Today's episode is a special one because we get to interview our own mentors, Scott & Beth Volk. For the last 20+ years, we have watched these two pour themselves into their ministry while falling deeper in love with each other and raising mature, Jesus-loving kids. And anytime we've needed advice, they're always a phone call away.
Here's a sneak peek at some of the topics we cover:
Tune in and listen to these two all-stars share some of the best marriage and parenting advice you'll hear.
All right. We are really pumped to have some special guests on today. Scott and Beth Volk. They are with us. Uh, I think we told you guys, um, a few weeks ago, we're going to have we have spoken about you guys several times, just organically on the podcast, because you guys have had such an impact on our lives and have taught us so much just by being who you are.
And being around you. You guys are like that season just ahead of us. And, um, when we first met you, you had four kids, two boys and two girls just like us. So we always look to you guys as the model couple that we wanted to model our, our marriage and our parenting after really. Wow. And so, um, several things have come up in our podcast where I'm like, I remember this time Beth told me.
And so we really wanted to, and then Jason, same with Scott. So we really wanted to have you guys on to share some of your wisdom. Yeah, and I would say more than just about any other couple out there. You guys have had an impact on us in the way that you relate with each other and the way that you parent your kids.
And just by way of introduction, Scott was our pastor. At a place called fire church for was it was it a decade scott gosh. Well, I was pastor until 2012 yes, so almost a decade and beth was raising up kiddos right alongside like tori said, uh, Just a generation not a generation a season ahead of us a season ahead of us and what's so great Uh, now Scott and Beth, they have, uh, together for Israel and fantastic.
David and I are on the board. They're fantastic nonprofit ministry. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about that in just a little bit. And, uh, and so they're there, they work together and they've got four kids, as we said, That were a season ahead of us, but then this is so awesome. I remember one day at church, what year was it?
It was 2009, uh, Scott comes up and you were how old Scott? I was 44, 44. And so excited to be, uh, almost empty nesters. And then you was, you're the same age, right? Right. Okay. And then they came to us and said, guys, we're pregnant and your youngest, what, what were the ages of your kids at the time? Go ahead, Beth.
Um, 19, 17, 15, and 13. That's basically like us getting pregnant now. Yeah. That's amazing. Well, the coolest thing was we were really looking forward to being empty nesters, and then the Lord allowed this to take place in our life, only to find out that she has been the greatest treasure ever. So, here we had our own plans.
Yes. God comes in with kind of like this semi curve ball, and it turned out to be the... Biggest blessing of our lives such a blessing and to us too because it get Lundy and live our best buds And so that's been so fun. Like we were always looking to you and then we got to parent alongside of you for once So we do want to talk about marriage first and then definitely get into some parenting.
So you guys okay with that? Sure. Fantastic And I want to ask you some questions, but . Um, when we look at all the stuff that you guys have done, especially now that you've got this international ministry, you guys work it together, you're very busy people, but yet you're the most hospitable people that we've ever met.
And your kids absolutely love you. You've got four grown kids now. Mm-hmm. and one's still in the house live, and she's 13. She's 13, right? Yeah. Yes. Okay. And they all love you. And you guys love each other. And of any couple that we could look at and say, we want to emulate them, you guys would be two of them.
And so because of that, Tor, start off with a question for them. Did we want to start out with a song like we normally do? Oh, I totally forgot. Okay. I love you for that. Scott and Beth are so great at setting a great atmosphere in their home and they're, you guys are always playing great music and you just walk in, it's so relaxing and some, one of your favorites is, tell us the name of it.
Steve Tyrell. Steve Tyrell. We love having Steve Tyrell on. Yeah. And so we're going to play one of his love songs. So I found it, found a good one. Here we go.
Oh, yeah. Come on. I'm feeling it. I'm ready to dance with you, Jason. Tori, take your hand off my leg.
That is such a good song.
That's amazing. And that's from the soundtrack of one of our favorite movies, Father of the Bride. Oh yeah, that's good. All right, Tor, jump into some questions. Okay, I'm going to start with, if you could go back to the night before your wedding and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Starting out with some of the questions I kind of have asked you over the years. Well, I, you know, you mentioned, uh, thankfully, uh, one thing that stood out to you about us is hospitality and being hospitable. And as we look back on our lives, I think one of the most amazing things for us is something that our parents Really instilled in both of us and that's the issue of hospitality which ended up I really feel like being a blessing in our children's lives and Beth is I'll let her speak to this in just a second.
But having a home that's open. Yes to where you're Being blessed to show hospitality to others has been an amazing thing that has not only benefited the guests who stayed in us because we provided shelter for them and food and a loving household, but it also benefited greatly our marriage and our Children.
You know, anywhere you see hospitality in the Bible, um, The result is life Abraham at 99 opening up, you know seeing these three guys who are really angels, but they don't come angels don't come in You know in wings and halos, right? They're men They showed up Abraham showed hospitality and the next year his barren wife becomes pregnant Rahab Opens up her home to two spies and she's saved because of hospitality.
And she's actually written about this. Harlot is written about in the new Testament. It's kind of crazy all throughout scripture. And one of the biggest things that I think that we can go back to and are thankful for, even before we got married was having a home that's open because it not only benefited our marriage, but it also benefited.
Our children who found with some of these people that we would have at our house. They found some heroes who they really looked up to and emulated and obviously couldn't have done it without Beth who Is so generous with every bed in our home and just making the house Something so maybe you can just address the whole issue of hospitality and talk about how it's benefited our children Yeah, I think, um, to start, we were both raised in hospitable homes.
