Grounded Podcast

Helping Marriages Thrive in Crisis, with Juli Slattery and Ray & Robyn McKelvy

God’s Word tells us that we weren’t created to merely survive, but to thrive. Are you thriving in your relationships? In your marriage? Dr. Juli Slattery shares encouraging ways to help you experience deep joy and peace in your marriage, especially during challenging seasons. Ray and Robyn McKelvy join the conversation with insight from their own experience and practical steps you can take in your marriage.

Connect with Dr. Juli:

Instagram: @AuthenticIntimacy

Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/JuliSlattery

https://www.Facebook.com/AuthenticIntimacy

Twitter: @DrJuliSlattery

Website: https://www.AuthenticIntimacy.com/

Connect with Robyn & Ray:

Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/RobynMckelvy.author

Episode Notes:

Together through the Storms book

“Navigating the Storms, with Jeff and Sarah Walton” Grounded episode

If you would like to support Grounded and the ministry of Revive Our Hearts, you can donate here.

 

Portia Collins: Welcome back to Grounded a videocast and a podcast Revive Our Hearts. I'm Portia Collins.

Dannah Gresh: And I'm Dannah Gresh. Welcome friends. Good morning Portia.

Portia: Good morning. How are you?

Dannah: I gotta tell you I am in a happy happy mood because my man knocked Valentine's Day out of the park. Starting on Friday. It's Friday morning breakfast and bacon. I mean, I can stop there with bacon, right?

Portia: Yes, yes.

Dannah: But it ended last night with chocolate.

Portia: Bacon and chocolate. Who doesn't love that? 

Dannah: You know what I was thinking? There was only one thing that could have been better. That’s if they came together—like chocolate covered bacon. Does such a thing exist?

Portia: I think it does. We gotta Google it. 

Dannah: Okay, if this Grounded gig doesn't work for us, you and I are going to open up an Etsy store. Dannah and Portia’s chocolate covered bacon. How'd Mikhail do for Valentine's Day, friend?

Portia: Wonderful, wonderful. We are definitely one of those Valentine's Day 365-type people. But he does make the effort, and so he did Sunday dinner yesterday. He made a delicious Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and gravy. And then what really got me all excited was, he got me a custom-made hoodie and shirts for the ministry that I founded in 2016. 

Dannah: Ah, that is precious.

Portia: It's beautiful. Go check my Instagram so you can see my picture, because I look cute. 

Dannah: That is adorable. I did see that picture. I didn't realize it was a sweet gift. Happy Valentine's Day, friend. Well, I gotta tell you that I am thankful for such a sweet weekend. But there have also been some years where there wasn't enough chocolate or bacon in the entire world to cover the hurt that Bob and I were facing.

Portia: I totally understand. Mikhail and I have been married for four years. I’ve got to say that this crazy corona year has been the hardest year to date. I wouldn't say that our marriage is in a crisis, but I would say that crisis is happening all around us. That has a way of seeping into your marriage and your marriage is sometimes subconsciously affected by it, and you don't even realize. Think about it. We had no date nights, vaccinations, I mean, vacation.

Dannah: We got vaccinations too. No vaccinations. Wait, no vacations, we replaced it with vaccinations. There you go.

Portia: Right, right. Hopefully, we can start going on vacations soon. 

Dannah: Yeah. 

Portia: We have so many decisions to make together. As you can see, I'm just crazy. We both have been crammed in this house around each other all the time. You know, lots of us are facing career changes. I quit my job in the middle of a pandemic. It's just everything. It doesn't seem like all those little things add up to a big problem sometimes.

Dannah: That's it right there on the nose, my friend. A few weeks ago, I was simmering, and I felt like: Why am I . . . Why can't I . . . Why don't I understand . . . Why I'm so mad at Bob? And then I realized I'm not mad at my husband. I'm mad at COVID.

Portia: Amen. I've been like that, ah, and it's not that I’m mad at Mikhail, it’s the COVID. So I do I feel a perspective shift coming on here?

Dannah: You better believe it. That's what we do here Grounded; we give you perspective shifts. And you should know that we're going to serve it with a generous portion of hope.

