Aug. 11, 2021

The Real Deal on Dating | Ask the Alessis Q&A S1 EP16

The Alessis are tackling your tough questions on guiding your teen or young adult children through the world of dating and relationships in this Q&A episode!


In this Q&A episode, Steve and Mary Alessi are giving you solid teenage dating advice for parents, as well as tips when your young adult children are considering marriage. 

These tough questions came from you, our audience , and you can ask your own questions to the Alessis by tapping the "Ask The Alessis" button right on this page.

While they don't claim to be relationship experts, these strategies and tips come from Steve and Mary's 30+ years of experience from ministry and raising four God-loving young adults.

Questions Addressed In this Episode 

  • How do you handle it when your child's boyfriend / girlfriend / significant other has different views? 
  • How should young adults approach dating and starting serious relationships?

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Transcript

Steve Alessi  0:09  
We want to welcome you to another episode of the family business podcast with the Alessis, and today I am here with my wonderful, beautiful wife, Mary Alessi. 

Mary Alessi  0:21  
So good to be here today, Steve.

Steve Alessi  0:22  
Is it really?

Mary Alessi  0:23  
It is! I think it is. 

Steve Alessi  0:24  
Well, we're having our...  we have our podcast, because family is everybody's business.

Mary Alessi  0:29  
Yes it is. 

Steve Alessi  0:30  
And of course most people think we're talking about the career aspect of the family business. But we do a little bit of both, because we're in a unique position in that we work together and live together. And we have young adult kids that also work with us and a couple of them that are still living at home. So we're discussing things that we cannot discuss on Sunday. And here's what we're going to be doing in this episode. We've had a great season of podcasts.

Mary Alessi  0:56  
We have.

Steve Alessi  0:57  
Our first season, I've enjoyed it, we're getting good response from the public and people that are...

Mary Alessi  1:02  
Lot of listeners...

Steve Alessi  1:02  
... joining in Yep, love it got some good downloads. And that's all working in our favor, which is showing some real, you know, support for people. And that's why we're doing this, we want to make sure that we take what we do on the weekend, and apply it to where people live on a regular basis. And so what we've done is we are looking at some questions, people have been asking us and we want our listeners to know that they can go to our website, which is the Alessi family business com website.

Mary Alessi  1:34  
 That's awesome. 

Steve Alessi  1:35  
And they can ask some questions of us right there. 

Mary Alessi  1:38  
That's great. 

Steve Alessi  1:38  
We could take a talk, take some time to answer them. And not that we are professionals at this at all. But we tried to do our best and we're seeing some good fruit. 

Mary Alessi  1:50  
We are.

Steve Alessi  1:51  
... up to this point of how we juggle both family and ministry, which is home in the workplace, the family business and so forth.

Mary Alessi  1:59  
I like that because we're being real specific with our listeners, so that they have those specific questions that are right where they are in real time and we can answer them best to our ability. We'll do our best to answer them.

Steve Alessi  2:10  
You think we've made our family a priority?

Mary Alessi  2:12  
Oh, I know we have. 

Steve Alessi  2:13  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  2:14  
God, our family and then what we do. 

Steve Alessi  2:17  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  2:17  
Yeah, our family is definitely the most important thing next to our relationship with Jesus Christ. Our kids are, they are our unit, our family vision and what we are together, the health of it. Our relationship is priority. 

Steve Alessi  2:31  
Yeah. And as much as I'd like to say we were so brilliant on the front end of it.

Mary Alessi  2:35  
 No.

Steve Alessi  2:35  
No, we didn't always have that though. Our family was always important to us. It wasn't they weren't always a priority, right? We never had that kind of thing. Where Okay, God's got to be first. And then, you know, our marriage is second. And then our children our third and then our ministry. 

Mary Alessi  2:56  
No, no.

Steve Alessi  2:56  
We never had those things out there. Like it was so concrete. 

Mary Alessi  3:02  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  3:02  
But it was just a spirit. We just kind of understood...

Mary Alessi  3:06  
yeah...

Steve Alessi  3:06  
that if we're going to do our job, right, we needed to make sure our kids and our home was right.

Mary Alessi  3:12  
 Yeah.

Steve Alessi  3:13  
 And so it's not so much it was so militaristic, that it had to be this way. It was just a spirit of understanding that, you know, it's gonna be kind of hard to help other people, their family, if our families all jacked up.

Mary Alessi  3:25  
And we were always I think, from the beginning of our relationship, because of our, the way we grew up in ministry with family, we kind of had this unified thought that we were going to watch what other people did that worked and watch what they did that did not work. And when we saw parents that were frustrated or hurting, because they had a child that was broken, and in ministry, what we did, we just said, Okay, what do, what do I do to make sure that does not happen. And we really just applied that every day. It wasn't big, sweeping, huge moments. It was an everyday thing, and it can get hard and tiresome. We're not done, you know, we're still... we're still kind of raising our kids even though two got married just now. We're still a big part of that and we're invited into their lives. But we really tried to avoid the stumbling blocks that we saw other... the mistakes that we saw other people make and we listen to them. We tried to listen to other people's wisdom from their mistakes and from the things they did well and apply them to our lives. We try we...

Steve Alessi  4:27  
Trial and error. 