Um, I just remember growing up, people ringing the doorbell at any hour and just coming in and my mom and dad welcoming them and putting out drinks and snacks and, um, we had a lot of out of town relatives that we would host on weekends and so I think it comes a little more natural to Scott and me because we were raised with it.
Um, but yeah, I mean, even times when I was worn out from hospitality, I felt like the Lord just really showed me, you know, it's not just you blessing them, but I often bring a blessing to you and it's kind of crazy how much that's happened. But also even, um, people have given testimony to me that they've been healed.
Um, about their view of marriage or their view of children by just being in our home. Wow. And you know, sometimes as a stay at home mom. Homeschooling mom you feel like you're not affecting the world. Yeah, but it's really cool when the Lord just uses your life Yeah to help someone else get a new point of view on life.
That's amazing. It's really good Yeah, the amazing thing and when you think about hospitality, that's who the Lord is, right? He's he's waiting for us He's he's hunting us down. He's desiring to have fellowship with us and for us I just feel like one of the greatest things that my kids have had Um, is a lifetime in our home of being able to host people and share in that with us because when they were coming, they weren't just coming to stay with Beth and me, but they were experiencing family and you know, some people may be listening and, and, and say, you know, I don't have a big house or I don't have an extra bedroom, but, um, we are amazed.
At what opening up our home does, whether big or small, whether we had food in our cupboards or not, simply showing love and hospitality to strangers was a strangers and people, you know, that we're in relationship with really affected them. And it wasn't because we were being holy or having Bible studies every day.
It was, we were just simply being family and opening up our home. And, uh, so if I could go back to the day before we were married and, uh, reinforce some things, having a hospitable home would probably be number one, uh, or in the top five on my list. I think that is so fantastic tour that you're, you're never going to listen to a marriage podcast or read a marriage book that tells you be hospitable and it'll help your marriage.
Yeah. Right. Yeah. And I think that is so powerful because if you think about God as father and when you love on one of his kids, you invite them into the home. What do you think he's going to do for you? Like now, now Tori and I, we've known you guys 20 some years. Uh, we've got a chance to experience a lot of that hospitality, you know, after church and our kids are really young and you guys are inviting us over and my brother's families when my brother's family, when.
Nobody invited us both over at the same time. I got four and they're like, nobody's doing that. But you guys did now. Here we are a couple decades later Looking at your relationship. It's a 10 out of a 10 looking at your kids. They all love you They all love Jesus and they all have great relationships with each other So for you guys to come and tell us hey one of the best piece of his Pieces of advice that we can give to you is be hospitable.
We should listen Yeah, because it's loving others as Christ has loved you. That's really what it is. Is you guys loving people? well And I think about John 15 that talks about abiding in Christ. How do we do it by loving others as Christ has loved us? So that makes sense to me that loving other people has drawn you close to each other.
Can I ask you one question for you guys to answer in terms of hospitality? What would you say to a couple that may be the husband and wife are not on the same page with this? What would you say, Beth? Um, Pray about it. Uh, I don't know. What would you say, Scott? Well, I feel like you can't, you can't drag your spouse.
Into this together, uh, maybe something that's even more important than hospitality is unity in your marriage, because if one, if one person is going to say, Hey, listen, I want to do this. And the other one says, I don't want to, it's actually going to be more detrimental to do it because you're not doing it from a place of unity.
So our marriage is concerned. I think Beth and I have to get to a place or had to get to a place where we were on the same page where hospitality was concerned. And if we can. Maybe be a little bit vulnerable. We just had some house guests staying with us. Is this okay to to share? Well, I guess it is because we're because I'm sharing it and they were the worst No, actually they were amazing But, um, before they, before they came and stayed, Beth and I, it, it, we weren't really on the same page with it.
And then one of us came, I'm not going to say which one, one of us came to the other and just said, listen, the Lord really, really changed my heart where this was concerned. I think that's, that's super important because if we're not, if we're not living. In unity, for this reason, a man leaves his father and mother, the two become one flesh.
I think the enemy is going to do everything he can to divide marriages. So even sometimes doing something that's spiritual and biblical when we're not on the same page can actually be more detrimental than finding that place of unity together. Wow. That's good advice. But when I think about you guys, like your personalities are very honoring of each other.
I think that you guys can trust each other really well. I think. That, that, the pain point comes in when someone can't really trust that they might get bulldozed by the other or pushed too hard. But I think that you guys have a unique balance with that. You're both, you know, you're both pretty accommodating personalities and are honoring of each other.
And so I'm, I would assume that that would play into that, like you're honoring, Beth, are you, are you feeling about this? It's not like we're having these people over right with it, right? We, I mean, we've had some, we've had some interesting disagreements where this whole issue of hospitality was concerned because I tend to be, ah, just come on over and stay, you know, five minutes before dinner, uh, early in our marriage, I told Beth, we're having some people over and she was like, you can't do this to me.
And I didn't have enough food. Yeah. We have a story. I tell you what, when, when you, number one, choose that we're going to walk in unity and then number two, choose to really trust each other and honor each other. Like you just said, Tori, I think it makes a big difference and kudos to Beth because our house wouldn't be a house of hospitality without her.
It really is y'all specialty. Everyone feels so welcomed. And I remember when we first walked into your lives. Your you had young kids at the time, and there was a young lady at the church who was asking to come stay with you that she had a kind of a broken home was coming from a broken home, and she wanted to see how a family thrive together in unity.
