Top iTunes Marriage Podcast

10.2+ Million Downloads

hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Grace Marriage #570

Join us at the Sexy Marriage Radio Getaway in Indianapolis, June 23-25, 2022 – https://smrnation.com/getaway

On the Regular version of today’s show …

I’m joined by Brad and Marilyn Rhoads, co-founders of Grace Marriage. Hear us talk about their story and how it applies to most every marriage.

Learn more about Grace Marriage here – https://www.gracemarriage.com/

On the Xtended version …

Today we revisit a segment from a prior episode in the archives with this Best Of topic – I am not who you think I am, I am not who I think I am, I am who I think you think I am.

Enjoy the show!

Sponsors …

Adventure Challenge …In Bed Book: Get 20% off and add play back to foreplay in your marriage. Use our code SMR20 at  https://www.theadventurechallenge.com/

Manscaped: Get 20% off and free shipping on the worlds best grooming products for men. Use the code SMR at  https://manscaped.com

Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps!

 

Got a question?


CALL US 214-702-9565

or email us at feedback@sexymarriageradio.com

Speaker 1: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio, smrnation.com.

Corey Allan: Welcome back to another episode of Sexy Marriage Radio. Where we go where the nation wants to go, Pam.

Pam Allan: We do.

Corey Allan: I didn't know if you knew that.

Pam Allan: I'm discovering that. It's amazing.

Corey Allan: Whoa. What we want from those of you that listen, because if you listen to Sexy Marriage Radio, you're considered part of the SMR Nation.

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Corey Allan: And so you let us know where you want to go. What's on your mind, what questions you have, what topics you want to cover or where you want to add your voice to the conversation.

Corey Allan: And you can do that a couple different ways. One is call us at our voicemail line 214-702-9565. Leave a message. We'll use it on the air, put you at the front of the line. We'll go and add your voice to the conversation, because as we've discovered over the years, the decade now of doing this show, that we all are better when everybody's inputting.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Right, when you know where people are, what's going on, and their thoughts.

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Corey Allan: Or you can send us an email, feedback@sexymarriageradio.com, where all of them are read, some of them we answer straight away, some are on the air. And then you can also jump onto the community, which is my.smrnation.com. There's a free area in there. Join us, add your voice to the conversations there, because there's a lot that goes on.

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Corey Allan: And it's become a really supportive, helpful place. And then the way you can help us out is spread the word. Rate and review the show, leave a comment on iTunes, help us climb the charts, subscribe your friends. It's Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to all of those moms out there.

Pam Allan: Yeah. And call your mom.

Corey Allan: Yeah, absolutely. On Sunday this week. And subscribe her. Make sure she's subscribed to the show.

Pam Allan: That'd be awesome.

Corey Allan: That could be your Mother's Day gift to Mom.

Pam Allan: There you go.

Corey Allan: Coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio. It's a conversation I had with Brad and Marilyn Rhoads. And they are a couple. He's a lawyer as a background.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: But he left that and became a pastor, I guess you could say, or a minister. And they started a thing called Grace Marriage.

Pam Allan: Great.

Corey Allan: Where they are trying to partner with churches and other couples out there, you can go either way.

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Corey Allan: And have a strategic plan on a year round basis to focus on your marriage and to help grow and keep it a priority.

Pam Allan: Well, we're kind of in line with that.

Corey Allan: Totally. They're partners in the sense of their mission.

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Corey Allan: And so it was worth having this conversation because I just wanted to learn more.

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Corey Allan: And I'm hoping that the nation gets to hear a little bit more and see here's other resources and ways that can help enhance the journey we're all on.

Pam Allan: Love it.

Corey Allan: And then coming up on the extended version today, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads. You can subscribe at smrnation.com/smracademy. I'm pulling back into the archives for a best of. And there was a segment we did with an extended over a year and a half ago, from a quote that I'd come across recently at that point was, "I am not who I think I am. I am not who you think I am. I am who I think you think I am."