Mary Alessi  4:28  
Yes.

Steve Alessi  4:28  
We're looking at a video of us here way back when when we had Christmas mornings and gosh, how we were operating in that chaos and then having to juggle the baby, Gaby, her birthday just a few days after that and her wanting all the attention and dealing with the yelling and the screaming, the biting and  crying. But yet at the same time, the joy, the excitement, and we looked at ourselves in that video saying how in the world did we do it? 

Mary Alessi  5:01  
I know. And I, somebody recently said to me, You have to be a special couple or a special parent to be able to raise four children. And I said, No, that's not it at all. It's not being a type of person that helps you raise four kids. It's becoming the kind of person that raising four kids makes you. So the more kids you have, the really the more you have to adjust, to be able to manage all of this, but what you learn is you are far more capable than you think you are. And in the midst of the chaos, even with the struggle, no matter if you've got one, if you've got two, you are capable to cover it all and God's ability and his grace, he strengthens you. But when we were looking back at those videos, I did ask that question. Like how did we do it? I sat on the quiet on the floor all by myself, all by myself. And you've got the video camera, 

Steve Alessi  5:19  
The kids are gone, after we gave them all this attention

Mary Alessi  5:25  
But you're trying to be fair, You're trying to be fair, and make sure you put the camera and we're watching it going, We didn't put the camera on Lauren enough. Oh my gosh, we didn't put... no wonder she's got this complex. Oh my gosh, parenting is hard. 

Steve Alessi  6:05  
Yeah, I remember my buddy Steve Hage, he'd come to town, pastor. And he'd always made this stupid comment because he'd be around the kids all the time. And he'd look at me when Stephanie is going off on some tangent, the girls are screaming, he just looked over at me with this look and say, you know, Alessi, you need... you know what you need? You need one more kid. And we would laugh.

Mary Alessi  6:29  
We're sorry!

Steve Alessi  6:30  
 I would say right from the beginning. any parent that is raising their kids, you know, chill, right? We can't...

Mary Alessi  6:40  
Take several chill pills. 

Steve Alessi  6:41  
Yeah, we can't break them. 

Mary Alessi  6:42  
No. 

Steve Alessi  6:43  
We may not have all the principles of raising them up just right. But they're pretty resilient. 

Mary Alessi  6:49  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  6:50  
So like, what I dropped one of them off the counter. I can't remember what kid of mine rolled off when I was changing the diaper. Which one was that?

Mary Alessi  6:57  
 Stephanie.

Steve Alessi  6:58  
 Oh my gosh.

Mary Alessi  6:59  
See how it all comes together? 

Steve Alessi  7:00  
Yep. Dropped her off the counter. It was a tall counter like the height of this desk.

Mary Alessi  7:10  
It was awful.

Steve Alessi  7:10  
 Man. I was changing her diaper turned around for a second. She was just, she just was

Mary Alessi  7:14  
she wasn't supposed to turn over yet. She got a newborn. She turned over.

Steve Alessi  7:19  
 Turned over. She's gone. got like, turned around. She's gone. I'm like, oh, like 

Mary Alessi  7:22  
Where was I... remember where I was? 

Steve Alessi  7:23  
Where?

Mary Alessi  7:24  
 I was at choir rehearsal.

Steve Alessi  7:26  
I called you? 

Mary Alessi  7:27  
You did not call me.

Steve Alessi  7:28  
 I think I beeped you.

Mary Alessi  7:29  
We had no cell phones. And I'm sure I was singing some gospel song teaching the choir. And I came home and you were really quiet. You had taken her next door to your sister's house. And y'all worked it out. She was okay, thank God, she was okay. But you were terrified. You get real calm when you're terrified. And when I remember coming in, and you told me and I was like, give me my baby.

Steve Alessi  7:50  
I broke her. So...

Mary Alessi  7:52  
She was fine.

Steve Alessi  7:53  
 Here's parts of the questions that are really nice. It really does have to do with family, and parenting. And so we've got a few of them that we want to look at today. And I think when we talk about parenting, of all the responsibilities that we have in life, this is probably the toughest. 

Mary Alessi  8:11  
Yeah.

Steve Alessi  8:11  
 Take a chill pill, because this will be hard work. But it is the most rewarding in the long run. So this will be the hardest role that any of us ever have to operate in.

Mary Alessi  8:22  
100%. 

Steve Alessi  8:24  
And so let's talk about some of those things. Because parenting is a lifetime of learning. So a couple of questions, Mary, we want to look at and then people have asked us this and one of them right off the bat is how to deal with the differences and the opinions of the sons and daughters and their significant others. 

Mary Alessi  8:46  
Wow. That's a big one.

Steve Alessi  8:48  
How do we deal with the opinions of our kids? And then their boyfriends and girlfriends that they bring in? 

Mary Alessi  8:54  
Yeah, we should definitely just talk about boyfriends and girlfriends, because that's where that's that's the most important thing. When they get married, it's kind of a different answer there. But quite frankly, our perspective, we just we've had two....

Steve Alessi  9:05  
separate those. That's good. 

Mary Alessi  9:06  
I think you should.

Steve Alessi  9:07  
 Okay, so what about boyfriends and girlfriends first?  

