Episode 2: Finding 'The One'


Brandy: Hi. Welcome to The Road Home. I'm Brandy Goebel joined by my husband, Matt. We'd like to invite you to join us as we talk about practical ways to live out our Chrisitian faith. Listen, we're not trained professionals or theologians; we're just real people having a real conversation about marriage, parenting and this journey called Life. So, grab a drink and a cozy seat and let's get started.

How was that for an intro?

Matt: Ya know, that's our intro. I think it'll work.

Brandy: There we go. So, hi Matt.

Matt: Hello.

Brandy: How are you this morning?

Matt: You know...I've had better mornings, I think. It's not terrible but...

Brandy: It's been a day.

Matt: Feeling a little 'off', I guess.

Brandy: If you all could see where we're recording right now - we're in our master closet which sounds big, and it's not. It's about the size of a shoebox. And we've got all of our equipment and we thought we'd have cozy chairs and instead we have to stand.

Matt: Yeah, kinda crammed. But, we're hoping to get rid of the echo sound - the sound of a large empty room in our recording, so we'll give this a try and we'll see how it goes.

Brandy: We're just trying to find our sea legs here, so bear with us. In the meantime I've had one sip of too-hot coffee, so I'm a little 'off' myself. But it'll be fun.

Matt: Feeling a little burned?

Brandy: A little bit. My tongue is kinda numb. Anyway, so today...Episode 2.

Matt: Yes, very exciting.

Brandy: Very exciting, indeed. So today what we're going to talk about it is 'Finding the Right Person.'

Matt: Yes.

Brandy: Right?

Matt: How we go about choosing a spouse.

Brandy: So, okay.... So let's go back to...let's say...12 year old Brandy. So, 12 year old Brandy...What did 12 year old Brandy want in, like, Mr. Right? What do you think Brandy wanted?

Matt: I think 'cute' had to be at the top of the list.

Brandy: Absolutely.

Matt: Funny.

Brandy: Yes.

Matt: Yeah, after that it starts to get a little sketchier. I don't know.

Brandy: So, I had two distinct types of guys that I liked. There was like, the All-American, clean cut, California surfer dude. With the bleach blond hair, kinda like...

Matt: I dont' know that 'clean-cut' and 'surfer' necessarily goes together.

Brandy: No, they don't, but I didn't know that when I was twelve.

Matt: Right.

Brandy: When I was 12, that's what I thought clean-cut was.

Matt: Right.

Brandy: I didn't...I didn't know the surfing community at that point.

Matt: But then if I was to guess your contrast, your other type, it would be the dark, moody, brooding...

Brandy: Yes, very much so. It was, it was very much the mysterious musician or poet, kind of a 'bad boy'... wouldn't be afraid to tell authority to shove it but in meaner words.

Matt: Does 'poet' and 'bad boy' go together? Just like 'surfer' and 'clean cut'

Brandy: I was full of contradictions. I still am! It's a curse.... So, that was me, though at twelve, and of course, that sort of evolved and changed.

Matt: As it does.

Brandy: Yeah, yeah. So, tell me about, kind of what you were thinking when you were a kid.

Matt: Oh, man. I wasn't I mean, I definately...there were certainly crushes I had when I was a kid, but I don't know that I had types and I don't know that I still do, neccessarily. I think at first it was definately much more of a physical sort of thing, but even by early middle school...late...later grade school I realized, 'There's more important things that I care about more.' And that's when I started to realize it was more of a personality type or some inner qualities that were more intersting.

Brandy: So you were thinking 'depth' at a fairly young age.

Matt: Yeah, yeah I was. I didn't have a type, I didn't have the laundry list of charcteristics or anything like that.

Brandy: That's wise.

Matt: Well, I don't know.

Brandy: It was wise beyond your years. What's interesting to me is that our kids are like that, also. I don't know if we mentioned last week or not, but we've got an 18 and almost 16 year old and both of them have just really good heads on their shoulder when it comes to....It's not about who's the most attractive and that kind of stuff. They're just not big on that whole dating scene for no good reason. If they're going to date, they're going to do it because their goal is towards marriage.

Mostly. I think.

Matt: I think so. I think that's probably...

Brandy: That's what they tell us, anyway.

