In this episode:
Marcus Farris has a powerful story that can help those that are struggling with the scars of divorce.
From his service in the military to ultramarathons his journey has many ups and downs that he openly shares to help others. He talks about how his faith was rocked when unfaithfulness entered his marriage.
A broken heart is a feature of the human experience, not a flaw. So the thing that God wants for you in that season is to learn to make those difficult decisions that are not black and white. Click To Tweet Marcus Farris
Welcome to the Lion Within Us, a podcast serving Christian men who are hungry to be the leaders God intends you to be. I’m your host, Chris Granger. Let’s jump in. All right guys, this is your meet episode of the week. But before we get too far, let’s start off with scripture cuz it’s so important that we get every episode started right way that’s getting in God’s word.
So John chapter 12, verse 24, very truly, I tell you, unless say, kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds. So if you missed a spiritual kickoff, go back, check that out. Those previous episode from here, and I really unpacked that. I went through a lot of of detail around that, that verse in particular, and how to simplify and apply that to your life.
Now, today, we’re gonna be talking a lot around, uh, a, a story that impacted this man. His name is Marcus Ferris. And his marriage. So his marriage failed. Uh, he walked through the road, uh, the road of divorce and he wants to talk about basically how this impacted his faith. And this made him ultimately no less faithful.
And this he talking about the scars of divorce and how that really revealed to him the heart of God. And so, you know, Marcus began working where he’s currently at, called Mission 22 as our post-traumatic growth director in January of 2020. So he was serving at as an active duty engineer officer in Alaska for four years.
He did that. Now he’s, now he’s here at Mission 22. He’s passionate about all manner of endurance sports competition and spending a lot of his spare time working with the US military Endor endurance sports teams. So guys, it’s been, this is is a very interesting conversation and yeah, he’s an ultramarathon, a very interesting guy, but he’s, he walked through the, uh, divorce and I know that’s impacted so many of our listeners.
That’s impacted me. I mean, I haven’t, I’ve shared openly with you guys here. I’ve walked through a divorce, uh, and, and how that shaped me, how that impacted my walk, my, my testimony, my life, and ultimately now how that’s impacted my current marriage where it’s, it’s really been a blessing because you’ve gone through a trial like that.
It shapes you. It really does. And you can, and you, and when you go through a trial, you can either be running from God or towards God, and if you run towards him, it’s amazing what he’ll reveal to you when you need it the most. So this was a fun conversation, guys. I think there’s a lot of good insights.
Second half the conversation, and we get tactical around actual, he, we, he calls ’em first aid, but these are tactics that you can take when you’re going through a trial. Maybe you’re going through a divorce, you’re a separation, or you’re just a troubling time. Maybe it’s just troubling time. You’re marriage and you and he and you just need some time to think and he needs some times to, to process.
He gives some very practical ways that you can take action. To really improve you. Cause at the end of the day, we need to be working on ourselves and we need to be the man that our wife or, or the future Mrs. Is looking for. You know, we need to stop going out there and looking for them. Let’s just worry about making sure, make being the man that they’re looking for.
And that means taking care of our health, right? Taking care of our, uh, finances, taking care of our responsibilities at work. I mean, all these different things. If we, if we’re doing that all, all under the umbrella of God’s word, obviously that needs to be our ultimate beacon. Good things will happen. But this is a powerful conversation.
I thank you guys are gonna enjoy it. Get your notepad out, definitely for the second half cuz it gets tactical and I think that will help you, uh, and your journey. So enjoy this conversation with Marcus Ferris.
Well, Marcus Ferris, welcome to the Lion within Us. How you doing today,
03:48 Marcus Farris
Chris? So happy to be here. I’m doing great. Looking forward to the, the next season. That’s to come.
03:53 Chris Grainger
Absolutely. I am too, man. It’s been, it’s been great. I’ve been looking forward to it. I, I, I loved your book. I know we’re going to unpack that and, and share a lot of insight for our listeners out there.
But let’s start with something fun. You know, I see you’re an ultramarathoner, so I gotta note, what’s the longest run you’ve ever done? Oh, man. That would’ve
04:10 Marcus Farris
been, uh, a race called the Pinho 100 back in 2010. It was a hundred mile race, point to point race from, uh, a bustling metropolis of Heflin, Alabama, which I’m sure everyone’s familiar with down to, uh, silicon.
So if either of those, um, cities sound familiar to anyone, I’m, I’d be very impressed. Uh, so yeah, that it was a hundred mile foot race and I finished it in just over 24
04:34 Chris Grainger
hours. Oh, my gracious man. So, I mean, on a race like that, I mean, how many calories do, are you taking with you to, to consume just so that you don’t , you know, you can actually make it through the
04:45 Marcus Farris
Yeah. In, in races like that, you definitely have to have different considerations than something like a 50 k or like a half marathon or a half, uh, half marathon too, or shorter races where you can just get away with taking your typical gels and your normal sports nutrition and then you get to a point where, um, you know, you, you make use of the aid stations that have like sort of real food.
Mm-hmm. , I remember eating, uh, probably my favorite part of the race in terms of food was at mile 75. It was probably, I don’t know, coming up on midnight and there are these switchbacks way up to the kind of the top of one of the highest points in the race and it was run by a group of ultra marathoners from Georgia who come out every year and they’re serving up fried egg sandwiches.
And by the time you get up to the top man, like, oh, it tasted so good. But you kind of get to the point where just anything salty and savory or just like, you can’t do sugar for that long, you know? Um, I couldn’t tell you the number of calories, uh, just off the top of my head, but it was. The, the rule in ultra running is like those races really are eating competitions with a bit of running, thrown in.
So, uh, and then you, you eat before you’re hungry, drink before you’re thirsty and, um, one foot in front of the other and you’ll eventually get there.
05:56 Chris Grainger
Man, that’s impressive. That’s, I I can honestly say I’ve never interviewed a ultra marathon or so. This is pretty cool. I’m excited to, uh, tell, to learn more.
I think that tells us a lot about your personality. Just get us just, you know, as we get started, but, you know, tell us your story and, and how divorce ultimately rots your face. I’d love to love just to hear your perspective as get us going and get our
06:17 Marcus Farris
listeners up to speed here. Yeah. One thing I will say is that I’m, lately as, as we’re having this conversation here at the end of 2022, um, the.
Last days of, I guess, legally when I was married, were they, they feel like they’re so far behind me in such a short amount of time. So, mm-hmm. , as I look at it from this perspective, what I can say is that within the span of about three years, it feels like I lived like a whole nother lifetime almost. Um, and so I guess that would be my, kinda my encouragement today for, for anybody who’s like in the midst of it, there is just a tremendous amount of potential for you to realize so much more about what you can live for.
And what I’ve learned is like the, that whole process was for me and not to me, if that makes sense. And so, mm-hmm. , God gave me a significant amount of raw material to restart and make something new out of that whole season. Um, I’ll, I’ll share a story that actually happened very recently. Um, I was in Japan for about three weeks, uh, over the first three weeks or so of December doing a military exercise.
And en route. We stopped, we flew through Fairbanks, and if you’ve read the book at all, you know that a lot of my story kind of occurs in Alaska between Anchorage and Fairbanks. And I hadn’t been to that city in quite some time. And as I was sitting out there on the tarmac, I could almost see my house from where the plane sat, because in Fairbanks you have the airport’s just like right next to the city.
And I used to live when I was married, uh, in Fairbanks, just down the road from there. And so I, it was, it was weird because it was kind of like going back and realizing that what you thought was a dream was like, there’s something like it’s there and it’s real and you can visit it, um mm-hmm. and yeah.
And it was interesting for me because I had to hold two truths at once, because when I reflect on my time, like in the early days of that marriage, like things seemed really good. You know, we, we, we had a great small group. We, you know, it was sort of this fresh, young love that was, seemed to be blossoming.
Um, and then in retrospect, the fact that it all dissolved later in a manner, I never would’ve. Predicted, it’s sort of this dichotomy between like, yes, it was a genuine, good, loving relationship, and it’s also true that there is something latent that we wouldn’t realize until later. So we moved away from Fairbanks in May of 2017, uh, down to central Oregon, which is where I’m still, I am now, um, with a little bit of a different circumstance than, than what was going on then in terms of career and house and everything else.
