Skip to main content

Spiritual Compatibility and Ministry Marriages

This episode features guests Dave and Ann Wilson of Kensington Church in Detroit, Michigan. Dave and Ann are incredibly transparent and share about how they started dating and also some of the difficulties they had to overcome in their marriage. If you're getting serious in a dating relationship, don't miss their advice on spiritual compatibility. Listen to hear their story and gain insights on how to protect your marriage whether you are in full-time ministry or not.


Transcript

Chris:

I'm Chris Grace and we’re with Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships. And we’re here to talk about all things relationship with Dr. Tim Muehlhoff, co-host today. And we have some amazing guests with us. We’re going to talk about all things relationships. We’re going to talk about different ways in which people connect and how they do that. And so, Tim I'm going to have you to introduce our guests today and tell us a little bit about them.

Tim:

Yeah, thanks Chris. Listeners might not know that every year, Biola University takes an entire week and dedicates it to relationships, because if you were to pull most Americans, they would say the thing that they want most out of life would be deep relationships and have a family of some kind. So Biola University takes that seriously and we’re in the business of preparing people for marriage and preparing for life. And so we couldn’t think of a better couple than Dave and Ann Wilson all the way from my hometown Detroit, Michigan, and probably nobody is cheering and listening to this.

Dave:

We’re not even cheering.

Tim:

But Dave and Ann Wilson, to tell you a couple of things about them. They have been speaking with family like ministries for almost 30 years. He is one of the original founders of Kensington Church in Detroit, 14,000 visitors on the weekend?

Dave:

Yeah, around there.

Tim:

It was Dave and Ann’s vision to do this. Anne is his partner in crime, and she speaks for FamilyLife as well and why don’t you tell us a little bit about your family and tell us just little bit about Kensington Church.

Dave:

Well, our family, you want to tell them, hon?

Ann:

Well, Dave and I have been married 36 years in May, so next month.

Dave:

That's a miracle in itself.

Ann:

It is, totally of God. And we have three grown sons that are all married. We have a granddaughter and that’s pretty fun. So it’s fun. We’re in this whole new stage of life of being empty nesters.

Dave:

We love empty nests. We really do.

Ann:

I mean we love our kids.

Dave:

We love every stage, but this stage really is cool. I mean, we’re talking on the plane on the way out here. You prepare your whole life for this. I mean, you think this is over, it isn’t over at all. There’s so much more in life. And all of those years of struggle in your marriage, there's fruit. There really is. It’s really beautiful time of life.

Ann:

It is. It’s good to look at your husband or wife and think “I really like you still”.

Tim:

That’s great. We’re kind of kindred spirits because of the Detroit connection. I was born and raised, storming heights which is kind of outside of Detroit where die hard Detroit fans, sports fans. And so Dave, why don’t you tell us a little bit about a unique side job you have, have had for the last 31 years?

Dave:

Yeah, the reason we moved actually to Detroit was to do the job of being the chaplain for the Detroit Lions. It’s funny when I went there in ‘85, I was the youngest chaplain in the NFL. Most of the teams have a chaplain, a lot of people really don't even know that. Most of the teams don’t pay their chaplain, it’s just a volunteer job but I was the youngest then and I'm probably the oldest now, which and I definitely, this is not a joke, I am definitely the looseness chaplain in the NFL for over 31 years.

Tim:

Tell us about your friend who just got the best chaplain job in the world.

Dave:

My buddy Luther Ellis played for the Lions in the 90s, he called me to summer, "Hey, I'm interviewing for the Broncos chaplain job." I'm like, "They’re hiring you?" He goes, “Yeah”. I actually said, “Are they paying you?” “Yeah.” I'm like, “What?” So he gets the job. So a lot of people don’t figure this out but he just won a super bowl, he’s been the chaplain eight months. 31 years, one playoff, win, in 31 years. He actually texted me. I texted him after the game like, "Dude, you just won a super bowl." He goes, "You’re the reason I'm doing this. I’ll give you half my ring." That's not going to work. I'm a little jealous.

