years of healthy marriage

Meg Glesener on the Secret to 31 Years of a Healthy Marriage – BtR 236

Podcaster Meg Glesener of Letters from Home shares her insights on 31 years of a happy, healthy marriage.

About Meg Glesener from Letters from Home Podcast

healthy marriage meg glesenerMeg is a mother of eight children living in the state of Washington where she is married to her husband, Mike. Their 31 years of marriage can be chalked up as happy years. They have had their ups and downs as anyone else does, but they have also held firm to some guidelines or principles that have kept them going strong all these years. If you think raising one or two children is challenging, Mike and Meg took on eight and without the backing of a TLC television show!

Here is the thing that blew our minds on the Beyond the Rut team. We recorded our interview with Meg right after we recorded the 4-part marriage series. Meg was not aware of these episodes, nor their content. So many parts of her story echoed the tips we shared in those four episodes! At the end of our time, she humbly shared that she just hoped her message would help someone else out there. We simply replied, “You have no idea!”

We hope you enjoy this episode about healthy marriages. Know that marriage is not a sprint, it’s not simply a wedding day. Think of it as a journey. Marriage is a life-long commitment to each other, and your marriage can leave a legacy that is greater than yourselves.

Resources and Links

Download the app for Letters from the Home from your app store, or visit Meg’s website to listen to episodes of her show at

If you’re a Christian and a podcaster, check out the Facebook Group or go to to connect and collaborate with other Christian podcasters.

Listen to These Past Episodes from Our 4-Part Marriage Series

BtR 232 – Marriage Facts That Offer You Hope – The Good News

BtR 233 – Dating Your Spouse to Stay Connected

BtR 234 – Ten Free Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage

BtR 235 – What You Speak Over Your Spouse Matters

Connect with Us

Subscribe on iTunes (Apple Podcasts)SpotifyStitcher, or iHeartRadio and never miss an episode.

Twitter @beyondtherut

Facebook Beyond the Rut

Email [email protected]

Episode Credits

Host: Brandon Cunningham

Co-Host, Editing, and Production: Jerry Dugan

Music: “Oceans Apart” is our theme song composed and performed by Scott Ian Holmes.

Episode Transcript

Jerry Dugan: [00:00:00] Welcome to Beyond the Rut, the weekly podcast that discusses faith, family, fitness, finances, and future possibility in the hopes of inspiring and equipping you to make your own path and live the life you’ve always dreamed of beyond the rut. I’m one of your hosts, Jerry, and just a moment. Brandon is going to join me as we have a conversation with podcast host, Meg Glesener.

We met Meg through the Christian Podcasters Association where she’s one of the administrators for that Facebook group. She’s also the host of Letters from Home podcast. And we invited her onto the show because one, it’s a celebration of her 31 years of marriage with Michael, but also because her story in so many ways connects a lot of the dots from our past four-part series on marriage and healthy marriage.

So sit back and relax. As we have a conversation with Meg about the secret sauce to 31 years of marital bliss with a lot of kids! You’re going to find out how many kids in just a moment. Here we go.

All right, Brandon, uh, don’t do it. You have so much to live for. Get off the chair, please. Just the audience can’t even see the chair.

I love it!

Brandon Cunningham: [00:01:07] Now that I’m an adult, I can stand in chairs.

Jerry Dugan: [00:01:12] You know, there’s a subreddit called “Why Women Live Longer”? It’s my favorite one. I can lose so much time on that thing.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:01:18] My thought is to do any research into why women live longer is just ridiculous to be alive and you can see boys jumping off of houses and stuff.

Jerry Dugan: [00:01:28] Grown men, hanging out of the cars to get good video shots!

Brandon Cunningham: [00:01:32] Pretty bad. I got a four-foot ladder, it’s six-foot-high. I’ll just stay on top of it.

Jerry Dugan: [00:01:37] To bring in some wisdom into this conversation. We’ve got Meg Glesener calling from Washington state. How are you doing Meg?

Meg Glesener: [00:01:43] Doing great.

Jerry Dugan: [00:01:44] Awesome. Thank you for joining us. Um, you’re the last interview we’ve got on our recording day.

Um, so I’m just going to pre apologize if, uh, Brandon and I seem like we’re getting distracted by every squirrel possible, because that is what is happening to us right now.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:02:01] We’ve been in this Fort all day!

Jerry Dugan: [00:02:03] Yeah, we’ve got a Fort. We built a Fort I’m so excited to

Brandon Cunningham: [00:02:06] Go to our Facebook page. You will see our fort.

Jerry Dugan: [00:02:08] Yes. Awesome. Did you build a Fort Meg?

Meg Glesener: [00:02:13] I did. I have always built forts. Believe me. There’s plenty of squirrels around here, up in the Northwest, distracting on all areas.

Jerry Dugan: [00:02:22] We’re in good company then. Yes, we’re all in trouble. The reason why we invited you on is we’ve connected with you through the Christian Podcasters Association Facebook Group that was founded by Eric Nevins.

So shout out to Eric. Thank you, Eric, for this connection.

I have gotten to see your posts in that group. I’ve seen your commentary in the group. I’ve seen you help other podcasters, especially those who are launching. And I’ve had the opportunity to listen to some of the interviews you’ve been on, where you were interviewed.

