Nov. 10, 2021

Balancing Marriage and Leadership: How We Define Our Roles as Spouses and Co-Leaders | S2 E9

Steve and Mary discuss how they’ve developed a solid marriage relationship, as they lead their home and business together - all while respecting each other’s strengths and weaknesses.


How do you partner with your spouse in business, without the business becoming a burden on your marriage? 

Even harder: How do you define your specific roles and responsibilities as a husband or wife while you lead your business, ministry or organization? 

Steve and Mary Alessi provide answers these tough questions as they discuss how they’ve developed a working relationship as leaders in their home and their family business, while respecting each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

 This honest conversation will show you how you can be an effective leader while you're working alongside your spouse - by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities and prioritizing honest and open communication.

 

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Transcript

Steve Alessi  0:09  
Well, hello, we want to welcome you to another edition of the family business podcast where family is everybody's business. And we're so glad that you're joining us in our season number two, and it's very exciting that we have already been able to lay out some of our seasons together in episodes. Today, I get the honor and privilege. 

Mary Alessi  0:36  
Why you gotta say it like that?

Steve Alessi  0:37  
 Of being here today with my wife, Mary Alessi. Gosh, Mary, we're coming up on our 34th wedding anniversary. 

Mary Alessi  0:48  
I cannot believe it. 

Steve Alessi  0:49  
Yeah, right. Now, as we're taping this, we're just about a week away. 

Yeah, only a few days away.

Mary Alessi  0:54  
Just a few days away. 

Steve Alessi  0:55  
Yep. And 34 years. We're coming to you in this podcast booth today, because we're talking to our podience.

Mary Alessi  1:03  
 that is still so cute. 

Steve Alessi  1:05  
I know. I know. Thank you, I am. About things that we cannot discuss on Sunday yet, because we have the time to do so on so forth. And since we're pastors, we can't always open up to a crowd on Sundays about some of the more intimate things that we deal with in our lives. So that's why we have our Alessi Family Business podcast, you could join us online at the AlessiFamilyBusiness.com site. And you can even ask us some questions. And today what we're going to be talking about actually comes from some of the questions that people have sent us over the last few months. And this today message, that is, or our subject that we're going to be looking at is how you and I co partner and work together as husband and wife. And we do that in our home, we do that in our work, we do that pretty much in every area of our life. So you you ready to go ahead and tackle this subject?

Mary Alessi  2:05  
Oh, I think so. 

Steve Alessi  2:07  
Okay

Mary Alessi  2:07  
 I'm gonna, I'm gonna focus. 

Steve Alessi  2:10  
Yep. 

Mary Alessi  2:10  
And we're going to tell the truth. 

Steve Alessi  2:12  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  2:12  
And be honest.

Steve Alessi  2:13  
 Good. Alright. You want to say hi to everybody? 

Mary Alessi  2:16  
Hello, everyone. It is so great to be back in season two. This has been amazing. And we just want to thank everybody for even listening. It's really cool that we are,you know, you were getting such good feedback. 

Steve Alessi  2:28  
Go to your phone real quick, okay? Read that great text that was sent.

Mary Alessi  2:33  
 Good idea.

Steve Alessi  2:34  
Today from Carrie. 

Mary Alessi  2:36  
This was beautiful and it came this morning as we were on our way here. And she's so generous with her words, but she said "good morning. Just wanted to congratulate you on starting season two of your podcast. It is wonderful and I have listened to every episode." Thank you, Carrie. "I truly enjoy getting to know you both better. And the wisdom and truth you speak. I hear many people say that you guys have a gift that everything you touch turns into gold."  I haven't heard that. That's kinda nice. 

Steve Alessi  3:03  
That's great. 

Mary Alessi  3:04  
That's really sweet. "But my response is everything you do is God ordained. And all that you do is blessed because of your lifelong service and love for God." Amen. "May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family to continue doing great work for His kingdom for generations to come. always praying for you. God bless you."

Steve Alessi  3:21  
That's beautiful. Now listen, we're pastors. So people are going to say that they they're blessed by what we're doing, right? It's this whole spiritual connection that we have with our, our people. And that's why we're coming like this, we want to have a connection with all of our listeners. Intellectual, relational, spiritual, whatever that is, because it's a soul deal. 

