Ep. 47 - Podcast Thumbnail

Episode 47 – Creating an Epic Marriage | Jario & Leena Vincenz-Gavin

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Ep. 47 - Podcast Thumbnail

Listen to an inspiring and enchanting love story of High Noon Families’ School of Love project directors, Jario and Leena Vincenz-Gavin.

Married for 13 years, these two have grown a lot and discovered many things about themselves, their work, and each other. Apart from being the fuel for families to mend their relationships, they also became a role model for couples working in the same environment, believing that learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses will help create that perfect balance in marriage and relationships.

As a couple who is committed not just to their relationship but always looks at how they can also serve others, Jario and Leena believe that allowing yourself to adapt to each other will help you create that unique relationship. Also, viewing your sexual relationship as a safe place will lead to emotional harmony and happiness.

Listen for: 

  • The factors that drive them to be a giver rather than being just a part of the community
  • How to work as a team:
    • Considering own strengths and weakness
    • Committing to every relationship’s vision
    • Respecting each other’s personal space
    • Creating a deep communication
    • Give and take
  • Habits and agreements that help their relationship:
    • Invest time for each other
    • Give space to what makes the other person happy
  • Sex is not a physical thing but the trust, bond, connection, and appreciation that goes into that
  • Even after 13 years, sometimes you can find new ways
  • It’s not always about experiencing sex beforehand
  • What it takes to have a better sexual relationship
  • The best thing to learn about sex is through each other

 

Episode Transcript:

Sammy Uyama: Welcome. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. We have a super exciting episode for you guys today. Every episode is exciting, isn’t it? But this one particularly, I’m really happy to be able to interview this amazing couple that is here today. Just a reminder, this is the Love, Life, and Legacy podcast where we talk about sex, and we’re here to help you navigate this crazy world, regarding the area of sexuality. And everything to do with sex that’s tried, tested, and true. And so, we have a really special couple here today. And particularly, that’s close to my heart. And because we work together. They’re part of the High Noon organization. So you can guarantee that they’re just top shelf stellar. And, you know, we’re gonna really dive deep into what makes them tick and why they’re so awesome. But let’s start with just like a some preliminary introduction. So people get an idea of who we’re talking with. So we’ve got Leena and Jario. Jario and Leena Vincenz-Gavin. Hi, how you guys doing?

Leena: Hi, Sammy.

Jario: Doing good. Doing good. Glad to be here.

Leena: Yes. Exciting.

Sammy Uyama: Let’s start with just a simple, what can we celebrate with you guys today? What’s going on? Just a simple thing. Something. What’s going on great in your life?

Leena: We have two wonderful kids. And they’re eight and five. And slowly getting into routines. You know, after these crazy years. So just grateful for even just the stresses are different things this year when, you know, they just make you smile and say sweet things. And yeah. 

Jario: Yeah. I mean, there’s been kind of a reset for a lot of things. Just put the pause that started and, and just reprioritize in our time with our kids and where we’re placing our work. And so, we’re really excited in many ways for the next chapter. And, and what, what’s been unveiled to us in this journey. Yeah.

Leena: And the weather. It’s getting nice and cool. Which means 60 degrees.

Sammy Uyama: Right. Yeah. The impending fall and winter. It’s doomsday for a lot of people but you guys, where you guys happen to be. Which is, which is where?

Leena: Mobile, Alabama. 

Sammy Uyama: Alright. Okay, that part of the world? I’m sure this is maybe one of the nicest times of the year.

Leena: Yes, this is great.

Sammy Uyama: So why don’t you just start with like, a little introduction about yourselves. And, and everyone’s wondering, like, alright, so we got this, this couple and why are they so cool? Why do we want to listen to what they have to say? And I promise you, we’ll get into that. But let’s start with you know, the nice basics I know about you guys.

Jario: Yeah, so we’re, we’re been married now, blessed for 13 years. 13 years. So we’ve got a few years learning about each other. Discovering many things. We’ve got two amazing kids. The big Leena already said. And we’re blessed to be their parents, we do our best. We learn a lot every day. We fall short. But we also find strength and find the wisdom we didn’t know we had dealing with those kids. And we’ve grown so much as parents and also as pastors. And that’s our big passion. Just being involved in people’s lives from youth ministry to adult ministry, and parents, and marriage, and some laws and verse. You know, just being a part of people’s lives and seeing how people are needing others. Needing support and being involved in those experiences. That’s kind of our life is just being on call for jumping into life’s crazy moments and happy exciting moments and all that fun stuff in between. Yeah, and school of the love of course. 

Sammy Uyama: Yeah. So I, this kind of is harder just like being ready to jump into life. It’s, it’s kind of what has pulled you into all the things that you’re doing. So, the ministry is one. Yes, school, you guys. Ladies and gentlemen, these are the directors of High Noon families and the school of love project. They’re responsible for helping parents to have to go to really honest and ongoing conversations with their children about sexuality, about purity. And they’re doing a phenomenal job. And anything else that you guys are doing?

Jario: Um, well, we kind of started this face or website, Pastors JNL, recently. It’s more of a personal page and creating some resources, faith resources for families as well. And I used to, I studied Elementary Ed. So that’s my background. I’ve taught before, mainly kindergarten. And Jario’s great with kids as well. He did youth ministry. We did that together. And he’s a youth pastor for several years before getting into pastoring. Before we met you, Sammy.

Leena: That’s right. 

Sammy Uyama: Right. Many, many years ago. That was one of the best workshops I think I’ve ever been in.

Jario: That’s awesome. Yeah.

Sammy Uyama: Actually, I think really important detail about you guys are in ministry as pastors, but not just you became pastors for the church, you’re planting. Is that, is that right? You guys are planting at church?

Jario: Well, we have planted. Yeah. We could share.  Yeah. No. We, yeah, it was while we, we did youth ministry for a while. And then one year, we were called as a couple to step up and become the senior pastors for the Chicago church in America. And after a few years, we ventured off to do a church plan.  And, and that’s kind of starting from scratch. Let’s start from the ground up. We, we did a church plan to kind of find out new ways to express Unificationism, and reach out. And actually, we started, the place we started was in a brewery. We couldn’t find any great places, but there’s this awesome brewery. On dining room in the brewery, right? Yeah, but that was, that was kind of cool. Just trying out things that were kind of unusual to do for the church, but trying to get into the places where people do life, and then bring them to new life.

Sammy Uyama: You literally wanted to put new wine in new wineskins, I suppose.

Jario: Mine, always well, if you don’t get the spirits during service, you could get one after. Because, Um, yeah, that was really exciting. And kind of a new, interesting time in our lives. Part of why we made that change,  pastoring a big church to a smaller one, there’s a lot going on. But also, personally, we are caregiving from both my parents actually at the time. And also had Marella, she was little, our oldest one. I was adopted. So my parents are a lot older than usual. And anyway, so that was a big part of our life as well. Just caregiving for them as they dealt with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. So what was interesting is that little church ended up in a sense, like being a community and being there for us. And a lot more ways than we ever expected. So that was pretty, that was neat, right? And a beautiful part of that. Like it created this little community but then, I guess got a lot in return as well. Just people, you know, being there for us or watching our kids are sounds really special. And during that time, as pregnant with our second one, I didn’t want to keep teaching, as teaching full time. He was caregiving for my parents, and we’re doing little church. But I didn’t want to go back to teaching with the second one. I offered to go back to work. She said, “Oh, no, you don’t leave me home with two kids.” We ended up starting a business. “We have another kid, let’s start a business.” Oh, we got inspired some more. And basically, we started an indoor play place in a Chicago suburb. And that was super neat because we just got super engaged in our local town. We met so many awesome people. And it’s just nice to be a service to the community and be a part of people’s lives. You know, birthday parties and different things. But, um, yeah, so we did that for a couple of years while with the church. But then, at that time, also my parents had both passed away. And I guess one chapter was closing and a new one was opening that we didn’t even know about. And that’s something that I guess, I’ve, we’re quite adventurous and I’ve always felt that followed where we feel we’re being led or where God’s calling us. And it just felt like a time for a change, right? Yeah.  Yeah. And, and we just kind of felt called we were doing the business. We were doing our church plan. But also our mom had passed and so we felt like we need to go somewhere and do something different. And we wanted to be more involved in ministry. More and more of our vendors were actually moving for the next stages in their life. So, we, yeah, we made a phone call to a friend and found out they were still looking for a pastor down south. And Mobile Alabama, a place we never bank you, barely ever heard of. So, that’s how we got done here. We visited met the community. Just loved them. And it just, it just felt very right. Very natural. And we’ve, it’s been so good for us. We’ve been here three years now and it’s just been a blessing. And I feel it’s been a time and space also where we could pause, slow down a little bit. I mean, that’s just the life down here. But also, yeah, you know, we went through a lot with my parents in different things, even our own faith had its ups and downs at different times. So, it’s such a great place to just, um, I don’t know, I guess heal but also be filled with love.  A place to raise our kids. I mean, yeah, it’s a huge passion for us. I, the thing that got me about this community, I was looking over different, different communities. We’re trying to look for pastors. But this one, they had this video, and it was like, the three-minute video just showing the families. And I remember just the last thing, you know, that was a grandpa just spin around his grandson in the front of the church. I thought, you know, this church is leading with their emphasis on family. And that’s the kind of place I want to pass or that’s a place I want my kids to be a part of a community. I mean, the family is, is crucial, and the environment we place our kids in. And, you know, the things we can feed our kids and guide them with is really maybe the most important thing we can do as parents. So this was the place to raise our kids.