 So, it was interesting....I was, I looked at some stuff online last night and uh....let me just pull this little bad boy up... There we go. I was kinda looking around the internet to see what some qualities are that people want in dating and in marriage and what-not, and this one here, kind of made me sad. It was a website that somebody...like it was a question/answer kind of forum-type thing. And the question asker said something about, 'What is kind of your ideal partner and how would that effect your depression?' Which I'm not sure exactly why depression was a part of it.

Matt: So we're...we're already starting a sample group that is depressed people.

Brandy: I mean, yeah. I guess. I, honestly I didn't really check to see what is this forum aimed at? I don't know that it was, but anyway, this particular question kind of jumped off with the assumption that you already are struggling with depression and anxiety and that kind of thing. So this answer made me sad.

'My ideal partner...He would be warm, caring and kind.' Those are good qualities. That doesn't make me sad.

Matt: Yes.

Brandy:  'He would never be scared to display affection whether in private or in public. He would strong, a good listener, deeply passionate about what they believe in. I want him to be imaginative and creative with their thoughts, not scared to stand strong behind them. Someone who, on a cold, winters night is more than happy to just cuddle under a blanket on the couch, watching a movie. Someone spontaneous, who in the summer would take me on surprise road trips to secluded beaches where we could play around in the surf, under the sun. He would be my soulmate, a perfect match, yet two different people. Someone who can lay out watching the stars, dreaming of what life could have been. We would argue, we would fight sometimes, cry, but he would be someone who, at the end of the day, would never sacrifice our relationship for anything. He would be a good communicator but also sometimes vague in order to create surprise, leaving life entertaining. He would be happy to go on romantic picnics in the country or by the water. He would also understand that occassionaly, sometimes, we need alone time. We would compliment each other perfectly.'

So now, on the surface those are not bad qualities. I mean, honestly, those are all really good qualities.

Matt: Yeah, it's not the qualities, neccessarily, it's the expectations attached to this other person.

Brandy: Right. Because what it sounds like to me is, what this person is looking for is for somebody to not 'compliment' them, but 'complete' them.

Matt: Right.

Brandy: And I think oftentimes, that's what we end up thinking. You know, ther's that big whole scene in Jerry McGuire, "You complete me."

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: And I remember watching that and we were already married when that movie came out and I remember watching that thinking, 'Man, it would be so nice if Matt would just like stand outside my window one day in the pouring rain...' I don't even remember how the movie scene goes, but roll with me.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: I might be thinking High Fidelity

Matt: Say Anything.

Brandy: Say Anything. There we go, that's the one. Ya know standing out there going, "Brandy, you complete me!" That, that meant so much to me as a young 20-something who was married, but who wasn't really...like, there was disatisfaction in our marriage because I was looking for you to complete me. And it wasn't until, what, 38 years old that I realized that you can't complete me? Brandy: So this person, I fear is kind of...

Matt: Has that idealized vision of 'This person will somehow understand my needs at any given moment and will fulfill my every wish and desire.'

Brandy: Right. From spontaneous walks on a sunny surf to midnight star-gazing in the snow.

Matt: 'Gee, how did you know just what I needed?'

Brandy: Right. Which, you know, those are beautiful, wonderful things and hopefully your spouse does know the things that you like and can kind of anticipate those things and make some of those romantic ideals come true. But, I'm afraid that this listener....or this question answerer is really setting their self up for just a lifetime of disappointment.  And that makes me sad.

Matt: And you know, to be fair there is an element of completion that is seen in a good marriage. You know, we should each be able to kind of fill in some gaps for our spouse - some areas where maybe they have some trouble. Well, hopefully your spouse can fill in some of those areas where you don't have as much experience or training or who knows what. But, to look to your spouse to complete or to fill in the empty space that's in our heart, that space is reserved for God. And only God is going to be able to really complete a person. So, that's going to be where things are truly fulfilled, is where two people get together and they're looking to God first.

Brandy: Right, right. It's that whole 'three cords bound together to make a tighter rope?' What is that saying?

Matt: I don't know. That's one I don't know.

Brandy: Okay. I think it's a verse, too, like, "Three...." It's probably in Proverbs.

Matt: Probably. Ther's any number of good things in Proverbs.

Brandy: Hey, Listeners, if you know where that's at, you just shoot back at me and let me know. I'll probably also look it up. Or not, because I will have forgotten by the time we're done recording this.

Matt: That could be.

Brandy: So, so real quick, let's go over to...I looked at...another online article and it's from Forbes and this is from 2010, so it's a little bit outdated. The article was called Top 10 Traits Women Want in a Husband. And let me just say, again, this from Forbes Magazine.

