Marriage to the Max
Marriage to the Max Podcast

Marriage to the Max is a fun and encouraging conversation about healthy marriage! Join marriage educators Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement as they help couples take their marriages to the next level. MTTM episodes can be downloaded here. You may also join listeners worldwide who have already subscribed to the free Marriage to the Max podcast on iTunes.

Subscribe to Marriage to the Max on iTunes.

Thanks for listening!


Episode 75 – The Top 10 Complaints From Unhappy Husbands

Brett & Kellie
May 30th, 2017
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Turnabout is fair play. Our last episode dealt with common complaints of wives. Now it’s the mens’ turn! Tune in to today’s episode with Kellie and Brett Hurst of Home Encouragement to see if your complaints made the list.

Episode 75 – The Top 10 Complaints From Unhappy Husbands By Kellie and Brett Hurst:


Episode 74 – Top 10 Complaints of Unhappy Wives

Brett & Kellie
April 10th, 2017
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Everyone complains. And married couples are no different. Someone recently compiled a list of the most universal complaints of unhappy wives. Interested in what made the list? Tune in to this episode with Kellie and Brett Hurst of Home Encouragement to find out.

Episode 74 – Top 10 Complaints of Unhappy Wives by Kellie and Brett Hurst:


Episode 73 – The Art of Apology

Brett & Kellie
January 19th, 2017
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The 1970 film “Love Story” contained an infamous line that perpetuated a ludicrous mindset. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”. Gag! Anyone who’s been married for longer than, say, ten minutes knows how absurd that idea is. No matter how much we love someone, we make mistakes. And when we make mistakes, we need to know how to apologize well. If you need help with crafting more artful apologies, listen to today’s episode with Kellie and Brett Hurst of Home Encouragement.

Episode 73 – The Art of Apology by Kellie and Brett Hurst


Episode 72—Is Your Marriage Emotionally Safe?

Brett & Kellie
November 14th, 2016
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We all want our marriages to be the safest place on earth. Physically safe, of course. But emotional safety is key as well. How do you build emotionally safety into your relationship? Listen now as Kellie & Brett Hurst of Home Encouragement dialogue about how to better connect emotionally.

Episode 72—Is Your Marriage Emotionally Safe? by Kellie & Brett Hurst


Episode 71 – Technology Intruder

Brett & Kellie
September 27th, 2016
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While most of us rely heavily on our smartphones and devices to help us run our lives more efficiently, are they getting in the way of our most personal relationships? Listen in on today’s episode while Kellie & Brett Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss the research-based information around technology, and how you can take steps to ensure it doesn’t invade your love life.

Episode 71 – “technology Intruder” by Kellie & Brett Hurst


Episode 70—Tackling Money As A New Couple

Brett & Kellie
September 13th, 2016
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It’s been said that we spend a third of our lives either earning or worrying about money. One of the most common questions we hear from engaged couples is, “How do we handle money together when we’re just starting out?”. It’s true that the way you navigate your finances together can be a barometer for the rest of your relationship. Finances are a huge part of our lives, and managing our money is a big part of marriage. But don’t panic. Today’s episode will encourage you as Kellie & Brett Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss ways to get on the same financial page, even as a brand new couple.

Episode 70—Tackling Money As A New Couple by Kellie & Brett Hurst


Episode 69 “Can Long Distance Relationships Thrive?”

Brett & Kellie
June 1st, 2016
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No one really desires to be in a long distance relationship. Marriage is challenging enough when you live in the same house and see each other every day! Is it possible to be far apart while still remaining intimately connected? Listen in on today’s conversation as Kellie & Brett Hurst of Home Encouragement talk about tips for remaining close while you’re miles away.

Episode 69 “Can Long Distance Relationships Thrive?” by Kellie & Brett Hurst


Episode 68 – Loving Your In-laws Well

Brett & Kellie
March 16th, 2016
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What does the term “in-law” bring up for you? Tension? Anxiety? Full on craziness? Before we break out the bad mother-in-law jokes, remember that in-law relationships go both ways. You may think your mother or father-in-law is totally cray cray … but what kind of daughter or son-in-law are you? It’s not always easy to get along. But honoring your in-laws is not only possible, it’s recommended. So how do you do it well? Listen in on today’s conversation as Kellie & Brett Hurst of Home Encouragement talk about ideas for learning to walk out love and respect with your in-laws. Yeah… it’s possible.

Episode 68 – Loving Your In-laws Well by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 67 – Keeping Your Marriage Strong While Raising Little Ones

Brett & Kellie
February 8th, 2016
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How in the world do you work on your marriage relationship when you have small children who demand every last ounce of your time, energy, and attention? Is it even possible? Yes! It takes a little planning, a lot of grace, and sometimes requires thinking outside of the box. Listen today as Kellie & Brett Hurst of Home Encouragement talk about ideas for keeping you and your spouse close while the “little ones” grow up.

Episode 67 – Keeping Your Marriage Strong While Raising Little Ones by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 66 – Odd Sox

Brett & Kellie
September 11th, 2015
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When sorting laundry, why is there so often a lone sock that ends up without a mate? Such is the world of topics for podcasts. Once in a while we get an idea to discuss, and it’s sort of like an odd sock. It doesn’t really go with anything, and it doesn’t stand on its own to fill out an entire episode. So we’ve come up with a few of those lone ideas and combined them into one complete episode. Like that odd sock, it’s random. But that’s okay. Hope you enjoy it.

Episode 66 – Odd Sox by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 65 – How to Kill Your Marriage

Brett & Kellie
June 23rd, 2015
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Sometimes it’s helpful to turn something on its head. Marriage tools can be like that. Instead of talking about what we should be doing to make our marriages better, this episode turns things upside down and discusses what you can do to ensure your marriage spirals downward! In this episode, Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss certain patterns that married couples can find themselves in that will guarantee disaster. Listen in on their conversation now.

Episode 65 – How to Kill Your Marriage by Brett and Kellie Hurst


Episode 64 – What Will the Next 3 Years Bring?

Brett & Kellie
March 18th, 2015
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Life can certainly throw us some surprises, both good and bad. For some things, we’ll never be completely prepared. But for other things, we can get ready. What will the next 3 years bring in your marriage? Are you desperately waiting for a baby? Or are you counting the days ‘til you’re out of diapers? Do you hear yourself saying things like … “As soon as our kid can drive …” Every marriage life cycle has seasons. Why not talk about what your marriage will look like in 3 years, and put plans in place now to experience a stronger and more intimate relationship then? In this episode, Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement give some good advice on how to prepare for the next phase. Listen in on their conversation.

Episode 64 – What Will the Next 3 Years Bring? by Brett and Kellie Hurst


Episode 63 – Contract vs. Covenant

Brett & Kellie
February 3rd, 2015
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Is marriage really just a contract between two people? “I agree to love you as long as you agree to love me”? Or is it something more? Are we humans capable of staying for the long haul, even when marriage can be utterly challenging? Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement believe that God empowers us, as married couples, to love beyond our limited capacity. Not to stay in marriage because it’s a contract. But because it’s a covenant. Listen in on their conversation.

Episode 63 – Contract vs. Covenant by Brett and Kellie Hurst


Episode 62 – Routine Of Romance

Brett & Kellie
November 18th, 2014
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Can the words “routine” and “romance” go together? They may seem to contradict each other, but in this episode, Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement put a new spin on the daily grind. Is it possible to make kindness and affection part of your normal routine? Listen now to find out!

