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Scared We’re Drifting Apart: Tim & Kathy Bush

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 20, 2024 5:15 am

Scared We’re Drifting Apart: Tim & Kathy Bush

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 20, 2024 5:15 am

Can you really keep that deep, real connection with your spouse when life's throwing a million things at you? Between work, dinner, kids, and endless scrolling on our phones, it feels like there's never a moment to just breathe, let alone - connect. But don't worry, Tim and Kathy Bush are here to teach how to keep the emotional connection even when life's busy. Let's dive in and learn how to make each other a priority when things get crazy!

Show Notes and Resources

Connect with Tim and Kathy Bush and catch more of their thoughts at, and on Facebook and Instgram @warroomministry

And grab Tim and Kathy Bush's book, Sex on the First Date: A Story of a Broken Beginning to a Radically Transformed Marriage.

Want to hear more episodes by Tim and Kathy Bush, listen here!

And grab Bob Lepine's book, "12 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Easter" in our shop. This week, for a donation of any size, we'll send you it as our way of saying a huge "Thank you!" for partnering with us toward stronger families around the world.

Resurrection Eggs for Kids: Make Easter memorable! Enjoy a fun egg hunt tradition with storybook, symbols, stickers, and Jesus Film Project videos.

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Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

Hey, Shelby Abbott here. Before we get started with today's program, I want you to pause and imagine yourself with your spouse sitting on two deck chairs in a very warm and beautiful environment on a cruise ship in the middle of the Caribbean. After you're done hanging out with your spouse and relaxing, getting some sun, you head over and have a romantic dinner together and then you go and hear an amazing message that helps to encourage you in loving your spouse and walking with God.

What am I talking about? I'm talking about the 2025 Love Like You Mean It Marriage Cruise. We're having a sale right now and it's a great time to save big on this incredibly unique environment to enjoy working on your marriage, being intentional in your walk with God, and doing it all in places like the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and Miami, Florida.

So if that sounds interesting to you, head over to or you could check out the link in today's show notes. Alright, let's get to the program. We never want people to think that that's okay. Any part of the sin, we never want them to think that's okay. And we don't want people to think because we were in that, if they're in it, that that's okay.

Because that's the realization of being in sin and that you need to get out of it. That's the place that we want people to go. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson.

You can find us at or on the Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. Do you remember the first time we met this couple sitting over here? I sure do. Yeah? What do you remember? LoveLikeYouMeanItCruise. I thought, this is the coolest couple.

You know what? I don't even know what year, but I guarantee Tim Bush sitting over here knows the year. 2000 what? 2014.

2014? Probably know the date. February something. Yeah, what was the date? It was early February, around the 5th, 6th of February. Had to be.

He is kind of a savant with dates. So in case you're wondering, we got Tim and Kathy Bush. That's the voice of Tim and Kathy already jumped in over there. We are so excited to have you guys in the studio. You guys, welcome to Family Life Today.

Thank you. We are so excited to be here. I don't know another couple in the country who's doing what you're doing. Just, you're everywhere.

You travel more than we do. To tell people of the hope that you found in Jesus for marriages because you're going to hear their story today. You have a powerful story of what God has done. Yeah, and I don't know when Ann said, you got to write this in a book, but you did. And nobody thought it'd be called what it's called. How did you come up with Sex on the First Date as your title? And some people just said, wait, wait, wait, did you say what?

Yeah, it's called Sex on the First Date. Let me tell you the subtitle, though. Our Story of a Broken Beginning to a Radically Transformed Marriage. You know, we're going to walk you through the story, but I mean, was this a title you thought we can use or not use in a Christian book? It was a title I thought we had to use all along.

There was no doubt in my mind. I felt like it was catchy, but it was the truth. Well, let me say too, I think that because of the honesty that Tim and I share, we just put it all out there in the book.

