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Men and Relationships: What Works and What Doesn’t (Part 1 of 2)

Men and Relationships: What Works and What Doesn’t (Part 1 of 2)

Authors Greg Smalley and his brother Michael help men know how to better communicate and interact within their primary relationships, especially their marriages. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: April 26, 2021

(Sound Effects)

John Fuller: Well, that sounds like quite a bit of construction, uh, going on, doesn’t it? And whether you’re in the house working on a simple repair, uh, or you’ve got something a little more complex, you need the right tool for the job. Today on Focus on the Family, we’re going to talk about a different kind of handyman project, one that might challenge you as a husband and a father, but with the right set of tools, you can succeed. Your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly, and I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Uh, John, I’ve admitted this many times, but I am not a handyman. Uh, that was never really part of my skillset. It was more like, run-

John: (laughs)

Jim: … when I was a kid. And, uh, I’ve never really learned a lot of the basic stuff. But I do have an outstanding tool chest in my garage. It’s filled with all the right tools. In fact, I know my brother, brother-in-laws, come over. They always go, “Wow. You got some amazing tools.” Like, a circular saw, never used it once. (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Jim: But I’ve got it in my garage.

John: But you’ve got it in case they wanna use it.

Jim: Yeah, yeah. They could start up a wood shop there, in my garage, with the stuff I’ve got. But it just makes me feel proud that I’ve got the tools. Never really know how to use ’em, but that’s the point. Uh, so much in our life is like that, right? We, we have the tools, but we don’t know how to use them. And we want to talk today, particularly to men. I think women are gonna lean into this, too, to say, “Yeah. That’s my husband.” Because it’s the 80/20 rule. About 80% of us guys operate pretty much with the same kind of modality, and there may be 20% that are outliers. But we’re gonna cover today why it’s hard for us as men to do the things our wives want us to do. (laughs) It’s that simple.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: And we got two great guests to cover it with us.

John: We do. And the context for our program today is, uh, for healthy, loving relationships, where husbands, and wives, and parents, and kids generally get along, not, uh, facing serious issues.

Jim: That’s right, John. And we have, uh, many other broadcasts where we address concerns about marriage or parenting, for that matter. If you’re struggling in those areas in a deep way, I wanna urge you to contact us here at Focus on the Family.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: We got great Christian counselors who can help and even refer you to other counselors in your area. But today’s conversation is more like Communication 101. Uh, we’re gonna do a refresher course to help us analyze what’s working and where we may need some improvements, right? And by the way, Greg, uh, I haven’t introduced you yet, but Greg Smalley, our, uh, Vice President of Marriage. You did a great job with that assessment tool on marriage. It’s free. People can go to our website and take it. We’ve had over a million people do that. Th- that’s a great success.

Greg Smalley: Yeah, it’s fun just to see couples understand, where are they strong? So we’re showing their strengths as well as a few growth areas. And it gives couples just a, a nice easy, simple way-

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: … just to focus on what, what, what can we do just to have a stronger marriage this year?

Jim: Yeah, if you think about it, it takes five to seven minutes to do it. And if you don’t have that much time for your marriage, you definitely need to call our counselors then. (laughs)

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: But what a great way to just assess where you’re at.

John: Yeah.

Jim: And, uh, obviously I’ve introduced Greg kind of, uh, you know, around the bend. But his brother Dr. Michael Smalley is also with us, who’s CEO of Smalley Institute in Houston, Texas. Good to have you, Michael.

Michael Smalley: Thank you.

Jim: Now your dad, uh, you know, unfortunately passed away a while back and but he went-

Michael: Wait, he did?

Jim: (laughter) Come on.

Michael: Oh, no.

Jim: He’s in heaven now.

Michael: I remember, I was there.

Jim: (laughter) But, uh, you know, he must have been really proud of the two of you. You both kind of followed in his footsteps, right?

Greg: Yeah.