Pam Allan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Corey Allan: And we started unpacking that because one of the threads we've had through a lot of the shows and the conversations that have happened recently is this whole idea of self-validation, self-confronting, growing myself up and then mainly creating as [inaudible 00:03:45] would refer to it as solid flexible self. And this is one of the principles of that. And it's worth revisiting.

Pam Allan: I'm must say, I just now picked up on the oxymoron there of solid and flexible.

Corey Allan: Right?

Pam Allan: At the same time, I've heard that. I don't know how many times and I guess never really listened.

Corey Allan: Yeah. Well I think it's worth-

Pam Allan: I'm excited for that. Right. Okay. How have I missed solid and flexible at the same time and what that can really mean?

Corey Allan: Good point, because I think there's an element of understanding that we often will think they're one or the other when, how can I still be flexible enough to still hold on to myself and hold on myself, but yeah, still be flexible. And I think that's the brilliance of that phrase because it does make it to where we don't have to be rigid because rigidness is not good in our world. Right. The only thing I want rigid are bridges and dams.

Pam Allan: And they're not going to move anywhere. Yes.

Corey Allan: Some of those things, but people, people that are stuck in their ways, they're hard to be in relationships with. They're hard to walk alongside. And so I love cracking up, but you're, you know what, Hey-

Pam Allan: I hear that phrase from you quite often. And I was thinking, why are we using this speak? You know, because it's hard to understand, but then, if that one's not really that difficult, you just listen. Solid, flexible self.

Corey Allan: But sometimes it takes a while before it really hits home.

Pam Allan: Yes, it does.

Corey Allan: Kind of like marriage.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: So we have a new sponsor that we've partnered with.

Pam Allan: I'm stoked about this one.

Corey Allan: That you introduced us to it a little while ago.

Pam Allan: It was during COVID.

Corey Allan: Yes, it was.

Pam Allan: It was during COVID they were advertising trying to create some-, the timing I thought was perfect. Not that I'm sure they already had it in the bag, but trying to create some adventure for families and couples. And it was perfect timing for us to have something fun to do in the middle of COVID.

Corey Allan: And now they've taken that whole philosophy and applied it to the bedroom. And if you're not sure who we're talking about, we are proud to welcome onboard with Sexy Marriage Radio, The Adventure Challenge in Bed Edition Book, because we can all use a little help in the bedroom from time to time. And I'm not talking about a little blue pill or lube, I'm talking about ways to spice it up, and this book, The Adventure Challenge in Bed Edition is a book full of 50 unique romantic ideas for you and your partner to do together and spice up your intimacy in and out of the bedroom. It's very simple, Pam, we've done this. All you do is pick a challenge together, scratch it off, follow the instructions for an experience that we promise will bring you to be something you've never done before likely.

Corey Allan: I mean there's some that are like, whoa, I've never even thought of this. This should be a whole lot of fun. So I know what you're probably thinking. This is probably just some sort of Karma Sutra or sex toy thing, but don't worry. The In Bed Edition book is all about connecting and enjoying each other more deeply. And we guarantee you that you and your partner are going to love this. The Adventure Challenge in Bed Edition puts the play back into foreplay. That's a good phrase right there, and we absolutely love it. We think you will too. So go to theadventurechallenge.com and use our code SMR20, and you can get 20% off of your book.

Pam Allan: Mm that's good.

Corey Allan: That you can pick up. This book helps you connect emotionally and physically and let's face it, Pam, you know this too well, I hope, connected sex equals better sex.

Pam Allan: Better sex. Yes.

Corey Allan: So go to theadventurechallenge.com and use our code SMR20 and get 20% off.

Corey Allan: Well, I'm excited to welcome Brad and Marilyn Rhoads to the show today. And we met via a listener kind of connected us together, which is really cool, how The Sexy Marriage Radio nation helps spread the word, but also create partnerships and alliances and relationships of people that are doing similar work for God's kingdom and for marriages. And so you guys are known for, the way I've learned about you is a program or a process called grace marriage. And it is an honor to have you guys joining the show today.

Marilyn Rhoads: Great to be with you.

Brad Rhoads: Honored to be here.