And it, it took about three-ish years for her to kind of realize like, man, I got into this relationship for the wrong reasons. And for me to realize, like, I was a little trigger happy, you could say, when I first met her thinking like, wow, man. Like I’ve, I’ve met somebody who’s just so perfect, so good. Like I hadn’t really dated a whole lot prior to having met her.
Mm-hmm. and jumped into it fairly naively. Um, I kind of articulate that a little bit more in the book, but, um, So, yeah. Let’s see. So summer of 2019, um, I went to Niece France where I did, uh, the last triathlon that I’ve done. Um, in a while, I kind of hung up the shoes from, from that sport. I did that for a couple of seasons and, uh, that, that trip really marked kind of the crossing over between the old life and the new life that I’m, that I’m here with, uh, being able to talk to you now about.
Um, and I’ll tell you that there’s, there’s a really cool, so let’s see, today is the 19th. We’re two days away from the winter solstice, right? And so, uh, from the Christian perspective, you might think like, man, you know, the eLog thing and the whole, like, celebrating solstice, isn’t that sort of a pagan kind of an idea?
And, um, you know, sure. But, uh, one of the cool things about the darkest part of the year is where the light shines brightest. And I think that trope is, uh, not lost in the Christian tradition of celebrating Christmas this time of year. The critics might talk about like, oh, you know, Christ was never born.
You know, it’s probably the springtime. It doesn’t make sense that it would be winter, blah, blah, blah. But the point of celebrating it in winter is to acknowledge that the brightest things come out of the darkest days. And I think that’s a really important thing to understand with your own story. And the Jewish calendar, the new day began in the evening, right?
For that same reason. So it’s like you, you begin, you begin the journey in darkness with the promise of light ahead of you. And I had one of those moments, uh, in the summer of 2019. This was the same summer that I found out what had happened with the marriage and knowing that it was on its last legs.
There was a health coaching institute that I signed up for earlier that year. I was kind of reevaluating what I was wanting to do with my career. I studied engineering as my undergrad degree and my early days in active duty military was in the engineering realm. It’s also what my dad did. So I was kind of following in that, but I had a heart for something to do with fitness of some sort, and I heard about health coaching and it really intrigued me.
Um, and uh, so I started that program at the beginning of February, 2019 and near September timeframe, that was right before the knee trip. Uh, that was when kind of the bottom had fallen outta the marriage. Like it just seemed like so many things were over. And right before I left for France, I got a call from the job I was currently working at letting me know I was fired, which they didn’t really give a very good explanation.
They were just like, don’t come back after your trip. Uh, and so within five minutes of that phone call, the FedEx man shows up and arrives with a package that basically is like my graduation kit for this health coaching thing within five minutes. Like I, I didn’t make that up. And it really felt like that moment where you go to a candlelight service and you have the single plane.
With darkness all around. Like it really felt like that. And that was kind of the seed that grew into, uh, where I’m at today,
12:10 Chris Grainger
man. Well, it sounds like to me right here, this is a great example of God’s timing, right? I mean, it’s, it’s just, it’s it’s perfect. You, he’s never early, but it’s, the timing’s always perfect.
Yeah. So that’s what you’re doing now. So j just to kind of give us a quick update. So now you’re doing health coaching, that’s, that sounds like what, what you
12:28 Marcus Farris
got going on? Yeah. And it’s really so much more than that. So right after I got back from that France trip, I went to Portland to go meet with the company called Mission 22, which is a nonprofit that does work with veterans and their families.
And I had met those guys. That was a whole nother story maybe we can get into later. But, um, I ended up meeting the founder of that company, Magnus Johnson, uh, through. Through some mutual friends that I met on another church retreat. And so I went there and just like I didn’t have a job, I was like driving for Lyft just to make enough money on the side and kind of pitched myself as a health coach to them.
And around that same time, near, near the end of that year, they had the idea for something called the r and r program, which is the recovery and resiliency program that, um, is what I’m, I’m working with now. So that program, basically it’s the idea of the company is like, well, shoot, there’s, there’s so many services and nonprofits out there specifically for veterans, but veteran suicide rates don’t seem to be improving at all.
What are we missing? So the idea of the program was like, Hey, look, let’s combine all of the modalities of healing that have worked forever, uh, updated with a bit of modern science and technology, and then put it in the hands of the individuals who are dealing with this as opposed to putting the healing power within a select few individuals that can be very difficult to get to in a overburdened system.
Mm-hmm. . That story of restoration and kind of coming back home and completing the hero’s journey on the veteran, uh, uh, storyline, like imagine, you know, actual combat and coming back home and reintegrating. It’s kind of, it has all of the characteristics of someone at home who maybe is a civilian or, you know, maybe didn’t deploy, who’s dealing with kind of the same stuff.
Um, and what was really cool to find out was actually for me to have experienced that dark out of the soul by losing a marriage, I was able to much more deeply connect with veterans coming back from war. And indeed, a lot of marriages fail there for various reasons. Mm-hmm. . And so the, the healing and recovery modalities, uh, that go along with what the collapse Well, I.
We use the term moral injury, uh, a lot when it comes to combat stress. And that’s also true when it comes to losing a marriage. And so in my story, I was kind of, uh, I grew up in the south and in Birmingham, Alabama, moved around a bunch when I was younger, so I did get a little bit of exposure to different ways of thinking.
But suffice to say that I was pretty sheltered. I was pretty, um, not very well acquainted with the difficulties and challenges and real issues that the world had to offer later on. Mm-hmm. . And I think that was one of the things that kinda led to my jumping too quickly into a marriage that I probably should have pumped the brakes on a bit.
Notwithstanding. There was a, that there’s that moment of moral injury where basically the way that you thought that the world operates and people operate and how you’re treated just gets blown up. And that can, that can be as a result of experiencing combat. It can be the result of experiencing a betrayal.
It can be the result of even experiencing your house burning down. Although natural disasters tend to be, A little easier on the psyche. But anyway, so, um, I, I realized like, man, those, all of those stories that call to us that we’re so interested in, you know, fill in the blank, like Lord of the Rings, you know, uh, star Wars or Harry Potter or any of those, just like, why is the human psyche so attracted to these patterns?
And it’s because it’s our life. Like we, we, we go through those patterns too. And that’s very useful to know. It’s useful to know that when you’re in the abyss, when you’re in sort of this place of ultimate chaos, there’s a way out and there’s a story that you are a part of, that you have a, a path ahead of you where you’re, you’re gonna figure out what that sort of proverbial magical elixir is that you can then share with others.
And that’s kind of what I see myself doing now. Well, that’s
16:14 Chris Grainger
wonderful. And I mean, and the experiences that you have, as you mentioned from, from a military standpoint, that, that you’ll be able to connect with those guys directly and have that empathy with them. And so it sounds like you’re on a great path.
And I mean, as someone who’s walked through the, the, the road of divorce, myself, Marcus, this is. I think we have a lot of, of, of commonality here. So let’s jump into a couple things within your book. Cause I think there’s so many different items that it, that really sparked my interest and it served me and I’m pretty sure to help our guys as well.
But going right into your book, there’s a quote that I was hoping to get your insight on. It says, marriage is a race to teach us more about our purpose, to train us to run well. And it’s no less than a life generating crucible. So I’d love for you to unpack that. Give us some more insight into, into, you know, what you’re trying to share there.
Uh, cuz I, I, I definitely agree that it’s, it’s, it’s not just about us. There’s a definitely a higher purpose and higher calling to, to marriage in general.
17:09 Marcus Farris
Yeah. The lesson that I didn’t really understand was, Your partner, your wife is your beneficial adversary. Uh, the, the Hebrew word and Genesis actually refers to her as such, um, or the essential other that you couldn’t do without, but it’s still a sort of adversarial relationship because we’re very different than them and we can’t help that.
But if you, if you understand that that’s part of the deal, then you don’t have to be afraid of conflict so much anymore. And so, but, but also there’s another really interesting way of thinking about it that has helped me a lot in terms of, uh, like, do you sacrifice for the other person or do you sacrifice for something else?
And the problem with sacrificing for another flawed human being is that you start to expect things back from her. You start to expect like, well, you know, I, I made all of these sacrifices for you and you didn’t give back the way that I expected. Okay, so wrong answer. You don’t sacrifice for her, you sacrifice for the sake of the relationship itself.
