happen you can’t plan for. But that’s not indicative of anything other than the fact that life happens and tings catch us off guard that we never be unexpected. And, remember that those hard times in your life, which you didn't plan for, can be God's best way of getting your attention to become more like Jesus.

Also, a couple who love Jesus together can influence people around them in a very unique and special way.

Jo

Make sure you’re not settling for low expectations and expecting a poor marriage ahead of you.

I need to have higher expectations of what we can actually achieve together, with God.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

READ THE TRANSCRIPT

Andy 0:28
Well, hello and welcome to the Season Finale of this season

Jo 0:32
of Marriage Matters.

Andy 0:33
Well, if it wasn't this season, it wouldn't be a season finale with it.

Jo 0:36
No!

Andy 0:36
So it's the season finale.

Jo 0:38
The last one.

Andy 0:39
The last one. Anyway, Episode 12. Depends how you want to view it. Anyway. So, you're welcome to Marriage Matters and we're looking at

Jo 0:47
Managing Expectations.

Andy 0:49
Yes, I had a brainwave

Jo 0:50
[laughing] Sorry

Andy 0:51
So, it doesn't usually go well, when I have a brainwave. But anyway, we'll see how this one goes, Yes, Managing Expectations. What does that mean? What does it look like? How can we factor that into our marriages? All that kind of malarkey.

Andy 1:01
But, as ever, if you don't want to miss out on anything that we're doing, and I promise you, you don't, then it's really simple. Go to the website, www.BerryBunch.family. You go to the little thing that says Newsletter, you sign up and then, every week, we get a little tiny email that we send to you saying here's what we've done in the last seven days. And then, very excitingly, once a month, we'll send you stuff we've doing in the last month.

Jo 1:23
Yeah.

Andy 1:23
Any exciting news, like new books for example?

Jo 1:27
Yeah, so Marriage Matters. We're looking at, yeah, we, we go into marriage, you know, the wedding and all with expectations of what that marriage and that life's going be like. We may have had experiences growing up. We may have seen other marriages, may have read books, or watched films, and thought that's what it's gonna be like, and we might have high expectations or low expectations or

Andy 1:51
Spoken to a group of people who got really bitter about marriage? That's not going to be a good expectation.

Jo 1:56
Yeah, that can cloud your judgement.

Andy 1:58
Or you speak to people who've had amazing marriages, and you get married and think there's nothing like that.

Andy 2:03
Yeah.

Andy 2:03
So it can work both ways.

Jo 2:04
But we can put on what's it rosy eyed coloured spectacles,

Andy 2:07
Rose coloured spectacles,

Jo 2:09
and maybe romanticise something of your life together with your spouse, when actually, we have to be more real, more realistic don't we, about managing those expectations of what it's gonna be like in the future.

Andy 2:21
We love Marriage. Marriage is fantastic. It's really exciting. I'm really glad I got ,arried when I was 19. It's the best thing I ever did. It's the best decision I ever made and it was absolutely the right thing for us. We're passionate about marriage, but marriages don't always work quite as we might hope. That's not 'Oh, it might not work out'. It's not one of those! It's 'It doesn't always work out like you think'.

Jo 2:40
Yeah.

Andy 2:41
I remember the Rend Collective, the, the lady, the singer, talking about the wedding day. And they were going off for their honeymoon and it was just an absolute, unmitigated disaster of there were people dying. I think the car broke down and they got lost. And, you know, it wasn't your fairy tale, driving off to the honeymoon. But that's not the be all, and end all, of your marriage.

Jo 3:03
No.

Andy 3:03
Giving you a clue for the end on Managing Expectations today.

Jo 3:06
That's just the start isn't it.

Andy 3:08
It's just, it's one day. We can put a lot of effort into the marriage day.

Jo 3:12
Yeah.

Andy 3:12
And it's good and it's right. It's not, you know, 'Ooh, let's have a go and see what happens'. That's the wrong attitude! But we can put perhaps too much into the wedding day. So we'll show you some of our, share some of our wedding day. What that looked like for us. What we think the wedding day is about. I'm gonna cough.