Sammy Uyama: Wow. Goodness, gracious. The thing just goes to show why we wanted you. You are a super couple. I mean, it’s like how many people can do all those things that you just described? Have, at the same time, take care of your parents, very difficult. And having babies and working and take care of others you know. Already so many things going on in your life. You’re like, no, we’re not gonna stop that. We’re gonna take on other people’s problems and the things they’ve got going on in their lives and help them to. And, and a keyword, one of the keywords, I kept hearing again, and again, with everything you just said was ‘we are’. And it just goes to show the, like, the togetherness that you have in everything that you do, right? And, and that is remarkable. There’s no like, “Yeah, I was doing this. And then she was doing that, at the time.” Everything you did, you did together. Which is, I mean, it’s really hard to do. Everyone wants to see that. You know, their mom and their dad holding hands in the park and as being in love with each other and just want to do everything together.

Jario: Ah. Yeah. I feel really blessed because I’m, I’m more than one that’s like, I guess you can say that dependent person. As he likes, he would love to just go on our long walk, right? Whereas I’m, I’m the one that always wants to just be with people. And I’m glad you want to be with me almost all day, every day working. But it’s also something I feel like we wanted to convey to our kids and also as a church. Like, one thing we’ve, since we started ministry was always like, we pastor as a couple. Because we’re a family church, marriage is the most important thing. The blessing is our highest value. And we wanted to model that, you know. It didn’t want to be like, you know, men are just doing something or women are just doing something but no couples. And we have our strengths and our weaknesses. And we work together and I think we’re just really adamant to show that model to the rest of the world. Hmm.

Sammy Uyama: Wow. I think everyone listening, they hear you guys share and they absolutely think, “Oh, that’s exactly what I want. That kind of relationship, right?” And so that’s what you know, that’s what, I guess that’s what we can offer people. We’ll dive into what makes you guys tick and, and how you created relation that you have. But I did want to, I was curious about. I want to follow up with one thing before we dive into that. It’s like you guys, you know really are a great relationship together. Sounds like you love your kids’ life. Such a fantastic relationship with your children. You could just have no built a nice family. And I’m sure I’ve been very happy like that and being a part of a community. And I’m just really just, I’m itching to know like, what is it that is his drive, that drives you to, again and again, to expand beyond yourselves and really be givers to your community rather than just a part of it?

Jario: I think it’s hard to say. Like I feel like it is so much just a part of who we are. And you know, we all have different like callings in life and passions and the ways we, you know, bring joy to others or use our talents. And uh, yeah, I guess we, we truly enjoy it. Like we just, we also enjoy, I don’t want to say the thrill but honestly ministering is a little bit almost like the small business. Like it’s, it’s a lot of work and I’m just seeing where it can go or it could be. And seeing all that potential that could be there, I think is like, also drives us a lot. Um, for me, my parents were definitely a big inspiration. They always did a mission together. And my dad started the church in France, the Unification Church in France. And he planted seven churches there in four years. Well, seven years, I guess. But, yeah, so that was always like an inspiration to me. And something that I guess, I inherited, or also want to continue for them, in a sense, like, what they started. Um, but.  Yeah. I mean, I think we’re both very blessed that our parents both had healthy relationships. You know, I definitely had my ups and downs. My rebellious time in my junior high in high school times, but I felt like, through it all, I did receive a lot of love from my parents. And, and so I wanted to pursue that myself. And one of the things I was very heartbreaking, I guess, when we were doing youth ministry was finding out the reality of so many of my friends and the kids. I was working with. Their situations, their parents, marriages, or you know, their upbringing, and, and just this world around us, you know. I mean, I, it drives me crazy. It breaks my heart to see friends that I grew up with that have brokenness in their life. That, you know, don’t feel like they have a place to land. They don’t feel like they have someone that can help them through a difficult situation, or, you know, they hear stories and so on getting a divorce. And the first time you hear about it is when they’re signing the papers and you’re like, wow, I wish you would have had a community, a place, someone that you could have talked to you before you felt like there was nothing left, you know. I wish some of these kids that, you know, can’t get out of drug addiction, or, you know, can’t get out of whatever pain and mistakes that have happened in their life. And they don’t feel like there’s a place to grow. I, it breaks my heart that they don’t feel like they have that. And so for us, we really wanted to create that kind of community. I remember early on, like, we were talking with one of our someone that was helping out a camp and she said, “You know, I really like what you guys have. It’s just too bad, I’ll never have it.” And I was like, man, it just broke me. Like, that people don’t feel like they can have the grace of God, and that love, and be rebuilt. And, you know, we all want to love. We want that and I want that for my kids. I want that for my families, my friends. But the pathway there is really challenging. And so I guess, we feel blessed. And we feel like if we can be some part of someone getting to their heart mended, their relationships fixed.  Finding a way that there can be hope for marriage, for true love, that it’s a reality that an option for all of us that we want to be a part of that. Yeah. And it’s such an honor to, you know, to get to be one of the first people when a baby is born before COVID, right? And to go and pray over their baby, or preside over marriages, or things like that. I mean, that’s just such an honor to be able to be a part of that in people’s lives.

Sammy Uyama: Wow. That’s so beautiful. If we could end with that and, and call it. Thank you for sharing that. That. Yeah, I think often I, you know, when people, I think when people working hard and doing things, it’s like we can, it becomes like a given that, yeah, that’s just like how they are and what they do. So it’s really nice to hear the heart behind your guys’ life. So you accomplished wonderful things together, and you’re continuing to do things together. And so 13 years you said, right? You’ve been together?

Jario: Yes, Sir. 

Sammy Uyama: So, what is, in your experience, getting to know one another working together. In what ways do you think that being a team has allowed you to accomplish more than you would otherwise say individually? And just the fact that you’re doing it together actually, has been a benefit and is as provided synergy free on what you do?

Jario: So, yeah. What works for our couple? I think one of the big things is, I feel like we both just have a different skill set. I know there are so many times where I’m walking around the kitchen while Lena is at her computer and I spout out some like big dream idea. I’m like, “Hey, let’s start this new ministry and we’re going to, and it’s going to do this and it’s going to change people’s lives like that. And, and we’re gonna do every Tuesday, and it’s gonna have this and this.” And she’s sitting there at the computer and she’s like, “Okay, we’re gonna need this many volunteers. And you know, she’s like, ” This is how it’s gonna work, you know. And then she’s like, this is the emails we have to prepare.” And she organizes all of my crazy thoughts. And I’ll be like, that’s like, the most common thing you like to walk into our house, and I’m like, to walk around stuff. She’s like, sit down, I say at it again. And, and then we just riff off each other. She’s very creative, in like, seeing how things should look. And, and then I kind of like, throw out some big random idea. She molds it and shapes it and makes it look pretty nice and digestible for other people. But you need both, right? Like, you need that. The vision and the details. And I think what’s nice is like, I feel more well rounded together. I feel like we each bring different skill sets, different passions. But we also have a lot of, I guess, similar passions and interests for education or teaching. We both enjoy writing, speaking. Like some different things like that. So, that’s also really helped our synergy to just have some common ground you know. In common things are striving for, especially early in our marriage. Like having something to put our hearts and together, serving a higher purpose together. Something outside of just like our own life. I think is was really good for us.

