Living With Disagreements

Brad's away on business so Wayne's wife Sara fills in this week for a discussion about how religion so easily suppresses women by relegating them to second-class status. As they talk about lessons they've learned over 36 years of marriage they unpack what has made them better team members as they've learned to be better partners not by agreeing on everything, but by living in the tension of those differences and learning how to treat each other with respect, honor, and fairness. Surprisingly one marriage counselor says that couples can live together with great joy and fulfillment even if they disagree on 67% of the conflicts in their marriage. It seems agreement isn't nearly as important as how they treat each other in their disagreements.

Podcast Links:
Heather and Shelly's story on Donating a Kidney
Sara's Story on Living Loved in Marriage
The Ongoing Challenges in Kenya


  1. Because we’re flawed individuals, we don’t define submission very well. Our definition actually is a reflection of our fallenness.

  2. Great to hear from you Sara. And your experience of finding your way back to your truer self can be of help to others…women and men…as they journey on in hopes of finding the same

  3. Boy is this going to sound picky, but I have to say, as a bit of an audiophile, that there is a distinct echo in the last several podcasts including this one. Except, at the 30 min. mark, the echo completely goes away and we have the nice, warm, intimate sound of two people talking. Not sure if anyone else has noticed it, but Wayne/Brad, whatever you did after the 30 min. mark, keep it up! The echo makes it sound as if you’re in a dungeon or cathedral or something.. (oops, was that a pyschological tell?) Thanks!

  4. Glen, we appreciate your concern and we are aware of and trying to find a solution for this mysterious cavernous sound. I wish you were here to help us find the problem. We did nothing new at the 30 minute mark, so we can’t go by that. . There is no reverb on our board, and yet the reverb is coming through intermitently in the recording itself. So we are a bit confused here, but still seeking to resolve this.

  5. I loved hearing Sara’s thoughts and views. She speaks a lot of the wisdom that is all too often hidden in women who are in religious organizations. It is only one of so many profound things that the word “submission” has been used to crush almost an entire half of the voices in the family of Christ. Especially when it is such a valuable word when used in the right context. I suppose there is a podcast (or several) on the topic but it is really nothing more than the way the passenger “submits” to the driver in allowing the driver to pick the best speed and route to a particular destination. “SQUIRREL!” Sorry about that – just a side track…

    Anyway, while men are expected to dominate the religious institutions (rather than simply and thoughtfully drive the car from time to time), the voices like that of Sara’s quietly find words in the background to fill in so many of the gaps and holes we men inevitably create as we try our best to create some sort of a safe place for our friends and families to reside.

    Sara, your comments were like the syrup on the table at breakfast. Sweet and gentle and full of kindness. Thanks for going a little beyond the limits of your comfort to honestly express the valuable thoughts that come from so many years of raising kids and being a faithful wife. And thank you as well Wayne for being so gracious to give your wife a voice.

  6. On the topic of marriage, I have a really mind blowing question.

    Let me first say, I am Not saying that I don’t believe in the sacred relationship in marriage.

    What my question is:
    Why do we Need to have a ceremony or have a government license to prove that you are married?

    Well, I hope I didn’t through too many overboard, with me rocking the boat!

    I am 18 yrs old, loving this journey and still full of questions. And, Why is one of my favorites!

    I would love to hear what you guys think!

  7. Hannah, if marriage is reduced to an institution, administered and regulated by human systems, your question is exactly correct and completely appropriate.

    Marriage is the outward expression of an inward commitment. The commitment is to lay down your life for another person. The commitment is required, really it is a prerequisite for everything else that comes from the exclusive union of a man and woman.

    I believe that marriage is one of the first major steps in becoming less self centered. Children soon follow and represent an even greater step away from self centered living.

    Getting “married” to be commited is like getting baptized to become commited to Christ. Both are appropriate expressions of a preexisting personal commitment. Without the commitment the value of the ceremony is questionable. Without the ceremony, the commitment is questionable.When the two go together its like a train that rides nicely on two tracks.

  8. Ive had the same experience that sara describes. I felt like I HAD to help anyone who had any kind of need. I didn’t ever put my own needs first. I felt that was selfish. I think that came from having a mother that left my dad and let us be raised by him because she “needed to think about herself”. So I became the servant of my family and friends. I always saw doing what I wanted to do as selfishness which reminded me of my mom which I was determined to NEVER be like.

    Well, the first blow came when my oldest child ended up in jail and said “he didn’t get enough attention”. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? I spent my whole self “attending” to his needs and TRYING to be the perfect mother and I thought I was following all Gods rules of being a “righteous” mother. WOW! what a blow.

    Long story short, now I’m seeing that I was manipulated by many of the people that I was serving and I’m learning to say NO and I don’t feel selfish. I feel like its important to stop them. I will not allow them to manipulate me, not for myself so much but because it’s unhealthy and I don’t want to participate in that game. I have to do it with my mom who is now 73 and has been manipulating me for years to HELP her but none of my hard work was really helpful to anyone.

    Sometimes it’s hard to say no because that old feeling wants to haunt me that I won’t be loved if I dont do what they want from me. It takes faith and real love to put that aside and to choose the more healthy road. My common response to people’s manipulation is “I’m not playing that game”

    My marriage is better (still a ways to go) and I think my other relationships are doing better too. In my case, I think my serving was a form of control or power in some ways. If they needed me I was in control of the relationship. My husband would say I don’t serve him. He was the first one I decided to stop bowing to. I lived in fear of my kids being raised in a broken home. When I quit fearing that things got much better in our relationship.

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