Sex on the First Date is what happened. So that's what we named it. So I think because we're so transparent and honest, we wanted our book to be that way. Early on, too, when we were doing the Art of Marriage in a six-week version, we were sharing our story. And people were so attracted to like week three, week four, because we were sharing what we did without shame.

And we were sharing it in a way that people could connect to. People have been going to church for 25, 30 years and never had anybody share like that. They're used to going to church on Sunday.

People are happy. They're wearing their church clothes, but they realize that's not real. At least it wasn't real for us. And that's what those kind of comments we got all the time. And there could be people that maybe their past isn't that great and there's a lot of shame attached to that.

So for you guys to say this is where we were, but this is where God has taken us. There's something about the vulnerability of saying this is what we've been through, where other people are like, you too? But you're gutsy enough to share it.

Yeah. And Tim, share what you always share. When you're about to tell the details, you usually say, I'm not trying to do this. Well, we don't want to glorify the sin in what we do. We want to glorify God. But we have to share these details and we're not the same people anymore. And we always share that when we do our sessions during session two at the very start, we start with that. And it's just very important because we're not the same people. We're new creations.

In fact, that's Kathy's life verse. So we're new creations and we know that. But we have to share this stuff to connect with the people. Yeah, we never want people to think that that's OK. Any part of the sin, we never want them to think that's OK. And we don't want people to think because we were in that, if they're in it, that that's OK. Because that's the realization of being in sin and that you need to get out of it.

That's the place that we want people to go. And honestly, I can tell you for us, it's really hard to share that stuff. It's not easy because we're not the same people, but we know that God wants us to share it.

So when we share that stuff, we even say it at the end of session four, we're so glad we're finally out of the dark and into the light. Because it's hard to talk about those things, especially when there's so much. And probably a lot of regret.

Lots of regret, because you can't change what happened. In the book, it's way more details than we've ever done in the event because it's the book, you get to go deeper. Which brought up a lot of things as we were writing the book. You guys probably went through some more healing as you were writing.

Oh yeah, healing's a good word for it. We had some definitely high energy conversation. Like, I didn't know that. And I know that as I read it, and again, I thought we knew your story, you know, because we've been with you now over a decade and heard much. But man, there were details. And then the videos, you have videos and you see you in the before Christ days. And it's like dark, but it makes the light so much brighter because you're like, it's your title, a broken beginning to a radically transform. Like, yeah, God did a work, but now you're like, whoa, that's what God does.

Our listeners are probably like, let's get to it. Stop talking about it. I mean, you go from dead to life. Chapter one, you start with a pretty, pretty interesting story. Chapter one is called Caught. Yes.

Yeah. And you know, that part of our story is one of the hardest to tell. And when we started the book, you guys helped us with that because we didn't know where to start. We didn't know how to write a book. We didn't know where to start the book. And actually it was Anne's idea.

Anne's idea. Like, what was the bottom of your marriage? And that season of my life and that stage of my life where we start the book was probably the most regretful and the most hurt that I caused him and the hardest to get over to sort of start there.

And I know when we do our events and we talk about that part of our story, that's the hardest part. Kathy was in school for eight months, an aesthetic school, and I didn't think she was going to come back. And I didn't either.

I really wasn't planning on coming back. How old, how long were you married? Well, at this point we were at the 25 year mark on our marriage. I do know that.

25. And she was on the other side of the state in our motor home. And it was a trying time because at this point is the very first time in our marriage really that I was true to Kath. Meaning I'd done a lot of bad things, but I never told her. And she'd done things and she's always told me that when she went to school, I was totally committed to even learning about skin because she was going to skin school, this aesthetic school.

So I learned the different layers of skin and I did flashcards with her. And she would even tell me, you can come over here, but don't come over here thinking you want sex. That was kind of what she would say.

And I said, no, I'll come study with you. I didn't come every weekend, but I came a lot and I would stay and help her study. And I really felt like there was a good chance she wasn't going to come back, but I really wanted her to come back. I really felt it was time for us to grow up and figure things out. You didn't think she was going to come back because you weren't in a good place?