Mary Alessi  3:43  
Sure.

Steve Alessi  3:43  
When we're doing this, Mary, I'm finding you and I are connecting with more people at a soulish, relational level than we have before. So this is really great. And I'm glad we can do this as we hear it encourages others by our story and our experiences. That, that's what we should be doing with our life. And so today as we're talking about this, we you and I working together just from a spiritual perspective, for a minute, a biblical vantage point of all of this, we know that the Bible actually says that we are no more -  and as he starts to list some of the things we're no longer to God - that we're no longer Jew or Gentile, we are no longer bond or  free. We are no longer male or female. In God's eyes when it comes to relationship aspect and creation. We're all created equal in his eyes. Now when it comes to function, it's a little different, because then there are places where even in the Bible it talks about a woman's role in leading a church environment. And the only thing that you and I see that we respect is that a woman's role will be used in the fullest extent, in every religious environment, as long as she has an understanding of submission to the authority that is either a pastor in her life or her husband in her life, and, and she should be in subjection relationally to that. So she comes under that authority of a leader, a male leader, and this case for you and I, your husband and your pastor. And when that is happening, then it's a safe environment for you to come alongside of me and be a co-equal in our ministry or in our business to people that are following us. So you're, you're good at that. 

Mary Alessi  5:51  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  5:52  
You're really understanding of that you don't fight for your position of oh, let me have that, I need to say that I'm as good as you are, you're you have a good balance in understanding of that. So you want to say something?

Mary Alessi  6:07  
Well, I think I wasn't always good at that. I had to learn to do that. And with understanding that there are certain words, that set me free as a woman, but yet in the culture, they were hot words, they were words that were trigger words to women, but they were the actual words that would set me free to be who God called me to be in the Word. You use subjection. I mean, women do not like - well, nobody likes the word to be in subjection to. That sounds like, you own me, or you dictate everything in my life. But when I understand the power of that, and really my place under submission is as powerful as your place possibly over subjection of me, your family, your church. There, there's power in that when you walk in it, but it wasn't always easy. And we could talk about how we both got there. But it's definitely when it's not exercised, understanding your full authority, in your submission and in the place you're in, when you don't fully understand that? It can cause a whole lot of conflict. And that's how wars are started. When when we don't recognize alpha, we don't recognize leadership when we don't recognize authority, and there's disrespect, that's that's how marriages end. That's how there's just conflict on every level. But when we do understand the power of the one who gets to submit it, that's where that's where everything you touch turns to gold, because you understand the principle of that. 

Steve Alessi  7:31  
Well, you anything with two heads is a freak. 

Mary Alessi  7:33  
Absolutely. 

Steve Alessi  7:34  
And there has to be an understanding of that, that there's always going to be a leader. And what we find in our understanding of husband and wife, and even working together is that I get the privilege and the responsibility of being the leader, you're my co equal when it comes to us then leading our home, and so on, because I, I rely on the wisdom that you have, I rely on your experience, and your intellect and your gifting. I rely on all of that, which then helps me be a better leader. Because now I'm not fighting for my position. 

Mary Alessi  8:11  
That's right. 

Steve Alessi  8:12  
If I had to always fight for my position to lead our family, or lead our church and our business, then I would always be frustrated. And it would be forever a battle. And I wish I wish couples could understand this, that when you find the leader of your home, then that leader takes their place with. And when they have their place of leadership and authority, then you find yourself willing and as long as their security there, you find yourself willing to pull people alongside of you as a leader. And for us, it just happens to be that you and I have learned how to work together. 

Mary Alessi  8:55  
Right.

Steve Alessi  8:55  
 Because I remember looking out one day Mary. And there was a lot of females in our church, and I'm leading in my role as speaker. And there's a lot of females as I'm speaking. And I also see the men and I'm really connecting with the men, but I'm thinking to myself, Wow, am I really connecting with these women? I need help. 

Mary Alessi  9:18  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  9:19  
And here you were with the gift, the experience, the same thing that's on me is on you. Why wouldn't I want you to come alongside of me?

Mary Alessi  9:25  
Right.

Steve Alessi  9:26  
 And now together. We are working hand in hand in this capacity, because there's women and men, but there's women that need to hear what you bring to the table. So I'm helping them one group, you're helping another together, we're helping the entire group. 

