Skip to main content

The Beauty of a Christian Marriage: A Conversation with In-N-Out President and CEO Lynsi Snyder and Sean Ellingson

Dr. Chris and Alisa Grace pose for the cover of The Art of Relationships Podcast.

What does a Christian marriage look like? Is it honesty, humility, transparency? In this week's podcast, Dr. Chris Grace and Dr. Tim Muehlhoff invite special guest speakers, Lynsi Snyder, the owner of In-N-Out, and her husband Sean to talk about trials, transparency, ministry, and healing within their Christian marriage.


Speaker 1:

Welcome to another Art of Relationships podcast. We are grateful for listeners like you. Let's get right into it.

Chris Grace:

Well, it's so good to see you again, Lynsi, and to have you here on our podcast. Tim, I think last time we were here, we just had an enjoyable time talking about all kinds of things related to relationships and it was so fun. Lynsi, it was awesome to have you. We're joined today by your husband, Sean. Sean, it's really good to have you on our podcast.

Sean:

Thank you very much.

Chris Grace:

Good to have you.

Lynsi:

Yes, thank you for having us.

Sean:

Great to be here.

Chris Grace:

Tim, we have a couple of things we want to talk about and you guys, mostly about, we'd love to hear a little bit about your relationship. Tell us your story in a brief version, and then we'll get into some of y'all's love and passions for ministry and things like that.

Lynsi:

Well, we actually met in probably a non-conventional way, on a dating app.

Chris Grace:

Actually, it's more conventional nowadays, huh?

Lynsi:

True. True, true. I think ... I was just clear about putting all my baggage right on the bio. That'll ...

Chris Grace:

Just get it out there.

Lynsi:

... thin out the herd, you know, just ...

Chris Grace:

Four pages or just one.

Lynsi:

So it was just, divorced, three kids, want a godly man to lead my home, all that. So here we are, seven years later.

Chris Grace:

Has it been seven years?

Sean:

Seven years, yeah.

Chris Grace:

What did you think when you saw all the baggage?

Sean:

I felt like, what's that TV show where they go by the garages and they go through all the garbage? I kind of ... I'm just kidding.

Chris Grace:

Yeah, antiques ... no. Something, yeah.

Sean:

But yeah, at that time in my life, having served in the military, I had just got out. I was going to art school at the time and just really praying that God would make me somebody to provide for a family. I was really looking for just that love in life. To get married, to have children. I gladly welcomed and accepted all of it, everything that came with it.

Tim:

But Sean, you ... I mean, I have three boys, but I didn't jump right in to parenting right away. That must have been a bit of challenge, right. I mean, everything all at once is, hello, here we go. Boom.

Sean:

Yeah, absolutely. There was a lot all at once, definitely. I couldn't have done it without my faith in God, and to be able to go to him and to ... even people that God has put in my life for counsel and wisdom and advice, and just always looking for ways to make sure that I'm there for them and show them love.

I came from a broken home. My parents were divorced at 10 years old, so just kind of self reflecting how I grew up and what I wanted the kids to experience just kind of helped me. It helped me navigate parenting early on.

Tim:

Can I ... oh, sorry, Chris. Can I flesh that out real quick? Because it sounds good on paper. Like if two people come and say, "Okay, we're both ... we love God, our faith is important," and it's on paper, but then what was it that you said, "Okay, we actually do connect. Our faiths do mesh with each other."

Lynsi:

Well, our first conversation, we talked about God, we talked about where we were, spiritually, what we wanted in life. We talked about politics. We talked about him being in the military. We talked about him losing a brother from drugs, me losing my father, him having a brother on drugs currently. We decided at the end of our conversation to pick three things to pray for, for one another.

Tim:

Wow.

Lynsi:

So pretty much the first conversation ...

Chris Grace:

That's pretty deep, huh?

Lynsi:

... we got right into the real stuff.