And that’s different, right? So like, if you. Let’s just say hypothetically that somebody was in a marriage and was betrayed and the other person just left and it was like zero fault of their own. Although it rarely, if ever, is, but hypothetically, let’s just say that it is. And so you might think like, well, this whole idea of sacrificing yourself, of putting the other person ahead of yourself for the benefit of them, and then you’re, the response from them is a betrayal, which according to Dante’s hierarchy of sins, is like the worst possible one because of how, how deeply it stings.
Um, which is also why it was featured in, uh, Christ’s story, right? Um, but, but that’s not the point. You don’t sacrifice for her. You sacrifice for something bigger. And so when you operate along a sort of sacrificial system, then you start to realize like, man, the, just the process of sacrificing the thing that’s easy now for something that’s hard later, just that process alone turns me into the type of human being that God wants me to be.
And Right. That might be found through marriage. And I think that’s one of the most important things that marriage can teach. But again, it’s not so much for the sake of the relationship or for the sake of, uh, of her. It’s for the sake of just understanding intimate relationships as such. Um, and, and I think that’s a very important, um, mechanism, I guess to understand.
Maybe mechanism’s not quite the right word, but that’s, that’s the kind of relationship that we have with God. And he’s like the, if we’re only aiming at a marriage, we’re not aiming high enough and Right. We have to realize that we can. Marriage is a very palpable way to learn that lesson, but it’s one of many ways.
And, and divorce can be another way to learn that too. Um, and so, man, it’s one, another thing that I kind of wrestled with was like, is it God’s will that I’d be divorced because I, like, I held out for 14 months and then she ended up doing the paperwork and cuz I, I just couldn’t bring myself to. To do it right.
I couldn’t bring myself to fill out the paperwork and actually come to terms with this. And it’s like the, the Bible teaches reconciliation and, and all these things, and doesn’t God hate divorce and this and that? And it’s like, well, the, the law shows us the ideal. It shows us how things are not and things that we can strive toward, but it also takes a very frank and an honest look at the reality of sin and what to do in that life.
And sometimes decisions in life come down to choosing the cleanest dirty shirt you got. Mm,
20:38 Chris Grainger
so true. So true. Hey guys, we’ll be right back.
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So Marcus, I’m curious man, just, just kind of get to the heart of some of this stuff too. Where, where was Christ in your marriage? You know, when, when things were going good or at the beginning? Where, where where’d
21:51 Marcus Farris
you have Christ at? Huh? Ostensibly in the center. Um, you know, it’s okay. Starting out the relationship.
I, so I, I recount the story in the book, how I spent a good six hour car ride, um, going up to meet her, to decide to tell her that I loved her, wanted to spend my life with her. And it’s like, God, if this isn’t what you want for me, please tell me. Like, I wanna do this correctly, and I wanna do this properly and do it your way.
But she was a very new believer, if a genuine one at all. Um, and I, I wasn’t ready to hear the message from him like, Hey bro, you need to wait. You need to pump the brakes here. I know you’re excited. I know you’ve got all these chemicals happening that you’re not used to having. Um, but you, you really need to take a step back and evaluate this and take your time.
And, uh, that was not a message I was willing to hear. And so, uh, to the extent that Christ was in the center of that, it was like he, at, at the beginning, I think there was, there were a lot of interesting things that I saw on experience that led me to believe that this was like an honored, like a relationship that honored God that we were heading in the right direction.
Um, right. And it’s so curious to, to sort of reflect on, you know, I, I was too hasty, but I, I was also pretty young. I didn’t really know much better and God still used that what naivety, that whole, the whole circumstance to bring about something else. And, um, the reality of the fact that sin exists, but seeing how that’s transmuted into something much better, uh, was something that took a while to learn and kind of took a while to settle in.
And it’s something I’m still reflecting on. Um, but that’s, that is how it works. You know, like it’s, anytime something breaks down, you’ve got pieces that you can put back together in a different way. Yeah.
23:31 Chris Grainger
No doubt. Something. But it sounds like in many ways, and I hear this from a lot of guys in, in me included, the, the idea of patience was not there at the beginning.
Right. You, you sound like you were really rush you, you’ve mentioned you really, you’re kind of rushing through a lot of these steps just to, um, because you felt like everything was lining
23:49 Marcus Farris
up. Mm-hmm. . Yeah, for sure. And that’s like when. It’s when the, the female deer and heat that the hunters can take advantage of what the males are up to.
Right. You, you really start to let your guard down. You, you figure, you decide like, oh man, pursuing this person’s the most amazing, euphoric thing in the entire universe and I need to forsake everything else. And it’s like, oh, that’s, that kind of sounds a bit like a drug addiction there, dude. Yeah. And yeah, it’s, and so I, I never really had that mentor in my life to like sit me down.
It was like, look, here’s what to expect. Like it, you know, and that, that’s why like surrounding yourself with people who have been there before is so vitally important. Because if you have those feelings and experience and a place of isolation, then you don’t have a context for what it all means. You just, it’s just like your body is telling you go and do this and chase this with every single fiber of your being.
And you don’t have that sort of spiritual mentor to, to temper those things. Yeah,
24:46 Chris Grainger
absolutely. I mean, we have to. We need to have that, that, that season, those, the, that, uh, wisdom around us. That’s the word I was looking for, to help guide us and direct us and, and to help us sometimes see the things that we can’t see.
Cuz I mean, you know, if we’re filing our biology, a lot of times the theology goes out the window, right? I mean, and that’s just the way so many guys respond. That’s, they just, they, they’re following what, what their, their, their natural urges are versus Hey, let’s slow down and let’s figure out, is this really what God wants from me?
Mm-hmm. Uh, or is this just some, some coincidences that this happened to be happening right now? Yeah. So good. Well, let’s jump to the, to the heart of what happened, because I think this is, you know, I’ve talked to a lot of guys who were struggling with, you know, infidelity and things happening in our marriages and, and, and on page 52, in your book, you talk about the moment my wife of four years worked up, the courage to admit her unfaithfulness was the moment my second half of life journey began.
I was no longer a naive church kid. My eyes were open to the realities of real pain. My dissent until the underworld began. And, and as someone who’s, who’s been there myself and, and, and felt that unfaithfulness, I, I, I know the impact that it has on you and, and, and, and how that can just leave you feeling so broken and hurt.
Uh, so maybe explain a little bit more what, what was going on here and, and then what would you tell a fellow brother out there who may be listening, uh, who may be facing this right now that
26:13 Marcus Farris
helped you get through this? Yeah. In terms of kind of how the story went down, basically what had happened was she kind of out of nowhere decided like, maybe it would be cool if we were foster parents.
And that was very new to me. I wasn’t quite ready for children. Um, right. And I made a comment like, if we’re gonna do that, we should be more plugged in with the church. Like, I, I don’t feel like we have a solid small group like we used to in Fairbanks. And that was kind of when she realized like, oh man, I really don’t believe the same things he does.
I don’t wanna go to church. I don’t wanna pray before meals. I don’t wanna read my Bible. Like kind of total rejection of all those things. And that, that was really a blindside for me. Cuz for, for that first like three years, that was absolutely not the case. It was quite the opposite. Uh, we had really good loving Christian people in our lives.
Um, and so that, that was such a precipitous drop that I think that was the thing that walled me the most. Um, and so for, for people who are kind of feeling that right now, you’re, you’re feeling exactly the feelings Christ felt at Yosemite. Like, that’s like this, this is part of the story. And one of the things I wanna get across is like, hey, like betrayal obviously is not the ideal.
Uh, we live in a very sinful world, but we, to be able to persist through it will give you like, that’s, that’s sort of the proverbial gold that the dragon’s hiding, right? So the dragon is that creature that’s sort of the amalgam of all of the predatory things that could destroy you. And a separation and divorce season is definitely a type of dragon cuz it can destroy people.
But, but so the thing is like, it hides the gold if you can learn to contend with it. And it’s gonna suck for a while. Like that’s part of the deal. Um, it’s gonna break you down and it’s gonna make you feel like you don’t know who you are anymore. Because when, when you’re betrayed, you then have to ask like, well, was I a sucker?
Like, was I so just like, how did I not see this coming? Like who, it, it just, it brings so many things into question and it, it, uh, dissolution is actually a pretty good word for what happens cuz like the thing that you thought was solid is now liquid and it’s gonna feel like you’re drowning. It’s gonna feel like there are, like, everything is unknown.
