As Valentine's Day approached this year I knew I wanted to highlight and celebrate marriage. I'm pro marriage and am drawn to learn from marriages that are strong and vibrant. I prayed about who I should interview as I have many wonderful married friends. While doing laundry at my parents' place in late January, it became clear. I would ask Rebecca Scott. And then I thought how fun would it be to interview Rebecca and Steve together!
Steve and I were a part of the same missionary team in Panama from 2008 to 2009. When he first told me that he started dating Rebecca a couple of years after returning to Canada, I knew she had to be quality because he's a quality person. She truly is. I had the privilege to read Scripture at their 2012 Australian wedding, along with our friend & teammate Karina. While I've never had the blessing to live anywhere near the Scotts (they lived on the West Coast of Canada for years and now call Australia home), I'm thankful for the connections we can make through technology.
Sit back, enjoy a coffee (random tidbit, Australia has great coffee) or tea, and soak up their wisdom. All the way from sunny & hot Australia here are Rebecca & Steve. :)
Photo by Jess Eddy - @photojess
How did you meet? And what were your first impressions of one another?
A mutual friend asked each of us separately if we’d like to go on a blind date – we both declined.
S – When visiting our friend at her office, I noticed Rebecca and put two and two together. Having heard about her I was immediately interested in her story (and thought she was really cute) and tried to find excuses to keep on dropping by the office.
R – We ‘properly’ met at a Taco Del Mar when my office team was out for lunch together and Steve joined. I realized he was the guy my friend was trying to set me up with. I thought he was warm, friendly and had kind eyes so I secretly began hoping that we would meet again.
Note: Steve took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to finally make a move.
How does your spouse make you better? What do they bring to the marriage that you admire?
R – Steve challenges me to be a better person by the example he sets by living day by day. He is constantly finding ways to help and cheer on the people in his life and that inspires me to try do the same. He is also quick to support and encourage any new ventures I want to do. In many ways we are quite different and the way he approaches things always brings a different perspective to the situation that helps me.
S – She knows me better than anyone and is the one person I can talk about anything with. Often, I’m in ‘public view’ and Rebecca makes sure that I’m doing ok in my life through it all. Like she said, we are quite different and that has helped me see a lot of my blind spots. I admire so much Rebecca’s love and dedication – especially when it comes to our family.
Like any couple that has been married for a while, you two have weathered storms. How have the challenges you’ve experienced during your nine years of marriage strengthened you as a couple? What would you say to a marriage that is currently facing a storm?
S – The one thing that I learned early on in marriage is that when we face challenges, we face them together. It’s easy to think of it being one or the other person’s issue (or that the other person IS the issue) but we’ve learned to walk through things together.
R – I’d also say it so important to be honest with each other and to address the issue head on. We are both internal processors, so this doesn’t come naturally to either of us, but I almost always feel an immediate benefit when we take the time to have those hard conversations.
Marriage like any relationship goes through different seasons. What do you do when there is a season of disconnect? How do you find each other again?
R - Funny you should ask that; with a young baby (and two other kids) it is hard to find time to connect with each other in this current season. I think it’s a bit of a balancing act between being intention about ‘finding each other’ (even if that means staying up to talk with each other at the end of a long day when you’d rather just go to bed) and then sometimes it is about extending grace. I so appreciate that Steve is gracious with letting things ‘be’ when we are deep in the newborn phase and I need to spend those precious free moments sleeping or alone in order to fill my cup. It helps to remind each other on those hard days that this season will pass.
S – One of the things when you are disconnected is that it’s easy to stay that way and not address the issues that have caused the disconnect. I find that sometimes it can be as simple as making sure you are in the same room together and starting a conversation.
R - One way we’ve found it helps to get more connected is to do the small things (hold hands walking, a morning hug or making a cup of tea) that helps rekindle that sense of connectedness.
Photo by Chiara Pinna - @chiarapinna
I look up to marriages where I see a deep respect between the individuals. You always speak highly of one each other and mean it. Sadly, this is not the case for all marriages. How do you overcome the negative talk that is in society about marriage, and even at times amongst Christians, to instead speak words of life about your spouse and marriage?
R – I believe so strongly in marriage and I feel so honoured that I get to journey through life with my best friend. So, while it’s not perfect, I view marriage in such a good light.
S – For me, being in public church ministry, I make sure that anytime I share about our relationship it first of all has Rebecca’s approval (this goes for non-public settings too). And while I don’t want to paint a false image of our marriage, I do always speak of marriage in a positive light when I’m mentoring the young adults and newlyweds. Marriage is a good gift and that needs to be brought up.
R – Another thing is (and something we learned in pre-marital counselling) is to never talk bad about your spouse. And so, I try to be Steve’s biggest advocate.
What does putting your spouse above yourself mean to you? What does that practically look like in your lives?
S – I think one thing it looks like in my life is to make sure that Rebecca (and the kids) still get the ‘best Steve’ and not just the leftovers. This has meant guarding my time off and saying no to others (these are all things I’m learning to do). I also clean way more than I used to because I know it something that Rebecca appreciates. It’s her love language.
R – Thinking about the other person’s needs (physical, spiritual, emotional) and trying to be intentional about finding ways to meet them. So, I try to encourage Steve to do the things that are life-giving to him and taking interest in things that he enjoys – such as keeping up with Arsenal :P
You are parents to three young children; how do you make time for each other as a couple during this busy stage of life? What advice would you give to spouses who are struggling to connect because they have little ones and careers that occupy much of their time?
R – It’s hard and it’s something that we are still learning. We try to make sure that we have some protected time that is just for us (such as a weekly evening at home and also still going out regularly). Sometimes you have to ask your community for help (which we struggle with) so that you can get even an hour uninterrupted.
S – The other thing is that we do give each other grace knowing that sometimes even the best intentions and plans will be derailed by a sick child or other life and work demands. So again, we come back to making sure you talk about it and recognize you are in it together.
With the experiences you have had as a married couple during your nine years of marriage, what words of wisdom would you give to couples who are newly married, engaged or hoping to get married? Are there things you know now that you wish you had known back then?
S – I’m amazed at how so many of the dynamics that were there at the start of our relationship are still here today – so don’t ignore them. Before getting married we did both pre-marital counselling and worked through our own material, and early on we went to a marriage conference. All of those things have really helped us over the years by setting a good foundation. Ultimately for us the foundation has been our Christian faith which had held us together through it all.
R – From our experience we had a challenging engagement and we worked through a lot of issues, and it was tough, but that set us up for a stronger marriage as we had done a lot of the hard work.
And I think for someone who is single and wants to get married – I know that the season of waiting can be so, so hard but I also really believe there is something very beautiful in that time that God can use in your story. He is good and His plan for our lives is good.
Photo by Drew Coffman - @drewcoffman
Amen. Thank you friends. Rebecca and Steve's marriage has stood out to me for a long time because of how much they respect one another and put the other person first. I hope you were able to catch a glimpse of that today. What an honour it was to interview you both. I was moved by your transparency and wisdom. Thank you again.