Jo 3:27
Oh dear. And yeah, we'll look at where you go from there. And how you stay on target, stay together, through the ups and downs of life.

Andy 3:37
I had a ginger biscuit just before we started. Well, I had two, and my expectation was not that I would choke. It's funny how these things change, isn't it.

Jo 3:44
Yes.

Andy 3:45
Okay, so we're gonna carry on now with, well, it's a revamped little promo video.

Jo 3:52
Ooh.

Andy 3:52
There you go.

Jo 3:52
S,o, let's pray. Andy's gonna come on and show us how to pray. Excellent. What, what have you got?

Andy 3:59
It's my world Atlas.

Jo 4:00
Okay.

Andy 4:01
So I can pray for the world.

Jo 4:02
Okay.

Andy 4:03
You see, prayer's good.

Jo 4:04
Right. Okay. You're gonna show us how to do that then?

Andy 4:06
Yeah, yeah. So I've gone, I've got me Atlas, and if you go to the letter A, I'm going to start here.

Jo 4:12
Yeah.

Andy 4:12
So please God please bless Abenraa, and Arcshun, and Arbor.

Jo 4:19
What did you like about the story?

Dave the Dog 4:21
Bob.

Jo 4:22
Bob? You liked Bob?

Dave the Dog 4:23
And the stick?

Jo 4:24
And the stick.

Dave the Dog 4:25
Me likes sticks.

Jo 4:25
You like the stick?

Dave the Dog 4:26
Me like sticks a lot I do.

Jo 4:28
Okay, well, we'll try and make sure there's more stories with sticks in, Dave, especially for you.

Jo 4:42
I hadn't seen that promo, there, before so it was quite good.

Andy 4:45
You've heard it before?

Jo 4:47
I have, yes.

Andy 4:47
It's nice. It's nice when you do something and your wife's like,

Jo 4:50
"Ooh"

Andy 4:50
'It's really good. Ooh I like that. That's always encouraging to me as a husband that I've made something good.

Jo 4:56
So we're on the meaty section where we sort of dive in deeper into the subject.

Andy 5:00
Yes.

Jo 5:00
And we're looking at Managing Expectations. We've talked a little bit about the wedding day, and, and how we might be expecting the marriage to go. And, and so we've got some scriptures. I noticed you picked up the Bible. That's always my queue. So we'll frame it in some scripture. What have you got? Dum, dum, dum.

Andy 5:22
Well.

Jo 5:23
I think, are you gonna go for the Proverbs one, 24, 3?

Dave the Dog 5:27
Yeah the Proverbs is good.

Jo 5:29
That's always good guidance there in Proverbs for us.

Andy 5:35
Okay, Proverbs 24,

Jo 5:37
3,

Andy 5:37
Verse 3

Andy 5:38
"By wisdom a house is built. And through understanding it is established through knowledge. Its rooms are filled with rare, beautiful and treasures."

Jo 5:48
Excellent.

Andy 5:49
Good that one.

Jo 5:50
Yeah. So what does it mean?

Andy 5:53
It means that by wisdom, the house is built. Actually, I tell you waht, I'll answer that question with another bit of scripture. If we jump to the Matthew one. Matthew

Jo 6:03
7, 24 to 27. Yeah,

Andy 6:05
You'll know this one. [dodgy singing!], "The wise man builds his house upon the...". Okay.

Andy 6:09
"Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine, and puts them into practice, is like a wise man who built his house on the rock."

Andy 6:14
Just sang that, you see

Andy 6:14
"The rain came down, the streams rose",

Andy 6:17
Who's doing the actions?

Jo 6:18
No!

Andy 6:19
"The streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash"

Andy 6:41
Now I would, I'm gonna come back to the Proverbs one. But I would say if you put all your effort in to your wedding day, you might spend £30,000, £60,000. You've got the perfect bride, groom, you know, outfits. You know, the dresses are perfect, the lighting, everything. You've got your tent and your marquee all sorted, and the perfect food. It's really good to intend to start the best way. Absolutely. We've shared this joke before. It's just as funny.