Portia: How can we have thriving marriages in times of crisis. That's what I want you guys to think about today. That's the big idea. We're going to wrestle with that today. Many marriages are struggling under the weight of all we are walking through.

I know it's difficult. I hear it. So my friends, how's your marriage? Described it in the chat. Now listen, you ain’t gotta tell us all your business. But be honest in the chat about your marriage. How's your marriage? How are you doing?

Dannah: Spoken as only Portia can say it. Well, I'm happy to say my friend Dr. Juli Slattery is with us. And, guys, it's so good to have a friend who's a biblically grounded psychologist. It's basically like free counseling every time we have coffee.

She has this uncanny ability to help me understand things I can't even see in my marriage. Well, a few weeks ago she and I were eager to get out. So we met in the middle. We live about four hours away from each other; we met in the middle. She told me something when we were having coffee, about how the pandemic is impacting our emotions and our minds. It was like a missing puzzle piece—for me and my marriage and my friendships.

Find out what that is. I believe it's something every woman needs to hear what you're about to hear on Grounded today. It is critical to not only survive this pandemic, but thrive within it, with marriages and friendships intact. In fact, when Juli told me this, I immediately texted Erin. I said, “We've got to have Juli on Grounded.

Portia: Well, you have certainly piqued my interest girl. I'm all ears. You know, speaking of perspective for our marriages. Last week, we talked about loving on our single friends, our single sisters. It was really powerful. One comment that has stuck with me all week is a comment from Elizabeth. Elizabeth wrote, “I recently found myself single again. My husband was killed in an automobile collision last month. While this hasn't shaken my faith, it has left me feeling weak, vulnerable, and lonely.” 

Dannah: Ah, sweet Elizabeth, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, friend.

Portia: Yes, and thank you for sharing with us, feeling comfortable enough in that space. Just know that we are thinking of you, and you are in our hearts and prayers. But you went on to write this. You thanked us. You said, “Thank you for the encouragement about Christ being our Bridegroom. It just reinforced the whispers I've been hearing in my own heart.” I love that.

Dannah: You know, when I read Elizabeth's comment, it was just a sweet reminder to be grateful for my husband and my marriage and to press into what God's Word says about loving him well in good times . . . and in bad times.

Portia: The McKelvy’s are here. The McKelvys have a special place in my heart. I love them. They will be dropping by today to share some good wisdom with us. Ray has some insight from Scripture on marriage. And Robyn is going to give us some practical ideas for how to apply it.

Dannah: I can't wait. Let's get started. But first, we need to hear from our co-hosts, Erin and Alejandra. What’s the good news?

Erin Davis: Good morning. We’re here!

Alejandra Slemin: Good morning friends. Well, Erin, I just have a quick question for you. 

Erin: Great.

Alejandra: How long have you been married?

Erin: Jason and I have been married nineteen-and-a-half years, twenty this summer. How about you?

Alejandra: Well, I've been married for thirteen years.

Erin: All right. 

Alejandra: We're getting there. Right?

Erin: We’re in the double digits. 

Alejandra: That's right. That's a that's a that counts.

Erin: It does.

Alejandra: That's different. It's different when you go into the double digits. Well, today friends, we are celebrating marriages on Grounded, and we want to celebrate the marriages that have gone the distance. Like Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher, they hold the world Guinness record for the longest living American couple. And if you want to think about a bulletproof of marriage, we want to share about this. They have been married for 86 years. 

And their marriage has withstood the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement and 15 presidential administrations.

Erin: 86 years married. You're right. That is a bulletproof marriage. I want to tell you about Julio Mora and Waldramina Quinteros. They live in Ecuador, and they hold the record for the oldest living married couple in the world. They have a combined age of 215. That's because wild Waldramina is 104. And Julio is, I don't know, do the math. What's the difference, but they're both old and a couple. They've been together a long time. But it hasn't all been easy. They have endured personal loss, including the death of one of their five children, but they faced those challenges year after year, decade after decade, arm in arm.