It just made sense that we needed to get you on our show because Brandon and I just recorded a four-part series about healthy marriages. [The series was] geared towards men, but it applies to both men and women. It’s preceded by an interview we did with Bill Hutchison about healthy marriages and purposeful marriage.

And then I was like, you know what? Meg’s been married 31 years. She’s raised eight children. They’ve got grandkids now. She is a great culmination of all the topics we’ve been discussing. Let’s have her on the show. You said yes.  We didn’t let you back out of that. So thank you for coming on to join us, to talk about healthy marriages. I specifically like your story of your marriage and the lessons learned after 31 years and counting.

So thank you.

Meg Glesener: [00:03:41] Hey, I’m so happy to be on and to bring balance to this series. You know, and we got to represent the ladies here.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:03:49] You can prove we don’t know much about what we’re talking about.

Meg Glesener: [00:03:55] I dunno. I just listened to your episode, Dad of Divas and it was so great. Really enjoy the show.

Jerry Dugan: [00:04:04] Yeah. Chris is a good guy. We met him through a dad blogging group and I’ve been staying in contact with them for years. It didn’t dawn on me to invite him on the show until five years later. Yeah, I know. Sorry,

Brandon Cunningham: [00:04:16] Well, we got Meg because she’s had 31 blissful, perfect years of marriage has raised eight perfect kids that have given her no problems whatsoever.

She’s going to tell us the secret to all of that in one word or less.

Meg Glesener: [00:04:32] Okay. The End! Haha! No, no, no. Nobody has a sticker like that.

Jerry Dugan: [00:04:38] Exactly. Right. People tend to think, you know, those couples have been married for, you know, two, three, four decades. They had a picture. Perfect. Life, but, uh, that probably hasn’t been the case for you.

I know Liv and I will be able to say 19 years in November of 2020. It’s had its ups and downs, but overall we’d say it’s a good marriage, uh,

Brandon Cunningham: [00:04:59] We would? Or, you would? ‘Cause she might not say…

Jerry Dugan: [00:05:01] I know I might be oblivious if we’re referring back to that other episode, but, she told me this morning, she loved me.

So I’m going to roll with it. I’m going with it.

Meg Glesener: [00:05:11] I heard at a couples’ retreat that I went to a couple of years ago, that when they ask men and women, the women give a lower rating by about 30% than the men do as far as how good the marriage is. BT dubs, just letting you know,

Brandon Cunningham: [00:05:28] That makes sense. It’s also why they have not been on this podcast with us because they may shatter some of our dreams.

Jerry Dugan: [00:05:35] Our wives? Yeah. Not the fact that they’re introverted. They would never do it otherwise.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:05:43] So Meg, tell us a little bit about how you and your husband met and kind of what went into building that marriage from the very beginning that maybe, you know now, but you didn’t know then.

Meg Glesener: [00:05:54] I was raised in Southern California from a, I would say kind of a tumbleweed childhood. And I really had a rough upbringing that included alcoholism and all kinds of abuse and terrible things. And my husband, Mike, he grew up for more of a whole wholesome, big family, farm town, Minnesota. We met in college.

I was 16 years old when I gave my life to Christ and my life kind of turned around at that point. When I went to college, one of the very first things I did was go to a Bible study to find some Christian friends. One of the first people I met was this friendly, guy who had this Hawaiian shirt on at a prayer meeting. He walks up and says, “Hey, uh, my name’s Mike and my California Space Bubble.” I was feeling like, Whoa! This is a little too much, you know. I said, hi. And, that is how we met. It didn’t take long before I got to see his heart, how much he cared about people, how he served, and how he truly listened to people. And I really did think that the first day that I met him, Hawaiian shirt and all, maybe that’s the one I’m supposed to marry. He was a couple of years ahead of me in college and we served there for a couple of years.

As a freshman, I did something kind of unusual. I made a commitment because I had had such a hard upbringing and I really wanted to get my life with God straight before I introduced a relationship, not to date until my senior year of college. So, uh, let’s just say along the way, there were a lot of interests, but I always had Mike in the back of my heart and that my senior year of college who was 22 and we started dating and he told me

, “I wanted to see what’s behind the big green eyes and the smile. I like this about you and this about you and this about you.” Three months later, he told me he loved me and I knew he meant it because he’s a man of his word. And then, yeah, I graduated from college in June of 1989. We got married in July, so that’s, that’s how we met.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:08:30] So how many people told you that was a mistake because you got married so quickly?

Meg Glesener: [00:08:36] I don’t remember anyone saying it was a mistake except for my father who is an atheist and he didn’t agree with the Christian things. So he was pretty upset about that, but. I’m a very purposeful person. So my husband lived with a family, and I went and talked to the guy of the couple that he lived with and asked, “What do you think of him?

What do you think of his character?” And Michael did the same. I live with a family from church, and he talked with them. We kind of really proceeded purposefully. On the day he proposed, he, I mean, I had no idea he was going to propose and we sat down and we had a picnic lunch and he said, these are my values.

I really want my home to bless the world and I really want to serve God. I really want to live like this isn’t my home. And he said, what do you think about all that? And I said that’s really great. Then he proposed to me. That’s how we started off our marriage. Very purposeful.

I got pregnant within the first month of marriage. And we had six college students living with us, we were reading books together, and we’d have like a house family meeting where we talk about hospitality or how to, how to mentor somebody.