Chris Grace:

Yeah, that's pretty deep. As people are out there listening to this, I think y'all's story is becoming more and more normal. I just don't think it's out there that far. People are meeting on online apps and they're dealing with a lot of things going on. Divorce is rampant, as you know.

Give us your best advice, man. Somebody's out there going, "I don't know. I met this person online. I don't know if that's a good way to do this." Or, "I have so much baggage." What do you guys, at this time, what would you say to that young couple or maybe that couple that's just trying to go through some of this? Do you have any advice, now that you've been doing this for a while?

Lynsi:

I think ... I mean, I have a lot advice.

Chris Grace:

We'll take it.

Lynsi:

But first off, just submitting the relationship to the Lord and asking if it's what he has for them, because I think that's where I went wrong in the past and of course had to deal with that. But that was something that I did for sure when I met Sean and I actually ... I'm not one to fast a lot and I ended up fasting kind of unplanned for five days and was just doing liquids. That did include coffee, confession, but.

Tim:

Let's not [inaudible 00:05:17] I mean, that fast is good, but come on. Coffee?

Lynsi:

But yeah, I think just praying and submitting the relationship to the Lord, even if you're already with them and down the road, I think just giving it back to the Lord and asking, "Is this what you have for me?" I think that's the first place. Gotcha.

Chris Grace:

Gosh, even fasting is a ... what a great tip that is. I mean, imagine if people did that and waited for the Lord's voice, right?

Lynsi:

Yeah. I should probably do it more often, but ...

Tim:

And there's nothing magical about fasting, right? Fasting is simply saying, "When I would normally have an inclination to eat, I'm just going to set aside that time and interact with God, search off the scriptures, pray." It's what we already have in our schedule. We just replace it now with a God focus for like five days. I love the fact that you did juice. It's not ... and by the way, it could be technology. It could be something totally unrelated to food, but I like that intentionality. Lynsi, you're right. I don't know why we don't do it more and I'm kind of convicted listening to you. So let's move on ...

Chris Grace:

To your next.

Tim:

To your next step. But I think that's great.

Lynsi:

Yeah. I know just ... I think think honesty is one of the most important things in a relationship and ... really any relationship, but especially looking at a marriage relationship. I think sharing how you feel, sharing what you've been through, and true humility is knowing who you are and you aren't before God and others. You've got to do that with God to be able to do it with others. Of course, he knows everything so we can kind of go, "Oh yeah, well he already knows," but that means we've got to acknowledge some of the stuff on our own. Being able to do that with others is so important. Sometimes it's more scary if it's and you love and don't want to lose, so, yeah.

Tim:

Sean, what did confirmation look like for you?

Sean:

Well, before I met her, I was, like I said, praying for family and children. So I was really looking to hear from God, because I was seeking him from the very beginning. So when he put Lynsi right in front of me with three kids, it was everything I had prayed for and more. So right from the very beginning, I recognized that, and man, I was just astounded. I just was in disbelief. I mean, I was in shock that God had completely answered my prayer in giving me the opportunity to have a family with her. So from that point on, it was just like, okay, "Well, I'm going to pray. I'm going to seek his voice and his direction and I'm going to go seek counsel from other believers and the elders and try to get the confirmation through them." That's a huge part. You touched on the word humility, it's just being open with people and allowing people to speak into your life and into your relationships and be totally open and truthful with them so that they can effectively do that. Yeah, it was just amazing.

Chris Grace:

It's good advice. By the way, just for anybody that's dating, it's really trial and error for some of these. They're out there and they're ... this relationship doesn't work and then they try another one and eventually they start to land on some of these things on too.

Tim:

We teach a class on Christian relationships at Biola University. You actually came and spoke to the class, if you remember that. Chris, you shared something in a lecture of isolationism within the United States that most people cannot name ... what is it, one or two friends?

Chris Grace:

Yeah. They have one, maybe two friends that they would call intimate confidantes.