Alejandra: That's so special. Well, I hope David and I are still snuggled up like that. 

Erin: Me too. 

Alejandra: When we are 100 years old, and I hope you and Jason, too. Finally, we set our sights and head to Great Britain, where Ron and Beryl Golightly just celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary. 

Erin: Amazing 

Alejandra: Beryl who's 98 said of her 100-year-old husband, “I just knew as soon as I saw him, I was going to marry him.” Did you say that about Jason?

Erin: No, I did not say that about Jason. 

Alejandra: I don't remember saying that either.

Erin: They had love at first sight. You know what? She was right. She said, “I'm gonna marry that boy,” and she did it. They got married when Ron was on leave from the army during World War II. So, talk about facing a crisis together. 

Their wedding was so last minute there was no photographer there to capture their vows. And I love this part of the story. They had to pull in a random guy from the street to step in and be Ron’s best man. No fanfare, but it didn't matter. Their marriage has gone the distance now. 

The Golightlys celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary in isolation, but they're still fighting for each other. I love Beryl’s advice. It sounds very British. She said, “Tell me a couple who haven't had a rouse.” I didn't know what that was. But I think it means some fighting. So, challengers, show me a couple of rounds. But we always resolve the arguments. I love it. I celebrate that marriage.

Alejandra: Oh, it is making my heart melt. I just want to hug my husband and give him a kiss on the cheek.

Erin: Well, I love it.

Alejandra: Here on Grounded, we are celebrating marriages, because God's Word celebrates marriages. These marriages are proof, friends, that hard times don't have to destroy our marriages, but they can strengthen them. And that is good news for today. 

Erin: Oh, that is such good news. I loved my grandparents. They’re no longer with us; they’re with the Lord. But I would love to talk to them and ask them to tell me about when you were married during World War II; tell me about and during the Great Depression. And they would just look at each other and grin, because they have endured it with such grace. 

So I always say that instead of wedding showers when we get married, we should have wedding showers when we stay married. Like we need a 10-year wedding shower, a 20-year wedding shower because that's when you need new tea towels. Right? 

So, let's take a moment. We want to honor your marriages this morning Grounded friends. I would love to know how long have you been married? Drop that number in the chat. We might create a new world record here on Grounded for the combined number of years that we've been married as the Grounded ladies. Dannah, what's your number? How many years?

Dannah: Thirty-three, is that right?

Erin: I don't know. I wasn't there. They did get married on my birthday, which I think is precious. But I was not in attendance. 

Dannah: I know. Well, Erin, I got a question or request that I like this wedding shower idea. So, when I have my 35th wedding shower, which I hope is hosted by you, can you tell people I desperately need new bath towels?

Erin: You got it. You're right. You get all the good stuff early on, and then it wears out. So, bath towel shower for you at your 35th, it's coming your way.

Dannah: Amen. All right, friends. Well, it's time to get Grounded with God's people. And if you haven't already shared the broadcast, it's time to do it. Now. What you're about to hear from Dr. Juli Slattery is absolutely something I believe every woman needs to hear so that her relationships—especially her marriage—doesn't just survive this pandemic, but thrives. 

I'm about to introduce you to a dear friend. She's the founder of a ministry called Authentic Intimacy. She helps women with physical and emotional intimacy within marriage, but she does it from a biblical and holistic perspective. She's the author of Rethinking Sexuality, God's Design and Why It Matters. Please welcome my friend Dr. Juli Slattery. Hello, girl.

Dr. Juli Slattery: Hey, Dannah. Great to see you.

Dannah: It's good to see you, too, friend. Hey, listen. This just seems like too good to pass up a little factoid about us as radio hosts, if you will. When I showed up to host the very first Revive Our Hearts. My first day on the job. You were my first official interview, which was super ironic, because . . . tell them.

Dr. Juli: Because you are my very first interview when I became one of the hosts for Focus on the Family. So yeah, we go way back, lots of history

Dannah: What a sweet thing.

Dr. Juli: Yeah.