Matt: Right. So now we're talking financially focused women, perhaps.

Brandy: Well, they actually....I don't know that it was Forbes that did the actual survey.

Matt: Oh, okay. They might be re-printing form another source.

Brandy: Yeah.

Matt: Gotcha.

Brandy: So, so number 10. We're gonna go from like this is the least important to the most important.

Matt: Right. Okay.

Brandy: Number 10 - Good financial prospect.

Matt: Hm. I'm not sure that that's really honest. I would suspect that would be a little higher. Of course it depends on the woman, too.

Brandy: Depends on the woman, yeah, yeah.

Matt: Alright. Okay. Fair enough.

Brandy: Okay, Number 9 - Good health. Number 8 - Ambition and Industriousness.

Matt: Alright.

Brandy: Number 7 - A pleasing disposition.

Matt: Okay. Fair enough.

Brandy: And 6 kind of goes along with it - Sociability. Number 5 - Education and Intelligence.

Matt: Okay

Brandy: Number 4 - A desire for home and children.

Matt: Alright.

Brandy: Number 3 - Emotional stabilitiy and maturity.

Matt: Oh, well, ya know...

Brandy: That's a good one.

Matt: That, that's good stuff.

Brandy: Number 2 - Dependable character. And number 1 - Mutual attraction and love. And then they had this funny little quote that said, "...the highest-rated characteristic women seek from men is mutual attraction and love. They no longer look for a man who will provide for them; they want to be in love."

So, throughout this article they were talking about different qualities that had originally kind of been looked for in the '30s and '40s and '50s...when women weren't in the workforce so much. And you know, at that point they needed a husband that could provide for them and, 'Hey, if we love each other, that's just like icing on the cake. It's not really required. But if they want to provide for our home and a family and they can provide well, that's what matters.' And if they're sociable and have a pleasing disposition and.... But even intelligence and stuff wasn't really high up there. It was really more about that financial stability and providing a home for a family.

Matt: Right, right.

Brandy: But once women got out into the workforce, and I think we've seen this trend even throughout our own lives - we were both born in the '70s - and you see more and more moms going out and working, to the point now that it's really, almost impossible to be a one-income family. We are, but, like...it ain't easy.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: So there's that divide now where, 'I don't need you to provide a good home for me, I just need you to love me and to want to have a home and a family.' Because that was another thing they were talking about is that more and more women are wanting...they actually want their husbands to be stay-at-home dads and they want to go out and be, like the conquerers of the world, so to speak.

Matt: Well, now that's interesting.

Brandy: So, it's really quite a flip-flop.  And we are seeing definitely, a rise in domestic dads, which you know...

Matt: If that's how it works for that relationship, that can be okay. But, there's potential for problems there, too. I mean, just like there is in anything else.

Brandy: Yeah, I think that in theory that all sounds really good and stuff, but I think it's, you know...who knows, I don't know, but I would speculate that once couples are in that situatin where the husband is the stay-at-home dad and the woman is the bread winner there's a real chance for the man to go, 'Hey, wait a minute. I kind of resent this a little bit.' And maybe not. Maybe, I guess if you're identity's not all tied up in how much you make...

Matt: In what you do...

Brandy: And they see the value of being a stay-at-home dad as being just as valuable as being a bread winner that's good.

Matt: There again, we come back to the fact that anymore, you pretty much can't make it as a single-income family, so this idea of a stay-at-home dad probably won't work just like, you know, stay-at-home moms is hard to make it work.

Brandy: Right.

Matt: Somebody, I mean both parents are going to have to probably work at least a little bit. It just might be, perhaps the dad, the stay-at-home dad's work is a little more part-time or you know...

Brandy: Right.

Matt: ...less vital to the financial well-being of the home.

Brandy: So, that's like a whole other topic on it's own.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: And I think really, it's important to note that, kind of, what we're going to be talking about, 'cause we want to talk about some of the qualitites that make for a good go-the-distance, stay-the-course marriage, and each of those qualities is probably several episodes in and of itself. 'Cause they can go in so many different directions and what we want to just provide is just kind of a simple overview of, 'These are the qualities that actually matter.' And let me just say, Listeners, that attractiveness does matter but, to my 12-year old self: not the most important thing.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: 'Cause looks do change. But, I have to say Matt has gotten cuter as he's gotten older.