Mary Alessi  9:42  
And you've always been very fair in leadership. You've always been somebody who shares and you know, I honestly I think about the times that you've asked for my help. And I probably was thinking of it through a female lens versus stepping back and that's scripture verse, there's neither, therefore now, female or male, right? When you look at it through through the lens of the work, just the work and the responsibility and you take off, well, that's because I'm a female, or that's because I'm a man. When you get rid of those types of filters - which are very divisive anyway - And it just becomes about the responsibility and what what we are called to do and what we're doing, but not looking at it through the lens of gender, which is really what God wants us to do is look at it through the lens of principle. and through the lens of the work. When I put that away, and I think women have a much harder time. Well, I know they do. They're yoked with this burden of "Well, it's because I'm a female that this happens to me. "If I was a man, I'd have the world." It's a man's world, right? We, you know, Beyonce has been singing that. But when you take that filter off, and you don't look at it through the lens of a woman, and I had to do that. And I looked at it from the perspective of how fair you were. This was really your church in a lot of ways. Yes, it's God's church. But this was your mission. You started this, you stepped out. You had your name on the bank accounts, not me. And when I was started looking at it through that lens and not gender lenses, it helped me stay in my place and not compete. But that's a real True Hollywood Story Problem - Is the competition. 

Steve Alessi  11:28  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  11:28  
And we say, Oh, you're we're not meant to compete. We're meant to complete. Yeah, okay, whatever. But we do. And we struggle. I've been tempted. You've been tempted. We talk about that. 

Steve Alessi  11:36  
You're very competitive. 

Mary Alessi  11:38  
No. 

Steve Alessi  11:39  
Yes, you didn't like the fact that just right here. I'm higher and speaking over my mic. 

Mary Alessi  11:45  
No.

Steve Alessi  11:46  
 And you didn't like the position of your Mic? Because Steve's mic is that.

Mary Alessi  11:51  
 Well...

Steve Alessi  11:51  
and I want that, too. You're very competitive.

Mary Alessi  11:54  
I am. We both are. 

Steve Alessi  11:56  
That's not bad. 

Mary Alessi  11:57  
No, but if I look at it through the lens of I'm a competitive female, I'll never win. Well, that's going to hinder my success.

Steve Alessi  12:05  
 Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  12:05  
Because I'm in this position. So I'm going to make the best of this position. And something I said to Christopher, our son one time, is walk in the fullness of what you carry. Walk in the in the fullness of the weight of what you carry. And it meant a lot to him. And I stopped and I thought, Okay, what does that even mean? But I heard it so strong walk in the fullness, carry the full weight.  It's easy for us to be in a position where the sky's the limit. And we let excuses and the wrong lenses and the wrong voices, speak to us that truly hinder walking in the fullness of where we are, right?  So like I'm in this room. And this room has cameras, and it has lights, and it has rugs and it's got microphones and that would be like me coming in here and deciding I'm going to do a podcast, but I'm not going to use the mic right. 

Steve Alessi  12:57  
Right. 

Mary Alessi  12:58  
I'm going to use the fullness of this room. Yeah. And sometimes when we're walking in our positions, and we're working together, we're so busy looking at the other one and questioning, what can I do? What can I do? How much authority do I have in this space? And then having hang ups over it. No, just take advantage of the position you have put away those negative thoughts and just trust God? 

Yeah. 

You know, and then use it all to to the fullness of what this position affords you.

Steve Alessi  13:26  
You know, this is so important, and it's why we need to hit this every season.

Mary Alessi  13:31  
 Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  13:32  
We have to go back to the power of working together. Yes. And being one, we hit this in a number of episodes in our first season. But it's good to keep coming back because people need to be reminded, we have to work together daily. And I can remember something, you know, 30 days ago or I can hear something 30 days ago and get it then. But then you and I go through a rough patch or, or money's tight, or we're having problems with with staffing or something. And we forget what we heard back then. So I got to be reminded, okay, no, this is a good thing. 

Right...

... That we're working together. So let me ask you this question, Mary, how do you work with your husband? And I will tell them how I work with my wife. 

Mary Alessi  14:12  
Okay, you go first. 

Steve Alessi  14:13  
No...

Mary Alessi  14:14  
no, ladies...go first.