Dannah: Several months ago, you and I met in the middle. We live about four hours apart from each other. We decided we needed a pandemic friend fix. We found this little hotel in the middle that was willing to host us in the middle of all of this. It was the official address of middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, I think. 

Dr. Juli: Yes. 

Dannah: We met there. It shut down breakfast buffet lobby. It was then that I knew we needed to do this episode of Grounded. Because Juli, as we talked about the impact of the pandemic, you told me something about our mental health in general that literally made my blood run cold. And it also just made all the pieces of the puzzle come together. Do you remember what that was?

Dr. Juli: I think I do. I'll try to reenact it. But Dannah, you know, I think that idea is that if you think about your mental health almost like a bank account, you have to look at the withdrawals and the deposits. And when we look at the last 18 months, 12 to 18 months, what we don't realize is, yes, there are these big things that we're aware of when you lose a job or when you and your spouse have a fight. But when we don't see is the little deposits that come out every single day. And the stress of the fact that our world has changed dramatically in the last year. 

It's changed politically; it's changed in terms of what you can do going out to the store or getting together with friends. It's changed the uncertainty of the economy and of just jobs and security that way, even just gathering together as a church. And so, there's these constant deposits or withdrawals, right? 

Dannah: Withdrawals, yeah.

Dr. Juli: Yes. Just from the stress of what's happening in our world, just even looking at the news every day is going to take some stuff out of that bank account.

Dannah: Even just the opinions and decisions, opinions and decisions. I feel like I have opinion fatigue. I don't want to hear everybody else's. I'm tired of thinking. I have decision fatigue. I am tired of everything having to have a plan B, plan C, plan D, those things are wearing on me. So, how's that impacting us? 

Dr. Juli: Well, the other thing I would say is, our deposits are lower.

Dannah: Yeah. 

Dr. Juli: A lot of the things that we do to refresh, we can't do any more. So for me, one thing I love doing is I love swimming. I just love to get in a pool and swim laps. Well, I haven't been able to do that for over a year. Or going and worshiping just with the people of God singing your heart out. Those are things that a lot of us can't do right now. 

Or just a little weekend getaway or a vacation or a family reunion, things that fill up that tank again, that give us deposits are also not happening. So basically, we're withdrawn, most of us, right now in our bank account. And that comes out in all of our relationships. And that comes out probably most prominently in our marriage because that's the person you're interacting with every day.

Dannah: When you shared this with me when we were first talking (this is probably maybe an overreaction to it), but what I thought was Chinese water torture, which is so politically incorrect to even bring up. But the whole impact of like, it's not this blunt force trauma that's happening to your relationships, but it's this drip at a time, one drip at a time. The relationship and your spirit is being damaged.

Dr. Juli: Absolutely. I feel like if we were to go back at the beginning of 2020 and read the headlines today, we'd be like, “Oh, my goodness, what happened?” But in some ways that happened so gradually that we don't realize how much that stress has been building up over time. And so, most of us are just really exhausted by it.

Dannah: When you first told me this, I thought, Oh, this makes me feel not so bad about the tension that I'm experiencing, not just in my marriages, but in some of my friendships as well. It's like everything out there is impacting what's going on in here, in these relationships. So, help us know how to not just survive this. But God's Word tells us we can thrive and experience joy in any circumstance. So, what do we need to know Dr. Juli?

Dr. Juli: Well, first of all, when we talk about experiencing joy, we're not talking about the happiness giddiness. We're talking about a deep sense of abiding with God and peace. And so, I'm just going to share with you four things that my husband Mike and I have done over this pandemic to really help us thrive through this season, and they all start with C’s, so you can remember them. 

So the first one is to stay centered on Christ. And you know, we talked about that so often as Christians, but what does that really mean? It means that every day we're coming back individually and as a couple, and we're looking at God's Word. We're saying, Lord, where are you in the midst of this? We know You are sovereign. We know that none of this surprises You. Give us Your perspective. 

And that's so critical particularly as some of our Bible studies or church gatherings have been limited. We need to find ways every day to remember to be reoriented and centered on Christ. So that's the first thing. I don't know if you want to say anything about that, before I go to C number two.

