All right. Welcome to this episode of The joyful scaling Podcast. Today we’re talking about relationships, specifically the marriage relationship. And how one extraordinary woman went from poverty and coming from a broken home, and a broken marriage to now coaching people on exactly how to reclaim the love, passion and connection in your marriage, even if you think it’s over. So look, this is usually a scaling business podcast. But we all have this thing called real life. And so when I met Shannon, I thought, this is something I need to present to you. So let me tell you a little bit about Dr. Shannon Roberts. She incorporates faith in her practice, having built a Christian Counseling Center for 16 years before selling the business in 2020. She works with couples, she has worked with couples for 30 years, she now specializes in offering counseling intervention through faith based counseling intensive, let’s say hello to Shannon.
Hello, hello. Thank you for having me. I’m so glad to be here today.
Oh, my goodness, when we met in that mastermind, the networking mastermind were part of I knew I had to have you on the show. So why don’t we start with giving the ladies and understanding of where you come from? Because I think when you have the doctor at your name, sometimes we can just look and say, Oh, well, she’s like, at a different level. You know, seriously, right? Right. So right, your ears down to earth, and just a beautiful woman to the Lord. So tell us a little bit about your background.
Okay, I’m born and raised in Oklahoma. So I bleed red with everybody else. I, I come from, you know, a really kind of poor poverty background. Both of my parents married and divorced several different times throughout my childhood, I just say, basically, white trailer trash that was found the Lord and he made me his daughter of the king. So I found the Lord at a young age and through just a series of connections in the church as a resiliency factors. And then also just happened to be good at school, I was one of the first ones in my family to go college of the only one that has gone to higher education. I just saw it as kind of my, my ticket out of poverty. And then together with the Lord, we just continued the path of finding what was necessary to kind of thrive. So just partnered with him and took the ride.
Love it, love it. So and that when we spoke, we realized we have so similar in our backgrounds, you know, like, like some people like they I said about the doctor, same thing with the lawyer. Oh, you know, her daddy must have been a lawyer or something. No, that was a fact, we were her. Thank you very much. I would never have dreamed that I would have gone to law school. So with that, tell us about your 34 years of marriage and what that was like and how that has impacted your business, you know, as it stands today. Yeah. And
this is one of the very kind of first time so I’ve been starting to talk more publicly about this personal kind of positioning, and uniquely, in this field. I’m a Christian marriage expert and ex pastor’s wife, how does that blend, I’ve been working with couples for 30 years. And now I’m a year and a half out from my own personal divorce. So you know, having worked with couples, I’ve had to really rely in this time in my life on my own personal principles and strategies. I get two beautiful individuals in my, in my office, and they are both very willing to roll up their sleeves and say, you know, we’re going to get this out, we’re going to figure it out, we’re not going to just survive, we’re going to thrive and it’s so wonderful to partner and be that frontline, you know, experience person to be able to see God at work in the room and to work with you and through you and partnering with you. But that’s not everybody’s story, you know, and I would I have ever had thought that that would be mine. No, I would have never chosen it never thought it never wanted it. But you know, God does work through pain and heartbreak. And he allows us to recreate our stories on the other side. And I am just not gonna, you know, settle for anything less than God’s best for me. And unfortunately, not everyone gets the opportunity to have two people in the room that say they want to, you know, work and work this through. So, I’m in the process of figuring that out for myself. Sometimes I feel like that kind of takes me out. have the ball League and being a marriage expert. But other times I’m absolutely like certain that I can just like, it says in Hebrews 11, that Jesus went through all of the did so that he could understand and the level of hurt and pain that we are in and we can commiserate with him. I, I think I can understand the, you know, absolute urgency that a lot of these couples feel in the room saying, I don’t want to lose my marriage, and I want to work really hard. And but it’s painful. And the process is hard. And so I think that that’s a great professional balance, but a personal experience as well.