Corey Allan: And so to get started, I would love to hear, because typically I'm always fascinated by what is it that helps people, what's the process of them getting into doing things for marriages because everybody's journey is kind of different and a lot of times it's personal, but I'd love just to hear how'd you guys wind up where you are sitting today versus where you were way back when?

Brad Rhoads: Well, I made the natural transition from full-time civil litigation attorney to full-time marriage minister. You know, it happens all the time. But in all seriousness, it starts back to our miserable experience early in marriage.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Brad Rhoads: I mean, we had an amazing dating experience. I couldn't believe she existed much less that she liked me. So I basically tried to get the deal done quickly, and we were married within eight months of our first date.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Brad Rhoads: I don't necessarily recommend that.

Marilyn Rhoads: No, I don't either.

Brad Rhoads: It didn't really go well, but I will say that the day we got married was the day disappointment started and I like to let Marilyn kind of share.

Marilyn Rhoads: Right.

Brad Rhoads: Because she was much less happy with our first year than I was. I kind of figured if she would just settle down and be okay with it, we'd be fine. But she was unwilling to settle down and be okay with it. So I'll let you take it from there, babe.

Marilyn Rhoads: Okay. Well, we had this dating relationship, I guess you can say Brad put the full court press on. We were going on dates every night. We were eating out. He was fun. I thought this was amazing. And then we decided to get married rather quickly. And we moved to a new town. He was starting a new law practice. And then we went from dating every night to not dating at all. I said, he became the budget man. It's kind of like once we got married, he took his eyes off of me and put him on building a law practice.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Marilyn Rhoads: And I came into marriage with these unrealistic expectations that he was going to be my prince charming and we're going to live happily or after, and it's just going to be wonderful and no work because dating was no work.

Corey Allan: Right.

Marilyn Rhoads: So, I'm sensitive by nature. So I start crying all the time.

Brad Rhoads: And I'm not sensitive by nature.

Marilyn Rhoads: And he's not sensitive by nature.

Marilyn Rhoads: So I made her cry. So I made her cry all the time.

Brad Rhoads: Right. Good match. Yeah. Good match right there.

Marilyn Rhoads: Really good match. So I'm in graduate school getting a counseling degree and I'm thinking, I need to tell him all the things he's doing wrong or we're going to get these terrible patterns, and he won't know. So, I took that great approach of telling him everything that he was doing that was bothering me. And, really, I had gone from being a stable person. I was pretty steady, even keeled, to this person that really was crying at least on a five to seven day basis. I would just have a complete meltdown.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Marilyn Rhoads: And about a year in, I just thought am I sentenced to a life of this? This is not what I thought marriage was going to be. And the Lord really broke my heart at that point, because I was completely broken and I thought, I'm just going to have to stick this thing out because we're married, and for better or worse.

Marilyn Rhoads: And then God showed me like, you don't need Brad to have joy. Because I literally was miserable that whole first year. And like I'm your hope, not Brad.

Corey Allan: Right.

Marilyn Rhoads: I'm where you joy is found, not in Brad. So I even went to Brad because I really was, we were both hacking it up really great that year.

Corey Allan: Oh sure.

Marilyn Rhoads: And so I went to him and I said, I need to ask for your forgiveness. I don't need you to have joy. Like my hope is in Christ and I've put you in the place of God and you can't be that for me.

Corey Allan: Right.

Marilyn Rhoads: And so we went from a train wreck, at least at that point, to stable because I had shifted my perspective in realizing that my hope's not in Brad, my hope's in Christ and I'm just going to love him the way I'm called to love him rather than tell him every single thing he's doing wrong that hurts my feelings. And that was a huge shift. And then God started working on his part at that point. And, do you want to share that?

Brad Rhoads: Yeah, it was. I mean, I really didn't think I was doing anything wrong. I mean said, everybody else likes me find what's your problem? My law practice is growing. My staff likes me. People that work for me, I'm growing and I come home and you can't stand me. Are they all wrong? And you're right? I mean, what's up? But I love what somebody said that when the person that knows the best likes you the least, you've got some work to do.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Brad Rhoads: And so I was, I was literally forced to go to a marriage conference that I didn't want to go to, didn't think I needed. And when I say forced, this particular individual cleared my schedule at work, cleared it at home, bought my ticket, invited her dad, then invited me.