Tim:

I don't want our listeners to miss what Sean said, is that you had community. You had people to go to, to give you prayer insight. Most Americans just don't have that. When there's community there's safety within the community. I just want to highlight that, that the New Testament is written predominantly to communities. We've got to immerse ourselves in community, and with that comes safety and insight and guidance. I think that's a great point for our listeners to understand know.

Chris Grace:

I just want to make the point that what I said in that lecture was profoundly impactful on Tim. To know that, frankly just makes me smile because ...

Tim:

To be honest, it was Alisa. I just didn't want to ... Alisa's his wife. I just didn't want to, I just didn't want to say that.

Chris Grace:

Yeah, so that community and you guys have had that, is that maintained in year ... I mean, you're at seven years now. There's no such thing as a seven-year itch, by the way, you guys know that.

Lynsi:

I don't even know what it means.

Male:

I want a seven-year itch [inaudible 00:10:23].

Chris Grace:

You have the seven-year itch, where a marriage back then used to say after seven years, it's going to have this hard, difficult time, and it's going to end. In fact, and there might have been a movie way back then, Seven-Year ... anyway, and so now they're finding it's more like a two-year, year-and-a-half that most marriages, we're finding, run into trouble. So the community then. Let's stay with that. It's still part of your lives and part of your passions, I would imagine?

Lynsi:

Yeah. One of the main mentor counselor that we've gone to since before we were married, we still talk to him and we're close to him. He's just so dear to us, we love him. He checks in on us all the time and ...

Sean:

Call him or text him at one o'clock in the morning. He's always there for us and he's available for us. Yeah, he's helped us work through a few issues through the seven years and ...

Lynsi:

Yeah. Few issues. Anytime we have a fight, I'm, "So this is what happened. Can we talk to you? Can we meet"

Chris Grace:

You guys. Seriously, that is gold. I mean, if young couples could just simply have somebody they could text it all hours, even if it's a couple of times a month or a week, it sounds like this is somebody in your life like that.

Sean:

Absolutely.

Lynsi:

That's amazing, yeah.

Chris Grace:

Oh, that's awesome. I mean, you guys would recommend that for others and ...

Lynsi:

Yes, and I think we want to be that for others as well. I think ... you're talking about people being isolated. It's so true. I think people don't want to share maybe the failures in their lives or the fears or whatever, and that's why people have so much anxiety and depression, because we were built to be relational and be connected and God wants those loving relationships to feed and fuel you on life. I think that so many of those relationships don't look the way he's intended them to look like.

Chris Grace:

Yes, is so hard to be vulnerable. I mean, here you're with somebody that you love and that you say, "I'm spending the rest of my life with you," but you still run and hide because you don't want to show some of these selves. That's the root of some of these painful moments and arguments that I'm ... Alisa is showing me all of these things that are awesome, but I still run away. I trust her, but ... yeah.

Sean:

Yeah. There were actually very personal things that I was dealing with probably before I met her, and I handled them in horrible ways. I mean just, well. So in our marriage, it was in the beginning, she was pressing and pressing. It was definitely a word of knowledge from God because she kept pushing into certain issues that I had dealt with from my past. It was stuff I wanted to take to my grave. I didn't see any need of opening up and sharing the details or the experiences. For me, I think that was detrimental to my walk as a Christian, and until I actually allowed and handed those over to God to work through those issues, I wasn't really going to continue to grow in love. So finally, she pushed and pushed and I was able to open up about some personal things that I went through. One of them happened to be that I was molested when I was younger. I think for me, having the vulnerability and the humility to open up and share that with someone finally allowed God to really come into my heart and show me how much he cared for me.

Chris Grace:

That's so healthy. Maybe not so much pushing next time, but you know, when you, but it's ...

Lynsi:

Oh, I pushed.

Chris Grace:

You saw it was there, huh. But that's ... what else or how else would it come out, unless somebody there that you love and trust is saying, "You need help with this." Is that what you sensed?