It’s gonna feel like there’s no new feature for you. Um, but that’s not true. That’s not how it works. You’re not a fortune teller. You don’t know what’s gonna come. Um, and I can just tell you from my experience, like I, I can say unequivocally and categorically that my life is on a much more exciting, uh, uh, more impactful trajectory now than it ever was before, uh, when I was married.
Like I can say that with full confidence. And it’s sort of like the, the people you hear about who get cancer diagnosis is like, You know, I don’t wish that on anyone, but it’s given me such an extraordinary perspective. It’s a better gift than just being well and unconscious to the nature of God’s creation.
28:58 Chris Grainger
I, I’m curious, and when you, when you said, so the first sounds like the first three years you guys are on a pretty good path, but then all of a sudden it’s a, you, her interest in Christianity, church, praying, all that stuff sound like it, it, it, it shifted. So did something happen there that, that really pulled her, you know, her way or rocked her faith by any, in any
29:17 Marcus Farris
So, in my estimation, you know, God, God knows exactly what her heart is, and I, I really don’t. Um, but I think what, like in my own sort of po postmortems, the way I’ve looked at it is like Fairbanks had enough social and environmental supports that those types of questions could be sort of swept under the rug.
She, so I got into a counseling program. Um, I’m getting my master’s in clinical mental health counseling to go along with my, all the stuff I’m doing at work. And one of the pathologies that you learn about, and I I know that our current pathological system of mental health is, it has its flaw, but there is something called codependent personality disorder, which she checked all the boxes for.
And so this is basically a case where instead of developing your own sense of self, you outsource it to serial relationships. So that is what she had done since she was 16 years old. It’s basically like, I, I don’t wanna do the work of getting to know myself, so I’m just going to abdicate to someone else.
And so that also was paired with a high, high agreeable personality trait where you just go with the flow and you just, you wanna be a team player and you don’t wanna rock the boat. Her moms exactly the same way. Uh, and that’s not good cuz that means you can’t negotiate. It means you don’t have a voice for yourself.
And. For three years. She didn’t really need a voice for herself because she was where she wanted to be. Things seemed to be safe. Um, even if she didn’t really want to go to church, she still had good friends. She still liked what she did. Uh, and then when all of that was removed, suddenly it revealed like the tides rolling out all of the underlying things that neither one of us knew how to address.
And so that’s kind of when it, it kind of came falling down.
30:59 Chris Grainger
Mm-hmm. . And it sounds, but it sounds like you’ve been a believer for quite a long time. Right? For as long as I
31:05 Marcus Farris
31:05 Chris Grainger
remember. Okay. So I mean, is it a fair assessment to say you guys were pretty unequally yoked there from what, from where you were versus where she was in her faith?
31:15 Marcus Farris
A thousand percent. Yeah. Yeah.
31:18 Chris Grainger
I mean that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s the piece that it’s so important in our marriages to make sure that we are equally yolked because I mean, you were obviously headed in the direction you felt like God was going your life, but she’s not there, man. You’re just going in a circle, right?
And then at some point you, the, the yolks gonna break. And that’s ultimately
31:35 Marcus Farris
what happened here. Yeah. And the thing about uneven yoked yolked ness, if that’s a word, is that that can apply to just your, your basic spiritual maturity. Like, I don’t know, if I were to meet some 21 year old who, who found Christ within the last six months, you know, maybe that could work, but, but there’s also a high probability that you’re gonna have some challenges in that.
Um, so yeah, I mean, you, you don’t want to get arrogant about it and like think of yourself better than them, but it’s that Paul does talk about, like, for some people they need milk still, and that’s okay. And others they need meat. And, um, so for a meat eater and a milk drinker, sometimes the, the relationship’s gonna have some challenges if, um, you know, some, some basic fundamentals aren’t rock solid.
32:22 Chris Grainger
And, but I mean, the big, the big thing I want guys out here to understand is, you know, you know, God, from, from my standpoint, You know, he, so far as interracial marriages, all, he doesn’t care. I mean, God is love, all that stuff’s fine. What he, where, where it’s, it gets rocky and it gets turvy is when you have that, that, that, that faith is in aligned.
You want to have that faith aligned, headed in the right direction. Because if you’re trying to glorify God and everything that you are as a man, and ultimately our marriage is, that’s what it’s about. Marriage is about glorifying God together. Uh, if your spouse isn’t there, you, you’re not gonna be able to achieve the things God almost has called you for in your life and wants for in your life.
So that’s why, you know, partner selection and making sure that we’re, you know, we’re, we’re doing the right things together as a marriage and as a married couple is so critically important. So I’m glad you, you brought up that point there, man. For sure. So, I mean, I guess, you know, looking back, did you, were there any signs that, that you, you now, you know, hindsight me in 2020, right?
That you can look back and say, man, I wish I could go back and tell myself this, you know, earlier, and that would’ve saved you some, some lessons
33:25 Marcus Farris
learned. Yeah, I’ve thought about that. What’s that old country song about? Like, if I could write a letter to me. Right. Um, yeah, that’s right. Right. It, it’s such a strange paradox because on the one hand it’s like, man, if only I could have sent myself a message of just like, you know, don’t touch that with a 10 foot pole.
Like, stay far away. You know? Uh, I actually did have a guy in a small group that I, I confided in during that time, and he used that exact line, like, I wouldn’t touch that with a 10 foot pole if, if she’s not the same sort of frequency as you. Um, and so in a very real sense, I did have that message and I just didn’t wanna listen to it.
So I, you know, mm-hmm. , I think the letters to me, um, wouldn’t really have been so effective. And also, it’s not obvious to me on this side of it that I should have avoided it. It’s, it’s strange. It’s, again, it’s kind of a paradox, but, um, it became kind of my cross to bear that produced more fruit than I ever could have imagined.
So. Should I have prevented myself from experiencing that and like been patient and found a marriage that would’ve been, you know, longer lasting. I don’t know if that is the case, cuz now you know, who knows what the, you know, alternate history would’ve been. But I’m, I’m in a place now that God’s brought that, like, I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Yeah, yeah. Hey, we’ll take a quick
34:42 Chris Grainger
break guys. Let’s be right back.
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I asked you that cuz I mean, for me, I can look back to and I, there were signals, there were things, there were, I was not, not listening to God. I wasn’t just like you, I was just kind of, I was going for it. I thought I was doing what he wanted me to do, but ultimately I was doing my plan. But I can tell you this man for walking through the ro of divorce and, and what that meant for me and, and the things that I learned and I grew just through the, the stress of that trial and what every, just that, that season in life, it just, I mean it sucked.
I’m just gonna be honest. It, it was a, it was not a fun season of life, but I can tell you now is that for, it has made my marriage now a hundred times better cuz I can appreciate the, you know, the, the way that, that God has designed marriage and what it, what it can be. And when you actually see that, Oh man, the little things don’t bother me as much anymore in, in my marriage like it used to.
Um, so I’ve just, I don’t know if I’m just, maybe just to give you some hope or also to give some the guys that they’re listening who may be in that season in between, right? You, maybe you’ve come outta divorce and by yourself right now, you’re trying to figure out the next steps. I mean, you went through that trial for a reason.
That refinement was there for a reason. I think it would definitely help us all grow. So just wanted to share that with you.
36:42 Marcus Farris
Yeah. Yeah. And as, as I kind of have thought through it too from other angles, it’s like the world does not leave anyone unscathed. Like I was gonna get hurt one way or the other.
There was this old movie, I think came out in the early two thousands called Timeline, if I remember that right. And there was this guy who built a time machine to save his fiance who got killed in a car. And the way the movie recounts it is like he goes back a thousand different times and every single time she still dies in a different way, but like at the same time.
So it didn’t matter what he did, it’s, you know, it, it’s kind of the, the paradox of like God’s sovereignty in our agency. Like where do those two things meet? And it’s like, it was, and, and it will be something that you wrestle with, right? This is the whole Israel means my struggle with God, right? And so it’s like, how, how could it be that it’s sort of faded, that something dies or someone dies?
Um, but that we get to sort of navigate that season how we choose mm-hmm. . And so, you know, if I had spared myself that divorce, would I, I would’ve been depriving myself of the most important lessons I ever could have
37:47 Chris Grainger
learned in life. Yeah. I, I’m with you, man. All the way. I mean, so far it, it’s hard to, uh, to walk through it, but I mean, I, I, I swear it, I think it makes us.