Gosh, I love this. And, you know, I had been in marriage counseling with the father of my children who died in November of 2020. We’ve been divorced. But I remember being in the room. And I think he really wanted to work on it. But yet, he, he chose work, like he felt like I’m the provider. So I need to provide and that’s where, you know, so So just from what you said, I just came up for me when you said to people in the room, ready, willing and able to say, Okay, Dr. Shannon, I need to fix this, tell me how that’s a beautiful that when they come to that place of decision
again, why is that, you know, percent of the couples in America are not getting that opportunity. So yeah, that they have to walk through a very painful process in their life that I never, I, my whole passion having come from a broken home did not ever want or foresee that in my own. But you know, if you’re a seasoned couples therapist, you know that there are certain situations where couples counseling is really not appropriate. And it’s not really spoken about very much in the Christian world, but you can’t put attach to people that if one of the people are not showing up state emotionally. So if there’s domestic violence, if there’s long term substance abuse and addiction that hasn’t been arrested, if there’s, you know, a current infidelity, that is an attachment, you know, violator and then lastly, if there’s underlying mental health that needs to be stabilized. So there are certain conditions that, you know, you know, we really can’t as couples, counselors feel like we can do that good work in that room.
Yeah. And, you know, I want to I want to address the pink elephant in the room. Okay. That is that is that the, as Christians, there’s a lot of judgment. And then we know that God does not call us to judgment. But there’s a lot of judgment going around, let me explain to when I got divorced, I was very active in my church. And that divorce took years to get there. There was there was many, many tries to make it work. But at some point, after, after rivers and oceans of tears, and going to God, I felt that it was okay to go like that was the best path for me. And so but but I was I wanted to I was also going through Bible study at my church. And so I love to speak and I, you know, me, I love to empower women and talk into them. And you know, there were people in the church that said, You can’t do that. Oh, really? I can’t speak to women in the women’s Bible study. Why’s that? Because you’re divorced, really? So I have, I have no value. So I just wanted to ask you with just what we talked about earlier, there you are, you are a Christian marriage counselor. And you’ve been divorced? And so are do you feel that pushback? Obviously not from your ideal clients who see you for the value, but from those, the church community or anything like that?
You know, I think it’s a mindset duty. And I know that you teach women mindset and to rely and lean in that God really never waste to hurt and he really is into ministry of reconciliation and transformation. And I know that you get them there. But having walked through this process myself, you know, I thought, again, I thought that I was going to meet up with a lot more, you know, objections and rejections and that it really was gonna impact you know, my work in the faith community, or my office, you know, authority within, you know, the church setting and the referrals that I get from my pastors so far, that’s been more in my head and not and I really haven’t spoken or with a megaphone. I do not wish to ever do that, you know, 34 years with a man I mean, obviously The last year really not that great. But there were plenty of really sweet, sweet, sweet chapters and three children. And I am just not going to speak from the mountaintop with a megaphone about him his story and he, if he ever feels the need to tell it in any kind of way, it’s his story to tell. And but God has had my back, and he has done before me, and he fills me up behind me. But you’re right. I’m not saying that there’s not going to be a time where I’m not going to have to speak to the the doubt the doubting masses, you know, that you say, Well, what can you offer us if you couldn’t even offer that to your own? You know, marriage? So I’m sure it’s coming.
Yeah, I just want to throw it out there. Because, you know, I always like to be real. I mean, that that is that can be an issue for some. But see, that’s where, like, I believe, as I work with my clients, their faith grows, because I’ll call you out on something just like, I want you to call me out on something just like I’m already calling myself out on things like, Am I really being faith filled? And does that faith fuel my business? So in the course of you know, someone that would stand in judgment against you, it’s like, okay, and have you sent today? Are you you know, valuable with respect to expertise? Because there’s one thing ladies if you are listening, why do I believe that at least one woman that’s listening is in a marriage that is hurting her? Yeah, no, it’s existing. Right. So I just, I just want you to know that, you know, marriage for to work. It really takes to it that hard when it’s only one because the Bible says with the one, you know, the woman, just keep praying, just keep praying is a lot of times what I’ve heard in sermons and things, but you get to the point where it’s like, I couldn’t be the full Christian woman that I felt Wow.