Mary Alessi  9:09  
Just, just boyfriends and girlfriends. Personally, I don't think my boyfriend and a girlfriend have any say at all into your child's life and should not have any influence at all. If you're the kind of parent that has groomed them to be godly kids, to hear from the Lord then their most important voice is yours. Not that extra voice that's outside That really is kind of like cocaine. Because when you are dating somebody they say the same effects you have in that infatuation process, that dating process, is your brain responds the same way that you do when you're on cocaine. that's legit. Look it up.

Steve Alessi  9:44  
I never had... I never had cocaine.

Mary Alessi  9:47  
So we wouldn't know, I haven't neither. But you were in love. 

That's right.

 So you know what that feels like, but you know how easily swayed you can be when you are in a relationship with someone.

Steve Alessi  9:57  
Inebriated. 

Mary Alessi  9:59  
 Intoxicated, drunk on love. That's why it's different than when you're going to marry someone. Because marrying someone, there's a whole process of understanding. And again, this is how we parented and if you like the way we've done it, that's why you're listening. So we're going to answer you... answer this question based on what we have done, what our philosophy is, and what our values are and what we believe works for our family. But we've watched it work for other families or not work when they didn't do it this way. 

Steve Alessi  10:25  
So why why do parents give... I don't, I don't mean to be.... Yeah, I don't want to be crude here. But why do they give a .... what their kid feels about certain subjects when the kid is still in the formulative years of life? Why do parents take a backseat to that? Instead of saying, No, you're still the child, you're still a young person.

Mary Alessi  10:48  
 Right. 

Steve Alessi  10:48  
 You're still a young adult, I'm the adult in the room. Here's what you need to do. I've already walked down this path, follow my lead. Why do parents get all caught up in putting the kids opinion first? 

Mary Alessi  10:58  
You know, I don't want to get too deep philosophically. But Lauren, who is getting her master's right now in psychology, she made a statement the other day to us that I thought was so great. She said, you know, parents today, and what she's learning in her class, is that whatever they say they are... whatever kids say they are, they just are. And parents want to desperately be so validated for their parenting that they will grade their children improperly. So instead of getting a good grade, and feeling I've earned this trust from my parent, because I accomplished this task, because I made a good decision, because I did not need my parent hounding me to turn away from the wrong voices or simple tasks - make my bed, clean my room, pay my rent, whatever it might be to contribute. Somehow, just being and not getting in trouble is the new watermark for being a great kid. And parents can fall into that so quickly. And you said something recently, dad's love is unconditional - is conditional, Mom's love is unconditional. And I think we have taken a very motherly approach to our kids, where we're not asking our kids to prove their worth. It's just education. It's just school. So when your kid is smart, oh, my God, they're, they're geniuses. They're brilliant. No, they're book smart, but they're not life smart. And we can fall into so quickly - We've, we've started to go down that road many times. And we stop and go, Wait, wait, wait, we're falling for it. Yes, he's a great communicator. Yes, he's super smart, sitting around the dinner table. Wow, his grades are great. Wow, he's getting all these accomplishments at school, or whatever they might be. But when it comes to life, he's still about second grade. 

Yeah.

Steve Alessi  12:39  
He really doesn't understand or she really doesn't fully comprehend. And what we have found with our kids, is that when you set that kind of model, guys, you think you know everything you don't, yeah, you're doing good in school, but what have you done? What have you accomplished that says, you own the right to say, Mom and Dad, this is my choice? Nothing. You've done nothing. Except go to college, you've done nothing. So at what point does a parent say wait a minute, I still sit in the seat of the teacher and you're still the learner. But parents that kind of give that over way too quickly. We watch it over and over. And oh, he's smart. He's just smart. He's or she's just so smart. Yeah, but when it comes to boyfriends, she's not. When it comes to girlfriends, he's not. So you just back up and say whatever will be will be? 

Yeah.

Mary Alessi  13:29  
 And that's a very dangerous mindset in today's culture.

Steve Alessi  13:32  
Yeah. Because if you're not teaching them, dad and mom, Hollywood is and it's just a show. Social media is, and it's just a show. It's not real life.

Mary Alessi  13:41  
 No.

Steve Alessi  13:42  
I mean, you and I watch this show pretty much every night called Reels and they talk...They walk through the autopsy of people, famous people who have died. So many of them were so jacked up in Hollywood on so many pills and medication. 

Mary Alessi  13:58  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  13:58  
That you're like, gosh, what was normal in Hollywood? Nothing. 

Mary Alessi  14:02  
Nothing.

Steve Alessi  14:03  
 It's all show. And yet we let those people raise our kids and have a bigger influence? Now, I just, I can't help it enough that to think in terms of this at from a parenting standpoint, if a parent doesn't realize their place right away in their kids opinions, and they give too much credit to those kids, like they're the golden child, you're going to re he's what we've learned to call a person with an HCP. 

Mary Alessi  14:34  
Oh, boy.

Steve Alessi  14:35  
High conflict personality. 

Mary Alessi  14:38  
Yes.

Steve Alessi  14:39  
 Whether it's a narcissist or whatever, you're raising somebody who thinks the world revolves around them.

Mary Alessi  14:47  
 Right? 

Steve Alessi  14:48  
That's not reality. 

Mary Alessi  14:49  
No.