Episode 62 – Routine Of Romance by Brett and Kellie Hurst


Episode 61 – Pornography

Brett & Kellie
October 21st, 2014
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In this episode, Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement ask therapist Tim Mavergeorge about the topic of pornography and how it can negatively affect marriage. Although internet pornography is easily available and perhaps considered relatively harmless by some, it can cause some serious problems for interpersonal relationships.

Episode 61 – Pornography by Brett and Kellie Hurst


Episode 60 – The Connecting Marriage

Brett & Kellie
September 8th, 2014
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In this episode, Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement finish their series on the 3 different types of marriage by describing the crème de la crème … the connecting marriage. This is the place every married couple wants to be. This is the type of relationship we all hope for when we say “I Do”. However, it takes a great deal of work and a huge amount of commitment. But as you’ll hear in this episode, it’s sooooo worth it!

Episode 60 – The Connecting Marriage by Brett and Kellie Hurst:


Episode 59 – The Coasting Marriage

Brett & Kellie
August 22nd, 2014
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In this episode, Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement continue unpacking the 3 different types of marriage. In this busy world of careers, parenting, and other demands, couples can easily find themselves coasting in their marriage relationships. But no one wants to be “two ships that pass in the night”. Perhaps you’re moving in the general same direction as your spouse, but marriage requires two people to move toward each other, not just move in parallel lines. Learn how to catch yourself from coasting for too long.

Thank you to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and to engineer/musician Grant Supak for bringing their gifts to the posting of this podcast this week.

Episode 59 – The Coasting Marriage by Brett and Kellie Hurst


Episode 58 – The Crisis Marriage

Brett & Kellie
August 6th, 2014
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How do you know if your marriage is in crisis or danger? In this episode, Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss the ingredients of a “critical” marriage. Most married couples already know clearly if they are in a crisis situation. But despair is not the only option. If this situation applies to your marriage, learn how to navigate a critical marriage with hope and intentionality

Episode 58 – The Critical Marriage by Brett and Kellie Hurst


Episode 57 – Understanding Addictions (interview With Tim Mavergeorge)

Brett & Kellie
June 17th, 2014
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Addictions of one or both spouses can create tremendous challenges for marriage. To move forward as a couple, it is very important for healthy understanding of what addictions actually are and also how to get help. This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement interview Tim Mavergeorge about various addictions in marriage. Tim is the head of the Houston Center for Christian Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. He and his wife Nancy are also on the Advisory Board of Home Encouragement.

Episode 57 – Understanding Addictions (interview With Tim Mavergeorge) by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 56 – Everyone’s An Expert

Brett & Kellie
May 30th, 2014
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This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss how any spouse can bring something positive to a marriage. In fact, since everyone has been created with special gifts, all husbands and wives have the potential to become experts in something. What are your strengths? How might they be further enhanced in order to bring greater strength to your marriage?

Thank you to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and to engineer/musician Grant Supak for bringing their gifts to the posting of this podcast this week.

Episode 56 – Everyone’s An Expert by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 55 – Defensive & Stonewalling

Brett & Kellie
May 6th, 2014
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This week, we conclude with the part two of John Gottman’s “Four Horseman”, referring to four negative characteristics (based on research) that can be deadly to a marriage if not repaired. Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss on this episode the pitfalls of defensiveness and stonewalling and how they can damage a marriage relationship.

Thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and to engineer/musician Grant Supak for their assistance with posting Marriage to the Max episodes.

Episode 55 – Defensive & Stonewalling by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 54 – Criticism & Contempt

Brett & Kellie
April 23rd, 2014
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This week’s topic deals with the first two of John Gottman’s “Four Horseman”, referring to four negative characteristics (based on research) that can be deadly to a marriage if not repaired. Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss how important it is to steer clear of critical and contemptuous remarks in a marriage relationship.

Thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and to engineer/musician Grant Supak for their assistance with posting Marriage to the Max episodes.

Episode #54 – Criticism & Contempt by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 53 – Insights For Ministry Couples (interview With Dave & Terri Peterson)

Brett & Kellie
April 3rd, 2014
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Marriage has enough challenges on its own. But what if you are a married couple serving together in ministry? Are there additional obstacles to navigate? This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement interview Dave & Terri Peterson about the challenges and blessings of marriage and family life while serving in pastoral ministry. They speak from many years of experience. Over a span of 44 years of ministry, Dave Peterson was the senior pastor of several churches across the country, including eighteen years at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston.

Special thanks to engineer/musician Grant Supak as well as Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for their vital assistance in launching each Marriage To The Max episode. Opening and closing theme by Loopsound.

Episode #53 – Insights For Ministry Couples (interview With Dave & Terri Peterson) by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 52 – How Much Sex Should A Married Couple Be Having?

Brett & Kellie
March 18th, 2014
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It’s a very provocative question….one that could cause a fight! Is there even a definitive answer? This week Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement attempt to respond to this loaded question.

Thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and engineer/musician Grant Supak for their assistance with this podcast.

Episode 52 – How Much Sex Should A Married Couple Be Having? by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 51 – Two Traits That Can Help Your Marriage

Brett & Kellie
February 27th, 2014
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Do you ever get discouraged about your marriage relationship? Over the course of a long life together, that is certainly normal! This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss two powerful marriage traits, perseverance and optimism. Practiced regularly, these qualities can most definitely help couples keep their relationship on track for the long haul.

Thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and engineer/musician Grant Supak for keeping us on the air each episode. Opening and closing theme music by Loopsound. Interlude music by Grant Supak.

Episode 51 – Two Traits That Can Help Your Marriage by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 50 – One More Time With The Marriage Quotes

Brett & Kellie
January 20th, 2014
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During this episode, we bring back the polarizing series of “Famous Marriage Quotes”. You either love ‘em or you hate ‘em! At any rate, this week Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement trade references and comments related to famous and not-so-famous quotes about the institute of marriage. Seriously, we hope you enjoy this format one more time.

A special thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and to engineer/musician Grant Supak for helping us get this podcast produced and posted.

Episode 50 – One More Time With The Marriage Quotes by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 49 – Emotional Needs

Brett & Kellie
December 18th, 2013
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Is it okay to admit that you have emotional needs? Why, of course it is! Without being able to communicate your emotional needs to your spouse, it’s going to be very difficult for your partner to be able to walk in harmony with you. And vice versa. In this week’s episode, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss how much more effective growing in grace can become for a married couple who has learned the ability to express their emotions effectively, specifically and sensitively.

Thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and engineer/musician Grant Supak for their help in getting this weekly podcast posted.

Episode 49 – Emotional Needs By Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 48 – Dealing With Depression In Marriage (interview With Trisha Taylor)

Brett & Kellie
November 19th, 2013
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How does a married couple manage depression? In this episode, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement have an informative conversation with author and therapist Trisha Taylor (www.trishataylor.org) about common and sometimes misunderstood aspects of depression and how it can affect marriages. We encourage couples dealing with these issue to reach out to their church communities and professionals for further help. Don’t suffer in silence with this all too common affliction.

Episode 48 – Dealing With Depression In Marriage (interview With Trisha Taylor) by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 47 – All In The Family (Interview with Richard & Sheri Bright)

Brett & Kellie
November 8th, 2013
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How much does your family of origin influence your marriage? Does it tend to make you look at life through a very specific lens? Maybe your spouse is not as crazy as you think! In this episode, Brett & Kellie Hurst interview Richard & Sheri Bright (www.marriagefunatics.com) about how drastically different our families of origin can be and how that can show up in our marriage relationship. This is a fun episode!

