Setting the Culture at Home and Resolving the Conflict in Marriage

I'm Michelle!

Master Life Coach, Wife & Mom, Certified Nervous System Fitness Expert, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Podcaster, Attorney, and Deep Believer in Curiosity and Self-Compassion

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We’re just a few days away from Father’s Day, so with that I thought it would be special to get some perspective from the point of view of my husband, Jeff Grosser. Jeff and I are coming up on our 13th year of marriage, we’re parents to Amory and Ashton – so today we’re going to get Jeff’s take on fatherhood, parenting, and marriage.  

To start things off, what’s something that you’ve learned about parenting in terms of being a team with your spouse?

I think the big thing I’ve learned is that we’re different people, and that’s OK – that should be celebrated. We are different people who have come from different journeys with different perspectives. We come from different places, we’re different ages, different sexes, and we’ve had different experiences. With that, it makes sense that you and I would not parent in the same way. I think it’s important to be unified and to have the same values and the same sort of understanding of how we want things to go – but we don’t have to be uniform.

It should feel different for our kids to be around Dad then to be around Mom. It’s good to understand and celebrate the fact that we’re different people, that we can have freedom to parent differently. I don’t know what it’s like when you take the kids to school. When I pick the kids up from school, I know what it feels like. I’ll tell them “Good job, you guys crushed school today – what do you want to do?” Maybe we’ll listen to rock-n-roll. I think it’s cool to let our kids experience Dad by themselves and Mom by themselves. We don’t have to do the same things to be effective and they should see nuances and differences between moms and dads.

I know something else that’s really important to you is that we treat our kids as individuals – as their own human beings. I know that we all carry our quirks, and you’re just a guy who’s always valued that individuality in yourself. Whether it’s the tattoos or musical taste, the way you write, the way you speak to people. I love watching you celebrate it in our kids.

Yeah, I do feel passionate about individuality. The first thing to remember as parents, from my point of view, is that we don’t own them, right? These are God’s children. They’re going to go on their own journey, and so much of that journey has nothing to do with mom and dad. We have to give them freedom to be who they were created to be and to use the gifts that God has given them. I remember when I was a child – my Dad was a businessman and he would always say to me, “Jeff – when you grow up and you’re in business…” I wasn’t necessarily against the idea, but I can remember thinking to myself I don’t know if I’ll be in business.

Our job is to steward, protect, and shepherd them. We have an incredible amount of responsibly, but they’re not ours. Something that we say in our household is SHINE YOUR LIGHT. Be you today. There are responsibilities in this world for how we behave and how we treat people, but chase your passions, and express yourself the way you want to express yourself.

Another important thing to do is to help your kids understand that dad and mom aren’t perfect. We’re all on our own journey. Just because I’m parenting you doesn’t mean I have everything figured out.

I’m your Dad, not your Father. Dad loves you, I’m your biggest fan – but I’m going to mess up, and make mistakes, and have to apologize. Your Father is not that. You have a heavenly Father. He won’t leave you or have to apologize to you. When you instill that faith in your children – you help them see that there’s something outside your family that has His hand on you and will be with you forever. Inside this family, we’re a tribe – we stand together. But, we’re all going to make mistakes – we’re all on our own journey.

What do you think is different about your journey than your dad’s?

There are always shifts in generations. I was an 80’s kid and a 90’s teenager. The thing that I remember about my childhood in regard to fatherhood, is that Dads weren’t around a lot. I don’t want to overgeneralize, but dads left the house early and came home late. They traveled for business, there wasn’t face time or social media to connect. You just didn’t see your dad a lot. There was a lot of divorce. I almost felt like two different people – one around my mom and another around my dad. Our culture has shifted a lot now – we’ve come a long way. It’s ok now for women to be the bread winners and men to stay home. The lines are more gray when it comes to who does what around the house – and I think that’s a positive thing. For me – I want to be a hands-on Dad, I want to be involved – our presence matters. It’s no so important what we’re doing, it’s important to just be present.

So while I have you, I’d love to pivot to discussing marriage.  Jeff and I have been leading a premarital course for years now, and marriage is something we’re both passionate about.  Not only ours, but in pouring into the relationships of the people who’ve crossed our paths.  So it’s something we’ve studied and read a lot about and I think this is a great opportunity to have Jeff speak some life into our marriages.

something we focus on in our marriage, is this idea of serving each other.  What’s this all about?