Steve Alessi  14:49  
 So what we have to do and this is where they tell you, you could find some balance in just all areas of your life is something called self awareness.

Mary Alessi  14:58  
 Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  14:59  
If you're aware of your actions, then you are at a place where you have a healthy personality. High conflict personalities, they don't care about their actions. Now they're like oblivious to it. Because all their life they've been made to feel like they're that special,

Mary Alessi  15:15  
or they don't understand how it affects other people, their decisions affect other people.

Steve Alessi  15:19  
Healthy personality...

Mary Alessi  15:20  
Yes.

Steve Alessi  15:20  
 Are people that said, Wait a minute, I just can't walk in the room, drop a bomb and leave? 

No.

I just can't..

Mary Alessi  15:25  
make a decision. 

Steve Alessi  15:26  
Yeah!

Mary Alessi  15:26  
... that would hurt other people or bring somebody into our family. That is so good. Because if we don't identify the behavior then we can't really backup and identify, really what we're operating in, what our personality can easily move into, and we start operating in. And a parent just thinks, well, they're strong willed and they know what they want. No, this is conflict they're bringing into the family. 

Steve Alessi  15:49  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  15:50  
You got it. You got to back that up? And I will say, to the question, how do you handle that? Where there's voices speaking into their lives, whether it's a boyfriend, a girlfriend, significant, significant other, those people have to earn the right to speak into their lives. So you've got to backup as a parent and find out what did I do to forfeit that, that this person has the right to speak into your life, and it's overpowering my voice? So if you're raising somebody young right now, your child's really young, get on this today. If you feel like, Wow, there, it's the point of no return. It's never a point of no return. It's never, never never, because you need to not speak the loudest. But ask God to help you speak the most specific into your son and daughter's life. And be strategic. Don't just wash your hands up and go, Oh, well. No, no, no, don't you don't have to sit in that conflict. You can help your your adult son or daughter navigate and see what happens when the outside voices are more powerful than your voices in your head.

Steve Alessi  16:49  
I was sitting in church or not sitting, I'm preaching in church the other day, and there's a couple, young couple, not married, teenagers, all over each other in the middle of my, my message. And I'm looking at 'em and I'm thinking to myself, it was so distracting. I was having a conversation while I'm trying to preach. And the reason I was having a conversation was because I'm thinking to myself, what parent did not teach that young girl not to lay all over that young guy? 

Mary Alessi  17:18  
right.

Steve Alessi  17:19  
What dad did not say to that son, you don't let a girl do that. You don't treat a girl that way. You respect her. Yeah, you don't touch her in public and lay all over each. And I wish it was all to me about the parent. And I wanted to say something so bad. But oh, I would have crushed them. But Mary, that's so important. A parent has to take their place. If they haven't, and the kids kind of rebellious at this point? Here's where you need to offer some just adult perspective. Let's get coffee. Let's talk. Yeah, and let's talk about this until you hate me.

 Yeah. 

Because one day he's gonna love me, but I'm not gonna put up with temper temper tantrums. I'm not gonna, I don't care if you're mad at me right now. 

Mary Alessi  18:00  
Right.

Steve Alessi  18:01  
 We'll be buddies in the future, right? But I need to help you with some things because a young boy can walk into a young girl's life or young girl walk into a young man's life. Six months, a year, two years. So influence your child, Yeah, young kid, that then when they vacate it, your kids left with some very dysfunctional attitudes. 

Mary Alessi  18:22  
Right? 

Steve Alessi  18:23  
So you, you have to take your place.

Mary Alessi  18:25  
You have windows, this is something that you and I have been learning over the last several years with our kids as they've all aged. Now, they're all in their 20s. Chris is almost 30, everyone's getting older. But what you learn is you have small windows of opportunity. And every year that they get older, that window starts to close. So if there's an attitude at 20, and you don't close that window at 21, it's harder 22. And then it gets so hard, like you said HCP, that high conflict personality gets, can get so intense. And if there's an outside voice really ramping that up? It's heartbreaking, but you still have an opportunity to jump in there and fix it. And this is a question that I know, every parent, if they haven't asked, if they go through this season, they will ask. What do I do with a daughter or son that's dating someone that we are against? How do we manage? Can we pray them out of their lives?

Steve Alessi  19:17  
 Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  19:18  
Do we counsel them out of our lives? Or do we just have to grin and bear it because this is our daughter's choice? And we've been here, I cannot tell you how many times we've been in that moment where we've had to... counsel that in a couple and from people in ministry that you think would know the answer, sometimes they don't. This is this is an Achilles heel for most of us, it's our kids and wanting to give them the very best but then when those outside voices come in, it can confuse us and we get insecure as parents. 

Steve Alessi  19:47  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  19:48  
 And honestly, I can say from looking back we haven't had to do that with any of our children. We're, we've been very fortunate that our kids have made good decisions, you know, even though they liked certain people we didn't like, we didn't overpower that in the moment. But we were, we tried to use wisdom to navigate them through to see some things and they saw it on their own. But I can tell you that if that's you, and you're in a situation with a daughter or son that's dating someone you do not like, fight like heck, right now. Because what happens is, so many parents say, I don't want to fight her or him, I'm going to chase them into their arms. And that's a, that's a real fear. But what have we learned, and you always remind me of this, you don't go wrong by doing right, if it's right. If it's right, God will honor it. And he will help you and He will support you.