Andy 7:11
Dr. Neil Anderson, who wrote Freedom in Christ Ministries, he heads that up from the States, talks about how, on your wedding day, your bride is the best she's ever gonna look. And, after the sort of, you know, little bit of laughter, you start to think, well, actually, that's true. And it's not a bad, or a negative thing. But you think about your normal, stereotypical, wedding day, lots of it is centred around the bride. So the flowers match her hair. Or the dress is, you know, factored in to around the building, and all this kind of stuff. And it's not all about the wife. But, actually, there's an awful lot put in about the bride. Nothing wrong with that, by the way. However, it doesn't always work that way.

Andy 7:49
And, as he points out, it's the best your bride's ever gonna look. Because, when you have your first year anniversary, you're not going to have a team of people setting up flowers for you

Jo 7:57
No

Andy 7:57
quite probably, the dress won't quite be the same one that you had, it won't be quite as special. And, actually, it shouldn't be quite as special 'cos of wedding day is a really important day. However, if you build your marriage upon your wedding day, I would say that's like building your house upon the sand.

Jo 8:14
Yeah.

Andy 8:15
Because if one thing goes wrong, 'Oh, well, that's it that it's a bad. It's a bad marriage, isn't it, we've had a bad wedding day'. Actually, your marriage, as a Christian, is not meant to be built on the day. Your marriage is built to be on a, built on a rock. What is the rock? Well, it's the foundation of Jesus Christ.

Jo 8:30
Yeah. I mean, the wedding is about gathering people, friends, family, to support you on your journey. And we've often talked about, you know, we can't do it by ourselves. We need other people, other people coming alongside giving us advice, praying for us.

Andy 8:46
I'm frantically looking for a little quote.

Jo 8:48
Oh, are you? And so, you know, we will, sometimes, feel upset, or think things aren't working out in our marriage, especially those early months and even that first year, because we're not familiar with each other. We're bringing our own issues. And so we need to learn how to grow together. So we need other people to help us through. What you got?

Andy 9:10
Okay, so this has nothing to do what we're talking about. But this is brilliant.

Andy 9:13
"A cord of three strands is not easily broken. Note two people plus God equals three. This is a little something my wife and I call three makes two."

Jo 9:22
Yeah.

Andy 9:22
Now that wasn't to do with marriage. But that's really good, actually. Three makes two. When you think about your wedding day it's not about the wedding day, it's about the marriage. It's about why do you have a wedding day. And you don't have a wedding day because it's a great day. You have a wedding day because it begins well, because it begins your marriage.

Jo 9:39
Yeah, that's it.

Andy 9:39
And it's the marriage that's the point. Because, when everybody goes home at the end, and you're on your own, well you're on your own. But actually, if you've got God in the middle, that quote from David was great about three and two,wasn't it? You know, three becomes two, or two becomes three.

Jo 9:52
Yeah, and we've often talked about the importance of God being at the centre of your marriage, praying for one another, and keeping, keeping going through the highs and lows.

Jo 10:02
We spoke earlier on one of our episodes about through health and illness, isn't it. What's the vows say that? 'Through sickness and health'. And so there are going to be ups and downs. And so we can't have expectations that things are gonna be smooth. It's gonna be wonderful. It's gonna be like the movies. But, at the same time, we shouldn't have a negative approach thinking 'Oh, well, we'll see what happens and if it don't work out, we'll you know, try somebody else' 'cos that's not the right attitude either!

Andy 10:27
No. Let me just come back to this Proverbs 24 verse 3.

Andy 10:30
"By wisdom a house is built. Through understanding is established."

Andy 10:34
I think what we, what we always try and say with Marriage Matters is we're looking at what's God's best? What's his gold standard? Not, 'Well that'll do.'