You know, if you have go through, come on, on, on the other side and you run towards God through these trials, he’s gone refining, he’s gonna make you better and he’s gonna put you in a better position to serve others just like you’re doing right now, man. So, you know, hats off to you. There’s a section in your book where you, you call it first aid and I love it cuz as guys, we, we, we get very t we want to get tactical.
What can we do, what actions can we take to actually, you know, move the ball down the field? So I’d love to unpack a few of these with you. Uh, if you don’t mind for our listeners and just starting off with, just thinking out loud, that was your first tactic that you called out. So why’d you go there with that one and why is that so important?
38:35 Marcus Farris
Yeah, this is something that was not premeditated on my part, but I just found myself doing a lot because when, when you experience kind of a collapse of everything that you thought your, the way that your life was going, you have to rewrite your story. Um, with those things still part of your story. And so the way that I did that was like, I would go on long walks and just speak, and I would just, it’ll just be like, it was, it’ll kind of be prayer.
It was sort of a prayer, but it was also just like talking through things, trying to think, see things from different perspectives. Cause we, you know, talking out loud for a long period of time is thinking it’s the same thing, right? And it’s, it’s thinking in a more ordered manner. And when you, I mean, I don’t know, it was sort of like self-talk therapy, if you will.
I, what I’ll do is I’ll listen to some podcast about, you know, it could be relationships, it could be something unrelated. Just stuff that I was interested in personally. Um, and then, yeah, I’ll just, I would find, uh, the place where I was working at the time had a trail not too far away. And I’ll go out on my lunch, break on that trail and just walk and walk and walk.
And sometimes I’ll go on runs and find a secluded place in the woods and just talk it out, like what’s on my mind. There’s, there becomes a certain psychological pressure to speak things forth, to put them into, into what order? Um, I learned this really cool thing about the word demonstrate. So the word demonstrate means to de monster.
Um, a couple of different languages have kinda the same connotation. And so I talked about dragons before, dragon monster. You can use that in the same context here To demonstrate something is to take the monster apart and put it into usable pieces. And so you do that by speaking fourth truth, and you don’t know what all the dragon has to offer until you’re able to cut it into pieces with your words, right?
So like that’s the image and revelation where Christ has the sword coming outta his mouth. He’s the word that puts into order the things that are chaotic in your life. And so you get to participate in that process. And the way that I did it is I just went and kind of talk to myself, talk to God in the presence of the, for a while.
Well, that man, that’s
40:36 Chris Grainger
powerful stuff right there. And I’m definitely gonna have to use that demonstrate tip as for one of our tips of the week. Uh, one week. Man, that’s that’s good stuff right there. I mean, and you’re so, it’s so true. There’s something too as well, if it’s negative thoughts that are pulling you down.
Just talking these things out loud. A lot of times you take the power away, you can actually say these things out. Next thing you know, you’re, you’re able to process it more effectively and efficiently, you know, just, just by actually speaking it. And sometimes when you actually speak it, like, that’s silly.
Why, why am I even worried about that? And you can just, just, yeah, just talk it out through yourself. So,
41:10 Marcus Farris
yeah. It’s interesting how the effects of the effects of the words happening in your mind can have a very different effect when they’re spoken out loud and as opposed, like, it’s sort of a process of like, if you’re a slave to an old thought and you can put it into words, now you’re, its master.
41:26 Chris Grainger
Exactly. Now, now your next area you talked about, I think it’s gonna resonate a lot with our guys, because this is something I talk about, you know, pretty consistently. Talk about physically demanding exercise with your tribes. We call it our lions, Dan. But just getting together with other guys, doing hard things, sweating.
I always say, guys connect shoulder to shoulder and when they’re sweating. So, I mean, why, why is that
41:48 Marcus Farris
important? Yeah, I mean for, for a lot of reasons. I imagine your listeners are, this isn’t the first time they’ve heard this, but, um, one of the cool things about working out in groups is that it has a magnification of the effects of exercise by yourself.
Um, and there’s, there’s a certain magic to doing hard things with other men where by the time you’re done with your workout, then a lot of the facades start to fall off naturally. And the traditional sort of talk therapies that seem to be more efficacious for the female psyche start to work for men after you’ve gone through a difficult thing.
So men bond through doing stressful things together. They are, are bonding hormones called vasopressin, and you get a lot more vasopressin when you’re with other guys doing tough things. So the bonding component. Is elicited after having gone through stress on purpose. And so one another way to look at it is like, if you’re going through an extreme stress, like a, a divorce or whatever the crisis is, then practicing small stress makes you more adept at handling the big stress.
Mm-hmm. , and, you know, and then, and then of course like all of the other great benefits of exercise that, um, I probably go without saying, but if you, if you strengthen your body and you have physiological resilience, it does equip you to handle the psychological toll that a divorce season’s gonna take on you.
43:09 Chris Grainger
Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , absolutely. I mean, there’s, there’s so much power in that and just being able to, to, to get together with others and, uh, I, I didn’t realize the power you said, so there’s the, there’s the actual, um, what, what was the word you, you mentioned where, where when guys get together, it actually, it, it multiplies the effect
43:27 Marcus Farris
of the workout.
Yeah. In, in terms of the, I guess psycho pharmacological response, i e the chemicals happening in your brain would shift your mood. Uh, then when you’re working out with others, there’s something that’s activated in the brain that’s different than when you’re just working out by yourself, that allows you to bond with other people.
So you might imagine, you know, imagine the, our ancestors going out in the woods and going on a hunt. Like yeah, if you’re hunting with others and going through that stressful time, then it pays to have a, have a biological response, which increases your connection with them. Because the more connected and in line you are with what they’re doing, the better your hunting skills as a group is gonna be.
So we all have the thing that we need to hunt from, you know, once in a while. And I think that’s very appropriate to this idea of the line within, like, all of us have a thing that we have to hunt down, um, especially as men, you know, women have their own challenges and, and all of that. But like with men, it’s, it’s a nuanced thing where you have to do something difficult with your body.
You just. You can’t get around that. Um, and whatever, you know, that’s gonna be subjective to wherever somebody at is at in life. But I really don’t think that that’s an optional, um, exercise, I guess an optional, uh, uh, strategy. Um, another thing too is like, you’re gonna be depressed during a season of separation.
Like that’s very normal. If you’re not depressed, then you probably needed to leave the relationship anyway, right? So you can expect depression and working out with a group is by, by far and away better than any anti-depressant drug you’ll ever get with none of the side effects. So why, why would you not do that?
Like, yeah, you gotta make the choice to go and do hard things with other men. It’s so, that’s
45:08 Chris Grainger
such a valid point, man. I’m just thinking back when you were talking about, when I went through the separation, how I had one guy that I just started working out with pretty consistently. And I mean, we pushed each other pretty hard, but during that season, I can tell you one thing that was the, one of the biggest de-stress I had was that, you know, doing hard thing.
Hard things at the gym with him lifting heavy weights, you know, doing all the things that we did, basketball, whatever it was would be for that day. But having that brother there, you know, pushing me, that was big. So, I mean, thank you for, for sharing that and, and the insight there. And one of the, the actions you talk about, I practiced, but I find not a lot of, not a lot of other guys do.
It’s, um, practice with your pen. So let’s, let’s talk about that for a minute. Cause I think there is so much value and, and taking thoughts and put ’em on paper. And what’s, what’s the, what’s the connection here? Why was this one big for
46:02 Marcus Farris
you? Yeah, well I think part of this might be a bit of a personality thing.
Cause I really do love to write. I’ve been blogging for a very long time and uh, I do it for work. But the thing too about just putting things into. Man, like what I found is like, by writing stuff out, it’s kind of like casting spells. So imagine, you know, like if you, if I were to tell you right now, like, Hey man, you’re, you’re looking really fit today.
You’re, you’re kind of glowing. You’re, you must be doing really well. Like, you’re gonna start lighting up and you’re gonna respond to that. Right? Um, conversely, like if I tell someone like, man, you, you’re really sandbagging the day, aren’t you? Then suddenly, like the spine kind of goes down a bit and like words have magical power.