Steve Alessi  14:16  
Well, how do I work with my wife? I think there's some patience. Mm hmm. I think I have to always want a wife first. Yes. Before I want a employee.... employee. That's important. And you and I had to come to that realization because we were... I was butting heads with you. I wanted you to do things a certain way. I wanted you to be more like me. I wanted you to have more of an administrative bent and not realizing that you're unique, fun, loving, free, caring. 

Mary Alessi  15:01  
Creative. 

Steve Alessi  15:01  
...Creative gifting or personality about you added to what I needed. 

Mary Alessi  15:07  
Yeah.

Steve Alessi  15:08  
 And we both couldn't be like me, or else we would be a very boring organization. And, you know, you know how to light up the room, when you walk in, I know how to turn off all the lights when I walk in. There was a balance to that.

Mary Alessi  15:23  
Right.

Steve Alessi  15:23  
 And so working with you meant that I had to say, Okay, I want a wife more than I want a... the person working for me...

Mary Alessi  15:34  
 right

Steve Alessi  15:35  
... To be a certain way. Because we had to sit back, what that really helped me do was appreciate your gifts that you bring to the table. And I'm totally weak in that area. And I had to say, alright, I don't have that. I need that. She's got it. Come on. Appreciate that. That has really helped me over the years, because even our kids, our kids come to you and I, and they're asking the question, asking you, How do I work with dad? I got an issue. They're asking me, How do I work with Mom, I've got an issue. And it's cute, because now we can give them... 

Mary Alessi  16:13  
we're like each other's interpreters.

Steve Alessi  16:15  
Yeah, we are. We are and and we don't sit back and ever say, Well, you're right. She's this or he's that. We're like, we laugh. And then we say, well, this is how you have to perceive it, look at it, this is the way you have to deal with Mom, this is going to give you the best results in working with mom. So I think when you and I work together, I come to the table. And I have to say before we sit down at the table, Mary's got good information, listen, and read between the lines and let's see what the contribution is. Cuz she helps us tremendously. If I do that, then it's easier for me to understand what then your personality is bringing to the table. Because this isn't just us. 

Right, 

We've got other - Jon in the back there. He's in the studio, he works with his wife, Jackie. And they even now, they just moved into the same office together, they share an office. That's going to be exciting as time goes on.

Mary Alessi  17:17  
Y'all need to listen to this podcast. 

Jon Roman  17:19  
I'm taking notes, Pastor. 

Mary Alessi  17:22  
Go get Jackie. 

Steve Alessi  17:24  
All right. So that's how I work with you. How do you work with me? 

Mary Alessi  17:27  
You know - and of course, we're talking about now, because we've had many years to get to this sweet spot of working together. But I can tell you that the mindset I have to put on when we are in creative spaces, or when we are planning and we're getting our vision together for the future, I have to say to myself, although Steve doesn't lead with a creative idea, it doesn't mean he's not creative, too. And although he doesn't get all excited about certain things, and he may not communicate things and make them fun, they're gonna be fun if we execute them.

Steve Alessi  17:59  
 Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  18:00  
And I also think to myself, and again, I've had to learn this, this is not something that you and I came into being as being - 

Steve Alessi  18:08  
True. 

Mary Alessi  18:08  
We had to develop the skill of working together, it is a skill, it takes practice, it takes exercise, it takes listening to other people who do it and do it well, getting resources. But for you and I, I also have to go into the room going, This isn't my full thing. At the end of the day, the ultimate say is Steve's. I'm a part of the team. I am afforded an incredible opportunity and privilege to really have probably the biggest voice next to the Holy Spirit in your life. And I don't ever want to take advantage of that and over use that voice because I know how important it is, again, going back to not looking at it even through the filter of a wife. You know, and I can't and I know that there's been times that I've been manipulative and didn't even put the tag of manipulation on it.

Steve Alessi  19:00  
Wow. Confession, eh?

Mary Alessi  19:03  
Okay, well, you know, what goes around...'cause you're next.

Steve Alessi  19:07  
Now? How would you manipulate?

Mary Alessi  19:09  
How would I manipulate? 

Steve Alessi  19:10  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  19:12  
 I can't give out my secrets Steve. 

Steve Alessi  19:14  
No!

Mary Alessi  19:15  
This is magic

Steve Alessi  19:15  
Mine's more .... mine's more domineering. 