Ann:

And a little bitter. He's a little bitter.

Dave:

Why would God do that for him? Anyway, next year, next year.

Tim:

Next year.

Dave:

Yeah, next year.

Tim:

Without Calvin Johnson?

Dave:

It didn’t matter.

Tim:

Okay.

Dave:

We’re going to miss Calvin, but we’re going to win.

Tim:

Chris is laughing over here and smiling ear to ear, because he is a Denver Broncos fanatic.

Dave:

Are you really?

Chris:

Yeah. Colorado State, went to school, born and raised there. So yeah, it’s a great day.

Dave:

Good for them. I mean, really what a great year, great team.

Tim:

How many times have you watched the tape of the super bowl?

Chris:

Yeah, I’ve watch it six times already.

Tim:

Really?

Chris:

Just keep watching. It’s awesome. Hey, this doesn’t happen very often. We’ve lost almost more games than any other teams have been in the super bowl. I think we’ve lost five times.

Dave:

Don’t talk about losing.

Ann:

Yeah, it doesn’t even count.

Tim:

And of course my kids were born and raised in North Carolina. So they were rooting for Cam Newton and they win south a little bit.

Dave:

A little bit.

Tim:

Yeah, a little bit. Well, what students are interested here at Biola obviously are a bunch of different things, but obviously, one of the reasons the Center for Marriage and Relationships exist is that students do care about relationships. They do think about the future. They do think about in an age of divorce. They think about what will make my relationship different. How can I beat the statistics. So you mentioned as you were speaking on campus this week that you advocated that we need to be on lookout for people that are sold out for Christ.

 

I was wondering if you could unpack that a little bit, because I think everybody would say that big picture, of course I want to marry a person who sold out for Christ, but what would be the telltale signs of a person not just faking it, because we’re at Biola University where everybody, I'm sure if you went up to every single student and said, "Hey, are you sold out for Christ?" They're going to say, “Well, yes, of course I am, because I'm at Biola University." So what would be the practical telltale signs that you would look at if a person is thinking about getting more serious with a person?

Ann:

You know I just had somebody come up to me after chapel and talked to me about that a little bit.

Tim:

Oh, really?

Ann:

Yeah. And I described it as, in relationships of the past of guys that I had dated, I felt like I was running on a track and I was going at a pace. And the guys that I was dating, I felt like they were on the bleachers sometimes or else they’re way behind me and I'm always yelling, “Come on, catch up, come with me.” And they were reluctantly maybe getting on the track. And then when I met Dave, my husband, he was sprinting. And when it came to us walk with God, I could tell this guy wasn’t going places. He would talk about Jesus. Our conversations always led there. We would pray together continually. And I thought, “Man, I need to be reading my bible if I want to stay up with this guy all of the time.” And there was such a difference that I thought, I don’t want to miss what this guy is doing. I'm going to walk with Jesus with that intensity and passion and I want to be on that same pace as he because I want to change the world. And I can tell that he is wanting to do that too.

Dave:

Yeah, and I would just add, I dated other girls before I dated Ann and I always felt the same thing. God was doing something in my life, changing me and I always was trying to get Him to change them like he was changing me. He was always pulling them and I didn’t even understand. I was wasting time. I look back now. I almost married one on this four-year relationship. We were within probably get married and I can promise you, I am a divorced man today, not in ministry. Who knows what my family legacy would look like? Actually, literally, I would’ve copied my dad.

Tim:

Wow.

Dave:

He was an alcoholic, adulterer. He used to take me when I was seven years old and my little brother, five, on vacations with his girlfriends while he was married to my mama. I can almost guarantee you, I would’ve copy that Wilson Legacy. I mean, he’s a great a guy. I loved him. You know, he since passed, came to Christ later in his life but that was the sense of the father that I didn’t even understand as I came to Christ. I was going to model that. And if I were to marry the girl that I was going … I became a Christian in the middle of this four-year relationship, and would go to see her at her campus. I was at the different University, and always try to get her where I was.