Matt: I don't think I believe that.

Brandy: Well, you don't have to believe it; I know it.

Matt: Alright. Fair enough. Won't get into that too far.

Brandy: So, so what are some qualities that...'cause we've been married for, like a thousand years, so what are some qualities that we've seen, kind of, in our marriage or in other marriages that have gone the distance, that we think are really kind of the core qualities that a good, strong marriage needs?

Matt: Yeah, well, I think one of the most important things in our marriage...well, there's a lot of things. As I see marriages that work, every marriage works things out a little bit different, but one of the common characteristics tends to be a solid, mutual respect.  Where each spouse respects the other for what they bring to the relationship. There's gonna be differences from one relationship to another because we're all such individuals and when you get two individuals together and you're trying to make it work long-term you're gonna end up working things out different. But absolutely, having a solid respect for each other is going to be important.

Brandy: That respect that you have for one another ties into how you argue. We just had this conversation a couple weeks ago with some friends that we were out to lunch with and we were talking about how.... And they've been...their kids are all grown and having kids of their own, so they're ahead of us in the game. But we were talking about how, like, we don't...Matt and I don't argue. We disagree about things. But we don't yell at each other. We don't even really raise our voices with each other. There's definitely tension that happens.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: But it's because of that respect that name-calling does not happen. Divorce is not mentioned. 'I just want to leave you; I'm so sick of you,' like those kinds of things...doesn't...I don't even think those get thought. Not on my end, please don't announce that if they do on yours

Matt: No.

Brandy: But it's because of that mutual respect that, you know...I see you as this whole, complete person and you've got a history, you've got a background, you've got hurts and baggage of your own that plays into who you are right now and I don't want to add to that hurt and that baggage. I want to help ease that burden because I respect you, I care about you and I honor you.

Matt: And holding onto that, even in the hard times is going to smooth a lot of rough spots over the course of a relationship.

Brandy: Right.

Matt: Yeah, I mean we could just...we could keep going on and on...

Brandy: Well, I think one of the huge things that I didn't understand as a kid, when I was in those teenage dating years.... You know, I remember going to youth group and the youth leaders always talking about not being unequally yoked and I was like, 'We're not a bunch of oxen. Come on. Like, what the heck?' And I know it's all Biblical and whatever...bleh, bleh, bleh.... You know, I was 15, 16 at the time and I was like, 'Who cares if I'm dating a boy who's not a Christian? Who cares?'

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: Because...part of that was because at 16 as a dating girl, I wasn't perhaps, as smart as our children and I wasn't thinking like, 'Hopefully this is going to go into a marital relationship.' I was just in it for the fun. So to any teen listeners that might be out there, dating for 'fun' is never fun. It's just not.

Matt: Yeah, it can set you up for a lot of pain.

Brandy: I mean, it can a LOT of fun in the moment.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: But that whole unequally yoked thing was just really confusing to me and now that we've been married for a thousand years, I can understand why that has been such a core, vital part of our marriage.

Matt: Oh, yeah.

Brandy: 'Cause when we've gone through the really, really bad times.... Eight years ago when our marriage just almost collapsed and you said, "Hey, if we're going to do this, we need to be getting back into church." And even then, I kind of, you know...I kind of resisted. I didn't really want to get back into church because I didn't know if I could trust God and I was pretty sure He wasn't pleased with me. But the fact that you said, "No, this is the stipulation: God has to be at the center of our marriage." And, ultimately, it was God who healed our marriage, who restored it and made it what it is now, and had you not been a man of God, had you not said, "This is the point and here are the boundaries," I don't think our marriage would have survived. I think I would have been out the door and our kids would have been torn apart and, I mean it just...

Matt: Yeah, it would have been a big, ugly mess. You know, even in the hard times, having that common faith has been hugely important because it shapes everything about who you are. It shapes your views of the world; it shapes your views of relationship; it give you a common foundation. If you don't have that common foundation of 'This Is Truth,' there's gonna be problems. It's going to come out. And it's going to come out in a hundred different ways that you hadn't anticipated. And it's just going to continue to cause problems throughout the course of a relationship.

Brandy: Right. I think that's a really good point, is that, marriage is wrought [I meant fraught] with unanticipated problems.