So we, really have started off our marriage, pretty purposeful, and we never, besides my dad who was, and since regrets, not supporting me. To this day, he loves my husband more than any other man on earth besides his son.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:10:24] Well, you would have to say the math worked out that he was wrong. I mean, 31 years will kind of prove him wrong. I would think so. I’d have to swallow that one and just say I missed it. I know a few people that have been married for 30 plus years and this fascinates me. They started dating and got married within six months of dating each other. And it just fascinates me because they’re all very purposeful in their actions.

And they’re all blissfully happy. You know, they’re not perfect. They’ve gone through all kinds of trials, some of them major tragedies and stuff, but they are so close and so loving with each other. Even though by, you know, so many standards, six months is not long enough, but they all been married for 30 plus years.

Jerry Dugan: [00:11:16] And you know, they also have known each other for several years, I’m sure before they became a couple. It sounds like that was the case for you, Meg and Mike, was that you knew him through this Bible group for years before you actually reached out to him and started dating him, is that correct?

Meg Glesener: [00:11:32] Yeah, we knew each other for a few years, and we were friends. We hung out in the same groups and that kind of thing. And you know, this may sound crazy, we did have our three kids two and under, if you can imagine how we started, but it’s this, I know this is an unusual experience and I know everyone’s got trials in life.

Marriage has been on the lower end for me of trials, but, I think it took about seven years before I realized that my husband actually had problems. And it sounds really funny to say that, but I would go to like a couples’ meeting and they’d talk about these big problems and I didn’t know what they were talking about.

For me, you know, you talk about beyond the rut, the rut of the history of my family with broken relationships and divorce is that my mom was married four times. My dad had so many girlfriends and a couple of divorces and it was a lot. So for me having that as a gift, I was so grateful for wholeness and love.

I do think that is the tone that my husband set for our marriage, which established our marriage in a strong way.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:12:47] I like that. That is exactly what people need to hear. I would encourage someone that’s thinking about marriage or wants to get married, to think in terms of character, It’s not looks, it’s not money, it’s not fame, or whatever. It’s character.

If you know who they are, then a lot of that other misery will either be your fault, because you chose somebody that had a poor character or that you own some of the decision-making process. You know, why do we move here? Why don’t we go to work here or do this it? And it sounds to me like your marriage is based on a set of principles.

So everything does kind of goes through that. So you don’t have to figure out. Is this something we want to do or not do because you’re guided by those principles? One of the things that frustrates me is when I see couples break up and you’re like, y’all should have never been together because you both showed each other who you were, and then you pretended like it wasn’t true.

You know, you can’t date somebody that has a problem with anger and then get mad at them when you get married, and they’re an angry husband. It’s like, you, you didn’t believe him when they showed you who they were. Yeah.

Jerry Dugan: [00:13:59] Oh yeah. I know people who actually met on a dating app. It turns out they both lied about themselves on the dating app and it was not until they got married that they started to realize, “Wait, so you’ve never graduated high school?”

“Yeah, no.”

Brandon Cunningham: [00:14:14] “You said you went to Notre Dame!”

Jerry Dugan: [00:14:15] “But you said you had some college in your profile!” It was just like learning things about each other that were totally against what they fell in love with in the profile. And I was just like, man, your whole marriage is built on lies.

No way.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:14:35] The other thing I would say to anyone, looking at getting married and listening to this, one of the things you did and he did was go talk to people who knew them, then believe them. If you’re going to go talk to the family he lives with and they say, well, you know, he has trouble maintaining, his attitude and he’s kind of lazy, and he spouts off every once in a while, believe them and do something with that. We have a good friend. She’s been married, and since divorced, and her husband turned out to be exactly who everybody said he would be. I always say he’s consistent. I don’t like his character. I don’t like anything he did, but he’s the same as he was the day you met him.

You’re the one that didn’t believe him. You wanted to change him and it was too hard, but when you marry on purpose and you marry with a purpose, it makes it so much easier to kind of get through. Kids and life and jobs and health and stuff like that.

Meg Glesener: [00:15:33] Absolutely. And, you know over time you have the same values, right.

And we said our home based on the values. And so that guides, guides all the things, but at some point. You realize, you know, we are two completely different people. The way we go about things, the way we would organize a workday or, uh, let’s, uh, prepare for guests. And at some point you realize we go about things so differently, and those are the things that can sneak in and really.

Start to erode things, right.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:16:12] What is something you were doing early on, like in the first five to 10 years of your marriage that you learned you shouldn’t do, or wasn’t benefiting your marriage and maybe you stopped or maybe something you weren’t doing that you started doing that added?

Meg Glesener: [00:16:29] One thing we did early on, we would read books together, even during engagement, love life for every married couple and start talking about, you know, the physical aspect of marriage. Oh, what is your experience? What, you know, working through that kind of stuff. And as I said, we got pregnant right away. And so then we started reading a parenting book on a date night together, and really, I think.

Date nights are one thing that has been so, so helpful, whether we had money or not in all the different stages to spend a portion of our night talking about life and things we’re going through may be having a time of prayer and then. You know, at some point saying, okay, that’s it. Now we’re just going to enjoy one another and have fun, but not having the date nights.

Speed, just entertainment pit to be something else. Or maybe one of us is extra stress and we just really need to talk about work or whatever. And we, we take that time with each other. So that’s one thing that’s been super helpful.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:17:37] Now, do you still do that after 30 plus years?

