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Marriage’s Secret Sauce: Bryan & Stephanie Carter

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
June 18, 2024 5:15 am

Marriage’s Secret Sauce: Bryan & Stephanie Carter

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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June 18, 2024 5:15 am

Could you be lacking a critical aspect in your marriage? Bryan and Stephanie Carter talk about the importance of it in our interactions, arguments, and even the way we parent. Could this understanding be the key to salvaging a struggling marriage?

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Connect with Bryan Carter and catch more of his thoughts at, and on Instagram @mrbryanlcarter

Want to hear more episodes by Bryan and Stephanie Carter, listen here!

Discover the secret sauce of great marriages and the importance of respect and communication in relationships. Join the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise for 2025! Promo code: "SEAS25" for discounts

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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

Whether it's our careers or whether it's our personal challenges or financial challenges or parenting challenges or life challenges, whatever it is, one of the greatest gifts is to have someone in your life that respects your worth and says, I believe in you. I know this is a challenge.

I know this is different. But I believe God is going to see you through this season. And I'm right here beside you every step of the way. 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

This is Family Life Today. Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise a few months back. That was my favorite part of the cruise. The wind blowing through my hair.

Well, I guess I don't have hair. That was the favorite part? Absolutely. I mean, it was sort of a dream come true, you know, to sort of be on vacation in the sun, in the Caribbean, but also focusing on our marriage. Yeah. And if that sounds good to you, let us invite you to the next Love Like You Mean It marriage getaway.

Yeah. And you can sign up at And you should sign up right now because there's a special deal going on. And you don't want to miss that deal. So who doesn't want to be on a marriage cruise?

Yeah. And I'm not even a cruise guy. I wouldn't like pick a boat as my favorite vacation.

But this is different. It is because it's pleasure with purpose. It's a cruise with a meaning behind it. And it's really going to enhance your marriage. And we're going to give you an example of some of the talks that you might hear today. We're going to listen to Brian and Stephanie Carter, who actually gave a talk on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise.

Yeah, it was the second night on our cruise. And if you don't know Brian Carter, you should he's he's on the Family Life Board of Directors. He's also a pastor for several decades down in Dallas of Concord Church.

And we sat way back in the back of this amphitheater. He and Stephanie gave a talk on the secret sauce to great marriages. I'm not a sauce guy.

Maybe I'm barbecue sauce, maybe honey mustard. But they do a great job on talking about what is the secret sauce? Yeah, let me tell you, this is the secret sauce.

So make sure you enjoy and take notes because you're going to want to remember this one. We want to talk today about the secret sauce to great marriages. One of the things that we believe is incredibly important, one of the things we're discovering our own lives and our own marriage, that there is an ingredient that is essential to your relationship.

We just like many of us in the room that may be great cooks and you know how to put the right thing in at the right time to make that this taste incredibly special. There was a secret sauce that when you put it in your relationship, no matter what stage or what season you might be in, it is this secret ingredient. And it is this secret sauce that is a game changer. And that secret sauce is respect. It is something about respect that helps transform and helps connect a relationship. Respect is the secret sauce of relationships. It is this respect that gives the soil for your relationship to grow stronger and healthier because respect is foundational to long lasting relationships. A couple things I want to share with you.

Here's the first one. It's in Genesis chapter 1 verses 27 that it reads this way. So God created mankind in his own image.

In the image of God, he created them. What this simply means is this, that respect begins with the recognition that every person is created in the image of God. It's right here in Genesis 1 when God creates us, he stamps on us respect because we are created in his image. He gave us unique capacities that no other creation has.

An intellectual capacity, a knowledge capacity, an emotional capacity, a spiritual capacity that allows us to connect with God but also allows us to connect with others. And because we are in God's image, every single one of us deserves respect. As a matter of fact, respect is a deep seated need that we have.

We crave it, every single one of us. Because when God stamped us in his image, it also means that we need respect to help value and celebrate the worth that God has put in each of us. When you married your spouse, you married a man or a woman in the image of God. That God had put his stamp on them in such a way.