Marilyn Rhoads: It's his uncle. I love this man.

Corey Allan: Of course you would. You got an ally right here. Yes.

Brad Rhoads: Wounds from a friend can be trusted is his life verse. You know? So I went and literally, love your wife. It's Christ. Love the church and gave his life up her. I was given space. What do you give up for Marilyn? And the answer was nothing. I did what I wanted. I built law practice. I was in weekly sporting leagues and lived with her understanding way. I wasn't gentle with her. I was harsh. And I remember thinking I'm not doing anything right. And I came back broken, knowing that I'd taken the best thing God had ever given me and treat her like garbage for a year. And I came back and said, babe, the only thing that's going to be different is everything. Don't believe me, because I wouldn't believe me.

Brad Rhoads: Because you know I'm compulsive. You think you're going to have a good three weeks and there'll be old Brad again, but something in me has changed and it will be different.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Brad Rhoads: We started that day patterns in marriage and rhythms that make a healthy marriage.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Brad Rhoads: And for the last 25 years, we've held to those rhythms and the way we got in marriage ministry, we've been working with youth for 10 years. She had a counseling background. I had a law background, but after 10 years, the youth all started saying, well you do our premarital counseling, not our pastor. I'm like, why? They go, we want what you've got.

Corey Allan: Right.

Brad Rhoads: Tell us how to do it. So we did it and God had given us favor with marriages within a short period of time, we had a group with about a two year waiting list to be in it. And then I got in business coaching for my law practice and I'll be brief, but I saw the benefit of intentionality.

Corey Allan: Yep.

Brad Rhoads: If you have a couple cast vision together, work together, hold good patterns together. Address issues, celebrate wins, and they're as intentional with their marriage as I was with my business.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Brad Rhoads: They could have a growing, amazing marriage. So I tried the same business coaching model in the marriage context, quarterly business coaching, every 90 days, get out of your marriage and work on your marriage.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Marilyn Rhoads: And part of the reason he tried this out is because at this point, he's the minister over marriage at our church. So we're doing premarital counseling, we're doing crisis counseling.

Brad Rhoads: Right.

Marilyn Rhoads: But we're like, we're missing the marriage. Like we're missing we're waiting for the crisis, and if we can get to them pre-crisis, we have such a better opportunity to help them.

Corey Allan: Absolutely.

Marilyn Rhoads: Healthy patterns. So that's what started it.

Corey Allan: And I love the philosophy. I mean, the way I'm hearing what you guys are describing is this idea of how do we make sure or how do you guys make sure, even just on a global scale when we're talking about just the dialogue between what both of us do, how do you make sure people realize marriage as an entity is something worth focusing on not the person in the marriage, is the point.

Brad Rhoads: Exactly.

Marilyn Rhoads: That's right.

Corey Allan: Right? Because that's what we get caught up in is I think that element of all of my focus becomes the person rather than what are we creating together where I have an ally. The best example I've heard of that is the idea of we often think of marriage as we're playing tennis with each other, like we're on opposite sides of the net. Because it's the focus and that's how we argue, too. It's like my serve, your serve, my serve, your serve, who wins? Versus wait, we're on the same side of the net. We're on the same team in this thing playing a game of marriage.

Brad Rhoads: Yeah. I love the quote "complaining about your spouse is like saying your side of the boats sinking."

Corey Allan: Okay.

Brad Rhoads: And for us, it's like, when I'm struggling or stressed and Marilyn will like set dates, pursue me. I said, what are you doing? She goes, look, I value our marriage and we're not going to have a marriage if it's like it is now.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Brad Rhoads: You know, because the marriage is put above the individuals and-

Marilyn Rhoads: Right.

Brad Rhoads: You know, and I talked to a leader recently and he said, the church historically has been pretty decent in talking about how important marriage is, but an absolute, utter disaster at doing anything practically helpful.