Meg Glesener: [00:17:46] Absolutely! Or date night and sometimes it’s more in, and now the kids it’s great. I probably the hardest stage to get to do that. And if there are parents out there with high school students, you know, they start. They’re not going to bed at seven o’clock anymore.

And you know, they’re up late and you’re like, well, I’m going to all, yes, I’ll stay up for the last one, goes to bed, then you’re like, wow, this is getting late. And, and being purposeful because if you don’t in high school, there are a hundred things that we’ll want to steal the attention of your heart and your family sports entertainment.

I don’t want to, I don’t feel like it. And for us, it’s been. A principle of, we are always lovers before parents that has been a principle that has guided us. And sometimes it’s so hard when the kids were little and hey, there was a time people when there weren’t cell phones and I’m 53 and it really wasn’t that long ago, where we’d had eight kids and the house was a mess and everyone wasn’t in the best mood. And we would just say, we’re going to just go out to dinner and we maybe call from the restaurant. Cause there were only landlines back then and our kids were responsible enough where. We could leave. We could leave them at a certain point.

And when the kids were really little, we would swap with a couple. Again, it doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be a fancy thing. It’s just spending time together.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:19:27] Right. And that’s so valuable, especially if you’re hearing this and you’re like, but we just got married or we just had a kid and this kid is the center of the universe and the greatest thing that’s ever happened in the world.

When you look at each other, hopefully, what you think and I’ve said this a million times to my kids and they’ll attest to that, she stays longer than you. So I’m going to pour more into this relationship than I am. And I have friends that say, “Oh, I would never do that to my kid. I tell my kid he’s the center of the world,” and all that.

And I’m like, but at some point, he’s going to leave you hopefully for a wife and a family, and he does his thing and you’re going to want your marriage to last. So you need to invest in your marriage from day one. And investing in your children, the additional side of that. Don’t make them the center of your world.

And, and so now you have eight kids and what are their ages? Where do they range in age?

Meg Glesener: [00:20:22] They’re ranged from age 30 to age 14. So we have two teenagers left at home. We just started virtual school last week, a senior in high school and a freshman in high school. And then we have just found out last week we have grandkid number five on the way. We have a daughter in Eastern Canada. We have one in Texas. We have somebody in Fairbanks, Alaska, and in San Diego, too.

Wow. It’s a worldwide party for us.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:20:49] I would imagine. Well, clearly one of those kids was the smartest because they ended up in Texas, I’m assuming, so we’ll give them a pass because I knew what they’re doing.

Jerry Dugan: [00:21:00] What’s the saying, “I wasn’t born here, but I gotta as quickly as I could.” That’s me.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:21:05] I liked the one about “you don’t have to ask if somebody is from Texas, they’ll tell you”.

Jerry Dugan: [00:21:09] Yeah. I thought it was the most annoying thing. When I lived in California, it was like another tech center. Great. We’re here. And now I’m like one of those guys.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:21:20] So tell us a little bit about something maybe you did that was creative or maybe it wasn’t. As much creative as just a necessity, but when you’re in your first year of marriage and you’re finding out you’re having a kid and you don’t really have much money, how did you kind of celebrate each other to show each other that you were still the most important thing in the world to each other?

Meg Glesener: [00:21:42] We would just go for a walk with a stroller or, you know, in the neighborhood, or ask someone to babysit and go for a walk and just sit at a park. And I remember going to taco bell and we each ordered two items from the dollar menu, and that was date night. We had a book, maybe a parenting book, and we’d just sit.

And we would just say, say that we, we love each other in. I guess part of it goes back to something you said earlier with, you know, what are some things that you don’t do? Well, you know, when we got married, we were given the charge. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Say I love you to each other every day and never leave during an argument.

And as time goes gone, that one was a little harder for me than some of the other ones. But it’s, it’s tricky when right when you get. When you, when you add an impasse at something you’re not seeing a parenting thing, the same way, that kind of thing. And you really have to say, I know we’ll, we’ll work through this and I’m not going to hold it against you.

And we’re not gonna, we’re not going to ever not sleep in the same bed or, you know, you just put safeguards in, in your life to help, help keep you there. But. Yeah, just, it was very simple early in marriage. Like nothing, nothing, nothing fancy.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:23:08] And that’s such great advice because I know somebody’s listening, saying, well, you know, she had this or he had that and I don’t have that advantage.

Right. But, the walk around the block or the Taco Bell menu, we’ve done the same thing, gone to Subway. You split a six-inch sub and boom there’s dinner, you know, and, and it doesn’t have to be a lot it’s quality over quantity and that kind of thing. But how do you get past when, uh, he’s completely wrong?

Not that this has ever happened in my house and you just cannot let it go. But, you know, you should like did, was there anything that really spoke to you about putting that in perspective?

Meg Glesener: [00:23:47] When we were engaged at, you know, sometimes when you’re young, you just say something profound. And he said this to me, it was the day he had proposed to me.

And it was a long day. And we had told all of our friends from church and it was just the two of us. And we had 15 minutes alone at the park and he looked at me and he held my hand and he looked into my eyes and you know, you’re uncomfortable because you’re just, you’re looking into each other’s eyes.