Thanks to Grant Peterson, Grant Supak and Zach Alkire for their assistance in producing and posting this episode of Marriage to the Max.

Episode 47 – All In The Family (Interview with Richard & Sheri Bright) by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 46 – Dealing With Anger (an Interview With Trisha Taylor)

Brett & Kellie
October 14th, 2013
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Are you currently encountering a great deal of anger in your marriage? Is all anger bad? How does a couple manage anger effectively? Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement interview therapist and author Trisha Taylor to get her thoughts on the many facets of anger. To find out more about Trisha Taylor, go to www.trishataylor.org. Find out more about Home Encouragement at www.homeencouragement.org.

Many thanks to Grant Peterson, Grant Supak and Zach Alkire for their help in getting this episode produced and posted.

Episode 46 – Dealing With Anger (an Interview With Trisha Taylor) By Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 45 – A Divorced Person’s Guide To Marriage

Brett & Kellie
September 11th, 2013
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What do married couples have to learn from people who have walked through divorce? Actually, quite a lot, as it turns out. This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst discuss some of the practical lessons learned from those who have walked through the pain and tragedy of divorce.

Thanks to Grant Peterson, Grant Supak and Zach Alkire for helping us with the production and posting of this week’s episode.

Episode 45 – A Divorced Person’s Guide To Marriage by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 44 – Lessons In Leadership

Brett & Kellie
August 20th, 2013
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Can business leadership principles also benefit a marriage? That may not sound very romantic, but, actually, some principles can. This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss a few basic leadership concepts from the business world that can also enhance a healthier marriage relationship. Thanks for listening!


Episode 43 – The Anatomy Of An Apology

Brett & Kellie
July 30th, 2013
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When was the last time you apologized to your spouse? Maybe a better question would be to ask when was the last you needed to apologize to your spouse? What is an apology, anyway? Is it merely saying, “I’m sorry” and that’s the end of it? This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement have a conversation about the many facets of apology. We hope it will encourage couples to tear down even more walls of indifference, contempt or even bitterness between them.

Thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and also to our engineer Zach Alkire for helping us produce and post this podcast each week.

Episode 43 – The Anatomy Of An Apology by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 42 – Managing Anxiety In Relationships (interview with Ken Shuman)

Brett & Kellie
July 16th, 2013
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How do you manage anxiety in marriage? Are you tempted to disengage? Even worse, do you have a tendency to want to manage your partner? This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst interview Ken Shuman, an adjunct professor at the Houston Graduate School of Theology. Ken has been married for thirty-six years, has over thirty years of experience as a coach, leader, pastor and teacher, and has personal experience in transformational leadership development and training. He currently teaches Family Systems Theory at the graduate level and has an innate ability to make conceptual ideas practical. We are confident that this extensive and rich interview with Ken will give you as a married couple a lot to discuss.

Episode 42 – Managing Anxiety In Relationships (interview with Ken Shuman) by Brett & Kellie Hurst.


Episode 41 – Have Some Fun!

Brett & Kellie
July 10th, 2013
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Do you play enough together as a couple? When was the last time that you felt like you had a truly fun time with your spouse? Well, pardner….that’s too long! This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement encourage married couples to enjoy one another by doing some off-the-wall things together….just for the fun of it! We believe that couples that play together stay together. We’d love to hear back from you on things that you do for enjoyment as a tandem.

Thanks again to Grant Peterson and Zach Alkire for making weekly production and posting of Marriage to the Max possible.

Episode 41 – Have Some Fun!Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 40 – Guilty Pleasures

Brett & Kellie
July 2nd, 2013
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What are the cheesier things you enjoy that you would never admit to anyone—except for your spouse? Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement believe that husbands and wives that are comfortable with speaking freely about such things can actually enjoy a richer marriage. After all, it’s just another facet of marital intimacy, isn’t it?

What topics would you like us to tackle on Marriage to the Max? Feel free to send your comments or suggestions to us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org.

Episode 40 – Guilty Pleasures by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 39 – Forgiveness

Brett & Kellie
June 25th, 2013
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Why is forgiveness so often so difficult for us? Wouldn’t we rather be free of the pain that unforgiveness can cause? This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss the many facets of forgiveness and how it can benefit marriage health. If you are struggling with forgiveness in your home or with someone else, we hope this conversation will spark healthy conversation in your situation.

Incidental music by Zach Alkire. Opening and closing theme: Loopsound. Extra thanks: Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications.

Episode 39 – Forgiveness by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 38 – A Sea Of Love (interview With Danny & Trisha Kennedy)

Brett & Kellie
June 18th, 2013
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What happens when a romantic getaway cruise suddenly becomes anything but that? Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement interview their friends Danny and Trisha Kennedy who, earlier this year, found themselves stranded on a crippled cruise ship somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. In spite of their anxiety and struggles, what the Kennedy’s learned from this experience about themselves, each other, and their marriage was a nice surprise.

As always, thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and to engineer/musician Zach Alkire for their ongoing help in posting “Marriage to the Max” each week!

Episode 38 – A Sea Of Love (interview With Danny & Trisha Kennedy) by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 37 – Miss Communication Vs. Miscommunication

Brett & Kellie
June 11th, 2013
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Do you always mean what you say? This week, Brett Hurst of Home Encouragement unwisely interviews his wife Kellie about words and phrases that she uses in their marriage relationship that often have alternative intentions and meaning. This is potentially an unwise move for Brett. Going down this road will most likely result in some kind of retribution toward Brett from Kellie… probably in a future episode. We hope you enjoy the episode.

Thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and our engineer/musician Zach Alkire for all of their constant efforts to support the ongoing production of “Marriage to the Max”. We’d be lost without them!

Episode 37 – Miss Communication Vs. Miscommunication by Brett and Kellie Hurst


Episode 36 – Tried And True Tools

Brett & Kellie
June 5th, 2013
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What relational tools work best to get a marriage back on track? Since every married couple is different, there are too many effective tools to mention. However, this week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement mention a few that they have used time and time again to effectively encourage spouses in their marriages. With prayer and grace, these tools (and others) might be beneficial to your marriage.

Resources mentioned on this podcast include: Gary Chapman www.garychapman.org; The Smalley Institute www.smalley.cc; Kelly Simpson/Active Relationships Center www.activerelationships.com; David Ferguson (www.greatcommandment.net); Karl Elkins/Christway Counseling www.christwaycounseling.com; John Gottman/The Gottman Institute (www.gottman.com).

If you have any further questions or have an effective tool that has worked for you in that past that you would like to share with others, please contact us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org. As always, thanks for listening!

Episode 36 – Tried And True Tools by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 35 – Private Eyes

Brett & Kellie
May 28th, 2013
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This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss the ideas of personal privacy as it involves couples. Should a wife have the access codes and passwords into her husband’s accounts and social media—and vice versa? Will this enhance intimacy and trust? How much is too much? Should individual spouses have their own sense of privacy? The idea for this podcast episode actually was triggered by a conversation with our recording engineer, Zach Alkire. As a result, Zach was spontaneously asked to join the episode midway through our discussion. We hope you enjoy the conversation. Thanks Zach!