Here's the reality. We first of all have to recognize that we are worthy of respect. We have to recognize and begins with self-respect. Sometimes it's hard to respect others.

We don't respect ourselves. And sometimes we have to look in the mirror and tell ourselves, you are worthy. You are worthy because God has a plan for your life. You are worthy because you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are worthy because God has a purpose on your life. You are worthy because you are his workmanship. When we remind ourselves of our value to God, it then allows us to be able to love the person that God has connected us with in our lives.

It starts there. Friends, it is this reality that all of us deserve respect. What we want to do for the rest of our time is give you four ways to show respect in your relationship. All right, so number one, I need you to respect my worth. Respect my worth.

And respect means that you accept somebody for who they are and they're even when they are different from you. Brian and I are completely different. Completely opposite.

Completely. One of us is clean. Yeah, one of us is dirty. One of us is cheap. One of us likes to spend.

Yeah, we could go on. One of us is an introvert. One of us is an extrovert. One of us likes it cold. One of us likes it hot. One of us family gets together every now and then. And another one of us, their family makes up holidays to get together with.

Not too much, not too much. I'm sorry, I wasn't talking about you. They didn't know. They had no idea you gave it away to your family. And so all of us are very, very different. She's a military family. They've lived in five states and a couple different countries.

My mom leaves them the same house I was born in. So all of these differences, all of these expectations, and yet somehow we have to learn to respect each other's worth. So in Matthew chapter 4 verses 18 through 22, Jesus picked some of his disciples. The people are not the ones people would think would be picked, but he picked them.

So he picked the fishermen, tax collectors, and others because he respected people, saw worth in them, and believed in them. They ultimately will be the very ones that become the foundation for the church. So I think about, I disciple a group of women at our church. And I believe in discipleship.

I would say this, some of us in here, whether you've been married five years, 10 years, 25 years, we met a couple yesterday, been married 57 years. But what you should be doing is you should be discipling somebody, bringing somebody, walking somebody who's walking ahead of you, right? Somebody walking beside you.

And then, of course, you should be pulling somebody from behind. So this particular young lady, she's in her 30s. She just found that she was having twins. So she's going to have three kids under two. I know y'all are like, ooh, yeah, yeah.

Well, anyway, fast forward. She had a healthy delivery. The babies are doing great. She's doing great. But the one thing I encouraged her was make sure you're very honest with your husband. How you're feeling, some of your fears with having twins, your fears with facing postpartum, let him know because men don't know.

And he won't know unless you tell him. So she is really honest with him, tells him everything that she is processing. And her fear, her biggest fear was postpartum.

So fast forward. They have a big family function. Family is there. Some of his family says some things to her, some disrespectful things. And I had advised her, I said, do not make the mistake I made. The mistake I made when I had conflict with my in-laws is that I would address them myself.

Don't do that. It does not end well. I said, let your husband address it. And so she was like, my husband is never going to address this situation. I said, he will.

If you are honest with him and you pray about this, he will address it. Y'all, he addressed it. So his relatives said something very derogatory to her. And they were kind of questioning her.

And he immediately addressed it and then said, you cannot stay here. He was like, I have to protect my wife. I have to protect her.

I do not want her to face anything that's going to cause her to go to postpartum. And I remember she called me later and was like, so this is what happened? Because usually she would have said something or she would have acted out. But the fact that her husband saw her worth and he heard her voice. And so she's like, so all I have to do is pray and hold my tongue and be patient and let God do it. I was like, yeah, I wish I had learned this the first year of my marriage.

I'm trying to help you now. But the main thing is he saw her worth. He saw her worth and he protected her and shielded her. When you respect my worth, there are four phrases that each of us need as couples to respect the worth of the one that God has given us.

Here's the first one. I'm proud of you. When you say I'm proud of you, you are valuing the worth. You're valuing the spouse. You are valuing how God has wired them. You are valuing who they are. I'm proud of you.