Michael: I think-

Greg: I mean, he was more proud of me, but-

Michael: (laughter) I was-

Greg: … We’re proud of Michael. [crosstalk]

Michael: … literally going to use that line. (laughter)

Greg: I could see where you were going there.

Michael: I was. It was, and you interrupted me.

Jim: You can see where this is going today.

Michael: It’s like childhood all over again. (laughter)

Jim: Don’t you also have just a poor sister?

Greg: (laughs) She, she’s our oldest sister, and, yeah. She, she, she lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and family.

Jim: A- when you guys get together how does she fare with the two of you?

Greg: Oh, I think she-

Jim: Holds her own?

Greg: … wins. (laughter) Most of the time.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: Yeah, she’s remarkably strong (laughs).

Jim: Maybe that’s the next book about sibling rivalry that you guys need to [crosstalk]-

Michael: And our family love language, it’s, it’s a, kind of a slightly unpopular love language. And I’ve actually talked with Gary many times trying to get him to add this one, but the love language of sarcasm-

Jim: (laughs) Yeah, right.

Michael: … is our family mode.

Greg: Mm-hmm.

Michael: So, she hangs in there real well.

Greg: She does.

Jim: Yeah, that’s not typically one of your healthier love languages (laughter). But I get it. It’s fun.

John: Well, Greg and Michael have written a number of books together about marriage and family life. And they do have decades of experience, as Jim has mentioned, uh, counseling couples and families, and speaking to family issues. And a few years ago they wrote a book with the late Gary Smalley called Men’s Relational Toolbox. And we have that here. Give us a call, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Well, we’re finally back to the toolbox analogy. It took me a while to get there, but, uh, tell us why the toolbox is so good when it comes to the men’s metaphor of marriage.

Greg: Yeah, I think so many times it’s easy to pick on men. It’s easy to talk about our deficits, what we’re not doing well. And we really wanted to write this book to encourage guys. To go, “God has given us some amazing tools to help us to be successful at work, and, and as a protector, as a provider within our family. And we need to celebrate those.” Th- those are, those are important tools. And so we’re not asking men and suggesting, “Well, you need to change.” What we’re encouraging them to do is just to add some other tools into their already full toolbox that will help them within their marriage, within their family as they deal with relationships. We just noticed there’s some tools that can really, really help.

Jim: And, uh, Michael let me aim this one at you. Uh, what are some of the stories or examples that you have about men love and even revere their tools?

Michael: Well, you, you kind of mentioned at the beginning the 80/20, that 80% of men are generally the same. I am an outlier, so I- I’m horrible with tools. But men generally love them. The, you know, for me the most important thing behind the book for me was to honor men. To go, like, I’m just, I, we got tired of hearing men being constantly bashed. And I say this all the time at, at my live events, “Look, men aren’t dumb relationally. We do relationships different. That doesn’t make it wrong. It’s just different, right?” And where women can get in trouble trying to even relate with their husband is they can belittle how men are, how we relate. We’re more physical. When you’re on a little playground you’re gonna see all the little boys, what are we doing? Wrestling, jumping around, tag. What are the girls doing, sitting around, talking. And we do that all, all the way into adulthood. And, and so, it, it’s really just to make sure that guys understand, “You can do this, there’s just some stuff that you need to add.”

Jim: Yeah, and, and it is a cognitive exercise, ’cause if we’re just left to our nature, the nature will be to run around the playground and tackle each other (laughter).

Michael: I mean, your wife isn’t gonna wanna wrestle all the time, (laughter) right? Which we do, that’s why men, we play. We’re the one’s, you know, in the parenting model, we’re playing, and wrestling, and throwing, and…

Jim: The story of how we revere our tools. I think he had, uh, uh, example of Robert in the book who somehow lost his tools. What was that story about?

Greg: Yeah, someone actually found it. So, I think someone came in and, and actually took his, his prized tools.

Jim: Out of his garage?