And he said, Meg, First of all, we’re not going to talk about any, we got married six weeks later. We’re not going to talk about wedding planning for two weeks. We’re going to enjoy the beauty of being engaged. And he said, may I ask two things of you? Trust me, and trust God for me. And that is something that has come up for me over and over again.

I’ll give you an example of something. That is what you were saying where this is something that comes up regularly. I’m sure nobody else can relate to this, but getting ready for a party, right? The house is a mess. I’m trying to make six dishes. The kids aren’t all doing exactly what they’re supposed to contribute.

And then my husband is waiting until the last minute to start helping me. “Well, you should have just asked for help.” So then. He gets upset because I’m frustrated and I’m frustrated because he’s not helping more. So it’s kind of both people to have a problem. And I know that’s probably his biggest thing is he doesn’t want me to be frustrated.

So he’s trying to keep me from being frustrated and I’m like, well, I wouldn’t be as frustrated if he would help clean earlier. But if you, if you asked me to help clean early, I’m afraid. You’re just going to keep it, giving me more and more things and I’ll never be done. So. This is the kind of thing that’s come up over and over again.

I make a conscious choice in the middle of that, and we’ve had hours and hours and hours of conversations, but my choice in the way I resolve it in my head is that I know he wants to help me and he’s available to help me. He knows I don’t want to be frustrated. So we stop and take a moment and choose to believe the best about one another.

That’s for me, how I resolve it when we get to that impasse because we are a team.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:26:00] That’s a great way of putting it. You’re both in it for each other. You know, you’re both a big fan of the other one and sometimes we’ll get mad at each other and, and we forget that. Wait, he’s totally for me, she’s totally for me, her intentions were not.

To do something stupid or say something stupid or whatever it’s like, so I got to believe the best about them. And there’s not a lot of people in the world you can believe the best about, but you should be able to believe the best in your spouse that they have for you. That’s really good advice.

Jerry Dugan: [00:26:31] Now, speaking of purposeful teams, being on the same team, being purposeful and marriage, what role did worship and serving together play in the 31 years you’ve had so far and in the many years to come?

Meg Glesener: [00:26:45] Well and you know, that makes it, it makes such a difference, right? When we go to church together every Sunday, and we’ve done that our whole marriage. I mean, yeah. We’re like everyone else, the kids fussing, does somebody have a shoe, etc.? Maybe I’ve got a bad attitude because it’s just, you’re rushed out the door and we stop and we take a moment and we pray in the car on the way to church. So just starting that as a foundation, makes a huge difference when we…

we have devotions in our house Monday through Friday, and we have them in the morning and we start the day together. We sit next to each other as a couple, the kids hop around and we open the Bible and share a verse, and have a prayer time. We’ve been praying for all that’s going on with COVID  in countries. We’ve been doing this ever since we had little ones.

And now yesterday, one of our sons shared what he was getting out of devotions, or doing something like going on a mission trip together, or one of our traditions is on Thanksgiving. We go serve a meal downtown for Thanksgiving and we keep things real simple around the holidays. For Christmas, we don’t do a gift exchange or set up a tree.

We just have a time of service and I was afraid, oh no, the kids are going to grow up and they’re not going to want to come home because we’re not, you know, we don’t have the fancy this or the, or whatever, but they said, “Mom, no, we like to come home now because it’s different.” So I think serving as a couple, it, when, as a wife, you see your husband and we’re working together and the kids it just feels so right.

And I think so much of church. Can be separate, like the kids are going to do this, and the women are off here having the coffee, and then the guys are doing the camping and it’s just all of these things separate and they are many good things. Right? But I think the value of being together as a family or having some kind of a ministry where you’re serving together as a couple, it strengthens who you are and what you’re doing.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:28:59] Absolutely. And that’s your first ministry now? Churches are great. Obviously, I’m a pastor. I work at a church, but my first ministry is my marriage is my family, and the church should come second to that. I haven’t always gotten that right in my life. There was a time when I tried to do everything at church then my wife was going in one direction, and

I was going in another direction. We were doing that quote-unquote church stuff, but not together. And so we’ve since rearranged a lot of that stuff, but that the statement that he made about not planning or talking about the wedding for two weeks, it reminded me of the whole concept of “redeeming time”, because we all have a certain amount of money, we all have a certain amount of stuff, but time is finite. You can’t get more of it, blah, blah, blah. But he was redeeming that two weeks knowing, at no point in his life, could he get those two weeks back. He couldn’t recreate it 20 years later or simulate it in any way. It’s like he wanted to take that two weeks and enjoy it and just rest in the accomplishment and the moment rather than let’s hurry up and get to the next thing.

I hear that rhythm in the way you talk and the stories you tell that you’re living in the moment rather than trying to hurry up and get to the next thing.

Meg Glesener: [00:30:20] Well, we have just as much rush as anyone else too, though. Our kids are in school and music and honors, and they’re leading at youth group and sometimes it gets really hectic, but we

do try and protect and you have to fight for it. You have to fight for having dinner together. You have to fight for, we had to move our devotions to 6:45 am. We’ve had to move birthday parties of eight-year-olds to 10:00 PM so we can see everyone, but you have to fight for that and time as a couple.

You really have to fight for it. Sometimes, I’m like, “I don’t feel like going out.” He said, let’s just go to dinner. And so then I’m grumpy for 15 minutes. And then I say, thank you for working through that. And we. And he values keeping, keeping, protecting the family time, protecting our love, you know, getting a lock on the door, you know, all the things to prioritize and it’s not perfect.