Episode 35 – Private Eyes by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 34 – Recovering From Infidelity (interview With Mickey And Stephanie Peters)

Brett & Kellie
May 22nd, 2013
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This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement interview Mickey and Stephanie Peters of Upside Ministries in Houston. The Peters have a remarkable story of infidelity recovery as well as an outreach to couples that have suffered or are suffering from the devastating trauma of betrayal, infidelity and sexual addiction. This is a candid conversation about the realities of dealing with such an extraordinary marital roadblock. There are few tougher blows that a married couple can experience. Yet, hope is always available for recovery for willing spouses. This discussion briefly explores the possibilities of healing from these wounds.

A couple of good resources mentioned during this episode including Mickey and Stephanie Peters of Upside Ministries (www.upsideministries.com) as well as Affair Recovery Center (www.affairrecovery.com) Both would be good starting places for couples that have suffered from the effects of infidelity. If you have further questions or comments, you may contact thehursts@homeencouragement.org. As always, thank you very much for listening!

Episode 34 – Recovering From Infidelity (interview With Mickey And Stephanie Peters) by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 33 – Again With The Marriage Quotes?

Brett & Kellie
May 14th, 2013
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This week on “Marriage to the Max”, Brett & Kellie Hurst revisit some famous and not-so-famous quotes about marriage… mainly not-so-famous. We hope you enjoy the conversation. This particular series has become a favorite installment of the hosts (not so sure if that’s the case for our listeners!). At any rate, send us your favorite celebrity quotes about marriage at thehursts@homeencouragement.org. We’d love to potentially use them in a future podcast. And thanks so much for listening each week.

Special thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and Zach Alkire. Opening and closing theme by Loopsound.

Episode 33 – Again With The Marriage Quotes? by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 32 – Relational Time Management

Brett & Kellie
May 7th, 2013
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Although this sounds like a seminar, in this episode of “Marriage to the Max” Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement are merely having an informal conversation discussing how to prioritize relationships, particularly the relationship with one’s spouse. How does the math work out in your relationship? It might be worth having your own discussion about your personal schedules.

Thanks to our musical engineer Zach Alkire, as well as to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for their ongoing efforts to post our podcast each week. Zach’s original music can be found at www.soundcloud.com/alkiremedia. Opening and closing theme music by Loopsound.

Episode 32 – Relational Time Management by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 31 – The Importance Of Rituals In Marriage

Brett & Kellie
April 29th, 2013
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Sometimes, in marriage, the most seemingly insignificant traditions can be the most important ones. As a couple, do you have little rituals that you share together that help make your marriage special and personal? Do you have a favorite song? A favorite movie that you don’t mind watching over and over? A favorite place to get coffee? A special restaurant that is “your place”? If not, we encourage you to begin conversations about adopting special rituals of connection in order to further enhance the bonds of your marriage. Even the smallest traditions make more of an impact toward creating more intimacy between a husband and wife than you might think.

By the way, if you have some special “little tradition” that you enjoy as a couple that you would be willing to share with others, we’d love to hear about it. You may contact us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org. As always, thanks so much for listening!

Episode 31 – The Importance Of Rituals In Marriage by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 30 – Starting A Married Life Group (interview With David & Sue Harkins)

Brett & Kellie
April 24th, 2013
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Marriage was never designed to be a relationship that exists in isolation. In our opinion, especially in today’s world, the challenges of staying on course in a God-centered, fulfilling marriage are too much to handle without the support of others. This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement interview their very good friends David and Sue Harkins about their Married Life Group. The Hursts and the Harkins are two of seven couples that have met monthly together for the last seven years simply to enjoy honest conversation about their marriages. Whatever you wish to call a small group like this, a group of married couples meeting together regularly can strengthen a marriage bonds beyond what might be imagined. Every couple needs the prayerful support of other couples, encouraging them to stay strong in their marriage commitment. We hope this episode inspires others to consider starting something similar within their own circles of influence.

Special thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and to our engineer Zach Alkire for tireless efforts to get Marriage to the Max produced and posted each week. For more on Zach’s music, check out www.soundcloud.com/alkiremedia. Opening and closing theme by Loopsound.

Episode 30 – Starting A Married Life Group (interview With David & Sue Harkins) by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 29 – Why Is My Spouse Always The Problem?

Brett & Kellie
April 16th, 2013
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Wouldn’t life be so much easier if your spouse would just “get with the program”?  If only our spouses were as enlightened, kind, compassionate, trustworthy, athletic, dependable, productive and brilliant as we are!  Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss the question above that frequently seems to come up in conversation with married couples.  However, when frustrated about periodic seasons of difficulty in marriage, perhaps this is not always the best question to be asking.  In fact, it’s actually possible that, in many cases, we would witness more overall change in our marriages by instead surrendering more of ourselves to God’s sovereign care for us.

Thank you so much for listening!

Episode 29 – Why Is My Spouse Always The Problem? by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 28 – What Do Today’s Dating Men And Women Seem To Want?

Brett & Kellie
April 10th, 2013
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In this week’s episode, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss a recent survey that apparently gauges what today’s dating men look for first in women…and…what dating women seem to look for first in men. What does this all mean? We have no idea. But we thought it might be an interesting window into today’s dating scene. We’d love to hear from you about what first attracted you to your spouse or dating partner! You can email us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org.

Thanks again to Grant Peterson, the whiz at South Hill Communications for posting these podcast episodes each week. Also, we appreciate the funky interlude music each week from our talented engineer, Zach Alkire. Opening and closing themes by Loopsound.

Episode 28 – What Do Today’s Dating Men And Women Seem To Want? by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 27 – Deep Thoughts About “The Bachelor”

Brett & Kellie
April 2nd, 2013
1 comments

Can a couple really find “true love” on the reality show “The Bachelor”? Only time will tell… as will the ratings. This week, just for fun, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement bring their deepest thoughts (not really) about the weekly antics of one of television’s longest running “reality” shows. We hope that you take this particular podcast episode about as seriously as we did.

Thanks so much for your continued listening to this marriage podcast. If you would like to contact us, you can email us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org. We would love to hear from you.
Thanks again to Grant and Zach for all their help!

Episode 27 – Deep Thoughts About “The Bachelor” by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 26 – Money Talk With Randy Schroeder (part II)

Brett & Kellie
March 26th, 2013
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What are the types of conversations that married couples should be having together on the subject of money and finances? In this episode, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement once again interview Randy Schroeder of Ron Blue & Co. LLC to discuss possible answers. Money continues to be a great stressor in many marriages. We encourage couples to be as open and transparent with each other on this subject in order to increase understanding and, ultimately, greater intimacy.

As always thanks to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for helping us post this podcast each week. We’re also grateful to engineer/musician Zach Alkire for his creativity and encouragement in producing Marriage to the Max. Opening and closing theme by Loopsound.

Episode 26 – Money Talk With Randy Schroeder (part II) by Brett & Kellie Hurst.


Episode 25 – Money Talk With Randy Schroeder (part I)

Brett & Kellie
March 19th, 2013
0 comments

What is the number one cause of divorce in America? What is the least talked about significant topic in most marriages? Most studies indicate that money is the number one answer to both questions. This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement interview good friend Randy Schroeder to talk about money issues that center around engaged and newlywed couples. Randy is the Managing Director for Ronald Blue & Co. LLC’s branch office in Houston. As a Certified Financial Planner, Randy focuses on how individuals can meet their life goals through proper management of their financial resources. This conversation will be extremely beneficial to any married couple that is looking toward a long married future together.