Absolutely, absolutely. You know, no one can walk that path. And, you know, tell when to say when or if to say when, obviously, bringing wives, you know, mentors, counselors, coaches around that help them that out what those choices are, and decisions. But I know for a time Christian women, it’s because this format for Christian women, but there are Christian men as well. But Christian women can sustain that path for a long time, especially if they’re deeply rooted in their faith, and God can sustain them and carry on. But at some certain time, you’re right, it takes too. And if you know, in the process, they can’t really kind of lean in and positively influence their counterpart, their partner to lean in with them. They have some really hard choice choices, because what God’s design is, is that, you know, it’s not good for man to be alone, his his union of a man and a woman is kind of the basis of what his design is of help. That if that going well, if that’s in proper balance, then that’s the secure base that we need to go out in the world and do our our purpose. But when that’s not going, Well, I mean, how many times have you know, we’ve had a disagreement or an argument with our, our spouse and and we’ve gone in to work and the focus isn’t there, the energy isn’t there just really impact us in such a negative kind of way. And so you have to figure out, you know, how am I going to and use that it be the best version of who I am, how God created me and what our calling and purposes, if I don’t figure out how to thrive in my most basic relationship, or even if that’s viable, and how does that hold me back? If it’s not?
Yeah, I mean, a couple things. I want to say that because it’s so good. My husband walked into this space, I am having work done in my office. So here I am in the first floor, I am sitting in my kitchen living room area. And he chooses now to walk in and Clank things and go into the fridge and everything else. Okay. Yeah, he should have heard and then I actually wait on if you saw it was waving like so but if you’re right, I just I that was kind of a funny thing. But I know that when we have arguments, it’s really hard to get to work and focus. So
have that true inner joy and purpose and absolutely,
yeah, and so for those women that are in that place, that you know, it feels almost like I mean there is abuse and then stuff that feels like abuse so if it’s abuse I tell you get get out. I mean, because that was be okay, I don’t God does not want you to be okay mentally, physically, emotionally. Anyway, that’s the beauty none.
I don’t care healthy boundaries. What whatever those are for you healthy boundaries, right?
Okay, excellent. So so but for that woman that’s in that space, and she is really committed to her business and but she has this kind of marriage, almost like a ball and chain, where it’s like it’s holding her back. What advice do you have for her Shannon to kind of maybe compartmentalize to do what she needs to do? I don’t know, what would be your thoughts on that,
you know, working with women in that kind of space, always, I mean, this is where you have to do you have to reach really deep yes, there’s ways in approaches that you can fit emotional boundaries and emotional detachment and healthy physical boundaries is necessary. But boy howdy, we can take such hits on our self esteem. And, and we do it to ourselves much less whatever messages we may be getting from our partner that sometimes can, you know, reset our mindset and remit set our energy levels in our in our in our bodies, and reset what we even doubt our calling and purpose in that poverty mindset, or imposter syndrome that we get, that is so easy to get in and of ourselves, much less if we’re getting a negative message at home. And so learning how to, you know, set those emotional boundaries, those mental boundaries, sometimes even physical boundaries, is really appropriate. And so working with coaches and counselors, obviously to do that can help. But boy, this is where you also have to land so deep and so rooted in your space, that that heavenly Father, that that one that set to you are in your purpose in your meaning in your identity. Key gets to be the one that whispers in your ear every day, and gives you exactly what you need to set your feet on the floor and your compass due north. And he gets the one that reset the mindset and the stories you tell yourself in your head about yourself. To be able to have you go out and thrive. And to be able to go out and fulfill your purpose. Because we look at all of the stories of the people in the Bible. Listen, they aren’t perfect. They definitely didn’t have perfect relationships. They didn’t have always the perfect family background, boost them up. But boy, he God said, that’s where I shine, right? What this is where God shows up and says I love doing hard, impossible things are to use the most ridiculous person in the ridiculous story to accomplish a pass, because that’s where I get my glory, and you get to brag on me, you’re right. So those, that’s where you reach really deep, and have to do the really hard internal spiritual work, to not listen to those other voices, but to be able to listen to your Heavenly Father’s voice each day.