Corey Allan: Right. Well, it's like what you described. We covered the beginning and the end. Okay.

Brad Rhoads: That's right. I was speaking with the pastor and he goes, you know, you've shown me the only thing I'm missing in our marriage ministry is the marriage.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Today's episode of Sexy Marriage Radio is also brought to you by Manscaped. Summer is coming. The sun is shining. Shirts are off and all of your body regions need to be in shape and ready to go. Well, our friends at Manscaped are here to make sure that your manhood is neat and tidy and even silky smooth if you choose. That's why Manscaped has their performance package 4.0 to keep the party in your pants looking crisp and refreshing all summer long because, fellas, we need to look crisp and refreshing. Dive head first into summer by joining 4 million men worldwide. I'm one of them who trust Manscape to get ready for the hot guy summer, by going to manscape.com for 20% off plus free shipping when you use our code SMR. We've said it before, I'm a big fan of the performance 4.0 package because it has everything you need to prepare for your summer. Inside you find the lawnmower 4.0 trimmer, weed whacker ear and nose hair trimmer, crop preserver ball deodorant, crop reviver toner, performance boxer briefs, and a travel bag to hold it all together for you.

Corey Allan: This features cutting edge ceramic blades to reduce grooming accidents, thanks to their advanced, safe skin technology. And, let's face, it cuts down there are something that nobody wants. You can get 20% off plus free shipping when you use the code SMR at manscape.com. That's 20% off plus free shipping when you use our code SMR at manscape.com. This summer, turn your package into the full package with Manscape.

Corey Allan: Exactly, but that's the struggle because isn't it that idea of, just like what you guys described, you come into it with these expectations or you come into it and all of a sudden the meanings change because, Brad, I'm hearing your philosophy shifted to I'm no longer pursuing this woman, as much as now, I got to provide and create and establish, and you kick into a different kind of role, rather than mate, if you will, or partner. It's a different aspect, and that whole dynamic where we lose focus, we become good cohabitators and roommates, but horrible lovers, or that kind of aspect, and we have a belief all the time, we get emails that'll come in that'll talk about "every part of our marriage is great, but sex. Our sex life isn't." And I'm like, well then your marriage isn't great.

Corey Allan: I'm sorry. Because what separates this relationship is exactly the dilemma you described, Brad, of everybody likes me except the woman I have sex with.

Brad Rhoads: Yeah.

Corey Allan: What does that say? Right? Because we get so exposed in that aspect of our life that it really does show some things and I'm loving the fact that you guys had the courage to be honest about stuff. You have the courage to kind of step back and ask better questions in the sense of look, there's something up here that's an issue we need to deal with and I'll own my part of it.

Marilyn Rhoads: Right.

Corey Allan: And then that shifts and goes forward.

Marilyn Rhoads: And it's interesting that in every other part of life, we feel like we need to work at things. For health, for business, for anything, but we think marriage should just be good without any work.

Brad Rhoads: Right.

Marilyn Rhoads: You're not going to have a good marriage if you're not working at it. If you're not intentional, and that's one of the things [crosstalk 00:20:30].

Brad Rhoads: My law practice is grown. It's doing really well. My marriage isn't, but I'm putting creative entrepreneurial energy and thought into my business, but not into Marilyn. I thought my marriage is going to grow at the same rate or greater than my business because I put creative energy and resources into my marriage and my business. I'm not going to pour support into all of my business and none into Marilyn because a successful business and a flat marriage that's declining is failure.

Corey Allan: Absolutely.

Marilyn Rhoads: If you have a good marriage, like we were working with youth, it's contagious. It's helpful. It's not just helpful to your marriage. It's helpful to other marriages. It's so much more than just our own marriage. And we started doing intentional things like going on a date every week. We have for 25 years. We did in that first year and we've been married almost 26 years, but every single week we go on a date and we are intentional with our marriage and our time and communicating, and that's a huge piece, but then also we call it grace marriage because another thing that we have learned over the years, and it wasn't even in that first year, we started being intentional and it got better. But we saw how, if you apply the gospel to marriage yet, while I was a sinner, Christ died for me is such a better perspective to handle life because we're going to mess up every day.