Lynsi:

I just said, "I know there's something ..."

Chris Grace:

Ah, that's interesting.

Lynsi:

"That you're not telling me. I know that there's something that you need to get out." I just, I don't know. It was like I would kind of let up and then I'd come back. Let up and come back. I'm persistent, and I wanted it for him. I wanted the healing for him and I wanted us to just have a relationship that's 100% built on honesty.

Tim:

This is the beauty of Christian marriage, is perfect love casts off fear. That commitment part that many couples in the United States just simply don't have that. I remember I ticked off my students when I was doing my grad work at UNC Chapel Hill because Brad Pitt had married Jennifer Anderson, and I said to the class, "I don't think this is going to work." They were like, "You're such a downer. Why would you say that?" Because in a rolling stone interview, Brad Pitt said, when asked about, "Is this till death you part?" He said, "No, we're just going to kind of see where this takes us." I mean, can you believe that?

Lynsi:

Oh my gosh.

Tim:

I'm like, holy cow. I said, that's not going to do the hard work of marriage. But when a Christian marriage comes in and you say, "Listen, we're in this."

I remember my wife saying to me early in our marriage, she said, "Hey, we've going to work this out or the next 60 years is going to be miserable." The subtext was great. "Hey, I'm here for 60 years, so let's work this out." That's the beauty of a Christian marriage is we're in this thing so we can be transparent with each other. I think our culture needs to hear of that more than what it does today about the beauty of what separates a Christian marriage, I think.

Male:

Yeah.

Yeah.

Tim:

But can I, ask a quick question that ... okay. All right, so I get the transparency thing, but let me for a second say, but Lynsi, I mean, everybody listening to this knows who you are and what you've accomplished. You are wonderfully transparent, but how do you negotiate that with being a public figure? Is there a temptation to protect your persona because .... you know what I mean? I think that could ... I mean, this reminds me of my modeling days, when ... but you know what I mean? How do you negotiate that as a public figure? That's interesting.

Lynsi:

I think it really comes from being healed. I think that if you're not healed in different areas of your past, then you're going to have shame or guilt or want to cover it. But he set me free. It says all the things, and in the Bible talks about having the truth shall set you free and then, like you said about love and no fear and there's just, there's just a freedom that comes with it. So because I feel that he's healed those areas, and that healing came from talking about it. Came from talking about it with people going there seeking counsel, having just like heart sessions where you're just getting it all out and having prayer over those different things and staying honest with those people and those issues and not going into denial.

Because we have so many different strongholds we could use to cover the past or say, "Oh yeah, no, I don't think it affected me that much." Or, "No, I'm good." Or you could stay angry. There's just so many different ways to deal with it. I think for me, I just ... I used to be a pretty defensive person, actually. Mm. I could still hold an argument, but ...

Chris Grace:

Sean's laughing [inaudible 00:18:14].

Male:

[inaudible 00:18:14] backed out of the room.

Lynsi:

I can still argue. But I think that because so many things were put out at different times where maybe they weren't true, it's more hurtful to have untrue things spread about you than the truth. So well, being free and healed, I'd rather help people with the things I've been through and my failures and all that and try to encourage people.

Chris Grace:

That's really great.

Tim:

The students talked about it for a long time.

Chris Grace:

They did.

Tim:

I mean, so it was a little bit insulting to us because we do a course evaluation at the end of every class and we say ...

Chris Grace:

Bring back Lynsi!

Tim:

... what was your highlight? And they go, "Lynsi Snyder," and we're like, "We were here all semester with you. What about that lecture I gave that one time?"

Lynsi:

Yeah, oh my God.

Tim:

Honestly, it really, I think it connected with them. To see a person be that transparent with their weaknesses, I think gave them freedom to wrestle with their strongholds.

Lynsi:

Aw.

Tim:

I mean that. They really much connected with you.