Mary Alessi  19:19  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  19:19  
My manipulation, to more when I get what I want.

Mary Alessi  19:22  
I want that. And that's it. That's what I said. That's what I said. That's what I want. That's what I want. 

Steve Alessi  19:26  
Rarely do we drop the boss card, but when it comes out, I'm pretty desperate. I've lost my advantage...which was always terrible. Because even when you and I go at it, argument wise, you're with your words and I'm with - I get so flushed in the moment. I don't know what to say so 

Mary Alessi  19:45  
Well...

Steve Alessi  19:45  
 It's hard for people to imagine.

Mary Alessi  19:48  
Well, I manipulate probably through. Gosh, I don't want to say it.

Steve Alessi  19:55  
I wish it was sex. Just that's not the case.

Mary Alessi  19:59  
 No.

Steve Alessi  20:00  
But I'll give you permission at any time you want with sex. Sorry, Ashlie, 

Mary Alessi  20:08  
Oh my gosh

Steve Alessi  20:09  
Sorry, Ashlie.

Well, okay,

Mary Alessi  20:11  
I'm stunned. Now I don't know what to say.

Steve Alessi  20:15  
I think one of the things that are important is if a couple's got to work together, and this is in the home, okay, this is working in a business together. This is just working in general together... on a vacation pulling things together, I think first, you have to know what it is to understand each other's strengths. 

Right. So you're light hearted, you're fun. I'm more focused, and I'm results oriented. 

Mary Alessi  20:46  
Yes. 

Steve Alessi  20:46  
And those two together could be a great compliment. If it's just one sided, though, it could be unbalanced. 

Mary Alessi  20:54  
Right. 

Steve Alessi  20:54  
 So that's important for a couple, if they're gonna work together, then understand each other's strengths. Then that requires, after you try to find each other strength, it requires constantly looking at the uniqueness of each partner.

Mary Alessi  21:13  
Absolutely. And when you're in a room together, where there's either a, I mean, I don't know what their job would be. But from our perspective, we have a staff. And we have a vision for every year. And I don't get to dictate that vision. I don't get to say, Oh, I have a great idea. It has to be a God idea. And where there was a season where I probably thought, Man, I did have a good idea. And you saw it as a good idea. Here's what our where I would manipulate, I would try to represent it, repackage it to convince you from the wife's role. 

Steve Alessi  21:49  
Right.

Mary Alessi  21:49  
Which was not good. So when, especially for what we do, the responsibility and the burden is on you to be right. It's not really on me. So from even from that perspective of husbands and wives working together in a room, knowing that you really do find safety in submission, you do find safety and knowing your place on the team. 

Steve Alessi  22:11  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  22:12  
And that has helped me more times not be mad at you on the drive home. 

Steve Alessi  22:16  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  22:17  
Which I drove home many days mad at you, or mad in staff meetings and fuming, you know, which was immaturity and ridiculous. 

Steve Alessi  22:25  
Immediately. 

Mary Alessi  22:26  
You knew I was mad. 

Steve Alessi  22:26  
Oh, no, here we go. And now instead of focusing on what I needed to get done, I'm worried about Oh No, her feelings, now we're gonna -  this is not gonna end well.

Mary Alessi  22:36  
And so, two things, we stopped having so many staff meetings that helped to stop creating an environment for an argument. But no, really, we both did learn to defer and refer to one another a little bit more and drop our, our defenses. You know, you would always say  "stop being so defensive, stop being so defensive." And when I really do that, and I go, okay, you know what, then I'm truly not going to be defensive. And think that I don't get heard or that I need to be heard or speak up more. When I let that go? 

Steve Alessi  23:10  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  23:10  
When I do let that go?

Steve Alessi  23:12  
Right. 

Mary Alessi  23:13  
There's peace. We work so hard on harmoniously together, and then I find, you will turn to me and say, no, what did you really think? 

Steve Alessi  23:20  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  23:20  
And we can have an honest conversation, and you are fair, and you do listen, and you do need me to not be caught up in my feelings or what I think I need to get through or be seen or be heard. When I dropped that,

Steve Alessi  23:34  
 Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  23:34  
 Our relationships so much sweeter.