Like, you know, I’m using magical euphemistically, but by, by putting things into words, it’s a more, it’s kind of the next step to talking it out. It’s, it’s, right. It’s, you’re, you’re allowing yourself to try a bunch of different ways of looking at a thing. And then after it’s on the paper, it, it’s sort of a, like wiping the windshield off of your, your car window.
Mm-hmm. , you know, and so we are as, as God’s creatures on this earth are most one of the things that we’re called to do. Um, you know, if, if anybody’s kind of listened to Jordan Peterson and his whole like, chaos and order type thing, and there’s all of those tropes are in Genesis and are also in, I believe it’s Proverbs eight.
Um, there’s a really cool Bible project video, um, I think it’s Proverbs eight, where there’s this line about the responsibility for the human to make decrees and making decrees uses the same languages and genesis of separating the waters from the land. And so the idea of using the pin on sort of a mythological sort of, um, what’s the right word?
Yeah. We’ll, we’ll stick with that for now. Um, archival, there we go. From a, from a sort of Arche perspective, as you’re writing what you’re doing, as you’re separating all of the things that are very chaotic into things that are more manageable mm-hmm. , and that’s literally what’s happening with your pin as you’re writing, you know, typing’s fine too, I guess.
Uh, I had to type to make my book, so, um, but anyway, like, uh, there’s, there, there’s something very mysterious about just like being able to see the things that are in your head. . Um, and yeah, like I mentioned before, like there’s a certain like pressure, um, to, to remove all of the, the various noises and voices and competing things in your head that, um, you know, in psychology, uh, one of the, one of the schools of psychology is called Internal Family Systems.
And so the idea there is that you have a co, you have different sort of entities within you that are the source of various drives. So the, the psychoanalyst of the early 19 hundreds kind of got into this idea of sub-personalities. And so basically the way you can think of it is like there are a co they’re, you know, look at a small child, like you see a small child, like one day or one moment he’s the hungry child.
The next moment he’s a sleepy child. The next moment he’s the playful child, the next moment he’s the irritating child. It’s like you, you are a walking case of personality disorder, uh, . Of course, when you’re that young, it’s, we don’t consider it that. Um, and the idea is you don’t have an integration between all of the different drives within you.
Um mm-hmm. . And so what you can do in therapy is like put your, put on different hats of like, okay, right now you’re sort of the rational thinker. Okay, now you’re the emotional thinker. Okay? Now you’re the executive over these things. And you can put yourself in these different perspectives and then write out what does that drive say?
Like, imagine that you are starving. What’s that sort of sub, uh, component of you saying in that time? Right? And then imagine you’re, imagine you’re the person who’s lonely and afraid. Okay? Write as if you are the one who’s lonely and afraid. Okay? Now imagine that you’re your dad and you’re writing to yourself as a father figure.
Okay, what does he say? And by doing that, it’s actually like you find that you can, you know, talk about writing letters to myself. You can, I learned this from Tim Ferris. Uh, like, write to yourself now as if you are your own self 20 years later. Like, what would your 20 year superior say to you now? And then, like that in itself is actually quite revealing because then.
You take that perspective and suddenly it’s like knocking the door will be opened, right? You’re asking these questions and somehow your conscious produces them. Um, and so mm-hmm. , that’s why practicing with your pen is so important. Now, you, you kind of
50:20 Chris Grainger
breezed over though, but is it important? Is, is there something physically that helps if you actually use a pen versus a, a typewriter or, or, or a keyboard rather?
I mean, or is do you find more value in putting that actual pen to paper or is the just typing it in a document Okay. Too.
50:36 Marcus Farris
Uh, I think it’s kinda the difference between reading a physical book and reading something on a screen. There’s something tactile and intimate about literally using a pen, but, uh, I’m not gonna say one way or the other of like, which is better.
I think whatever method gets somebody putting things to words is, is important. There you go. Good point.
50:53 Chris Grainger
Good point. Well, let’s take our last break. We’ll be right back guys.
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So Marcus, I wanted to unpack one at least one more cause I, it really jumped out at me. But when you talk about identify subroutines, and again, this is actions that guys can take if they’re going through trials and or, or, or times in their life. So I think this could be applicable to so many different guys right now, but why is it important to identify those subroutines and then what should we do with them?
52:08 Marcus Farris
Yeah, so sub-routine, basically, like those are, those are the basic things that you need to do to take care of yourself each day. Um, you know, like putting on your gym clothes might be a sub-routine. Um, doing something. Routine during the course of the day. For somebody, for example, who’s in severe depression, one of the best things to do is to basically break down a much larger task into very, very small pieces.
Cuz it’s kind of hard to see broader horizons when you’re in a depressive state. And so subroutines could be as basic as like, Hey, get up, set your alarm, get up at the same time every day. Mm-hmm. , um, have some sort of rhythm going because I talked before about if your most important relationship, uh, has just dissolved, everything seems to think, seems to be fluid.
And so by establishing small subroutines, you’re making beachheads into something that is at least approximating, uh, a certain level of stability on your life. And by, by kind of for a little while, you kind of have to practice putting yourself into a position of treating yourself as if you’re someone that you’re responsible for taking care of.
And so what that means is like, it’s sort of like the, the Freudian idea of the superego, right? It’s that thing that’s above and monitoring the smaller things. And there’s, there’s also, um, a way that you can, when you’re sort of leaving, losing motivation and losing your, your, your why for that whole process.
The idea of sub teams as well is like, okay, how does my, you know, getting myself up in the morning at the same time every day, contribute to the bigger thing that I’m about. Um, how do I tie that in to my bigger mission? How do I, how do I relate what I’m doing on the small scale to where I want to be five, 10 years from now to, uh, what, what I wanna leave as a legacy?
And so when you’re doing that, then suddenly you’re getting up in the morning at an hour that you prefer not to, is tied with a much bigger purpose in your life. And it’s, it’s not just some like, well, I saw this thing on Instagram, or discipline equals freedom and I should just do it. You know, maybe there’s a time for that of somebody who’s just like, Hey, just to begin with, just trust me.
Just get up at the same time. Get in the sunlight, move your body. Just have a little bit of faith in me, and then hopefully, eventually that turns into new habits that you can form. Um, this, this also is kind of speaking to how, when a lot of things dissolve and you’re restarting them, maybe it was the case that before you didn’t have a good gym routine in the morning or whatever time of day you liked.
Maybe it was the case that you did eat like crap and you just never had a good reason to confront it. Um, again, nutrition also, like I talked about, strengthening the body to help the mine cope. Uh, nutrition plays an enormous role, and maybe that never really came to light before you had such a crisis. Um, you know, there’s a, I heard a story about a guy who was in this apartment that had like a little bit of mold, but, you know, the rent was affordable and it was, it was good enough.
But the thing is like, you don’t wanna live in mold. Like you need to move away from that. And so maybe the best thing for him was to actually have more mold in the apartment to compel him to go move to a better place. Right. And, um, . And so yeah, maybe like having a relationship that’s good enough isn’t good for you.
Does that make sense? So mm-hmm. , if, if it’s good enough and I’m, I’m kind of getting along, but maybe I’m gaining a pound here or too, but it’s not that bad bro. You got a little bit of mold, like, wait, hopefully through, through uh, mentorship and through the, the process of engaging in a price like, uh, group of men, you can kind of develop that within an existing relationship, right?
But when a divorce happens, it’s all very accelerated. And so, yeah, again, this is, it. It’s, it’s an opportunity to really reevaluate those things that are important and set you up for fu future success. I
55:43 Chris Grainger
love it. I mean, I think it’s so important too, cuz there’s so many times these guys, we just set these big, hairy, audacious goals and it’s cool.
We need to have those, but you need to put the subroutines in place that you can achieve it. You know, like a couple subroutines for me. You mentioned, you know, gym clothes, that’s it. Like I, my, my, my clothes are laid out the night before. That’s a sub routine that for me, when I wake up, I don’t have to think about it.
The clothes are there, I’m gonna put ’em all, we’re gonna work out. It’s just part of it. Right? Uh, I have a, a goal of every day drinking a gallon of water. So a sub routine. Uh, I have that gallon of water filled up the night before, so when I wake up the next day, I don’t have to do that stuff. It’s just there.
Right. I mean, so it is just small little steps like that, but those subroutines are so critical, man. So, you know, this is, this has been some really good steps. I, the last one I want to ask you about, you just, you just make a very, a point blank statement if you’ve gone through divorce or separation, don’t hate marriage.