Episode 25 – Money Talk With Randy Schroeder (part I) by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 24 – “what Is Your Favorite…?

Brett & Kellie
March 12th, 2013
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The many stressors of life can often simply wear out a married couple. Because of this ongoing daily pressure, couples often strangely find themselves unable to make conversation together. This week’s episode of Marriage to the Max with Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement centers on spouses asking one another simple questions beginning with “What is your favorite…?” As silly as this exercise might seem to some, it is a guaranteed way to start conversation that is not centered around bills, work, taxes and other things that bump in the night. We encourage you to try it sometime just for fun.

Thanks to Grant Peterson and Zach Alkire for all of their continued efforts in making the Marriage to the Max weekly episodes possible!

Episode 24 – “what Is Your Favorite…? by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 23 – I Didn’t Sign Up For This!

Brett & Kellie
March 5th, 2013
0 comments

“I didn’t sign up for this!” This week, Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss a phrase that they hear often from married couples, both newly married and those that have been married a long time. Frequently, this comment is made in the midst of a peak moment of frustration or disillusionment within marriage. It’s not uncommon. In fact, if most happily married “veteran” couples were completely honest, they would admit that they have uttered this desperate phrase a time or two (or three) throughout particularly heated instances in their long married life.

But, on the other hand, this is a remark that we are hearing with more regularity, often preceding a drastic step of a couple choosing to leave the relationship. Because of this, we want to encourage married couples to honor their vows and commitments, seeking out help for those tougher stretches of life. Horizons can change dramatically when a couple allows God to intervene. As a matter of fact, a recent study showed that over two-thirds of unhappily married couples that stayed together reported much higher satisfaction five years later. Many great things can happen to a husband and wife when they stay true to their commitment to one another. We want to encourage couples to consider praying and fighting for their marriages.

Episode 23 – I Didn’t Sign Up For This! with Brett and Kellie Hurst


Episode 22 – Date Night At The Hospital

Brett & Kellie
February 26th, 2013
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Where would you take your spouse for a “dream” date night? A sunset beach setting? A mountaintop view? Or would it be your local hospital? In this episode, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement unpack a recent family health crisis. During this conversation, they discuss the many lessons about their marriage that they learned and re-learned as they went through this particular experience together.

Thank you to engineer/musician/buddy Zach Alkire and to our great friend Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for their tireless assistance in bringing “Marriage to the Max” to you. And we appreciate you for listening, for your encouraging comments, and for subscribing on iTunes!

Episode 22 – Date Night At The Hospital with Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 21 – Interview With Chris And Meka Arend

Brett & Kellie
February 19th, 2013
1 comments

This week on “Marriage to the Max”, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement interview good friends Chris & Meka Arend. The Hursts and the Arends have been in the same Married Life Group for the last five years. During this episode, the conversation centers around the Arends’ new innovative idea–—having an annual “State of the Union” marriage and family retreat. Chris and Meka unpack their inspiration of getting away for a weekend (without kids) to pray, dream and plan together as husband and wife. During their initial weekend retreat experience, more and more specific marriage and family goals became clearer to both Chris and Meka as a result of being able to think clearly and without having the distractions of daily life. We think you will be intrigued by their idea and you may want to consider some similar kind of annual experience for your own marriage.

Thanks again to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications and to engineer/musician Zach Alkire. Opening and closing theme by Loopsound.

Episode 21 – Interview With Chris And Meka Arend by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 20 – Conflict 201

Brett & Kellie
February 12th, 2013
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We appreciate your ongoing listening to “Marriage to the Max”, the weekly marriage podcast hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. This week, we revisit the topic of managing conflict within marriage. As always, it’s important for us to emphasize that EVERY married couple will encounter the challenges of disagreement—it’s a very normal situation in marriage. Conflict is simply a difference of perspective, and no two people see things exactly the same way. If they did, they would be clones of each other!

We hope to give you further practical insights this week to make typical conflict challenges more navigable. And, by the way, if you have additional insights that have been effective for you and your spouse, we would love to hear about them! Please feel free to contact us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org and let us know what has worked well for you in your marriage. After all, we’re all part of a growing healthy marriage community!

Thanks again to Grant Peterson of Southhill Communications and to our very talented engineer/funky musical interlude composer Zach Alkire. Each week, they help us bring “Marriage to the Max” to you and, hopefully, make it a much more pleasant experience—in spite of us! Also, you should know that this episode concludes the trilogy of Brett-as-a-sick-as-a-dog-co-host. Whew! Thanks for the prayers. Feeling much better now!

Episode 20 – Conflict 201 by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 19 – Your Communication IQ

Brett & Kellie
February 5th, 2013
0 comments

Welcome back to “Marriage to the Max”, the marriage podcast hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. In this week’s episode, we discuss “Your Communication IQ“. As a married couple, how do you currently communicate together? This is an important topic that needs constant unpacking within married couples. In marriage (or in any other personal relationship), you can’t take effective communication for granted. Honest conversation and frank self-evaluation can be quite beneficial for improving intimacy between husband and wife.

Again, Brett was sick during the recording of this episode. Apologies! Hope you enjoy it anyway. And if you’d like to contact us, please feel free to do so at thehursts@homeencouragement.org. We’d love to hear from you!

Episode 19 – Your Communication IQ by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 18 – Realistic Expectations in Marriage

Brett & Kellie
January 29th, 2013
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Thanks for listening to “Marriage to the Max”, a weekly podcast about marriage hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. This week, our topic is “Realistic Expectations in Marriage”. Now, of course, we believe with God at the center of your marriage relationship, that all things are possible—we believe that marriage offers a couple one joyful opportunity after another! Yet, many folks head into marriage with skewed expectations about what is truly satisfying within a marriage relationship. We hope that this episode is helpful to encourage couples to set their sights high, but to also extend grace to one another whenever we have days that are not our best.

Full disclosure: Brett was quite sick with flu-like symptoms during the recording of this episode. Hopefully, it won’t be too distracting!

Thanks again to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for helping us go “live” each week. We’re also grateful to our fantastic engineer, Zach Alkire, for providing funky incidental music to each episode. Opening and closing theme by Loopsound.

Episode 18 – Realistic Expectations in Marriage by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 17 – Interview With James And Rachel Poysky

Brett & Kellie
January 22nd, 2013
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This week on “Marriage to the Max”, we bring you a rich marriage conversation with our good friends, James and Rachel Poysky. James earned an MA in Psychology, an MA in Christian Leadership, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. James is a Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy board member and Clinical Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and is in private practice. Rachel is an ordained pastor and earned her Masters degree in Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. She currently serves at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston as Children’s Ministries Director.

The Poyskys have two beautiful children, Joel and Hallie. In November 2005, Joel was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Since their family received this diagnosis, the Poyskys have been on the frontlines of the fight against Muscular Dystrophy and have helped and encourage people literally around the world. In this podcast episode, they shared solid insights with us about marriage health. We knew that this conversation would benefit not only married couples with special needs children, but also all married couples.

You may now subscribe to “Marriage to the Max” on iTunes for free. Thank you so much for listening and for being students of healthy marriages!