Matt: Absolutely, so you want to set yourself up for success early on as much as you can. You want to try to have a common outlook so that when those hard times hit, you can meet them as a unified couple, as opposed to two completely different approaches and now, not only do you have this difficult situation, but to top it off, you're not connecting with your spouse because you have different approaches to the difficult situation. It just doubles the difficulty...

Brandy: Right, right.

Matt: ...of whatever it is that you're facing.

Brandy: And that's not to say...one of our...one of my youth leaders growing up, she was married to a non-Christian man and they're still married. They've been married for...forty-some years, I think. And he has, to the best of my knowledge, he has never stood in her way from being active in her church. Super active. She worked at a Christian school, she was part of the choir team, the worship team, the youth team and would go on women's retreats and he never stood in the way of any of that and would come to certain holiday services or whatever once or twice a year to just, kind of make her feel good, I guess. I don't know.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: But I know, too that they do have issues and that they have had issues and that it has caused some problems. They have just made a very...

Matt: Concerted effort to push through and make it work.

Brandy: Yeah.

Matt: And, yeah...I certainly wouldn't want to suggest that it is impossible for a Christian and a non-Christian to make a marriage work, it's just that much more difficult.

Brandy: Yeah, I think that that's true. I just want to encourage, if we've got any listeners who are...find themselves in that situation, it's not that your marriage is...

Matt: Doomed.

Brandy: ...doomed to fail, you know. That's not it, at all, and we would never suggest that. And who knows, hopefully at some point, your spouse will see Christ in you to a point that they go, 'This is what I need and I want to know this guy you call Jesus.' But, in the meantime, just hold fast. You can't compromise your standards to please your spouse. And if you're not married, work at finding somebody who sees God the same way you do; who not only professes to believe in God, because anybody can believe in God, but who actually is living that out and you can see God moving and working in their lives on a daily basis. I think that's pretty critical, so.... What are some other qualities?

Matt: Well, as I thought about this and did a little bit of research and what-not, into the topic, I primarily contrasted it between looking at external qualities and some of the more internal qualities. Because, I think, when I remember boys my age, when I was younger talking about what they were looking for in girls it was almost invariably this laundry list of external things. She has to have this color hair, she has to be between these heights, she has to have these measurements and she has to....you know. On and on. And it was absolutely ridiculous. The perfect girl for them could have been sitting right next to them, but because they didn't see...she didn't fit this laundry list of physical characteristics, they were going to ignore her.  And I just thought that was the dumbest thing ever. And the sad thing is, I'll talk to men that are still my age today, maybe in their 40's and some of them still hang on to that list. And you just can't do that. You cut out huge swaths of possibilities and like I said, the perfect woman could be right there, but because you're looking for some physical characteristic, you're going to miss her.

Brandy: I think one of the things that you and I have had...one of the qualities that's been probably...outside of the fact that we're both Christian...that's probably been the biggest marriage saver for us has been our friendship. Our relationship has been founded on a friendship. We dated off and on and even in our 'off' seasons we were still friends.  We still maintained that friendship. And I think those 'off' seasons, when there wasn't that pressure of dating and temptation and do we say, "I love you", you know, how far's too far - all of those things. We were really able to establish a good, good, friendship and that has carried us through these years.  

Matt: Yeah, I think those times when we were broken up, we almost grew the depth of our relationship more than when we were dating. Like you said, that has been one of the foundations that has made our relationship work - is that core of friendship. And I think a lot of men in particular tend to miss that. And, I have to be careful here because I really try to avoid any sort of Battle of the Sexes sort of thinking because I think that tends to sort of pit men and women against each other and I certainly wouldn't want to do that. But, in this particular case, I do think men are just wired for visual attraction and so I think that's why they cling to some of those characteristics they're looking for visually. And as we said at the beginning of this particular episode, that attraction is important. I mean, that needs to be there, but you gotta have your priorities right. That can't be the primary thing.

Brandy: And it seems to me...maybe we're unique in this, but I don't think so. I feel like I've heard this from a lot of other people, is that the more you connect emotionally and intellectually with somebody, the more physically appealing they become. So that compatibility...that physical compatibility grows as your foundation of a relationship grows.

Matt: We've talked before about how you can have the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth, but then she opens her mouth and all of these ugly, horrible attitudes start coming out. All of a sudden she is not so attractive. That is not the most beautiful woman in the world anymore. And vice-versa; you can have a woman who, otherwise might be considered fairly plain or ordinary or whatever, but if she has an amazing heart and is compassionate and kind and caring and truly sees other people for who they are and cares about them, my goodness, that is going to be a beautiful woman. You know?