Andy 10:41
We're not saying that you should manage your expectations by having low standards, or low expectations. That's the wrong heart, and the wrong attitude. We've got a link we're gonna give you to Hot, Holy and Humorous, actually, it's quite an older article, which I'm gonna pull up on my phone, which I had done, which I forgot about. Just

Jo 11:00
Just carry on. Yeah. This is, this was a tip wasn't it?

Andy 11:03
This is Managing Expectations 'cos Jo expected me to have some't I don't.

Jo 11:06
Yes! Yeah, so there, yeah, you never quite know where you're going in marriage sometimes, and you don't know what your spouse is doing!

Andy 11:13
High Standards, Low Expectations. So this is a plan, this is called A Plan For 2012. Hot Holy and Humorus. We'll link to that afterwards. But that, I think, is the point. We're not saying managing your expectations, therefore, well it's gonna go rubbish, therefore expect not much and then you'll be okay. That's the wrong heart, and the wrong attitude. Actually, we're saying, manage your expectations by having really high standards. What I liked about that article is it said what I was trying to say, but she's far more articulate!

Andy 11:42
We should have high standards, we should expect to have the very best marriage. We really, really should. But we shouldn't be so expectant of that, that if one little tiny thing goes wrong, it's like the house of cards, it crumbles, you know. So we need to have sensible expectations. We should be expecting the good, and the godly, and the miraculous, and the transformative, and the liberation. We should expect that our marriages are going to transform the lives of others and resemble the light of Jesus Christ.

Jo 12:12
That phrase that comes to my mind, is it plan for the best prepare for the worst or something? Would that be it?

Andy 12:18
Yeah. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, is, you know, I suppose, depending on your perspective. But we should be expecting our marriages to be amazing places.

Andy 12:27
I have to be honest, a little bit before we were doing some't else. And I wasn't, I wasn't my usual calm, peaceful self, which is mostly how I am, and we didn't have the greatest of conversations. That happens.

Jo 12:37
Yeah.

Andy 12:37
You know, and I've said sorry, to Jo. And Steven said, 'What you doing Dad?' Do you know, as your kids get older they hold you to account. It's good!

Jo 12:44
Yeah

Andy 12:44
and he became a real brother in Christ. And, you know, we have these moments and we want to be honest with you. It's not always going to be sun, sun and sand. Sometimes it's, you know, blocked drains.

Jo 12:54
Yeah. And it's about letting stuff go as well isn't. It's about forgiveness. It's about loving one another. Yeah, heard you singing that song. Loving one another, helping each other through the ups and downs, and just giving each other a bit of give and take, isn't it? But yeah, I think if we have this expectation of a way the marriage is gonna go, and it doesn't meet our expectations, that's when the marriage might wobble a bit won't it.

Andy 13:18
I think that's really easy to come in. If you've got such a meticulously planned day. You've got your wedding planner, you know, it's all perfectly laid out. The problem is, that's never going to be a marriage. You're never going to have a meticulous home. Sorry, you're not. It's life. And, actually, you don't want a meticulous home because if you ever have guests, they wouldn't want to stay. So you want you want a bit of mess.

Andy 13:38
Now, we wanted to share a little bit about our wedding day. Because we wanted to make the point that we don't come from, we've never struggled with the burden of wealth. I think it would be fair to say. But our wedding day, Jo had a wedding dress, it was 250 quid

Jo 13:51
That was a lot back then.

Andy 13:52
1996. It was £1,000. It was half of that. And then because I went into check on some't, 'ooh, buy it today, have half off. £250'. So we got it for £250.

Andy 14:01
The wedding day itself I think cost no more than 250. Everybody kind of pulled in. The church where we had, they hadn't had a wedding for decades, I think it was. So they all they all plumbed in. And it wasn't the best of days. You know, we've talked about some family issues, and you know, my family, they're not particularly nice people. I have to be honest. I don't mind saying that delicately. But they weren't particularly helpful. They weren't very supportive, to say the least! So it wasn't a particularly great day, our wedding day.

Andy 14:26
Somebody said, 'Oh, it's not too late Andy, you can say no and get rid of Jo'. So that's when I was at the altar waiting for Jo to come up. That's our wedding day.