Episode 17 – Interview With James And Rachel Poysky by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 16 – Return Of The Marriage Quotes

Brett & Kellie
January 15th, 2013
0 comments

Welcome back to “Marriage to the Max”, a podcast hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. This week, we return to an experiment we tried a few episodes ago. We are bringing you again some hand-selected quotes about marriage from famous people and some not-so-famous people—and then we are subjecting you to our comments about those quotes! When we tried this format a few weeks ago, we got some positive feedback from some listeners who said they enjoyed this approach, so we thought we would try it again. If you find this interesting at all, we will continue to have periodic conversations like this one again in the future. If you DON’T like this particular format, it will be banished permanently! So please let us know what you think.

“Marriage to the Max” is now available on iTunes, thanks to the efforts of Grant Peterson of Southhill Communications and our engineer Zach Alkire. You may now subscribe to “Marriage to the Max” for free and receive new episodes each week directly to your electronic device of choice. And you can continue to find all the existing individual episodes here at www.marriagetothemax.org . Also, if you are an iTunes customer, please do us a favor and rate the broadcast on iTunes which will help us get the podcast out to a wider audience.

Also, if you would like to contact us for any reason, feel free to do so at thehursts@homeencouragement.org. We would love to encourage you and your family in any way we can. Opening and closing themes provided by Loopsound.


Episode 15 – Introverts vs. Extroverts

Brett & Kellie
January 8th, 2013
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This week’s episode is entitled “Introverts vs. Extroverts” and deals with the challenges and opportunities of marriages and households that incorporate the strengths and growth opportunities of both general types of temperaments. There’s a lot of truth to the old phrase “opposites attract”. It is definitely the rule, rather than the exception. And one of the most blatant examples of this is in the world of having different temperamental approaches to life. These differences are often what attract us to someone who views life through different lenses than we do. In those early years, these opposite qualities seem to add more depth and richness to the relationship. But as we begin to be married longer, if we’re not extending grace to one another, these differences can also cause quarrelsome conflict.

As the old saying goes, “If the two of you were created exactly alike, one of you would be unnecessary.” In most situations, God intended us to be very different from one another so that we would add more to the collective whole of the marriage. Through tremendous understanding of our spouse’s temperament (as well as understanding our own) we can begin to embrace one another again, much like we did in our dating years. Therefore, we encourage you to become students of temperaments, how they work and how they can help you understand better to live in harmony with your spouse.

Once again, thanks for listening. And we’d love your feedback! You can leave your comments here or contact us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org

Episode 15 – Introverts vs. Extroverts by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 14 – Setting Goals With Your Spouse

Brett & Kellie
January 1st, 2013
0 comments

Happy New Year to you and your family! And thanks for listening to “Marriage to the Max”, hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. We are so grateful for all the new listeners to our marriage podcast since we launched back in October 2012. We’re even more surprised that most of you tell us you can’t wait to hear the next one! Thanks for your feedback–it really helps us!

In this MTTM episode, appropriately enough, we talk about setting new goals with your spouse. What better time to do that than at the beginning of a brand new year? People often complain a lot about New Year’s resolutions, but by merely setting some long-term targets for your marriage, you’ll be quite surprised what God can do within the course of a year. So, with that in mind, what kinds of things would you like to see improved in your marriage? What would you like to see change possibly within a year’s time? Anything could happen! More importantly, what are YOU willing to do to see that change take place in your marriage? Are you willing to even do something drastic… like pray for the strength to change yourself?

Our suggestion would be to go grab a Starbucks together, or just take some quality time today if you can, and dream again as a couple. Or at least, begin to talk honestly once again. If you’ve been struggling recently in your marriage, you could begin again by having an honest conversation about some new ideas that together you might want to commit to prayer. And then get started. Pray each day for the ability to make even those small degree changes so that you can re-kindle the love you once had in your marriage. We would be very interested in hearing what ideas you might be considering together to take your marriage to the next level. Feel free to share with us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org.

We’re ready for much more fun in 2013 with “Marriage to the Max”. As always, we are so grateful to our engineer Zach Alkire. Zach has been a real cheerleader to us and has also supplied us with little music snippets for the middle breaks of the podcasts. We never know what he’s going to come up with–but we do know he’s very talented, brilliant, and a total joy to be around. We’re also thankful always for Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications. Grant built Home Encouragement’s website, is an incredible friend and encourager, and is a dedicated board member. We wouldn’t have had the nerve to launch this podcast series this past year without their help. Looking to more excitement in 2013!

Episode 14 – Setting Goals With Your Spouse by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 13 – Interview with Deborah Kristen

Brett & Kellie
December 25th, 2012
0 comments

Merry Christmas and welcome back to “Marriage to the Max”, a marriage podcast, hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. We hope you and your family are celebrating this very important day together in peace and with great thanksgiving!

Our podcast today is an interview taped earlier this year with our very good friend, Deborah Kristen. Deborah is the Program Director of The Clearing, a retreat experience for married couples that is among the most powerful of its kind in the country. Deborah is the person to whom potential participants turn as they explore the idea of coming to a Marriage Intensive at The Clearing. She has answers to the many questions that couples have about marriage intensives and she is quite gifted at making folks feel comfortable! She brings to her role a heart for counseling as well as a Masters degree in Biblical Counseling from the Luther Rice University and Seminary. She is also a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (Go Horns!). The Hursts have worked with Deborah Kristen on many joint citywide projects in Houston for the purpose of raising awareness of the priority of healthy marriage for married couples. We are true partners with Deborah in ministry and it is quite an honor to bring you this conversation on “Marriage to the Max”.

Thank you again for listening! May your family be blessed tremendously as we honor the birth of our blessed Savior Jesus Christ. We pray for God’s grace and mercies to you and your loved ones during this holiday season.

Episode 13 – Interview with Deborah Kristen by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 12 – A Marriage of Grace

Brett & Kellie
December 18th, 2012
0 comments

We’re so glad for your continued listening of our marriage podcast, “Marriage to the Max”, hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. And we greatly appreciate your ongoing feedback and comments!

We have entitled this week’s conversation, “A Marriage of Grace”. When we are in ongoing dialogue with struggling couples, or even couples in critical crisis, we very frequently hear the desire from so many of these couples to have more peace in their relationship. These spouses want to be free of the escalation of tension in their everyday experience. We hear these couples desperately crying out for more grace in their marriage. Fortunately, we believe that also God wants married couples to enjoy grace within marriage and that He can tremendously assist in that process.

The word “grace” is a beautiful word with many historical definitions. Our favorite definition of grace is “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification”. In other words, grace is a holy word, a holy concept. Without divine assistance with God, none of us could even know Him, let alone enjoy the blessings that He offers us. Receiving God’s blessings of love is truly the most important definition of grace. However, grace can also be defined as having a charming or attractive trait or characteristic. Going even further, grace could also be defined as having “a disposition toward an act of kindness or courtesy.” In marriage, dispositions toward acts of kindness can go a long way! But how does one get a disposition or attitude toward kindness?

We believe one of the greatest roadblocks to the way of marital health and strength is our own selfishness. Right behind that reality would be our own blindness regarding that selfishness. It’s truly remarkable how we can forget how strong our wills can be. When we are reading Scripture, it doesn’t take long for us to be reminded of how quickly we can drift each day toward rationalizing our own designs, our own ways of behaving or looking at life. This wayward “drift” causes us to miss out the fullness of life that God intended and desires for us to experience….in all of our relationships. We do know that a better plan is available to couples, if they’re both willing. We hope that today’s episode will encourage each of us to look to the Lord, our Creator, for our ultimate satisfaction. This will allow us to extend grace, understanding and forgiveness to our spouses when they don’t live up to our own expectations or standards.