Steve Alessi  20:39  
 And life will honor it.

Mary Alessi  20:40  
And life will honor it. Because when you back up, 99% of the time, you go from a boyfriend that dates your daughter that you can't pray out, or you can't get out of her life, to now a husband and then to now an ex husband, but now it's with your two grandchildren and it's frustrated. There's conflict and your daughter is really heartbroken. So if you're going to fight?

Steve Alessi  21:03  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  21:04  
Fight. 

Steve Alessi  21:05  
Yeah, before they're heartbroken, destroyed.  Mary, a great book that we're listening to right now on tape is five types of people who can ruin your life that describes the narcissist and describes the high conflict personality. And some... What's so good about this book is that some single parents are dealing with an ex...

Mary Alessi  21:28  
right.

Steve Alessi  21:28  
 Who is a high conflict personality HCP kind of person, and it'll teach them yeah, how to deal with it so that the kids are protected. It'll also teach them how not to raise their kids to ever be an HCP. 

Mary Alessi  21:41  
Right.

Steve Alessi  21:41  
 So the five types of people that can ruin your life, really good, we'll help you there. Okay. The second part of that question was, what about their significant others? Yeah, what about when your kid grows up and they get married? And then that spouse has a difference of opinion? 

Mary Alessi  21:57  
Right.

Steve Alessi  21:58  
 How do you deal with that?

Mary Alessi  22:00  
Wow, that's, uh, you know, like we said, we just got two, our oldest two just married. And so far, we're at a place where there's agreement, because they, they married people that have the same values and have the same understanding, that does not mean that's always going to be that way. They might disagree with us on when they should buy a house, or if they should borrow money from the bank, or should they take out another credit card, and we're still learning as we go. But we are still submitted to the value system of trusting God and trusting. They made the decision in in good standing, they chose wisely, we all approved, we all checked off on their significant others, and we all felt good about it. There's a season where your kids are gonna have to make decisions, that if they don't consult you, and they're wrong, you've just gotta back up and trust God. And I am still navigating that that season. I think one of the hard... hard times is when you have to just leave things alone and let God work in their life. Yeah, wow. And you and I have been so involved in helping our kids and coaching them along the way that this is tough for you and me.

Steve Alessi  23:04  
 It's like from one day to the to the next 

Mary Alessi  23:06  
you just have to

Steve Alessi  23:08  
you're like insignificant. 

Mary Alessi  23:10  
I know.

Steve Alessi  23:10  
...with your opinion. It's as though your own child right will receive it. The new spouse in the family may have a different opinion.

Mary Alessi  23:20  
 Right.

Steve Alessi  23:20  
 And just because you're the dad, now your father in law...

Mary Alessi  23:24  
... yeah. 

Steve Alessi  23:25  
And that doesn't mean that he or she has to just totally embrace what you think is right, or the same value that you raise your kid in, because there is going to be a give and take in their marriage. One way is not always the right way. 

Mary Alessi  23:40  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  23:41  
Every as long as it's not abusive. And hopefully you can catch this, that this is in a healthy relationship. Okay, as long as it's not abusive, then there should be room for the couple to be able to make decisions. And as a parent, you got to put, put yourself on mute for a little bit. And then support for, for instance, this is a big one. All right. I'm thankful we don't have to deal with this. But man, my thought was always Gosh, what's going to happen if one of my kids get married, and their spouse does not have the same value system of being at church every week and being involved in the ministry?

Mary Alessi  24:19  
Right? 

Steve Alessi  24:19  
Oh, that was something that just drove me crazy. And I prayed, Lord, you know, what we sowed towards and so on? What if that happens? 

Mary Alessi  24:25  
Right? 

Steve Alessi  24:26  
What how do you how do you then say to your kid, hey, this is you know, negotiable, this is non-negotiable. And then if you come in with that, so strong as a parent to your own child, and they're trying to deal with their spouse, you can create conflict between those two in the relationship now. And so this, hopefully, you have a bit of patience, 

Mary Alessi  24:48  
Right...

Steve Alessi  24:48  
.... to let patients play out and step back, encourage both of them and leave certain things up to certain decisions up to them. 

Mary Alessi  25:00  
Right.

Steve Alessi  25:01  
 Because you can't be that controlling parent. 

Mary Alessi  25:03  
No! 

Steve Alessi  25:03  
You know, I love our Latin community here, but you can't be as a Cuban mom that comes in and tries to control and manipulate. All of that is just wrong. Even a father with his overbearing way yelling, screaming. it you just can't.

Mary Alessi  25:16  
No no. And see with, with our kids and your their pastor, their dad, their boss. It's easy. And we know this. We talked about this when the kids were getting married, it would be easy for our kids to put our voice as the most important now. Well, now they're married, and we are consultants in their lives, like we've had to move into different, different roles in their life. So we're consultants, we are not the voice anymore. The voice is God fully God for the two of them, not just what does mon and dad say. So even talking to Chris and talking to Stephanie, we've been very intentional to say don't, don't ask us. You guys work that out. That's between the two of you. And we've really gone, we've tried to go the bar extreme, so that we do back out so that we aren't the ones they run to or their excuse, or the ones they blame, which happens.