In general – we are supposed to serve others, not just our spouse. We are supposed to pour into the world with our gifts and our talents and make this world a better place than we found it. It’s no different in marriage – we’re here to serve each other. We’re Christians, but even if you’re not – our priority should be to serve our spouse. How can I serve Michelle? I can do the laundry, get the groceries, do things to make her life easier. I can create a peaceful home – a place where she feels safe and has her needs met. What are her dreams & goals? What makes her thrive or shut down? If I know those things, I can help serve in those areas. That’s the design of marriage – to serve one another. We get in trouble when we ask ourselves “what am I getting??”

Ultimately – love is selfless, there is no selfishness in love. We weren’t created to live in selfishness. Essentially, selfishness is destructive and love is constructive. Love builds people up. It’s not what I can get but what I can give. We fail miserably often because we are selfish people by nature.

So talk to me about longevity – how do we run this MARRIAGE race for the long haul to the finish line?

One of my favorite authors is a pastor named Paul Tripp. He wrote a book simply called “Marriage.” He says, “Reconciliation in a marriage has to be a lifestyle.” (AND I WOULD ADD TEQUILA!) This is not a license to be an idiot and make poor choices and be forgiven. But, the reason that reconciliation is so important is that it wipes the slate clean and keeps resentment from piling up. Resentment is one of the biggest roadblocks to finishing the race of marriage. Marriage is a long road and you are going to have to forgive your spouse over and over again. It doesn’t mean you don’t argue or have tough conversations. The problem with not reconciling or forgiving is that resentment will build up as a slow drip. I don’t think anyone wakes up and says, “today is a great day to cheat on my spouse.” What happens is slowly over time you stop putting in the effort or letting little things build up and it can be hard to get back to a place where things are cleared away unless you are constantly practicing forgiveness.

There’s a price you have to pay intimacy. We’re going to see the good and the bad – the stuff you might try to keep private, your spouse will have a front seat to. The closer you are to the fire, the warmer you’ll get. But also, the closer you are to the fire, the more likely you are to get burned. If we are going to have this level of intimacy with our spouse, we’ll see the insecurities, generational sin, things we struggle with. There has to be some grace for that. We’ve made a choice to serve one another. When we fail – we have things to talk about. It doesn’t mean you forget it, but when you are able to move on, we keep a clean slate and not allow things to build up.


Culture is crucial – it’s everything, in every walk of life. It’s something you create and cultivate. As a husband and wife – we have to create the culture in our home. We like our home simple, organized, we want to care for it. With our kids, this is how we speak to each other: we speak life into one another, we don’t cut each other down. This habit of happiness is created over time. We try to set realistic expectations that can be maintained. If our joy is circumstantial, then we’re only as good as we’re doing and we’re only as good as others are treating us. That gives everyone else the power. You take the power back when you choose joy.

We’re not talking about happiness – that’s fleeting. Joy, however, is a choice. We get to wake up and choose how we face our day. You can create a culture of peace, patience, and joy in your home. And when we fall short, we can come back to what we’ve created and set up in our home. We have a purpose, we know who we are. We are purposely and intentionally setting a foundation that our family can come back to.

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You my friend, are called to a life of fullness and abundance - no matter how wild this motherhood journey is. It's time to trade the exhaustion and overwhelm for peace and joy.  No more hot-mess express.  I've got you. 

Learn more

Let's redefine what's possible in motherhood.

cool as a cucumber, ENNEAGRAM 3, book hoarder, MATCHA LATTE LOVER, growth seeker, accountability partner, and your biggest cheerleader

I'm Michelle.
Your Master Coach.

You my friend, are called to a life of fullness and abundance - no matter how wild this motherhood journey is. It's time to trade the exhaustion and overwhelm for peace and joy.  No more hot-mess express.  I've got you. 

Learn more

Let's redefine what's possible in motherhood.


Cheers to starting your day right!  Make yourself comfortable and get ready to dig in, learn, and most importantly, take action!

You got it, Mama!

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