Greg: Yeah, and he was so disturbed. He was so discouraged and depressed. And then another guy (laughs) just randomly, just finds this discarded tool belt. And, you know, the tools were taken and kind of brings that back. And they have this great moment of embracing. And he’s all teary-eyed (laughter) and-

Jim: The guy brought his belt back.

Greg: … and the wives are like, “Are you serious?”

Jim: (laughter)

Greg: Yeah, ’cause Jim, I’m more like you that I’m not particularly handy. And, and when our father did pass away, because we lived in the same neighborhood in Colorado, he, I, I kind of got all his tools. Michael came and took what he wanted, but-

Michael: (laughs)

Greg: … “I’ve got all of these tools. I don’t even know what they’re for.” I had a neighbor come over and we’re talking, and he spots something, he’s like, “Oh my gosh, where did you get this?” And I’m, I’m, I don’t even know what it’s for.

Jim: (laughs) What does it do?

Greg: And so, he’s rummaging, looking. And he’s like, “Oh my gosh. This is so impressive.” And he instantly then thought I was just this amazing handy man. And I never could work up the courage to say, “I really don’t even know what that tool is.”

Jim: Yeah, I bought a router something, I think. It’s supposed to cut grooves. (laughs) What is it, John?

John: It’s not, I think it’s called a router.

Michael: A miter saw.

Jim: Oh, okay. [crosstalk]

Michael: You connect to the internet with it (laughter). Right?

Greg: This is our problem.

Jim: The rou- (laughs) That I can handle. Okay, you mentioned the God-given, uh, tools that g- he gives to us men. Describe what i- a couple of those are. Just give us a description of what normally a man is gifted with.

Greg: Yeah, I think one is, uh, just the ability to pursue and deal with facts. And, you know, like when I’m talkin’ to my wife Erin, I mean, I’m, I’m listening so I can hear the facts. What, what do I need to solve, fix. Just Valentine’s Day a couple years ago, I asked Erin, “Okay, so I, we’re on a budget. I’m gonna give you x dollars, you know, towards, you know, flowers, candy, a gift card. Do you want it all as a gift card or spread it out?”

Jim: (laughs) Oh, you’re negotiating here.

Greg: So I’m f- I’m task, you know, oriented, focusing on the facts, and so she goes, “Yeah, just give it to me as a, as a, we- just one gift card.”

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: So I fell for that because, and I don’t know if, Jim, if you remember this, but then she ends up at the grocery store right before we were gonna cook a meal together at our home. And she’s standing at the register, looks and notices some flowers. Remember she said that she didn’t want. She buys them or is in line to buy them and who would you know is standing behind my wife but one Jim Daly.

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: He looks at her holding flowers on Valentine’s Day-

Jim: Oh, yeah, I do remember this.

Greg: … and goes, “Wh- why is the wife of my Vice President of Marriage buying her own flowers?”

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: So, they, they still mock me to this day.

John: And you’re still here.

Jim: She was laughing, so I think it worked.

Greg: But see, I got, I got sucked in by the facts, by the, you know, the task, the, the problem solving which is what we really do well.

Michael: Which can be very helpful. I think men generally can, can be great problem solvers because of that. Uh, men tend to be able to compartmentalize which is also a good thing, right? You can’t necessarily allow chaos in one area now destroy all the other things you’re doing in life. So men tend to be better at compartmentalizing which is a good thing.

Jim: Yeah.

Michael: It’s not bad, uh, but really, I think the heart of the book for me is, is going, hey, you’ve married a woman, so guess what? (laughs) There are things that we need to learn but it’s not about changing who you are as a guy.

Jim: Well-

Michael: You should be honored as that. I can add to it.

Jim: Yeah, and let me, let me admit that we’re four guys sitting at a table here and (laughs), you know, we’ve got a lot of women listening to us and men too. But, uh, we do need to acknowledge that. I think we come into marriage thinking we’ve got all the God given talent-

Greg: Right.

Jim: … that we need to make this successful.