Sammy Uyama: Lena, you said you’re the dependent one. But it sounds like to me that without you, Jerry wouldn’t get anything done. Then, I think it’s like the perfect union and of marriage. Of like, you know, the dreamer and the practical, right? It’s like, imagine like every dreamer, like, wants someone that can help them turn their dreams into reality. And then in every, like, really good doer would love someone that can inspire them and give them vision, right? And so to work together, it’s, it’s really amazing.  Yeah.

Jario: Yeah. And then it’s great, you know, to just, you know, also bring the masculine and the feminine in, right? I mean, like, something that she’s writing or, you know, she’s trying to talk and to a certain audience and I go well. But also you got to think about the men and this is how they would. Well, you know, I write in Sunday, she goes, “Well, what about the teenage girls? Like, they’re, they’re responding very differently.” And you’ve got to address them, too. And so I think, often, you know, that’s a really great thing that whether we’re preaching or writing a lesson for the school of love, or, you know, just in conversation that we can always kind of hit the two dynamics. And I always know that that’s going to be there. So, I don’t kind of gloss over something that’s really crucial for my feminine audience as well.

Sammy Uyama: Yes. Even in just that regard, I can’t imagine two better-prepared people to bring those two elements. Like Jario, five boys in your family?

Jario: Six.

Sammy Uyama: Six boys. Yeah, really rough house, right? Very in tune with that masculine nature. And, and Lena, like, I don’t smoke, right? But like, you have no offense, you have one of the earliest handwriting’s I’ve ever seen and just very intuitive. What I mean, it’s very in tune with your femininity.

Jario: Yes, that is true.

Sammy Uyama: What helped? What decisions did you make then? What conversations did you have? Or what happened at the beginning that set you guys on that trajectory that brought you to the space that you’re in now?

Jario: Yeah, no. I mean, we, we started out. We got married. We, you know, our blessing. We really started with the commitment to love. You know, that we, I could see because I had my cold feet moment and I could see that she just loved me and allowed me the space that I needed to process things. And that it wasn’t just about me, it was her commitment to God. That she was going to love this train wreck and die, and help me out, right? And then I was like, “I’m gonna commit to God to love this woman.” And so we kind of started our marriage, really, with the commitment, we’re going to make love. We’re going to create love here. And then, we, we moved that into our ministry. Lena was already really involved with our youth ministry for a long time. And we felt like our relationship isn’t just going to be about me and her, but how we can serve others. So, we’ve jumped right into that full force. Just getting involved in people’s lives and seeing how we can help out in the church and with other kids, and teens that were going through what we went through a few years before. Yeah, it’s crazy to think back to that time. It feels like so long ago now, you know. I was still in college and like, but yeah, there are definitely things we did along the way. I think also, practically, we always play to our strengths, and we’re okay with it. You know, like, even just learning to cook, Jerry already knew how to cook. When we got married. Honestly, my mama was cooked for me, and we’re married young, and I still live at home before we got married. And anyway, so I had to learn how to do that and he’s still the chef today. And just like embracing that it’s okay. I used to struggle with it sometimes, especially later, as we had kids. Like, I’m not the perfect Mom, you know, I don’t, I don’t. So, Jario is a better cook. I don’t think so either. We kind of out of luck there. But, you know, I like to just accept that God makes us all different. And like, we have our different strengths. And I really appreciated that too, though, that he will, you know, help with the dishes or household things or like, just kind of shared responsibility in life. I think, you know, before kids just sharing like things around the house or, and then with kids, even we co-parent very much. And, and I know it’s different for everyone. But for us, it really works that way. And I guess also both we work together. Once, and she had done for an education degree, and she was working in that field. And she taught me a lot about that. And then, I just remember also then, like dealing with youth ministry, because I think we could have sat in the world of just youth. You know, or with their children’s ministry and, and us working in a youth ministry. But then, I remember also that me and her kind of grew. And we’re counseling a lot of these youth and we were trying to talk with their parents. And often we saw this disconnect. And I just remember seeing like, the gains we can make with the youth, but then if their parent’s marriage was out of tune or the relationship of parents and children were out, then there is only so far we could go. And so, I think we move from just like, okay, we can do kind of help with Sunday school and help with youth ministry to like, now we got a pastor and work with the whole family. Because the couples need to work on their marriages. And that’s going to be you know, impacting their children’s whole lives. You know, and the kids need to work on their relationship with their parents or with their siblings. So, it just was this whole thing. And so, I think it kind of shaped us from working with children to seeing that, actually, the best impact we can have on our kids is having healthier marriages and better parenting styles. Speaking of healthy marriages. Another thing that I think helped us out too, of course, was learning. For me, I had to learn that if Jerry needed space, it didn’t mean he’s like ignoring me, you know. I had to learn how to give him space when he needed it if we had an argument or you know, I don’t know, there’s a stressful situation. Of course, I’m the one that wants to just talk or hug or something. And sometimes, he needed a minute to process and I would get especially early on and that’s our one thing sometimes that’ll still come up we’re working on you know. But for me to realize, to allow to give him that space if he needs to go on a walk or just like be in that men’s nothing box, right? I can’t even imagine and nothing box but, and for him learning to listen, right? Just listen, and sometimes she just needs to talk and not solve her problems, right? That was like, “I’m done like, I am okay. That’s your problem. Oh yeah, I got a solution.” And she’s like, “No. I’m not looking for an answer. Like, I just need to vent or be upset about this.” And so appreciated that I, I mean, I remember like 70 of our first phone calls where she’d be like, “Oh, how was your day?” And I’m like, “I, yeah, I went to work.” And she’s like, “Okay, so what did you do?” And I’m like, “Laid some sod.” And she’s like, “How did it feel?” “They were hot. I felt hot.” Learning those emotional things like she needed to hear what was exciting to be and what was making me upset. And also she was trying to coach me to ask more questions of her. Like, don’t just ask how my day was but what those conversations felt like. And why that made me happy and, and what, what was so great about having that cup of latte, you know, in the afternoon. Like, ask those deeper questions to get it in your head. I don’t remember anything like that but it’s improved a lot. Like I feel it’s true, Jario does not know how to share his feelings, and he had a harder time opening up earlier on. But over time, I do feel like we’re also like best friends. You know, they’ll say that. And I feel like, we both share quite openly and honestly, in general. And, and I think it improves over time, too. You learn and you learn how to, you know, talk better with each other, and how to share. Sometimes also, I had to learn if I’m upset, I might get more passionate. We’re not really a couple that yells. Like, every couple has different fighting styles, I guess. Like, we never, we don’t really do that. But sometimes I’ll get a passionate tone or so, you know. I’ve learned to just little things. Learning how to share your frustrations in you know, the best way. Um, wow, those are some things that we’ve learned and grown together with.

Sammy Uyama: The couple of things that you shared that I think are so valuable for people listening is, Leena that one of the things you said was, was key for your relationship early on, was that you went through these emotions in the beginning of not. How I’m not being I’m supposed to be, right? Or, like, I don’t know how to do this or do that. And so I’m not able to be the wife or be the mom that I think I’m supposed to be. And like letting go those things and are like, feeling like what your couples supposed to look like. And allowing yourselves to create your relationship is something unique. That plus everything Jario, you’re just talking about, of, like, responding to one another and adapting to, you know, this is how I am. This is how you are. How can I grow to be what you need of me, right? That’s, that’s like, you know, starting from nothing. By starting from like a blank slate and then growing like a cute little plant together. The awesome oak tree, you know. You’re growing something together. And then, and then adapting and working together to make it whatever it can be. Rather than, like, just trying to like, you know, those bonds is where you like, you type it, and you try to shape it how you want it to look like, right? You just kind of like allowed. Let’s say you’d love God to work in your relationship to bring out the best in each of you. I think that’s, huge.