And I remember you guys were in the middle of making that decision whether that was going to be healthy for your family or not. And it was kind of like a wrestle, right? You guys were going back and forth and it ended up being such a huge blessing. Maybe you can even tell that story. Huge. Yes. Um, yeah, we, we believed that we were supposed to open up our home.
We really feel like we've had to be sensitive to the Lord at times to have balance because we have had so much, so many people live with us or a lot of people stay temporarily. And, um, we were hitting a season where the kids were becoming teenagers, all of them turning into teenagers. And we just felt like, wow, we don't have a lot of years left together, right?
In the same house. So. Um, just praying through is, is it okay not to have a season? I mean, should we have a season of just us? Yeah. Um, but we did feel to open up our home to her and it ended up being just wonderful for all of us. You know, just the kids deepening their friendship with her. She's like a sister today.
And, um, it was really, she brought music into your life. Music. Yes. I taught the kids. Yeah. It was amazing. You know, when I think of some of the amazing times that we've had where we've just opened up our home, those people today are some of our closest friends. Now here's the cool thing. My kids were somewhere between their age and our age when we had them in our house.
Now those people who we had in our house are having kids who look up to our kids, right? And now those people's kids. Are the ones who my grandchildren are looking up to now. So it's, it's the circle of life give and it will be given to you. There's something about when you offer something of yourselves, it comes back to you.
And the whole issue, I just feel like the whole issue of raising kids and raising families has a lot to do with how open we're going to be with showing love as a family. To others so good. Well, we're watching it with you guys for sure. Okay. Another question. What are some of your best marriage? Practices things that you intentionally do on a regular basis that strengthens your relationship I feel like we've Um, tried to keep regular dates.
That's good. So good. You kind of hear the advice often, you know, keep the romance in your marriage. Yes. I think. I love romance. Yeah. I'm there. I think going out on dates has been key. Early on we learned what our love languages were. Good. And I feel like that's been key. Yes. For both of us. What does Scott.
To understand each other. Physical touches is number one physical. Listen, when we were dating, I would hold her hand and gently rub her thumb. And she said, honey, that's a little bit too much for me. So I was like, okay, I got to figure out how to, how to, how to do this, but I'm definitely, I'm definitely physical touch.
And Beth is definitely, uh, Quality time. I had to, I had to look at her there, Jason. Quality time. So, uh, go ahead, honey. I interrupted you. So I think understanding that and then really trying to meet that need. Yeah. It's huge. And we, we often tell couples that we're meeting with that, that can feel so awkward at first to try to meet that need.
Like you just feel like this isn't me to like sit down and like constantly rub his shoulders or hold his hand. I mean, I thought I was. You know, physical touch, but he's way, you know, we were actually dating. This is, this is one of my favorite stories. We were dating and Beth was very, very hesitant to show any affection whatsoever in public.
So we were over at a, at a friend's house and we were sitting, it was Beth was kind of at the head of the table and I was next to her on her right. And uh, A gal was next to her on her left, so Beth very uncharacteristically flipped off the shoe that she was wearing and took her foot to rub my Shin or calf under the table with her foot and the lady across from me said Beth.
That's my leg
Here here she was taking this massive step of faith and it just ended up But when you when you learn How to really serve the needs of your spouse, even if it goes against your own natural nature. Yeah It's it's kind of like you're dying to something. Yes, but it actually brings you life So when you live to satisfy the needs of your spouse, you're not only blessing your spouse, but Ephesians 5 says right where marriage is concerned.
So anytime that we can Figure out how to be a blessing and serving the other so good. It actually benefits us. Yes. You know, it's interesting. Go ahead. Go ahead. I'm sorry. No, no, no, you go ahead. I think too, like I was saying, it felt unnatural at first. Yes. But now it's natural for me. Exactly. You know, so what.
What feels uncomfortable at first, just push through and it'll become more, you know, like, it wasn't as natural for Scott to want to sit and talk a lot. Yes, exactly. Is that your foot? I feel honey on my leg.
No, but Beth, you, you've got the exact point that I was going to say. If, if you proactively go at meeting your. Spouse's love language. God then brings in the transformation that you need to change into the person who actually Probably could even have that as your number one love language. Because remember God is your father not just your God is not just your father.
He's also your father in law So if your father in law sees you doing something awesome for his son or daughter, he comes in with transformational power to do that So so good for me The last thing on my list was quality time when we first got married, I was not even close to that way too independent, but by God's grace, going after Tori trying to meet that love language, I took the test, was it three months ago, tour number one, love language, quality time, your number one, changed.
Yeah, that's amazing. Although I'm like physical touches, it is such a mindset though. Like even with the physical touch, that's Jason's primary one. And I think for so many years, I kind of looked at it like, I don't, I don't want to do that. I have kids touching me all day long, but it was kind of the way I was thinking about it.
But then when I shifted the narrative, I'm like, no, it's good. This feels good to touch. I should let it feel good to touch instead of always being so negative and being like, I don't want to do this. Right. When you actually got more of your, you've kind of surrender even your thoughts. And then all of a sudden you're like.
I like it when you rub my feet, you know, I like, I actually like physical touch. You know what I've just remembered? Two things. First, when David and I first started our business, which was 20 years ago, you guys hired us to mow your lawn. You really did. You helped pay for, you know, diapers, if I'm not mistaken, our house may have been the first house in a group of maybe dozens that we sold that you sold.