Just doesn't have to be because of what they did. It can be I'm proud of you. Just how you're facing in life and how you're overcoming things and how you're walking through these seasons. Not only I'm proud of you.

Here's another one. Thank you. When you invite, thank you into your relationship.

What you are doing is you're inviting that you respect that spouse. Thank you for preparing dinner. Thank you for getting this trip together for us. Thank you for the way that you care for our kids and grandkids.

Here's another one. I appreciate you. I appreciate you says I see you. That I celebrate who you are. I celebrate you as a gift to my life. I celebrate how God is, how you balance each other out, how we connect together.

Here's the last one. I believe in you. When you say I believe in your spouse, what you do is you give him or her the confidence, the boldness, the encouragement they need to live God's call and work on their lives. Life sometimes can beat us up, whether it's our careers or whether it's our personal challenges or financial challenges or parenting challenges or life's challenges, whatever it is, one of the greatest gifts is to have someone in your life that respects your work and says, I believe in you.

I know this is a challenge. I know this is different, but I believe God is going to see you through this season. And I'm right here beside you every step of the way. This is Family Life Today, and we are listening to a portion of a talk that Brian and Stephanie Carter gave on the Love Like You Mean It cruise this past February, and it was a great talk.

It was. And there are some good principles in this talk that we can all apply to our marriages. Yeah. We're pretty passionate about this topic, too. Yeah. The secret sauce of respect. And they're only like halfway done. But I'll just remind you, sign up for the cruise. Go to family life dot com and you can jump in on a great deal to get on the cruise for next year because there'll be more talks like this.

So let's go back to Brian and Stephanie and hear more of their secret sauce. I'd only respect my worth, but here's number two, respect my voice. It's fascinating. Matthew 16, 13 to 16 helps us to understand this value that when you watch the ministry of Jesus, Jesus consistently respects and values people. One of the very things that attracts people to Jesus, that he values people. Doesn't matter if it's the tax collector. Doesn't matter if it's a widow. It doesn't matter whether it's children.

It doesn't matter. He has this incredible gift that he respects and values people. Respect my voice. We respect each other. We value each other when we value the voice of our spouses.

I have to be honest. There have been occasions where I've not always value my wife's voice. There have been occasions in my life where I had to grow in my marriage. Early on in our marriage, for some reason or another, I mistakenly thought that as a man, I was just supposed to give directions. I mistakenly thought that I was supposed to just say it and she was supposed to do it. Forgive me. I just thought that I was just, I don't know. But for whatever reason, I'm sorry, I had these thoughts. I just had these misconceptions about what it meant to be a husband.

These misconceptions about what it meant to be a man. I didn't always value her voice. I would do stuff and then just expect her to go along with it. I had to learn. I had to make some shifts. And she helped me. She helped me. She was a great coach in my life. Just a little coaching. She helped coach me through some decisions and some things I would make because I had to realize that in our relationship, I had to value her voice.

And she had to value my voice. So here's, don't make that mistake. Don't walk in the room and just change the channel like they're not even madder in the room. Or, or, or, if we watch the football game, we've watched pregame, we've watched the football game. Why do we have to watch SportsCenter to get the recap? We've watched the whole thing.

I have watched with you. We've got to respect her voice. Don't make the mistake. Don't spend a large sum of money without talking to her or talking to each other. Don't accept the job that has a move in it. And you didn't have a conversation with your spouse yet.

Don't pick the restaurant and just tell her, listen, you're going to go with the flow today. Don't do that. Don't make a major decision about the kids. And then when the kids say, well, daddy told me I could do what her mommy told me, they blame you for the situation. Don't book the trip and then say, hey, you can deal with it later. You've got to learn.

Don't move your aunt or your mother or your brother or your dad or your cousin in the house. And then tell them that these are all things not to do. Right. These are all just a few ways for you to respect their voice. So here are some things you want to do. All right.

So these are some questions you need to ask before you're making the decision or if you're feeling like you're about to disrespect your spouse. What do you think about it? Oh, that's simple. Have you thought about it? And since I'm married to a pastor, I always say this. Have you prayed about this?