Jario: Thank you. I love how you’re able to pull all that out.

Sammy Uyama: That’s just what it’s, what I’m hearing you guys say. You guys did it. 

Jario: No, I have a big one that my father always taught me about like, make, you have to create love, right? It’s not something you fall into. It’s not something that just, you know, there are times, you know, where we don’t like each other, but we choose to love each other, right? And but he really, I think taught us and I think that’s been like a bedrock for us of like, “Hey, if you’re not feeling it right now, figure out why you’re disconnected.” Like, if you’re not, if you’re communicating and she’s not responding, well, you’re not communicating, right? So figure out what’s going on in that give and take. What, what would touch her heart? Or what space do you need to get so that she can respond and look for that way? Like how do we make a connection here? How do we form it? Because you know, there’s going to be times where, yeah, I communicate differently. Like you said, I came from six brothers. Like, we communicate with grunts and punches. I mean, it was like, if we didn’t tease each other, then I felt like, “Hey, no one teased me today.” They don’t love me like, and I found out like, “Oh, if I tease her too much, she’s gonna think I don’t like her.” But I learned to like, “Oh, she didn’t respond to my, my teasing of affection today. So maybe I have to show affection in a different way.” But, but that, you know, love is something we do. Love is something we create. Some, something that can be made on any given day. Like we can choose when we wake up in the morning, I’m going to make a connection. I’m gonna figure this out. And even if I’m mad, or I’ve got a bad night’s sleep better than the day we can figure this out.

Sammy Uyama: So, how about what are some of the things you’ve got going on in your relationship now that are helping you guys out or habits or agreements that you’ve made?

Jario: Yeah, I think one big thing has been conversations at night. You know, I’m totally like, a, I get the kids about I to watch the show. I can go straight to bed like I’m cool, right? I, you know, I’ll go for my walk. Talk with God. And I’ll feel like I got everything off my chest, I’m good to go to bed. And but she wants to sit and share and, and I remember like sometimes I’d be like, “Oh, we spent the whole day together like, I know what you meant. I know it gave for lunch, and I overheard that conversation you had. So, I read it now.” But there was just a need to connect, it wasn’t so much about like, downloading information. Which is how I saw often in early aids, but it was about connecting and being heard and understood. And so at night, we do make it a point, you know, before I, you know, take my like, downtime or after it. But I got to choose, I got to make it a point. I’m going to sit with you a lot and we’re going to express our feelings. And I’m going to share about my day, and more than two words. And, and that thing is learning to connect on that. Yeah, I appreciate that a lot. Because you know, when you’re young couple. I was about to say a couple of months. But we’re still like one of these kids basically. Before kids, you can still have loved after kids. No, I was gonna say before kids, I remember we would often just talk late into the night in our bed, right? But now half the time the kids fall asleep in our bed and like, so. Yeah, for me, it means a lot. It’s important to have just shared about our day, like Jario has said on the couch or, and also for me, even though we’re together, it’s like, well for working on. I guess one struggle we have working together all the time, is sometimes we’ll like to go on a date and we’ll be like, okay, let’s not talk about anything work. And then we’re like, “Well, what do we talk about? It’s like our life, right?” So I’m trying to, I guess that’s where the evening conversations. For me. It’s, it’s different from the day where we’re like brainstorming ideas or making plans or, you know, organizing things. And it’s more of how are you? How are you doing? Where are you at right kind of thing would you experience today? And of course, I’m learning each other’s love languages. You know, of course, that’s, that’s a big one. And yeah. Yeah. And then I think another thing because our couple and our family are related like our kids are a big part of this, right? And so, we’re going to go, we have, you know, we’re, we’re writing School of love and this time, and that we’re trying to fit in ministry. And then, we’ve got this meeting here. And some weeks, we can get to swamp-like every day, and the kids come home. And we, but we, you know, we make sure we have dinner together. You know, we always sit down and have dinner. And then we’re very quick to jump into the opportunity of downtime. And we’re like, it’s Tuesday afternoon, but I know I don’t have anything going on. We’re all going to the beach, and we’re just going to hang out and do whatever we like, or we’re going to go find new parks. Like yeah, at some we always hear from people is like, well, you guys always find so many new parks like where do you find even from here, there? You know, but we, I think we make it a conscious effort. Like, when we get time, we’re just gonna like, love up our kids. We’re gonna love up to each other, we’re gonna go and spend that time together. Yeah, we work hard and we get busy. Often, we like our weekends aren’t always our weekends. You know. I could spend Sunday after church counts and someone vote for you. So, when we get that time, data, and sometimes we felt guilty may “Whoah, we can’t just like lounge around.” But we’ve really made an effort to like, spoil our kids with love. You know, we don’t, we don’t have loads of money. We don’t have loads of all this other stuff. But hey, we’re gonna go and we’re just going to play games. We’re going to be silly at the beach or at the park and, and just load up on that time. And I think that’s been a big choice of ours for just ministry in general. Like we don’t want our kids or our marriage to feel like it’s sacrificed in order to do church work. Because I think part of my calling from God is, is to love my filmer, love my wife, love my kids. And how can I be talking to other people about their marriages and their families, if I’m not really making a deliberate effort to invest in that? So.

Sammy Uyama: I love that last point to share. Basically, you know, work hard and play hard, right? And first, making sure that you’re loving life and then helping other people love their lives. Have fun. Fun fact, for every listening that might be confused. Yeah, Alabama is actually on the coast. It has an ocean.

Jario: It’s beautiful. The Gulf Coast.

Sammy Uyama: You know, the, the comment you made Leena about children. And you know, this nice late night conversations used to have, I guess the challenges of, you know, working on a couple when their children, I don’t think I would have fully understood that until me, my wife had children of our own. Yeah, it becomes, it can become the strain and like, you can’t do things the way you did prior, right? And, you know, we up until we had children. We were together for like, eight years by that point. And we said very confidently every year, “Oh, this year was way better.” You know, we’re more in love than last year, and it was better than last year, we’re closer. We said that every year until we had kids when we’re like, I don’t know. I think we could just kind of barely scraping by this time.

Jario: Right?

Sammy Uyama: Right. You can’t really compare them anymore.

Jario: Yeah, the different stages of your relationship and the different milestones that you go through together. And I think that’s a big part of it, too. Just like, you have only shared experiences together and the good but also the hardships that you go together, I think, bring you closer. And yeah, one thing we’ve learned more recently is also just making time for friends I think has been important as well. Like, make, like, I guess it’s what you shared about having play hard, have fun with count kids, but also, making sure that because we tend to, you know, serve a lot or like help people all the time. So also making room for like, okay, we can just hang out and have fun, be with their friends, right? That’s been really nice. And one of the things I thought of was finding I guess what makes each other tick is that right time. Like for me, for me, this is not you’re probably gonna laugh. Like Jario, I’m having an organized clean house makes me tick. Like I need that in my life to function. And so like.

Sammy Uyama: I’m exactly the same way as my wife is my wife is completely opposite. She could not care less.

Jario: Yeah. So, when Jario takes care. If he thinks to help me reorganize a mudroom or clear out a, you know, shed or whatever it is like then that means a lot to me. And I guess they say happier wife, happier life, right? But so also making efforts and finding out what makes the other person happy. That might take a little more effort on your part because it doesn’t necessarily mean that much to you. But just like.

Sammy Uyama: Yeah, what makes Jario tick them off?

Leena: What else, honey?

Jario: Quite a kitchen, the cooking. I leave my fit. I, I’m with people all the time and talk with people and I definitely you know, Leena will be like, “Oh yeah, he’s such an extrovert. He likes to be around people all the time.” But I definitely also like, you know, to just be me and the frying pan. And I’ve been on and just things I can control that don’t have weird stuff. Well, we’ve been tap away people I didn’t expect my food. It’s, I know what I’m doing and only you can cook people that make life.

Sammy Uyama: So, what are this other side? What are some things you like to cook? Cheerio?