Jo 14:33
Yeah.

Andy 14:33
It's not your romantic, idyllic, wonderful start. Do you know what? Our marriage wasn't based on a day. Our marriage was based on the love of Jesus Christ, our shared love together for Jesus Christ. That is what our marriage is based on. And that's why we're 25 years on, we're still very happily married. We love being with each other. We can't spend enough time together. And I think a lot of that is we didn't base our marriage on a day. 'Cos if We had our marriage would be a disaster! And you start getting into fatalism and all the rest of it. 'Oh, well it went well. So it'll be good. It went bad so it'll be awful.

Andy 15:08
Your marriage is more than the total of your wedding day!

Jo 15:11
I must admit I was thinking about that, then. It's a kind of a blessing in disguise. yeah, that things went wrong because, actually, we had to fight for each other, fight for our marriage, fight for that day. In some ways that helps you, doesn't it 'cos you fight for something that's worth it, then that keeps you going. So, when you do go through the difficult times, then you've been strengthened by that experience.

Jo 15:31
But we didn't get married in the summer, which is often when people get married.

Andy 15:35
No.

Jo 15:35
We got married in November, and it rained. And, like, we've got a picture of us with an umbrella up, which is funny, 'cos that's what happens in England. It rains!

Andy 15:42
I look back to our wedding day and I, you know, it's one of the, one of the biggest highlights of my life. As a day it was horrible. It was dreadful. It was surrounded by unpleasantness, and all the kind of worst of families that you could dream of. That's what I was having to face off and fight. It was not the best of days. However, it's the best of days for me, because it's the day we became husband and wife.

Jo 16:07
Absolutely. And the photos, you know, we all smiled on the photos.

Andy 16:11
Yes. Some more than othrs. They were doctored, I have to be honest. The photo album was not as it was taken. But that's, that's lif. And you have to deal with what comes and goes. And you can't choose your family. I would have chosen different! But you can choose your bride. And you can choose to start your marriage not based on your wedding day, but on Jesus Christ.

Andy 16:32
And if you have a marriage that's based, not on the wedding day going well, but actually upon Jesus Christ being the centre of your life, all of a sudden, the two of you becomes a three pronged cord.

Jo 16:44
Yeah. Yeah. I don't know what

Andy 16:46
That can't easily be broken. So get God in the centre!

Andy 16:49
When we talk about Managing Expectations we're saying, look, you can't prepare for everything. You can't plan for everything. You can't be ready for everything. You can't prepare for losing a child. You can't prepare for losing a job, or a house fire. We haven't had that one, thank God. But, you know, there are plenty of things that we've had to deal with that you can't prepare for. Yes, roll with resistance, but have a high standard.

Andy 17:10
Managing your expectations for me, in Marriage Matters. I'm getting passionate again, is about saying we want to have a really good marriage. We're gonna have it filled with the light and love of Jesus Christ. It's not going to be always perfect, because we're two human beings. But, God is at the centre.

Jo 17:26
Yeah.

Andy 17:26
So managing your expectations is always better dealt with when you got God in the middle. There's my little thought. That's a different thing we do!

Jo 17:44
You'll never guess what. Dave the Dog has his own show and it's called Dave unleashed.

Steven 17:50
Are we sure about this?

Jo 17:52
Well, I'm going to be back on hand. I'm gonna help him.

Steven 17:57
What, what mayhem are we to expect?

Jo 18:00
Well, to keep him on track he's got Story Time. He's got Art Time. So, you know, and I'll be there to help him.

Steven 18:07
What could possibly go wrong?

Andy 18:28
Is it you ore me?

Jo 18:29
You're looking at me.

Andy 18:30
I thought you said you were doing it.

Jo 18:31
No. You usually start this

Andy 18:33
I thought you just said this was usually your bit.

Jo 18:34
Oh, well, I can start but because I was thinking about the ups and downs

Andy 18:37
Managing your expectations.