And I think that’s so important to, to reiterate, to reiterate, to re reiterate with our guys can’t even talk to today for some reason. So this morning, why did, why would you go there? Uh, and, and make that to your last point, man.
56:44 Marcus Farris
So I found that there was a time, probably a good. Uh, I would say during the entire duration of that separation, where I did start to resent, like, uh, when, when marriages were, were going well for people mm-hmm.
So like, when, when I would see somebody else doing well, the cynic in me, like I talked about sort of these self personalities before, didn’t let my dog out here. The sub personality is before, like, one of them will be the cynic, right? You’ve got a cynic within you and he is there to protect you from like, experiencing that relationship burn again.
And that also is normal, right? So, and so if you find like, oh my gosh, I’m being so hateful about these other things that I didn’t used to have, um, a as far as I’m concerned, like that’s, that could be expected. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . And, um, there’s, uh, you know, there’s, there’s. There’s something to that. So the cynic isn’t totally wrong.
It’s like, man, like relationships like marriage could burn you so bad. Maybe they’re better off. Um, just not, maybe I just shouldn’t take part in them anymore. There’s, there’s an online group called mgtow, which is men going their own way. And their, their whole idea is like, look, this modern institution of marriage and the way that the court systems are set up and this, and that are so rigged against men, then I’m, I’m just gonna, as an act of rebellion, um, sort of go my own way and forsake anything to do with marriage, anything to do with relationships with women.
And I can kind of understand that honestly, like that there was an appeal to that. It’s like, man, if, if I’m gonna be hurt this bad, it’s, it’s just not worth the risk. Um mm-hmm . But the thing is like love always bears risk and if it doesn’t, it’s not love. Um, and that’s the risk that Christ took on me. Um, so, so to not hate marriage is to remember that like, look, You know, the fact that it could fail is what makes it a marriage.
It’s what makes it love, right? We, we, if you’re experiencing so much pain from all of this, you know, it’s interesting, the in in antiquity, the, the gods for war and love were very closely related. Um, so why? It’s because with love, you’re taking a risk on someone. You’re allowing yourself to potentially be hurt, uh, for, for the, for it’s own sake, for, for the sake of love itself.
I talked about how you don’t sacrifice for the other person, you sacrifice for the relationship. Well, that’s, if you, if you think that you need to sacrifice for human beings who are flawed, you’re going to get cynical about what marriage is. And for me, part of my recovery was like renewing my goodwill toward other people’s whose marriages were going well.
Because there, there definitely was a time where I was just like, really resenting like, well, it’s probably not gonna last. Well, you’re probably not happy. Well, this is, well that. and it’s like, man, like I need to call you for something better here. I need you to see this from a different perspective. Yeah, yeah.
We gotta be, we gotta
59:39 Chris Grainger
be so careful guys, cuz the next thing you know, bitterness, that, that, that stinks in. And once bitterness starts to grow, it’s so hard to get it out out of your heart. So, you know, Marcus, what do you thinks next, man? I mean, how’s this, you, you’ve gone through this trial, you wrote this, this great book, you know, what’s your outlook on relationships now?
How has that changed particularly in the, the area of marriage and, and what’s coming for you down the road?
1:00:00 Marcus Farris
I mean, right now I’m kind of in a point where I’m, I’m very focused on kind of career goals and school goals. I’m going through a master’s program and, um, may end up pursuing a PhD, following my ba in my dad’s footsteps.
Um, so that’s really at the forefront of my efforts now. I mean, you know, sure. I’m, I’m open to, you know, some relationship in the future, but that’s, that’s something that I don’t think. You know, I’ve been, um, reflecting on this. I, I heard this from Dennis Prager. He says, I never ask God for things that I want.
I ask God for what he wants from me. And so that’s, that’s been my operative question lately as, especially as it relates to a future marriage. Love it. Love
1:00:38 Chris Grainger
that man. We’ll, look, before we, we, before we wrap up, let’s do a, a fun, we, we always do this on the line within us, a lightning round. We call it feeding time.
We just have a, a few quick fire questions for you. Just, you know, kind of a, a light way to end, but also just give our, our guys a little more insight to you. So if you’re willing to play, man, we’ll jump in. Sure. Let’s go for it. All right. Cool. Well, let’s just start off at what’s your favorite thing about God?
When you think about God, what’s your favorite thing about him?
1:01:05 Marcus Farris
Ooh. What comes to mind right away is, is the depth of the way that he can love you. Um, I thought about this of, uh, of provision like give us today our daily bread. So God knows me well enough that the types of things that he gives me are specifically for me.
Like the provision for me isn’t like, Oh, my son needs food. I’m gonna deliver, you know, 10 pounds of oats at his door. Like, no, I’m not about that. It’s like, here’s a rib for Marcus. Like, you know, and so there have been so many instances in life, but we just don’t have time to get through all of them. Where God’s shown me in his love in like the, the details, like the finest details.
Like, yeah, Hey son, I knew that you would love this specifically, so I’m gonna give it to you. Um, yeah, so I, I would say, and God’s so cool the way that he works that out, cuz like, it’s very specific provision, but the way that you receive it is very mysterious. Which is why it’s called N . Right? It’s like, what is this?
1:01:59 Chris Grainger
Right. Exactly. Exactly. Our second question, what’s your least favorite thing about Satan? Hmm.
1:02:10 Marcus Farris
That he gives. Voices to certain urges so loudly. Mm-hmm. Um, and that when you feel like at the end of the day, it’s like, okay, I actually contended with him pretty well. The next morning you wake up, it’s like, ugh, I thought I did this yesterday.
And there it is again.
1:02:27 Chris Grainger
Yes, it, it, it definitely is a struggle man. So what’s something right now that you are currently battling or struggling with that? Uh, we always like to do this cuz everybody thinks when they hear all these guests, you know, they, they got all this stuff figured out. They have life.
They’re, they’re crushing it. And we, and I, what I want to do is let all the listeners know, hey, we’re all have something that we’re struggling with. So anything that pops to mind.
1:02:51 Marcus Farris
Yeah. I mean, I, I want to be a father. Um, I wanna have a family and be part of that, and right now I just don’t really see a path toward that at all.
Okay. Um, and so like, I, I bought a house here recently and it’s a, you know, pretty sizable house and, um, I’m kind of set up to, to step into that role, but, You know, in terms of like when that will ever happen, I have to just let that go because for the last, well, what feels like for a very long time now, I’ve, I’ve kind of been more actively pursuing that and like, sort of putting myself out there as it were, um mm-hmm.
And this season I’m kind of just taking a break from that and taking a knee. Uh, and, um, yeah, just like continuing with like, well I’m, I’m 32 now, you know, I’m not old that I’m not like a spring chicken either. Um, and uh, so isn’t it time already that, you know, I have that in my life and that’s restored.
And the answer to that is know, and I don’t know why. And so, so yeah, that’s, that’s kind of been a struggle, but it’s also, again, it kind of goes back to like, what does God want for me now, if he wanted me in a marriage, wouldn’t I be there? Like, isn’t God bigger than that? Right. And so just, just resting in that truth.
1:03:57 Chris Grainger
Amen brother. Well just, just, just keep the faith and keep doing, like I tell guys all the time, We gotta take care of, of ourselves and, and be the guy, be the man that the, the future Mrs. Ferris is looking for. Like, uh, if we, if we focus on being that guy and not so much focus about finding her, you know, it guy’s gonna take care of the rest.
Right. So, uh, that, that’s good stuff there. So what do you, uh, what last year, if you looked at the past year, what did you, did you spend too much time doing? Oh,
1:04:27 Marcus Farris
man. Um, yeah, to be brutally honest, scrolling, dating apps, it’s like those things can get addictive and they’re not helpful. Yeah. Yeah. And I’ve got a, I’ve even got a, uh, on my iPhone there’s, um, you know, a feature where like, when you’ve used an app for a certain amount of time, it’ll say like, oh, time limit’s up.
And, you know, it’s very easy to just hang, like, ah, maybe I’ll respect that tomorrow. There you
1:04:53 Chris Grainger
go. What’s, uh, two more questions. What’s a new habit that you want to create moving forward?