Dannah: Well, I just say that, that just resonated with my experience I had right here in this room. In the seat behind me where I have devos every morning, three days ago, God told me that I felt like through reading the Bible. God's message to me that day was, “Dannah, your perspective is so right here in the marriage. We're not given in marriage or married in heaven. But I have an eternal relationship with my brother in Christ, Bob Gresh.” It was like, your perspective isn't on Christ. It's not on this eternal view of marriage. Second C.5

Dr. Juli: Second C is we work to stay connected. So you don't even know this Dannah, but I just am getting over COVID. I've had it for like the last ten or eleven days.

Dannah: Wow. 

Dr. Juli: My husband was in Boston helping our son move, because he got a new job there. And so on the day that he was supposed to come home, I tasted my coffee and couldn't taste my coffee.

Dannah: Oh, no. I can't think of a worse thing for Juli Slattery than not being able to taste coffee.

Dr. Juli: I still can't taste it. So we made the decision that he would stay with my son in Boston until I got out of quarantine, and started to feel better. We've had challenges like that, where we've had to say, okay, he hasn't been home now for two-and-a-half weeks. So how do you stay connected? A couple of the things that we've started doing is number one, we do the Bible app together.

So, if you have the YouVersion Bible app, we are going through the Bible in a year, like individually, but at the end of the day, you can just put in, here's what God's teaching me. And so, we've stayed connected that way. Like this weekend, we couldn't be together for Valentine's Day. But we through Zoom, watched some marriage talks through FamilyLife. They had the virtual cruise going on this weekend. We watched some of those sessions and just connected that way. So just we've had to be creative and intentional about that.

Dannah: You have to be creative. Because even if you're home all the time, 24/7, you're not connecting with the same intentionality as when you have, say a date night. Awesome. I love it. I wish you continued recovery, my friend. And, and I pray that your sense of smell and taste comes back quickly. 

Dr. Juli: Thank you.

Dannah: What’s the third C?

Dr. Juli: The third C is community. This is something that we started about a year and a half ago, right before the pandemic hit. We realized that our marriage really needed community. And that's something that I think also has fallen off the radar for a lot of couples is they've just become isolated. We've had to be very intentional. We started a small group. We actually started two small groups now. But we meet on Zoom usually like when the pandemic is bad or during the summer we would meet outside. But we recognize we need other people speaking into our marriage. 

We need more friendships that we're building as a couple. We were just talking the other day, Mike and I, about how that has helped us as a couple to stay a little more grounded and balanced through everything we've been facing. It's not too late now to say,” Hey, I need community.” A lot of ministries and churches are forming even virtual communities, because you can't necessarily meet in person right now. But your marriage needs that. So that would be the third C.

Dannah: It really does. My husband loves it. When I get out with a girlfriend he goes, “You are such a more fun wife, when you come home from those interactions with girlfriends.” I think it's because somebody can appreciate that I'm having a good hair day in a way that he can't. But they also can give me perspective when I'm frustrated, and they remind me how awesome my husband is. 

So, three C's, Christ, Connection with your spouse and Community with the broader Christian family. Leave us with this, Dr. Juli Slattery. What is a scripture verse that is really encouraging you through this pandemic that keeps you grounded in truth for your marriage?

Dr. Juli: You know, I just think of Hebrews chapter 12, when it says, “Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith.” And for me, that has been something that I come back to again and again and again. I was just reading something last night that reminded me, everything in this world is going to perish away. And when we realize that, it helps us loosen our grip on the things that we can't hang on to anyway, and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus who is not only our hope for today, but our hope for eternity.

Dannah: I love it. Dr. Juli Slattery. You can learn more about her at AuthenticIntimacy.com. She's the author of Rethinking Sexuality, a book I believe you need to have in your bookcase. My friend Alejandra set us up because Robyn and Ray are just around the corner, right?

Alejandra: Well, I didn't know God was preparing me for the ride I've had in my marriage. 