Chris Grace:

Tim, at some point I think we should mention just y'all's work, I know with abused children, abused women. We have just recently connected with the group and have spoken there. Tim, real quickly, maybe just that what we doing around here.

Tim:

I don't know if the last time we were together, we had told you about the Neighbor Love initiative, but we feel very strongly what Jane said that true religion [inaudible 00:19:47] of God is caring for orphans and widows and distress. The Neighbor Love initiative is we work at domestic violence shelters in Orange County and go and teach physical self-defense as well as verbal deescalation, spiritual battle. Then recently I just got back, me and my wife just got back from Tanzania. We're working with Maasai women, where the average Maasai man has five wives, women are not educated because your purpose is to have kids. So women get married as early as 10, 11, 12. We literally just got back and going to the Maasai and be able to say, "Listen, I know your husband says this, but you need to know what God says about you." It was such a great moment to be able to do that.

I just remember last time we were together, your heart for not only abused women, but also your heart for Africa just stood out. We have a gift for you and we'll put it on our website to show you what the gift is, but the Maasai women painted this. This is a gift from the Maasai women to you.

Lynsi:

Oh, sweet.

Chris Grace:

Check this out. You know what we did? We spoke with women in this abuse shelter. As we did, Tim did something interesting. He challenged each of the women here to write a letter. Tim, tell them what happened.

Tim:

To their African counterparts. Maasai women get no encouragement. I mean, it just doesn't happen. So that American women would take the time to write a letter and then I just hand deliver them to these women. And again, they, they speak Maasai, so somebody would have to read it and translate it to Swahili. But the mere fact that an American woman took the time to do that was just life giving.

Chris Grace:

For both. Both women that were writing this. They were like, "Wait, you're going to take this to women in Africa," and these were abused women. I know it's been your passion in y'all's work as well. Have you guys been back there or do you guys go much?

Lynsi:

I think he's been back since we spoke.

Chris Grace:

Yeah?

Sean:

Yeah, the beginning of 2020 and February, beginning of February.

Chris Grace:

Oh. Then everything started to shut down.

Sean:

I got back. Right in the Nick of time.

Chris Grace:

Where did you go?

Sean:

Kenya.

Chris Grace:

Oh yeah.

Sean:

Yeah. We have a nice group out there. Pretty good group. We have a pastor's conference out there every year.

Chris Grace:

Oh, yeah.

Sean:

We have pastors come from the neighboring countries, Rwanda, Uganda, all the way from like Burundi and Sudan, Malawi, and kind of all over. So it's really interesting to over to go over there and it's awesome to be able to be ministered to over there and to go over there and to minister to them. We have a ministry called Army of Love. I think Lynsi may have shared that before. We've translated our workbook that we have.

Tim:

That's a great workbook. We've seen it [inaudible 00:22:46].

Sean:

Thank you. We've translated it into quite a few languages so far, and one of them was Swahili. So it's available if you want to take it next time you go back.

Tim:

This is a God moment. I spoke, I preached at a church in [inaudible 00:23:01] and they were begging me for material in Swahili. So it's on my to-do list. I've reached out to a couple of our Talbot professors, our seminary at Biola university, but oh my gosh. Guys, seriously, after this, let's talk.

Sean:

We also have Arabic, which I know is ...

Tim:

Yeah?

Sean:

Yep.

Chris Grace:

Wow, that could be awesome [crosstalk 00:23:21]

Tim:

That is a God moment.

Chris Grace:

Yeah, we talked about the Army of Love material last time too. It's great. What if someone wants that material here? Can they get it here in the states? They just have to ... how would you recommend if ...

Lynsi:

On the website, armyoflove.com, you can enlist. When you enlist, you can share what you'd like to do, but there's modules, which all the materials in the modules, and if you really want one of the soldiers manuals, then you could just work with a mentor to get one, but yeah.

Chris Grace:

Okay. We could ... so at the abuse shelter, it might even be a great place to start. What do you guys think?