Brandy: He's talking about me....

Matt: Absolutely

Brandy: 'Cause I'm very plain. (laughs)

Matt: No, that's not true at all. No.

Brandy: But it's true, though, you know? Because there've been so many times where I've been dismissive...Even though, as a married woman I'm not looking for a boyfriend, but I'll be kind of dismissive of somebody - male or female - because of their plain-ness or whatever and then as I get to know them... like, 'You're really cool. You have a quality about you. There's something about you that is interesting, or smart or funny, or whatever and pretty soon you start seeing them through this different lens... And it's not always like a sexual lens or whatever...

Matt: Right.

Brandy: But it...you know...people...

Matt: Well, you see them in a different light.

Brandy: Yeah. They become more attractive.

Matt: Absolutely.

Brandy: Likewise, alcohol can do that. The more beer you have, the more attractive somebody becomes. That's not a good approach.

Matt: Yeah, that's dangerous.

Brandy: That's a bad approach.

Matt: Yes.

Brandy: I do not encourage that AT ALL.

Matt: And you know, that's interesting because I think, older single people, if they say...shy away form the online dating scene or they're not involved in a church or what-have-you, where do they go to find somebody to date? A bar. You know? Talk about the most dangerous environment to try to find some sort of a meaningful relationship.

Brandy: Right.

Matt: It's just not going to be a positive thing. I won't say, once again, that it's impossible. Any number of couples have met in a bar and made it work and found somebody fantastic. But, I have to say, that that's probably going to be the exception.

Brandy: Aand the fact that we're you know, we're high school sweethearts that have now been married for a thousand years. And it started in drama. We were doing theater together and we got know each other over the course of rehearsals and set construction days and...

Matt: Doing scenes together.

Brandy: Doing scenes together. We had our first kiss in a scene. It was a peck, but whatever. It was our first kiss.

Matt: It was still fraught with stress and anxiety and oh, my goodness.... Yeah...

Brandy: But we found each other because we had this common interest. And so we were participating in this thing that we enjoyed individually and then we met each other and found somebody who, "Hey, you kinda like the same things I like. Hey, you kinda see things the same way I do. Hey, you also kinda see some things differently and kind of open up the world to me in a way that I didn't know I needed the world opened up.

One of the things that I remember early on in our friendship, like we weren't even dating at the time.... You had grown up in a home where classical music was played. I grew up in a home where The Beatles were played and so all of a sudden you were introducing me to classical music and art. Like, I didn't know anything about art before I met you...

Matt: I didn't know a whole lot about art at the time, but...

Brandy: But you knew infinitely more than I did and you started introducing me to this idea of...this finer, more refined culture than what I had experienced growing up and suddenly.... I remember there was one day in particular, where it was...I was looking at the sunrise as my dad and I were driving into school.... I was looking at the sunrise and I was like, 'That's magnificent...' And it was just...the first time that a sunrise had captured me and made me feel in awe. And I knew that I seeing it because of you. Because you had invited me into this world of seeing things through different eyes. And that was when I was like, 'Dude, there is something, like super duper special about this boy. That he is opening up worlds to me that I never knew existed.' And that happened through our friendship and that has carried us through those hard, hard times where we've sat down and had those conversations of "Is this worth it" "Should be just quite now? Why are we still married?" And having that, "But you're my best friend and I can't imagine not sharing my life with you." Because I don't have anybody else who knows me the way you know me. And I don't want anybody else to know me the way you know me 'cause that's exhausting.

Matt: It takes a lot of work.

Brandy: You invest so much...

Matt: Yeah, absolutely.

Brandy: And you know, who wants to just give that up?

Matt: Well, and going back to younger me and things that I was looking for, I think growing up...by the time I was older grade school, the thing that I looked for the most was somebody that I could just share myself with - share my thoughts, share my ideas, share my feelings with and know that it was safe - know that this was somebody that I could trust. So I was looking for that...I was looking for that best friend - that somebody that I could really share myself with and know that I was putting that part of me in a safe place.

Brandy: Right.

Matt: Somebody that wasn't going to then turn around and use it for their own benefit. Somebody that wasn't going to betray that trust that I put in them. And somebody that I could be a little bit more vulnerable to and not worry, 'What are they gonna do with this?' And absolutely, that's what I found in you. I mean, I was initially attracted to you physically, but then when we started to get to know each other and I just knew, 'This is somebody that I can trust with who I am.' And that was the clincher.