My husband and I have faced many crises. A huge one was many years ago. We actually left everything here in Canada and moved to the Dominican Republic because our marriage needed intense help, intense counseling. 

We just jumped on a plane and went to the DR to get that. Currently, we're walking through a different kind of crisis as my husband is facing some serious ongoing health challenges. And it's hard. When you're going through crisis it is very difficult. But those situations, those difficult situations have definitely helped us. 

I thank the Lord that we have not given up hope, and that we have been focused in Christ. I'm so grateful for women who have pointed me over and over to God's Word in this difficult moment. 

And today, friends, we want to be those women for you. And we want you to be those women for each other. We have a short video clip from Jani Ortlund. She's going to remind us that God's Word offers hope. I want you to hear that loud and clear. God's Word offers hope for any woman that is struggling in her marriage. Let's watch this short clip.

Jani Ortlund: Women grow weary in their marriages; their dreams are not being fulfilled. It's not what they think marriage was going to be. I want to talk to women who are tense. In their souls there's a great tension in there with the frustration of what it means to be a godly wife and how they're not fulfilling that they were overcome with their failures.

Then I also want to talk to the women who are somewhat scared and maybe even terrified that they married the wrong man. There might be a great sin, sitting in that house. How do we minister to those women? How do we bring them to the gospel and give them Jesus? He was so tender with women who were caught in sexual sin or in bad marriages. He really understands women, and He has a strong word for every married woman.

Robyn McKelvy: Hello Grounded family. It's Ray and Robyn back atcha.

Ray McKelvy: Yes, it's good to see you guys. 

Robyn: We wanted to talk about marriages thriving in the midst of crisis and especially right now because COVID is everywhere. We can say it's all over the world. And so, Ray and I had the privilege of talking about this, and of our almost 33 years of marriage. 

Ray: So, Dannah, I know we all have been married around the same time. I think you are. 

Robyn: Yeah, We're 33 in May. 

Ray: Yes. 

Robyn: But we've encountered several things, several kinds of seasons of crisis in our marriage. And so, we wanted to talk to you a lot about how the seasons of crisis could either drive you together or bind you together, or drive you apart. 

And so, we're gonna sum up the seasons of crisis that we've been through in the last 15 years. We've lost both sets of our parents. We've had seven miscarriages. One of my brothers committed suicide. I've also lost three other brothers.

We've had financial stresses. Ray’s gone to seminary, and I'm telling you, we were broke. And then because being a pastor, there is always the burden of ministry. These are some of the different crises that we've been through in our marriage. And somehow in the midst of all of these, they continue to hit you. How can you thrive in crisis? 

Ray: Well, I can tell you as we were listening to Juli Slattery, and just just some of the other exhortations, we know it is hard. I didn't realize how much COVID even contributes to all the things that we've gone through. But there's a Scripture that comes to my mind. How can we thrive in our marriage? 

Well, we have to thrive individually as well. I start thinking of Philippians chapter 4. And, of course, the apostle Paul definitely knew a lot about troubles. I have a Scripture pulled up here where he was shipwrecked, he was beaten, he was in danger, he was in the wilderness, he was starving. He was in all those things. But in Philippians chapter 4, if you'll turn your Bibles to Philippians 4, and I have to be careful, I'm a pastor, so I could go on for a long time. 

I've been coached not to do that. So Philippians chapter 4, starting in verse 4, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (vv. 4–7).

I don't have time to go into all of them. But I want to give you at least four things. And I've got to mention them pretty quickly. This passage reminds us in a time of crisis to rejoice in the Lord, to find our centering in Him. Juli reminded us of that: rejoice in the Lord, turn to God's Word. And we have to do that in our marriages. 

Number two, I love this one, remain calm. In these crises that we are experiencing, Paul is saying this, God is at hand, let your moderation be known to all men. God is involved. He's with us. So remain calm.

Number three, remember to pray. So often, prayer is the last thing that we do. And so we are to pray about everything. Don't worry about anything, but to pray about everything. And then lastly, rest in His peace. We're to rest in His peace.

And those are things that in our marriage that I want to practice as we do Philippians 4.