Jario: Oh, um, I mean, everything. I, I’m more how I know like to follow recipes. I like to look at my grades, and just kind of come up with new ways to put things together. But I love to make my mom Stroganoff with mushroom cream sauce on pasta. I love to make that. I love to make my cabbage and potato with kielbasa sausage. And, but I love Mexican. And I’ve been trying a lot of Indian and Asian food recently, which is totally outside of my comfort zone. But I figured it out, I think now, which is fun. So yeah, I like this experiment and, but the frustrating thing is my kids don’t at all. Those amazing Neil Ave like some big roast and it’ll like, I’ll be in there for like four hours. This great thing and then I can you put in some chicken tenders. I don’t really like this. I want to see you smile when you eat my food. I actually learned a little bit more now just how Jario has cooking because I’ve noticed he doesn’t multi-task as well when he’s cooking.

Sammy Uyama: Alright. So, Leena, you did mention already one thing, but I was curious about your guy’s relationship. It sounds all rosy and perfect all the time, which I’m sure is not actually the case. And like in any relationship, there are challenges, but especially when working together. I’m sure there are many things that come up. So what are some of the challenges that you guys face in? Working together?

Jario: Yeah, I mean, I guess, because we’re just together all the time. And like, honestly, we’re still figuring out how to. I always think, “Oh, I’m gonna figure out the perfect new plan or organizational chart or calendar, you know. Let’s try block scheduling, or let’s try this or that. And I was thinking, like, oh, you know, once I find the perfect method, or they’ll just be so smooth, and life will be perfect. So, we’re honestly still learning and I was trying different things. Like, you would think we would have been experts with this whole quarantine via home. Like, because we’re already working that way. Anyway, for the most part, we’re at home sometimes at church, but, um, but still, like, you know, challenges will come. And so I think a big part of it is just that we’re together a lot, which is actually what I really enjoy and appreciate, you know. Um, but then sometimes being able to give each other space like Jerry needs or doing other things outside the house. Like we share being outside or, um. Yeah, and then, um, I think what works really well is when we’re in the same project together, and we’re really excited about creating something. But sometimes she gets really excited about something she’s creating. And I’ll like, run over, and I’ll be like, “Hey, let me share this idea with you. I’m really excited and to be like, Ah, ha, ha, ha. Okay.” And I’m like, “Why you don’t love my ad? Like, what’s going on?” You know, and it happens another way too, all the time. And she’ll say, “Hey, you know, I have another question. I have another question.” And I’m, like, I’m doing my own thing. And I think that is, yeah, sometimes it’s like, making the space for each other to work. But then also, because we’re always sharing ideas with each other, giving full attention when something really excites the other one. Like finding that out, like oh, wait, this is a time that Leena is really excited about this idea. So, I should put my computer away. Listen to her. We’ve always got ideas. And so we can always be like, oh, well, it’s just another one of your ideas. So yeah, distinguishing. Passionate is another idea.

Sammy Uyama: So like, yeah, being together is great all the time. But making the intentional effort to not take that for granted. And, you know, take the other person who’s granted and just let that be normal. And just how it always is. Yeah.

Jario: I think one of our I don’t know if I’d say struggles, but we haven’t mastered date nights. I would say, that’s something we, I would like to prioritize more now that our kids are back in school. What we’ve done before his lunch dates are just, you know, they’re in school, it’s very easy. But that’s the thing. Yeah, I think we’re, you know, working on. I guess just that time together. Additionally, that’s more just around your marriage and each other. Outside of like, work or your kids. So that’s something we’re working on. And I’m glad you asked that question because sometimes I think people see us and assume like, oh, everything’s so easy, or just works for them are those happy. You know, Jario has a great smile. But it’s, like, you know, we are human, just like anyone, and it hasn’t always been easy. And we’ve definitely had our ups and downs and our challenges. And I would say our hardest times are weren’t necessarily caused by us, but more like, just situations in life. Even that comes at you out of nowhere. That, that you go through together, and that’ll, you know, spur you to be more stressed or less patient or little things like that. So, just figuring out how to go through that together and, you know, give each other what was the other person needs during that time. But then when you get through it together, then you grow closer and you, you know, grow a deeper bond. And so. Yeah, we were getting stressed out by other people’s needs or other people’s priorities that they would voice on us and say, “This is your and I think one thing we’ve done this COVID time actually, well, this year has just been a time of like, what is it that excites us and That’s where we want to be. And, you know, we can do a bunch of stuff. Yes. I’m always like Lena, you’re really capable at a lot of things, or even she’s getting coaching and some, you know, you’re, you’re someone that can be great at so many things. But where are you? Excellent, you know, and I think that that was something we had to figure out. Like, there’s a lot of things we could kind of put our time and even do a really good job. But deciding where is it that we’re making the most impact that, you know, that really calls to our heart and things that we’re excited about? And yeah, I mean, I guess all those have really come to like, helping the family and went away. That isn’t about that and, and being comfortable and not guilty about saying no. To the other things.

Sammy Uyama: If you haven’t figured out that date night thing, let us know, we can do some tips in that area, too. Yeah.

Jario: One thing that might work, especially because you ll don’t have family and, or you do have family in the area? No. But um. No, you don’t? Okay. Yeah. Yeah. So just like us. One thing we’ve thought of, and we should try is like swapping babysitting with our friends who have kids. You know, like, well watch your kids along with ours. Of course, you know, see, you can go on a date, and let’s swap and you do that another time. Like, I think we’d like to try to. Okay, yeah.

Sammy Uyama: I like it and seems like a sustainable thing that can work, and everybody’s happy. So, uh, this would not be the Love, Life and Legacy podcast, if we did not talk about sex ed, right? You’re ready to jump into it? I have some questions. The reason we talk about sex, just for context, for everybody is that we feel it’s so foundational to everything else, right? And like, especially in marriage, I’d like to have the kind of relationship that we want to have the kind of relationship that you guys have, have shared with us and describe for us, is like, what we believe is like sex is integral to that, right? So that’s why I like to talk about it. And so I’m curious if you’ve recognized and the ways in which sex has contributed to your relationship. And if you see any correlation between know when it’s going well in the bedroom, and, or if it’s not going well in the bedroom, and it’s affecting the other parts of your life, especially relationship with one another.

Leena: Yeah. So, um, I mean, it kind of goes back to the beginning of our story. Because we, you know, chose to also wait for sex and marriage. So I think that’s all very connected to this. So we’ve also only, you know, been with each other, which I think is a beautiful thing. But for me growing up, and like, you know, saving yourself is not like the easiest thing. So, I mean, I was excited and ready personally. Once we got together, and you know, we waited until we felt the time was right. But so, I one of my main love languages is touch. So, I think to me, although I know Jario enjoys it. Like, I think for me, especially I feel a lot of connection. And, you know, just like cared for and love through being intimate. So, yeah, it’s, it is a huge part. And sometimes it’s true that you can feel off in other areas if you’re not feeling together and not sexually. But I would say we do pretty well in that area.

Sammy Uyama: That was a little humblebrag for.

Jario: Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely, I definitely noticed connection lag if, if we aren’t. There’s, you know, just little things, I think. She’ll get more annoyed with little things I do if we’re not if we haven’t had sex in a bit, right? So, like, we’ve had a lot of long calls recently. We have the election and one calls this afternoon the kids are at school, and we need to make the connection. So yeah, I mean, and yeah, and we just felt more relaxed and happy and we’re all right. Yeah. And yeah, just processing emotions. We, we’ve never had like angry or makeup sex actually is funny. First things first, when.

Leena: Actually it’s funny. First things first, when we’ve been in fights. I’ve been like, “Man, I wish we’re one of those like angry makeup sex people or couples.” Like we’ve never been able to do that. But so, I guess we owe is do it in love. But.

Sammy Uyama: Yeah, that’d be interesting. That’d be interesting. Get one of those couples on. I, I don’t know. Is that real? Is that just in the movies?