Steve Alessi  26:08  
And I'll tell you a little secret? Now I almost have to get mad at my kids.

Mary Alessi  26:12  
 What do ya mean?  Telling the truth? .

Steve Alessi  26:15  
 I am so used to telling them how I feel. But right now because it involves this significant other, their spouse. Yeah, I'd like to tell them how I feel. But I can't and the only way not to be able to tell them that I can't, is by getting mad at them secretly.

Mary Alessi  26:31  
Because it's not... Hold on. Let's be clear. Because what listen to this, you're not talking about...

Steve Alessi  26:36  
 the spouse 

Mary Alessi  26:36  
this you're not talking about the spouse, you're talking about your own kids. So you can't be the way you were to your own kids. Because you don't want to hurt your new in law kid. 

Steve Alessi  26:46  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  26:46  
Right. You don't want...

Steve Alessi  26:47  
The only way to not be able to do that is getting mad at my own kids. 

Mary Alessi  26:50  
Right.

Steve Alessi  26:52  
 Chris? Ah, Stephanie, I can't believe it. But yet they've done nothing wrong. But I just kept going.

Mary Alessi  26:58  
Because you can't say what you want to say. You've got to be sensitive.

Steve Alessi  27:01  
Gotta be sensitive.

Mary Alessi  27:01  
 And there's a

Steve Alessi  27:02  
Even though I know I'm right.   pretty much 100%.

Mary Alessi  27:05  
When do you not think you're right? Like never.

Steve Alessi  27:08  
 Geez Mary? Guess what? We got through one question. 

Mary Alessi  27:11  
We did? How many minutes have we've been talking?

Steve Alessi  27:14  
Okay, I want to close this way. 

Mary Alessi  27:16  
Okay.

Steve Alessi  27:17  
This is this is for some singles that are out there that may be listening.

Mary Alessi  27:21  
Good. 

Steve Alessi  27:21  
How do you let a man pursue you? 

Mary Alessi  27:23  
Ooh! 

Steve Alessi  27:24  
 I don't know if I like asking you that question. Quite frankly,

Mary Alessi  27:26  
Well, then you answer it. I'm not a man. I don't need to be pursued.

Steve Alessi  27:30  
How should young ladies be pursued today by somebody that's interested in them?

Mary Alessi  27:37  
You know, I know that young men are different. They don't, they don't all fit one mold. But one thing that I have noticed about all young men consistently. When they like somebody, they like them. They're not questioning it. They don't tiptoe around, when a young man lays eyes on a young woman. She's all he sees. And if a young man isn't doing that, and he's playing a game with you, and he's not fully invested in you, and you feel  insecure, he's probably not that into you like you would hope for hopefully him to be. But when a young man does puruse, let's go for coffee, go for coffee, have conversations. Don't talk about marriage from the very beginning. Just enjoy each other's company. I think Stephanie probably could have answered this even better, and Chris too. But watching it from kind of a different perspective, being married for 34 years, to see a young man just make a decision and stick with that, and not back up because he feels at first, maybe he's got to fight for this girl? A guy like that, that comes back and is pursuing you strong, somebody to give a second look to. Because any young man that can make a decision and starts with you, you're a good choice. As a young woman, you're a good choice. And if he's chosen you that he wants to pursue you, then you know, he might not be like the perfect specimen that you have on your list of what your husband's gonna be like.   Take a second look, because a lot of young men aren't pursuing anymore. They're too afraid to pursue. 

Steve Alessi  29:06  
They are. And there's something out there called the demise of guys that really speaks to that right there.

Mary Alessi  29:11  
Right? 

Steve Alessi  29:12  
Because they, there is an absentee father that doesn't unconditionally, or excuse me conditionally come to the table and show him that in order to be a part of the family, you got to break out of your comfort zone. So go take out the trash, go wash the car, go take the car down, change the oil. Mom does all of that because Dad's not there and she doesn't want to pursue... push him out of the home. So she doesn't go and ask him to do anything. 

Mary Alessi  29:39  
Right. 

Steve Alessi  29:40  
She's just glad he's in the home. 

Mary Alessi  29:41  
Right. 

Steve Alessi  29:41  
Well, a man, he needs that that ability to be forced to grow into manhood. He's not a woman, can't feminize him. I don't care what society says. You can't feminize him. You've got to challenge him in that area to be strong as a man. And as he does that, it helps him press past his comfort zone. That's why a good young man will pursue a young woman.

Mary Alessi  30:09  
 Yes. 

Steve Alessi  30:10  
The woman does not have to pursue him. Though she may let him know in their own unique way. 

Mary Alessi  30:19  
Right.

Steve Alessi  30:19  
 She's interested, but she shouldn't pursue him. The man, the young man in him will start to rise up and he should do,  the manly thing, which is pursue the woman, the young girl, and be respectful of that. He shouldn't do it by text. He shouldn't do it by social media. He should be strong enough and confident enough to look her in the eye, talk to her, get to know her. Is that uncomfortable? 

Mary Alessi  30:45  
Yes, it's hard.

Steve Alessi  30:46  
But because we all fear rejection. Yes, of course. And sometimes you got to strike out. 

Mary Alessi  30:50  
Yeah.