Jo 18:38
Managing your expectations. And I was thinking about you know, You listed a few things before the break about this could happen or that could happen, you know, miscarriage or fire or, or illness or different kinds of things. And I watched this video. We watched it as a family actually, from the Skit Guys. The Skit Guys are Christian comedians who do some great video resources and things to do check them out on SkitGuys.com, isn't it?

Andy 18:38
We'll add a link to em.

Jo 18:41
Yeah, um, but just recently, they sent, because I get a subscribe to some of their stuff. And they sent a video and it was one of them. I can't remember which one, Eddie is it? Eddie the one who did it. And he talked, he does this great sketch about The Cards You're Dealt. And, you know, just remembering that, actually, God helps us, and knows what cards we're going to get, what situations are going to come upon us and how He can use them. And it's very powerful, isn't it? 'Cos sometimes we think, 'Oh, it's not fair. Why? Why has this happened?' So we could get like that? Thinking, oh, it's not fair, you know. Lots of other people had big weddings and everyone was very supportive.

Jo 18:42
Or they've got family that can do this, that and the other and we can all feel a little bit like well, you know, the other couples have got this that and the other, or a bit more money or whatever it might be and we might think cor, I've got some lame cards. I dunno if you're a card player, or if you play poker, or anything like that. Or, you know, you get given these cards don't you? Dealt these cards in life and sometimes we can feel aggrieved by them can't we?

Jo 19:56
So, do check out the Sit Guys 'cos I think that's really helpful to know reflect on, you know, God's involved with all this and we can grow and learn through these things that happen. And I think we've said that in previous episodes, haven't we, and we how much we've grown closer together actually, through adversity.

Andy 20:11
Yea, it's easy to see the problems and think, 'Oh, that was terrible, that was really hard' And the Skit Guys, beautifully as ever, pull this out that some of those harder times, you'd never choose them. But, actually, what they do, is bring you in a way they, they define, they sefine your relationship, they define your approach to life. And, you know, getting married, for Jo, and even getting engaged, we've shared this in a previous episode, you can check that in the first season. But we've talked about some of the hardships we had of getting married and, you know, getting engaged. Jo had to fight for me, 'cos it wasn't a great family situation, and all the rest of it. We've shared that before.

Andy 20:46
You can't control all sorts of things. But, actually, what those things did was, we fought for each other. And we've had some really hard times as a family. We've already got that posture ready of bracing ourselves, and working it through with the boys. So, when difficulties come, they're the same. They're, it's not that we're already you know, we're not always on this posture of okay, we're ready and embraced. That would be inappropriate and unhealthy. But, actually, when things come, we've battled enough battles to see it through, to, to keep going.

Jo 21:12
Yeah.

Andy 21:12
That makes sense?

Jo 21:13
Yeah, absolutely.

Andy 21:14
So we'll link to that article. High standards, Low expectations.

Jo 21:17
Yes.

Andy 21:18
Is that the one?

Jo 21:19
That's for Hot, Holy and Humorous.

Andy 21:21
Have I got the title wrong already?

Jo 21:22
I can't remember what the title was.

Andy 21:23
It's really impressive today, isn't it?

Jo 21:25
High standards, Low expectations.

Andy 21:27
High standards, Low expectations.

Andy 21:29
Don't go into marriage thinking, well, my parents had a divorce. And, well, look at what happened on the wedding day. And this is bad. And, you know, you've got to shift your mindset to God. Actually, I'm not gonna quote from Jay's, J. Parker's article. Go and read it. We'll link to it. It's really, really good. It's 10 years old, but it's a brilliant article. It's not dated at all. It's absolutely irrelevant! You should do this every year.