So good, so good. And so let’s land there for just a moment the internal work, because I’m very transparent. And I say I’ve been an entrepreneur since 2003. And it was in the last three years that mindset, finally, whoo, finally, hit that it wasn’t kind of a nice little fluffy thing. Like, actually, that is the source of success. And it was funny, because I thought with all my life, I was always at the top of every class I did, I was always really great at what I did, like getting the law and just the different things, it just, I just was always good. And I didn’t have to say to myself, you can do this, because I just already knew I could, if that makes sense. So but for an entrepreneur thing, I really believe that it’s the internal work that too many then realize or if they do realize it, they turn a blind eye to it, that that’s where the work begins. So I’d love you, especially given your background to take us a little deeper you are faith based. And you know, so so as you were growing your business, maybe that would be a great thing, however you want to you know, couch it, but this idea of internal work, what do you mean by that? And and how right, so important?
Great, great, great question. So interesting enough, I mean, during my you know, selling my company, and I was transitioning more to more because I had like 12 to 15 helpers that work for me. I just didn’t want to do the brick and mortar. I didn’t want to do the overhead I didn’t want to do management of employees any longer. But I wanted to do this fellow entrepreneurs, you know, really putting the gas pedal on the program that I wrote for marriages and in the format of two day intensive and online programming. At the very same time that I’m going through divorce so it’s like Lord is so funny, you know, thank you for that, but then, yeah, can you imagine getting up every single day? Having to remind myself that yes, this is the reality I have. This is it, and putting my feet on the floor, going and sitting with couples that are in crisis, seeing God show up and put oxygen into their obedience and efforts and seeing them rise to the next level, and writing the curriculum, encouraging couples to that they could get there. And here I am meeting with divorce attorneys. It’s, it’s comical in the way that if I didn’t do that reset every morning where I got alone with the Lord. And I found a it is written that I could, you know, rely on stand on, reset my heart that he had me, right, he had me he doesn’t know, I still don’t know, the wise, but that’s okay. I quit asking those questions I might not know this guy to have in the wise, it might not be in in my business. Because that’s what trust the base is. But I kept on saying, Okay, but what now? What now? More are you asking me to do and he just said, just collect enough of my manner today. My, my glory to get you through today. And so I sat in that chair every single morning until I got into a place of surrender, and acceptance, that this, this is his story. And we we don’t get to pick our stories. We don’t get to pick everything in life that happens. We get to pick how we go through it. Yeah, and who we go through it with. So I narrowed my circle of friends, I narrowed my circle of you know, activities. And I made sure that I had to set that reframe in my mouth, my mind every day. And so if a thought came in, and here you wanted some core basics, here we go. And this is what I said I had to rely on my own core counseling principles, teaching people how to reframe their thoughts, catch their thoughts, reframe their thoughts, and renew their thoughts. Just like it says, scripturally that, you know, as a man thinketh so he is because our thoughts, impact our emotions, and our emotions influence our behavior. And so if we don’t like how we’re thinking, I mean, how we’re feeling our acting, then we have to go back and really identify the thought process that drove that. And if we look at that thought, if we catch that thought, and we ask these four questions, is that thought true? Is that thought helpful? To me, is that thought, does that thought really line up with who I am morally, ethically and spiritually? Is there a competing principle that goes against that, right? And then lastly, is there if I get a no on any of those is not true, or it’s not helpful to me, or it doesn’t line up with my core beliefs that then the last question is, is there another perspective? Ooh, that’s another perspective, that’s more truthful, more helpful, more along my belief that, and when the Bible says we have the opportunity to challenge those thoughts and renew our minds, and that whatever is good, whatever is pure, whatever, think on these things. Philippians
A Yes, man, right.
So that’s the inner work. And it’s tough work. Because guess what, when you sit in your thoughts, and you identify them, it sometimes drops you into anger, or depression or sadness, and not to be afraid of those places, but doing the work to not stay in those places.
Right. I love that. Okay, let’s do a real life example. Now for entrepreneurship. Let’s, let’s set aside for a moment, whatever issues we may be having with our husband, or even with our kids, because they can really throw us for a loop. But but just even as we’re working, you know, I find this a lot with my clients, when they’re working on something. And let’s just say social media, even that because most of my clients hate it like I do, but they feel like it’s a necessary evil. So I work through that with them. Well, you really have to be there. But but let’s just say something they’re working on. And all of a sudden the thought becomes, I can’t do this. Like that’s a thought, I can’t do this. And I say, anytime you say I can’t, or I don’t know, to me it’s a lie. It has to be a lie. Because God said He would equip us. Right. He promised to equip us to our calling. So I guess for the woman who today may be coming up later today, or maybe earlier today, she’s like, wow, I had that thought I should quit. Or I can’t do this. Or it’s too hard. Just let’s just take through each of these questions and or however you want to do it, Shannon. Yeah. It’s a practically what do I how do I process this to do this important inner work?