Yeah, our marriage wasn't in a good place. And all the kids were out of the house now. How old were they? Let's see, Blake was 18. It was 2005. It was August when she went to school in 2005. Our youngest was 18 and TJ was, well, they're 21 months apart.

And then Trisha. So they were all out of the house and we had a couple of grandkids at this time. Wow. But in my mind, I thought I had always felt in our marriage that I could not take care of myself. I always felt like I needed Tim to take care of me. And so I thought if I went away to school and I had a profession and I could do my own business. Be independent.

I could be independent. And I thought I could get through this and then I would be fine. So I really thought I had kind of settled in the marriage thinking that it wasn't ever going to get any better. And we had raised the kids, so this would be a time to get a career and I could take care of myself. And I could feel that.

I could feel like she wanted independence. Yeah, I didn't really voice it to Tim, but I know that he knew. And that was the same year my pop died, the one that raised me, that gave me my last name. And he had told me, do not be sad, do not grieve. You knew I was going to die.

You need to be strong for everybody else. So I was. I didn't cry at his funeral. But then when Kath left for school, I really felt lonely. And we sold her house.

I lived with TJ and Amanda and their little son Trey, who's a year old. And then I went over and saw her in the motor room while I was building what I would call her dream home. So she would come back.

I wanted to give her something to come back for. Yeah, he had actually had talked to me into this new condo that he was the developer. And he had said, you can do anything you want. Like you can have. It was just kind of our cycle was he would buy me back.

He would give me gifts and now he was going to build me this home. And I didn't care. It just wasn't. Those things weren't making me happy. And so I met with the designer and I picked out the best of everything and I left for school. Thinking. I'm done. I'm done.

Yeah. So what happened? So after I was in school and I loved the school, it was aesthetic school, skincare. And then it was all about health, holistic health, which I'm interested in that I knew day one I was in the right place.

It was I was passionate about that. And I threw my life into going to school. And I had I had dropped out of high school at 18 pregnant when Tim and I got married. And then I had later gone to beauty school and I dropped out of beauty school. So I had not a whole lot of self-esteem. So I go away to the school and thinking I'm just going to do the best I can and I end up getting A's and I'm the honor student and I have perfect attendance.

And so I'm kind of putting my worth. She was thriving. Yes, I was thriving. But then what happened? So at this time, too, our life, we had a lot of alcohol involved in our life.

And Tim and I had been drinking together. But I went to school and I thought, I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to have that life. I'm going to just really concentrate on school. Like a whole new start for you.

It was. But then about four weeks before graduation, there was a woman that I went to school with and she had said, let's go to the bar with some friends. And and part of me was like, I don't know if I should do that. And then I thought, you know what? School's getting close, getting close to an end. I'll be fine. So I go out that night and there's lots of drinking and I get drunk and I end up meeting a guy at the bar and hook up with him.

And this pattern starts for the for the last four weeks of my school. But part of me is thinking, I want to be married to Tim, but what am I doing? And it's the alcohol. It's I'm putting myself in those situations, which I had done before. But part of me is thinking I still want to be married to Tim. But if I want to stay married to Tim, I'm going to have to tell him about this.

And this is going to destroy him. Towards the end, I was in Mexico one night and I had called her what I thought was going to be around midnight and she wasn't home yet. And I called again at one in the morning and I called two in the morning and three in the morning, four in the morning.

And she never answered. Tim, what was going through your head? I was totally freaking out. I'm totally out of control.

I'm in Mexico, a long ways away. Even though you had not been faithful to Kath in the past, but now you were trying to make this happen. I wanted our marriage to work. I knew that we had to make some changes together and there was going to have to be a day of reckoning, so to speak. And I didn't know exactly how it was going to happen, but I really knew that I loved her and I wanted it to work. And I didn't know exactly how it was going to, but I wanted it to. And when I couldn't get a hold of her, I was just totally freaking out.