Thank you for listening so far. We greatly appreciate it. Feel free to contact us anytime at thehursts@homeencouragement.org if we can be of assistance to your family in any way. And we are also grateful to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications as well as our engineer Zach Alkire for their invaluable assistance in getting this podcast to you. Opening and closing theme songs by Loopsound.

Episode 12 – A Marriage of Grace by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 11 – Protecting Against Affairs

Brett & Kellie
December 11th, 2012
0 comments

Welcome back to “Marriage to the Max”, a marriage podcast hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. We’re always grateful that you join us for these podcast episodes. We hope you’ll continue to make it part of your weekly routine. We will continue to shoot for releasing a new episode every Tuesday.

This week’s topic is “Affair Proofing Your Marriage”. Actually, we had some debate about this title after we recorded this conversation. To be technically accurate, there is no surefire way to affair-proof your marriage. Affairs can happen to the best of couples and families can get quickly blindsided when they least expect it. Fortunately, we at Home Encouragement have seen miraculous marriage healings in many, many of these hurting situations. Because of the tendencies that all human beings have toward brokenness, weakness, and even self-centeredness, no one is completely immune from the things that might sneak in and compromise a marriage relationship. However, we believe there are practical steps that can be put in place that will greatly minimize the chances of an affair destroying a marriage. We hope to be able to provide some of those tips in this week’s episode.

Make no mistake about it, an affair is usually devastating to a marriage and the recovery process is quite difficult and takes time. But there is great hope available for couples. If you are struggling in any way with an affair-related issue in your marriage, we advocate that you seek out prayer and professional help. One good recommendation is to contact The Affair Recovery Center in Austin, Texas at www.affairrecovery.com. The folks there are world-renowned in this field and may possibly have the best tools and resources available for recovering from affairs and other forms of infidelity.

As always, props to Zach Alkire (engineer) and Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for helping us get this week’s MTTM episode up and running. Week in and week out, we couldn’t do it without you!
And thanks to our listeners (you know who you are)! We’d love to hear from you. Either comment here or email us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org.

God bless you through the Christmas season.

Episode 11 – Protecting Against Affairs with Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 10 – Conflict 101

Brett & Kellie
December 4th, 2012
0 comments

Thanks for listening again to “Marriage to the Max”, a marriage podcast hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. We hope you have been enjoying each weekly episode. We continue to release a new installment of these conversations every Tuesday. Please feel free to leave your comments regarding these episodes. Give us your feedback. It helps us to know what types of podcasts to create in the future.

This week, our topic is “Conflict 101”. The subject of conflict is one that MTTM will visit and revisit throughout this podcast series. All married couples have some level of conflict—and that’s certainly okay. Not only is conflict not a bad thing, we believe that it’s even necessary for the continued growth of intimacy between spouses. In fact, one way to define having “conflict” is simply “to differ”. Since you didn’t marry someone exactly like you, conflict is certainly inevitable for your relationship together.

Always remember that conflict is an opportunity for God to work in your marriage, as well as for you to take real time to examine what might be the source of those different points of view. These are chances to learn even more about yourselves and each other. But don’t be discouraged by some ongoing conflict in your marriage. If you draw closer to God and learn how He might want you to manage that conflict more effectively together, you’ll be able to see your disagreements in a completely new light.

As always, we are grateful to Zach Alkire (engineer/musician) and Grant Peterson (South Hill Communications) for all that they do each week to allow to continue to release new podcasts. They make doing these so much more effective…and fun. Opening and closing theme songs by Loopsound.

Episode 10 – Conflict 101 with Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 9 – Marriage Quotes

Brett & Kellie
November 27th, 2012
0 comments

We’re grateful for your continued investment into our marriage podcast, “Marriage to the Max”, hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. We enjoy bringing you this podcast with a new episode every week.

During this week’s installment, we bring you our first “marriage quotes” conversation. We thought it would be a fun idea for the two of us to gather some quotes by famous and not-so-famous people about marriage….and then react spontaneously to those quotes. We’ll see if this concept works out okay. Yes, it might be one of those seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time kind of ideas. Either way, we would love your comments.

As always, if you would like to contact us about anything marriage related, that’s why we’re here. You may email us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org and we will respond as soon as we can. Our ongoing hope is to encourage as many couples as possible toward healthy marriage. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you in that process.

Special thanks to our podcast engineer, Zach Alkire, who makes recording these episodes a much easier task—we also enjoy his homegrown musical tracks. We’re also always grateful to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for his ongoing assistance each week in getting our communications out into cyberworld. Opening and closing theme songs by Loopsound.

Episode 9 – Marriage Quotes With Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 8 – Interview with Adam Mason (Part II)

Brett & Kellie
November 20th, 2012
0 comments

Welcome back to Marriage to the Max, the weekly podcast hosted by Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. In this week’s episode, we conclude with “Part 2” our in-depth conversation with gifted counselor Adam Mason of Houston’s First Baptist Church. We received so much from listening to Adam in these sessions together. Adam’s vast wisdom and experience offers much to all married couples. We hope you get a chance to listen to this entire interview and benefit as well from his insights.

Also, we would like to wish you and your family a very blessed Thanksgiving season. As a family, the Hursts are so very grateful to God and all He has done for us. We pray that you will also experience the richest blessings imaginable from truly knowing Him and abiding in Him.

Episode 08 – Interview with Adam Mason (Part II) with Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 7 – Interview with Adam Mason (Part I)

Brett & Kellie
November 13th, 2012
0 comments

Thank you for your continued listening of our marriage podcast, “Marriage to the Max”, hosted by Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement.

In this new episode, we are honored to feature our very first interview guest. Adam Mason is the Minister of Counseling Services at Houston’s First Baptist Church, one of the pioneer church counseling organizations in the country. Adam is an ordained minister of Christian counseling and a licensed professional counselor and supervisor in Texas. He has a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling, a Master of Arts in Religious Education, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Social Service. Adam has specialized training in the area of Spiritual Direction, and has been working in this area for over 25 years.

Adam brings a great amount of wisdom as well as tremendous insights into the spiritual foundation of marriage. We encourage you and your spouse to listen to this interview critically as could will help realign your understanding about how marriage was designed to work.

Thanks again to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for his ongoing consultation as well as our talented engineer Zach Alkire.

Episode 07 – Interview with Adam Mason (Part I) with Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 6 – Communication 101

Brett & Kellie
November 6th, 2012
0 comments

Welcome back to “Marriage to the Max”, the weekly marriage podcast hosted by Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. This week, we discuss “Communication 101″. This is a vital topic for most couples. Are you aware that the average amount of quality conversation per day for married couples is 3 minutes? Wow! Really? That staggers the mind, frankly. However, we’re willing to bet that, with just a little bit of effort, most couples can improve dramatically on increasing that amount of conversation.

You should know that communication struggles are extremely common among married couples. This is why this subject of more effective communication will be a topic that “Marriage to the Max” will visit and revisit frequently. Fortunately, effective communication skills can be learned and applied fairly easily that will typically make things smoother for couples. We hope to encourage you with helpful insights to remind spouses how important it is to pray and work consistently for better and clearer communication between one another.

As always, we invite you to share your insights and further questions with us. Our hope is that these podcasts might help you enjoy your marriage experience more and more. Your feedback is always appreciated. Contact us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org and let us know how we’re doing!