Brandy: It's funny because, you know, I had that whole, like, surfer boy idea in my head or the bad boy...think of Johhny Depp in 21 Jump Street. Like, he wasn't really a bad boy, but he kinda looked like a bad boy.... That's my favorite Johnny Depp, is from 21 Jump Street. Which, I know he hated that whole show.... It's totally beyond the subject, but whatever.... So when you walked in...when I first saw you...you know, you had that bleach blond hair and it was a little bit floppy and you were, you know, wearing a green and white striped, kind of baggy shirt and jeans and you looked like a surfer boy. I would have sworn that you had come from California. And...not at all, but I was, literally, thought that. And I was like, 'There's my surfer boy.' So that was...obviously, it was that intial appearance that made me go, 'Whoa, who's that?'

Matt: There's no...getting around the fact that that's important. It doesn't hurt to have that initial hit-ya-in-the-gut feeling.

Brandy: Well, and there's something so fantastic about that feeling.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: I mean it just...pretty...indescribable when that happens. It's that butterflies sensation. But, you know, now that we're in this far, you know, I gotta say every time I look at you, I don't have butterflies.

Matt: What?

Brandy: Now, don't be offended. I know, I know, right? But there are times, for sure when I still, like when you walk into a room and I'm like, 'Hehehe...wow, that's my husband.' You know? Like, that's awesome. But those times are rare compared to when we were in high school and everytime you walked into a room, like my stomach dropped and I forgot how to talk. You know? I don't have that problem anymore. But butterflies, they're not going to carry you.

Matt: No. You can't live in that place.

Brandy: No, I mean it'd be awesome.... No, it wouldn't. It would be exhausting.

Matt: It would.

Brandy: It would be exhausting.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: I like the fact that you and I can be just with each other and we can leave the door open when we go to the bathroom. That's...maybe too much information for our listeners, but whatever!

Matt: It might be!

Brandy: But things like that...I'm not going to do that with just anybody.

Matt: Yeah.

Brandy: I can do that with you...

Matt: And you can know that I'm not going to think any less of you...

Brandy: Right. There's depth there. There's an honesty in that. And you're not having to put on this,  'Everything is great. I love you. My life is wonderful. You make my sun shine.' You know? There isn't this kind of falsity to it. We've been in the trenches; we've seen the best of each other; we've seen the absolute worst in each other and...

Matt: And we're stil here.

Brandy: And we're still here. And I know that my chaos and that my baggage and that whatever crap I come up with isn't going to scare you off. I can trust that and I can know that because we have history that isn't carried on butterflies and emotions. When we said, "I do," we meant it. And we haven't always walked that out in the best of ways, but we've still walked it out.

Matt: Absolutely.

Brandy: So, are there other character...I mean, there's so many qualities that, of course you want in a spouse...

Matt: Exactly.

Brandy: But I think, really, we've hit on the...

Matt: Yeah...the only thing that in my research that I haven't talked about too much, is I was thinking about, 'Okay, if I was to go to the Bible and try to pull out some examples...' There's any number of places that we could pull out examples. Proverbs has some characteristics and things like that, but some of those characteristics that you find in Proverbs are also based in the culture and so trying to then translate them into our modern culture and make them culturally relevant becomes problematic.

So, the example that first came to my mind was David. He had, of course, multiple wives, but his first wife was Saul's daughter, Michal. And just the comparison and contrast between Michal and then later on when he met Abigail. And the description of that, of what drew him to her. His first wife, Michal was Saul's daughter. The Bible doesn't spend a lot of time talking about her qualities, necessarily, other than the fact that she was the king's daughter. And Saul had proposed the idea and David initially rejected it, but then once Saul put out there that he would allow her to be married for a dowry, or a bride-price that David could accomplish, then it says, "it pleased David to be married to the daughter of the king. It didn't say that it would please him to be married to Michal. It said it would please him to be married to the daughter of the king. And so that says a little something, I think, about his motivation. Not to say that it was entirely wrong or whatever because the Bible doesn't really criticize him for that.