Lynsi:

We love to support other churches and ministries, because lots of times they have things going on and maybe don't have someone that wants to lead a discipleship program. Maybe they have home groups, but maybe they're not getting that full discipleship and the word and everything. We work with Teen Challenge.

Chris Grace:

Yeah, that's a great rehab.

Lynsi:

Yeah. We work with them and we just connected not too long ago with River's Edge, another rehab, [inaudible 00:24:25]. We're connected to some other pastors and churches. Anytime we can connect and support these ministries and say, "If you want to partner with us, you want us to help disciple get people on there ..." It's really been cool.

Chris Grace:

Your workbook, you guys, it really is amazing. I think, well, it's not an exaggeration to say every page will have four verses easily. Would you agree? Every page?

Tim:

Absolutely.

Chris Grace:

That is right at the heart of these issues. And it's just really good. You guys did such a great job with that. I think one of the cool things is being able to share that kind of passion in ministry but it's based upon a foundation of God's word. So here's our whole hope at our center. You know, we have a Tim and I have a little center at Biola, on marriage and relationships, it's to take our material to those who need it most and that those who need it most come to us as well. Right? So that's why we do the Africa thing. That's why we go to the B shelter.

The other thing is we'll go to campuses, like UC Berkeley. UC Berkeley brought us in. Could you imagine taking two Christian faculty to a school, there's, out of I don't know how many faculty, there's only like four Christians in. We go in, stand up and talk about relationships, how to have them healthy and good. At the very end, what do we say, because there's a bunch of non-Christians, we say, "Oh, and by the way, when we run into questions, we turn to one source and that's God's word called the Bible. Thank you for having us." If you want to come see us, come talk to us. Because we're afraid of the riots, you know?

Then all of a sudden we have streams of people coming up to talk to us. So that's just an example of, we're going to take it to places where it's darkest, where they need it the most, just like you guys are doing. That's, again, one of the motivations why Tim, we sent Tim to Africa to do this work, but it's such a passion of y'all's, isn't it?

Sean:

Absolutely.

Lynsi:

Yeah.

Chris Grace:

How fun to share this together, isn't it? In marriage, I mean, if you can have a passion together, a ministry together, it kind of does some cool things.

Sean:

Oh I would ... if I had to do, if I did this alone, I wouldn't be where I'm at today and I don't feel like I would be as effective. I really am so grateful that God has given me a helper in my life, and I'm sure it's reciprocal for her as well.

Lynsi:

Oh yeah.

Sean:

We just are so thankful that we have each other to walk together. So important.

Lynsi:

Oh.

Tim:

I share with my students an article in Rolling Stone magazine called Bruce Springsteen Saved My Marriage. It's a story of a guy who is an avid Bruce Springsteen fan, travels all over the country and does it with some of his buddies. Well, their marriage is on the rocks and there's one concert where the guy cancels on him literally last minute, like the day of the concert. So he says the wife, "Hey, you probably don't want to go," and she goes, "Oh, what the heck? I'll go." She goes, loves it. Loves it. And now they travel all over the country seeing The Boss perform. The whole article was on the fact that, "Now our marriage has this thing." Now that's pretty cool, and there's a lot of research behind that, but how cool that it's a kingdom issue that is bringing you ... not a Bruce Springsteen concert, but that to me is awesome.

Lynsi:

Wait, we are in a band together.

Tim:

Oh wait, you are?

Chris Grace:

Let's hear it.

Sean:

Yeah. Yeah, we are.

Male:

What's the band?

Lynsi:

We might argue a little bit in those ...

Tim:

In those moments [inaudible 00:28:00].

Lynsi:

Setting, that so, yeah.

Sean:

Yeah, fights are real.

Male:

Hey, what stays in band fights stays in band fights.

Lynsi:

Yeah. We usually, we do leave it there. Once we leave practice or whatever, [crosstalk 00:28:11].

Male:

Yeah, but it's still hard though.

Chris Grace:

What type of music? What went genre of music?