It’s certainly a work in progress, but we have that commitment to one another and to God to continue.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:31:29] I love the way you put that though. You do have to fight for it. Nobody’s giving you an hour, anytime, anywhere. You have to take that hour and just own it. And like you said, protect it because of other things, good things.

We’re not talking about terrible things jumping in, but really good things. Church things, school things, good things. If you don’t protect that, nobody else will. And they will eventually overrun it. And I had five kids and, so I can just imagine what they eat. If you don’t lock that door, they’re in your room all the time.

It’s like, no, no, no, no, no, no. I will come out and talk to you, but I don’t want you in here cause you’ll get comfortable. And then next thing you know, you’ll stay and I don’t want you to stay. That’s why I got you your own room. You go to your room, but you have to fight for that. Marriage is tough. It is.

It is a commitment. That takes all day, every day. And you have to protect all those hours rather than just give them away for nothing. And that’s why I love the concept of redeeming time, because I ask people this, usually, when they tell me they hurt their back or they just had surgery or something, I’ll say, “Hey, can you help me move this weekend?”

And they’ll say, yeah. And I’m like, no, the answer is no, you can’t. You don’t want,

Jerry Dugan: [00:32:38] That was a test. You failed!

Brandon Cunningham: [00:32:40] It’s okay to say no to stuff, even good stuff and I’m not moving, so you’re okay anyway, you’re off the hook.

Meg Glesener: [00:32:46] And I think one thing it’s easy to fall into and parents make the mistake because when your kids are in high school, they’re amazing.

They’re wonderful. Or college, you’re looking at them. They’re becoming adults. Yeah. And sometimes there’s stress and tension and they’re figuring out that as well. But. I think it’s easy to if you just are so excited about the kids and you’re talking about them and working around them, but when we don’t prioritize ourselves. We miss out on a great lesson for them.

We think we’re parenting them just by talking to them about their things and going to their things. But there is so much parenting, especially in the age of COVID and people being online and depressed and not having examples in their life. But what love is. So when the kids see us together and they see, Oh, well, mom and dad are going out.

Or, uh, mom and dad are just going to hang out in the hot tub tonight because they need to have some talking time. It gives them a little, there’s so much parenting that happens. It’s kind of a reverse way things work, but it’s one of the greatest things and they need to see that image of us saying, you know, like if my husband slaps me, you’re like, “You know, like it’s not like, Ooh,” or, you know, on the bottom, like, “Hey,” or “Hey, pretty girl,” like just the way we talk to one another or how we work out.

The fact of wait, no, there was 10 people at the party. No, there were 20 people. And to see us work through that tension, that is so important in such a gift to our children, to have a picture in their hearts and their minds of what love is.

Jerry Dugan: [00:34:22] I like the, not just the influence that your relationship with Mike has had on the children, but also the influence that they have had on others because I’ve seen with my kids.

So I mentioned earlier, Liv and I are going to celebrate, 19 years of marriage in November 2020.

I’ve noticed though, like, as my kids are grown up and then we started letting their friends come over, one of the things early on was like my son still does it to this day where he’ll just publicly tell us “I love you.” And I remember when he was in high school though, and he was telling us in front of his guy friends, “I love you, dad.”

And his guy, friends were like, you tell your dad, I love you. And I was like, oh, the moment of truth for my son here. And I, cause I, uh, as I was closing the door, I just kind of eavesdropped a little bit. ‘Cause I’m nosy like that. My son just turned to his friend and he said, “Yeah, why?” Yeah. It was just a matter of fact, normal.

It was totally normal for him. Like, yeah. I’m not embarrassed. Why did he say something? And then I was wondering how this kid was going to respond to my son and the kid said, “I just wished my dad did that to me.” And I was like, I’m going to go cry. Now I went back to my room. Liv was in there, just chilling out

, and I was like, “Liv, I got to cry. I got to cry, lock the door. Don’t let Jacob in!” And she’s like, why? And I told her what happened. She goes…I’m like, shut up. You’re gonna make me cry. Let me just tell the story. I’m getting all teary-eyed right now. Um, but then also, uh, you know, our kids as they’ve gone out and they’ve, they’ve dated and are dating and from time to time their dating partner, I guess I was like, I don’t know, what do you call them? Uh, they would actually gripe or get mad and one of the grievances was how perfect the parents are like, Oh, your parents love each other.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:36:16] And it’s like, sorry, we’re not drinking, throwing bottles at each other.

Jerry Dugan: [00:36:20] And my, my son or my daughter, depending on the relationship, they’re like, What’s wrong with that?

Like, isn’t that what you’re aiming for in these kinds of things? And then they’re like, yeah, actually I’m just jealous. You have it. And I don’t, you’re like, Oh, wow. Like, so we’re not just leaving this impression on our kids, but the people they interact with, the people they date, they’re getting a sense for the impact of our parenting.

And we never really think about like, we don’t get arrogant and say, Oh, look at us. We’re great. It’s just when it comes back to us, we’re like, Oh, wow. This is having a much bigger impact than we thought. So going back to a marriage with purpose, then you realize, Oh, the purpose of my marriage, isn’t just for happiness or my pleasure or my wife’s pleasure.