Robyn: Some of these other things that we can do practically . . . I know that Ray said prayer is that thing that we usually think of last. If we really want to thrive in our marriage, then we've got to learn how to pray. We've got to learn how to take our crisis, our troubles, our difficulties, even the dangers that come at our marriage to the One who knows all, the one who will walk with You. He will never leave you, and He will never forsake you. He even allows you to go through these crises. 

And then secondly, one of the things that I learned to do was to fast. When Ray was in seminary, and we had a lot of things were coming up, one of the things that he desperately wanted to do was to seek counseling because of bad past sexual abuse. And so during that time as he went to counseling, that was my time not only to pray for him but to fast—”Lord, this is so desperately important that we need You supernaturally to come in.” And so that was my time for fasting. 

Ray: And can I say this, you just never know what you're going to encounter as a couple. I mean, I was sexually abused as a kid, it was just not me. It's us. And so, Robyn joining forces and praying and fasting in that way, that helped our marriage to thrive in a crisis that I know I had never anticipated. 

Robyn: Yeah. These first two things in your marriage, you can thrive in the midst of crisis, because these are unseen things by the people around you, but they're so necessary. And God is always at work. 

These are both how you bear each other's burdens. I think it's easy for us to say that's his issue . . . but we bear each other's burdens. And in marriage, you bearing the burdens of your spouse is really a part of you doing what your marriage vows say. It's a part of, for better and for worse, and a sickness and in health, you bear each other's burdens. 

And then the third thing is encourage your spouse. There are ways that you can continually build him up, encourage him by calling him on the phone and saying something sweet. You know, it's always easy to call when the crisis comes up, or things are desperate and not, “Oh, I need to tell Ray about this call and just encourage him with something that's sweet.” 

Also, write letters. I love to write little notes and stick them in my kids’ lunchboxes, I want to do the same thing for Ray and write notes to him, to encourage him. 

Ray: I think when you're writing those notes, and things like that, you can remember what Philippians is saying that we're bringing our spouses back to be grounded in God's Word, to remember what God is saying. Bring them back to rejoicing in the Lord, remembering what God has done and to remain calm. 

Robyn: Okay, and then there's finally this last one—getaway. And I know you're like, get away? Robyn, what do you mean? Get away. It's so easy to think we can't get away. But I watched Ray one time worshiping in the den in front of a video that really brought some comfort and peace to his life. Get away those ways. There's things, there's podcasts, there's songs, there's outings that you can get away to, walk up and down your street, hold hands, but get away. Remember to set your affections on things above and not on things of this earth. Because that's how we thrive in the midst of crises.

Dannah: Wow, so good. I love hearing the synergy between what McKelvy’s have just shared and what Dr. Juli shared a few minutes ago. Isn't it good.? They didn't know the notes. The others were preparing and God brought them together. 

Erin just texted me and said, “Wasn't there a fourth C? I thought Juli said there were four.” And she's sitting on the edge of her seat. So I texted Juli. And she said yes. And I think Alejandra covered it in such gracious beauty.

Because there are times when we have to get more support and more help. Juli said the fourth C is counseling. So, my friends, if all of this scratched out a little wound that's in your marital heart, go get some help.

Bob and I just started some counseling, not marriage counseling, but individual counseling because we have just felt like I think what Juli said is true, that everything has just been wearing on us. And we need some perspective. And we need it to be Christ-based perspective. So, each of us have Christian counselors that we're working with right now. Don't be afraid to do that if you need it. 

Well, you also know that as we end our program every week, we like to bring you the good stuff. And that is the tools that will help you stay grounded in God's Word all week long. And this week, we want to recommend to you a devotional booklet written, well, it's a book not a booklet. It's the whole thing written by Sarah and Jeff Walton. It's entitled Together through the Storms. I have this book on my nightstand. I love it. Check out this subtitle: Biblical Encouragement for Your Marriage When Life Hurts.

Alejandra: Wow, that is powerful. Can I recommend a personal thing I do while I'm watching Grounded here? I have my little notebook. And you know what? When all the speakers are talking, I'm just writing little notes. Because you know when this is off, I'm heading to bless my marriage and my husband. 