I don't think the Lord is calling you to quit your job and go to seminary full time. That was that was a fight in the first year of our marriage. All right. Does that work for you? Where do you want to go eat? What if you say you don't want anything? Then you change your mind when I get my food. You want my food.

That's when you share. Respect my words. Respect me with my words. Respect my voice means that you don't try to minimize me or control me or ignore me. There's a temptation in all of us to be selfish, which means that we want to hear our voice rather than hearing the voices of our spouse. So it's incredibly important that we try to make a habit of asking, what are you thinking? How do you think? And how does that make you feel? What are you how are you feeling?

The more we value the voices, the more we value our spouses. It was a couple of years ago we were out with some college friends. I went to University of Oklahoma. He went to Oklahoma State.

So we're huge rivals. And we were talking about work and careers. And this particular couple, he was in between jobs and he was talking about his current job situation. And so his wife's response was, that's not a real job.

My heart just sank. Listen, your words matter. I feel like no matter what season of marriage that you're in, whether you've been married less than five years or whether you've been married 50 plus years, our job as a spouse is to be their biggest cheerleader. There are seasons where he is cheering me on and there are seasons where I am cheering him on.

But the main thing is, no matter what season that you're in, you've got to be the biggest cheerleader. He'll be getting dressed in the morning. I'm like, ooh, you look great. That's cute. Or, oh, babe, I know you're going to kill it today. Hey, babe, how can I pray for you today? I saw you in that meeting earlier. You did that.

Listen, be their biggest cheerleader. Because sometimes when your spouse leaves the house, sometimes the only encouraging word they might hear is from you. You do not know what your spouse is walking into when they leave the home. This is Family Life Today, and we've been listening to Brian and Stephanie Carter giving a talk on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise, and their talk has been about the secret sauce to a great marriage. And as I listen to Stephanie in that portion, we'll hear more tomorrow, I'm just wondering, like, when was the last time you really gave your spouse some encouraging words?

Here's my challenge to you. Are you giving your spouse more words of encouragement than anyone else? Because I think we should be. Yeah, I mean, and they're talking about, you know, respecting your spouse with your words. I just got to say, you are the best at that.

Now? Well, I mean, you weren't that way. We both weren't that very respectful. Oh, I was so bad at it before, and it's so important. Yeah, and I'm not saying you're good at it in the last couple of years. You've been good at it for decades. And I, what Stephanie just said there at the end, when I walk in the door, I feel like you encouraged me. Your words are respectful and affirming.

I'm not saying you don't speak the truth and tell me things I need to hear that I don't want to hear and are hard to hear. But I know what it's like to come to a home that I felt like I got torn down decades, decades ago. And now walking into our home and feeling like I get built up because you love me and see me and you respect me with your words. What Brian and Stephanie are talking about are critical because this can create an aroma in a home. And this isn't just husband and wife.

This is kids as well. I mean, it's like a fragrance. It can smell really good.

Or it could be really destructive. And nobody wants to come home to a place where the words are disrespectful. You want to come home to a place that smells good and it's respectful. I feel like our homes, this is a passion of mine.

Maybe it is of you as a listener, too. I want to create an atmosphere in our home where the people that live there want to come back home. They want to be at our home. They want to be there because we see them, we believe in them, and we're speaking life to them.

We're also speaking truth. That's what we do as parents. But I really would challenge you to even think today, what is the atmosphere of our home? Maybe if you have teenagers, this is a hard one to ask them.

I know what you're going to say. But ask them, you guys, what does it feel like to be home? Do you like being at our home? Do you feel like we're a place that we're giving you encouraging words? I remember saying to our teenage son once, I think he was probably 14, and I remember saying, do you know how proud I am of you? And he said, no.