Marilyn Rhoads: We've got trials coming at us.

Corey Allan: Yep.

Marilyn Rhoads: So the natural thing is, if you're good to me, I'll be good to you. And that's a workplace approach to marriage. It's a performance marriage.

Corey Allan: Right.

Marilyn Rhoads: And Brad said that to me, even after we were getting into a better place, he said, I feel like as long as I'm loving you, then you'll love me. But if I'm not loving you well, then I feel like you don't love me. It's not an unconditional love. It was kind of hard to hear, but he was right. Because I'm sensitive by nature. If he did something that felt unloving or hurt my feelings, I just put on the brakes. I kind of do a little distance. But when we learned that, okay, if our marriages are going to be pictures of the gospel and while I was a sinner, Christ died for me.

Marilyn Rhoads: If Brad messes up rather than taking a offense mentality, if I take a gospel approach and move towards him, rather than away from him, we get over the struggles of life so much faster. Because you have a long stretch of struggle if one of us is struggling, but now you take a risk mentality like you're talking about it. It's not about you. It's not about him. It's about the institution of marriage and bringing God's glory through it. You're putting the gospel on display. When you cover over an offense, it promotes love. The general answer, all these things, and we saw our marriage come alive when we put it under grace. So that's why we can call it a grace marriage.

Brad Rhoads: And like that [inaudible 00:23:07] man that falls has no one helping him up. So now it's struggle. I don't feel like she just like, would you get your sorry, weak tail out of the ditch. You know, she comes and tries to help me out of the ditch because she loves me and values our marriage. Most couples we find, when one couple struggles, the other just takes offense at the manifestation of the struggle and doesn't help them in the struggle, and then they struggle longer, and then the struggle exacerbates the point where they hate each other and call me and tell me they might want to divorce, can you talk to me?

Corey Allan: Right. Right. Because a lot of that is that idea of how much we impact each other, good and bad. Right?

Marilyn Rhoads: Right.

Corey Allan: When I'm at my worst, it's going to be definite impact on the people around me.

Marilyn Rhoads: Right.

Corey Allan: And a lot of times we can internalize that or personalize that as if my bad day has something to do with my wife.

Marilyn Rhoads: Yes.

Corey Allan: Or her bad day has something to do with me.

Marilyn Rhoads: Right.

Corey Allan: And she might be a part of that, but a lot of it could just be, it's tax season for my wife right now. So her bad day typically doesn't have a much to do with me at all because she's at the office all the time and dealing with that. So I know, yeah, okay, if she comes home and she's in that mood, this is exactly what you're describing, how do I help set a tone that it's not, I can absorb the human part of that aspect because there's grace or there's compassion or there's love or there's support or there's camaraderie. And there's an ally. I keep coming back to that idea. This is a collaborative thing, right?

Marilyn Rhoads: That's right.

Corey Allan: We are allies in this thing.

Marilyn Rhoads: Right.

Corey Allan: Not responsible for each other in a senses.

Marilyn Rhoads: That's right.

Brad Rhoads: And we want couples to know, you can do this, you can do it. We've got five kids in four different schools. We have as complex a mess, chaotic life, as you could have. But we schedule these rhythms and everything else in life has to work around it. And that works. The problem is most all this stuff happens and the marriage gets squeezed out, it gets little attention, little time, the two people that once had much affection for each other, all of a sudden find themselves isolated.

Corey Allan: Yeah. And that's great because I think there's that element of you and I have the similar mission in the sense of how do we help couples before there's problems?

Marilyn Rhoads: Yes.

Brad Rhoads: And, although that's a relative term, because I think there's always problems, you know?

Marilyn Rhoads: Right.

Brad Rhoads: Because even if I got my wife to do exactly what I wanted her to do, that's going to create its own kind of problem.

Marilyn Rhoads: Right.