We had Sarah and Jeff on Grounded last year. They gave us a little bit of an insight of the storms and the tsunamis and the difficulties that they have been through. They told us that those storms are actually opportunities for us to press into Christ. We want you to watch that episode. So, we'll drop the link here. You can watch it again, or watch it for the first time.

Dannah: I love that.

Erin: I feel like we have all gotten a free marriage counseling session from the best counselors out there. So good. I'm so grateful. I did want to read one comment I think is precious. This comes from Linda. She said, “Next month, Dave and I will celebrate 39 years of marriage by God's grace. Our marriage was ending when we'd been married eight years, but God intervened. He changed us as individuals and showed us how to apply His Word to our lives and our relationship. Miraculously, our relationship was restored not to what it was but what to what it needed to be glory to God.”

Couldn't we all use that word? “Miraculously” when it comes to our marriages, so sweet. Hey, guys, it's Monday morning, but I did a little math. Here's proof. I added up the total number of years married of Grounded marriages. Ready? I think this is a new record. 2700 years married, represented here on Grounded Isn't that awesome? Let's give that a little . . .

Dannah: That's not like algebra, Erin. Is that like the four of us plus the McKelvy's plus . . .

Erin: Plus, all the commenters, all the comments how many years they've been married? You thought I was multiplying.

Dannah: I was like, yeah, me and math are not friends.

Erin: Never trust my math.

Hey, at the beginning of this episode, we asked people describe their marriage in one-word hosts. I thought we would just bless our audience as we say goodbye here. What is one word that you would want to give to the people watching to describe their marriage to give them hope to give them encouragement? What's the one word you have for them? Dannah can you say it in one word?

Dannah: Held—held by Christ; we are held. 

Erin: Oh, I love that. Portia Are you here?

Portia: I’m here.

Erin: Your one word would probably be cold. Poor Portia down in Mississippi is experiencing some real snow. But when you think . . .

Dannah: Don't say real snow. That's not real snow. I saw the pictures.

Erin: It feels like real snow to her. I'm hearing honor her that it feels real even though in Missouri we’d be like come on. Portia, would you have one word of blessing for the marriages of those watching?

Portia: Hope. Your marriage is not beyond hope. 

Erin: Alejandra, you got one word?

Alejandra: Not one, it's too much for me. But we're standing on God's promises. That's where we are.

Erin: I love that. Love that. I'm going to take Linda's word, miraculous. Because it is miraculous when any of our marriages go the distance and it all points to Jesus. So, I'm encouraged. I'm gonna go kiss my man when this episode is over.

Hey, go ahead and set an alarm on your phones, because you're gonna want to be us. Be with us next week. I hope that's a habit that you're already building, but in case you need an encouragement, we want you here next Monday. You are going to be inspired to pray very differently about all that is going on in our nation and in our world.

Alejandra: I cannot wait. Let's wake up with hope. Next Monday on Grounded.

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About the Guest

Dr. Juli Slattery

Dr. Juli Slattery

Dr. Juli is a widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional who loves the Lord with all her heart. After co-hosting Focus on the Family's international radio and television outreaches for several years, she joined Linda Dillow in founding Authentic Intimacy. She and her husband Mike have been married for almost two decades. They are raising their three boys in Colorado Springs where Juli can be found playing in the mountains and trying to manage her addiction to soy lattes.

About the Hosts

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many …

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Portia Collins

Portia Collins

Portia Collins is a Christian Bible teacher and writer/blogger who enjoys studying and teaching Scripture.  Portia is the founder of "She Shall Be Called" (SSBC), a women’s ministry centered on …

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Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh is the best-selling author, speaker, and founder of True Girl (formerly Secret Keeper Girl), America's most popular Christian tween event. She has authored over 20 books that have …

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Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra Slemin

Alejandra is a sinner who believed in Jesus at the age of seven in her native country, Dominican Republic. She is a wife and homeschool mom. She's passionate about Christ, …

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