 

And she was always, “Yeah, because she liked me.” But it just wasn’t real. And then, our first date, one of our first dates, so it might have been the first date. We went to the Findlay Ohio Reservoir, that’s a hot day to Findlay. And I was pretty cheap, tight one. This will be free.

Ann:

I didn’t know that thing.

Dave:

We literally sat at the reservoir. It’s not even like a nice lake. It’s just a reservoir, but all we did was talk for an hour or so and I remember asking her that night, what do you want to do with your life? Now, think I'm 21, she’s 18, still just finishing high school. I'm headed in to my senior in college. I said what do you want to do with your life? And her answer, I can tell you right like it was yesterday, she goes, “I am going to found Jesus and do whatever he calls me to do, wherever and whenever. That’s what I'm going to do with my life. Nothing about me, nothing about guys, nothing about money, nothing about a job.” And again, I'm not saying that’s the only symptom of this person on fire, but I remember just sitting there going, “Oh my gosh, I’ve never dated a person with that kind of fire.”

 

I'm just like she doesn’t care what I do. She’s doing this whether it’s with me or without. And I remember thinking that night, I have to marry somebody like this. This is got to be the partnership that God wants for a marriage. It’s not love and romance, it’s part of it, it’s a partnership to go into a war called the spiritual war and advance to the kingdom of God as two warriors together. And I knew that night, I was like, “Oh, my gosh, this could be my partner.” And here we are, 36 years later.

Tim:

You know what’s funny, and I want to get more specific in a second. But here, Chris, you have a crusade background?

Chris:

Yeah, navigator crusade.

Tim:

Okay, we used to talk about where you just describe all the time, lordship. A lordship decision and that is what I don’t hear among our students today. I don’t hear that … Because when Dr. Bill Bright with Campus Crusade for Christ, I’ll never forget the Chicago Christmas Conference, right? He brings in a cross that is like ten foot high cross. He sticks it in the middle of an auditorium ballroom in the Chicago Hotel and he calls people who were all Christians, right, they’re all confessed to be Christians.

Ann:

We were probably there at that conference.

Dave:

Do you know what year it was?

Tim:

So it’d be 19- I don’t know, ‘84, ’83?

Dave:

Oh, okay. I was there in ’79.

Tim:

Oh my goodness, yeah.

Dave:

That year, Bill Bright spoke, changed my life.

Tim:

Did he have a cross?

Dave:

Not a cross, he gave the great commission talk. I was a, here listen to this, talk about where we just where. I was there with my girlfriend, not Ann.

Tim:

No way.

Dave:

I knew Ann or knew her family and her older brother was my center as quarterback in high school, he was my center so I knew the family. I'm there with the girl I'm going to marry, dragged her there. And at that moment, he had an altar call. New Year’s eve, 1979, he says standup if you want to follow Jesus. Here is how bad it was for me. I don’t stand up because I'm like I'm scared to death of giving him everything lordship.

Tim:

Right.

Dave:

He can be my savior. She stands up. My roommate who I’ve convinced to go from Boise, who’s not a Christian stands up. Basically the room almost stood up and I'm sitting there and I'm like, “I can do this. This is scary.” How could you say to God in this moment, I’ll do anything. We go back to the room. You want me to be real honest?

Tim:

Yes.

Dave:

And I had sex. That’s where we were.

Tim:

Wow.

Dave:

And I'm like this is not right. She just stood up saying this, I'm just like this is not what a guy wants in relationship and I knew at that Christmas Conference, I want more. Six months later, I surrendered it all. I made a decision and I’m literally back in home bedroom, got on my knees and said, I'm all in. it wasn’t six months ago in the ballroom but I am now, met her the next day.

Tim:

No way.

Dave:

Met her on a weird coincidental, long story, but I met her the next day. And it was like, I'm not saying God did it, but God really in a unique way put us together.