Jario: It could be movies. I don’t know. I don’t, I’m not that open. Like, I don’t know, I haven’t asked my friends. But it’s definitely different. Yeah, I mean, like, yeah, there’s the connection after but if I’m not connected to you before. Like, if we’re not like vibing, then yeah, could feel like a chore to feel like, like, it’s not the same excitement. And I think it has been important. Hmm. Channel is willing to connect with each other before we also engage. Yeah, I think it’s definitely a huge part of the relationship. And it’s been, like, you know, we’ve been married a while now. And people often talk about, you know, growing out of love and losing connection over the years, and that marriage gets boring. But I feel like we’ve just grown together more and you know, you grow more in love with, with each other in different ways. Or when you see the other person accomplish something new or, but also, like, physically near relationship, you get to know each other really well. The more you are together, the more you learn what the other person likes. And so, you, I think it gets better. Yeah. Yeah, because of the physical and emotional. But then I mean because I do think that is so tight. And I think sex isn’t just this physical thing. I think there is so much to the trust, the bond, that connection, appreciation of each other that goes into it. That is felt. But I think, yeah, also just now knowing, like, how to please her early on. Like, you know, I mean, we never, I don’t think we’ve ever had a problem with orgasm. You know, it’s always been, I think, is part of what it has been like, and we’ve learned better how to do that. But like, meet the other person’s needs first. I mean, it was just like, hey, she could have you know, many, so I might as well make sure she has one first and then, and then we’re good to go, right? And then, I don’t feel bad if I go in 30 seconds to a minute. But I don’t feel any guilt. You know, I mean, I last longer some but you know, but um, I think that’s been a big thing. Like, I guess because of how we respect each other. Normally, it also goes into the bed. She wants to please me, she, she’s always like, “Does that feel good? Does that fit?” And so there is this like communication and, and now yeah, more naturally. Now, we’ve been married for 13 years. So, um, I know. But you know, even after 13 years, sometimes you can find new ways.

Sammy Uyama: I think, yeah, well, you guys have shared it’s like, you know, through your sexual relationship. it’s just another avenue for you to express your care for the other person, right? Which I mean, just like everything that you’ve been talking about, this whole time is about like, you know, how can you be a giver in your relationship with one another, right? And yeah, it makes sense. That wouldn’t be any different than this. We’re just like, Alright, you know, I want to feel, I’m gonna be worried about me feeling good. You can worry about you feeling good and hopefully it works out, right? Be very vested in the other person. Hey, um, you know, stereotypical relationships. Like you know, the guys more interested in sex, and then the woman’s kind of like the kind of go longer, right? People might think the same just hearing, “Oh, yeah, six boys super manly man.” And “Yeah, Leena, apparently, she’s super feminine.” But like Leena, something you said earlier might make me it sounded like, makes you feel like it might be the other way around. If you guys how do like, well, how does the dynamic work in your guys’ relationship?

Jario: Yes, you are correct, right?  She’s always like, we can do it three more times right now. Like, honey, I’m fired.

Sammy Uyama: Yeah.

Jario: I let, and you know, that’s a funny thing. Because honestly, I’ll hear about like, Daddy groups or things that I don’t hear what they talk about specifically, but you know, just that they’ll talk about things like that of the urges and the wife not wanting to have sex or whatever. And sometimes I feel so like because we are opposite. To answer your question I think I do have to tend to have a higher need or desire for that physical relationship. And so sometimes, it feels so weird, because it’s like, I’m like, oh, I should be in the men’s group. And he should be in the women’s group. That’s amazing. Yeah, it’s been interesting. Also, yeah, and I’ve found, you know, I’ve looked around and they’re like, you know, that, that’s kind of a myth. But it definitely likes, maybe questions sometimes. I’m like, I love my wife. I think she’s attractive. But I just, I, you know, I worked hard today or I did this or we, you know, I just had a great conversation. I’m totally good to go, to bed and I would feel bad. Like, I don’t want to like jump on her right now. I mean, I always wait when we do, but it wasn’t like, yeah, maybe because she’s so eager to have it. Like, I’m not like, “Oh, I wish, you know. Like, oh, hopefully, this week I’m like, if I want to have sex right now, like, she’ll stop what she’s doing. I mean, maybe that part of it. You know, there’s of course times or he’ll initiate or be in the mood, and I’m not necessarily. It’s not always me, but, um, yeah, and I guess I’ve experienced like, what’s typically the guy’s perspective? Or sometimes there are times you take it personally. And you feel, I’ve tried to explain before to Jario where like, sometimes, um, you like, feel rejected? Yeah. Like, you know, he was saying, “Oh, don’t feel bad, or it’s, I’m just like, exhausted or whatnot.” But I’ve experienced that where you’ll take it personally, like, oh, they don’t, I don’t know, you know. You feel like, kind of rejected, but, um, I mean, we haven’t had that in a while. But, but yeah, we’ve experienced kind of the reserves. So like, yeah.  Yeah, when we were so much taking care of your parents or difficulties and things with the church. Like, I definitely am affected by stress sometimes. And I’m just like, I don’t have the emotional. Because yeah, I think sex is an emotional thing and emotional investments that sometimes is like, I don’t have that capacity right now to invest that. So I mean, yeah, we’ve had our roles, but I think we’ve also tried to make that reconnection. Yeah. 

Sammy Uyama: Yeah. Every, every, most every other guy that’s listening would completely or married guy will completely understand what you just said. Sadly, no? Don’t worry. There’s a whole tribe of people that get you. Well, I’m curious how, you know, seems like you’re really comfortable with each other. This dynamic. But like, you know, when you hear Jario, when you hear other guys talk about, like, you know, being the initiator. And does that ever make you feel like, or did it in the past make you feel like, oh, I’m doing something wrong. And near Leena, even like, it’s, you know, as like hearing other women. The way they talk about sex or like how women are supposed to have sex. Did that ever make you feel like there’s something wrong with you? Or made you feel uncomfortable in any way?

Jario: Yeah, for me, definitely. That was a challenge, like questioning. Like, you know, oh, I hear people think of sex every six seconds. And I’m like, I don’t and I mean, there are other things on my mind. I love it. But I don’t think about it every second. And I wouldn’t, yeah, especially earlier on when I was kind of not as secure myself. I’d be like, there’s something wrong, because I mean, I’ve got a beautiful wife. And we do make great love when we have you know, we do it often. But, but yeah, I’d be like, I always tried to want to have it like every 10 seconds. Like other people, it was a weird thing. So it was good to find that other person. Sex drives are not always male, female. It’s, it’s, they actually what I’ve been looking at is who’s actually most couples have one person with the highest sex drive. And it’s rare that they match in their sex drive, or even in stages. I think there are some stages where I think I wanted it more, right? Yeah, yeah. There are times that.

Sammy Uyama: I think like, yeah, high drive, low drive. I think that’s just, I think it’s impossible to have a couple of it’s exactly the same even, even if both were really high. The gap that does exist will put a strain on the relationship, right? Because one will want it more than the other. It’s yeah, it’s, I think it’s a very common part of it. What are you, Leena? 

Jario: It is interesting. Like, it’s just weird being the opposite of like, the common or what people think it’s like, in a relationship, you know? So it’s interesting, knowing both perspectives are like, having my perspective. But it tends to be the men, man’s perspective, a lot of times. So sometimes, I’ll hear things and from a girl from away, right? And I’ll be like, “Why don’t you just go have sex with him? Like, what’s the big deal?” Like, so I don’t know what I mean. I don’t like to say it like that. And like, because I know there’s so much more to it, and maybe she’s not being emotionally set. Or, and I will say that might be why also part of why I’m so comfortable is because I do feel, you know, secure and safe and emotionally set first. But, um, yeah, other than that, I guess just in general that, that concept like it just, it just makes me feel a little funnier out of place. You don’t fall into the typical categories. Or I guess don’t have as many people like or women to talk to about that have similar, you know, experiences at a marriage retreat, at energize merger trade. Which is awesome. I remember in the woman’s group, I learned to have one other sister who is similar to mean. We just gravitated towards each other. You know, because you can relate.

Sammy Uyama: Yeah. Thanks for answering that. And it’s this kind of is good. This is one of my next questions. I get this is like, in one way, it might be the case. Like, but in the beginning, when you first got married, begin having sex. What surprised you about how sex works? Maybe this is one of them. Maybe like you, you guys are in the, you guys, in the unique position that you happen to care for many other people. So it’s like, there are other things that you see that people commonly have misunderstandings about sex. And maybe either of those you could speak to be interesting to hear.