That's right. That was back in oh, three. Three. Yeah. I think ish before. Yeah. Amazing. And so that, and two, uh, I think this would be good for listeners, Scott, you have Jewish roots and Beth, you have Arab roots, right? It's kind of an amazing thing. I did, I did my DNA test over COVID. It came back 100 percent Jew.
Wow. I know crazy. So I called up my parents and I said, are you telling me nobody outside Of me married outside of our, in our family married outside of Jewish DNA and Beth's family 100 percent Lebanese, which is kind of crazy. Her grandparents first language was Arabic. Wow. It's, it's, it's really, really remarkable.
So when I think of like, when I think of two becoming one. And I think that God brought a, a Jewish man and an Arab woman together. It's really a picture of what he wants to do in his church. Marriage is a picture of the church. If you think about it, we are his bride. There's so much marriage, uh, vocabulary when it comes time to the church.
If we can't make it in our homes, we, we, it. That's a reflection on God and his church. He's, his covenant is with us forever. He's not a covenant breaker. So the Arab and Jew thing for me is really, really remarkable. And I remember, uh, at our wedding on one side of the. Church sat my Jewish relatives, many of whom were not believers.
And on the other side of the congregation sat her Arab Lebanese relatives. And it was really this remarkable thing. And we didn't think about this when we got married, but now that we're involved in Israel, involved with Palestinian people and Arab people and Jewish people, it's just such an amazing testimony to them.
Wow. That is so cool. I love that. Scott, I have a question for you. What are some of Beth's strengths that have helped build the marriage that you have today? Beth is one of the most honest people I've ever met. And it's, it's black and white. There's not a whole lot of gray there. And I think for me, I tend to be, uh, very, I tend to be accommodating.
I don't do great with boundaries. Um, I could say yes to everything and focus in on the needs of others without recognizing that I and my own family have needs. Beth has been great. Beth has been great in helping me with boundary setting and, uh, Helping me teaching me to say no to things that aren't primary and Important because I tend to that's my weakness.
It's really interesting I feel like the things that I'm strong in are I'm sorry the things that I'm weak in those are areas of Beth's strengths Wow, so She's just been amazingly honest with me. I could not I could not do what I'm doing Without Beth there by my side. She's my she's my best critic because she's not gonna tell me This message was great or or what you wrote was great unless she really felt it and she's very very honest with me To be able to tell me, Hey, listen, you need to consider changing these things.
So I think one of her greatest strengths for me as, as my helper is honesty. And, uh, just really being one to help me set boundaries. That's amazing. Can I ask a husband question to a wife about, so obviously if, if being honest like that is one of your best traits and that you know that you're going to have to bring some type of critique to Scott, like either on a message or he said something, or there's no boundaries.
How do you do that as a wife to a husband without wounding his heart? Because all of us husbands are still little boys inside, right? We're just grown up boys. None of us love criticism. Right. That's right. How do you do that? He will come right out and say, you know, like, what did you think? Is there anything I could change?
Um, I wouldn't just like bring it up. I don't think naturally he's asking for feedback. Yeah. He's asking for feedback. And, um, I was a teacher and trained in teaching one thing that they always encouraged us to do with the kids was always say positive things plus then give, you know, good criticism. Yeah.
So I feel like I've tried to do that. In my relationships to yes, that's so good. Beth. Beth is great at not pointing a finger but if I do something that bothers her rather than Calling me out on what I did. She'll tell me how it made her feel Oh, which is what we kind of learned early on which is kind of what we learned early on So if I'm doing something that bothers her, I'm acting blindly Her strength is to be able to bring it up to me without Demeaning me or making me feel like a little boy.
I think that's some for marriages for relationships as a whole It's really easy to point a finger and say, you did this as opposed to saying, listen, when this happened, this is how I felt. And then to teach each other or help each other take ownership for the other person's feelings. Beth is great at that.
That's actually, that's actually, um, Dr. John Gottman, who runs the Gottman Institute, 50 years of. Um, research, psychological and relational research on married couples. And that is how he teaches couples to communicate with each other when it comes to conflict. Never start with you. Start with I love it and don't talk about what they did.
Talk about how you feel and then you can bring up what they did and then that takes them out of a defensive position and puts them on your side. Yes. Like what Scott just said, if you tell him how you feel now, he needs to take ownership of your feelings because he loves you. That's right. Right. So I think that also talk about another thing you brought up is that you start with the positive that you it's like, what was the five to one to one ratio one.
So Dr. Gottman teaches, according to their research, that if, if you want to maintain marriage equilibrium, then you have to have five positives to one negative. Wow. So five positive interactions to one negative interaction. But if you want a marriage that's actually gonna move forward, so let's say you're at a seven and you wanna move to a nine in your marriage, uh, satisfaction, you have to have 20 to one.
Wow. Whoa. It's 20 positive interactions to one negative interaction. So we're always shooting for the 20 to one. I love it. Mm-hmm. . Right. But when it comes to having to, to have difficult conversations and you need to. Do what Beth just said, start with an I feel rather than a you did, and then make sure that you surround it with positivity and it's going to help you out.
It doesn't surprise me that you guys learned that early on and it worked so well in your relationship. We didn't learn that, that quite that early on. It is funny though, now that I think about it, because Beth bring it up, you know, she's like EF Hutton, woman of few words, but what she says is strong and powerful.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. But like. Well, there's, I can't even tell you, it's been more than a dozen times where Tori and I have gotten into an argument or whatever, and I'm like, well, why don't you just talk to Beth? Why don't you just ask Beth? I'm literally like, ask Beth. Totally. Like, okay. Yeah. That's amazing.