Ann:

So you have, Tim, when you are at this conference, he had a big cross then?

Tim:

Huge cross. Same experience.

Dave:

Yeah.

Tim:

He gives this lordship decision people are walking to the cross like crazy. I'm sitting there thinking, “No, I’m not going to.”

Ann:

Really?

Tim:

I was dating a girl as well, pretty seriously. I thought I can’t do that. I can’t say that God, I’ll do whatever you want me to do, that’s crazy. I have no idea what He would say and I'm for sure didn’t want to go overseas.

Dave:

Yeah.

Ann:

We didn’t want more in Detroit.

Tim:

Or as we say, overseas. That’s Detroit.

Ann:

Yeah.

Tim:

So I spent a sleepless night, totally couldn’t go to sleep, Holy Spirit’s keeping me awake, prodding me, prodding me. And then, the next day, the cross is still there. He speaks again and I get up and respond to it. But I don’t here this kind of language today. I wonder if it’s because of the consumerism that has enveloped academia today, right? You come to a Christian university that’s pretty expensive, and you were asking the question, “Okay, can my major get me a job?” Because how crazy is this. If you go to Biola University, you spent all of that money and then you’re called overseas.

Dave:

Yeah.

Tim:

So I don’t hear students talking about, “Hey, I'm going to give my life over to Christ and it’s a blank check and he can do whatever he wants for that.” I tend not to hear that. So after hearing you guys, what you’re talking about is, part of it is if a person is reading the bible, thinking about the bible he’s going to come in conversations. Second, but more importantly, it’s the do I have to pull this person kind of a thing. I want a person who is we’re equals in this or they’re initiating towards me and I'm not always the one to be, “Hey, let’s go to chapel. Hey, let’s go to church. Hey, are you reading the bible?”

 

I love what one psychologist says, “Your future is now.” Right? If you’re doing this all now, there’s not a switch that’s going to get flipped when you get married. Would there be anything else you would add to it that you’re just on the lookout, that somebody should be on the lookout for?

Dave:

Well, I mean, in some ways, obviously it’s lordship and agenda laying down, you know, surrendering and all, but its’ a lot like, obviously you guys know this, but it’s a lot like a really hot dating relationship. When you’re in love with someone you’re talking about her, you can’t wait to be with her, you’re texting, calling, of course Tim, you probably don’t know how to text but you’re always right. And it’s when you’re in love with Jesus, that’s the same thing. There’s you’re singing songs about Him. You’re reading his letter to you. And again, it’s not perfect is it? But no, there’s just driving passion just like you get tired of the guys talking about his girlfriend all the time, it’s there with the guy or girl who’s in love with Jesus and that overflows into the dating relationship and hopefully at the marriage.

Ann:

That’s what I was going to say too. It’s an overflow. It’s not conjured up. It’s not fake. It’s not put on. It’s a response. It just overflows out of your mouth and you’re consumed with Jesus. And do we have our highs and lows? Absolutely, but it still, he’s always in the forefront of your mind and your heart and your thoughts.

Tim:

Let’s talk about one of those lows. And you guys are very transparent about something that happened after Kensington Church started, it’s blowing up like game busters, right? I mean, you’re going from how many people originally?

Dave:

We had 43 when we started and that’s counting every kid and …

Ann:

That’s all of our children.

Dave:

You know how that is. Yeah, and we were at a thousand in six months. It just really grew quick.

Tim:

A thousand in six months.

Dave:

I mean, you look back now, even when it happened, it surprises, but now, you look back like that doesn’t happen. It was really God’s favor, honest. So in the public ministry, look great but people didn’t know and I didn’t even know because our marriage was in trouble.

Tim:

Yeah, so you’re overwhelmed that this thing has just grown like crazy and I'm sure logistically, it’s all over the place. Everything has to be taken care of. You guys go out for an anniversary date, correct?

Dave:

Yeah, ten year anniversary.