Greg: Right.

Jim: Why do those gifts, as you describe them, Greg, why, why do those gifts become, uh, insufficient in marriage all of a sudden. You know, the fact finding, the accountability, the, um, you know, idea to detail problem solving. We’re all sittin’ here nodding, yes, that’s very good. That’s, I love that.

Greg: Yeah, it’s beautiful. I see a tear in John’s eye. Exactly. [crosstalk]

Jim: The gift that you have. Yeah, man, you are awesome. And then our wives’ step in here and the four of them are sitting around table going, “Can you believe what they just said?”

Greg: (laughs) Oh, it’s, it’s [crosstalk].

Jim: So, describe that, that very conflict right there. That what they’re looking for is what?

Michael: Well, with the women in your life, one of their primary needs is just to be, not just valued but validated, to be heard, to feel understood. And if you get too stuck on the facts, then you’re gonna miss an opportunity to connect with your wife or to connect with your daughter because it’s not about the facts. It’s about the feelings.

Jim: (laughs)

Michael: And so if you get stuck in razor focus, I did not say that. Well, that might be factually true, but that’s not the point. Your wife is wanting to be heard right now in this moment. She wants to be validated. She wants to know that, hey, I matter to… It’s one of the ways we can really help our wife feel valued, is by listening.

Jim: And I, yeah, and I don’t mean this as an excuse but we, because of our nature, we do need to develop that ability and it takes thoughtfulness.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: It doesn’t come naturally to us. I mean, if your wife is coming to you, you’re not thinkin’, oh, let’s go out and play some basketball in the, in the driveway.

Greg: Although that would be awesome. (laughs)

Jim: It would be great. But she’s looking for that emotional intimacy.

Greg: Right.

Jim: So h- how have you guys developed that muscle, that ability to say, okay, it’s not about fixin’ a problem. It’s not about collecting data. It’s about bein’ a good listener. That, that gets really tiring. I mean, your, your tank for that ability (laughs)… ‘Kay, am I bein’ a little too, uh, self-aware?

John: You’re being very vulnerable. I appreciate that.

Jim: But it, I mean, it, it, it drains you pretty quick ’cause you’re not wired for that.

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: So how do you compensate? How do you mentally go, okay, I gotta be in, fill up the tank, and go for this?

Greg: Yeah. It is just recognizing that when I’m dealing with, with my wife, Erin, it just requires a different tool. So that, that, that’s the point. It’s not that I have to abandon what I’m so good at. It’s just recognizing that. Th- the other day, Erin asked me to help her move a chair into her o- home office. A- she’s a counselor so, so she needed this chair and so… Which sounds like a totally easy win for our marriage. Well, within seconds we were in this big argument.

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: ‘Cause I’m, you know, I’m take- I’m using the take charge tool. I’m using the problem-solving tool. I mean the things that I do really well and she was already frustrated because she was late for an appointment with, with one of her clients and they had texted saying, “We’re here.” And so she had to run to the office to do that. And so, she’s just asking me to help her real quick and, and so I’m just goin’, “You, we’ve gotta lift this thing over your desk. We can put it in there and we’re done.” And the chair just f- it just, it wasn’t working. So I’m tellin’ her, I go, “I’m d- Lift with your legs.”

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: And she shot me this look that said, “Did you seriously just tell me to lift with my legs?” And thus, we got in this big argument and, and looking back, see, the, the problem was I was, I was really using the natural tools well. In that moment, I needed to recognize that what she really needed from me was that understanding tool. That tool that’s patient listener, that’s noticing that she’s already overwhelmed and frustrated. Something’s goin’ on. I could see it in her body language but I was so trying to solve this problem of moving the chair that I missed it. So I think for, for, for a lot of us, it’s just recognizing in those moments that, that dealing with, with our wives is probably gonna require a different tool so what, what’s going on? So which tool do I need reach into the tool bag and grab? And I wish I could’ve done the whole patient, listening tool.