Brad Rhoads: Let's create a mentality. Let's always make good better.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Brad Rhoads: Let's always make good better, and let's grow. Like one businessman told me, he said "my new life statement is to marriage is I will be closer and enjoy my wife more and more every year of my life, and our last year will be our best." And when he schedules things and he does things, that's on the goals with business health, everything else. But he said, you know, it's changed now. It's not just until death do his part. Let's write it out and see if we can make it without getting divorced. It's prettier than that.

Corey Allan: No, I love it. I actually had this conversation over the weekend at a conference I was doing, that this idea of a guy, I was listening to a guy speak on a book and he was talking about how he mentioned it when he was speaking somewhere, he said, "we've been married for 25 years," and he got applause, and he's like, "what are you applauding for? You don't know those 25 years, we could just have a really high pain tolerance with each other. We're masochistic by nature and we are just dreading every moment of it. But Hey, we lasted 25 years thus far," and it's like, no, there's a different, something deeper going on that it's not just surviving. It's thriving in this thing. It's expanding out and enjoying all that we can be.

Brad Rhoads: And you can't advance the institution of marriage with a bunch of surviving unattractional idiots. You know, come be miserable with me because it's the right thing to do.

Corey Allan: Right. Where do I sign up? Yeah.

Brad Rhoads: There's a 40% chance of bitter divorce, and if not, you get to be bored and with side by side in unattractional, isolated existence.

Corey Allan: Right.

Brad Rhoads: For marriage to start getting traction, it's got to be something that's attractional.

Corey Allan: Yeah. That's great. So as you've been doing this, because grace marriage has been around for how long? Because I know you guys kind of evolved into it.

Brad Rhoads: Our first pilot group is 2012. So in that sense, we've been around about 10 years.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Brad Rhoads: I left the law practice completely in 2015. So we've been steadily growing into more churches, and we also have an online virtual platform for couples that don't have a church for marriage ministry. So, we've been doing a full-time for seven years. First pilot group was in 2012.

Corey Allan: Okay. And so what has been the most impactful thing you've seen from this thus far for you guys and for the ministry as a whole?

Brad Rhoads: For the ministry, the most impactful thing is when couples get intentional and work together towards something better, it's amazing how quick the change is. When bad habits are replaced with good habits and they realize marriage is a great gig. We just haven't been experiencing it.

Marilyn Rhoads: Right.

Brad Rhoads: Sex is great. Talking, connection, all of this stuff, but it's like, they've got this wonderful thing that they're not getting to experience. And what we get to see is watching them experience and being like, wow!

Corey Allan: Right.

Brad Rhoads: In fact, my whole team that we have around us came through grace marriage with transformation of their own marriage. Like, wow, I love being married now. I have a blast. I'm crazy about myself. One couple left a grace marriage session and said, we're going to go home and actually be married again. We're not just going to be too busy, hard working people. It's like Groundhog Day.

Corey Allan: Right.

Brad Rhoads: So we-

Marilyn Rhoads: I feel like in our society right now, it's just a full out assault on marriage, on so many friends. You've got our phones, which, you know, social media can take precedence. Right? You know, even when you're together, you're not together. We've got a child centered culture where everything revolves around the kids and people are doing travel sports, and so parents are dividing and conquering and you're just like ships passing in the night. And unless you make marriage a priority, it won't be.

Corey Allan: Right.

Marilyn Rhoads: You have to order your life around your marriage, not your marriage around your life or you won't have a good marriage.

Corey Allan: Right.

Brad Rhoads: What we do at grace marriage, we provide a platform where you actually schedule your quarter. You have a platform that you actually deal with whatever issues before you. A platform to celebrate wins and then continue to move forward in what you're doing well. So there's actually an intentionality. In businesses, they all do quarterly assessments. Good ones do.

Corey Allan: Yep.

Brad Rhoads: What's going well, what's going poorly, and how can we season what's going well and how can we make sure what's going poorly doesn't kill us?

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Marilyn Rhoads: You know, and with us, we have five kids that can re havoc on a marriage if you don't make it front and center.

Corey Allan: Because kids can be somewhat parasitic.