Tim:

Ten year anniversary. Why don’t you tell to listeners what happens during this.

Dave:

Well, my side of story is a little bit different today. I thought it was one of the best nights of our marriage. I mean, I’d actually set this things off at a nice restaurant. I'm not the guy that usually spends money at dinners, so I knew I had wowed already. But I didn’t know it was nice over the top place but I didn’t tell her until later, because I didn’t think [inaudible 00:16:37] at two for one coupon there. She never knew until later. But I had setup with the waiter. I had ten roses and I gave them to him and I said, every time I give you this look, please come over drop and drop a rose. And so, he did that. Rose number one, we talked about year one.

Ann:

And he was sweet, I mean he had the whole thing planned. He looked the waitress, she come over, drop the rose, he told me this great story of something that happened that year.

Dave:

Year two, year three, so we did all ten, spent an hour, doing what she loves, talking about our relationship. And actually, at that moment, great night, great ten years, celebrating what God had done in our relationship and now, through us with Kensington and the Lions and we go driving home. And I had one more thing up my sleeve, like this would be fun, we’re going to pull up in the parking lot of this middle school where we’re going to do Kensington, our church, and she hadn’t seen it, let’s pray, and then, let’s park. And I think it’s good for pastors to go parking or anybody actually.

Ann:

That was the ulterior motive really.

Dave:

That was probably what I was really thinking.

Tim:

The views expressed in this show do not necessarily represent that of the Center for Marriage and Relationships.

Dave:

You’re telling me you don’t want to go? Anyway, we’ll get to that later.

 

So anyway, I don’t remember if we prayed or not. I think we did. But then I leaned over to kiss her. By the way, we’re on a bucket seat Honda, so it wasn’t like this really glamorous thing and she does not want to kiss me. I'm literally, she turns her face away.

Ann:

I turned my head, so that you kiss my cheek and not my lips.

Dave:

I thought she just didn’t realize I was trying to kiss her, so I’d try to kiss her again and she definitely not want to kiss me, so I ask if anything was wrong.

Ann:

And I said, no.

Dave:

Then I asked again. I really did. You know how that goes, right? “Oh no, we’re fine.” I'm like, “Well, I’m just trying to kiss you but you don’t want to kiss me.”

Ann:

I just didn’t want to get into it, because he’d have this great night. He had spent money. I knew that he had gone all out to make this a great night and I just didn’t want to go there, but I couldn’t go there emotionally with him and so I finally got up some nerve and I said, “You know, Dave, I don’t have any feelings for you, for our marriage. Honestly, I have nothing. Nothing.” And it was a shocker. I looked at his face and I thought he has no idea what I feel, because we had been fighting because of the schedule and we had waited six years to have kids and so we have done everything together. Now, we had two little kids at home and Dave constantly gone. It seemed like almost every night. He has a meeting. He’s preaching. He’s starting his dream church. It was his life goal, it was my life goal and yet I felt like he left us in the dust. I felt like we were the last thing on his heart and on his mind and so when I said I have nothing, you were shock, weren’t you?

Dave:

Yeah, I had no idea, no idea. I mean, I really thought we were doing great.

Ann:

But we’ve been fighting a lot.

Dave:

I mean it was like, “Yeah, better by fights, you know.” It just wasn’t that bad and she were to say, “You know, we’re struggling.” I’ve been, “Yeah, okay, you know, like all couples.” But when she said I’ve lost my feelings for you, that’s what it was like in the car. We went silent. I’m like, “What in the world?” It was just way beyond what I expected.

Ann:

And I was mad about that. How can you not know?

Tim:

Yeah, he didn’t know.

Dave:

And I did not know. I was absolutely naïve and she wasn’t saying I'm leaving.

Ann:

Yeah, I wasn’t saying that.

Dave:

But she was feeling like I could, because that’s where we are. We have nothing right now.

