Scott and Lisa Sharp did a fantastic job giving us a glimpse into what it looks like to have a successful marriage. Here’s the link to their video on-line https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHyOYLt6SNI. Please share this link with others on Facebook or wherever…it is well worth anyone’s time. If you don’t have time to view their challenge, then feel free to read through their notes below (in the video they go off notes and into more details, but the notes are still very well put together). This is material well worth holding onto as a resource, copying, and passing along to others as well.
Intro and Thank you- Very honored and extremely humbled to be asked to speak this morning. Disclaimer- Wide variety of ages, number of years married, experiences, Everyone (couples) here have their own story and habits that make their marriage successful. For those of you whom we have not had the privilege to meet, we are Scott and Lisa Sharp. We’ve grown up in Grinnell, graduated from GHS, went away to college, wanted to settle here, have been married for 38 years and lived our entire married life as members of this community. We have been blessed with 4 children. Brandon- 33, married to Sharaeah. They live in Grinnell and have 3 children, ages 8 and twins who are 6. Morgan- 30, married to Blaine Forsythe, they live in Pella with their 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter. Lauren- age 28 who lives in Urbandale and works for Drake University. And, Regan, age 26 who is married to Kyle Gritsch. They live in Brooklyn and have a 2 year old daughter and 4 month old son. [Each of their children live within an hour of Grinnell]. Our goal today is to share our story along with what works for us and you may find some similarities and you have your own characteristics that help you be successful too!! Don’t be shy about asking questions, giving comments or challenging us and making this interactive. The overall feeling we have as a husband and wife is “That we are extremely blessed!!!!” Let’s begin with prayer-
Our history, [Lisa] moved to Grinnell at end of 8th grade, asked out 3x [by Scott] before saying yes, dating, college years, married June 18, 1983- So naïve that we got married, lived in a $200 a month second floor of a rundown house, had $500 in our bank account and neither one of us had a full-time job :):), would you let your kids do that? :) None of that mattered to us because we just wanted to do life together. Work out the details later :) I would describe us as a young couple who didn’t have a plan, but then also did have a plan- we did want to try to establish jobs for each of us before we planned on starting a family. Forever grateful to James and Dave Van Arkel for letting Scott work as a farmhand from June to December until he was hired at Grinnell Mutual and to the Grinnell School district who hired Lisa as a para- figured out she wanted her own classroom so went back to school as a non-traditional student. Commuted to Central College from Grinnell for two years, then once that was done, we felt it appropriate to think about a family then and we’ll speak more about that later.
Our Strengths- Ephesians 4:2-3 “ Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bonds of peace”. Common interests [such as athletics, and giving back to their community after having so many influencers in their lives], having parents who modeled what a healthy, loving, respectful marriage looks like. Role models in the Newburg/Chester Church. Both being supportive of what each other’s life was going to look like- going back to school, teaching, coaching, supportive of the time it takes to try to do these things well. [They were encouragers to each other, and they continually stretch and grow each other.]
Our struggles- Wondering if we would ever be parents? [They shared with us a] Story of making trips to Ames to see a fertility Dr. Once on a Christmas morning?? Miscarriages [the feeling of letting each other down in this area]? Leaned on our parents, each other, our faith that it would happen one way or another. Once we did have children and as they grew up, Balancing our wanting to be involved in community groups, activities, etc. yet still be there for each other and our children. [Often held] Family Meetings when things in our household “didn’t seem right or out of balance”..........[working through the struggles together].
[Common Thread in their lives] How God and our faith journey has helped our marriage- how have we grown? Priorities changed from when we were younger. Softball tournaments on Sunday mornings………now if we miss worship there is a ‘hole’ in the week. Being around other believers/Godly men and women. Being active in our church as Faith Friends for Confirmation program, Sunday School teachers for several years, small group dinner groups, committees, etc……..continues to foster our Faith Journey with Christ and creates good habits for things like- Putting others before self, praying that we are on the right path, modeling for our children, be quick to listen and slow to speak, 1 Peter 4:8- Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. [Love bears all things]. James 1:19-20 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Because we are all human, this is not easy to do. All we can do is keep trying!!!
What are our non-negotiables- We are best friends, act and treat each other as such :), We are a team [no individual roles…on the same page]!!!! Always listen, respectful disagreements (disagreeing well…don’t argue, talk through differences, modeled by parents), be understanding, Support we showed each other [their relationship focuses on bringing out the best in each other] - Lisa coaching…..Family time - Sunday Night [was always set aside as] Family Time, Don’t go to bed angry at the other, as our kids grew up through activities we made it a priority for us to attend as a family- this was especially fun for Brandon when his sisters had dance recitals:) we felt it was very important to support as a family. Family vacations / stay cations. Another non-negotiable was or kids going to church. We instilled into them at an early age that Sunday School and Church was an expectation that we all attended. [Grounded in God and Family…now their kids find family and church to be important to them. They enjoy time together, etc. They enjoy involvement in FCA].
How do we resolve conflict? Intentionally, we do not have much. As a family- we would have intentional family meetings if things seemed “off” somehow in our household. Explain what we did. United front- avoided pitting one of us against the other. Communicate and share feelings. We are both pretty even keel. We each have our “hot” buttons. Keep in mind to stay calm. Have we ever raised our voice at one another? Don’t think so………...Never called each other names. Never make anything a “personal attack”. Respect, cliché’
Our best advice- Being in a healthy marriage does not just happen. Intentionally work at it in a fun, loving way. Commit to the Journey, Stay in Love, Continue to date each other. No matter if you have a background in athletics or not- Do Not Keep Score :) Kiss each other goodbye and hello even though it grossed out the kids, this included in the middle of the kitchen cooking supper or at the occasional AAU bb tournament in the bleachers.
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, a pastor, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter