Marriage Tips as we reflect on 21 Years together – Part 2

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Episode Summary

Your marriage matters and there’s a lot you can do today that nurtures a thriving marriage long into the future. In this second part of the two-part series, you will get tons of practical advice as Isaac and Angie reflect on the things they actually consistently did that have made a huge difference for them.

Marriage can be the most powerful or destructive team. There are so many things that you can consistently do that nurture a thriving marriage for the long-term. In this part-two episode, you will get the second group of tips from the Tolpin’s 21 years of marriage. These are the things they consistently did that made a significant impact. If you just do a couple of these right away you can start to see an impact in your own marriage.

In This Episode We Cover:

  1. Encourage each other
  2. Have no secrets
  3. Have mutual accountability
  4. Challenge each other to grow 
  5. Forgive
  6. Love well
  7. Live out your purpose of existence together

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Scripture In This Episode:

Hebrews 10:23-24 –Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,”

Proverbs 12:15 –The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.”

Proverbs 15:22 –Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established.”

Ephesians 4:32 – “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 –Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; love never fails…”

Matthew 28:19-20 –Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”

Matthew 22:37 – “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”

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Full Transcript:

Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom, and I’m Isaac from Resolute Man. We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible, we can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children.

Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting.

Ok, you guys ready for part two, you guys, we are so excited about this next session, right? Like we’re we’re going to be talking about eight more points, things that we’ve been reflecting on. And you guys have listened to any of our podcasts. Don’t they get better the longer that they go on? So this is kind of like us jumping into the middle of all of the things that we’ve recognized have been a huge impact factor in our marriage.

Wow, we get some energy going when we talk about marriage.

This is fun. I know. Well, we used to do these marriage seminars and they were so much fun. Yeah, yeah. we will have to start doing that kind of stuff again someday.

You never know. But you know what? We appreciate you guys being part of the one million Legacy’s movement, whether you share on social media, promote the podcast, promote it to your church. You know, what’s also cool is the parenting mentor program, people joining that. But groups in churches are starting to join. Churches are playing our promo video of the parenting program in front of the church and groups are joining up. And it’s really neat to see that. And the people that are impacted by that, it’s incredible.

Yeah, you know what I was just thinking about to just right now, what we’re dealing with with uncertain times, there are a lot of churches that are actually not meeting together right now. And so I think that we’ve seen a bit of an influx with churches wanting to sign up as groups and do this together to support parents because they realize that they’re actually parenting more than they used to be if their kids are not in school. Yeah. And they want to give support to them, but they can’t meet at their local church. Right. So they’re looking for programs that are biblically based. So if that’s you if that’s your church guys reach out to Isaac, at [email protected]. We can work something out.

So we will get into the content in the second. We have six points. So we’re going to move quickly, but they’re very good. These are reflections looking back on our marriage for 21 years, because we just had our anniversary. On what are the things we’re most thankful for, the decisions we made and are consistently making that day to day life so much better and have made a really big difference in our marriage and fruitfulness in our family and so forth. So we’re going to be talking about that. But on iTunes or wherever you are, when you leave a review, a written one, we read them. We appreciate them.

And on iTunes, if you just hit the hit, the hit to tap five stars is going to tap tap something like that if I can speak.

I’m learning how to speak here today. It really helps the algorithms and helps the podcast get more exposure and helps the movement and all that. So we just so thank you for that and for the donations coming in for what’s going on. We just so appreciate it. It is so meaningful and so helpful. And all the show notes and free resources, a couple of free workshops at hit podcast.

You can get all that stuff. Awesome. So let’s dive in. Yeah. So you guys, we covered seven in the last one. We covered the importance of date nights that the D word divorce is never an option. Yeah. Don’t let your identity of your marriage become wrapped up in the kids. Prioritize family over business and industry, build team projects together.

You get to hear the projects we’ve done.

Yeah. Have fun together. Yeah. And seeking the kingdom together. We’re going to start out with this next one, which is to encourage and build one another up.

Man, that could have been number one if we were like prioritizing order.

That might be, the most important one, but I like these are not in any particular order.

I like where it is. I’m just saying, like, yeah, that is so important.

It really is. In fact, you know what, guys? I don’t I mean, we recommend books every now and again. We recommend a lot in the mentor program. Man, I get a lot of messages from mom saying, hey, do you have recommendations for girls on teaching them about body image? And I’m like, you know what that is in our purity section of our parenting program. And so I just wanted to just put a little plug in for that because there are hundreds of resources and coupons for some of those resources in the parenting program. Yeah, but one of the first books that we read before we were married was Building your Mate’s Self-esteem by Dennis and Barbera Rainy.

And by the way, sometimes the time and place in your life makes a book really good. That’s true. So we haven’t looked at it since we were before married.

No, but it was such a good concept. It was good for us then. So I know we’re recommending it. So, yeah, that’s true.

We haven’t read it for over twenty one years, but it was helpful to us, the process of reading it and we committed to reading it out loud together to each other.

Yeah. It was a great way to start. That was before we were married. So that was like how we founded our relationship was reading together. I love that. I love that.

That was fun. That was a good job. And it was good practice listening to each other.

It really was. Yeah. Yeah. And actually paying attention to what’s being read. Sometimes it can be hard to listen to something that’s being read to you out loud. So it’s good practice.

You know what was a benefit back then? We didn’t have smartphones. Oh yeah. That didn’t exist. So and there was no social media. So we just listened to each other read this book. So good.

Ok, so there’s an exercise, a recommendation of something you could do. You could read a book together. Yeah, but I want to read to you from Hebrews 10:24, which you guys, you know, I am just pulling this out, but really this I always say this, this whole section is so it applies to right now how come it is that everything we’re reading? I feel like, oh, this is perfect for these uncertain times because the Bible is alive and active.

And that’s so amazing. The Bible is so cool that we’re OK.

So Hebrews Chapter Ten, if you really wanted to read about the having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus in the consecrated, you guys have to read verse 19. Hold fast your confession of your faith. OK, so then it says in verse twenty three, let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful and let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.

Not forsaking the assembly of ourselves together as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another and so much more.

As you see the day Capital D approaching. We know what day he’s talking about.

I was just thinking of the visual like two pots on a stove. I don’t know, I’m not a cook or anything. But you have two soups and you got two spoons, right. And you get all the mixtures are separated and they’re kind of just separated. They’re not they don’t taste good. But you have you’re this pot over here on this pot over here. And then I come over to your pot and I stir up. So it tastes good. Stir it up and use mind, right? We’re supposed to stir each other into good work.

That’s good. Yeah, I like that. So a lot of times what we do is we stir our own pot. Right. But we need to stir eachothers pots. Gotcha. Yeah. I don’t know if that worked, but it works for me.

She’s looking at me. I love him.

I love him. He’s always got a story. OK, so you guys on this encouraging and building one another up. Yeah. It’s so important to God. It tells us to stir one another up to love and good works. And that’s what we’re doing when we’re building one another up. Isn’t it true that sometimes in your marriage maybe you get down or your husband gets down when you’re not down? It’s like one or the other, right? Sometimes you both struggle. Those are the hardest times right. But you need one another to remind each other who you are in Christ, because it’s easy to forget sometimes and you need help taking your thoughts captive or just remembering that you need to right and and to call that out and go. Actually, that’s not true about you. That’s a lie from the enemy. You need to take your thought captive. I don’t know how many times I’ve had to preach that to myself, but I know that I’ve had to say to you before, I had to say it to me before. And so that’s encouraging one another, exorting one another, but exorting one another and so much more as the day approaches now, it’s so much more. So much more.

If one of you has a critical spirit, a critical spirit looks for the wrong and somebody and so if somebody in the marriage relationship has a critical spirit, the other person is not going to want to share and be vulnerable about their challenges because a critical spirit will accentuate the negative. Yeah, and so so they’ll just keep private to themselves. And that’s not cultivating a strong marriage at all. And what you want is to be receptive of each other, take it in. And while there might be a little bit of truth to something, you’re looking for the good things to stir up good works in that person. They stir up confidence in who they are in Christ and stir up and good, maybe even call out spiritual gifts in one another.

Yeah, I know that we’ve had to do that. And each other remind each other like there are times like when your business failed, right. Like you struggled with even feeling like you had the right to be leading. Right. And I don’t think I did at the time. But but you were still called to be the leader of our family. And so I had to work on and exercise my encouragement muscle. Yeah. A lot more. And I had to hold back things that were maybe more critical because that was a fragile time.

You don’t have to be able to be aware of those times my leadership actually was better during that time, I think, because I wasn’t working so hard. Yeah, but yeah, that was super, super helpful. Absolutely.

Yeah. So I think that there’s times when it’s stirring up is, is building one another self-esteem. Yeah. But it is also acknowledging the talents and gifts and one another that maybe they don’t see in each other. Yeah. It’s also just been like pointing out the things you’re thankful for in the other person’s character. Right. It’s kind of like what you do. I mean, I’m going to say with your kids or with your friends or with any person like think of how when you’re being kind to someone and you’re wanting to build someone up right. Where you see something that’s really fruitful in them, if you just keep it to yourself, that’s that’s not a benefit. Like the Holy Spirit has revealed something to you about someone else. Yeah, that’s kind. And maybe they need that word of affirmation. That’s another thing that can be really encouraging. So building one another up has been I would say for me, it’s one of the top, most important things that we’ve done over the years in our marriage and building up the marriage to in front of each other.

Yeah, I we’re so good at this together or. Right. You know, remember that thing we did together. We can do this.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So really important. OK, number two.

Number two, no secrets. That is so important. You have to have implicit trust amongst one another. And how can you have that. If there’s secrets and if there are secrets, it’s time to come clean.

Hmm. If not now than when we used it in the last episode now im using it differently which is when is the best time to come clean? Now. Right.

I mean, first John even talks about I don’t have that scripture out right now. But first John even talks about living, walking in the light as he is in the light so that we can have fellowship with one another. And if there are secrets, we’re actually walking in darkness and hiding things. Yeah. And it separates us from in our relationship with our spouse, with whoever maybe we’ve sinned against. But it also separates us in our relationship from God, because that’s what sin does. It separates right. And Jesus died for sin so that we could be free from it, so that we can actually live in freedom and be able to turn from it. Right. From temptation. But part of that is having accountability. We all need that because we’re not perfect. Part of that is also confessing and repenting. Right. Which means to turn away. And so there’s a need. Like, if you have secrets, I would really question like how genuine your relationship with God is because you don’t keep secrets and we give each other complete access to each other’s devices, email accounts, everything.

There’s nothing hidden. We share bank accounts to everything. So everything is transparent and that is crucial. It’s safe to have trust safe that way. And I don’t sit down with a woman without someone else there, even in work settings. And Angie does the same. I mean, it’s super important just to be above reproach, especially since we’ve been in ministry and more public. I’m so glad we’ve always been that way. Yeah, and especially when challenges come, it’s like, OK, we can be bold as lions because there’s nothing to hide, right? Yeah. There’s just nothing like we’ve lived transparently our whole lives. We’ve been consistent in who we are and that I think that’s important as we go into uncertain times. You want your marriage to be so rock solid that if an attack comes your way, you can you can stand strong because there’s there’s weak parts to be revealed. Right.

I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already is the date night one. It is a beautiful document you can download that Will has some key questions on it for your date night to just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything, a And I also just want to share real quick about the Parenting Mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self-paced program with live engagement for us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it and you can find out more at

Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children.

What Angie and Isaac have done in creating this is literally phenomenal.

This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just some really great practical applications. This class has just really rocked my world.

It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids biblically, like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things of heart.

We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind.

And it’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is.

Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it.

One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more.

We’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise lights to be leaders for the next generation. So number three is mutual accountability, and that’s kind of what we’ve just been talking about. But I want to read a couple passages of scripture that are in Proverbs just to encourage you guys, because this is a big deal in marriage to have accountability. Yeah, it’s one of the main things that you and Isaac just gave you guys some examples. But Proverbs 12:15 says the way of a fool is right in his own eyes. But he who heeds counsel is wise.

So important to have counsel and even beyond your marriage. Right. There’s other episodes on mentoring and things like that, what we believe on that. But you’ve got to have people that you literally say you implicitly trust and you say, hey, you can ask me anything and and hold you accountable to things, which is important.

Another one is in Proverbs 15:22 that says without counsel, plans go awry. But in the multitude of counselors they are established. And I think that, you know, when you’re married, that’s one of the things that for mutual accountability, like obviously we have mutual accountability with each other. But I think what we were also talking about here with number three was that we each have had accountability partners outside of our marriage. We mutually had accountability. Yeah, you with Jim, me with a.. Like, just different. There’s been a lot of different people over the years that we’ve let people speak into our lives, even just even on a local basis. That’s super important because you’re walking with people face to face to where you’ve opened up your relationships to where people know that they have that the right, the permission and the responsibility to speak into your life if they think something’s off. Yeah. So superimportant. No, for.

Number four, back each other up in your parenting.

Ok, so this is a big deal because a lot of times people don’t realize this, but kids can sometimes be one of the main sources for arguing between couples that lead to the big D word down the road.

Let me realize let me give you a test. Let’s say your kids come to you complaining about something.

That, you know, your spouse has a problem with.

Are you saying, like, they’re complaining about mom giving them a consequence or something like that?

Well, complaining about Mom in a way that you kind of feel like, well, there is some truth to that. Maybe you might be thinking that you need to back her up in front of the kids, but then you go talk to her. Right. Or there’s I’m going to get away with something with the softer parent.

That’s the kids will do it to where they’ll try to create division or like they’ll like if they want to have a friend over. And they know that parent will always say no on that parent will always say, yes, it’s OK that parent and kids should get in trouble if they create division in your marriage.

And but the only way they’re going to do that is if you allow them to do that because you’re not backing each other up. Right. You need it. Absolutely. Back each other up. Now, if you disagree, hey, back each other up, then have a meeting about it and then you can come together and talk to kids. So that can be super, super helpful, too.

Yeah. So this is a big deal, though, that you guys have to like talk about it and come up with a plan and also talk to your kids. Your kids should know that you’re united front. Yeah, always.

Yeah, absolutely. The next one is number five is challenge each other to grow and give each other time to do it. So do does your wife have time to read her Bible? Does she have time to read books?

Does she feel guilty doing those things because there’s so much on her plate in the same could go for the husband, right?

Like the wife. I’m talking to you right now. Do you expect your husband to be the spiritual leader yet not give him time to read the Bible? We’ve talked about this many times in podcast, and it’s that double standard of, yes, I want you to lead. Why aren’t you leading? But yet you’re giving them a honey do list that’s twenty miles long that they can never get through to please you. So they never feel like they can have the time to actually be studying the word and be prepared to lead.

Yeah. And in time to grow sometimes involves being out with your friends. It’s time to grow. Sometimes means going to a conference and you’re not together. Right. There’s all kinds of ways you can encourage growth in each other and we should be mentored.

Do each of you have time to go spend with someone that can speak into your life? And we’re in the season now where we’re speaking into other people’s lives. And that is a calling and we have to make time for each other to do that. And so that’s another thing that now that we’re into we’re into the over the second decade of being married, right. Where we realize, OK, this is part of our calling now. We are in this season and recognizing that that is something we have to make time for.

You know, what’s the death of this is competition. If you’re competitive with each other, you’re not going to give each other time or comparison is a version of competition. You did a whole course on comparison with women.

But in marriage, this is a big deal, too, because if you’re comparing oh, I work way harder than her or I work way harder than him, he has no idea. Then you’re not going to, like, give him time off because you’re going to be like, I deserve any if there’s any minute of time off, it’s mine, right?

Yeah, there’s that. There’s that. And it’s the same thing when, you know, sometimes husbands can think, oh, my wife’s been home all day. Yeah. She doesn’t need any time. She’s been home all day. Oh. You know what he needs done. And so the reality is, is like you both that both of those attitudes are competitive attitudes. And you guys we’re able to share these with you because we struggled with these at times. Right. And we’ve just been honest with each other and confessed those things, forgiven each other and we moved on. But we’ve realized that a lot of couples continue. They make a habit of this. It’s a competitiveness. It’s in their marriage and it’s destructive.

So we’re really thankful that we have challenged each other to grow, given each other time to do so, because each of us it’s important we’re growing individually and we’re growing in our relationship with God and growing our skills. Didn’t God make us to be people of progress? So I know that Angie looks at her role as mom very seriously. But I also understand God made her for more things than only mom, although that’s incredible. She’s also an author. She’s also a blogger. She’s also a friend. She’s also an encourager to other people. She’s also someone that enjoys doing things outside of the home. Right. And so if I’m not helping her have space for that, and encouraging those things, then she’s not able to be the complete human being that God called her to be.