Jim: Right.

Greg: It’s just, it’s just hard. I mean, we miss it at times.

Michael: And I would, I would argue that Jesus does not give us an out on improving, on understanding others, on loving them in ways that are meaningful to them. And so, just because I might not be naturally gifted, that’s why that relationship with Christ is so huge ’cause, because of the Holy Spirit, right? I might not be naturally gifted at something, but because of Christ, because of the power of the Holy Spirit living in me, yes, you can become a better listener.

Jim: Yeah.

Michael: You don’t have to be whoever. I can’t think of one famous good listener right now.

John: (laughs)

Michael: Not one.

Jim: Well, but you know what you’re saying there, Michael, is perhaps the very definition-

Greg: Jesus is the answer.

Jim: … of why marriage is marriage. The, the reason the Lord did it, right?

Michael: Yeah.

Jim: Is for us to be more like him which means selfless and laying our lives down. It’s really hard. (laughs)

Michael: I mean it, yeah, it, it, it’s like my father is a great example. He was a knucklehead. He, he was raised in a home with a pretty abusive-

Greg: This is why I was his favorite, by the way, yeah, so, because of that.

Jim: (laughs)

Michael: … But, well, his, our dad’s dad, so our grandfather was h- kind of an abusive man, an alcoholic. They were very, very poor. I mean, he just, he had zero example, so when he got married, I know that their first five years was rough. And it was, like, apparently my mother had some sort of come to Jesus conversation with him. Like, look, when he missed, you know, he would continually miss Valentine’s to play basketball with junior high kids. You know, stuff like that and not even be aware that, I have a wife.

Jim: (laughs)

Michael: And so, he, and, and what we encourage everybody to do this, is he went on a journey to learn. And by the time I was born, he wasn’t a hugger, he wasn’t soft, he wasn’t a physically affectionate kind of guy. That’s not how he was raised. By the time I was born, because he made the choice and, Jim, that’s what I would probably hone in on. Is he said, “This is important. My wife needs this. My daughter, my sons need this and I wanna be the best father possible, so I gotta learn to hug.” And it starts awkward, like anything. Like, I’m not good at this but I’m choosing, but through the Holy Spirit and just through doing it, it gets easier and easier where then eventually it really does become more natural.

Jim: Yeah, that’s good.

John: Hm, this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and our guests today are Dr. Michael Smalley and Dr. Greg Smalley and they’ve written this book, Men’s Relational Toolbox. And we have that just out by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: You know, Gary had such a great, uh, observation capability and I know one of the things that he talked about was the word usage between men and women. And many of us in the Christian community refer to that now. It’s, it’s become kinda just part of our vocabulary, but it was your dad that really honed in on that and described it here at Focus on the Family many times with Dr. Dobson. But speaking about how many words a man uses in a day, how many a woman uses. Refresh our memory on that.

Greg: Yeah, I think it’s like women typically use about 30,000 words and I think men about half of that, so about 15.

Jim: Yeah.

Greg: And I know for me when, when I’m at work that in going to meetings and doing what we’re doing here at Focus, that it, it is hard. I, I’ve used a lot of those words and, and it is hard to come home and then I know that my wife so longs for me to reveal what’s really going on. And that’s why one of the first tools that we talk about is the open sharing tool-

Jim: Right.

Greg: … and that’s because women so crave that, that, you know, God created us to know and be known. And it’s easy for me to ask Erin questions and, and to know her. It, it’s harder for me to be more vulnerable, to be more transparent and to be open in allowing her to really see what’s going on inside. It’s easy for me to answer, you know, when she says, “Y- so how’re you doin’?” “Um, I’m good. I’m fine.” And, and, and yet, I’ve, I’ve learned that when Erin and I do have that opportunity, she wants to know me. And so I wanna give her insight. And one of the ways that we’ve done this really easy, ’cause that’s hard. You know, e- even for the work that Michael and I do with, with couples and counseling, it’s so hard for me just to be super enthusiastic about, yeah, let me just start talkin’ to Erin. And what she’s done over the years, is she’ll ask me, “What was the high of your day?” And then, “What was the low of your day?” What was the rose of your day? The thorn? Whatever, pick your, pick your picture. But it’s really good because that’s helped me to then just describe, okay, here’s what happened that, that was actually really good. You know, I, I had to present to- somethin’ to Jim Daly and he actually liked it for once, finally.