1:05:01 Marcus Farris
Well, I’m probably gonna be stepping into more of a research role at my job, so Okay. Segmenting time out during the day for that. So there are a lot of days I can kind of fire from the hip as it, as it relates to scheduling, but having something that’s more like, hey, from the hours of nine to, I don’t know, up till lunch, like you need to just focus solely on, on doing that kind of research and just, um, it’s, it’s nice to kind of have this time off to, to not be in that sort of scheduled mode.
And I think everyone needs a time off for that. But yeah, that’s gonna be one of my focuses this year is what is, what does it look like to really take seriously the, the thing that the Bible talks about, like, make, make the most of your time because the days are evil. And so, um, yeah. Yeah. Just honoring, there’s a, there’s a Buddhist saying that says, the trouble is you think you have time.
Yeah. And so yeah, taking that to.
1:05:49 Chris Grainger
I’d encourage you to check out. You, you may already have Cal Newport’s, uh, deep work. That’s a great one that talks about that blocking those times and then how to really get deep, deep in those, those areas, uh, to take advantage of it. So, uh, that’s one last question for you, Marcus, is what, what do you, what is one thing that you hope the listeners out there remember from our conversation today?
1:06:11 Marcus Farris
Yeah. That, that a broken heart is a feature of the human experience, not a flaw. So I, I said that I was gonna be hurt one way or the other. The world is gonna hurt everyone, but that’s given the realities of sin and the curse that we’re under, that is part of the process. Even if it was like you hurting yourself, um, it doesn’t mean that everything is irrevocably wrong.
There wouldn’t be a need for restoration if there was nothing to restore. And so, um, so see yourself in that. No one’s expecting you to, to make all of the right decisions all of the time, cuz they’re, we’re, we’re given a very tiny slice of all of the information there is to know. So how could we possibly make, make the so-called best decision in every circumstance, right.
I think generally speaking, people are doing the best that they can with what they have. And some days you have to do that. And some days that means making decisions that aren’t just a basic black and white of like, well, the Bible says do it this way. Well, the Bible gave us obscure letters written in the first century to various church groups.
There was no like manual of do it this way. Right. And so that’s why we have to cultivate wisdom, is understanding how to navigate, um, you know, seasons that are, that are very gray and ambiguous. Right. And most of life falls in that category. Um, but so, so the, the thing that God wants for you in that season is to learn to make those difficult decisions that are not black and white.
And that’s, that’s normal. Right? Right.
1:07:39 Chris Grainger
Marcus, this has been a wonderful conversation. Where should guys go to, to learn more about you Connect? Obviously this will be our, our feature book of the week, so we, we’ll make sure that’s out there so the guys can grab a copy of that. But, uh, any place you,
1:07:51 Marcus Farris
you would direct them.
Sure. Um, my, the books website is no less Faithful book.com. You can find it on Amazon. Uh, I also have a blog that I write on every once in a while. If you just Google search, uh, what’s on my Instagram, actually it’s in the, in my profile, uh, link. My Instagram is at Ultra run Ferris, spelled f a r r i s. You can find all of it there.
1:08:12 Chris Grainger
And we’ll make sure we sync all that up in a show notes for the listener’s, Marcus, so they can get, know, they can check that out directly and we’ll have a, a link to your blog as well. So anything else you’d like to share with our listeners today on the line within us,
1:08:25 Marcus Farris
figure out what your, your core values are, um, and make sure that your, your small stats each day are linked to those in some way.
And I think that’ll bring you far.
1:08:35 Chris Grainger
Amen, man, that that was powerful right there. Well, Marcus, this has been an honor to have you on here, sir. Thank you so much for the wisdom you shared and pray blessings for you in the future, my friend.
1:08:44 Marcus Farris
Greatly appreciate it. Chris,
1:08:49 Chris Grainger
how would you like more strength, fortitude, and confidence in the battle called Life? Recreated, a guide that outlines nine powerful habits that will strengthen the physical, mental, and spiritual areas you need to start making an impact today. To get your free guide, check out the link in the show notes, or visit the line within.us/habits.
That’s the line within.us/habits and start creating the habits you need to be the leader you’re predestined to be.
His story was incredible. Hopefully you guys got a lot out of that. I know for me, I like the tactics that he talked about and so far it’s thinking out loud. That’s a big one. You know, working, doing hard stuff with other men. That’s, that’s a big one too. But the practice with your pen, how many times do you guys actually sit down and write ma or just type right outside of a text message that don’t count?
Guys, I’m talking about actually just, just writing your thoughts that’s important to, uh, to, to take some of these things and put ’em into practice. Cuz you don’t, you don’t wanna be bitter. You know what, maybe you’re in that season of life right now, you don’t have a wife and you really want one, and you want, and you want, you want it to work out.
You want a family. You got to, again, go back to, to the very beginning of this episode, what I said at the beginning. You need to take care of yourself and be the man and create the man that the future misses, whatever, whatever your last name is that she’s looking for. That’s what you can control. There are a lot of variables out there.
There’s too many, too many times I hear guys talking about just looking for the one, just looking for the one stop. Stop looking like you take care of yourself and you be the one, take care to where the one is gonna be attracted to you. And again, taking care of our health, our mine in our body, taking care of our finances, taking care of, of being the, the godly man that, that he has called us to be.
You’re doing all those things. You just have to be patient and understand God is sovereign over all things. And that when the timing’s right and his timing’s always right, he’s just, he’s never early. That’s, that’s what God struggle with. You just, you’ll be ready. So guys, I want you to think about it. If you are in marriage right now, maybe you’re struggling with your marriage.
Here’s your question for the week. Is marriage a covenant or contract? Cause if you’re treating it as a covenant, That’s that, that’s gonna put you on such a great path. But too many guys think of it as a contract. If you, then I remember Covenant no matter what I do. So guys, I hopefully discover gave you a lot of resources here, a lot of insight, and served you well today.
Highly encouraged you to, to check out the show notes. We’ll make sure we hook up all the links from Marcus there. Uh, go give us a rating and review that makes a big difference, and then share the episode. That’s the biggest thing you could do as well. Just share it. Text this episode out. So if someone’s gone through a divorce or gone through a trial, maybe they’re separated right now, share it out to ’em.
They need to have these types of stories, this types of insight to help them. So you never know what, what, just sharing a conversation like this with someone who’s struggling, who’s gone through a tr a trial, what that could do for them, how you could serve them just by taking that one act. So there you go.
That that’s a big way you can do it. Next thing you can do, If you’re going through a trial, if you’ve gone through a, a divorce or if you’ve gone through it and you’ve walked through it and you’ve come on the other side, you had a great opportunity to share that experience. Fellow them in. How do you do it?
You jump into our community. That’s it. We’re inside the line. Within US community, we have guys who have been through separation’s, been through divorces, they walked the road. They understand what you’re going through. They’ll be able to help you. They’ll go, come alongside of you to put their arm around his brother.
I got you. Let’s let, let’s talk, let, let’s be here to be. The iron sharpens iron through this trial. So to join the community, you need to take action. Go to the lion within us, that’s the lion within.us. Join the community. That’s a 30 day free trial. So you lit. Literally have nothing to lose. Just take the time, join and get active.
Come to a couple of our live events. Come to a live. Ask me anything event. Come to some lion lunches to our Bible study. Be en engaged. Put some posts out there around areas that you’re struggling with and how we can help serve you. All these different things are available inside the community. Guys.
That’s where it’s at. That’s where it’s happening. So again, thank you for listening to the show, to take it to the next level, to be the man God intends you to be. You need to happen to the community and be there with other brothers. They’re here that’s ready to serve. So hopefully, guys, this serves you well today.
Get after it. Come back on Friday. I have some really good tips. They’re gonna help you kind of shape grow again, all about being that leader God intends you to be. So hopefully they’ll see you back here on Fun Friday. And don’t forget the dad jokes. I got a couple good ones lined up for you guys. Do you get after it?
Enjoy it, work hard, push yourselves. Do whatever he tells you to do, and don’t forget to unleash the lion within.
In those trials some men run from God, Marcus chose to run to Him. During this season of life God revealed many things to him that he’s been able to take and use for good. He reviews some of the truths he learned along the way and many are actionable items you can apply right now.
Even if you haven’t walked this path there is wisdom here for everyone. With the divorce rate and the attack on marriage that Satan is launching it is important to learn from others so that we can serve when the opportunities arise.
Enjoy this powerful conversation and apply the ideas to unleash the Lion Within.
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