Steve Alessi  30:51  
 But you're still in the game. 

Mary Alessi  30:52  
That's right.

Steve Alessi  30:52  
 Okay. And it's okay to feel like you've been hurt and disappointed. And you've been rejected, it teaches you how to be better and stronger. Nothing's wrong with that. Now, you know, all these years later, it's easy to say this at the desk. When you're going through it? It's a heartbreaker. But you are introduced to yourself, when you go through a period of heartbreak. 

Yeah, absolutely. 

And you should be.

Mary Alessi  31:20  
It's good for you. 

Steve Alessi  31:21  
And I always say this, some people say, well, it's 50-50 in the relationship. No, I think it needs to be 100-100% sure, in the relationship.

Mary Alessi  31:29  
I agree. 

Steve Alessi  31:29  
Because you've got to come with your best self. 

Mary Alessi  31:31  
Yeah.

Steve Alessi  31:32  
 So if you come 50-50s, there's still something lacking.

Mary Alessi  31:35  
 Right. 

Steve Alessi  31:35  
There's some area of your life that's lacking. So work on being the best young woman you can be first, come to the table full. As a young man come to the table confident,working on your self esteem, working on your image, working on your career, your education, come to the table full, so that when you meet the person that's going to appreciate you being full, there can be a real healthy connection.

Mary Alessi  32:03  
 Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  32:03  
Some people say I deserve to be happy in life. I want to date any you know, this guy. No, no, no, you deserve to be healthy. 

Mary Alessi  32:09  
That's right. 

Steve Alessi  32:10  
Find a healthy person that you can connect with. 

Mary Alessi  32:13  
That's right. 

Steve Alessi  32:14  
And then what you'll find is when you're healthy in that relationship, you're going to be happy.

Mary Alessi  32:19  
 That's right.

Steve Alessi  32:19  
 in your relationship because you don't deserve anything. You don't deserve to be happy. No, you deserve to be healthy. Work on being healthy in your relationship.

Mary Alessi  32:26  
And there's a lot of young men, as we're seeing that are struggling with knowing how to pursue, maybe they didn't have a dad to teach them how, and they don't know, they don't know how to pursue that. And I've watched you recently and Jonathan as well recently, you know, take a few young men by the hand and walk them through, they've called you and said, Listen, I'm interested in this young woman, what do I do? And you've walked him through like a dad would. Jonathan recently went out to lunch with a young man to help him know how to move forward from dating for several years to Okay, I think I think I'm ready to get engaged, and to help him navigate through those waters of knowing she's the right person. And wow, what a, what a value of relationship that is. And that's the great thing about church at, about our church, is that there is that village of learning how one on one you know, don't just think you're going to catch it like your suit in the classroom. You get to go up to the teacher and say, can you help me? 

Steve Alessi  33:19  
Yeah.

Mary Alessi  33:19  
And there's men in this church that will help young men would love to help young men pursue a godly, young woman.

Steve Alessi  33:27  
Baby, I think the most important decision of my life outside of relationship with God, is the relationship that I have with you. 

Mary Alessi  33:33  
100%. 

Steve Alessi  33:34  
My spouse, you, you were the most important decision that I would ever make. How could I be left alone to make it? I had to be walked out. My parents had to talk me through it. I remember just before we got married, there was a young girl that I was in a relationship with in high school, I went away to college, I come back from college, we still remain friends, nothing special. Nothing, you know, romantic, nothing like that. And you and I get engaged. When we got engaged, I had a little cell phone at the time. And no, no, no, I talked to the individual on the phone and I'm in the backseat of the car with my parents. And I say to my mom and dad, I said oh, so and so called me and we're going to go to lunch. 

Mary Alessi  34:18  
And we were just engaged.

Steve Alessi  34:19  
We were engaged, you and I. I said so and so called me, we're going to go to lunch and it was like the exorcist. You know, remember the head of that woman turned all the way around? My mom's head turned all the way around in the front seat looked at me and says, You don't have any female friends to go to lunch with. 

Mary Alessi  34:37  
I love her. 

Steve Alessi  34:37  
You're engaged now. I needed to be taught that. That's right. I didn't know I was gone. I was fine in the dark. I'm still like all excited about life. And then I'm hearing the words of you know, culture and society that says well hey, you better sow your wild oats why you can and have one less fling. 

Mary Alessi  34:49  
That's right.

Steve Alessi  34:54  
 How stupid was that? The most important decision I made outside of the one with God was the one that I made with my spouse.  Look what it brought me in my world. 

Mary Alessi  35:03  
Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  35:03  
So I needed help along the way.

Mary Alessi  35:05  
 Absolutely. 

Steve Alessi  35:06  
Jon and i thankfully, Armando even Chris, you know, the guys in our church leaders. It's It's one of our greatest joys, to be able to pour into the next generation and help them because sometimes they have blinders on. They don't even see.

Mary Alessi  35:21  
 Yeah. 

Steve Alessi  35:21  
And I caught a couple of our young girls not too long ago, right after church, I'm leaving, emotionally drained from preaching three times, and I catch 'em on the way out, I knew they were about to do some things with some young men that they were not married to, not even engaged to. And I stopped him and pulled 'em aside and said, Young ladies, this is life. And I began to teach them right there. 