Jason really trusts you, Beth. Beth, uh. Beth has this thing, I think she read in a book, but she's really made it a part of our lives when we're conversing with each other. Say that thing about, um, what a, like a true conversation or, or true communication. This comes from Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk. Oh, yeah.
One of the best books I've read on communication. Oh, that's good. Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk. Yes. Okay. That's what All the different forms of communication and the best way well, he said that I could misquote him but the paraphrase is True communication is not having to be right, but, um, understanding each other.
Wow. And which turns you into a listener. Yes. Because if you're just trying to prove your point, when the other person's talking, all you're thinking about is your rebuttal. Exactly. And what can I say to this to prove my point that I'm right? Exactly. But if you listen fully to the other person, you try to find out what they're really trying to say and understand them, um, and vice versa, then after you've both said everything on your side, then you each say to each other, what do you need?
Wow. Oh, that's good. That's good. And then, and then you're meeting each other's needs in that conflict. Mm. That's really good. I love that. Yeah. That is so good. Mm Okay, Beth, same question for you. What are some of Scott's strengths that contribute most to the marriage you have today? I feel like Scott is a true shepherd.
And I feel like he shepherds me and he shepherds the children. Well, that's a good word for Scott. Yep He certainly is a great leader. Great shepherd. Yes. He has such a compassionate heart and um, even practical things like Maybe 15, 20 years ago, he said he overheard me giving the kids instructions and he's like, can you say please?
Oh, I love it. I was like, oh, that's so sweet. Yes. I'm going to start saying please and even the other day he reminded me with Olivia to say please. I said, honestly, babe, that's really a habit I formed after you encouraged me two years ago. So, but I just didn't say it that one time. Yes. You're like, I've been doing so good.
Yeah. Um, so I just feel like he's, He's such a caring husband and does try to meet my needs and understand me. Um, I don't know, I think that's his number one. Sweet, honey. I'm feeling that physical touch desire right now. You guys are getting closer and closer over there. No PDA in front of me and Tori, okay?
No, I think Shepard is, I think Shepard is the greatest role of a husband. Yes. He's the greatest role of a father is to be that Shepard, you know, tender. You know, but that, that famous portrait where it shows the shepherd bringing the sheep back and he's got it on it's on his shoulders, you know, people don't realize is he had to carry it because he had to break the leg.
Yeah, sometimes we have to do the difficult thing, but then be so tender with it. Yeah, it's, it's amazing when Jesus shows up on the scene, think about this. He's called the Lamb of God. Mm. And he's the great shepherd. Mm. And I think something about that shepherd who's identified also as a lamb, somebody a lamb needs to be shepherded is, is that he knows the way to go, but he also knows what we Yeah.
Need. And I believe that, uh, That we, as men, fathers, husbands, for those who are married, who are listening, we're called to be shepherds if we can't shepherd our own home, then that's, that's the ultimate, I mean, when I think of people and, and it's, it's We're called to leave. A righteous man leaves an inheritance for his children's children.
I have no problem with leaving money for kids, but even unrighteous people leave money for children. The righteous leave an inheritance of love, of oneness, family unity. Uh, I, the biggest thing that I want my kids and my grandkids to say of me and of Beth and of Us as parents is that they loved us and it was a wholehearted love and they loved us when we went astray They loved us when we were walking rightly.
That's who the Lord is And that's what we're called to be to our families. Wow. I will say this too. Part of the shepherding aspect is Scott is always affirming everybody, telling them what a good job they done, telling the girls how beautiful they are, you know, so good. Yeah. Well, you haven't told me how good I look today and I wore this shirt for you.
I thought you could see it in my eyes, but Jason, you look amazing. Hey, let's shift into some parenting advice because everybody that listens to our podcast, 95 percent of them all have kids and. And we want some advice on that. Um, before I start though, on one of the greatest piece of parenting advice I ever received was from you, Beth.
And this was what I've talked about on the podcast before, probably several times is that, um, the kids were really young. Your kids were like in their teenage years. And I came to you and I was like, I think I was just struggling with raising the kids. And I said, um, what, what, what's your parenting advice?
Your kids seem to love you guys. You guys have such a strong relationship. Um, I'm sure you guys went through some trials like we have, and I think I was telling you about some of them. I said, but how did you get from where I am to where you are, where they're coming back to you, where they're coming home, where they're, they have an actual relationship with you.
They love you. You love them. And there's just like a strong relationship there. And it was so simple. You just said, do you, do you desire it, Tori? And I said, yes. And you said, so you really want that? And I said, yes. And you're like, well, that's a good place to start. And I just remember we just had this conversation about how important if you want something, God wants to give you the desires of your heart.
And if this is something that you want, you will move towards it. Yeah. And we did. And that is so true that in, we talk about it a lot in, in the podcast and in our book, the reticular activating system, it's something that God put in us that the things that we look towards, we move towards. Yes. And so it was you just reminding me, just keep looking towards it.
Keep wanting it, keep desiring it. And God will give you the desire of your heart if you're aligned with him. And so I think about that in so much of my life of the things where I needed change was just to really want them to really desire them to set my gaze on them. And then I would move towards them.
And, and so it was like, I just thought about that so much, like even in reading scripture, I'm like, how do I be a better mom? And now I'm like looking in scripture for the answers, you know, I'm looking for it. I want, I'm getting books because I want to know. And so I think just keeping that desire. Um, really, um, alive was the biggest and best advice that I could have gotten at that stage of my life.