Hmm. Yeah. I mean, those things definitely do make me better at what I do, and it makes her feel better at being a mom. So number six is forgiveness. Obviously, you guys were probably waiting for that one. Forgiving is one of those things that obviously you need to have a lot of your marriage over time. Because guess what, you are going to make mistakes and you’re probably going to offend one another at times because in our humanity we’re not perfect and sometimes we act in our flesh and we get selfish and we say things right or oh, yeah, maybe we don’t say things or maybe we don’t do things. Maybe we missed the mark of expectations or what not. Right. And the reality is we need to let things go. We need to overlook things.

But we also need to forgive one another in Ephesians 4:32, it says, and be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. So important to forgive and move on completely. And let’s get rid of that little habit of bringing up all the things we forgave in the past that they did you wrong. But that’s not real forgiveness. Yeah, that’s we’ve done that before. And it’s not fun and it’s not fair fighting. So.

Right. So number seven is to love. Well, and now, you know, we could we are going to actually flip to the, again, another wedding verse that’s used all the time, which is in First Corinthians, chapter 13.

But you guys, when I think of love, I think of a few things.

I think of the different kinds of love, unconditional love, friend, love, like you want to be. You want to love one another as friends. But then there’s obviously your lovers, right? There’s an intimate kind of love. Then there’s the golden rule of love, treating other people as you would want to be treated right and loving people more than yourself. Right. I think of the second commandment, love your neighbor as yourself. And and so there’s all these aspects of loving well, but they all require us to choose to love well.

And I think that it’s really crucial in a marriage that we recognize that. So I’m just going to read from First Corinthians 13, maybe you haven’t been to a wedding in a long time and you need to hear this.

Love suffers long and is kind. Love does not envy. It does not parade itself. It’s not puffed up. It does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Love never fails. Mm. OK.

And so we need to remember all of these different aspects. This is a really good passage of scripture. I know that it’s read a lot, but the reality is, is we need to have this like pinned to our refrigerators or our mirrors in our bathroom to remember I need to be reminded that love is not provoked.

Yeah, right. Love is not rude.

Love does not seek its own right. Like all of these things, love is long suffering. Right. And and so, guys, a key to marriage, success or thriving marriages to love. Well, yeah.

And then point number eight is live out purpose of existence together as a team.

So that’s a big deal. So what is our purpose like. Why are we even here. Right. Like we know that to know God, make him known to love him forever or glorify him to glorify your marriage team.

Glorify God. Mm hmm. And to make him known, which is the great commission.

And so I think that, you know, both the scriptures, obviously, Matthew. Twenty eight. You guys know Matthew. Twenty eight, which says go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. And lo I’m with you to the end of age. And I this is part of our like it’s it’s the collective mission commission, great mission of every believer.

And when you’re married you together are on that mission together. And so living out one of your purposes and then to know God and to love God is individual. But it’s also something that you do together. And I just want to read for a second from Matthew twenty to thirty seven, which says, Jesus said to them, You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And so this is another aspect. If we it’s kind of like we are saying, seek the kingdom, seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added on to you. Love the Lord, your God with your heart, mind, soul and strength. Right. It it’s literally all of us. And when we are loving God, when we are seeking him in his word, all of the things that we need to be doing, the discernment that comes with the random issues that come up pop its ugly head in marriage, like we have wisdom in God’s word to be able to deal with those. And that helps you to thrive, to get through it, to learn through the hard things, appreciate the blessings and enjoy them right, man. And so I hope you guys were super encouraged. These are just some of the most important things that we’ve learned over the last twenty one years.

Yeah. So it’s been an incredible Twenty one years of marriage and we’re just getting going. And you know what? If you’re glorifying God with. Your marriage, then there’s no question you’re being a great example for your kids, do you want your kids to have a marriage like yours? Of course, it’s a resounding yes if your marriage is glorifying God. But if it’s not, there’s things to do. And you know, the number one thing, if you’re having marriage challenges right now is to pray, pray for your spouse, because God can help. Where you maybe can’t maybe there’s nothing you can do, but God can and keep loving your spouse and that’s a huge key.

See you next time. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode.

For more resources, go to And For free online workshop’s blog posts and best selling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program, Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting package to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible self-paced program where we cover everything from obedience, training, to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You have access to our private online group, Live Webcasts and the courageous parenting text message line. Where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone.

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentor program. Secure your spot now at


Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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