Andy 21:50
But we've got to think, what what is it we're expecting me all commitment to marriage. It's easy to think, Okay, we come in with our sexual baggage. We talk about marriages. Oh yeah, you've got sexual baggage from your past, what you've seen, what you've heard, what you've done. Yes, that's a part of it. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. All that kind of stuff. But, also, we've got those conversations we've had with people who are quite bitter about marriage. We've got those conversations with people who, you know, 'We have sex every day, and it's great'. And actually you get married and it's it's really excruciatingly painful. And it's like'Why isn't our marriage like that one?'. And, once you get into that comparative approach, you're gonna struggle, because we should have high expectations. But that doesn't mean to say that, well, God's standard is high for us, and His best for us is amazing, that everything is going to be rosy. It just isn't.

Andy 22:35
But actually those those darker moments they, they do define you in a good way. And I look back at, you know, losing Magdi was a miscarriage that we had. It's one of the most painful experiences in my life. And yet, her, her death actually set us up for life. Because what it did was we seized every day. We don't throw a day away, you know. You can have a really bad day. It's 8 o'clock, 'Oh, we'll just give up'. We still don't give up. We fight for the rest of that day. That is the good that comes out of a dark moment. So don't think it's bad, it's hard, it's wrong, therefore, that's the end. Let God take the wrong, and the bad, and refine it, and change it into something beautifully good. Because He's very good at that.

Jo 23:14
Yes.

Andy 23:18
In 2018, Jo and I were full time children's ministers, loving what we were doing, and wanting to share our resources freely with others to use. Scroll on tw,o years to 2020, and we'd finally launched our BerryBunch.family website chocked full of resources.

Andy 23:34
It was a bit embarrassing when we had one video. But we've now got nearly 500 videos for you to use, stream, share and download with 900 posts, all full of information that you are free to use in your situation, whether that's a church, a family, or just for your own personal use.

Andy 23:51
We've been asked to do all sorts of things. We've made logos for somebody who wanted a new logo for their blog. We've been asked to create a children's discipleship group. So we've done that. We've been asked to create a book about Broken Dreams, and Hope! and we've done that as well. We love creating resources that are relevant to your situation, so get in touch with what your needs are.

Andy 24:11
Our vision and our passion is to create material that is family safe, For Free, For All, wherever you are in the world and that is exactly what we do.

Andy 24:21
So, if you want to help us continue to do that, or if you want us to make something specific for your situation, then get in touch.

Jo 24:38
You're looking at me again aren't you!

Andy 24:39
I forgotten who's doing this link.

Jo 24:41
You're doing the Take Away.

Andy 24:42
Okay, I'm doing the Take Away. Welcome to the Take Away. Oh, dear!

Jo 24:48
What are you taking away then?

Andy 24:49
What am I taking away? I think there's a. I went on a lot about the wedding day and how we can look at the wedding day, and I think because threre's so much of a wedding day that we can control, we can say we're gonna have this colour of flower, and this colour of dress, and we're going to have this car turn up at this time, and we're going to have the marriage in that church, we're gonna have this person there. And then you get to the, the afters, you know. And, okay, we're going to have this table, it's going to have these people, and this is where they're all gonna sit, and we'll have this food, and then we're gonna that drink. And there's so much detail that you can plan, I think it's really easy to think, well, actually, that's how marriage should be. But it doesn't work that way!

Andy 25:27
Actually, the exciting parts of marriage is the messy bits where it doesn't work out. We've had some moments when it's like, 'How are we going to get through this?'. Those are great, because you get to rely on God more. You get to rely on each other more. And I get to see how amazing my wife is, and some of her really good gifts, and talents, and how, what she brings to the table. The fact that when it goes completely wrong, and I'm flapping Jo's, you know, still, calm, like a lake, you know. And it's just almost immovable. And, and yet, when we have to do planning, I think you've, you've commented how much you enjoy that I can plan. I can think. And I can think of all these things that can go wrong, which can be a bad problem, but it can be a great fix too. And what am I taking away? Its, it's the fact that in a marriage your expectations, or my expectations of what a marriage was like, hasn't happened. For the most part, I had all these, you know, ideas about what what a marriage was gonna be like. And getting married was really hard. Being engaged was really hard. The Wedding Day was really horrible in some respects.