Ann:

Honestly, I didn’t have hope that we would get better. Here we are, starting this church. We had just started speaking for FamilyLife and I thought we’re going to have to get off, because I don’t like my husband. It’s not good to speak for FamilyLife if you don’t like your husband.

Tim:

They are so picky about that.

Dave:

I mean, the wildest thing about the night was you would think, okay, so this is a marriage issue and we got to talk that through which we didn’t need to talk to through details, why do you feel this way, but the thing that changed and I never saw a comment was when Anne talked to me, because I did say, “Tell me what do you mean? What’s going on?”

Ann:

And I said, it started out. I was angry. I was angry, you’re always gone. I felt like I told you, but I think I kind of yelled it and so I think he didn’t hear it and then, I became bitter. Then, my bitterness turned to numbness and after a while I didn’t even care. I explained all of that to him, and I was getting ready for him to get super defensive, because he’s kind of that guy when you argue, he needs evidence. And so, he would say to me, “Show me. Show me.” But he didn’t do that this time.

Dave:

Yeah, I mean, I was about to.

Tim:

You were tempted, right? You were reaching for a new schedule.

Dave:

She had no idea what was happening to my brain, was I was going to prove you’re wrong. I can prove it right here. The calendar is in the backseat. I will point to it. I was home Monday, I was home Thursday, I put the kids to bed, the whole thing, because it was all in there. And yet, I couldn’t because the voice of God which is the thing that really was strange, I did not expect this to be a spiritual conversation. It was just a husband and wife fighting through the struggles in marriage and yet, God intervened in a strange way. I'm not this guy that always hearing the voice of God. It was so distinct. It was shut up, don’t say a word. That clear like, “Just listen.” I did not say a word.

Ann:

You didn’t.

Dave:

I mean, I was like, “I'm going to get struck that if I do.” It was like God told me. And so I actually knew when I heard that, it was like, “Could God be wanting to speak to me?” And He was. You what I mean? You still good?

Tim:

Yeah, am I still on? Okay, so let me mention, two things struck me. Ann, what you’re describing is what John Gottman, one of the top marriage researchers in the country called Stonewalling.

Dave:

Right.

Tim:

So you gradually lose emotion and feelings and you can’t get anybody to get a reaction out of you because you just don’t care anymore. So Gottman is very famous for saying, “Show me a couple of that fights and I can save the marriage.” Show me a couple where one person says, “I'm done, I'm not part of this anymore.” He said that marriage, and that’s habitually present, he said that’s going to in a lot of trouble. Let me ask this, I'm sure our listeners are thinking. Okay, if I was married to a man who is a pastor, who you fell in love with the fact that he’s sprinting on the track.

 

If I married to that guy, well, then, that’s great. I mentioned something to him and instead of him getting defensive. He’s on his knees in a car repenting. I think people would say, “Man, I’ll take that marriage any day of the week.” But I'm married to a person who is spiritually, I'm not sure if he’s on the track, she’s on the track, she might still be on the stands, how do I motivate a person, because you could drop that person like crazy, and I'm not sure they’re going to get on the track. How do you encourage a person who might be just dragging along, but do it in such a way that you truly could motivate. What would be your advice to a couple who’s listening to this thinking, I’ve got a spouse who, I’m not even sure is on the track, how can I get him or her on the track?

Dave:

I don’t know what Ann is going to say, but I know what I'm going to say, and mine is right, her is wrong anyway. Actually that question I hear often in the ministry.

Ann:

Me too, especially with women, I hear it.

Dave:

My, and I'm not saying right or wrong, my answer most of the time is you cannot control anybody but you, and you get right and do what everything you can to walk with God and you pray your Gods out for that guy or that girl. I mean, you have the wives with the book, by the toilet, guys hate that, men hate women trying to control them especially in spiritually. So that’s like one of the worst things you could do. It’s like, turn on this TV program and so, it’s out of your control because they want an answer like no, no, no, I want to help, and it’s like take your hands off, leave it all out, let him see the light of Jesus in you and pray like crazy that God will do a miracle, connector to some people. And again, I'm sure there’s a better answer for that but that’s my best answer.