Jario: Sure. Well, um, there were definitely things I was surprised about with sex. So my parents weren’t so open and honest about it with me. And I love them. I think they did a great job in parenting. But sex isn’t something they talk much to me about. And I don’t know how in-depth they went in sex ed. And I guess friends and I didn’t talk about it so much. So I was quite oblivious, to be honest. Yeah, she, she was really surprised that there’s movement in her concept. Like we both, I put it in her, and then that sucks. And we just lay on each other. That’s what I first thought, you know, again. So now, I seriously thought you just go in there. And that’s it. So that’s pretty. Um, uh, I guess surprise to there’s so many concepts, especially, you know, for people who wait for marriage. There are so many concepts of, oh, you need to have experienced. You need to get to know what you like, before, you know, finding your person try out and learn different things. And so I guess, I don’t know if surprised, but confirmed what I was hoping would be true, right? Is that I really didn’t feel that when we got together at all. Um, I just felt like it was fun to learn and explore and figure it out together what it is. Anything else? No, I mean. Yeah, I think the first several times like, “Hey, it doesn’t always work the way.” We, yeah, we have been getting tired. Yeah, I mean, it’s more exhausting sometimes. Like, how do I give God? Like, I gotta hit the treadmill? Keep up. Yeah, it’s messier, you know. Yeah, it’s I, I have a box of tissues or bullet toilet paper in the back. And well, and it’s like, oh, about movies, they just kind of have sex. And you know, everybody’s, you know, it’s like, “Oh, no, stop to clean up or wait for sex is awesome.” And we learn and grow together? Yeah, I think it was. I think, I, later, was saying, like, it’s not always about that experience beforehand. I remember we went to a conference shortly after. And someone was talking about, they’re trying to encourage to wait before marriage. And they said, “Oh, a lot of your friends will tell you, you have to practice sex. Or you’re married, you know, practice and see how you work it out together.” And he said, “Yeah, but if you just wait for your partner. Then you can practice whenever you want in a marriage. You can be like, “Hey, that didn’t work out. Let’s practice again. Hey, let’s practice again.” Not a lot of practicing and figured out what pleases her, what pleases me. And like she said, I mean, still at 13 years, we explore. We try out each other. We, you know, take a little bit this way or that way are we. “Oh, wow. Hey, that was excellent.” Oh, that was pretty vocal. Also about what, what she enjoys and doesn’t. And I think, wow, so we, you know, we’ve always been, I think comfortable with that. But yeah, learning is different, you know, different things. So, even at different times, sometimes that changed. 

Leena: And I guess part of what I didn’t have too many surprises because I didn’t really know what to expect. I like had no concept really so much. Um, so yeah, honestly, it was just awesome. It was great. I was excited to finally be able to consummate and be together. And I think in the first year was yeah, anyways sweet. I remember, yeah. We practice a lot. Yeah.

Sammy Uyama: Oops, didn’t go well that time, I guess. Yeah, I love that. That means such a thing. Were strong advocates for is like the value in waiting until you’re in or you’re married, you’re blessed for sex. And that’s a myth that we’re constantly needing to debunk is that exactly. So you have to practice and be good at it. And it’s great just to hear a real-life example of how that’s not the case. And from what you shared, Leena, it sounds like you’re about as blank of a slate as it comes to when it, when it comes to sex, right? And, and in the, we made it together. You made it your own, your own unique thing. I think this concept of like, meaning to practice. It comes from this idea of like, performance. It’s like, not, you know, you’re not really like actually being genuine with one another. And like, opening up and building relationships. It’s like, “Hey, I need to, like, be a stud or, you know, perform right and to do well in the bedroom.” And it’s just like a different mindset.

Leena: I guess one of the things that surprised me, and this is not necessarily in the beginning, but for women, how your body changes, you know. When you have kids, or I guess even maybe during PMS. But and just that your drive changes or your desires, or even the way you have sex does change a lot with kids. And I know, especially when women are pregnant or just had a baby, I know that sometimes that’s a really hard time for a couple. So I think having learned to just, just learn about that, and what you know, what hormones and what things are going on and not take it personally when. Um, yeah, the women’s bodies do crazy things. It’s amazing.

Jario: Well, then after whatever I went. We have kids, and it’ll be like, “Oh, the kids are asleep, right?” You know, and we’re like, “Alright, let’s go and add in because they’re in their room sometimes.” So it’s like, “Hi, I think it’s deep sleep now.”

Leena: As a baby, longtime guess.

Jario: You know, yeah. I mean that they’re.

Sammy Uyama: They’re older now, right? 

Leena: Now I locked the door. Adrian, they can be started.

Jario: Or, you know, now that they’re back in school. That’s like, oh, daytime sex works. So I don’t worry about anybody. Nobody wakes up. Yeah.

Sammy Uyama: So, maybe the last question before we start wrapping up is in your decades, I’m going on two decades of experience. What do you say it actually takes to have a good sexual relationship? And with you know, there’s a lot of gurus and experts and things and magazines and random people online, say. But like, you know, you’ve been through the trenches, you actually have walked the walk. You know what you’re talking about. So, we’ve said, we can have something really valuable to learn from you. So, what would you say?

Jario: I want to say, I think, starting the relationship. How we started it. I felt like it was really important for me to make sure Leena felt like, she was safe, and she could trust me. And there was a love and care and concern. I remember, like, because it you know, in our faith, we had this 40 day after marriage. You know, you, you’re, you’re encouraged to take 40 days of just getting to know each other and, and not jumping into it. And I remember, after 40 days, I was like, okay, we’ve done the 40 days. And yeah, but I’m not ready yet. And we did 21 years from now 40 days. I really, I’m really glad. You know like, I felt like, I feel like there’s a lot of trauma that can be hit. I mean, sex is such. It’s a physical, emotional, spiritual explosion that happens and the most exciting thing but it can also be a scary thing. It can be, you know, anything that’s really powerful, like nuclear power. It’s like, it can be harnessed for good and energizing the world or it can be super destructive. And so starting and making sure that she felt loved, and cared, and like, this relationship is secure. And when we’re having sex, it’s, it’s going to be something that I’m going to be concerned about you and how you’re feeling. I feel like if you didn’t get to that place, and make sure then, then the idea also of sex is always like this. Happy sitting like, safe place versus, like, oh, we rushed into it, or I felt like, yeah, just taken advantage of, or any of that kind of negative thinking into the bedroom can really be painful. So it might even be something that people have to restart by finding a way to make the sexual relationship, a place of safety for both people a place of emotional harmony and happiness. So that it’s, it’s something that doesn’t traumatize but excites. And I think that was really important. And it’s something I’ve seen for other people. Like, making sure both are ready, right? You don’t just stumble into it. Because I, they were passionate tonight, and we’re gonna whip off our clothes. Like we were passionate before it, but we’re like, we’re not ready for that. And when we, when she felt comfortable, and I felt comfortable, we made the choice. Like, “Hey, we’re gonna do it.” And I think that was really important.

Leena: Yeah, it makes me think of, um, a lot of friends, or just people in general, that grew up with, you know, choosing purity. But also like, whether they want to or not. And, but they had a hard time once they got together marriage because they didn’t necessarily learn how to. Just didn’t always learn how to just have a friend, have friends of the opposite sex before, or like they would feel, you know, guilty or shameful of their own bodies. Or like, what they could wear. Ir, you know, being more modest or things. So then when they got into their marriage, I think a lot of women didn’t know how to allow themselves to do that. Or like, allow themselves to be that part of, discover that part of themselves that they kind of been saving, right? And I don’t know fully what it was for me. But somehow for me, that wasn’t the case. Like, and that’s something we strive for in a school of love to really help children from a young age, not see sex as a bad thing, but see sex as it was awesome. Like, you know, God created that. He created us to be together, as men and women. He created us to have this explosion in this experience. So with that in mind, like for me, it wasn’t, it was a very natural, exciting thing to look forward to and be excited about. The, yeah, I think that that’s pretty huge. Also, just in how we’re raising our kids and the next generation, and just really thinking about the awesomeness of sex. I think it should be talked about more, which you guys are like, you guys are doing that with High Noon. Um, and I appreciate that I think that’s really great to be able to take this beautiful thing that God gave us and not only have it associated with negative, you know, feelings. Or, but with this beautiful, amazing thing, that your question.