Lynsi:

Like 90s alternative and classic rock.

Chris Grace:

Oh nice. No way.

Tim:

What's your favorite? Who do you guys kind of try and emulate?

Lynsi:

Well, we're a cover band so we're... I don't know, we do a lot of different stuff. I think there's 60 songs ...

Chris Grace:

Eagles?

Lynsi:

No.

Chris Grace:

Oh no.

Lynsi:

No Eagles.

Chris Grace:

Backstreet Boys.

Lynsi:

No. We've done Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Hendricks, Aerosmith.

Chris Grace:

AC/DC.

Sean:

AC/DC, not yet, but Pink Floyd.

Lynsi:

Pink Floyd, yeah.

Sean:

I've been playing guitar for about 25, 26 years now, so a lot of those bands are my influences.

Lynsi:

He taught me to play the bass.

Chris Grace:

Oh really?

Sean:

Yeah. She picked it up so quickly.

Chris Grace:

Oh, how fun.

Sean:

Pretty amazing.

Chris Grace:

So you guys get to do that together too.

Sean:

Yeah.

Chris Grace:

That's really awesome.

Sean:

Our daughter plays the drums, so outside of our.

Tim:

You guys are going to have those nice little ... wouldn't that be awesome? To have a little band with your family?

Lynsi:

We've played together at our 70th anniversary of the [inaudible 00:29:12] anniversary.

Tim:

That was pretty, that was recently too, wasn't it?

Lynsi:

Yeah, it was a few years ago. She was little. She didn't make it to the sound check because she's in school, shows up and plays the drums to a Metallica song in front of 4,000 people. I'm like, wow. And she didn't miss a beat.

Sean:

She didn't miss a beat.

Lynsi:

No. She's going to play with us at our company picnic on another, a different Metallica song.

Sean:

Then she wanted to stop playing drums and I just don't understand. It's kind of one of those things where she would just listen to someone else other than herself.

Chris Grace:

My kid is a left-handed pitcher, but he played first base and he said, "Dad I don't like throwing with this hand. I want to throw with the other one." I said, "Son, you're going to be a major league baseball player, you're going to throw with that left hand. It's the only way you're going to get there." Because they need lefties, man. So it's the same way that [inaudible 00:30:03] decides not to play and I'm just like, it's hard to give that up.

Sean:

I mean, we could cut ourselves off from our potential in who God created us to be just because, just going off of our own direction or our hearts or ...

Lynsi:

Yeah.

Tim:

And you needed a leader. You have to have some kind of a cheerleader. Ideally, that's your spouse. For a lot of couples, unfortunately, it's not their spouse. But that to me is having a wife who is just in your corner, you're in her corner. That to me is gold. And rare. I'm surprised how rare it is. That's kind of ... we speak at marriage conferences and you get couples that just say, "I don't even think he likes me, or, "She doesn't even like me. That's ... man, that's hard. That's hard.

Lynsi:

I feel like so much of that roommate kind of relationship happens because of the lack of connection and honesty. You know, because there could be growing bitterness or resentment and that just puts this chasm between them. The more time goes on, the larger, it's just like water washing through hand, just eroding just ... yeah, it's really sad because I do know people that have that type of relationship and I'm like, "No, no, you have to save it. You have to be honest. You have to [inaudible 00:31:32]"

Chris Grace:

Truth with grace, isn't it? And doing those together is pretty powerful and transformative. I mean, that's what Jesus did. Right? I mean, he didn't hide from the woman at the well and he just went right at her. I know that has meaning for all of us in there.

Tim:

We know divorce happens at two stages in the American cycle. One, it used to be the seven-year itch. Now it's down to about two to three years, a couple will call it quits. But then the next cycle is when the kids are grown. Because it's kind of like the purpose of the marriage was we're going to raise the kids. We call this the Tipper and Al Gore syndrome just a little bit. You know what I mean? I mean, now the kids are done and we've drifted apart. It doesn't even have to be angry at each other. It's just, "Hey, the purpose of the marriage is done. We raised the kids, we launched them, and now we died a long time ago" that to me is really sad.