Tim:

So we need to be specific on that. So let’s say, he’s dragging his feet. She says, honey, I would love to go to church on Sunday, can we go to church? And he goes, no, I don’t want to. Then you’re kind of saying, then she should just go to church and not guilt him into going to church.

Dave:

That’s what I would say.

Ann:

I would say that too, because honestly, nobody wants to feel manipulated, pushed, any of that. I think men and women too, we really grind our heels and like, I'm not going to do that but if you’re so loved, if you’re plotted, if you’re cheering for your husband or your wife, if you’re serving them unconditionally, that is so compelling, it’s so attractive. But even that, there’s no guarantees, even that will work. You know, there are no guarantees but I think we try so often to find our life through our spouse that we think that if my spouse will change, I will then be happy. And I think that’s what I did with Dave, even in the car. I thought if he would get his act together and I would be a priority and our boys would be our priority, I would be happy. Jesus, like I can walk with you better if Dave is better.

 

He is causing me to stumble. I even thought that like my husband is causing me to stumble and not walk with you. The truth is, I took my eyes off for Jesus. I became so consumed with changing Dave that I could even see Jesus anymore. And so for me, it’s like Dave became my idol, my marriage became my idol, my happiness became my idol instead of falling in love with my savior Jesus.

Dave:

And here is one other thought for the wife, and we talk lot about this in our marriage stuff. The number one needed for men is respect and when she respects in first peer, tells her to do that even the unbeliever. When he feels respected by her and he didn’t deserve it, he knows he didn’t deserve but this woman respecting him, I always say, men are drawn like magnets to respect. It’s a magnet. A guy goes wherever his respective. He’s in a bar at night. Some reason, he feels respected. He’s playing every night of the week so I guess what, somebody is telling it’s good. He’s going there.

Ann:

And honestly, that’s why Dave was gone all the time when we were starting our church. He was going like they were -- Dave, you’re awesome, people will come up and see your husband is amazing, and I'm like, really? Is he? But I stop the plodding and cheering for him and giving the respect that he needed and my home should be a magnet to my husband, to my kids, it should be a welcoming center.

Dave:

And the wife will say, well, he didn’t deserve it, and he doesn’t.

Ann:

Yeah.

Dave:

And we did it and Jesus died for us. It’s unconditional respect but if she’s doing that, something is going to click in him like I want to know why she would do that. And it’s just maybe a little hard to draw him in you know what I mean.

Tim:

And when did it hit for you, when did you realize this was with, and we did in the car, was it something that you realized you weren’t providing and is it something that you, for slow over time, what was the key changing things for you?

Ann:

I think for me like Dave got on his knees in the car. I don’t think he said that on a radio forum but he got in his knees when he have heard God voice. And he repented. And when I saw him do that, it created a conviction in my heart that I realized, “Oh my gosh.” I’ve expected him to be so defensive. And when I saw his heart for Jesus, he’s so soft, I just saw, I’ve been trying to find my life through him, and when I saw him modeled that to go to Jesus first, I realized it. And then, as we talk later on. Because there’s some things had to be change after that night, it just didn’t happen magically. That there’s some things that we had to decide and things we had to change but …

Dave:

All day a big part of it in this whole thing was the calendar.

Tim:

Yeah.

Dave:

I mean, the spiritual repent moment was the foundation. But then, don’t think we didn’t -- and then we had to go home, we go, Ok, you are gone six nights a week.

Tim:

There’s a lot of hard work at that point to figure out what we’re going to do.

Ann:

Exactly.

Dave:

And I just say no and it was hard. And then I started to say a no and I needed to be where I am.

Ann:

yeah.

Tim:

For couples that find themselves there, it’s busy, life is hard, you have two kids at home, you have a fulltime jobs, I knew you even do fulltime job.

Ann:

Right.