Steve Alessi  23:36  
You know, another reason I think if a couple comes to the table, they're wanting to work together? To help them do so, I think they need to see themselves as role models. 

Mary Alessi  23:46  
Right.

Steve Alessi  23:47  
 One of the things you and I realize is it's one thing for us to preach a sermon. It's one thing for us to get up and sing a song. It's another thing for us to get up in interact with one another.

Mary Alessi  23:57  
 That's very true

Steve Alessi  23:57  
... which is why we like to get up on occasion, and speak together. Because it's a good role model. Even what we're doing right here. We're trying to be a model for other couples and other young women that, and men, that are feeling this challenge. Nobody said this was going to be easy. No, I mean, the first human beings that were ever put together, transformers by - by God Himself. 

Mary Alessi  24:26  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  24:26  
Adam and Eve. They struggled with this. And the enemy came in and presented thoughts to Eve that were contrary to what her husband was running with. And then all of a sudden those thoughts, she listened to those voices. Those voices led her to make a choice that has hurt all of us. 

Mary Alessi  24:44  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  24:44  
So you we need role models out there saying "I hear the voices. I even hear what culture is trying to say about masculinity and femininity and feminism. I hear those voices. But you know what, that does not line up with me. My values that are going to help me make the right decisions for my family, I can't help what everybody else is doing okay?" 

Mary Alessi  25:06  
Right. 

Steve Alessi  25:07  
You mentioned Beyonce, I can't help what she and her husband are doing, I can only help what I'm doing here in my household, in this organization that we're leading. And I say to myself, if, if you and I are going to come across as a good role model, then I have to make way for my spouse to come alongside of me, and show there's a good synergy effect, that how we get more done together, then we do when we're trying to do it all on our own. 

Mary Alessi  25:37  
That's right. 

Steve Alessi  25:38  
So it's a good role model for your kids. They see how you work together. It's -  it really is even at the home level at the home, how you, how do you run the household together? 

Yeah.

It's a team that you, you are demonstrating, and you need it to be successful raising those kids, You've heard some of our stories, I'll handle this one, because he's now a male at this age. 

Mary Alessi  26:01  
That's right. 

Steve Alessi  26:01  
I need you to handle them. Those females because they are females and of age, and they need something, more emotion and understanding. So we've worked together in every aspect. And when we do that, with intentionality, it actually is a role model for others.

Mary Alessi  26:20  
And that's what people need today more than ever. I really think we're so divided that, okay, I can sing and you can preach, and we do have our gifts and our talents. But we're finding as we're coming into 34 years of marriage, that what we get the most response on, is when we just tell people "let him be him. Let her be her. enjoy one another be a team." 

Steve Alessi  26:42  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  26:42  
Fight for the team, in your home, be a family have family pride. 

Steve Alessi  26:48  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  26:48  
And it's work. It's none of it's easy. It's all work.

Steve Alessi  26:53  
 Yeah.

Mary Alessi  26:53  
 But you know, that's what makes it so fulfilling. When you get to that place of "man, we climbed this mountain together, we applied the principles, the truths that we heard, we applied and Oh, Gosh, darn it, they worked!" 

Steve Alessi  27:06  
Better than we imagined. 

Mary Alessi  27:08  
And then your children are left not only with a legacy, but they're raised in a home, when an environment when the rest of the world might be divided, bitter, angry, fighting contentious, your kids know harmony. And it's really, I mean, yeah, it's work. But it's not hard work.

Steve Alessi  27:29  
You know, you mentioned harmony? I would say to every parent, especially with young kids right now, if you can teach 'em this young, it'll be great. Teach him to be agreeable, teach him to be harmonious. Let them see the value of that.

Mary Alessi  27:44  
 Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  27:45  
...that sometimes you let your side of things go, just for the sake of harmony, and the right person that is in their life will see that and respect it. Honor it by doing the same thing. Yeah, give and take all the way. Okay. A couple of questions, babe as we bring this thing in. Do we take our work home?

Mary Alessi  28:06  
Sometimes we do. We did in the beginning a lot. 

Steve Alessi  28:10  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  28:11  
Yes.

Steve Alessi  28:11  
It's impossible to run a business and just leave the business, as a husband and wife run a business  - and lead the business at the office when it's your world? 