And then finally around eight in the morning, she answered the phone and said, you know, why do you keep calling? But what was happening to these last few weeks, he started, because of what I started doing out at the bars drinking, Tim sensed that something was going on. So he started trying to control me from a distance. He would call me all the time wanting to know where I was at.

And this was our pattern. And so for me, I even felt like more caged up again because the more Tim would try and control me, it was almost like a child, like I was rebelling. And then there was a sense of me. I think I thought to like, I got to get this out of my system, like it's going to get out of my system. And that's where I thought, you know, if I just get out of the get this out of my system. But there was never a moment in me that I thought, I won't tell Tim this.

I always knew I had because I couldn't live with it. And so I had to tell him and I knew I was going to have to tell him. And on that same trip, when I was in Mexico, I came to Seattle Airport and Kath picked me up from the airport. And because it was going to be, she was going to travel home. I was going to bring her home.

So I left Mexico. I had a meeting down there and I was with the kids. I was with TJ and Amanda and Trey. And I wanted, I was meeting her there and she picked me up and she looked more beautiful and never seen her. She was just like, wow. And she actually made me feel like she wanted me to be there. And I remember when she picked me up, I remember the car she was driving, I remember what she was wearing. And anyway, it was an amazing connection that night.

But the thing about that, too, I think about this, we talked about this, we didn't even put this in the book. This is how at the bottom we were and how at the bottom I was because I remember seeing Tim and just feeling love for him. But in my mind, I thought I can't even make love to my husband because I could give him a disease. I remember thinking that because I'd been with other men. And there was a period in that time that I actually thought I was pregnant. And in my mind, I thought, if I'm pregnant, I'll just get an abortion.

That's the person that I was and the thoughts that I had about things. So did you tell him? I mean, what happened? He got back home. So it was on the drive home that I told him a few, a little bit of it. I started sharing some of the things with him. I mean, was it something you just felt like you had to tell him? I just felt like I had to tell him.

You couldn't even wait till you got home or the next day? I was always that way. I just felt guilt. I felt I couldn't look at him without him knowing. I think he could almost see it in me, too. And so I shared a little bit, but it wasn't until the first chapter of the book is caught that we got home. And I had shared some of the things with him. But then he was leaving one day for work.

I think it was a couple of weeks later. And in my mind, I thought, you know, probably our marriage is just, we're just going to stay married. And I'm going to have an affair once in a while.

And I'm going to satisfy that need. And I thought of an old boyfriend. And I called him. And I thought Tim had left the house. And he ended up coming back in and coming up to the office and caught me on the phone. And then that's when I told him everything, which was the rock bottom.

Yeah, Tim, what did you think? Well, at that point, I thought, we just can't be married. This is finally my, I'm at the end for me. For the first time.

For the first time, really. I couldn't do it because of, you know, as we'll talk in the book later about my past growing up. I wasn't marriage material, but I did not want to divorce no matter what. And your mom had been divorced. Yeah, she was married nine times. Married nine times.

Yeah, so that was, and my dad married, well, he's with his fifth now. But it was really tough when Kath told me that. I just thought, I can't do this. I can't do this.

How are we ever going to make it? And the funny thing is, it even says this in the book, because we were together that morning and we had sex. I thought it was great. We had this amazing connection that morning. And I'm literally gone five minutes. And I come back walking up the stairs and go to that room and I'm hearing her talking to somebody. And it wasn't her mom, wasn't her sister.

I could tell it was a dude. And then I hear her say, my marriage isn't good. And how is yours? Talking to the guy really, it just put me into a spin cycle. It was really a tough morning.

I mean, did you go to work or did you just blow up or? I just, well, Kath had a phone card on the desk and I asked her what was that. And I realized that I could trace those calls.