But then later on it talks about Abigail, who, when David meets her she is the wife of another man. And that man, Nabal, I believe was his name was a pretty foolish man and yet Abigail shows herself to be an able administrator of the household of a foolish man and still manages to help him be a successful person, despite his own short-comings and things like that. And it talks about her beauty, but not just the external qualities, but it talks about her internal qualities. And it shows her intelligence, it shows her discretion, it shows her loyalty - her loyalty to a foolish husband. It's pretty incredible. And so then, when her husband dies and she's available and makes herself available to David, he's like, 'Yeah, that is an amazing woman.'

Brandy: Interesting. I've read the life and times of David a few times, but I don't really remember that and now I'm super intersted in going back and looking that up and just kind of reading about that part of David's life and of Abigail. She sounds like the kind of woman that we should all strive to be, honestly.

Matt: Absolutely. She's pretty amazing. And then later on, I could be a little bit off on this, but I'm quite sure...later on when David is bringing the Ark of the Covenant into the city and it talks about him dancing before the Ark and it talks about how he's naked. And he's dancing naked before the Lord, bringing the Ark of he Covenant into the city and it talks about, 'And Michal saw it and despised him.'

Brandy: Oh, that's right. I do remember that.

Matt: Yeah. So there again you see the lack of internal qualities that Michal has. And again you see it...David is gone for a while, you know of course, he had his trouble with Saul and Saul is trying to kill him and so David is out in hiding. And while David is out in hiding, Saul gives Michal to another man. And it doesn't say a word about her objecting to it, about her having a problem with it. Not only that, but while David was off hiding, she made no effort to go after him. She made no effort to try to follow him or to get word of him...

Brandy: Or to dissuade her father from pursuing him.

Matt: Yeah. And so, I think that, again, speaks volumes about her character or lack thereof. And so I think it's an interesting contrast.

Brandy: Yeah. So, I think, you know, in the qualities like the... from the Forbes article or whatever, I mean, those are all good qualities. Those are all things, like you know, yeah...being financially responsible is good, having a pleasing dispostion is good, sociability - awesome, being smart - great. You know, those are all good things, and a good chunk of those are internal things, even, but it's the deeper, like 'Who are you...Like, at your core...who are you? Are you the same person when you're alone as you are when you're in a crowd of a thousand?'

Matt: Yeah, that's a good one.

Brandy: What level is your integrity at?

Matt: Does your word matter?

Brandy: Yeah.

Matt: Does it carry weight?

Brandy: Yeah, can I count on you to be the same as you were yesterday and today and will you be the same tomorrow?That's where we can depend on Christ. He has been consistent throughout history. And we can see that dependability, that faithfulness and I think that's really what the core comes to. Obviously, we're always changing and growing and, you know, learning (hopefully), but I think that dependability is what matters.

Matt: Yeah, sticking to a commitment.

Brandy: Yeah.

Matt: So, yeah, I mean, there again, we could dig into this topic for weeks and weeks and still not exhaust it.

Brandy: Let's reiterate that, that you know, in upcoming episodes we will cover these things in greater depth. They'll come up probably a thousand times. I don't know why I'm stuck on the number thousand today, I don't know.

Matt: It's a good number.

Brandy: It's a good...it's a round number. But, we'll definately come back to them and they'll come up throughout the course of our conversations because it's part of marriage, it's part of relationships.

Matt: Absolutely.

Brandy: Whether you're talking about marriage or just being friends with somebody, these are qualities that are important. So, I think that wraps it up. I think we're at about an hour anyway, so we probably should wrap it up before our listeners all decide to take a nap.

I just want to say to you guys, we have a blog, so if you're interested in seeing what...usually it's me that writes...but if you want to know what I have to say about anything, which I don't know if you do but, whatever...you can come check it out.  I'm also going to try to put show notes up there. That website is  www.roadhometoyou.com.  And then we also have an e-mail that is roadhometoyou@gmail.com. So, we're trying to keep it consistent. It's hard, you know, when you're figuring out names for things, like...

Matt: Ugh! I hate naming things!

Brandy: Ugh! It's so difficult. And then you've got...you know...is this username available, or.... See, I can't even think of all the technical words that I'm trying to think of in my head, but....

Matt: It's problematic.

Brandy: It's problematic, people. So, anyway, I think that'll do it for us.

Matt: I think so.

Brandy: It's been nice talking with you, Matt.

Matt: Absolutley.

Brandy: I'm glad we were able to record this in our very small, little closet and now we can go sit down. Woo!

Matt: Yes, thank goodness.

Brandy: Alright, til next time, have a great week. Bye, bye.