Sammy Uyama: Now, what does it take to make a good sexual relationship? And I love that so far everything you’ve shared. It has nothing to do with, you know, the mechanics of sex, which is what most people focus on, right? But it’s all, it’s the foundation that’s laid of having safety, and comfortability, and trust with one another. And also the perspective of the context we have about sex. What’s it like in the background and how we feel about it? How important those are. Yeah, that’s like an unexplored area. If you have a lot of uncomfortable feelings about sex, it’d be very difficult to actually have a fulfilling sexual relationship. And, and that’s a lot. That’s what a lot of the backlash that the, you know, the absence of purity minded approach gets is that because the way you, you, you differentiate it really beautifully. Like, what, what most people. The way to poach is not actually like saving, right? And having this really precious thing that’s awesome. That you’re going to give away. It’s more like repression, right? And there’s this thing inside of you that’s dangerous and bad, and you got to bottle it up. And the consequences as a lot of people, when they finally have the permission, or you know, they have the relationship to express that, they, it’s uncomfortable, right? Because it’s just their attitude. They’ve had sex their whole life.

Jario: Well, I mean, it’s a natural response. Because if you’re like, for 25 years, you’re like, sex is sinful. It’s shameful. It’s dirty. Like and I’m repressing all this. And then suddenly, I’m supposed to enjoy it and you’re like, “Oh, I just had, that was exciting.” And you kind of feel guilty. So that woman Galton gotta get, get way past that because God looks at it as a beautiful thing, not a dirty thing. I mean, they were naked and not ashamed. And, and we still thinking into the sex even, even with the blessing. And, and so yeah. Reversing that. Bring it back to that original form.

Leena: That’s what I love about school love. Because I feel like we’re able to help kids and teens. And, you know, the youth just see it in from that new perspective. Kind of God’s original intention of creation, right? For sex. And the other things I would say, to make a good sex life is just to, like, yeah, explore each other. Have fun. Like, be patient. It’s okay that it’s not perfect every time like, you know. Don’t feel like you have to compete with, I don’t even know who or what, like, because it’s just you and your spouse, right? But just like, not, I guess, feeling that way. And just being confident and trying things. And as a woman, especially when you go through labor and have kids, your body changes too. So that I know, that’s one thing that can be hard and you feel unconfident. But according to Jario.

Jario: Your husband won’t mind. When those changes are like, oh, he just had a baby. I mean, that’s beautiful. Like, that’s not a growth. Like I don’t even understand, am I? I’m not comparing her to her 20-year-old self. Like, I see all this. Like, it’s so weird that it even crossed her mind. Because I don’t think about me, I’m like, oh, I kind of got a gut and what I like, almost dead, you know. And I’m like, why would she? Wow, how beautiful she is. Like, I don’t? Baby like she’s just as hot to me today as she was 10 years ago. And because it all sounds different, right? I mean, it’s not. She’s not just physically hot. It’s like, emotionally and spiritually. And, you know, yeah, it’s weird to me. They even think like, you would think, I’m not as attractive because I just had a baby. I’m like, “No, I’ve just had a baby after baby.” 

Leena: Yeah. But, um, yeah, so I guess it’s interesting, because I don’t know if he mentioned, like, books, or just like, you know, different ways you can learn about sex. I would say, the best thing is just through each other. You know, like, of course, there’s books out. There are resources or experts or, but the biggest expert would be your spouse. Or like, you know, you and your spouse. And so, I would say, focusing on that, and not comparing yourself to me, in one sense. I say, don’t compare yourself to the movies. At the same time, I’ve always been a firm believer in a happy ending. Because, you know, people go through life. Things happen. And it may not always work out the first time for some people, relationships. And life happens, things happen. But I really do believe that God does want a fairytale ending for every person. Like I do believe everyone should have and has the capability to have that joy in their life, and their marriage, and their sex life. So also just believing in it and working towards it. 

Sammy Uyama: From, from the mouth of babes. Just fake from our, from the horse’s mouth. That’s what it is, right? From the actual source. What are some tips that we can rely on? I can affirm me. I think everything you shared is like what it takes. And, and to get that sex is a relational thing. It’s not just a biological thing, right? So it’s not about, you know, the right angle, right? Or the right body. It’s about your special connection with another person. It’s, maybe, let’s wrap up with this. Is there anything else that you’d like to share? Any closing words with our audience? Maybe if, like, you know, think about all the people that you know, we’ve, we’ve spectrum. But like, a lot of I’d say, the majority of single people, you know. Younger, who, you know, they’re investing in cells because they want this kind of relationship. So what would you say to the man to the woman? You know, the youngers in their 20s getting ready for marriage. Getting ready for the blessing. What would you wish to say to them? 

Leena: Oh, yeah. Thank you so much for having us and just that God, you know, wants that for you that you can have your love story. And that it’s possible hundred percent, and that you will get there also to trust and God.  I would say is one other big thing. One big part of our story actually. Just the different times, different situations, just trusting in Him that he’ll guide us. We’ll get us through different times in our life. So yeah, just believing in that and you are beautiful. You’re a child of God and you are loved. And whether that your future spouse is still out there. Even you will find them and otherwise in your marriage. You know, there are other ups and downs. But I just want to encourage everyone to just know that we’re all going through it together. And, um, you’re doing your best and keep going.

Jario: Yeah, yeah. And just on the path of happiness, I, we all are gonna make mistakes. And stumbles, sometimes, to things that we feel are mistakes. But it’s just us growing and learning. We need to give ourselves a lot more space to say. A growth stage is about learning things and sometimes, I’m going to stumble and fall. But God’s whole story is about restoration and restoring us to where he originally designed us to be. And that means even in our own lives, like, that’s not just a story that happened in, you know, to Moses. To that 4000 years ago. It’s not just a story that happened to Jesus. It’s not just a story that happened to True Father, but it’s actually your own life story is growing. Finding God. Finding out who you are. Learning about marriage, growing with that person. You might feel like your situation is different than others, and, and, you know, you’re more messed up or whatever, but God doesn’t see that. God sees you as worthy of love. And, and you have to make that choice that you’re, you deserve it. And you can start working towards it right now. And so, you know, one, one scripture I love is that it says, “Our God is not slow, but he’s patient. That everyone would return.” And so whatever your journey has looked like, even if you are making progress, and then you slipped up again, God is patient. And he looks at you as a, you know, you should have seen that other 7 billion people before you. They were there to you know. Like, you’re on this journey to buy. You know, I have a special story for each one of you and that is true love. And I really honestly believe that for every one of us, that’s the destination. And, and if we keep working at it if we keep picking ourselves up, that God is going to bring us there. And your partner is going to be there. And you guys can have an awesome amazing sex marriage family’s life.

Leena: Definitely. 

Sammy Uyama: Thank you, Leena. Thank you, Jario. Oh, I had such a great time having this conversation. I appreciate you guys sharing. So, openly. How more open can you get? I’ve no idea, right? And, and really, I’m sure people are gonna get a lot from this conversation that we had. Thank you so much.

Leena: Thank you, Sammy. And thanks for all you do for High Noon. We’ve learned a lot from you too. And we’ve actually gotten a lot more open and being able to share even about like you, you’ve taught us that job.

Sammy Uyama: I’m glad because you’ve got a lot to share. You’ve got to hear what you’ve got to say.

Leena: Thanks, Sammy.

 

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Episode 49 – ‌High Noon 2021 Launch

This makes for a lovely episode: listen to an inspiring and enchanting love story of High Noon Families’ the School of Love project directors, Jario and Leena Vincenz-Gavin. 

Married for 13 years, these two have grown a lot and discovered many things about themselves, their work, and each other. Apart from being the fuel for families to mend their relationships, they also became a role model for couples working in the same environment, believing that learning about each other’s strengths and weaknesses will help create that perfect balance in marriage and relationships. 

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