So let me lean into that. I can’t do this. And I’m sure there’s always a because after that, right, that we gain evidence that tell us we can’t right. So I don’t know, Judy, I mean, what, sometimes when yours creep up, I can’t do this. What is your because
I can’t do this because a big one is there’s not enough time in the day,
right? Not enough time in the day. Okay. Love it. Yes. I’m, uh, I have that same culprit in my head. Right. All right. Yes, it does. Alright, so Oh, here we go duty. Is that really true? Is there ever evidence otherwise? That that’s not always true?
Right, right. I mean, everybody has 24 hours. So I know, I get to determine how I spend that 24 hours. So that’s not true time is not an issue.
So sometimes you’re saying to me sometimes this statement isn’t true, right? That there are times that it feels true today. But there are other times that you’re saying that? It is isn’t true. Right. Right, right. So I’m wondering, when it isn’t true. What is the thought then?
I guess you know what’s so interesting about that, because when you’re doing something that you love, then it’s like, I can do anything. But when you’re doing a task in your work, that’s not really in your wheelhouse. And maybe you shouldn’t even be doing it. You know, that’s when it creeps up.
Okay, so what you’re saying is, if we tweaked this, I can’t do this, because I don’t have enough time in my, in my, I just don’t have enough time. What’s more true is, I do have time to do the things that I enjoy doing. And then I’m equipped equipped to do right. So that’s a more true statement. Okay. Well, let’s talk about this next one, when you tell yourself I can’t do this, because I don’t have enough time. Is that helpful to you? To tell yourself?
No, it’s I think it’s a form of self sabotage, actually,
right. In fact, if your best friend was sitting on the couch with you, and you’re saying, Yeah, I’m going to do this and this and she stops you and says, Wait a minute, Judy, there, there’s no way that you’re going to be able to do that. There’s not enough time for you to do that. Would that be a friend that you would want to hang out with?
Not at all, and you know, what else came up? For me if we’re being really real? I have always been the type of person where if someone says I can’t unless say, oh, yeah, watch. So that’s also came up.
Test me. Right. Right. So sometimes, we are not our own best friends. We really aren’t. Don’t say that encouraging things that you know, are necessary to be friendly to ourselves. So if it’s not helpful, how would you tweak that statement to be a little bit more helpful to you a little bit more friendly? Okay, what would that look like?
I would I I don’t know. Because I don’t allow myself to say I can’t. I say I can. And then I make something real that I can believe in. You know, I mean,
it’s we’re gonna build on that last statement. Okay. I will, I can have the time to do the things that bring me joy. And that use my purpose. Okay, the other things I can Oh, delegate. Oh, there you go. I’ll delegate the things. I don’t have the kind of time to do. Okay. I like that. We switched can’t to delegate. It’s still an action verb. Yeah. Okay. All right. So let’s move on to the next question. I can’t do this because I don’t have time. Well, is there anything in your core beliefs that morally, ethically spiritually Actually, that compete with that thought,
Yes, ma’am. We’re gonna, where God promises that He will equip us to do everything we need to do. So maybe that task I say I can’t do because there’s not enough time is something that I shouldn’t be doing that I needed to do. Maybe.
I love that. So God equips us to do the things that we can’t always do in our own strength. Yeah. And if it’s not, then maybe it’s his guidance, right? Is that what I heard you say?
Yeah, for sure. I mean, it’s, it’s something I really can’t do, or think that I can’t do. Maybe it’s because it’s something that I shouldn’t have on my plate to begin with.
Alright. And then lastly, if it’s, I’ve gotten to know, on whether it’s all true, and I’ve gotten a no on, it’s not helpful. And I got no, no, because it doesn’t line up with my core beliefs that then is there another alternate alternative perspective that we can kind of grasp? And so based on all this statement, I’m sorry, go ahead.