I was so shocked because I felt so proud of him. But I think what he hears as a teenager is me telling him what he shouldn't be doing, what he needs to still be doing, or what he hasn't done. And I realized like, man, I need to speak those words to him as well as you, Dave, because I had been getting better speaking them to you. But as a parent, it feels like we're always training or disciplining, and we need to speak those words to our kids more than anybody. Yeah, and I think there's a part of every human being, including us, that we are quicker to see the negative or the critical than the positive.

Or we see the positive, and instead of speaking it out and celebrating it and saying, hey, I see this, we say nothing. I remember early in our marriage, remember this? You came into the room, and I just thought to myself, you look incredible.

That's what I thought. You asked me later. Oh, no. I remember this because we had little kids, and I hardly, you know, I felt like I was in sweatpants every day, and I always looked bad. But I tried my best this one night because we were on a date, and so I got super dressed up, which was very unusual. I came down the stairs, and because it was so unusual, I thought you'd say, wow, but you said nothing. And I felt like I just must look awful, because that's what I felt like inside. And then you asked me at the end of the date, hey, did you think I looked nice? And I was like, oh, my goodness, I was sitting down here when you came down the stairs, and I thought you are the most beautiful woman.

I can't believe you're my wife. And you go, you didn't think that. I go, yeah, I did. She goes, well, why didn't you say it?

I'm like, because I'm an idiot. Guys, do you hear me? If you think something positive, say it. Say it to your spouse. Say it to your kids. If you think something negative, just keep it in yourself.

Just zip your lips. Don't say it. But respectful words, what the Carters were talking about, is something that doesn't come naturally. But when you do think it, speak it. It builds up a person. It builds up a home.

It creates a fragrance that is like a magnet. Everybody wants to be around somebody that speaks life. And we're not saying you don't speak truth. I'm just laughing back at me, saying, did you think I looked nice?

That sounds so needy. Yeah, well, you needed to hear it. Oh, that's so embarrassing. Well, it just shows where we were. And now we're perfect.

And we never miss any moment in life. Now, here's the deal. What the Carters were talking about is just the beginning. They kept going. And stay tuned for tomorrow, because they didn't just talk about speaking respectful words, the secret sauce. They also talked about what happens in your marriage if you are disrespectful. And it can divide.

And it can tear down. So don't miss tomorrow. And let me add one more thing. If you haven't signed up, like, now's the time. Go to and sign up for the 2025 Love Like You Mean It Marriage Cruise. We'll be there.

See you then. I'm Shelby Abbott, and you've been listening to Dave and Anne Wilson with Brian and Stephanie Carter from the Love Like You Mean It Marriage Cruise on Family Life Today. You know, Dave and Anne were talking about that just at the end there. I've been on the marriage cruise myself, and it is a phenomenal experience. The Love Like You Mean It Marriage Cruise is a getaway for married couples looking for several things.

Relaxation, does that sound like you? Renewal, romance, lifelong memories, and reconnection with God in the midst of an environment that you wouldn't ordinarily be in. And so right now, you can book and save during our Seize the Savings Sale.

Seize as in S-E-A-S. I get it. So you can use the promo code SEASE25, which is S-E-A-S-2-5, to save big on a stateroom for the 2025 Love Like You Mean It Marriage Cruise. The sale actually ends on June 25th of this year, and you can learn more at, or you can give us a call to learn more as well at 800-358-6329.

Again, that number is 800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word Today. So today, we got to hear from Brian and Stephanie Carter, who spoke at the Love Like You Mean It Marriage Cruise. We're going to get to hear from them as well tomorrow, but Brian has written a book called Made to Last, Eight Principles to Build Long-Lasting Relationships. Does that sound like something that pretty much every married couple needs?

The answer is yes. Well, in his book, you can gain practical insights and actionable steps for building stronger and more fulfilling relationships in your life. You can check out Brian's book, Made to Last, at, or you can find it in our show notes. Or just give us a call. Again, the number is 800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word Today. Now tomorrow, as I said, the Carters will be back, and they're going to be talking about the importance of respect in marriages for both men and women. That's 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-18 07:44:25 / 2024-06-18 07:55:14 / 11

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