You get it. You understand if your parents and life is crazy and busy and this ... so Chris and Alisa Grace are amazing. I just hate bringing this up because Maureen listens to the podcast every once in a while, my wife. You do a date night every week and you've done it for how long?

Chris Grace:

Well now, I don't want to tell you how long we've been married, but it's over, it's 34 years.

Lynsi:

Wow.

Tim:

I don't even know why I bring this up, because I get home, my wife's like, "Listened to the podcast today. Where is our date night?"

Lynsi:

Oh, you got to do date night.

Tim:

I know. I'm thinking about starting [inaudible 00:32:57].

Lynsi:

Okay.

Chris Grace:

Lynsi, how often you do a date night? I know you guys do it at least couple times a month.

Lynsi:

Three of the kids are with their dad every other weekend, so we make it that weekend so we're only leaving one kid at home.

Chris Grace:

That's awesome.

Lynsi:

Yeah. So we keep that pretty regular. There's sometimes there's travel and stuff that gets in the way and we're like, "Oh my gosh, seems like it's been forever. We need this!" [inaudible 00:33:21].

Chris Grace:

[inaudible 00:33:22] just feels like something is missing.

Tim:

Okay, Lynsi, this is not helping if my wife is listening. This is not helping.

Lynsi:

You need it.

Tim:

I do. Yes ma'am, I do. And I will.

Lynsi:

See?

Chris Grace:

You guys, really, you guys have done this amazingly well. I've been married 35 years. We've been running this center for as long as y'all been married but to hear your guys' story ... Lynsi, first of all, you picked awesome. I mean, Sean's just an amazing guy. You can tell. And Sean, same for you. I think your honesty, your vulnerability, the grace and truth, but that biblical foundation. I love how you guys do things together, the date night every two weeks. I love that you guys will push at each other with truth. I love the fact that you guys have things that you do together as a family and that you have a ministry and you have a band and you do fun things. What an awesome thing and that's why we want you on this podcast. So can I just say, we're going to do this again very soon. We'll love to have you both. Seriously. These are couples that just want to hear and know and they call back and they say, "Please talk more about this," so ....

Lynsi:

Yeah, absolutely.

Chris Grace:

You guys want to come back?

Sean:

Yep.

Lynsi:

Sure.

Sean:

Absolutely.

Chris Grace:

I don't know if we can do it tomorrow, but let's ... I'm a little busy, but we'll get you guys ...

Tim:

We can't, we have date night. Sorry, the [inaudible 00:34:32] are busy. [crosstalk 00:34:33]

Lynsi:

Have you done an escape room?

Tim:

We did as a family. We did an escape room.

Lynsi:

Yeah.

Chris Grace:

Have you guys done it?

Lynsi:

That's great.

Sean:

That'll bring out a fight.

Tim:

That will. You know what, Sean? I was going to say that.

Sean:

I'm just kidding. I absolutely love the escape rooms. [crosstalk 00:34:51]

Lynsi:

[crosstalk 00:34:52] with my daughter. I was a little frustrated with her, her and her friends. It was like teenage girls and I'm like, "I am wrangling cats right now. I'm just going to let you guys try to figure this out. No way we're getting out. There's no way. But with him, we have a good partner.

Chris Grace:

That's awesome.

Tim:

Well listen, thank you so much for taking time. We know your time, you guys are busy and we certainly thank you giving time to the Art of Relationships podcast. Thank you.

Lynsi:

Thank you.

Sean:

Thank you.

Lynsi:

Thank you for having us.

Tim:

All right, thanks. Good for you.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Art of Relationships. This podcast is only made possible through generous donations from listeners just like you. If you like it and want to help keep the podcast going, visit our website at cmr.biola.edu and make a donation today.

Comments