I was gonna say what you said, basically, what we’ve already kind of talking about and bringing that tone that either it should be delegated, or, you know, just focus on the tasks you’re really great at and let the others go. And don’t be such a control freak. Because that’s an issue for me as well.
Awesome. So tell me one to reframe your thoughts. And you said those new kind of reframe thoughts out loud? Did you feel a shift in the what kind of the energy level in your body? Absolutely, yeah. And that’s the internal work, right? That we get to no one else. No one else gets to set that tone of our mindset and how we believe them what we believe in ourselves. And if you are in kind of a darker kind of relationship, doing that mindset piece, that internal working piece to keep you going and grounded, is even more necessary, until you kind of figure out what your path is and what it looks like.
That’s so good, Shannon, and I just really want to emphasize and then we’re going to wrap up time those two quickly. This is a great interview, I knew it would do. So I’m so what can I What can we say I want to impress upon everyone listening that this thing work, like being aware of your thoughts, capturing the thoughts. You know, and I forget exactly what you said renew, renewing. Yeah, yeah. And renewing your mind with it all with the truth capital T of the Lord. I really want everyone listening to understand this is not optional work. Like this is mandatory. So I’d love you to speak to that, Shannon.
It is and listen, even when I work with my couples, this is where we start. This is the groundwork, right? Because when we get to the altar, I mean, the mindset and the stories we tell ourselves about our partner in that moment is very different than as we kind of start going through life and in in a tension and you know, our family of origin issues and idiosyncrasies rise up, and then our betrayal and hurt wounds that are healed. And then a chronic disconnect cycles through arguments and things like that really erode the story, we tell ourselves about our partner. And so we start doing this work where, okay, how can we create emotional safety and security that will help move and shift our stories. So we can do this internal work ourselves. We can rely on God in our space, to help to the power of His Holy Spirit to shift and our emotional stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. And then if we do this really necessary work, science and the Bible say that our partner can also become our healing partner to help us move and shift the stories, not only about ourselves, about each other. And so there’s three avenues and we’re all called to do this work. I mean, because it says biblically that you know, setting our and guarding our hearts and our minds is what then produces the fruit in our lives.
Wow. So good, so good. So that even if there’s a woman listening, that isn’t in business, this work is still for you. It’s for each one of us. Thank you. So that’s amazing. Well, I’d like to tell our audience about a seven day webinar that’s coming up. Yeah, march 7, tell us about that.
Yes, march 7 is my next free seven day webinar you can go to Shannon Roberts counseling calm for slash webinar register, Shannon is spelled with one in. Again, Shannon Roberts counseling.com forward slash webinar, seven days, one hour evening, I am going to help you move your most important relationship from caught conflict to reigniting romance from survival to thrival. And we wouldn’t want we want it to be everything that God designed it to be. And we’re giving you the nuts and bolts of how you get there. And guess what? It starts with rewriting the stories we tell ourselves in our minds about our partners. So this is a little bit of the core work that three views of that whether we’re setting our mindset and business or setting our mindset, inter personally in the world, but also resetting our mindset in our marriages.
Yeah, so, so good. And I’ll be sure to drop that link into question loads. And we talk about perspective. My husband, okay, now a less mature me after this could go find him and scream at him. But instead, I choose to say, You know what, he’s a sweet man. He just was thirsty. And he tried to be quiet. It’s about how we think about
things. Yes. You just change the story in your head, which will change how you feel which will change the actions that you do.
Oh, man, that’s right. I love it. Okay, so Shannon, where’s the best place to find you besides in this webinar coming up?
You can find me on Facebook Shannon Roberts counseling. You can find me on Instagram Shannon Roberts counseling, but my website, Shannon Roberts counseling.
Awesome. Shannon, thank you so much for being here. It was such a it’s such a joy.
Alright, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you and all of your lovely community.
Thank you. Thank you, ladies, if you weren’t listening on Apple, and you’d love this episode, and you enjoy listening every week, when I bring you episode after episode, I need you to do me a quick favor, I need you to please pause right now and give us a rating and a review because it’ll help us to be up in the ranks and get this important message of God in business out into the world. So if you would do that, I would so appreciate it take a screenshot before you hit submit on the review, and my team will send you something special. So once again, thank you, Shannon. Thank you all ladies for listening and we will see you next time. Thanks