So, wow. Thank you for that. You're welcome. Um, so looking back for you guys, can you think of some parenting advice that you were given early on that you're, you're so glad that you got, or maybe that you even wish that you'd gotten sooner? Yes. Um, when we lived in Pensacola, the kids were around. Between the ages of two and seven when we first moved there and one of the the youth pastor Richard Crisco I don't know if this is his own quote or he got it from somewhere, but he said rules without relationship leads to rebellion Yeah, that's Josh McDowell Used it too.
Yeah, and that has kind of always stuck with me. Mm hmm. So Anyway, you know, I feel like I was kind of a big disciplinarian in certain ways, but always tried to foster relationship with the kids. Um, we would take them on dates. We would make sure we had family nights because our lives were so busy, you know, with hosting other people or Scott traveling.
We really felt like keeping a family night as regularly as possible, like every week when we were available. Yes. Um, you know, we tried to do those kinds of things. Honestly, I think a big key as a parent and it can be some of the most challenging times is being a good listener. Yeah, I heard early on that listening to toddlers go on and on, um, is key.
Because children know when an adult is really listening to them. And that if you fully listen to your kids, starting when they're little, that they'll want to talk to you Aww. How do we fix that if we screwed that up? I'm sure you didn't. No, that's good. That whole rules without relationship leads to rebellion, and the reverse of that is true as well.
Yes. That relationship apart from rules leads to rejection. Tony Evans said that love is compassion with standards. You have to have both. So there's got to be the relational aspect, but then there has to be the rules as well. And when you honor the rules, then you can flourish in the relationship. But if you place rules above relationship, you're exactly right.
Your kids aren't coming back. It's so good. One of the things that Beth really. Helped me and I remember when one of our kids was a teenager approaching 18 And I don't know why 18 is that like magical number that we say well once you're 18 you can do you know? You're an adult Well, interestingly that you say tattoo one of our kids came to us and said I'd like to get a tattoo Yeah, so Beth and I were talking about it and my response was we can get a tattoo if you want You just can't live in the house with the tattoo and Beth was looking at me like are you?
Are you serious? You're going to, you're going to potentially have said it. You were thinking it. I was thinking I were discussing it. Right. No, I never said it. I never said it. Thank God. I never said it. Um, because Um, so many of us have these rules that are embedded into us or this is how we were raised.
Every one of our kids is different. Every one of our kids needs to be approached in a, in a, in a unique way that they're created differently and they may need different things from us as parents. And for Beth, it was so great because she really helped me to put the decision on our kids as you, you know, you have teenage kids, they're getting older.
We need to let them make their own mistakes. Now, if one of my kids came and said, listen, I'm bringing my girlfriend home and she's going to be spending the night with me in my room, then I can say, you can do that, but not in my house. Right, right. But for things that are really not ultimate, Yeah. Yeah. We need to encourage them.
Listen, I want you to pray. Yes. I want you to come back with us. Tell us what you feel like the Lord is saying. Mm-hmm. And then we as parents, release you. We don't, we don't agree with this. Yeah. We feel like it's a, it's not the best decision, whatever it may be. I'm, whether it's tattoos or skirts, whatever, or, yeah.
Right. Or Or long pants. Short pants, makeup. No makeup. Everybody has these rules. Yes. But if we, as parents, have that love in our kids, know that we love them, then we let them make decisions. And the amazing thing is now is some of the kids that wanted to make their own decisions when they were teenagers are now coming back to Beth and me as adults.
And they're asking us, what do you think we should do? So kudos to Beth on that. I would have been a lot more. Strict, but because, not strict, but maybe I would have been more set in my ways. But Beth really opened up a path in our home, encouraging me and both of us to allow the kids to make decisions that might have gone against ours, but um, really, that's really come back.
Wouldn't you agree, honey? Yes. And I think the kids even came to us at one point and said, sometimes we feel like you're making decisions based on what other people are going to view of you. Yeah. Yeah. And, and we had to come to the place of realizing, yeah, we can't make our decisions based on what we think our peers or people older than us are going to say.
Right. Exactly. And as pastors, I can imagine that would be Hard not to, right. You were pastoring while they were teenagers. Yeah. Well, you know, I heard it said before you have kids, you have a lot of theories, but no kids. And then after you have kids, you have a lot of kids, but no theories. That's where we were and that's where we are.
I think that's the best advice. And even when, uh, even we had a interesting conversation with Jake about two or three weeks ago and he was asking me, dad, should I do this thing? I forget even what the thing was. I said, well, buddy, just pray about it and see what the Lord would tell you. And he's like. It's way easier if you could just tell me what to do.
Exactly. Of course it's easier. Yeah. You make your own decision. Yeah. And it's funny because when he asked us. I, I had the tendency to be like, it's fine, let's not be legalistic, like just let him do it. And Jason's like, no, he needs to be a man and make his own decisions. I love it. And that was the best thing that we could have done for him because he had to make his decision for himself and it was his decision and he was actually really proud of the decision that he made.
It wasn't just dad. So great. One of the beautiful, one of the beautiful things though about really. Desiring to have a relationship with your kids in a special way is, and I've seen this with Beth and, uh, it's been fantastic. There have been times where we've blown it, where we might have enforced something that shouldn't have been enforced the way we enforced it and going to your children and apologizing to them or saying, look, I was wrong.
I, one of our kids, uh, I don't want to get off on a rabbit trail, but one of our kids was, uh, always writing. Uh, their names everywhere, furniture everywhere, as if they could get away with it, as if they could get away with it. And then, uh, you know, our kids were very young and on one of our lampshades, this child's name was on there and I called him, uh, I called him on and I said, I'll just say, Jonathan, did you do this?