Tim:

What’s your advice for them when they find that place? Supposed they’ve made that commitment, they’ve decided, yeah, I know I get to right. I need to fix what I'm doing with God differently. And there was great repentance there but now, there are a little bit laws on how to manage that. And in this world, is very, very busy for a lot of people. What’s your advice when you talk to couples on how would they navigate this new world for them?

Dave:

I mean this was radical even in the ‘90s but the thing we did is I literally looked at the calendar and said, Ok, there’s 7-9 nights on a week, we had little boys, put them in a bed at night, reading bible stories with them. I needed to be home more than half. So I remember going to Steve, the other guy is there in Kensington. By the way losing his marriage at the same time, she actually said I will not go to our church. I'm going to another church. I can’t listen, her husband.

Ann:

We’re such good models.

Dave:

So the two guys leading this church are both in trouble. And he and I together said we need to be home four nights a week. We went instead on our stage and told that to congregation. Thinking they would applaud, you’re doing the right thing, taking care of your family. They were mad, “Wait, wait, wait, we need you, it’s the only time I can meet with you. I'm a businessman.” It’s in the evening, we’re like we’ve all talked to our wives, they said we need you at home in the evenings, so mornings, we’re free. So you want to meet to 4am, I’ll be there, 5am, 6am, but at 6pm, I'm having dinner with my family. I'm putting my boys in bed with my wife. I'm going to talk to my -- and we’re going to try and rebuild our marriage. And they were not excited about that but we did it.

 

It didn’t matter, we did it. It was not popular. They were upset. It didn’t matter. And now, looking back, I can tell you greatest decision I ever made in terms to just a practical thing to do. And obviously I had to play out over year, these kids got into sports and different thing but it was important.

Ann:

And we also decided we’re having a date night. We have had a date night once a week since we’ve got married. But in our date nights, we’ve been got lazy. We get so lazy in marriage, it was just like we’re tired. We just eat.

Dave:

Go to movie.

Ann:

Yeah. And we go to be. So we really became intentional about our conversations and Dave hated this. He would say like he -- I give him created because we will talk about on the scale of one to ten, what’s your number?

Dave:

Well, she told me, she said, when we’re on a date, you need to ask me, how are we doing because you don’t know when I do, could you just ask me? And I'm like I had the pencil out, how are we doing. And I didn’t really want to do it because I knew that this is going to lead to a discussion about how we’re doing. But it was the hard work of relationships. She got to do daily married and matters just like you got to go there and say, I want to be in great.

Ann:

Yes.

Dave:

And that means I need to learn.

Tim:

Chris, you and Alisa have done a great job with date night. You’ve been encourage between me and Noreen. But you guys have been doing this for how long?

Chris:

Yeah, I think for almost 20 years now, what we’ve said is we are going to have a weekly date night. When Awanas came along, it even turned into almost two nights a week because you drop the kids off. It’s awesome, you just simply leave for two hours. And I'm like Dave, she made some. I'm finding all the coupons, I had to buy and get one freeze. But it’s been a blessing to be able to do that because you do need that kind of time. I think couples forget that you still have to invest, you still have to do this.

 

And if you don’t do it, your marriage is going to suffer. That’s what you did when you were dating, you love spending time when you hangout. And that person realized, you’re making a commitment to this relationship, I like being with you, you like being with me and you may have to say a word often times.

Ann:

Yes.

Tim:

You know, we did the same thing, me and Noreen with the Calendar. We took off the Calendar and I looked at Noreen and I said, you know what, as a model, I'm not going to have a photo shoot every night as a model. I just decide to pullback-- hey, that’s a niche market. That is not appreciated by a lot of people. It’s not -- I’d sometimes crump up. I’ll be honest forget all.

 

Hey guys, thank you so much for being with us. We really do appreciate your transparency which I think is incredibly important for you guys to be willing to talk about the highs and the lows. So thank you so much for being with us.

Ann:

Thank you.

Dave:

Thanks for having us.

Comments