And I told her I was going to, it was back. I wanted to manipulate control. Back in the days when there was a phone card, so he couldn't trace the cell phone. I wanted to figure this out and get the wound opened up and get it figured out. And he had threatened me. He had threatened, I'm going to check all these phone calls. And I actually begged him.

He was going to head to work. And I remember begging him and saying, I don't want to live like this. I don't want our marriage to be like this, but I want to be married and I will do whatever you want. We'll go to counseling and I just said, let's make this work. I remember begging him because I felt like that was the first time that he was done with me. And I wasn't for some reason.

That's the thing. It was like we had this cycle in our marriage where I wanted a divorce. He didn't.

I truly think that this was the first time, but he had said once in a while. Once in a while, he would say, well, we can get a divorce. I'll keep the kids and you can get half the bills. That's kind of was his comeback to me. You can get half the bills.

You're going to have to go to work to figure it out because I'm not paying your bills, not paying that guy's bills. I was pretty manipulative. I was going to control it even from a distance. Yeah. And in the book, you open up with that and then you sort of go back and take us to that. I mean, what are the pieces of your lives before you were married and even dating that led you to where you were? We all have baggage.

We bring it. Yeah, we bring it into the marriage, not realizing, oh, so much of this, so much of this is because of my past. So take us back to that a little bit of what affected your marriage. Do you want me to go first or you?

You go ahead. So, you know, my mom and dad, my dad was a veteran. He was a Marine and they divorced a year old. And so my mom and dad, my mom was married nine times. She married two guys twice and my brother's dad physically abused me, put me in the hospital a couple of times from beating me. But he also I saw him beat my mom, too. And so, you know, that was a good and I think he was in his 20s and I've forgiven him since then.

And I don't know what it would have been like to do that for him. Why would I don't know his story, but I got to see that. And then my mom married another guy who was very similar and then she married another guy who also physically abused me.

So I saw three different men hurt my mom. And then at age 12, my mom went to my grandparents and said, I can't raise him anymore. Will you take him for adoption or would you take him, take custody of him? And she already gave my brother to his dad because the guy that she wanted to marry didn't want to want to marry anybody who had kids. And so talk about abandonment and rejection. So so at age 12, which is when this was, my pop said, well, we won't take custody of him.

If we can adopt him, we'll do it. He was pretty smart. And so my mom said, we're going to have to ask his dad. This is your grandfather. My grandfather. And my grandfather called my dad and he said, I want you to listen to this conversation.

And it was at a roundtable at the farmhouse and he dialed the phone on an old rotary phone, the old kind with the dial on it. And my dad's nickname was Butch. And my pop said, Butch, this is Merle.

Janet wants to give Tim up for adoption, but we need your permission. And there was a pause. And then my pop said, no, you won't have to pay the 50 dollars a month anymore. And my dad only lived 45 minutes away from me during all these years.

And I only saw him maybe a half dozen times in those 12 years. And then there was another pause. And then my pop said, no, as soon as you get the paperwork back to me, you'll be relieved of your responsibility.

Click. End of the conversation. And you heard that conversation.

Me, too. He said, this would be profound for you someday and you need to hear this. Now, he also encouraged me to see my dad, too.

My pop did, even after as I got older. But then we went to the judge for the adoption and the judge asked me what name I wanted. And I said, well, if I could have any name I wanted, it would be Bush. And I looked at my grandparents and they said we were hoping you would say that because that was their last name. Yeah.

So that's what they did. Wait, Tim, you're emotional. What do you feel when you talk about this and relive it? Well, it feels like I finally was going to get this family that I wanted. And I wanted this sense of family. And they were solid, my grandparents, at least in my mind. But they didn't end up being so solid either.

They were solid in so many ways, but not in a marriage, not showing what a marriage would be. Now, there was no church really growing up, although I was baptized three different times as a baby in the Nazarene church. And then one of my mom's husbands wanted me to get baptized in the Baptist church. I had no idea what I was doing. Then my mom married a Mormon guy and I got to put a white robe on and get baptized in that church. So three different baptisms.