No, dad, I didn't do this. And I said, listen, I'm going to give you 24 hours to confess. And if you don't confess to doing this, you're kicked out as a nine year old. So anyway, um, I asked all the other kids, no, no, no, no, didn't do it. And then because Jonathan had done this, uh, all of his life, I just went to him.
I said, Jonathan, I know you did it. And he said, dad, how do you know I did it? And I did something I shouldn't have done. I said, the Lord showed me you did it. And then shortly after I did that my other son confessed to me that he wrote Jonathan's name on the lampshade. Yeah Yeah, yeah, so it's like eating me totally eating humble pie throwing the Lord out somehow.
That's a smart kid That's a buddy else's that's a very smart kid. Joe is still the same Joe today But being able to, and I went back to John with tears, but you know, there may be folks that are listening that feel like, you know, I listened to this podcast and Jason and Tori. Speak all these amazing things and they may feel like they've failed.
You may feel if you're listening, like you feel the best thing that we can do to our spouse or to our kids is go and apologize. It's never too late to make changes, to live, um, rightly. And so, uh, apologizing to your kids, being open with your kids, being humble, you know, lowering yourself and, and that empowers your children to really honor you.
Actually. And it teaches them about relationship and what true relationships are and that we're not perfect. They're not going to be perfect. Exactly. I love that. That's so good. Beth, what are some attributes that you appreciate most in Scott as a dad? Um, honestly, I feel like he has great relationships with the kids and desires relationship with them.
Um, yeah. That is actually a superpower and it's a, it's a superpower both of you guys, Scott, specifically for you. I've hung out with you a lot more, but your ability to, uh, relate with people, your communication and people when they're around you, they know that you care. I can imagine what that feels like for your kids.
Right. You know, even the other day, one of my boys came up to me and said, you know, until I was about 16, I didn't think you liked me. And I'm like, I'm a failure. Like I'm a legit loser. I said, well, what do you feel now? He said, Oh, I know you like me now. I was like, well, good. Okay. So I got something right.
But I, what in the world? And I think it was, it goes back to what you were saying, Beth. I think there were some rules there that I had that were hard and fast. And maybe I should have just loosened up on that a little bit, but So that is a superpower of yours, Scott. So the ability to just really dive in and your kids to know that you really care about them and you want a relationship with them.
That's, that's a good parenting advice for a dad. So good. And Scott, what about you for Beth? What are some attributes that you appreciate that she has as a mom? Yeah, well, none of the kids would ever say that, um, Beth doesn't love her. I think that's that Jason, maybe that's more, it's more that motherly.
You know, uh, hen and chick kind of thing. Just the caring that naturally comes to a mom. Uh, I would, uh, I, I, I do struggle. With being that to the kids. Sometimes I find myself less patient. Beth, Beth's patient with patients with the kids is amazing There have been times where I've woken up in the middle of the night and Beth has been crying And I'll say what's going on and then she goes.
Well, I remember 28 years ago. I Disciplined so and so a little bit She's always caress so deeply. Yeah, she cares so deeply . Anyway, don't start crying now, honey. 'cause he said he forgave you . Um, but it's, uh, she, she, um, she does discipline with love and is always willing to sit with the kids. She's, um, she's always there for the kids.
Mm. She's prayed for each of them for their spouses. She loves them deeply. And all of my kids would say she's the greatest mom. Yeah. I love that. So good. And to be able to look back, you know, on our parenting mistakes, because we've all had them with, uh, an eye of gratitude for God's forgiveness and grace, his mercy, rather than a lens of guilt, because guilt's just going to weigh us down.
It's good. And, and, but for us, you know, especially the listeners out there, me included. You know, with my own blunders to be able to look back and say, God, thank you. Yeah. Thank you that you can redeem anything. That's right. It's true. You know, I just, I just had this thought while you were. Just talking and hope I'm not out of place and do this, but I feel like some parents could feel like their failures because their kids aren't following in their footsteps or even serving the Lord right now.
You know, I'm reminded of that scripture train up a child, you know, when, when he or she's old. Yeah, well not depart from it. I just I feel just to encourage those folks who are listening who have wayward kids that Um god's word is true. Yes. God's the perfect father. Let me think about this. God's the perfect father He calls israel his firstborn son And israel is backslidden.
Is that because god was imperfect as a father? No, no, no It's because as a father he's given His son or daughter the ability to make their own decisions But when you raise up your kids in the same way that one day all Israel will be saved according to the words These children of ours that we raise in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
They're gonna come back And it's not your imperfection as parents that caused them to stray We take responsibility for the imperfections for sure. But if we've raised them and done our best under the Lord, God's promises to bring them back. I just want to encourage you if you're listening with that, don't let the enemy bring condemnation into your heart because your kids aren't walking where you feel like they should be, but really put your trust in God because he's faithful.
Wow. That's really good. So encouraging. Um, what I want to do, uh, two things for us to end first, um, Scott, tell us about Together for Israel. And then Beth, I want you to give us. A recipe because that's something that Tori always does. And so Tori coordinated beforehand. Beth is an amazing cook. She was. Just before this podcast, we actually had brunch with Scott and Beth and while I was in there whipping up some eggs, I looked over at Tori and I said, you know, Beth is a really good cook.