Andy 26:23
But actually that, that battling and that fighting was us saying, 'Yeah, but we still want to get married!'. We had quite a few people who were very opposed to what we did. We've shared that in a previous episode. My Take Away is to remember that those hard times in your life, which you didn't plan for, can be God's best way of getting your attention to become more like Jesus. And in the context of a couple, I'm reminded this is my Take Away of how much power there is, from a couple that love Jesus, and how much they can influence the people around them.

Jo 26:56
Yeah, i mustn't forget that. I suppose I'd be thinking it's something that you were saying about, we need to make sure we don't have low expectations and that it becomes negative. And I think, I would, I think I'm the sort of person who sort of, you know, doesn't, I would fall into that sort of trap if you like

Andy 27:14
I would agree with that.

Jo 27:15
in life. And you know, you know, you hear the figures of how many divorces there are, particularly even in churches and stuff, which is frightening. I've not come from a particularly helpful background, because there has been divorce there. And we've got plenty of experiences of people around us to, to make us think, 'Ooh, marriage isn't all it's cracked up to be'. Even though I've watched all the romantic films, and I've thought, 'Ooh, isn't that lovely?' So I have to be, yeah, I'm reminded I need to be more expectant, I suppose, of what you know, not, not of you, necessarily. But of us and what we can achieve together.

Jo 27:18
No what we can achieve and what God can do in our marriage. 'Cos, you know, sometimes, you know, we've talked about the mundane of life, haven't we in marriage and like the day to day. And sometimes we just forget about actually God's at work doing miraculous things, So I think, yeah, that's my take Away to to be more expectant of what God can do, what we can do, how our marriage can be even very exciting, even in the sort of ordinary, you know. Doe that make sense?

Andy 28:14
That's the best place to finish I think. Let's be honest. Thank you for joining. I'm gonna stop there.

Jo 28:18
Oh, ok.

Andy 28:18
There's nothing I can add to that. That's perfect. And thanks for joining us across the last 12 episodes. You can go back and watch. We'll be back. Don't panic, don't panic. We have a little rest from this. And we're gonna do some other stuff, and all the kind of stuff we do. We can't do this every single week! We do have other responsibilities. So, yeah, you can catch us on Konnect. Radio, if you're missing us. That's okay. Every Sunday 4 til 6.

Andy 28:37
But yeah, there you go. There's your expectations. Let your expectations be guided by God. Have high expectations of what God can do in your marriage. Whether you're in a great marriage, it'll be better. If you think you've got a really terrible marriage, God can make it much, much better. So let's have hope. Let's expect that God's plans are to prosper us not to harm us, Jeremiah 20. Let me read that to finish.

Jo 29:01
Is it is it 29 ,No, no, I was get it wrong, 29 something?

Andy 29:05
Let's end on that one shall we.

Jo 29:06
Yeah, that's a really good one.

Andy 29:09
Just talk among yourselves. Jeremiah?

Jo 29:12
Jeremiah. I can't remember. Is it

Andy 29:14
The plans I have for you.

Jo 29:14
Is it try 29, 31 or 31, 29?

Andy 29:17
I always get it the wrong way around. No, it's not 29, 31.

Jo 29:22
So it must be 31. Is there a 31?

Andy 29:25
There's a 31.

Jo 29:27
We'll put it on at the end shall we?

Andy 29:28
We'll put it on at the end. Go and find the scripture and you can let us know what it is. 23, 16.

Jo 29:34
Really? My, the plans I have for you are to prosper and not harm you and give you success, isn't it?

Andy 29:41
Yeah, not that one either.

Jo 29:42
So we can pray that over all marriages.

Andy 29:44
Have high expectations, and believe that God has got better for you. This isn't some prosperity rubbish. This is about God's plans are to prosper you because He loves you. So, don't look at your marriage, or yourself, and think oh, that's the end of it. Every day is a new beginning. There you go. Bye for now.

Jo 30:01
Bye for now

Jo 30:15
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Steven 30:28
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Nathan 30:35
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Nathan 30:46
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Andy 30:59
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Andy 31:10
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