Mary Alessi  35:39  
Yes, yes. 

Steve Alessi  35:40  
And I felt so honored that their heart was open to receive it. Because they're saying, like, this question is, hey, how do I allow a man to pursue me?

Mary Alessi  35:53  
 Right. Oh my.

Steve Alessi  35:55  
 It was great  to give them that information,

Mary Alessi  35:57  
I love that. And I don't know how much more time we have. But I have to just bring this point up as well. Young women, if you want a young man to pursue you, that really values you and sees you as a wife, then be dressed like a wife when he approaches you. Because there's a lot of young women and even good Christian women, and... they've all fallen for it. And it's I hate to say it, but the influence of the world is so strong right now, that when you're at church, you're dressed like you're at church, but then when you're trying to meet a guy, or you're trying to draw a guy, you got to wear the spaghetti straps, and you got to show it off, and you've got to look sexy. And you know, there's... from being churchified to sexy, there's a whole lot in between, okay, that you can be that's attractive and beautiful, that is feminine, that draws a young man and leaves him wanting more, because you didn't get to see it all in the first time he met you. And I don't mean that to shame girls at all. Because the truth is, that's really what we're taught it's what we know, it's not necessarily our fault. Because so many young women are taught, we go into store, that's what there is, you know, it's... it's super hard. Unless you wear t shirts and jeans, when you go and you're in your 20s to buy something cute, it's cropped, it's short, it's tight. It's like everybody wears a size 2? Really? It's crazy how we are constantly influenced by the culture of the world. This is what you have to do to get a man. And then good godly men want to pursue you. And you think that's what you're supposed to do. And he's like, this girl, I don't think she wants me. She's really showing it off out there. So it's so important for young women to know, you can cover up and you will still get a man. You don't have to show the girls to get the guys. Okay? You can cover up and a good man will find you and he'll appreciate your values. So if you don't like what you're getting, or the attention that you're getting, it always.... you've always got to ask yourself the hard questions. I'm sorry, this isn't about blaming you. It's about asking the right questions. Am I doing something? Am I showing something? We were at a dinner one night and several of the young girls of our church came, I'll never forget this. And it was kind of a relaxed, our family was there, it was at a very nice place. And so we show up, we're invited to go. And these are girls that have been a part of our church. This is several years ago. So it's not anybody now. So don't start finding who you are in this. It's nobody that's here now. Okay, it's a long, long time ago. But when we walked in, our girls were younger, those particular set of girls were going to go out after our dinner. And they were dressed like Miami girls dress to go out on the town. And I remember you came in, and I... I battled between thinking you can't say anything, because that makes you look like a pervert. Because you noticed. Well, you're like, how do I not notice? As a matter of fact, all the other guys that were there noticed, but they were terrified to say anything. You walked over to me and you said, you need to pull those girls over and don't shame them. Tell them right now. They cannot go out like that. Mary, you've got to mother them. And I'm like, I don't want them to get mad at me. And this was how long ago it was our kids were small. And you said Mary, just like I would stop young men from falling off a cliff, you got to go stop them. And I did. And they apologize - They did not know. They didn't know. And I didn't shame them. I didn't do the church lady thing. You know, how could you girls? I didn't high brow raise them. I didn't do that. But I just said hey, listen, girls, you look way too beautiful to be going out. You're gonna attract trash. 

Steve Alessi  35:58  
Hmm. 

Mary Alessi  36:06  
You just are you girls need to put a little shawl on. Go change your clothes. The truth is you don't need to be out on the town in Miami like that. That's not going to yield you any good fruit. And they apologized. 

Steve Alessi  39:46  
Yeah. 

Mary Alessi  39:47  
And they didn't go.

Steve Alessi  39:48  
 Yep. 

Mary Alessi  39:49  
But I learned from that. That mothering and teaching and instructing that pursuing side of our nature....we want to be pursued, young women want to be pursued. It makes you feel, I've noticed, I'm not ugly. But you can't expect the right kind of young man, a husband, to pursue a wife if you're not prepared to be a wife.

Steve Alessi  40:10  
Well, the Bible says whosoever finds a wife finds a good thing, which means you got to be a wife first. 

Mary Alessi  40:16  
That's right.

Steve Alessi  40:16  
 before you can be found, well, 

Mary Alessi  40:19  
Modest is hottest.

Steve Alessi  40:19  
 Oh, modest is hottest. I hope you've enjoyed this episode of the family business podcast, Mary and I tried to answer some questions. And hopefully we didn't raise more questions with all of our advice. Yes. And please feel free to ask us some more questions. And thank you for joining us today.

Chris Alessi  40:41  
Thanks for listening to the Family Business podcast with the Alessis. We appreciate you listening and learning with us as we just shared more about the family business. You know, I bet there's someone you know who can use this kind of advice and encouragement. So make sure to share this episode with them and their family. Because let's face it, family is everyone's business. If you want to be a part of our family, subscribe to the show right now on your favorite app and make sure to download the episodes so you can hear them at any time. Oh, and one more thing. One of the best ways to help us spread the word about the Family Business with the Alessis is by reviewing the show on Apple Podcasts or your favorite app. So help us out. Write a review and join us next time at the Family Business Podcast with the Alessis.