Mary Alessi  28:19  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  28:19  
So yes, we bring it home. And the stress of it, we bring home. 

Mary Alessi  28:23  
Right. 

Steve Alessi  28:24  
 but also the celebration of it, we bring home. 

Mary Alessi  28:26  
Sure. 

Steve Alessi  28:27  
You can't have one without the other. It's the balance of Okay, To whom much is given, much is required. And sometimes the bad stuff follows you home, and you got to hammer that out. 

Mary Alessi  28:40  
It's true. 

Steve Alessi  28:41  
You just can't let the stress of it divide you at home.

Mary Alessi  28:43  
No, and there's rules that we put in place. I would say early on, but it was probably a little late in the game, where we would say, Alright, that's it enough, turn it off. We are not going to discuss this. We're getting home with the kids. We're going to talk about them. We're going to talk about the house. We're going to talk about fun stuff. We're going to get together as a family and do something, turn it off. Because we both care about what God's called us to equally. You know, neither one of us have ever said, all you do is talk about the church. We've never blamed each other because both of us have been equally intense about this ministry.

Steve Alessi  29:22  
 Yep. 

Mary Alessi  29:23  
And that's one thing we never use it against each other. Ever. We had to turn it off to tell each other okay, both of us need to stop and not to not bring this up and not discuss this. Even if it was good, fun stuff. Like going on big going away on vacation and start vision casting for the next year. You know? Yeah, you gotta say we can't do that.

Steve Alessi  29:43  
It's funny. I remember as a kid when our parents would go on vacation. It was mostly road trips. And you know, we had to stop by and see in every city? The churches.

Mary Alessi  29:53  
Of course. 

Steve Alessi  29:55  
Because it was our life. My parents could - couldn't just leave it in Miami. They would take it on vacation with us, it was always our world. 

Mary Alessi  30:02  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  30:03  
And you know, we've learned a great principle there, man, when you make God all you want, he'll give you all you need. It's been the same with the ministry, we've just made the ministry all we want, and we have just received so much more because of it. So, yes, we bring it home good and bad. We're not that strong. It's staying balanced in it. Because I think that's - that's not the reality, right? You can't be passionate about something, and just leave it-

Mary Alessi  30:29  
Comparmentalize it. You can't. You can't. 

Steve Alessi  30:31  
 You know, you bring it home and you realize, okay, there's working abilities here. There's things we got to do, to be able to put it on pause when we get home, which then talking about passion. Does our work ever get into the way of our intimacy? 

Mary Alessi  30:46  
I think it has. 

Steve Alessi  30:47  
Sometimes.

Mary Alessi  30:48  
 Sure. 

Steve Alessi  30:49  
Because we're angry, we're stressed, we're well, thinking of someone, we're just not in the mood.

Mary Alessi  30:55  
We bring up - we bring up a subject that we start agreeing with on. And then when we're trying to psychoanalyze the situation, somewhere along in that conversation, we disagree and one of us are triggered. We started agreeing about the situation. And then somewhere along the line, one of us either got defensive, or didn't like what we heard. And then the next thing you know, we've allowed something to trigger us, and put that on pause. 

Steve Alessi  31:25  
That's our timer. So I'm gonna go ahead and cancel that and look at there. Yeah, I agree with that.

Mary Alessi  31:31  
And then that affects it, instead of seeing the signs and knowing "Okay, first of all, we don't even need to be talking about this right now. This is so not helpful." We're home and it started good. But it could get bad fast. And it's okay, that there are certain times, there are certain subjects that should be saved for the office. Because a lot of times when you do get home, and we've said this with the kids, let's have a meeting, let's have an official meeting, if we need to discuss something, let's not just do it at home, we're all outside, we're in the pool, and we're having a fun time. Then the next thing we know we're in a disagreement stance. 

Steve Alessi  32:06  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  32:06  
Well, we shouldn't even be talking about this right now. This should be saved for the office.

Steve Alessi  32:10  
And we've had to tell our kids to say, Hey, don't bring it home right now. Please. We're in a different mode. worst time to bring any of this stuff home is on Sunday evening, 

Mary Alessi  32:19  
Right.

Steve Alessi  32:20  
 Because emotionally, Willow, we're physically tired. That's not a good time to bring it up. So we all we have to course correct ourselves. But it does get in the way, sometimes, of our intimacy, which then brings me to this last question, do we take time to power down and connect with each other? 