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: Or, you know, what was really hard is-

Michael: That’s just fantasy, by the way.

Jim: Thank you, Michael.

Greg: … I know. I was, I’m seeding this ’cause I do have to make a presentation here shortly to Jim so I’m just seeding what I hope he says to me.

Michael: Hey, just get to the point.

Greg: (laughs) The point is that’s a really simple way to use that open sharing tool is to ask each other, what was the high of your day and the low of your day.

Jim: Let me, let me ask you this, Michael, and Greg certainly jump on, but the, I wanna hone in for the women about that compartmentalization that men so easily do. And I think that’s part of our biochemistry as little boys in the womb we have the testosterone wash and it kind of, uh, you know, takes us in a certain direction. But one of the powerful things that we can do is we can compartmentalize-

Greg: Yeah.

Jim: … y- World War Two if you ever talked to anybody that lived through that, that participated in it, those guys never talked about it-

Greg: Right. You had to do that to survive.

Jim: … They co- they compartmentalized it and, and, uh, we do that in so many ways. We don’t want to be that open about things ’cause we just put it in that drawer, and we don’t open it again. H- how do we become more in touch with that, so our wives feel like they actually know us?

Michael: Yeah, I think it starts by being open to getting to know your wife, getting a PhD in your wife. Uh, that is critical because we are talking a lot of generalities, right? And I happened to marry a woman that’s not very talkative and I rarely keep my mouth shut. So we’re kinda opposite in that so for me to hear this program, right, and then just to run home and go, let’s talk, chat, chat, chat. Y- that’s not gonna necessarily be meaningful for my wife. But when it comes to guys being able to put their feelings in a box, right, that they have to understand their wife is interconnected with everything. Yeah, right, and so one of the mistakes both men and women make is we look at that and we just go, that’s wrong, because it’s different, right? Like, I don’t do that. I can have this bad thing going on and I can put it in a box and keep it there and not worry about it. Your wife can’t. So trying to be empathic about that, trying to be understanding about that.

Jim: Yeah.

Michael: Recognizing that, hey, if I’m wanting to engage intimacy wise with my wife, it does matter to my wife that the house is clean.

Jim: (laughs) Right.

Michael: As a guy I’m like-

Jim: What?

Michael: … I don’t, you know, need anything to happen just to have, to be with you. But it’s important for her so to have a heart to wanna meet those needs, right? To be able to… I have a great ti- Like, early on wh- we were married in Branson and, uh, Amy was doing an intensive all day and so I had the kids but we’d already, I’d already kinda turned that crock pot on in the morning, like, hey, maybe tonight. She was like, maybe. Which guys, don’t be discouraged by those answers.

Jim: (laughs)

Michael: Most women, they don’t just, you know-

Jim: Commit.

Michael: … Men are like microwaves, right? We’re like, we’re on, ready to go. And so my wife is definitely a crock pot when it comes to sexual intimacy. So by the end of the evening or by lunch, we talked, she was like, “I’m actually excited about tonight.” I’m like, “Woo-hoo.” When I realized she was about to come home, I knew I have to have the kids in bed and it was about 4:30.

Jim: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Michael: So, my, I’ll never forget my oldest was, like, five and I’m putting into bed. He goes-

Jim: “Daddy.”

Michael: … “But dad, the sun’s still out.” I’m like, “Quiet, boy. This is a very important time for me tonight.”

Jim: (laughs)

Michael: So I get them down, I run downstairs, excited about an evening with my wife, and realize it’s all a disaster.