I didn't know what I was doing, but I did that. But that was all before I was 12. And my grandparents, the only time we went to church was funerals or weddings.

We didn't go to church. And my pop was a high driver for me to be promiscuous. You've got to sow your wild oats, son. Even to the point, I say this in the book, he handed me a brown paper bag with a box of Trojans in it. So I went at 14 years old.

I want you to use these. Don't get any girls pregnant. And he said, you need to sow your wild oats, son, because someday you're going to be married to somebody like your grandmother the rest of your life. And that was what that solid marriage looked like.

That was what he said. So that was pretty much he was my cheerleader in that department. And he also taught me to work. My work ethic was high because he said women like men that have jobs and have things and have money. And you want to do that. And so he taught me how to work, taught me how to invest.

Just a lot of things like that. When did you start drinking? They would give me at Christmas time, a wine flip or a little bit of McNaughton's and Coke at Christmas when I was 13, 14, just a little bit. He didn't want he said, I want you to know what this is so you can handle as you get older.

That was his reasoning. And then when I got older, like in high school and I would drink, he'd say, it doesn't bother me if you drink. Just don't lie to me.

And if you drink, don't drive. Call me up and tell me you're going to spend the night wherever you're at. I'll be good with that.

Just call me before 11 because I would have been at 11. So that was that's just what we did. And that was but that didn't create much of an environment for me to be a good husband to calf because I didn't know what a good husband looked like. I mean, that was your premarital counseling.

Pretty much. You know, all of us come from a past that informs and shapes our present. And sometimes it's great stuff from the past that affects us.

And sometimes, like Tim was talking about, it's pretty rough. The real question is, how does the gospel get into the roots of our lives and change us now? Well, we're going to hear more from Tim and Kathy's story tomorrow, which you won't want to miss.

I'm Shelby Abbott, and you've been listening to David Wilson with Tim and Kathy Bush on family life today. Tim and Kathy have written a book together called Sex on the First Date. It's a story of their broken beginning and how Jesus radically transformed their marriage. You can get a copy and learn more about their story and be inspired about what Jesus did in their life by going online to and getting your copy.

Or you can find it in the show notes, or you could call us at 800-358-6329. Again, that number is 800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. You know, several years ago and for over three decades, there was a voice on family life today, and that voice was connected to a man named Bob Lapine. Now, Bob was a mentor of mine, and he trained me on how to do what I'm doing here on family life today right now.

And I have a deep respect for that man, as no doubt you do if you listened in the past. And Bob has written a book called 12 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Easter. We are approaching that time of year where we get to celebrate the purposeful celebration of our risen Savior. And this book really talks about kind of maybe the nuance and some intricacies that you did not know about Easter.

There's 12 weird and wonderful facts spanning all the way from the resurrection's origins through up to present day. And so this book that Bob Lapine has written is going to be our gift to you when you give to Family Life Today. You can get your copy now with any donation that you decide to make. Just go online to and click on the donate now button at the top of the page. Or you could give us a call with your donation at 800 F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. And feel free to drop us something in the mail, too, if you'd like. Our address is Family Life 100 Lakehart Drive, Orlando, Florida 32832.

If you do send us a donation in the mail, make sure you let us know that you'd like a copy of Bob Lapine's book, 12 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Easter. We've been talking about Tim and Kathy's marriage today, and you might be wondering, how does God restore something like that? You may be thinking about your own marriage and wondering, how is God going to restore my relationship with my spouse?

Does he do that still? Is that what he's in the business of doing? Because it seems kind of hopeless. Well, we want you to come back tomorrow and listen to the restoration story of Tim and Kathy Bush's marriage. That's coming up tomorrow. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of David Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-20 07:04:07 / 2024-03-20 07:17:04 / 13

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