I know. I was like. Are you trying to put pressure on me right now? Oh my gosh, we had an amazing breakfast that the two of you made. It was delicious. TFI. Very, very quickly. Together for Israel is an organization that exists to partner with the church for the salvation of Israel. The Bible says very, very plainly that salvation has come to the nations to provoke Israel to jealousy.
And by and large, Israel has become so politicized that it's been a division point in, in the church. But our organization exists to partner with the church where the salvation of Israel is concerned. And one of our greatest burdens is getting money into the hands of believers in Israel, both Arab and Jew, to give them a practical help in fulfilling their call in God.
And it's biblically based. Romans 15 talks about Paul going to the churches of the nations, Macedonia and Achaia. I think it's, uh, 20 verse 25, 1525. It says this, Macedonia and a Kyra were pleased to give an offering to the saints in Jerusalem because they recognize not only do they have a spiritual debt to Israel.
But they must also help them in their material needs as well. There are many amazing organizations in the earth today that raise money for Israel. But unfortunately, very few of those organizations give biblically to the believers living in Israel. Hundreds of millions of dollars from evangelical churches are raised for Israel and a very, very small percentage.
It's into the hands of believers and together for Israel exists to support the believers, Arab and Jew living in Israel. And I never knew. And you know, David and I are asked to be, you know, on a lot of boards or whatever, we're on very few, but this is the primary one that we're on together for Israel. I never knew it was a mandate.
It was a responsibility of believers to support. Jews in Israel until you shared Romans 15 with me and I was like, oh boy. Yeah, I haven't ever given Yeah, right and and so anyways, it's together for Israel dot together for Israel org. Okay, and If, if you want to reach out directly, scott at together for Israel dot org, I'd gladly answer any questions and invite anybody who wants to come to Israel with us anytime with the Benhams.
We're going to be doing a trip. Uh, we need to announce that sometime very, very soon. We're going to be doing a trip together. It's going to be amazing. How about Scott being hustle? Pittable and, and like the kind of guy that doesn't have any boundaries. He just gave his personal email address on a podcast.
Yeah. That doesn't surprise you, . I've never done that. Why'd you give him your cell phone number? It auto forwards to Jason. Be , don't you? Tell him the rest. I'll display it. I can give it to you. But anyway. Oh, thank you guys so much. That's awesome. This has been amazing in Beth, if you would share a recipe that is a favor of yours, I know that our viewers would love to hear.
Yes. Um, well, I come from a mom who's a wonderful cook and she actually, um, we always had salad with every meal as a side dish and she created this recipe. It's an Italian dressing. Very simple. It's two ingredients plus some spices. So it's just olive oil, red wine vinegar, and then you add salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano.
Your salads are the best. Oh, they are. Oh, gosh. Thanks. Like, epically the best. So, would you mind if I share that with everybody on Jason and Tori, if I write it out for them? Not at all. Okay, you guys are in for a treat. If you come over to our house for dinner, our 28 year old daughter will take the big salad bowl and drink the rest of the dressing that's in it after everybody's eaten it.
I love it. Yeah, it is. Beth is known for her salads, so if you're gonna have Scott and Beth over, tell her salads. That was so nice of you to share, because that's a, that's like a, that's your mother's recipe. Yeah, she created it, and it also works great for marinade for chicken. Ooh, okay. Like shish kebab or, you know.
It's so simple. I didn't realize it was that simple. Yes. I will say this. A lot of people ask for the recipe and then they'll come back and say, it didn't taste like yours. And I think that's because it takes about 24 hours for the. Spices to infuse into the oil and vinegar. Okay. So if I make it same day, I usually add a little salt and pepper to the salad.
Okay. And then it brings out the flavor of the dressing. But you typically make it like a day before? Yeah, or, yes. It just gets better the longer it sits. Oh, okay. That is good to know. And you don't refrigerate it. You don't? Because the oil coagulates, you know, gets, gets stiff. Okay, this is something new. I didn't know, I make homemade dressings all the time.
You don't ever have to, if it's olive oil based. You don't have to or I guess if I had fresh garlic you would is that the only I'm not really sure I just know that this works better. Okay, don't refrigerate it. It doesn't have sugar or anything in it. Yeah, I might go back Yeah, it's just oil so nice and for spices.
Okay, so awesome. I'm so excited. This has been fun to listen to Scott and I are just like, Oh, that's cool. That's awesome. Keep making it. Okay, now, uh, I've never ended a podcast like this, but I want to end it this way. Scott, could you pray a blessing upon the listeners marriages and their children, uh, before we sign off?
Absolutely. Absolutely. Lord, thank you so much that you Are a father, our father in heaven, Lord, I pray for every father and mother listening today, Lord, that we would, uh, we would be like mirrors of our heavenly father, our parenting Lord, where we're weak. Pray that you would supplement our weakness with your strength, Lord, that's your word.
And I pray, Lord, that you give us grace to love our wives, that wives to love their husbands for us as parents to love our children, Lord, that our homes would be a reflection of the kingdom of God. I pray for unity. I pray for grace and I pray great God that you would encourage everyone listening today that through you, Lord, every promise that you've made for our homes, our marriages and our children will come to pass as we yield to you as our father in heaven, in Jesus name.
Amen. Amen. Wow. This was great. Amazing. Thank you guys so much. Thanks for having us. Thanks for having us. This has been great. All right. Well, thank you guys for listening. Don't forget rate, review, subscribe, and we will see you next week and I'll make sure that Tori tries to come up with a, with a salad dressing that's better than Beth's.
And Beth's mom. All right. We'll see you next week.