Mary Alessi  32:35  
Yes, we do. 

Steve Alessi  32:36  
Yes, we do. 

Mary Alessi  32:37  
Yes, we do.

Steve Alessi  32:38  
 Absolutely. We have to.

Mary Alessi  32:41  
It's sacred for us.

Steve Alessi  32:42  
 It is. It's - it's an investment into our relational well being our emotional and spiritual well, being. A lot of the trips we used to take when we were younger, because we couldn't afford vacations? 

Mary Alessi  32:52  
Yes. 

Steve Alessi  32:53  
 Were ministry trips, right? We go to conferences. That's right. And all that was good, well, and good. But even the function -  the, the funk of those conferences, would weigh on our relationship. 

Mary Alessi  33:06  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  33:06  
Remember those days we get there? And we'd be looking at guys or women that are singing or preaching? And we couldn't help but allow...

Mary Alessi  33:14  
Yeah.

Steve Alessi  33:15  
...or fight off that, that comparison? 

Mary Alessi  33:17  
Absolutely. 

Steve Alessi  33:18  
We couldn't allow that to happen. And in between one another.

Mary Alessi  33:23  
 Oh, yeah. 

Steve Alessi  33:23  
Oh, man, I wish she would speak like that, or I wish she would sing like that. Mentally, we had our our battles with that, because we could not allow that to get in the way. So the ministry trips weren't really, you and I getting away to power down and connect.

Mary Alessi  33:38  
 No. 

Steve Alessi  33:38  
That's why vacations are so important in this season of our lives and our farmhouse. It's so important. 

Mary Alessi  33:45  
Oh, yes, 

Steve Alessi  33:45  
It's, it's medicine to us. It's therapy. 

Mary Alessi  33:49  
Right.

Steve Alessi  33:49  
 And that's why even as a family, we try that if we're going to get away, we try to do it as a family. And that means when we're out and we all go, we... there's a void in the office. And we try to be as understanding as possible with all our staff members when they need to go out of town if they're married, because we have to do that with our family, our kids. It's part of our well being, our emotional and spiritual and relational well being. So we do like to get around - away and connect. And we're going to actually do that for our 34th anniversary.

Mary Alessi  34:28  
 We are. 

Steve Alessi  34:28  
And we're going to take the moms with us we are that's gonna be fun. We're gonna have a very tough power down for family.

Mary Alessi  34:34  
I just want to say my last thing. After 34 years of marriage, one of the things that we both have taken away is this. We know how easy it is for strong couples who do work together with the family to become divided. It's a tripwire. 

Steve Alessi  34:47  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  34:48  
It does not take much to get on - You're on the same path on two different paths. And if we don't instill some of the things that we were fortunate enough to hear, have people in our life - We both had the right heart to take God at His Word. And we implemented those things. And it's still about we're still practicing that we don't turn that off. You don't stop. You don't arrive. Yeah, we're continually making sure that we're exercising the good things and saying no to the bad things. 

Yep. 

And, and... and ministering to each other, and not just to the people that God's giving us, we have to minister to one another.

Steve Alessi  35:21  
Okay, Mary, you still want to work with me. And for me?

Mary Alessi  35:25  
Even more now than before. And I'm serious. I mean that.

Steve Alessi  35:28  
And I want to work with you. And for you. 

Mary Alessi  35:30  
We finally got it figured out.

Steve Alessi  35:31  
 Finally got it figured out. And we only got a few years left. So hopefully we'll kill it on that. Thank you for joining us again on the family business podcast with the Alessis.

Chris Alessi  35:42  

You've just enjoyed another episode of the family business podcast with the Alessis and we can't thank you enough for being a part of our podience. Now that you've heard more about the Alessis, we want you to join in the family business. And here are four easy ways to do just that. One, make sure to follow the show right now on your app and download this episode so you can hear it at any time. Two, rate our show and leave a review. We love reading your reviews and we often share them on the show. Three, share this episode with someone who could use this advice and tell them why you enjoyed it. And lastly four,  you can go to Alessifamilybusiness.com and leave us a voicemail comment or even a question so we can answer it on a future show. We'll see you here for our next episode at the Family Business with the Alessis because family is everybody's business.