Jim: Yeah.

Michael: So I’m cleaning everything up. I’m actually spraying, uh, ammonia into the air ’cause that’s a natural aphrodisiac for my wife-

Jim: (laughs)

John: (laughs)

Greg: (laughs)

Michael: … the smell of ammonia. I don’t know why.

Greg: Pine Sol.

Michael: And so, I’m spraying that everywhere and then I actually put the dishes from the sink in the dishwasher [inaudible]

Greg: Wow, you’re pulling it all out.

Michael: … and I can’t make this up. This is honest what happened. So now I’m just ready and I’m sitting watching ESPN or somethin’. I hear my wife come in the back by the, through the garage which comes into the kitchen. That’s like the point of entry, right? I’m, like, “Oh, gosh. What did I miss?” Yeah, exactly. And so, all I hear from behind me is my wife in a sultry, very sexy voice, say, and I quote, “Is that the dishwasher?” And I thought, huh, I get the tone and I like the tone. I don’t understand the word. So, I just kinda stood up and played along with that. I went, “Um, yes, it is.” She goes, “That is so sexy.” And I went, “Oh, well, I do have it on hot cycle.”

John: (laughs)

Jim: (laughs)

Greg: (laughs)

Michael: So those things matter.

John: Well, we were obviously having some fun in the studio with Michael and Greg Smalley here on Focus on the Family talking about the book they co-wrote with their father, the late Gary Smalley. It’s called Men’s Relational Toolbox.

Jim: John, one of the reasons I love the Smalley family is because they are so genuine and open about their lives and they have a great sense of humor, as we can tell.

John: They do, yeah.

Jim: Uh, they’re honest about the mistakes they’ve made, and they share good insights about how we can love, serve, and sacrifice for one another in marriage. And for the men listening, we really need to step up and learn how to communicate better with our wives. Uh, we probably get, you know, tired of hearing that but it’s so true and it’s not hard to do. And Greg and Michael have gotten us off to a great start with the tools they’ve described today. And we’re gonna dig in even deeper on this subject matter, uh, next time. Uh, meanwhile contact us about getting a copy of Men’s Relational Toolbox. Uh, it’s an easy read and I know you’re going to, uh, relate to the practical encouragement in the book. And if you can send a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family, we’ll put a copy into your hands as our way of saying thank you for helping us to help others.

John: And, uh, this is such a great resource. Donate and get your copy today by calling 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: John, we’ve discussed marriage in pretty upbeat terms today, but we know there are husbands and wives listening to us right now who are struggling in a deeper way and Focus on the Family is here for you as well. We have lots of resources to help you. And it’s best illustrated by a comment we received from a woman, we’ll call her Joanna, who asked to speak with one of our Christian counselors. Joanna said, “My husband and I were going through a rough patch about three years ago. And then we found out I was pregnant with our third child. The timing was very stressful for us. We argued over everything.” The Focus counselor offered some godly advice about resolving their conflict and pointed Joanna to our marriage assessment where couples can quickly learn, uh, what’s working well and maybe what’s not working as well- (laughs) … and as a result, uh, these resources helped Joanna and her husband get their marriage back on the right track. And today they are healthier and happier than they’ve ever been. And that’s why Focus on the Family is here, helping real families find real hope no matter what their situation may be. And if you’ve never supported Focus on the Family, let me encourage you to partner with us to rescue hurting marriages today. Uh, working together we can bring godly encouragement and hope to more couples like Joanna and her husband. So please be generous with your support of Focus on the Family.

John: Contact us today to learn more about how to donate, uh, to take advantage of our counseling services or, uh, to find that marriage assessment that Jim mentioned. Our number again, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY or details are at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Well, on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for joining us today for this episode of Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back next time as we continue the discussion with Greg and Michael Smalley and once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

Today's Guests

Men's Relational Toolbox

Receive the Smalleys' book Men's Relational Toolbox for your donation of any amount!

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