Thanks again to Zach Alkire for his engineering prowess and musical deposits. Also, we’re thankful for Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for his invaluable contributions to OUR communication! We are grateful for both of these guys, as well as their friendship and gifts.

Episode 6 – Communication 101 By Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 5 – Divine Romance

Brett & Kellie
October 30th, 2012
0 comments

This week, Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement discuss “Divine Romance” on the Marriage to the Max podcast.

Is the idea of romance between a man and a woman a divine idea? Most certainly, it is! And, even more unequivocally, God is the utmost expert on a married couple’s need for romance. As a matter of fact, scripturally speaking, it’s crystal clear that the Lord desires married couples to experience the richness of a romantic lifestyle. There’s a reason why the fullness of healthy sex and enticing romance are beyond human description.

Obviously, the notion of deep, romantic expression between two lovers did not originate in Hollywood. Romance expression has been around since the beginning of time. But divine romance is more than just physical attraction. Don’t get the wrong idea…external sexual attraction to your spouse can be a fantastic thing–good for any marriage! But what if couples also nurtured a deeper internal intimacy within marriage?

What are we saying? We want married couples to not merely passively react to whatever turns them on in a given moment, but also to consistently initiate ongoing romance with one another…day or night. Think outside of the box. Talk and dream together about romance. Find out how to meet each other’s needs. When that occurs, a more mutually satisfying relationship grows. In other words, divine love is more than just getting one’s own needs met. True romance is selfless and limitless…and that’s exactly what can make it totally exciting. We hope that every married couple can carve out time away from ongoing daily stressors to focus more on cultivating deep romance within lifelong marriage. It is so worth it.

As always, we love hearing from you. Please feel free to share your ideas with us by contacting us at thehursts@homeencouragment.org anytime. We value your input, your suggestions, and your questions. And thanks for listening!

Special gratitude to our engineer Zach Alkire who always brings good vibes and creative incidental tracks. Also, props to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for his generous use of time in order to make our communication more effective. Opening and closing theme songs by Loopsound.

Episode 5 – Divine Romance By Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 4 – Silver Anniversary Lessons

Brett & Kellie
October 23rd, 2012
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Thanks so much for listening to our new marriage podcast, “Marriage to the Max”, hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. Your positive emails are keeping us going and we’re glad that the content has seemed helpful to several couples. We also hope that you have been enjoying listening to us bumble through these conversations. At least we’re having fun doing this….not sure about anyone else!

This year marks the 25th wedding anniversary of the Hursts. In some ways, it seems like we’ve been married forever….in other ways, it seems like we’ve only just begun (with apologies to The Carpenters). Looking forward, we can’t wait to be married for twice this long! There is still so very much for us to learn together, and we get excited thinking about that. We certainly have so much respect for those that can stay married for 50 years or more. Those couples have tremendous wisdom to share with others. But, actually, every married couple has some wisdom to share with others. And many couples have been faithful to pour those insights into couples around them. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons we started Home Encouragement’s Marriage Hall of Fame!

In this episode, we speak candidly about a few of the important things that we’ve learned so far from our marriage, at least up to the point of this Silver Anniversary. Every marriage has its own personality. As we reflect on this milestone together, you’ll get a small bit of insight into what makes us work as a married couple. Actually, we have tried to be reflective about our marriage as we’ve celebrated every anniversary. But we are particularly aware to do so during the biggest milestones. We hope you’ll be encouraged to take opportune moments to do the same in your own marriage. What have you learned as a couple lately? After all, marriage is one great teacher!

No matter how long you’ve been married, even if it’s been just a couple of weeks, we’d love to hear from you about how you’ve benefitted from marriage so far. Feel free to contact us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org and tell us. We’re always looking for fresh insights of encouragement to share with other couples. And, as always, thanks for listening!

Special thanks to our engineer Zach Alkire who makes us sound tolerable! Also, we’re always grateful to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications for all the nifty things he does to help our communications.

Episode 4 – Silver Anniversary Lessons By Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 3 – Date Your Mate

Brett & Kellie
October 16th, 2012
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Thank you again for listening to our new podcast, “Marriage to the Max”, hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement! This week’s topic, “Date Your Mate”, is obviously focused on that very vital subject of marital dating. Even though we have worked with couples for many years now, it always surprises us how many married couples have stopped the fun and creative practice of dating altogether. For some reason, many spouses feel like once a couple has become married, the “dating” years officially end. Au contraire! Married couples need to be going out on dates most of all!

In this episode, we get the conversation started about the importance of dating as married couples. Not only that, but we’d love to hear from you about creative ways that you have kept romance alive through dating. Feel free to comment here or send us an email at thehursts@homeencouragement.org. We are always looking for fresh insights into the world of dating, whether it’s from young singles, engaged couples, newlyweds or veteran married couples. After all, few things help you connect and re-connect as couples as effectively as just enjoying one another’s company through dating.

Thanks for listening! Don’t forget to tell others that we’re here and to “like” us on Facebook and Twitter. We appreciate it!

Special thanks to our engineer, Zach Alkire, as well as to Grant Peterson of South Hill Communications, who recently designed our beautiful new Home Encouragement website. Thanks, guys! Opening and closing themes by Loopsound. Some incidental tunage from Zach.

Episode 3 – Date your Mate by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 2 – F.A.C.E. Time

Brett & Kellie
October 9th, 2012
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Thanks to everyone who listened to last week’s first episode of our new podcast, “Marriage to the Max”, hosted by Brett and Kellie Hurst of Home Encouragement. It was great hearing from you! This week’s episode is about F.A.C.E. time–a simple way to remember to stay better connected as married couples. During some weeks, daily stressors alone can keep spouses from being intimate on any level. Couples can quickly get discouraged. However, simply being emotionally engaged with one another on a regular basis can be just the antidote from letting everyday routines get the best of you.

Here are the main ingredients to remember about FACE Time: Focus on one another, Ask meaningful questions, Care for your partner, Ease into a routine. Two or three times a week for even just a few minutes each day will get things started nicely. We hope this is a helpful tool for your marriage. Give us your feedback.

And thanks for listening to “Marriage to the Max”. We will do these podcasts for as long as we feel like folks are listening! We appreciate the great encouragement from Week One! And if you ever want to contact us, please feel free to email us at thehursts@homeencouragement.org. We would be honored to respond.

As always, thanks to our engineer Zach Alkire for his cheerleading and bodacious tunes. Opening and closing theme songs by Loopsound.

Episode 2 – F.A.C.E. Time by Brett & Kellie Hurst


Episode 1 – The Three Types of Marriage

Brett & Kellie
October 3rd, 2012
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Welcome to our new blogsite for the Marriage to the Max Podcast. Marriage to the Max is a weekly podcast hosted by Brett & Kellie Hurst, co-founders of Home Encouragement in Houston, Texas. Our goal is to encourage married couples to take marriage to the next level. We have a simple hope…and that is to make marriage a front-burner conversation! We are grateful to you for your interest in this podcast and we hope you will enjoy it.

This week’s introductory topic delves into three basic kinds of marriages: The Connecting Marriage, The Coasting Marriage, and the Crisis Marriage. We believe that all married couples have the potential to eventually become a Connecting Marriage…with lots of grace, hard work and divine help!

Thanks to our engineer and friend Zach Alkire for his diligence and for funky incidental music. Opening and closing themes by Loopsound.

Episode 1 – The Three Types of Marriage by Brett & Kellie Hurst