Marilyn Rhoads: We sacrifice our marriage on the alter of being a good parent, but we can't be a good parent if we don't have good marriages. Like, I have daughters. If I'm not loving Brad well, I'm not showing an example of what it's going to be like-

Corey Allan: Yeah, you guys are speaking the truth of, you know, Pam and I want to be involved in things that are hundred year movements. Right? That's what you're describing. Right? Because we have kids that are going to get married, that are going to have kids that'll get married and you have an opportunity to have a legacy that impacts a hundred years from now.

Marilyn Rhoads: That's right, but if we have a bad marriage that's being a terrible parent because we're not showing an example if we're just focused on them. It's actually good for them if we miss a sporting event or if we aren't at every single one of their activities.

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Marilyn Rhoads: And see that our marriage is a priority and-

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Marilyn Rhoads: They're not the center of the world. It actually kind of launches them out a little better than if they are.

Brad Rhoads: Well, also it's also a more accurate depiction of what's going to happen when they do launch out.

Marilyn Rhoads: That's right.

Brad Rhoads: And they're not the center of the world.

Marilyn Rhoads: That's exactly right. That's exactly right.

Brad Rhoads: I was at a church this week in Atlanta and the lead guy said "from this point on, marriage ministry will be as important in children youth. It will be as focused on because marriage is the one thing that affects everything we do. Our giving, our youth, our children." He said, "I want to ask for your forgiveness, because this should have been the case before." He said", we're now playing the long game."

Corey Allan: Yeah.

Brad Rhoads: "We're playing the long game. And the long game are long lasting, healthy, vibrant marriages, and that bears long lasting fruit. And that's the game we're playing."

Corey Allan: That's awesome. Yeah, because that's what needs to be done all across the board because marriage is a long game. Right.

Brad Rhoads: In our vision, every Bible believing church would have an effective marriage structure to help couples grow and thrive and give them a platform to do it, because if they don't and they're left for themselves, they'll get sucked into this crazy world.

Corey Allan: Yep. That's a perfect segue into how people find more? Because I know obviously you guys are in churches, in the promoting of the partnering to help equip individual churches, but then you've also talked about the at home options. So how do they find you?

Brad Rhoads: Gracemarriage.com, gracemarriageathome.com. If you go to gracemarriage.com, you have a split screen, one for individuals, one for churches. If your church does not have an ongoing marriage structure, and I mean ongoing, not a conference every two years to appease a leader's conscience, but an actual effective growth plan for your marriage, call us, reach out to us, because every church needs to get involved in the marriage space because marriage is that important.

Corey Allan: Yes it is.

Brad Rhoads: And if your church doesn't have it, you can subscribe to gracemarriageathome.com, get monthly coaching sessions, get other stuff and get on a growth track. So those are the ways, that's how you find us at gracemarriage.com.

Corey Allan: That's awesome. And all those will be in the show notes with this episode. So, Brad and Marilyn, I can't thank you enough for getting on the front lines of this whole movement because marriage absolutely needs people that are dedicated towards it because as you're describing, it's so easy to let it fall by the wayside individually. So it's nice to have other people trying to do the same thing.

Marilyn Rhoads: Thank you for what you're doing.

Brad Rhoads: Yes.

Marilyn Rhoads: Providing things for people on a weekly basis to be better.

Corey Allan: Yeah. I would love to partner with churches and do sexy marriage at church, but it's kind of like, that gets a little dicey for some of the people. Like, I don't know if we can talk about that.

Marilyn Rhoads: But they need to be.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. They do. Yes. They do.

Marilyn Rhoads: The world talks about it, screams about it. And we, as believers, we need to be talking about it.

Brad Rhoads: They're going to be informed somehow. Why didn't the church actually do it?

Corey Allan: That's why we're still on the air. We're filling in the gap where we can and spread the message as we can. So, blessings and all the best to you guys.

Marilyn Rhoads: Thank you.

Brad Rhoads: Thank you so much.

Corey Allan: Well, this has been Sexy Marriage Radio. If we left something undone, let us know 214-702-9565, or feedback at sexymarriageradio.com. We'll see you next time.