The purpose of my marriage goes way beyond that I’m influencing generations that I don’t even know about. Yep. And the same for you.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:37:09] And, Meg, your story’s great because you didn’t come from that. You, you created that, ending a cycle, you went into it essentially. And I kind of did the same thing. My, my father, wasn’t the greatest guy in the world, but I did kind of the opposite of what he did and went at it a different way.

But you built that in that now your kids. They can grow up and know that now maybe they don’t follow it exactly, but they at least have a good example. You’ve planted all those seeds for them.

Meg Glesener: [00:37:39] They do. And like you said, it’s, it’s not perfect, you know, and I don’t, it’s not like I want to take any credit for that.

I feel like we were in a good place of teaching. So we got to put these things in place in our marriage to start well. But I love what you’re saying so much and I…That’s been one of the blessings. The last summer in our home is there are, my sons are in football and wrestling. We’ve got heavyweights in linemen and they’ve had their friends over this summer.

And my son, Jordan, is 17 and he’ll have a hot tub of truth. So the guys come over, they’ll have cooking night. Can you believe that? And actually, my son started a YouTube, Linemen Cooking Channel, and my two sons, which is super hilarious. And, but just having your home be a place of welcome.

And like you said, and you’re just being you, but what they see and you don’t know that they see, we have these fellows over for dinner and we’re just sitting there no phones. We sat out on our deck for an hour just talking. And my son said, mom, Wyatt. He said, nobody really asks about him. He’s so thankful that you ask how he’s doing and you just think, you’re just, you just want to know how he’s doing.

How’s his family doing? How’s their restaurant and kind of thing. So you just open up your heart. And your home and it has, it has an impact. And now we’ve got grandkids that pop in here and there, our kids want to come home or the college kids kind of what you were saying. Uh, one of our kids said, I just don’t think I can find a guy out there, like my brother, or like you dad.

And so, you know, you hear things like that. Or like one of the guys who live with us once and when he left and five kids at the time, and it’s one of the greatest compliments of my life. And again, I stepped back and I just share that as something cool that he said, you make me want to have a family. And, you know, you’re just like, okay, wow.

Well, there’s something here. And believe me, we’ve had plenty of pain in our lives and all kinds of things. And the kids got all, all variety of things happening and, um, but I’m grateful. And I don’t think any time that we put into our home or our marriage to be better, to love more, to not sound like I’m scolding my husband when I’m complaining, I’m giving him a honey-do list that he doesn’t want to do.

You know, like working on all those little things, make such a difference in it. Like you were saying, it has more impact besides just our marriage, our home, it can affect generations and communities really.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:40:27] That’s so good. And obviously in this day in time, we need more of that. I mean, I think we probably always have, but now more than ever, we really do.

You know, you’ve said a couple of things that my wife touches on a lot when somebody comes cause, um, my oldest was a lineman, so they were all a bunch of big guys. But when one of his friends comes by or sees us in the store or something, and my son’s 26. So he’s obviously not with us, but whenever one of his friends stopped by just to say hi, that is a huge compliment because I don’t stop by and say hi to too many people’s parents that I grew up with.

Around, you know, and so it’s always the positive ones that, that do that kind of thing. But the other thing that this is a big pet peeve for my wife is when somebody criticizes their husband in public, that just drives her crazy. She will jump on that in a heartbeat. And I’m not saying she never criticizes me because there are things I need to improve on all that kind of stuff.

But that’s between us. She would never talk bad about me in public and to, to, especially to a bunch of people that maybe don’t know us or something, it’s like, that’s just not something she would do. And talking that positivity into each other. Also our kids, you know, if you’re around, well, you know, “Jerry’s kind of a brat, or he’s failing or whatever at school, and he’s not any good at football or whatever.”

You’re putting that out there. And, and maybe he needs to improve his grades or whatever it is, but that’s between you and your kid. Don’t publicly talk negatively about anybody and that will benefit you in life. You know, there’s just no reason for that.

Meg Glesener: [00:42:05] That is so good. And that is also telling of your wife.

So I don’t want to say a pet peeve of mine because I like I’m in a couple of moms groups and I love the moms, but one thing my husband knows I will never do. I won’t complain about him or about the kids now, do we talk about things? Sure. And at some point, and there are people out there who are having.

Crazy difficult times with their teenagers or a toddler, and they’re just crying and just devastated. And there’s a difference between saying I need help my kid, and this is going on. And, or, you know, my husband last night, we worked through this whole thing, but we got there it’s to not be, Oh,

I’m better than you because I’m not talking, you know, it’s like we don’t have pride in there, but, but my husband knows that it is this weird thing we were just talking about today, where even if I’m with my friend, there’s a sense in my heart that Mike’s with me there and I’m representing the family or, you know, that, that kind of a thing.

So I do share vulnerable things and that’s important for relationships to grow, but not complaining, not complaining. And that always makes my skin crawl. And it’s kind of like cutting, like whining for children. If you just don’t give in to it, it goes away. Right? If you, if you’re blind to it, it grows.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:43:29] I love the way you put that because you do have to have people in your life that you can be authentic with and open and honest with, but you don’t need to make that public. Don’t put it on Facebook. You know, he did this or he did that. Have some friends that you are authentic with, that you share your struggles, and ask for help.

And, in a way, you can discuss anything in a positive way, but just honestly, and all that, my, my big concern and my big focus is don’t negatively talk publicly. That’s really about anything. It’s like, oh, I hate this candidate for office. Well, what do you like about the one you support? You know, I don’t like this company.

Well, what do you like about the company you do? Like, you know, just spin it in a way, and because as we all know, there’s plenty of negativity out there. So I had a little bit of positivity to it, especially when you have a kid in your house that maybe he doesn’t have that in his family. So for you to pile on and be like everybody else, it doesn’t benefit him in a way that if you were different than everybody else and said, you know, I’m understanding that he’s not A, B, and C, but he is strong in these areas. I’m going to point them out. I’m going to ask about them. I’m going to encourage them…

and then there was silence,

Jerry Dugan: [00:44:49] Knowledge, bomb.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:44:50] Boom! But I think what I love the most about your story is you’re just authentic. You are what you are. You’re not trying to say your marriage is perfect or your family’s all been perfect. You’ve just done it for a very specific purpose. Now you also share a lot of that in your own podcast.

So tell us a little bit about what. Got your podcast started.

Meg Glesener: [00:45:14] Yeah, a couple of years ago, I was just, I had never really even heard about a podcast and was thinking about Anthony Bordain and he’s a chef and I’ve watched his shows and my family all knew him. And I well know him from TV. I don’t know anybody like that when we were reading about him. I read somewhere there was a podcast episode and I was like, what’s that? And anyway, I was listening to the podcast and I thought it was so cool. And I was trying to find some faith-based podcasts, and so while I was looking, I really didn’t see something I was looking for. I know now better how to look, but I just had this overwhelming desire in my heart while I was in my kitchen and thinking maybe I should start a podcast.

We went on this family reunion and Mike’s Matthew, my husband’s nephew in Minnesota, said, “I’ll be right back. I’m going to go download my podcast.” I was like, what? And so he had like 20 something episodes and he was 16. And I thought, okay, well, if he can start a podcast, I can start a podcast. So I started the podcast and it’s called Letters from Home and it’s every day, extraordinary faith stories. I just finished episode 27. So yeah, it’s been a fun journey.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:46:41] That’s awesome. We highly encourage anybody to get that. Of course, that’ll be in the show notes, but go check that out. If people want to just connect with you and find out more about you and your podcast, what’s the best way to do that?

Meg Glesener: [00:46:56] We have a website and something really cool. It just happened a couple of weeks ago is I have an app. So on the Google Play or the Apple Store, if you look under “Letters from Home Podcast”, you can just download the app and all the episodes are just right there on your phone, just push a button in a way.

More recently, my husband, Mike and I do a bonus episode where he does a teaching moment. He was a pastor for a house church for about 15 years. And he, for me, is the greatest example of the faith of anybody that I know. And I love that he gets to share on there and all the kids have kind of participated, too, so I think it would be really encouraging.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:47:42] That is really cool! And you can get all of that. If you just kind of thought Meg was called, she has her own app now. So, uh, you know, she’s far above figuring out what a podcast is. She’s, she’s an app developer. She works with Elon Musk on getting to Mars and all that stuff.

Other great accomplishments. Well, if someone just wanted to come by and hang out, uh, maybe on the deck or in the hot tub or something, what’s your home address?

Jerry Dugan: [00:48:10] Don’t do it. Don’t do it.

Meg Glesener: [00:48:12] Seattle, Washington. Come by anytime we always have room.

Jerry Dugan: [00:48:17] Ask for Meg.

Brandon Cunningham: [00:48:18] Just ask for Meg. They’ll let you know. The chamber of commerce there knows exactly where she lives.

This has been great. Thanks so much for joining us. Meg and just sharing your story. This will hopefully put into perspective a lot of the things we’ve talked about in previous episodes about marriage. We hope to just kind of wrap it all up. Definitely go check out Meg’s podcast and her app and get connected and just pour a little bit more positive information and, and just things into your head and your heart into and your home and make it more purposeful.

Meg Glesener: [00:48:57] I guess there is one thought I would love to leave your listeners with. I was thinking about your podcast Beyond the Rut and, you know, I just want to say for marriage and parenting embrace the rut. Embrace the rut! There’s so much beauty in the every day and the day-to-day, it’s hard to stay put.

It’s hard to look at that kid. Who’s knocked something over again, or fussy again. It’s hard to see your husband when you go through a season when you’re not liking him. You wake up and you’re not liking the quirks that he has in the day-to-day, but when we stay put and really work on those things, so much beauty can come out of that.

Jerry Dugan: [00:49:41] Now if you like everything you heard in this episode, be sure to check out the show notes at, There you’ll find the link to Meg’s website as well as her podcast app, and also the Christian Podcasters Association. So, if you’re a Christian podcaster, or you’re a Christian looking to start a podcast, or you’re a person starting a podcast about Christianity, that’ll be a great group for you to join if you’re on Facebook. Now, we’re so glad that you joined us this week, and the best way you can pay us back is to pay us forward. So share us with a friend, a family member, a coworker, or that neighbor across the street and let them know, “Hey, this lady is sharing a great story about her 31 years of marriage.

I think you’d pick up something from there. I think you’d be inspired by that. Just listen to the story. It’s really inspiring.” So other than that, we’re glad you joined us this week. We look forward to joining you again next week, but until then go live life beyond the rut. Take care.